You Cant Exercise Your Way Out of Aging

first_imgby, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweetShareShareEmail0 Sharesray_moon_01Wow, this is a blow to anti-agers everywhere.  Contrary to long held beliefs that exercise can help slow the aging of muscles, new genetic research out of the UK finds that link “implausible”.Loss of muscle is one of the biggest challenges associated with aging. Unlike wrinkles or gray hair, which are completely harmless, loss of muscle strength leads to frailty and increases the risk of falls. “Move it or lose it” has long been the conventional wisdom and experts widely recommend older adults engage in frequent muscle-strengthening exercise routines.Does this new research mean exercise is futile? No. Exercise and cardiovascular health are extremely important and recent research even indicates it can help protect our brains from dementia. What this study offers is new insights on the aging process in humans and a challenge to some long-held assumptions about aging.For instance, the Centre for Aging Research in England advises the government that muscle aging is caused by things like insufficient physical activity, said Jamie Timmons, professor of Systems Biology in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, whose study was released in the March issue of PLOS Genetics.“However, when we look at the changes in human muscle with age, in both people from the UK and the USA, we do not observe physical activity altering the age-related biological changes,” he adds.Instead, they found human response to exercise is highly variable, and that our genes largely determine how our muscles respond and age.Timmons wrote that some people do achieve “good functional effects” from exercising, but that nearly one quarter of people gain no benefit from exercising because they simply can’t grow muscle.“In short, a simple link between muscle aging and lack of exercise is not plausible,” he asserts.In other words, biologically speaking, age has its own influence on muscle, that is separate from that of physical activity.This is a fundamental blow to people who embrace a “Realist” perspective of aging as something they can and should fight tooth and nail. They dedicate themselves to following every piece of advice that Oprah or AARP promotes to live longer, look younger and stay healthy.Certainly, there is nothing wrong with desiring or pursuing health and vitality. But increasingly people — men in particular when it comes to muscles — are going to extraordinary and even dangerous lengths to “fight aging.”The Atlantic had a compelling article last week about the dangerous increase of Testosterone abuse among older men. Testosterone Replacement Treatments (TRT) once reserved for a tiny fraction of the population who suffer from legitimate Testosterone deficiencies are being mass-marketed to all men as a miraculous fountain of muscle-bound youth:In the age-old tradition of snake oil peddlers and traveling medicine shows, TRT is but the latest elixir from the fountain of youth. Offering a heady brew of hope and hype distilled at the drawing boards of advertising agencies, tubes of testosterone are the latest wares for the unwary.I wonder how old we need to get before we gain the wisdom to accept the things we can’t change.Related PostsTwo Major Boomer Wellness Goals: End of Sarcopenia, Compression of MorbidityThe aged man struggled to get out of his recliner. His leg muscles could not lift his weight into a vertical position, so he fell back into the chair, exhausted. He sat there for a few minutes, trying to command his weak muscles to help him stand. He barely had…How Should We Change Aging in 2015?Today, aging is usually viewed as something to dread and avoid as long as possible. There are many ways we can resolve to change aging in 2015, on a personal level and in society. Here are my four suggestions:One MORE Reason to Exercise: Protect Your Memory!On August 10, 2011, The Journal of Neuroscience carried a story with this headline: “Little Exercise, Big Effects: Reversing Aging and Infection-Induced Memory Deficits, and Underlying Processes.” A University Of Colorado-Boulder study reported th…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Aging antiaging Longevity testosteronelast_img read more

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Populationbased verbal autopsy method for determining causes of death

first_imgMay 8 2018Improved tools are now underway for determining the causes of death in settings where medical examinations or post-mortem autopsies are not routinely conducted. The population-based approach, namely Verbal Autopsy using standardized interviews, including signs, symptoms and circumstances leading to death, conducted with the bereaved family, are becoming the best alternative in the more affluent parts of the world.”More than half the world’s deaths and their causes are never recorded by virtue of the underdeveloped Civil Registration and Vital Statistic (CRVA) system which limits the capacity of health planners and politicians to adequately allocate resources where they are needed,” says Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb, PhD, a researcher at the community medicine and public health, Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AMM) unit, Sahlgrenska Academy.Pioneer projects began naming this technique in the 1950s in India, where they established the concept of Verbal Autopsy. The method has since become more widespread and has been standardized under the direction of the World Health Organization (WHO). Verbal Autopsy is applied today in more than 50 countries. Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb has studied its recent advancement using data from the Agincourt Health and socio-Demographic Surveillance System in South Africa.During his novel research together with global health researchers from Sweden, UK and South Africa, Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb advanced the application of the Verbal Autopsy method into a pragmatic and scalable approach to modelling circumstances of mortality categories for verbal autopsy deaths with only minimal additional effort and cost to the existing verbal autopsy process of the medical causes. This enhancement of mortality data will bringing in information on health systems, social and cultural circumstances of outcomes providing routine feedback for monitoring global public health priorities.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaNew drug provides hope for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophyNot purely medicalIt is uncommon today for physician to actually conduct verbal autopsy themselves rather than trained fieldworkers using mobile tablet-verbal autopsy tool, which has ultimately reduced time and cost of the interview. This digital application with the standardized questionnaire instrument, which allows for simple yes or no responses, has shorten the interview time from an average of an hour to about 20 minutes.”Achieving universal health coverage requires standardized tools that can effectively link healthcare services utilization to mortality outcomes in population for routine monitoring. Therefore, the concept we introduced does not undervalue the usefulness of medical classification of causes of death but incorporate additional health system and social dimensions to the understanding of death outcome,” says Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb.Migration in transitionComparing medical and circumstantial causes of death between and within countries and regions and over time requires consistent and standardized tools. Sweden is pioneering to mark this achievement, and Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb has participated in the development of such timely and essential tool to allow comparisons possible over time and space.”The method is not necessarily needed only in areas that lack the CRVS system. Many countries including Europe have sound systems for determining causes of death, but globalization and migration put these systems under extreme conditions, raising the issues of suboptimal care and miscommunication. In the case of European setting, these issues are attributed to both cultural and medical competence for European health practitioners caring for non-European immigrants,” says Laith. Source:https://sahlgrenska.gu.se/english/research/news-events/news-article//transitional-methods-for-determining-causes-of-death.cid1565555last_img read more

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Johnson Johnson Medical acquires EIT to enhance interbody implant portfolio

first_imgSep 14 2018The Acquired Technology Will Complement Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies’ Advanced Portfolio of Interbody Implants For Both Minimally Invasive and Open Spinal Fusion SurgeryJohnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, through its subsidiary Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH, announced today the acquisition of Emerging Implant Technologies GmbH (EIT), a privately held manufacturer of 3D-printed titanium interbody implants for spinal fusion surgery, based in Wurmlingen, Germany. The products in this portfolio leverage EIT’s proprietary advanced cellular titanium, which consists of an open and interconnected porous structure designed to allow bone to grow into the implant. As industry leaders across the full range of orthopedic and spine specialties, the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies will leverage their global commercial infrastructure to bring EIT’s technologies to patients around the world.Related StoriesDePuy Synthes launches nerve assessment platform for spine proceduresBiosense Webster enrolls and treats first patient in QDOT AF studyJohnson & Johnson announces FDA clearance to expand indication for Acclarent AERA deviceThis acquisition allows DePuy Synthes, the orthopedics business of Johnson & Johnson, to enhance its comprehensive interbody implant portfolio that includes expandable interbody devices, titanium integrated PEEK technology and now 3D-printed cellular titanium, for both minimally invasive and open spinal surgery. The EIT technology complements DePuy Synthes’ investment in the interbody implant segment in spine, including the recent introductions of the CONCORDE LIFT Expandable Interbody Device, and in the U.S., the PROTI 360°™ Family of Titanium-Integrated Interbody Implants, designed to treat patients with degenerative disc disease.“Our goal is to offer a complete portfolio of interbody solutions that provides surgeons with even more options for the treatment of their patients,” said Aldo Denti, Company Group Chairman of DePuy Synthes. “We are excited to welcome the skilled team at EIT, and together, we aspire to bring to market technologies that allow surgeons to perform spinal fusion procedures reliably and with consistent outcomes.”This acquisition underscores the companies’ commitment to building an innovative portfolio of spine solutions to improve the standard of care for patients. Moving forward, DePuy Synthes will continue to focus on the spinal disease states with the most potential for surgeons and their patients – degenerative disc disease, deformity and complex cervical – and introduce technologies in the fastest-growing segments within these disease states; specifically, interbody implants, enabling technologies, minimally invasive spine (MIS), and biomaterials. Source:https://www.jnjmedicaldevices.com/last_img read more

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At Associated Press no more climate skeptics or deniers

