Month: July 2019

CareCloud adds new option for speech recognition technology that makes clinical documentation

first_img Source:https://www.carecloud.com/ May 9 2018As medical practices seek ways to reduce time spent on low-value administrative tasks, CareCloud has added a new option for powerful speech recognition technology that reduces click-based tasks in EHRs and makes clinical documentation smarter and more personal. CareCloud, the platform for high-growth medical groups, is making this technology available from nVoq, the Boulder, CO-based provider of speech recognition and workflow automation solutions.”Making medical speech recognition technology available on our platform is another way that we are improving the productivity of physicians by giving them the tools they are asking for,” said Juan Molina, CareCloud’s vice president of strategy and business development. “The open architecture of our cloud platform allows us to deliver technology of all kinds to our clients in a way that makes it easy for them to use and integrate into their daily clinical and practice management workflows,” he added.Related StoriesSurvey: Slow adoption of new technology is impacting pharmacy servicesOGT expands SureSeq NGS portfolio with a complete library preparation solutionPerkinElmer unveils CE-marked infectious disease immunoassays on EUROIMMUN random access instrumentThe SayIt™ technology is the latest application to be made available as part of CareCloud’s Connect Partner program, through which the company provides easy access to best-of-breed healthcare technology applications on its enterprise cloud platform for medical groups. Today, over 100 partners are available for CareCloud clients to enhance every part of their group’s operations. The application is compatible with CareCloud’s Charts or with any EHR used by CareCloud clients.”I’ve used SayIt in CareCloud for a year now and it has exceeded my expectations,” said Carl Spirazza, D.O. with Spirazza Family Medicine in Boynton Beach, Florida. “We’ve been using it to dictate chart conversations from paper to CareCloud Charts and to document detailed narratives in HPI and Plan. Because it’s so easy to use — I can use my iPhone as a wireless microphone — and because of the accuracy of the transcriptions, we’ve seen both our documentation and office efficiency improve. It’s also affordable,” he added.Providers can use the application on any computer or use their iPhone or Android phone as a wireless microphone to dictate directly into any EHR and complete clinical documentation in seconds instead of minutes per patient. A recent study by the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association found that primary care physicians spend 5.9 hours on EHR data entry during a typical 11.4-hour workday, including 1.5 hours spent after business hours. With SayIt, physicians would spend less than 2 hours a day completing the same data entry requirements.last_img read more

Study finds more information about how gene linked to ASD affects the

first_imgJun 18 2018New preclinical research shows a gene already linked to a subset of people with autism spectrum disorder is critical to healthy neuronal connections in the developing brain, and its loss can harm those connections to help fuel the complex developmental condition.Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report in Developmental Cell their data clarify the biological role of the gene CHD8 and its protein CHD8 in developing oligodendrocytes, cells that form a protective insulation around nerves. The sheath supports neuronal connections in the brain and manifest themselves in white matter.Although previous studies show disruptive mutations in CHD8 cause autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and abnormalities in the brain’s white matter, the underlying biology has been a mystery.The current study, published online June 18, shows that disruption of CHD8 hinders the production and maintenance of nerve insulation-;harming the brain’s neuronal connections and contributing to white matter damage. In laboratory mouse models genetically engineered to not express the CHD8 protein in the oligodendrocytes, the animals exhibited behavioral anomalies and seizures, according to lead study investigator Q. Richard Lu, PhD, Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology.”So far no treatment is available for autism patients with mutations in CHD8, one of the highest risk-susceptibility genes for autism,” Lu said. “Current studies are still at a very early stage in terms of therapeutic agents, but our findings present a potential strategy to restore the function of faulty CHD8-dependent processes.”Reversing DamageRelated StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsScientists found the strategy by using a number of experimental procedures with mice, including ChIP-Seq analysis of specific DNA-binding sites in developing oligodendrocytes, which helped them unravel biological processes. Their data showed that CHD8 loss or mutation reduces the function of what is known as a histone methyltransferase, which helps activate target genes needed for oligodendrocyte development.They then figured out that using an experimental compound (CPI-455), which inhibits a different molecule linked to CHD8 called histone demethylase, rescued the development of oligodendrocytes. This reversed white matter defects in CHD8-mutant mice and reduced neurological problems in the animals.Lu said the findings suggest that modulating the activity of CHD8 and the molecules that control it has the potential to enhance the generation of neuronal insulation in people with ASDs. He also stressed it will be years before knowing if the research will translate to clinical care in patients.Additional studies are needed to verify the current study’s findings, identify a suitable drug, and test its safety and effectiveness in laboratory models.Unlocking the CodeCHD8 functions in the cell nucleus. It essentially unlocks the double-helix structure in the nucleus that contains DNA and RNA coding molecules. This allows changes to the helix’s genetic and molecular composition that support the development of oligodendrocytes and nerve insulation by regulating levels of encoded gene products.When mutations or loss of CHD8 occur, it results in harmful remodeling of molecular components in the helix (referred to as chromatin). Source:https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/news/release/2018/chd8-genelast_img read more

New BestMatch algorithm increases relevant searches in large biomedical literature database

first_imgAug 29 2018Results sorted by relevance, instead of date, provide an improved experience for users of PubMed, the world’s largest biomedical literature database, according to a study publishing August 28 in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Zhiyong Lu and colleagues at the National Library of Medicine (NLM)/National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which develops and maintains PubMed. Related StoriesNutritional supplements offer no protection against cardiovascular diseases, say researchersChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsPubMed contains over 28 million article abstracts from the biomedical literature, with an average of two more added every minute. It is an indispensable resource, global in scope, accessed by millions of users every day. From its inception, search results were returned only in reverse chronological order, most recent first, a ranking system that emphasized recency rather than relevance to the search query. In 2013, a relevance ranking system was introduced, but it depended on artificial weighting factors and required continual manual adjustment.In June 2017, NLM/NCBI staff introduced a machine-learning algorithm which draws on dozens of relevance signals including user responses—specifically, the frequency of click-throughs to the articles returned for a given search—to improve relevance ranking. This ranking system, called Best Match, is offered as an alternative to chronological ordering. The team found that the click-through rate increased 20% on the returned results by Best Match compared to the same results presented chronologically. The overall usage of relevance sorting increased from 7.5% of all searches before the introduction of Best Match to 12% as of April 2018. Since machine-learning systems depend on user input to improve, the increase in use should allow the system to “teach itself” to become more valuable to its users over time.“Overall, the new Best-Match algorithm shows a significant improvement in finding relevant information over the default time order in PubMed,” the authors stated. “We encourage PubMed users to try this new relevance search and provide input to help us continue to improve the ranking method.” Source:https://www.plos.orgcenter_img NCBI staff introduced a machine-learning algorithm which draws on user intelligence to improve relevance ranking. Credit: Markus Spiske on Unsplashlast_img read more