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The decision’s impact is likely to be widespread; AP’s decision will affect not just the organization’s own articles, but also those by the many newspapers, magazines, and other news outlets that use AP’s style guidelines.The decision is drawing mixed reactions. Some science advocates said AP should have taken a stronger stand against climate science contrarians who wrongly claim the mantle of scientific skepticism. Other observers said AP did a good job striking a difficult balance on a touchy matter.“It’s extremely important that the AP are doing this,” says Harvard University science historian Naomi Oreskes. She notes longtime attempts by industry and conservative groups to stir up doubt about well-established climate science, in part by persuading journalists to give their views equal weight. “It’s terribly important that journalists do not fall for that trap, and that reporters distinguish clearly between genuine scientific debate and others types of disagreement, dissent, and denial.”Meanwhile, some traditionally associated with the “skeptic” or “denier” side are claiming victory. Marc Morano, who runs the contrarian site Climate Depot, told National Journal that he preferred the term “skeptic,” but that “doubter” still suggests there’s room for debate. By ditching “denier,” AP is “entering the realm of objectivity,” Morano said. Meanwhile, Anthony Watts, a former TV meteorologist who runs the popular contrarian blog Watts Up With That?, also praised AP’s decision as a “positive and long and overdue change” to ditch the “ugly climate term ‘denier.’”A battle over wordsAP’s move comes 9 months after dozens of scientists and science advocates—including Arizona State University, Tempe, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, Brown University biologist and evolution defender Ken Miller, and TV personality Bill Nye “the Science Guy” —criticized the media for using the terms “skepticism” and “denial” interchangeably. The open letter argued that most politicians and activists who reject climate science don’t embrace skepticism, which entails the use of logical and critical thinking skills to assess lofty claims, and that “denial” is the more appropriate term.In a staff memo accompanying Colford’s announcement, top AP Stylebook editors echoed that line of reasoning in discouraging use of the term “skeptic.” Still, in discouraging use of “denier” as well, the editors noted that “denier” has its own problems. “Those who reject climate science say the phrase ‘denier’ has the pejorative ring of ‘Holocaust denier,’” AP editors Sally Jacobsen, Dave Minthorn, and Paula Froke wrote in the memo.Joe Romm, founding editor of Climate Progress, a blog affiliated with the Democratic-aligned Center for American Progress, called the change “pointless.” Although AP’s recommended phrase “those who reject mainstream climate science” is “not half bad,” it’s so wordy that the weaker term “doubter” may win by default, Romm argues in a blog post. “Does the AP recommend newspapers use the phrase ‘smoking health risk doubters’ or ‘tobacco science doubters’?” Romm wrote. “Of course not—and yet scientists have the same level of certainty about human-caused climate change as they do that cigarettes harm your health.” (The Sierra Club, an environmental group, mocked the change using similar reasoning.)Ronald Lindsay, CEO of the Center for Inquiry, which has offices in Washington, D.C., and Amherst, New York, agrees that “doubter” isn’t a great substitute for “skeptic” or “denier.” “Referring to deniers as ‘doubters’ still imbues those who reject scientific fact with an intellectual legitimacy they have not earned,” he says in a statement. Still, Lindsay expressed relief that politicians, think tanks, and activists at odds with climate science—he cited Senator James Inhofe (R–OK), who has repeatedly called manmade climate change a hoax—will find it tougher to take on the “skeptic” mantle. The term “those who reject mainstream climate science” is “acceptably clarifying,” he said.Use of the term “denier” is accurate in some cases, says Ed Maibach, a climate communications researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. But rejection or doubt of established climate science among members of the general public is usually the product of deception, he says. “I find it offensive to call these people deniers, because it wrongly implies they are bad people, like Holocaust deniers,” Maibach wrote in an email. “‘Doubter’ and the clunkier ‘those who reject mainstream climate science’ strike me as fair terms to describe both members of the public and the very small number of scientists who are not convinced.” Email Doubting or rejecting the science on climate change no longer makes someone a “skeptic” or “denier” in the views of a leading news organization. The Associated Press (AP) announced yesterday that it’s instructing its journalists to use the terms “doubters” or “those who reject mainstream climate science” in their stories. The organization also said it now discourages the use of the terms “skeptics” and “deniers.”The news organization, which operates hundreds of bureaus around the world and serves thousands of media outlets, is adding new text to its widely used AP Stylebook under its entry on global warming, said AP spokesman Paul Colford. The new text will say: “To describe those who don’t accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces, use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science. Avoid use of skeptics or deniers.” Colford told ScienceInsider in an email that this change comes on top of a separate expansion of the global warming entry in the 2015 Stylebook.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

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Podcast Cash for carbon social genes and apocalyptic scenarios

first_imgKerrick/iStockphoto This week we have stories on the genes that may make dogs friendly, why midsized animals are the fastest, and what it would take to destroy all the life on our planet with Online News Editor David Grimm.Sarah Crespi talks to Seema Jayachandran about paying cash to Ugandan farmers to not cut down trees—does it reduce deforestation in the long term?Listen to previous podcasts.[Image: Kerrick/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img

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Researchers caught in growing rift over Catalan independence

first_img By Tania RabesandratanaSep. 28, 2017 , 12:30 PM REUS, SPAIN—Scientists in Catalonia are feeling the ripples of a severe crisis as the region’s bid for independence from Spain comes to a head.Researchers have much at stake in the independence referendum, scheduled for 1 October in defiance of Madrid’s central government. Nationalists trust that Catalan science would thrive in a nimbler, independent state of 7.5 million people and become a beacon of a new, progressive republic. Others fear that the secession would plunge science into isolating uncertainty, cut access to essential funding streams and networks, and spark a brain drain.Like other regions of Spain, Catalonia has a distinct language and a strong sense of cultural difference that were repressed under Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, which ended in 1975. As an autonomous community of Spain, it has its own Parliament and government, the Generalitat, in Barcelona that manage a range of devolved powers from the region’s cosmopolitan capital. But Catalan nationalists say they want a separate state with complete control over its finances and policies—a sentiment that has soared in recent years. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Rex Features via AP Images In the past 15 years or so, reforms have helped turn the region into a vibrant scientific spot and a magnet for top international researchers. The Generalitat set up 41 Research Centers of Catalonia, which aimed to break free from rigid recruitment and funding rules that weigh down their Spanish counterparts and now employ about 5000 people. In 2001, it also created the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, a publicly funded foundation that offers attractive tenured positions and now employs 258 researchers across Catalan institutions.The efforts have paid off. Between 2007 and 2015, researchers in Catalonia won 210 grants from the European Research Council, worth a combined €334 million. Per capita, this places Catalonia in fourth place, behind Switzerland, Israel, and the Netherlands, according to the Generalitat.“In case of independence, we have to extend this model and not revolutionize it,” says geneticist Arcadi Navarro, the Generalitat’s secretary for universities and research. Catalonia could push its science further if the Generalitat controlled its taxes, as well as rules over venture capital and private sponsorship of research, he says. “With complete autonomy, we could change the system completely,” adds Roderic Guigó, a bioinformatics professor at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona. Guigó co-founded the blog Scientists for Independence, which has published contributions from about 80 researchers.“This is not a war” against scientists outside of Catalonia, says physicist Jordi Fraxedas, coordinator of the universities and research sector at the Catalan National Assembly, an independentist organization. “What matters are personal relationships [between international researchers]. What we want is to do science. We will keep collaborating,” adds Fraxedas, who works at a research center in Barcelona funded jointly by Catalonia and Spain.But many other scientists think such optimism is unfounded, or even delusional. In particular, they worry that they would lose access to essential funding from Madrid and the European Union’s Horizon 2020, as well as to international research facilities such as CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland—unless and until Catalonia signs and pays for bilateral agreements, which may take several years. Thousands of research staff in Catalonia get their salaries from Madrid, and the region, which is home to 16% of Spain’s population, receives about 24% of Spanish subsidies for R&D and innovation.Juan José Ganuza, an economist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, is one of few scientists in Catalonia who has spoken out publicly against independence. Ganuza tells ScienceInsider he is “sad” and “scared” about what he sees as an inward-looking movement, echoing the recent Brexit vote or Trump’s “America First” posture. Spain’s research system has much room for improvement, but Catalonia’s recent scientific success proves that is possible without a breakup, he adds. “Although many Catalan researchers are [in favor of independence], I believe that if Catalan science had a voice, it would not be an independentist one,” Ganuza wrote in a column published in Spanish newspaper El País 2 years ago. “Science fundamentally depends on human capital and talent, and inevitably many valuable people would leave.”But science plays a minor role in the conflict, and escalating tensions between Barcelona and Madrid leave little space to ponder these opposing scenarios. Spain deems the vote illegal and has taken aggressive steps to stop it. Under a judge’s order, national police raided Catalan government offices, arrested 14 officials, and confiscated voting materials.Spain’s finance ministry also included universities and research centers in a list of organizations that it suspects of aiding the vote’s logistics. “This list has been sent to banks so that they can block and control day-to-day financial activities without any kind of direct prior warning,” the institutions complained in a statement issued on 21 September.The hostile stance has aggravated moderates, fueled separatist fervor, and triggered expressions of support from abroad. “We are concerned that the level of political repression in Catalonia is of a severity and arbitrary character not experienced since the Franco dictatorship,” a group of U.K. academics warned in a letter published by The Guardian.The Generalitat has pledged to declare independence unilaterally within 2 days of a positive referendum result, and irrespective of the turnout.*Update, 29 September 2017, 7.30 a.m.:  This article has been updated to include figures of Spanish research funding in Catalonia. Researchers caught in growing rift over Catalan independencecenter_img Email 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 Students marched in Barcelona, Spain, today to defend their “right to decide” Catalonia’s fate, just days before a disputed independence referendum.last_img read more

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Caster Semenya And Sex Testing In Womens Sports

first_imgAlthough her test results were never made public, the IAAF subsequently issued a new policy for women with hyperandrogenism, or high testosterone. Arguing that high testosterone gave these athletes an unfair advantage, hyperandrogenic female athletes had two choices: suppress their testosterone or drop out of the sport.Indian sprinter Dutee Chand refused to do either. In 2014, the Sports Authority of India diagnosed her as hyperandrogenic and disqualified her from competition. Chand challenged that disqualification in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where adjudicators ruled the IAAF had “insufficient evidence” to enforce its policy. The decision gave the organization two years to find evidence that associated enhanced performance with naturally high levels of testosterone. If not, the policy would be invalidated.As the 2017 deadline approached, researchers affiliated with the IAAF published a study that claimed women with high testosterone performed as much as 3% better than those with lower testosterone in a handful of events.Undeterred by those who exposed the study’s methodological flaws, the organization plowed ahead with its regulations, prompting Semenya’s challenge.‘Necessary’ discrimination?Although it rejected Semenya’s claims, the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s panel conceded that the regulations are “discriminatory” but “necessary” to preserve “the integrity of female athletics.” The regulations are additionally discriminatory, panel members noted, because they “do not impose any equivalent restrictions on male athletes.”This is something that critics of the policy have charged from the beginning.No one is concerned about male athletes with unusually high, naturally occurring testosterone. Taking hormones out of the equation, there are a host of biological advantages that some athletes enjoy over others. Nordic skier Eero Mäntyranta, for example, had a genetic condition that caused the excessive production of red blood cells, giving him an advantage in endurance events. Michael Phelps’ unique and optimally shaped swimming body allows him to cut through the water with remarkable speed and efficiency. No one suggests these men should muzzle their assets. 16 Most Memorable African-American Olympic Moments (PHOTOS) OLY1968-200M-SMITH-CARLOS-PODIUM Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya challenged the 2018 policy. It was discriminatory, she argued, lacked scientific grounding and did “irreparable harm to affected female athletes.”But on May 1, in a blow to Semenya and an untold number of other women, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the regulations. The policy is now set to go into effect on May 8As a scholar who studies women’s sports I’ve been following this story closely. At the heart of the conflict is how to define “femaleness” for the purpose of athletic competitions. Since sports are segregated by sex, what criteria – if any – should we use to distinguish female from male?How we got hereMonitoring testosterone is the latest version of “sex testing” in women’s sport, a practice that began in the 1930s.Originally, athletes presented affidavits from their personal and team physicians confirming that they were, in fact, women. In the 1960s, athletic administrators turned to gynecological examinations, visual inspections and chromosomal analyses. In the 1990s, they implemented genetic testing.ATHLETICS-SUI-DIAMONDSource: FABRICE COFFRINI / GettyBy the 21st century, most systematic testing had been discontinued, unless someone “challenged” a female athlete’s sex. This happened to Semenya at the 2009 Track and Field World Championships. Someone apparently issued such a challenge and the press caught wind of it. The International Association of Athletics Federations confirmed that she was undergoing “gender verification” procedures, just before she cruised to victory in the 800-meter race. Semenya and her supporters argue that since the women affected by the policy are, in fact, women, they should be allowed to compete without restriction.“I just want to run naturally, the way I was born,” she said. “It is not fair that I am told I must change.”It’s worth noting that although Semenya is the top athlete in her class, her times don’t come anywhere near the times of elite male runners – despite allegedly having “male levels” of testosterone.The Women's Sports Foundation's 39th Annual Salute To Women In Sports Awards Gala - InsideSource: Nicholas Hunt / GettySporting rights versus human rightsThe controversy has divided activists for sporting rights and human rights.The IAAF regards women’s sport as a “protected class” and insists that it must “place conditions” on the female category in order “to ensure fair and meaningful competition.”Human rights activists disagree. If an athlete is legally a woman, that should be good enough. In fact, the United Nations Human Rights Council resolved that the new regulations “may not be compatible with international human rights norms and standards.” Citing the assertions of esteemed scientists and bioethicists, the council criticized the “lack of legitimate and justifiable evidence for the regulations.” Put differently, there is no conclusive, incontrovertible correlation between high natural testosterone and better performance. Without such evidence, they argued, the IAAF’s regulations shouldn’t be enforced. IAAF Diamond League - Meeting de Paris 2018Source: Andy Astfalck / GettyThis is because we don’t divide sport into categories based on hemoglobin or foot size, regardless of the advantages each confers.We do, however, carve sport into male and female categories, and for good reason. Studies show that elite male athletes tend to outperform elite female athletes by about 10%. Segregating men and women in most elite sports gives women more opportunities to compete and succeed.Here’s where it gets tricky. If we insist on sexual segregation in sport, how do we decide who’s a female and who’s a male? Do those criteria influence sport performance? And what happens when athletes do not fit neatly into sport’s definition of femaleness?This is precisely what the new regulations attempt to address, albeit in a clumsy and confounding way. Specifically, the policy is aimed at women who are legally recognized as women but who are diagnosed with specific differences of sex disorders and have high levels of functional testosterone. The IAAF explains that these disorders involve male-typical sex chromosomes and the presence of testes or testicular development. The threshold for women’s testosterone is below the “normal” male range but more than two times higher than the upper limit of the “normal” female range.center_img IAAF Diamond League - Doha 2019Source: Francois Nel / GettyA yearslong saga between a middle-distance runner and her sport’s ruling body may be nearing something that resembles a conclusion.In 2018, the International Association of Athletics Federations dictated that female runners with naturally occurring high testosterone levels and specific “differences of sex development” must lower their testosterone in order to compete in events ranging from 400 meters to one mile. The Court of Arbitration panel members did note that they’re concerned about how the IAAF’s regulations will be practically applied. In addition, the IAAF regards the regulations as a “living document,” which means that it can and probably will change as time goes on.IAAF Continental Cup - Day 2Source: Lukas Schulze / GettyWill the testosterone restrictions expand to additional track and field events?Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is reportedly working on guidelines to help international federations devise their own policies regarding “gender identity and sex characteristics.” In other words, we can expect to see policies similar to the IAAF’s in other sports.Semenya has 30 days to appeal the arbitration ruling to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. If this appeal fails, she and countless other women must reduce their testosterone, probably with medication, to keep competing in women’s events. What will this do to their bodies? To the sport? To issues of fairness and human rights?The Court of Arbitration decision is just one leg in what looks to be a never-ending and perhaps futile relay to establish “fairness” in women’s sports.Jaime Schultz, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State UniversityThis article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.The ConversationSEE ALSO:Scientists Discover Why Black Runners Are Faster Than WhitesOPINION: Caster Semenya And The Death Of Common Decency Caster Semenya AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmaillast_img read more

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Health experts wary of EPA rush to revise carcinogen testing