Zika virus Your questions answered

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 There may have been big outbreaks in Africa and Asia in the past that went undetected; scientists weren’t paying much attention. But the current massive epidemic was an event waiting to happen. Latin America has huge numbers of A. aegypti, also known as the yellow fever mosquito, an important vector for Zika. (The Asian tiger mosquito, A. albopictus, which is on the rise around the world, is believed to be a vector as well.) In addition, nobody in the Americas had immunity to the virus. Travel makes it worse. Aedes mosquitoes don’t fly more than a few hundred meters during their lives; Zika travels from city to city and country to country when infected people get on cars, buses, trains, and planes.These combined factors meant that the virus had the ability to spread far and fast once it had arrived.Will Zika spread to the United States and Europe?Both the United States and Europe have already seen “imported cases”—people who arrived from a Zika-affected country carrying the virus. This was widely expected given the size of the epidemic in Latin America. The key question is whether there will be local outbreaks—that is, mosquitoes spreading the virus from person to person. There’s definitely a chance; A. albopictus occurs in several countries in southern Europe (and it may move north), while the southern and eastern United States have populations of both A. aegypti and A. albopictus.If so, scientists expect outbreaks to be much smaller than elsewhere, based on past experience with mosquito-borne diseases. Recent dengue outbreaks in Florida, Texas, and Hawaii haven’t sickened more than a few hundred people, for instance; an outbreak of a mosquito-borne disease called chikungunya in northern Italy in 2007—which started when a man infected with the virus arrived from India—ended after 197 cases. One reason that outbreaks in these countries tend to be smaller may be that people spend less time outside and live in houses that are more difficult for mosquitoes to enter; mosquito population sizes may play a role as well.Do we know for sure that Zika is causing a rise in birth defects?No. There is strong circumstantial evidence that areas in Brazil hit hard by Zika have experienced a sharp increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a condition in which the head is much smaller than normal because the brain fails to develop properly. But it will take at least several months before the results from the first case-control studies of pregnant women infected with Zika are available. Doctors in Brazil first noticed an increase in cases of microcephaly during ultrasounds of pregnant women in June and July, a few months after the sudden rise in Zika infections. Fetal medicine expert Manoel Sarno, who works at the Federal University of Bahia, says the pattern of brain damage he is seeing now looks distinct from microcephaly caused by other infections, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) or rubella. He and his colleagues started a study in August that is following women infected with Zika during their pregnancy; the results could come out late summer. Similar studies are underway elsewhere in Brazil and in Colombia.Are there other urgent questions that scientists are asking?Plenty. Scientists have difficulty determining who has been infected and who hasn’t because diagnostic tests have limitations. The most accurate tests—which detect viral RNA in a patient’s blood—only work within a week of the first symptoms appearing. After that time, researchers can test for antibodies in blood. But current tests for Zika antibodies cross-react with antibodies to dengue, which is so widespread in Brazil—and much of the rest of Latin America—that almost all adults have antibodies to it. That makes it difficult to tell whether the mother of a baby born with microcephaly was infected with Zika earlier in her pregnancy.Researchers would also like to know how often Zika is transmitted through sexual contact. One U.S. scientist who caught the virus in Africa passed it to his wife after he got home in 2008, and a second case of suspected sexual transmission happened in French Polynesia in 2013. But researchers have no idea what the risk is. (“If I was a man and I got Zika symptoms, I’d wait a couple of months before having unprotected sex,” virologist Scott Weaver of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston recently told The New York Times.)What drugs are available against Zika?None. Until last year, Zika was so rare, and believed to be so mild, that nobody bothered to look for candidate drugs. Even now that the virus is surging, it’s not obvious that there’s a big market for an antiviral drug, because the vast majority of those infected have very few symptoms or none at all. And it’s not clear that a drug could prevent birth defects when women contract Zika during pregnancy; by the time they become infected and develop symptoms, it may be too late to prevent such damage. A vaccine against Zika may offer more hope of preventing microcephaly.And when can we expect a vaccine?That will take years. Several groups have begun to make candidate Zika vaccines, a process that will take at least several months. Most of these vaccine approaches are piggybacking on existing vaccines. For example, many vaccines are made by stitching proteins from a pathogen’s surface into a harmless virus or vector; that is now being tried with Zika using those same vectors. Once a candidate vaccine is made, it will have to be tested in animals before humans.Human trials begin with small safety studies, then move on to larger studies that test whether the candidate product works. All of that usually takes 10 to 15 months. Given the urgency, the timeline could be compressed, but even so, Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told STAT that it may be at least 5 to 7 years before a Zika vaccine is commercially available.Then what can we do to stop the spread of the virus?Stop mosquitoes from biting people. Countries and communities can try to reduce mosquito populations by removing the small water reservoirs—such as flower pots, empty bottles, and discarded tires—in which Aedes mosquitoes like to breed. People can also reduce their personal exposure—especially important for women who are or might become pregnant—by putting screens on windows, covering their skin, and using insect repellant. However, history has shown that the impact of mosquito control on epidemics is modest at best, and they’re difficult to sustain.There must be better ways to control mosquitoes?Not yet but they’re in the works. A British biotech called Oxitec—which was recently purchased by Intrexon, a U.S. synthetic biology company—has developed A. aegypti mosquitoes containing a gene construct that will kill their offspring before they reach adulthood. When massive numbers of male individuals of this strain are released in the wild, they will mate with local females, producing offspring that are not viable, which has been shown to make a dent in the population.In another line of research, scientists are infecting A. aegypti with a bacterium named Wolbachia, which reduces mosquitoes’ ability to transmit diseases. The researchers developing these approaches were mostly thinking about dengue, but Zika’s surge is giving their attempts a new sense of urgency. But again, it will take several years before these strategies are ready for prime time. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Where did the Zika virus come from?First isolated in 1947 and first described in a paper in 1952, Zika has long been known to occur in Africa and Southeast Asia—but until a decade ago, fewer than 15 cases had been described in the scientific literature. In 2007, the virus caused a big outbreak on Yap, an island group in the Western Pacific that is part of the Federated States of Micronesia; since then, it went on a major tour of other Pacific Islands before it landed in Brazil, from where it started spreading rapidly to other parts of South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.Why has it exploded so suddenly? Emaillast_img read more