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The outcomes of such risk reviews can then be used by EPA’s regulatory offices and other agencies to, for example, limit the types of pesticides that farmers can apply to their crops or the amount of hazardous air pollutants oil and gas refineries can emit.EPA sources say the Trump administration is now seeking to revise the standards for that highly scientific process in a matter of months. That timeline, experts fear, makes it impossible to do a thorough job and could take years to fix—leaving millions of Americans at greater risk from unhealthy levels of pollution in the meantime.Currently, EPA has 166 pages of guidelines for assessing cancer-causing risks and no uniform guidance for evaluating other potentially adverse health effects.But next week, EPA will ask its influential Science Advisory Board (SAB) for “advice regarding upcoming actions related to an update to the ‘2005 EPA Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment’ and creation of guidelines for non-cancer risk assessment,” the agency said in a Federal Register notice earlier this month.Unlike other topics on the agenda for the meeting—EPA’s proposals to increase scientific “transparency,” redefine “waters of the United States,” and manage toxic nonstick chemicals known as PFAS—the agency hasn’t publicly released any background documents or briefing materials on its aims for the risk assessment guidelines.EPA’s press office declined to provide further information on the scope and timeline of the agency’s review.”EPA is just starting the process of determining what revisions are appropriate,” an EPA spokesperson said in a statement. “The Agency does not at this time have a projected schedule.”But ahead of that event, EPA leaders asked a small group of career officials to identify risk assessment topics for the SAB to consider that could be updated by the end of the year, according to two agency sources. Those officials discussed specific, limited updates to the existing cancer guidelines.Now some officials are beginning to worry that EPA leadership is looking to use that effort to weaken the guidelines and get outside approval for their changes. On the current timeline, the SAB, which has been stocked with industry-friendly members during the Trump administration, could bless the new guidelines before any potential new administration could take office in 2021—making them harder to undo.Risks of cancer “will be higher”That aggressive timeline for two important and scientifically complex guidelines has also raised concerns among former agency officials and public health advocates about the potential outcome and motives for the fast-tracked review.”If you want to have anything that’s decent, you can’t do in that amount of time,” said Penny Fenner-Crisp, who served as a staff scientist at EPA for 22 years. She left the agency in 2000 after helping to craft and review EPA’s 1986 cancer guidelines.”It isn’t a matter of just sitting down and writing something,” said Fenner-Crisp, who’s now retired. “There are all sorts of internal agency reviews and sign-offs. The guidelines have to go over to [the Office of Management and Budget] and the White House. And there has to be peer review done at least once by the SAB, and maybe more than once.”It would also be good, she said, for EPA to consult with the independent National Academy of Sciences, which in 2009 offered a series of recommendations to the agency to improve its human health risk assessment practices.All of that would take at least four years to complete, Fenner-Crisp estimated. The 2005 update to EPA’s cancer guidelines, she noted, took over a dozen years to complete.To thoroughly evaluate all recent research advances, another update to the cancer guidelines is probably in order, argued Bernard Goldstein, who served as EPA’s assistant administrator for research and development during the Reagan administration.”The problem is, there’s no way it can be done in any serious way between now and December 2020,” said Goldstein, who is also dean emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in Pennsylvania.”The danger is you’ll just get it wrong and for 15 years, you’ll be doing it wrong,” he said. “It means the risks of cancer that will be allowable will be higher.”Crafting guidance for evaluating all the other health risks posed by chemicals and other contaminants would likely be an even heavier lift, according to Fenner-Crisp.”The first project I worked on at the agency in the guideline area was an assignment to write noncancer guidelines,” she said. “We labored for two years and came to a stalemate because we couldn’t resolve the definition of ‘adverse.’ So, the project got dropped and you’ve never seen the agency issue any noncancer guidelines since.”EPA didn’t commit to offering the planned guideline revisions up for outside scrutiny — aside from at next week’s SAB meeting.But a spokesperson said, “It has been EPA’s practice to take public comment on draft Guidelines and to subject them to independent external peer review.”The agency didn’t respond to a request for comment on critics’ concerns about the guideline overhaul.Fenner-Crisp plans to air her issues with the rush to remake the risk assessment process at next week’s SAB meeting. She and Goldstein are both members of the Environmental Protection Network, a coalition of retired EPA appointees and staffers committed to fighting efforts they believe could undermine their former agency.”Fundamental” change to EPAPublic health advocates like Richard Denison, lead senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, see the push to overhaul risk assessments as part of an increasing focus by political appointees to alter the way EPA views science and pollution during Trump’s time in office.He pointed to efforts to replace academics on the SAB who’ve gotten grants from EPA with ones who’ve worked for industry and shift resources from the science-focused Integrated Risk Information System chemical testing program to the toxics office, which for much of the Trump administration has been effectively led by a former chemical industry lobbyist. The “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposal, meanwhile, would limit the type of studies IRIS could use, making it harder to determine the real-world impacts of chemicals, Denison warned.”They’re looking at the clock and they are trying to make more permanent changes that would be harder to undo or stop applying,” he said.”What they really want to do is to alter the fundamental way in which these things are done so that they can apply to anything that EPA does going forward,” Denison said. “A new administration that comes in would have to undo these policies, not just revisit individual decisions.”But EPA’s scramble to rewrite the risk assessment guidelines could leave them legally vulnerable, Goldstein predicted.”The issue is a process one,” he said.Key regulatory documents that are updated or created without following established agency processes are vulnerable to challenges under the Administrative Procedure Act.Several Trump administration attempts to reduce regulations on industry have already been tossed out by federal judges, who found they were “arbitrary and capricious.” For instance, U.S. courts have repeatedly rebuffed the Interior Department’s efforts to boost energy development, citing process issues (Energywire, April 29).Still, delaying effective risk assessments might be all the administrator is seeking to do, Goldstein suggested.”I don’t know what’s guiding Andrew Wheeler,” the Reagan-era appointee said. “But he comes out of being a lobbyist for the coal industry and he will someday go back to that type of position. If he gets his rules through that the industry wants and, at some later date, the courts throw them out, he’s still a success as far as the people he’s responding to are concerned.”Reporter Ellen M. Gilmer contributed.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. Read more… Email Originally published by E&E NewsThe Environmental Protection Agency plans to quickly revamp its guidelines for evaluating whether environmental contaminants can cause cancer or other ailments, a move Trump administration critics fear is part of a broader effort to weaken the basis for regulating a wide range of pollutants.At issue is a fundamental responsibility of the agency: How to determine whether potentially harmful substances pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. Health experts wary of EPA rush to revise carcinogen testing Rob Crandall/Alamy Stock Photo Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Corbin Hiar, E&E NewsMay. 31, 2019 , 3:40 PMlast_img read more

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Army Sgt Surprises Daughter At High School Graduation

first_imgSgt. Tillman has been in the Army for 18 years. He served in Iraq and was most recently stationed in Korea. Due to his deployment, the only interaction that he had with his family was through FaceTime. With his daughter Kayla’s high school graduation on the horizon, he was unsure if he would be able to be present for the special moment. After returning to his station in Fort Benning, Georgia, attending the commencement ceremony became more of a reality. Tillman initially told his daughter that he wouldn’t make it to the graduation, but little did she know he was planning on driving 600 miles from Fort Benning to Fort Lauderdale for the ceremony. He worked with the school administrators to organize the unforgettable moment for Kayla. Right after she received her diploma, he surprised her on stage. The St. Thomas Aquinas High School commencement ceremony turned into a heartwarming father-daughter reunion before 524 graduates and their loved ones.“When they started playing the graduation music, tears just started coming down my eyes because right then and there I realized how much of her life I’d missed,” he told the news outlet. “I didn’t realize the stuff my kids were going through by me not being there physically. It was rough on her and I’m proud that she finished school while dealing with the fact that her dad was in the Army and not there like her friends’ dads were. For the situation we were in, I’m so proud of her.” Kayla—who will attend college in Louisiana—was overcome with emotion when she saw her dad on stage. She said that being reunited with her father made the pinnacle of her high school experience so much more special. Sasha Obama And Her Prom Date Broke The Internet Soldier surprises his daughter at her high school graduation ceremony in Florida after not seeing her for years. https://t.co/Gt5mYNPWJE pic.twitter.com/JBuZN6Vc7C— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 25, 2019 Pursuing a career in the military comes with several sacrifices. Individuals who make the brave decision to serve often miss out on the major life milestones experienced by their loved ones. After being away from his family for nearly a decade, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Tillman gave his daughter a special gift by surprising her on stage at her high school graduation, Good Morning America reported. Army , Florida , Graduation , high school graduation , Kayla Tillman , Military , Sgt. Anthony Tillman center_img Obama Family Portrait Sgt. Tillman is slated to be stationed in Georgia for the next few years and plans on spending a lot of time with his children.SEE ALSO:Mother Surprised With Degree At Son’s College Graduation99-Year-Old Black Woman Veteran Gets Second Chance To Walk Across Graduation Stage AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmaillast_img read more

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Jellyfish almost killed this scientist Now she wants to save others from

first_imgCell bodyNematocyst (capsule)Operculum 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 V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE Chironex fleckeri, one of the deadliest box jellyfish species, has left its mark on a patient’s leg in North Queensland in Australia. Angel Yanagihara preparing for a dive off the shore of Honolulu. She decided to study jellyfish venom after being stung during a morning swim in 1997. Human skinHuman skinCnidocyte By Yao-Hua LawNov. 8, 2018 , 2:00 PM Most of the 4000 species of jellyfish cause only pain and discomfort when they sting humans. Only Cubozoans, or box jellyfish, of which some 50 species inhabit tropical and temperate seas around the globe, are fatal. They take their name from their cubic body, which has between four and 15 tentacles up to 3 meters long growing from each of the four corners. The tentacles are carpeted with hundreds of thousands of specialized cells, each harboring a capsule called a nematocyst that can fire a microscopic harpoon at speeds of more than 60 kilometers per hour. The harpoon carries a spiny hollow tube that injects venom after it strikes a victim.Yanagihara, born in Alaska, hadn’t planned to study jellyfish. But in 1997, the year she obtained her Ph.D. at UH for research on cellular ion channels, the jellyfish found her. One day that year, Yanagihara swam out to sea before dawn—”My father taught me to swim before I walked,” she says—when she encountered a swarm of box jellyfish some 500 meters offshore. She felt needles burning into her neck and arms and her lungs collapsing; her arms began to fail. She switched to a breathing technique she had learned for childbirth and clawed back to shore in agony, “like an automaton.” The pain kept her in bed for 3 days. After she recovered, she wanted to know what almost killed her.In some cases, box jellyfish venom causes Irukandji syndrome, in which an overload of stress hormones and inflammation proteins produces pain and nausea for days, as well as high blood pressure that can lead to brain hemorrhage and death. Most sting casualties, however, die within minutes from cardiac arrest. The prevailing hypothesis 20 years ago was that the culprits are ion channel blockers, molecules that disrupt movement of ions in and out of cells. The blockage shuts down nerve and muscle cells, including those that keep the heart pumping.To test the idea, Yanagihara followed a standard procedure for studying jellyfish venom: She dissolved the tentacles in water to release the nematocysts and broke them with a mortar and pestle or glass beads to release the venom. Then she exposed immature frog egg cells—a common model in cell physiology—to the venom and measured ion movement using electrophysiological techniques. But the experiments kept failing. After scrutinizing every part of her experimental setup, she began to wonder whether her venom preparation was too impure to reveal its secrets. She realized that crushing the nematocysts produced a crude mix of venom and cellular debris—akin to putting “a rattlesnake in a blender” to get its venom, she says.Taking a cue from a 1970s study, she developed a new method that uses citrate, an acidic compound, to dislodge the nematocysts without breaking them. She then puts them in a French press, in which a piston forcibly ruptures all the nematocysts at once. A minuscule harvest of venom squeezes out through a tiny outlet that filters larger cellular components.The yield is excruciatingly low: some 10 milliliters of venom from 1000 box jellyfish. (Yanagihara collects a species named Alatina alata, often called the sea wasp, en masse in Hawaii.) But the result, she says, is a much purer venom. In it she found not only ion channel blockers, but also many porins, proteins that puncture cells, allowing their contents to leak out. She suspected hemolysis—the destruction of red blood cells by porins—might be the fatal mechanism. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Angel Yanagihara gives a presentation about box jellyfish biology and stings at a rural health unit in Tagalag, a town on Samar island in the Philippines. Education and first aid can help reduce injuries and deaths, she says. Email 3 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 2 Jellyfish almost killed this scientist. Now, she wants to save others from their fatal venomcenter_img Killing mechanismJellyfish use venom to capture prey and to defend themselves from predators. Box jellyfish (Cubozoa), which swim in tropical and temperate seas worldwide, are the most dangerous; some can kill an adult human in minutes. Many injuries and deaths from box jellyfish go unreported.1 TriggerWhen potential prey or predators stimulate the cnidocil—a hairlike trigger—on a cnido- cyte, water within the cell rushes i nto the nematocyst and exerts immense pressure.3 Venom releasedVenom is immediately released from the tip of the tubule. Hours later, leftover venom may be released from the spines, too.The tentacles of some box jellyfish can extend up to 3 meters. Cnidocil LancetLancetVenom Targeting the heartScientists have three different theories to explain on how jellyfish venom, which attacks nerves, blood, and the heart, can cause cardiac arrest, the main cause of death after a sting. 2 Tubule unhingedThe pressure pushes open thenematocyst’s lid (operculum) and ejects the tubule. A hard- ened lancet at the tip of the tubule pierces the target, followed by the rest of the tubule, which turns inside-out as it leaves the nematocyst.Ion channel blockers may disrupt the flow of ions across the membranes of nerve and muscle cells, including those that keep the heart beating.Pore-forming proteins called porins poke holes in red blood cells, releasing a flood of potassium into the blood that may cause cardiac arrest. (Hemo- globin leaves the cells as well, causing them to lose their color.)Specific proteins in the venom may cause cardiac arrest by directly attacking muscle cells in the heart. A deadly carpetEmbedded in the surface of jellyfish tentacles are hundreds of thousands of cnidocytes, specialized cells that can inject venom when triggered. Inside each is a nematocyst, a capsule loaded with venom and a hollow, coiled tubule. NOEL SAGUIL WaterWaterPotassium LAURA AGUON Settling the debate will require more research on venom pathology and treatment—plus funding, which might be easier to win if researchers could point to hard numbers on the toll of stings. Studies and media reports often cite an estimate of 150 million stings each year worldwide and 20 to 40 deaths in the Philippines annually. Those figures surfaced in a 2008 report from the U.S. National Science Foundation, but what they are based on is unclear. In a 1998 review, clinicians estimated that jellyfish kill up to 50 people in the Philippines every year, “based on personal experience,” without further explanation. More recent studies tallied at least two dozen fatal and severe jellyfish stings in Malaysia and Thailand combined since 2000, almost all in tourists from abroad.Most researchers believe the real number is much higher. The Philippines has a long, populated coastline dotted with estuaries where box jellyfish like to breed. In almost every coastal community Yanagihara has visited, locals lifted their shirts, sleeves, or pants to show scars from stings and recalled the deaths of friends and family from jellyfish. Many such cases don’t make it into official statistics. Seymour says he had the same experience in the Southeast Asian nation of Timor-Leste 20 years ago: Villagers “said they get stung all the time but didn’t bring the victims to the hospital,” he recalls. “They pointed to a tree and said they just buried them there.”Yanagihara and her collaborators are examining health surveillance records and surveying villagers and health workers in the Philippines. “We can triangulate these results to get a better idea of the burden,” says Catherine Pirkle, a UH public health epidemiologist on the project. Getting the study underway wasn’t easy. The National Institutes of Health twice rejected a grant application, Yanagihara says, and local institutes and health units initially were lukewarm as well. Part of the problem may be that many communities accept the danger as part of life. “Although our fishermen and children are often stung by box jellyfish, we don’t think it’s a serious problem,” says Reil Briones, Talaotalao’s village chief, who was stung by a jellyfish at age 11 and carries a scar on his arm.Yanagihara says the sentiment is now changing. On her latest trip, she spoke to full rooms of policymakers, health workers, and researchers, and many asked to collaborate with her team. Photos of Prince Gabriel circulating on social media may have played a role. “It’s a big issue if people are dying from jellyfish,” says Janet Gendrano, who leads the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in Lucena. She says the tragedy was a wake-up call and wants to join the survey project; once the data are in, her office might propose an ordinance requiring beach resort operators to take first-aid training for stings and to put up warning signs.Yanagihara hopes the study will get jellyfish the attention they deserve. “If you are a pony on this racetrack of human suffering,” as many believe jellyfish stings to be, “you want to stand down,” she says. “But I have nothing but evidence to the contrary.” 1 Here in Talao-talao, the day before her talk, Yanagihara’s hotel room smelled of vinegar. Neat rows of empty spray bottles stood beside a big plastic box on the floor. Her Filipino collaborator poured 23 liters of vinegar into the box, followed by a base solution—made separately by mixing water with a blue powder—and voilà, the Sting No More spray was ready. They pumped the solution into the bottles with a long siphon, ready to be handed out.Her talk offered an unexpected chance for a real-world test. As she started to speak, a young man who had heard about her quest for box jellyfish walked in with a live one the size of a baseball cap. Wearing only boxers—he had just come from the beach—he held the relatively harmless cubic top in his hand, at arm’s length, the tentacles dangling to his knees. The audience froze in tension, while Yanagihara grabbed her spray. The man thrust the jellyfish into a bag and then jumped back when a tentacle grazed his hand. It hurt so badly that he wanted to scratch his hand off, he said. Yanagihara quickly applied her spray and cream. Three minutes later, the man said the pain had eased. He sat through the 90-minute talk.So far, Yanagihara has only such anecdotal evidence—along with hundreds of testimonials, she says—that her products work. Together with a clinician and two nurses in Hawaii, she has started a clinical trial in which 48 volunteers will be stung on both arms with centimeter-long pieces of tentacle from A. alata—small enough to cause only minor damage at the sting site. One arm will then be treated with vinegar and a hot pack, the other with either Yanagihara’s products or a combination of vinegar and a cold pack. (Yanagihara says she will take no part in the data collection and analysis.)Seymour questions whether Yanagihara’s antiporin cream can save lives, and he argues that her vinegar-based spray may even harm sting victims. In a 2014 paper in the journal Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, he and his colleagues reported that vinegar causes nematocysts that have already fired to release more venom. He now recommends no treatment at all for sting victims suffering cardiac arrest, except cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which can help keep blood pumping to the brain until the heart starts to beat again. “I don’t care if they are screaming in pain 20 minutes later,” Seymour says, “as long as they are alive.”In a letter in the same journal, Yanagihara, along with a statistician, criticized Seymour’s vinegar study for flaws in the design and statistics; a group of Australian physicians published a critical letter as well. Yanagihara has also blasted “wildly extrapolative” reports of the study by Australian media, which claimed vinegar might kill. TALAO-TALAO, THE PHILIPPINES—On 17 June, several families were celebrating Father’s Day here at Dalahican Beach, a popular bathing spot near Lucena, a city on Luzon island. A steady breeze blew across sand that looked like fine brown sugar. Children splashed in the dark green water. Suddenly, people started to scream as a toddler was lifted unconscious from the water, his lips pale. A witness recalled that dark lashes crawled across the toddler’s thighs—the telltale marks of a jellyfish sting. The boy’s family simply held him and cried. Shortly after, Prince Gabriel Mabborang, 18 months old, was dead—one of at least three children killed in the Philippines this summer by the stings of box jellyfish.On a midmorning 3 weeks later, Angel Yanagihara, who studies jellyfish venom at the University of Hawaii (UH) in Honolulu, arrived at Dalahican Beach. After slipping into a full-body wetsuit, she slung a box over her shoulder, put on gloves, and walked into the sea. No reminders of the recent tragedy were present; children were playing in the shallows, clapping their hands to Filipino songs. “Hello! What’s your name?” they giggled as Yanagihara, 58, walked by. Yanagihara spent almost 3 hours wading in waist-deep waters, hoping to catch box jellyfish for her studies of their venom. One of the nearly transparent animals swam to the surface, almost within reach, but then escaped as she approached. She emerged empty-handed, but villagers had brought her two specimens earlier that day.Among the world’s public health problems, jellyfish stings may seem trivial, affecting millions of people each year but known to kill only a few dozen. But many deaths may go unrecorded, and in some places, jellyfish stings take a real toll. Prince Gabriel was the second child killed on the same beach in the past year, and many people in the area bear the scars of nonfatal attacks. After news of the boy’s death spread rapidly on social media, Lucena health officials invited Yanagihara to talk about jellyfish venom and how to save sting victims, a service she provided for free. She spoke at a basketball court by the beach, and as she flipped to her slide on first aid, cellphones rose in a wave, snapping photos. Her message was clear—and controversial. Yanagihara has staked out one corner in a debate over how the venom of box jellyfish kills, stopping the heart in as little as 5 minutes. What she calls her unified field theory holds that the venom contains proteins that puncture red blood cells and release potassium, disrupting the electrical rhythms that keep the heart beating. Her conclusions, and the treatments she has based on them, emerged from 20 years of science that colleagues praise as thorough and imaginative. Yanagihara “has done a great favor to the field in doing systematic comparisons” of methods to collect and study the venom, says Kenneth Winkel, a former director of The University of Melbourne’s Australian Venom Research Unit who is now at the university’s Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.But nobody has independently replicated Yanagihara’s methods and findings or tested her treatments. Some jellyfish researchers say other compounds in the venom are the real killers and that different remedies—or none at all—are more likely to work. “Jellyfish venom is a graveyard for simplistic causation and therapy,” Winkel says.Research that would resolve the debates is scarce. Worldwide, only about five research groups study jellyfish venom. Funders prefer to focus on bigger public health problems—although Yanagihara thinks the stings exact a much higher death toll than most people assume. So she and her few colleagues and competitors struggle on with small budgets to study the threat, develop remedies, and educate communities at risk. Studies supported that hunch. In a 2012 paper in PLOS ONE, Yanagihara and a colleague reported that venom of Chironex fleckeri, one of the deadliest jellyfish species, rapidly punctures red blood cells, causing them to leak a huge amount of potassium ions. A high level of potassium in the blood, or hyperkalemia, causes cardiac arrest, and when Yanagihara injected mice with high doses of venom, their hearts quickly stopped. The same happened when she injected only the porins from the venom.In human jellyfish sting victims, however, autopsies show no signs of hemolysis, says Jamie Seymour, a prominent toxinologist at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. He is skeptical that porins are the killers. In venom from C. fleckeri, his team instead found two distinct protein groups that specifically attack and kill human heart cells; those proteins are “the bit that will kill you,” he says.Seymour says he has unpublished evidence that Yanagihara’s technique for collecting venom deactivates the heart toxins along with other components. Winkel, too, is skeptical. He doesn’t contest that porins puncture red blood cells, but agrees with Seymour that hemolysis is not usually seen in sting victims. Porins should be tested on heart cells and tissues, he says, to find out whether they directly affect the heart.Yanagihara acknowledges that jellyfish venom contains other toxins, including molecules that break down lipids and proteins, but her studies convinced her that porins are the main and fastest killer. Recently, she and U.S. military researchers began to study how the venom affects piglets, which are physiologically much closer to humans than mice are. At a 2017 meeting in Florida, the group presented results showing they could reproduce both rapid death and Irukandji syndrome, depending on the dose of venom injected; the as-yet-unpublished findings also supported Yanagihara’s porin hypothesis.That hypothesis pointed to a remedy. In the PLOS ONE paper, Yanagihara showed that zinc gluconate inhibits porins and prolongs survival when injected into mice that had received a lethal dose of porins. Later, she found that copper gluconate works even better.On the basis of those findings—and heeding instructions from the U.S. Department of Defense, which had funded her work—Yanagihara developed two patented products under the brand name Sting No More to counter jellyfish envenoming. A spray helps remove tentacles clinging to the skin; it contains urea, which is thought to make tentacles less sticky, and vinegar, which older studies and Yanagihara’s own work had shown can deactivate unfired nematocysts. A cream containing copper gluconate is then applied to inhibit the injected venom. The products are used by U.S. military divers and sold on her website; dive shops in Hawaii carry them as well. She says she has yet to recoup her startup costs, in part because she gives the products away in developing countries.Yanagihara has also developed simpler ways to test how well her products and other interventions inhibit porins, including a bioassay consisting of human blood suspended in agar (a gelatin derived from seaweed) overlaid with a membrane from pig intestine. A live tentacle placed on the membrane immediately pierces it and injects venom into the agar; blood cells destroyed by porins show up as white patches against the vibrant red. Winkel calls the test “the closest we have to human skin and blood, short of getting an experiment on human volunteers,” and Yanagihara says it confirms her treatment’s effectiveness.”I was really impressed by the scientific rigor” in Yanagihara’s methods, says jellyfish ecologist Thomas Doyle at University College Cork in Ireland. In 2016, he worked with Yanagihara to test treatments for several species in Irish waters, including the lion’s mane (Cyanea capillata) and the Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis), which resembles a jellyfish but belongs to a different class. Doyle and Yanagihara showed that treating stings with seawater and ice, as recommended in Irish guidelines that Doyle helped draft in 2008, actually worsens sting injury. He is now pushing to revise those guidelines. AUSCAPE/UIG/GETTY IMAGES last_img read more