Theres an arms race going on in this bird nest Scientists are

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Cowbirds are the quintessential deadbeat parents. They, and about 90 other bird species, abandon their eggs in other birds’ nests, leaving the burden of chick care to others. An arms race is the result: Cuckolded foster parents keep evolving ways to fight back, and deadbeats evolve countermeasures. Now, researchers have discovered how spots on an egg play a crucial role in a parent’s decision to keep an egg—or boot it from the nest.One of the shiny cowbird’s (Molothrus bonariensis) most common victims is the chalk-browed mockingbird (Mimus saturninus). The mockingbird’s eggs are blue-green and spotted, whereas the cowbird’s eggs vary from pure white to brown and spotted. Researchers had assumed mockingbirds reject cowbird eggs that don’t look like their own, in pattern and color. But the new study finds it’s not that simple.To get a better sense of how mockingbirds decide which eggs to boot, evolutionary ecologist Daniel Hanley at Long Island University in Brookville, New York, and colleagues painted 70 3D-printed eggs a range of colors and put spots on half of them. They distributed these eggs among 85 mockingbird nests and checked several days later to see which eggs were still there. There’s an arms race going on in this bird nest. Scientists are uncovering how each side fights back Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Analía V. López center_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 By Elizabeth PennisiMar. 5, 2019 , 1:00 PM Even though foreign blue and brownish speckled eggs don’t match the mockingbird’s own blue-green spotted egg, they still tended to be accepted by the parent bird. Spots tended to make the mockingbirds hedge their bets and keep an egg, even if the color wasn’t “right,” Hanley and his colleagues report in the April issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. For example, the mockingbirds removed unspotted brown eggs—a “wrong” color and pattern—90% of the time. But the birds were less sure when the egg had spots. They removed brown eggs with spots just 60% of the time, for example. In general, mockingbirds were more accepting of very blue eggs, even those that were much bluer than their own eggs. And when these blue eggs had spots, parents kept them more than 90% of the time.“Adding spots can make an egg more acceptable,” says Sheena Cotter, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work. So spots are an easy way for parasitic cowbirds to ensure their eggs are safe, even if they aren’t a perfect match.But sometimes, the scofflaw bird has to do more than just make sure its eggs have spots. In Zambia, Mary Caswell Stoddard, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University, and her colleagues recorded when 122 tawny-flanked prinias (Prinia subflava) rejected foreign eggs from their nests. The researchers noted the colors, sizes, and markings of each egg in each nest, and used a sophisticated pattern-recognition computer program to classify the shapes and orientations of the markings.When the eggs are very similar to their own, the prinias use the shapes and positioning of the splotches to make the right call and keep an egg, she and her colleagues report in the same issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. “The exact placement [of a spot] is very hard to mimic,” Cotter points out, making it possible for prinias to use that information when they are not sure whether an egg is theirs.The two papers address the long-standing question of how parasitized birds recognize the difference between their own and imposter eggs, says Rose Thorogood, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Helsinki who was not involved with the work.These new studies show that sometimes the foster parents have become very smart—and persnickety—about what eggs they keep, Stoddard adds. After parasites evolve spots as a consistent part of the egg’s disguise, the foster parent evolves to use more brain power so it can remember more details about the spotting and hence become more discriminating. “What’s going on in the brains of [birds] is even more complex and interesting than we imagined,” she says.last_img read more