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Top stories jellyfish stingers eyeswimming microbots and a metric system makeover

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Although the thought of a swarm of microbots burrowing into an eyeball is enough to make people squirm, researchers have developed spiral-shaped robots tiny enough to pass through dense eyeball jelly. The bots could one day provide a more targeted method of delivering medicine to hard-to-reach areas at the back of the eye.Metric system overhaul will dethrone the one, true kilogramLe Grand K, a gleaming cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy and the world’s standard for mass for more than 130 years, is set to be dethroned as the one, true kilogram. The 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures convenes next week in Versailles, France, and representatives are expected to vote to redefine the International System of Units so that four of its base units—the kilogram, ampere, kelvin, and mole—are defined indirectly, in terms of physical constants that will be fixed by fiat. The rewrite, taking effect in May 2019, aims to make the units more stable and allow investigators to develop ever more precise and flexible techniques to mete them out.Frequent inbreeding may have caused skeletal abnormalities in early humansA new study of fossilized skeletons from across the Middle East and Eurasia found that ancient humans suffered from an unusually high number of birth defects, both debilitating and relatively inconsequential. It’s unclear why such abnormalities seem to be so common, but scientists say one strong possibility is rampant inbreeding among small hunter-gatherer groups.NSF reviewing program that allows graduate fellows to study abroadThe National Science Foundation has pressed pause on the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide program, an add-on to the organization’s flagship Graduate Research Fellowship program. NSF says it is “currently reviewing possible future directions” for the program, through which students already receiving the $34,000-a-year fellowship can apply for an additional $5000 allowance to cover travel and living expenses incurred while studying abroad. Top stories: jellyfish stingers, eye-swimming microbots, and a metric system makeover Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Frankie SchembriNov. 9, 2018 , 12:40 PM Jellyfish almost killed this scientist. Now, she wants to save others from their fatal venomAngel Yanagihara of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu has spent 20 years studying the venom of box jellyfish and working to prove their stings exact a much higher death toll than commonly assumed. Her studies have illuminated the biochemical mechanism behind the venom’s lethality and helped her develop products that she says counter the sting. But other jellyfish researchers say different compounds in the venom are the real killers, and that different remedies—or none at all—are better for victims.Watch tiny robots swim through an eyeball to deliver medicine Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) (left to right): ANGEL YANAGIHARA; How The Eye Functions/Prelinger Archive; INTERNATIONAL BUREAU OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES last_img read more

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Labor Day holiday closures are noted

first_imgLabor Day holiday closures are noted August 29, 2017 Many area businesses will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4, in observance of Labor Day. All city and county offices, the Holbrook and Winslow post offices, Northland Pioneer College, the Holbrook, Joseph City and WinslowSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

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Frances Macron wants charismatic men and women for top EU jobs

first_img Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off “The key for me is for the people at the most sensitive positions to share our project and be the most charismatic, creative and competent possible,” Macron told reporters after an informal dinner of EU leaders in Brussels.“I’m not part of those who… want leaders of the European Commission or the European Council who don’t overshadow national leaders,” he said.“It is important for me to have gender balance, that we name two men and two women,” he added. “I want to unite. If everyone remains stuck on names as they are, we’ll be blocked.” Top News Post Comment(s) Advertising France's Macron wants 'charismatic' men and women for top EU jobs “I’m not part of those who… want leaders of the European Commission or the European Council who don’t overshadow national leaders,” Macron said. (Reuters/File)French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he wanted two women and two men with strong personalities to lead the European Union in the next five years, although he refused to name his favourite candidates at this stage. By Reuters |Brussels | Published: May 29, 2019 9:34:52 am P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Advertising Macron and Angela Merkel are at odds over who should be the next chief of the European Commission, with the German Chancellor supporting a German national of her own party, European lawmaker Manfred Weber.French officials said Weber’s lack of political experience at a top EU or national job was a problem, as well as the fact he cannot speak French.They said Macron was not necessarily pushing for a French national to get a top job – despite Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier being often touted as a possible candidate – but that speaking French was an important requirement to reflect Europe’s language diversity.“Barnier is not necessarily the candidate annointed by France,” a French official said. “We’re not intent on nominating a Frenchman. But they have to be a French speaker and francophile.” Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 last_img read more