After last weeks shock scientists scramble to prevent more geneedited babies

first_img After last week’s shock, scientists scramble to prevent more gene-edited babies By Dennis Normile By Jon CohenDec. 4, 2018 , 5:25 PM Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg/Getty Images Email ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/Getty Images 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 Bioethicist Alta Charo of the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison says He seemed “quite sincere” in his aim to engineer babies who would not suffer the illness and stigma that had plagued their HIV-infected father. He appeared to believe he had complied with ethical guidelines for what’s known as germline editing—creating heritable alterations in early embryos, sperm, or eggs. “That kind of rocked me back,” Charo says. “He talked aboutRobert Edwards, the ‘father’ of IVF [in vitro fertilization]. I got the strong impression that he saw Robert Edwards as a kind of hero, a paradigm breaker, a disrupter, and that he wanted to model himself after that.”It seems unlikely history will view He in the same light as Edwards, who won a Nobel Prize, but the Chinese researcher certainly is a disrupter. His claim has triggered widespread calls for mechanisms to prevent others from germline editing humans until there’s an international consensus that the CRISPR technology has matured and there’s a convincing medical need. And it has sparked concern that his actions could set back less problematic applications of gene editing: treating diseases by editing nongerm cells, which do not pass their DNA to future generations. “I do hope that this very visible misadventure does not cause a cloud over the entire area of gene editing for therapeutic benefit,” says Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, who issued an unusually blunt condemnation of He’s work. “I think that would be utterly irrational.”First, though, scientists, ethicists, and government officials are trying to understand how and why He staged this experiment, whether it accomplished the limited success he claims, and whether the babies are healthy. In a hastily arranged, hourlong session at the summit, He reported that in one of the twins, his team had successfully mutated both copies of the gene for CCR5, a protein on immune cells that HIV exploits to establish an infection. Several of his slides were too dense with information for the audience to immediately digest. But closer analysis led many researchers to assert later that both girls had evidence of at least one normal CCR5 gene, which would mean they were completely susceptible to the AIDS virus. What’s more, He has not yet tested whether HIV can infect cells taken from the girls.At the summit’s end, organizers called for an independent assessment of He’s work. Some take comfort in the doubts. “I would actually hope … there’s not genome-edited humans brought into this world yet,” says pediatrician Matthew Porteus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, one of the organizers. “It just puts a pit in my stomach.”He said his team has a plan for long-term follow-up of the twins’ health, although he did not explain who would fund it. To the relief of many at the meeting, He did present extensive, if preliminary, data indicating that CRISPR had not made unwanted “off-target” cuts in the genomes of the babies, a key safety concern in genome editing. During the questions, He revealed that a second woman is pregnant with a gene-edited baby. A paper on the twins is being considered by a peer-reviewed journal, He said, adding he had been dissuaded from posting it as a preprint. (He did not return requests for comment.)Taking the podium after He’s talk, David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena who also helped organize the meeting, decried the “failure of self-regulation” by He and the scientific community. The central problem, Baltimore tells Science, is that “we had no authority to stop him,” which he says “is the dilemma in trying to police the international scientific world.”At the summit’s end, the organizing panel, which had representatives from eight countries, concluded that He’s experiment was irresponsible, violated international norms, failed to meet ethical standards, did not have a sufficient medical justification, and lacked transparency. Their statement mirrored reactions in China.The organizer’s statement noted the promise of heritable germline editing but said it still remained too risky. The statement disappointed some by not demanding a strict moratorium, instead calling for “a rigorous, responsible translational pathway toward such trials.” The meeting organizers pointedly noted that germline editing would require “strict independent oversight” but offered no specific recommendations for how that might be done.Several commenters recalled the biology community’s response to the advent of genetic engineering in the 1970s, which at that time raised the specter of DNA-engineered microbes escaping from labs and wreaking havoc. Baltimore, who played a prominent role in the famed 1975 Asilomar conference on that topic, says the field figured out a way to control the use of recombinant DNA technology. “We never had any international authority, but we got international agreement, and, as far as I know everybody lived up to it.”In the United States, NIH established a Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC) to oversee related work that received federal government support. It no longer reviews many proposals, but, Collins says, “It’s likely that a reinvented version” could serve as a public forum for “intense, scientific debate about an area of some scientific potential but where there are many unknowns—and this would certainly be one of them.”James Wilson, who heads the gene therapy program at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could serve as an excellent oversight venue of the controversial research. But, he notes, the agency would have to forgo its many confidentiality restrictions and allow more public discussion of proposals.For now, FDA is not even allowed to review germline editing experiments in humans. “It’s effectively prohibited in the United States,” says Harvard Medical School Dean George Daley, a stem cell researcher in Boston who was a summit organizer.The summit triggered a discussion about whether the United Nations could serve as the home for an international oversight group, and its World Health Organization announced this week it would establish a team of experts to set guidelines and standards for human genome editing.An immediate response is needed, Doudna stresses. “I’d love to see the national science academies from several countries within a month come up with a set of draft guidelines that would be somehow affiliated with a RAC-like body,” she says. Daley agrees. “We have to aspire to some kind of a universal agreement amongst scientists and clinicians about what’s permissible,” he says. “Those who violate those international norms are held out in stark relief.”Whether He would have consulted with any oversight body is unclear. Several researchers say He discussed with them the idea of implanting edited human embryos. Porteus says when He informed him he was about to launch a trial to do that, “I spent the next 45 minutes telling him this was a terrible thing to do and he needed to stop immediately and talk to more people, particularly people in China. My regret is I didn’t go public.”To others, He was more coy about his actions. “If I had any sense that he was actually trying to do this I would have organized a meeting with him and others,” says William Hurlbut, a physician and ethicist at Stanford who met with He a handful of times and corresponded regularly with him. “I was intentionally trying to slow him down and influence his thinking.”Collins, Doudna, and many others say they have difficulty coming up with any genetic disorders that should even be considered for germline editing now. Couples who have concerns about passing on a disease mutation can use preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), notes Collins, a procedure in which researchers can screen IVF embryos and implant only those without the mutation. Although there are instances where parents both have two copies of a disease gene and are certain to pass it on to all embryos, those are exceedingly rare, he adds.Daley, part of a growing camp that strongly disagrees, counters that PGD doesn’t work 100% of the time. And, he says, “Rarity alone doesn’t detract from the imperative of trying to give medical support.”Researchers discussing He’s feat frequently refer to the case of Martin Cline, a hematologist at UC Los Angeles who in 1980 conducted pioneering gene therapy research in other countries rather than wait for his own institution to approve his proposed studies. In the aftermath of intense media scrutiny, Cline resigned as chief of his school’s hematology-oncology division and lost several NIH grants. “I regret to say this, but I think the consequences of my experiment set the field back several years because of all the regulations and oversights,” says Cline, who is retired and living in Stinson Beach, California. Cline says he paid a high price for what he now sees as having moved too fast. “I lost a significant part of a career I loved,” says Cline, who switched to oncology.Another human genome editing summit is planned for 2021. It will be hard to surpass Hong Kong’s drama. “One of our concerns was this was going to be a really boring summit,” Charo says. “Everything you look at here, the closer you get, the stranger this whole story becomes.”  At the summit, Nobel laureate David Baltimore condemned He Jiankui’s work. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Related story In China, calls for stricter oversight Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Few seemed more surprised by the tide of outrage unleashed by the claim that the first gene-edited babies had been created with the revolutionary lab tool called CRISPR than He Jiankui, the scientist responsible. On the eve of the International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, China, last week, He, a researcher at nearby Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, had dinner at the city’s Le Méridien Cyberport with a few of the meeting’s organizers. The news of He’s claim had just broken, and shock waves were starting to reverberate. But the reports were still so fresh that the diners sat in the restaurant without being disturbed.“He arrived almost defiant,” says Jennifer Doudna, who did landmark CRISPR work at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. She and the other conference organizers politely asked He questions about the scientific details and rationale of his work, the permissions he had secured to conduct it, and how he recruited hopeful parents to participate and informed them about risks. He asked them whether his planned talk 2 days later should include data about the twin girls, who had a gene altered to make them resistant to HIV infection. “We were all like, ‘Uh, yes,’” Doudna says.After more than an hour of questioning, He had had enough. “He just seemed surprised that people were reacting negatively about this,” Doudna says. “By the end of the dinner he was pretty upset and left quite abruptly.” For his talk at last week’s summit, He Jiankui was accompanied by security guards because of threats. SHANGHAI, CHINA—Does a Chinese scientist’s claim that he used CRISPR to create two baby girls resistantto HIV show that research ethics here are more permissive than elsewhere? Many Chineseresearchers dispute the notion, as do experts elsewhere. “I still believe there is noethical divide between China and the West,” says Reidar Lie, a bioethicist at the Universityof Bergen in Norway who has written extensively about China’s bioethical issues.“This is clear,” he says, from the reactions of ministries, institutions, and scientistswho have forcefully condemned the study, by He Jiankui of the Southern Universityof Science and Technology (SUST) in Shenzhen, Chinae. Lie adds that He “shares the samecharacteristic as many other scientists at the frontiers of knowledge: overestimatingthe benefits of their own research, and underestimating the risks.”Yet in the wake of the scandal, some are calling for tighter regulations and betteroversight. “There is an urgent need for a national ethics review committee,” formerVice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu told Global Times, a daily tabloid and websitecontrolled by the Chinese Communist Party. Currently, every hospital and institute hasits own ethics committee, but many lack the medical, ethical, and legal expertise toreview cutting-edge procedures, Huang said. Lie agrees that there are gaps in China’sregulatory efforts, but says the existing framework just needs strengthened enforcementpowers and upgraded expertise.Many questions remain about He’s work, including where he did it, how it was financed,and whether his scientific claims are valid. An officialinvestigation by a joint team from Guangdong province and the city of Shenzhen isongoing, and SUST has announced its own inquiry. He himself has not publicly spokensince he presented his work at a gene-editing meeting on 28 November and did notrespond to requests for comment. But some details about his work have emerged.In an online report that was later removed, for instance, Sanlian Life Week magazinedescribed how He turned to the HIV/AIDS support network Baihualin China League to helprecruit couples in which the man was infected with HIV. One told the magazine he andhis wife dropped out of the study because he was “unwilling to be a guinea pig,” accordingto a copy of the article shared on Twitter. The network’s head said he regrettedhis collaboration with He: “I am very worried about these families and children,” hewrote in a statement.Until now, China’s share in the CRISPR revolution was a source of national pride. Chinesescientists were the first to create gene-edited monkeys, in 2014, and produced thefirst ever gene-edited human embryos a year later. In 2016, they became the first to startclinical trials using CRISPR to alter genes in somatic cells, which are not passed on to thenext generation; today, 10 CRISPR-related trials to treat diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS are recruiting patients in China, more than in the rest of the world combined. But thescientific community “was nearly unanimous” that He’s work crossed a red line, says WeiWensheng, a molecular biologist at Peking University in Beijing. In a statement typical ofmany issued over the past week, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing saidgene editing is “still at a basic stage,” and that changing the germ line should be off limits.He appears to have violated the Ethical Guiding Principles on Human EmbryonicStem Cell Research, a brief document promulgated jointly by the health and scienceministries in December 2003 that prohibits implanting human embryos created forresearch purposes into the womb. But the guidelines do not specify any penalties fornoncompliance. “In some countries, such activity would lead to imprisonment, butChina still lacks a relevant legal and policy framework,” bioethicist Zhai Xiaomei of theChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College told ChinaScience Daily. She called for politicians to strengthen legislation as soon as possible.Meanwhile, the news fascinated the Chinese public, according to the website What’s onWeibo, which tracks China’s most popular social media platform. “In 100 years time,this might be considered pioneering work,” said one comment. “This is unfortunatefor the children, it is unfortunate for China, and it is unfortunate for mankind,” anotherWeibo user countered, reflecting the majority view.“What He did will almost inevitably have a backlash from the public and possibly fromregulators,” says Wei, who worries that the actions of a single research group gone roguewill trigger new rules that could have punishing implications for legitimate research.last_img read more

Unlaid egg discovered in ancient bird fossil

first_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 Barbara Marrs By John PickrellMar. 20, 2019 , 6:00 AM 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! Country Unlaid egg discovered in ancient bird fossil This makes the discovery “the oldest documented case of this common reproductive disorder,” the researchers say. Intriguingly, the eggshell features microscopic spheres of calcium phosphate, which is seen today in birds that nest in humid, infection-prone environments. This waterproofing suggests it was a species that nested near water and buried its eggs in the ground.The team has christened the bird Avimaia schweitzerae. (Avimaia means “mother bird”; and schweitzerae honors paleontologist Mary Schweitzer.) For the first time, researchers have found an unlaid egg inside a fossilized bird. The find—belonging to a sparrow-size flyer that lived in northwestern China 110 million years ago—is especially remarkable because fully formed eggs typically only stay within an adult bird for about 24 hours.Researchers were initially puzzled by the discovery, as they never suspected the unusual, squashed mass within the headless fossil’s abdomen (seen as a flattened brown layer in the center of the picture) could be an egg. But a microscopic analysis of a fragment revealed it to be eggshell. Further study suggested structural abnormalities that hint that the egg may have been the cause of this bird’s demise, the paleontologists report today in Nature Communications.The fossil eggshell’s structure doesn’t have the correct proportions seen in healthy eggs and consists of multiple layers of shell. This indicates a condition called “egg-binding,” where an egg becomes trapped inside a bird, the team argues. This can occur in chickens and small varieties of modern pet birds under stress and likely also led to the death of this long-lost, dinosaur-era relative.last_img read more