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Eastern Libyan forces attack Tripoli airport for second night

first_img What is happening in Libya? Lebanese Army soldiers stand guard outside an area where clashes erupted between Lebanese troops and a former member of the Islamic State group, who had engaged in an hours-long shootout with the security forces, in Tripoli, Lebanon, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)Eastern Libyan forces on Thursday conducted an air strike for a second night on the military section of the only functioning airport of the Libyan capital, a statement by the force said. 0 Comment(s) Where Libya’s revolution began, many now yearn for a strong hand Related News The LNA reported a similar strike the previous night but air traffic was not affected.The conflict is part of chaos which has continued in Libya since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Haftar is allied to a parallel government in the east.The LNA, supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, accuses Turkey of backing the Tripoli government and its forces. By Reuters |Tripoli (libya) | Published: June 7, 2019 7:08:21 am The Libyan National Army (LNA) force of Khalifa Haftar, which controls eastern Libya, has tried to take the capital held by the internationally recognized government in a two-month offensive but has failed to breach defences in southern suburbs.Civilian air traffic from Tripoli’s Mitiga airport has continued despite the war.The LNA late on Thursday attacked the military part of the airport, targeting a “Turkish plane,” the force said in a statement. No more information was immediately available. Advertising Advertising Libyan factions agree to December 10 elections, says Libyan PM advisor last_img read more

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Afghan talks with Taliban reflect a changed nation

first_img In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Advertising Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Among the Afghan participants are current and former senior officials who lost family members to suicide bombings, and a media executive who saw a bus full of his employees go up in flames.When in power, the Taliban did not allow women to work or go to school. But in the main session Sunday, at meals and during tea breaks, senior Taliban officials mingled respectfully with female delegates, like the first female governor, leading a province that had endured a gruesome Taliban massacre in 2001, and a doctor who represents the Sikh minority as a senator.And if they happened to hear a baby crying, it was the deputy national security adviser’s 2-month-old boy. As she took her seat across from the Taliban, her husband, also a young official, came along to lull the child to sleep on the margins of the sessions.When social media mistakenly included the baby’s name on a list of conference participants, maybe it was only fitting: Of all the attendees, his future stakes might be the highest. More Explained afghanistan, afghanistan peace process, taliban, afghanistan taliban, us afghanistanpeace, us taliban peace, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, world news In this file photo taken on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group’s top political leader, third from left, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)Mujib Mashal When the Taliban met Sunday for the first time with Afghan officials, the delegates they faced formed a moving tableau of a new Afghanistan that has taken shape since the movement was toppled 18 years ago.Bloodshed and progress in those years have gone hand in hand, and many of the representatives at the table — from each side — came with stories of personal loss and grievance. The dialogue in Qatar, which continues Monday, is the first in which Afghan government officials have participated and aims to break the ice for direct negotiations on Afghanistan’s political future after an expected US military withdrawal.“It is important to give all sides the opportunity to see how things have changed over the past 18 years,” said Sultan Barakat, the director of the Doha institute that organised the event with a German foundation. “Eighteen years is not a short time, but war tends to trap people into imperceptions.” India not excluded from peace process in Afghanistan: China Advertising Best Of Express NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Related News Afghan radio station closes down following Taliban threats Despite Afghan-Taliban peace talks, war on civilians continue Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file News of another round of Afghan carnage — and children caught in an attack — came as the delegates filed into the ballroom in the sprawling Sheraton resort in Doha. The Taliban claimed responsibility for a huge truck bombing in Ghazni city Sunday that killed eight security officers and four civilians. About 170 others were wounded, including 50 schoolchildren, the United Nations said.On the Taliban side of talks in Qatar, several of the delegates spent more than a decade detained at the US prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Their deputy leader in charge of the peace efforts, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who did not attend Sunday, endured nearly 10 years of Pakistani imprisonment that damaged his health.The militants have stories of relatives and friends lost to raids and bombings by US and Afghan forces. And they believe so staunchly in their fight against what they see as a foreign occupation that even the son of their latest supreme leader, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, is believed to have carried out a suicide bombing.While the Afghan side largely sees the Taliban as a proxy force under the influence of neighboring Pakistan, the Taliban see the Afghan government as a puppet of the United States. By New York Times |Doha, Qatar | Published: July 8, 2019 9:27:07 am To bridge the two visions of reality is a fundamental but immense task. And while long overdue, the peace process — considered key to the withdrawal of the remaining 14,000 US troops — suddenly seems to be moving quickly.Most of Sunday’s sessions took place behind closed doors. But at the end of the day participants described the atmosphere as respectful, even if the exchanges at times grew tense.Members of the Afghan delegation said they had seen more assurances from the Taliban that they would respect women’s right to work and to an education. Taliban officials engaged in discussions on issues, rather than reading from prepared statements as they did at previous conferences.Nader Nadery, the chairman of the Afghan civil service commission, brought up the morning’s deadly attack in Ghazni. While he mentioned his own torture under the Taliban, he also acknowledged the suffering of the Taliban officials across from him during their years of detention.“I have the courage to forgive, as I know your members have suffered, too,” Nadery said he told the gathering.Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi, a member of the Taliban delegation, accused the Afghan side of being selective when speaking of civilian casualties. He said Afghan officials and media played down the civilian toll caused in rural areas by Afghan and American operations.“The pain from all sides, whether it is the night raids or the bombings, that is why we are here,” Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban delegation, said in an interview. “All sides have pain. The end of that pain is in ending the occupation.”Abdul Matin Bek, an Afghan Cabinet member attending the talks, knows that pain first hand. His father, a member of parliament, was killed in the suicide bombing of a funeral in 2011.Bek said his travels around the country had shown that Afghans demand an end to the war. He hoped the current dialogue would lead to direct negotiations to achieve that. Advertising “It is not easy for me to sit across from people who have killed my father,” he said. “But we have to end this.” 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

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Biological aging caused by cancer treatments correlates with cognitive decline

first_img Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/cancer/cancer-treatments-may-affect-cognitive-function-accelerating-biological-aging Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 26 2018Cancer treatments are suspected to accelerate certain aging processes in the body. A new study has found that indicators of such biological aging correlate with declines in cognitive function in women who had undergone breast cancer treatment several years earlier. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings point to an aging-like effect of cancer treatments and further connect this to cognitive decline.Treatments for breast cancer increase patients’ risks for long-term and late toxicities, including persistent fatigue, pain, and cognitive dysfunction. Certain treatments, including radiation and some chemotherapeutic drugs, work by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, but they can also cause damage to DNA of normal cells, which can contribute to accelerated biological aging.Related StoriesAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemTo examine whether indicators of biological aging are related to cognitive function in breast cancer survivors, Judith E. Carroll, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, of the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and her colleagues evaluated a group of 94 women who had been treated for breast cancer three to six years earlier. The indicators of biological aging included elevated levels of DNA damage, reduced telomerase enzymatic activity, and shorter telomere length in certain blood cells. (Telomerase is an enzyme that is important for maintaining the length of telomeres, repeat sequences of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that help maintain the health of cells and serve as a marker of cell age.)The team found that women who had previously been treated for breast cancer who had both higher DNA damage and lower telomerase activity had lower executive function scores. In addition, lower telomerase activity was associated with worse attention and motor speed. Telomere length was not related to any of the neurocognitive domains.”These findings are important because they provide further information about what might be happening after cancer treatment that impacts cognitive decline in some individuals. This information can inform future research and may lead to new interventions to prevent these cognitive declines,” said Dr. Carroll, who is also a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The work is novel by identifying key factors in biological aging and connecting them to cognitive function, which initiates new avenues of research.”last_img read more

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Study compares painrelated diagnoses in First Nations and nonFirst Nations children youth

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 10 2018First Nations children and youth are experiencing more pain than non-First Nations children, but do not access specialist or mental health services at the same rate as their non-First Nations peers, found new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).”Both physical pain and mental health conditions, and their relation to each other, are of substantial concern within the Indigenous population, given that Health Canada reports First Nations youth are 5-7 times more likely to [die by] suicide than non-First Nations youth,” writes Dr. Margot Latimer, Dalhousie University & IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, with coauthors.Related StoriesNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyThe study looked at data on 2631 First Nations and non-First Nations children and youth aged 17 years and younger who accessed care and specialist treatment for pain in Atlantic Canada between 1997 and 2015. Compared with non-First Nations children, the proportion of First Nations children and youth who sought treatment for 10 out of 13 pain indicators was higher. These included admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit, diagnoses of dental and ear conditions, headache, burns, diabetes, wounds and fractures.The finding of many diagnoses of painful ear and dental conditions was consistent with other research, although the lower percentages of visits to certain specialists by the First Nations group was unexpected.Although the researchers found an association between early physical pain and mental diagnoses in non-First Nations adolescents, they did not find it in the First Nations cohort. They suggest this may be because of lack of mental health services and long wait times leading to delayed diagnoses.They call for action to address these disparities.”Given the profound lingering impact of colonization, First Nation newborns, children and youth are a group requiring high-priority designation to create policies to improve access to health services focusing on pain and mental health assessment, management and follow-up,” write the authors.”Occurrence of and referral to specialists for pain-related diagnoses in First Nations and non-First Nations children and youth” is published December 10, 2018. Source:http://www.cmaj.ca/last_img read more