A number of successes noted for the arts at

first_img By Toni Gibbons       It was a point of celebration at the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board meeting on Nov. 20 as Northland Pioneer College (NPC) set new records in play attendance forSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Photo by Toni GibbonsMike Solomonson, chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at NPC addressed the college’s governing board regarding events in the arts departments. November 27, 2018center_img A number of successes noted for the arts atlast_img read more

Neanderthals may have trapped golden eagles 130000 years ago

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Although rock dove and raven remains were the most numerous birds, the remains of golden eagles were also present at 26 sites. Cut marks along the wing bones—where golden eagles have little meat—suggest Neanderthals carefully extracted the feathers, the researchers report in Quaternary Science Reviews. Additional cuts to the birds’ leg and foot bones suggest their claws and talons were also delicately separated from the rest of their bodies.No golden eagle Neanderthal jewelry has been discovered, but anthropologists in 2015 reported finding talons from another eagle—the white-tailed eagle—adorning a Neanderthal necklace. Because Neanderthals were apparently catching and fashioning jewelry from large raptors in Eurasia thousands of years before modern humans migrated up into the continent from Africa, the authors suggest our ancient ancestors may have picked up the practice from watching their Neanderthal neighbors. Neanderthals may have trapped golden eagles 130,000 years ago Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Stewart Finlayson The golden eagle has been hunted and revered by human cultures for thousands of years. Yet this may not have been a uniquely human devotion—Neanderthals, too, may have targeted these impressive birds of prey some 130,000 years ago, according to new research. What’s more, modern humans may have learned their eagle-catching techniques from their hominin cousins.With its luminous auburn feathers and massive 2.2-meter wingspan, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is associated with solar deities in religions around the world, from Native American traditional belief systems to Roman and Greek mythologies.A family team of anthropologists wanted to find out whether Neanderthals were part of that heritage. Eagle bones and talons have been found across dozens of sites in central and western Europe occupied by both Neanderthals and modern humans. So the researchers combed through the literature on 154 Neanderthal-associated sites to see whether golden eagle remains stood out in any way. Email By Michael PriceApr. 26, 2019 , 1:05 PMlast_img read more

Stress can cause memory loss and brain shrinkage finds study

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDOct 25 2018According to a new study persistent stress can cause real damage to the brain. It can cause loss of memory as well as shrinkage of the brain matter say researchers. The results of this new study have been published in the latest issue of the journal Neurology this week. Study author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, professor of neurology at UT Health San Antonio explaines that higher levels of stress translates into raised levels of stress hormone cortisol in blood. A raised level of cortisol in blood can predict brain size, function and also performance of the individual when faced with cognitive tests. She said, “We found memory loss and brain shrinkage in relatively young people long before any symptoms could be seen.” It’s never too early to be mindful of reducing stress,” she added. The lead author, Dr. Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins also said that symptoms of stress related memory loss and brain damage may not be evident until much damage has already been done.Experts have said that stress hormone cortisol rises in blood when a person is faced with constant threats that instruct the body to be at the ready for “fight or flight”. This hormone then shuts down several bodily functions and concentrates on the “posed danger”. After the crisis is over the cortisol levels should drop and the functions of the body should resume. In individuals where this does not happen, the cortisol levels stay high and trigger the body for threats. This leads to problems with various functions, anxiety, heart disease, depression, weight gain or loss, difficulty sleeping, headaches, difficulty concentrating and memeory impairment. They add that the brain is most affected because it is vital that the brain receives nutrients to function normally.There have been earlier studies that looked at the association between cortisol levels and memory loss among the elderly. This is the first study to look at younger individuals. This study has participants who average age is 48 years says Sheshadri. While earlier studies focussed on one area of the brain – the hippocampus – seat of memory, to detect association of memory loss and cortisol, this study looked at MRI scans of the whole brains, explained Sheshadri.Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenFor this study the team of researchers looked at 2231 individuals who had no symptoms of dementia. They were given several cognitive tests and psychological exams to detect their thinking and memory skills. The participants were part of the long term Framingham Heart Study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (that has followed up individuals and their future generations in Framingham, Massachusetts, since 1948). The individual records were again measured after an 8 years gap. Blood cortisol levels were measured before breakfast (when the levels are highest during the day) followed by a brain MRI scan. Memory and cognitive tests were again administered to the participants. Factors that could affect the results such as age, gender, body mass index, blood pressure, smoking status, educational status, socioeconomic backgrounds etc. were accounted for. Results showed that those who had highest cortisol levels had the most memory loss as seen on the tests.The study further noted that those with a raised level of cortisol also had more damage to parts of the brain that carry information across to different parts of the brain – the corona radiata and the part between two brain hemispheres – the corpus callosum. Those with higher cortisol levels also had a smaller cerebrum and thus their brain capacity was also reduced. Total cerebrum brain volume was 88.7 and 88.5 in people with normal levels and high levels of cortisol respectively. Experts have said that these changes are seen among middle aged individuals. With age there is likely to be more brain shrinkage and more memory loss. Women seemed to be worse affected with stress hormone cortisol than men, the study noted. Their brain size shrunk more with stress, write the researchers. Estrogen or the female hormone could play a role here say experts.According to Sheshadri, this is an association study and not a “cause-effect” study. However the association is clear and people need to make lifestyle changes to reduce stress she said. Echouffo-Tcheugui also said that the next step would be a prospective study to see how stress alters the brain function. He added that it may be too early to “consider intervention” to remove stress related damage. Prevention and reduction of stress would be a wiser option. Suggested methods to reduce stress include getting enough sleep, exercising and meditating regularly.Source: http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2018/10/24/WNL.0000000000006549 Image Credit: create jobs 51 / Shutterstocklast_img read more

Study reveals one in ten people may optout of proposed system for

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 29 2018A new study has revealed that around one in 10 people are considering opting out of a proposed new system that aims to increase organ donation by presuming consent.The research, from the University of Stirling, found that those planning to opt-out of the new approach – earmarked for Scotland and England – reported stronger emotional barriers towards organ donation. These include discomfort at thinking about one’s own death and feelings of disgust about organ donation.The team says their findings suggest that campaigns targeting feelings and emotions, may be more effective than interventions that present facts.Jordan Miller co-authored the study with Professor Ronan O’Carroll and Dr Sinéad Currie, health psychologists from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, as part of her PhD.”We found that participants who plan to opt-out of the proposed system reported heightened emotional barriers towards organ donation,” Ms Miller said. “Concerns that organ donation would violate the physical integrity of the body was a particularly important barrier in this group.””Our study considered a myth-busting strategy currently employed by the NHS – and used by other healthcare providers worldwide – where myths and misconceptions about organ donation are corrected with factual information. We found that this approach had no effect on increasing donor intentions in those planning to opt-out.”Latest figures indicate that there are more than 6,000 people in the UK currently on the waiting list for an organ transplant. However, a shortage of organs means that three people die every day while awaiting a transplant.Although 90 percent of the UK population support organ donation, just 38 percent have signed up to the organ donor register. In an attempt to address this, Governments in Scotland and England are planning to follow Wales and introduce opt-out donor consent – which presumes consent unless a person chooses to opt-out.Related StoriesBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyPrior to the Stirling study, there had been limited research into the public attitudes and intentions regarding the proposed opt-out consent laws.The researchers surveyed 1,202 people in the UK on their intentions under the proposed system – and found that 9.4 percent plan to opt-out, or are unsure of their decision. The team pointed out that, in reality, this number may be even higher as 70 percent of participants were already organ donors.The survey found 66.1 percent would opt- in and 24.3 would give “deemed consent”.Ms Miller said the research suggested that organ donation campaigns could be more effective if they focus on feelings, rather than facts, in an attempt to overcome deep-set emotional beliefs and increase donor intentions.She continued: “Communication campaigns designed to dispel harmful myths about organ donation are frequently used on organ donation websites. However, our research has shown that presenting factual corrective information had no effect on donor intentions for those who plan to opt-out.”Evidence has consistently shown that emotional barriers – or feelings – play the greatest role in influencing donor behaviours, however, the myth-busting campaign used by the NHS targets facts, rather than feelings. Therefore, interventions designed to target feelings and emotions may be more effective at increasing donor intentions.”She added: “Before the introduction of opt-out consent laws, evaluation of alternative strategies to increase donor intentions are required.” Source:https://www.stir.ac.uk/news/2018/10/one-in-10-people-may-opt-out-of-proposed-organ-donor-system/last_img read more

Study IL10 receptor critical to prevent uncontrolled infection and gut damage

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 1 2019A new study has identified the master regulator that maintains a healthy gut and limits damage by parasitic whipworms. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and collaborators have revealed that the interleukin 10 receptor (IL-10R) is critical to prevent uncontrolled whipworm infection in mice and a damaging immune response in the gut.The study, published today (31 January) in PLOS Pathogens, helps understand the signaling mechanism that maintains a balance between the host, whipworms and gut bacteria. Unraveling this signaling mechanism will help scientists understand immune response to other parasites and will shed light on pathways that could be involved in the control of other diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and allergies.The gut is home to millions of bacteria, known as the microbiota, and also to parasites such as whipworms. The human whipworm – Trichuris trichiura – infects approximately 500 million people globally, causing the neglected tropical disease Trichuriasis, and has evolved over millennia to infect the intestines and reproduce there.The health of the host is important for a parasite, as it needs a live host to survive and reproduce. The researchers found that the worm, the gut, the immune system and the microbiota form a finely balanced ecosystem.Dr Maria Duque-Correa, first author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: “This work shows how any change in the host or microbiota will also change the response to whipworms. Interactions between the host cells, microbiota and whipworms, enable the whipworms to survive in infected individuals and now we’ve found a master regulator of those interactions.”Certain immune signaling molecules – called interleukins – had previously been implicated in host immune response to worm infection, regulating inflammation in the gut. To further understand their role in this balanced ecosystem, researchers studied mice that were missing genes from the interleukin 10 (IL-10) superfamily of receptors to see how they responded to whipworm infection.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaThe researchers discovered that a specific IL-10R receptor was critical for regulation. They found that lack of IL-10R regulation led to an uncontrolled immune response that damaged the gut lining and failed to produce protective mucus. The worms invading the gut-lining cells, destroyed the barrier between the gut and the host, enabling bacteria to cross over into the rest of the body, causing fatal infection.Prof Richard Grencis, an author from the University of Manchester, said: “This is the first study revealing the master role of IL-10R in regulating the response to whipworm, and controlling the microbiota. We discovered the absence of this crucial signaling pathway leads to disturbed microbiota and uncontrolled inflammation that destroys the gut lining allowing microbes to invade and cause liver failure.”Dr Matt Berriman, Senior author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: “Our discovery of the importance of the IL-10R signaling pathway for gut regulation not only helps us understand the immune response to parasites, it also has implications for other diseases. Further research to better understand this immune signaling pathway could open up new ways of finding treatments for diseases caused by an over-active immune system such as allergies, inflammatory bowel disease or asthma.” Source:https://www.sanger.ac.uk/news/view/immune-master-regulator-orchestrates-responses-parasite-infectionlast_img read more