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New study analyzes impulsivity in Parkinsons patients treated with Deep Brain Stimulation

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 26 2019Promises of food, sums of money or entertaining pastimes: it does not matter what the temptation is, a new study shows that patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease who are treated with Deep Brain Stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus are not more impulsive than others when making decisions about a stimulus that they find particularly appealing. “Deep Brain Stimulation” (DBS) is an effective surgical technique widely used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. However, the same technique can expose patients to changes in behaviour and in decision-making processes, for example towards food. This alteration could make them adopt risk behaviours. And yet, a study, conducted by a team led by Marilena Aiello and Raffaella Rumiati, Director of Laboratorio Neuroscienze e Società of SISSA, in association with the “Ospedali Riuniti” of Trieste and the “Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria” Santa Maria della Misericordia of Udine and published on Journal of Neurology, has found that these alterations do not seem to affect all forms of decision. To establish this, the scientists devised and conducted an experiment, which placed the patients in front of a crucial choice: have a small prize immediately or a bigger one, later. The results that emerged from the research add an important element to understanding the disease and the benefits and problems of the DBS technique, opening up interesting clinical and research prospects.Three groups, three rewards, no difference “Psychiatric problems such as obsessions or compulsive behaviours, like the tendency to assume unjustified risks in play, to be unable to resist the temptation of food and greater impulsivity, are sometimes observed in patients with Parkinson’s disease treated with DBS, a technique which involves implanting electrodes into the subthalamic nucleus of the brain. It is a consolidated treatment that allows the patients who are treated to reduce the doses of drugs they take, but this can have undesirable side-effects on the cognitive and emotional sphere and on behaviour” explains the scientist Marinella Aiello. To study decisional impulsivity in these patients, which could be what lies behind their risk choices, the research group used what is technically called “delay discounting”: “We put three groups of people – the first composed of Parkinson’s sufferers with DBS, one with Parkinson’s sufferers without DBS, a third composed of healthy people – in front of a choice” explain the scientists. “In a computer exercise they could decide whether to have a small reward immediately, in the form of particularly appealing food, money or facilitations for activities they consider pleasurable. Or the same reward, but in larger quantities later. In these tasks, the choice usually depends on the time that passes between one option and the other: if it is very short, delayed gratification is chosen and vice versa. The principle behind this experiment is the following: the more the impulsive trait is present, the more the first choice will always be preferred over the second. We measured their performance in this task”. No difference emerged between the three groups: “Our study confirms that patients with DBS are no more impulsive in this kind of situation and they do not try to find gratifications more hastily than the others. Moreover, for the first time, we have demonstrated that this does not even depend on the type of reward offered to them”.Related StoriesParkinson’s update – hydration, awareness and detectionGut infection can lead to a pathology resembling Parkinson’s diseaseNovel device could enable early diagnosis and treatment development for Parkinson’s diseaseThe results on patients with eating disorders and weight increase There is more: “It has been shown that injuries to or stimulations of the subthalamic nucleus increase the motivation to gratify oneself with food. And yet, in our study, impulsive decision making has remained unchanged, even in the people who, after the surgery, had gained weight or had eating problems compared with those who had none of these undesirable effects. And this is very interesting scientifically speaking”. Instead, explains Aiello, “an increase in impulsivity is observed in patients with fewer years from DBS surgery, with higher doses of levodopa – substance used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – with higher memory performance. By revealing interesting relationships between the therapeutic treatments and specific behaviours of the patients, our results contribute to shedding light on the clinical results of such an important treatment like DBS for Parkinson’s disease”. Source:https://www.sissa.it/news/reward-now-or-later-exploring-impulsivity-parkinson%E2%80%99s-disease-patientslast_img read more

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BU medical students receive award for study on eliminating transportation barriers for

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 15 2019Two medical students from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have received the Lancet Global Health Award for Best Student Poster for their presentation, “Uber Health: A Novel Method of Eliminating Transportation Barriers To Care Among Urban OBGYN Refugee Women.” The award was presented at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.Simone Vais, a third-year student and Justin Siu, a second-year student, began this work as part of a summer research project. It focuses on overcoming transportation barriers to health-care access at Boston Medical Center’s (BMC) Refugee Women’s Health Clinic (RWHC).Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studySchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyLack of transportation has been shown to be a major barrier to health-care access nationwide. It disproportionately impacts patients of lower socioeconomic status. This barrier is particularly burdensome for patients at the RWHC, many of whom report lack of familiarity with the public transportation system, triggers to past trauma in encountering large crowds on buses and trains, and who tend to live in clustered communities that are not well linked to the Boston public transit grid.The pilot project offers roundtrip rides to clinic for patients who report experiencing transportation insecurity, using Uber Health — a health-care branch of the Uber platform that enables providers to schedule and pay for rides on behalf of their patients.After nine months, the students found their project decreases patient no-show rates, improves patient satisfaction and has led to significant cost savings. The students now are working on securing additional funding to extend the pilot to continue to provide this service to patients.Vais is interested in health-care quality improvement, with a focus on improving access to care for underserved populations. She is working on expanding the use of Uber Health to combat transportation insecurity beyond the RWHC, through new pilot studies at BMC’s Pediatric Sickle Cell Clinic and General Pediatrics department.Siu holds a master’s degree in global medicine management from University of Southern California and is interested in integrating his knowledge in clinical management with a career in global medicine. He has traveled to Thailand, Panama and Tijuana for various clinical projects and co-led the Global Health Equity Program elective course at BUSM last year. Source:https://www.bmc.org/last_img read more

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Belgian court orders Facebook to stop tracking web users Update

The California-based firm vowed to appeal the ruling amid increased efforts in Europe to boost privacy protections in a digital economy dominated by US giants.Facebook must “stop following and recording internet use by people surfing in Belgium, until it complies with Belgian privacy laws”, the Brussels court said. It based its verdict on a probe by Belgium’s privacy watchdog into Facebook’s use of pixels and cookies, tracking devices that follow a user’s internet activity.The court warned Facebook it could face fines of 250,000 euros per day or a maximum of 100 million euros ($125 million) if it failed to heed the ruling.”Facebook must also destroy all personal data obtained illegally,” the court ordered.Finally, it said, the social network must publish the complete 84-page verdict on its own website and excerpts in Belgium’s Dutch-language and French-language newspapers.The court said it “determined that Facebook does not respect Belgian privacy law”, basing its ruling on the investigation of Belgium’s privacy watchdog CPVP.In 2015, the watchdog lodged a legal complaint over Facebook’s tracking of internet users when they visit pages on the site or click “like” or “share”, even if they are not members.The court said Facebook used its cookies to track people not only on its own website but also on third-party websites.It added that the investigation showed that “Facebook can still follow your surfing behavior”, even if you have never visited its website, through invisible pixels the firm has placed on 10,000 other websites.Echoing the privacy watchdog’s conclusions, it said that the social network does not properly inform people about the fact it is gathering information about them.’Big win’Without obtaining the user’s “valid” consent, the court said, Facebook not only fails to say what kind of information it collects, but does not make clear how it uses it or how long it stores it.The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) welcomed the court verdict.”This is a big win for internet users who don’t want tech companies to monitor every step they make online,” BEUC spokesman Johannes Kleis said in a statement.”What Facebook is doing is against Europe’s data protection laws and should be stopped throughout the EU,” Kleis added.’Intend to appeal'”We are disappointed with today’s verdict and intend to appeal,” Facebook said in a statement.”Over recent years we have worked hard to help people understand how we use cookies to keep Facebook secure and show them relevant content,” it added. “We’ve built teams of people who focus on the protection of privacy—from engineers to designers—and tools that give people choice and control,” it said.It said the cookies and pixels it uses are “industry standard technologies,” allowing hundreds of thousands of businesses to grow and reach customers across the bloc.Facebook, it said, requires any business using its technologies to give “clear notice to end-users”.People, it added, also have the right not to have data collected on sites and apps off Facebook being used for ads. Facebook said it was making preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—a new EU law designed to protect privacy online—to come into force on May 25.”We’ll comply with this new law, just as we’ve complied with existing data protection law in Europe,” Facebook said.A consumer rights organisation said Monday that a German court had found Facebook is breaching data protection rules with privacy settings that over-share by default and by requiring users to give real names. Explore further Citation: Belgian court orders Facebook to stop tracking web users (Update) (2018, February 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-belgian-court-facebook.html A Belgian court on Friday ordered Facebook to stop tracking internet users in Belgium who have no accounts with the social network, or face fines of 250,000 euros a day. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Belgian court gives Facebook 48 hours to stop tracking users © 2018 AFP The Belgian court ruling comes amid increased efforts in Europe to boost privacy protections in a digital economy dominated by US giants read more

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