Brain training to strengthen the brains neural network

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDApr 15 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A new study reveals that less than an hour of training the brain could help strengthen the neural connections of the brain. This study could help develop new treatment and management strategies for progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as stroke and Parkinson’s believe the researchers.The study from researchers at the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) revealed that this neurofeedback training could help re-establish the neural connections of the brain. The results of the study were published in the latest issue of the journal Neuroimage.Theo Marins, a biomedical scientist from IDOR and main researcher of the study said, “We knew that the brain has an amazing ability to adapt itself, but we were not sure that we could observe these changes so quickly. Understanding of how we can impact on brain wiring and functioning is the key to treat neurological disorders.” This study was part of the PhD thesis work of Marins. Neural networks that showed increases connectivity after one hour of neurofeedback: default-mode network (left), corpus callosum (middle) and sensorimotor networks (right). Image Credit: D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) The researchers explain that neurofeedback is a system by which dysfunctional regions of the brain could be regulated. These regions could be associated with chronic conditions such as pain and depression, they explain. For this method, magnetic resonance equipment is used. The equipment helps the user access their brain activity in real time and control it.Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustFor this study the team recruited 36 healthy participants. They were provided with the neurofeedback training to increase the activity in the regions of the brain dealing with hand movements. While under the training, the participants were asked to imagine their hand movement in complete rest. Among the participants, 19 were given the actual neurofeedback training while the other 17 were given placebo neurofeedback. These 17 acted as control subjects.The team of researchers within 30 minutes after the brain training, examined the neural networks of the of the brain by scans. They checked the structural and functional connectivity of the brain using scans. Results revealed that there was a marked increase in integrity of the neural network along the corpus callosum that connects the two hemispheres of the brain. This helped strengthening of the signals from the brain and the communications. The whole system, explain the researchers was made more robust due to the training. Where there was a dysfunctional network connection, the training seemed to improve the connections. In the control group these changes were not seen.Fernanda Tovar Moll, president of IDOR and lead author of the study said, “We showed that the neurofeedback can be considered a powerful tool to induce brain changes at record speed. Now, our goal is to develop new studies to test whether patients with neurological disorders can also benefit from it.”The researchers worked in collaboration with Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and Augusto Motta University (Unisuam). More experiments and tests are being conducted to fully explain and understand the benefits offered by neurofeedback training say the researchers.last_img read more

Veterans activeduty service members with PTSD and mTBI have larger amygdalas finds

first_img Source:https://www.research.va.gov/currents/0419-Brain-region-that-produces-emotions-is-larger-in-Vets-with-mild-TBI-and-PTSD.cfm Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 30 2019A new study finds that veterans and active-duty service members with combat-related PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury had larger amygdalas–the region of the brain that processes such emotions as fear, anxiety, and aggression–than those with only brain injuries.The findings appeared online April 25 in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.Through magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers found that the right and left sides of the amygdala in people with combat-related PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) were larger than those in people with only combat-related mTBI. The amygdala is an almond-shaped section of tissue in the temporal portion of the brain and is key to triggering PTSD symptoms.The researchers caution that the findings were based on an observational study and therefore can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship–only a correlation.The study included 89 veterans and active-duty military personnel, about a third of whom had both PTSD and mTBI. The rest formed the mild-TBI-only control group. A mild traumatic brain injury is also known as a concussion.”This is an intriguing structural finding, given the role of the amygdala in the challenging [neuropsychological] symptoms witnessed in casualties of combat-related mTBI and PTSD,” the researchers write. “Further investigation is needed to determine whether amygdala size could be used to screen people at risk for PTSD, or whether it could be used to monitor the [effectiveness of medical solutions].”The study’s lead author, Dr. Mingxiong Huang, is a neuroimaging scientist at the VA San Diego Health Care System. He says the finding of a larger amygdala in veterans with combat-related PTSD and mTBI was a bit of a surprise.”Some previous PTSD research showed declines in amygdala volume based on the assumption of a loss of size due to injuries,” says Huang, also a professor in the department of radiology at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). “Our finding of increased amygdala volume seems to point to different mechanisms, such as an exposure to repetitive fear and stress.”Such exposure, he adds, may lead to an abnormal growth of the neural networks within the amygdala, a development that has been reported in animal studies but hasn’t been fully explored in human PTSD studies. More studies involving people with non-combat PTSD are needed to generalize this finding to other types of PTSD, he notes.A co-author of the paper, Dr. Douglas Chang, is a physician and researcher at VA San Diego.”The amygdala is involved with processing threat perception and arousal and with linking emotion to experience in complex ways,” says Chang, who is also a professor of orthopedic surgery at UCSD. “A larger amygdala volume may be a sign of hyperactivity with an enlarged neural network. But we don’t know whether this is an attempt by the brain to cope with PTSD or whether the growth and enlargement is causing symptoms, like an electrical storm.”Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustHe adds: “The situation may also resemble scar tissue formation on skin. Is this an organized response by the body to heal itself, or is the scar tissue going haywire and forming a grossly disfigured area? Another possibility is that this study simply identified at-risk people for PTSD with a pre-existing condition: an enlarged amygdala.”Combat-related PTSD and mTBI are leading health care concerns in veterans and service members. It’s not unusual for both conditions to occur in the same person, based on evidence from a cross section of studies. Some of the symptoms are similar, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and changes in memory and concentration. However, the effects of PTSD and mTBI on neural pathways in the brain, as well as the impact of the co-existence of the two, are not fully understood.Scientists in Huang’s study conducted the testing at VA San Diego and at two Marine Corps bases in California. They measured intracranial volume, a key statistic used to analyze the size of the brain and brain regions, especially in cases of neurodegenerative diseases.The size of the right amygdala was 0.122 percent of total brain volume, on average, in the group with mTBI and PTSD. It was 0.115 percent in the cohort with only mTBI. The size of the left amygdala was 0.118 percent of brain volume in those with mTBI and PTSD, compared with 0.112 percent in the mTBI group. The researchers found both of those differences to be “statistically significant.”The study team also examined the caudate, the hippocampus, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the cerebral cortex. Those brain regions, like the amygdala, are in the limbic system, which controls basic emotions, including fear, pleasure, and anger. The researchers found no “statistically significant” differences in those regions, suggesting that only changes in the amygdala are linked to PTSD symptoms in people with mTBI, according to Chang.The study authors say the findings have several implications for research and treatment.”To be able to see a structural difference between these two cohorts and in this stage of PTSD really points to something going on with the amygdala,” Chang says. “Can we use this as a screening tool to identify people at risk? Maybe this is an adaptive response that we can monitor and use to track different kinds of mental health treatment approaches. Maybe yoga is helpful, maybe mindfulness meditation is helpful, maybe exercise is helpful. Perhaps there are drugs that can protect somebody against these traumas or to help improve their conditions. To be able to identify something that’s changed in a quantitative way is amazing. It opens the door to many possibilities to help treat this problem.”last_img read more

Health benefit from substituting red and processed meat with fish

first_imgHowever, the health benefit depends on the type of fish people put on their plates, as well as the age and sex of the persons whose diet is being altered.Go easy on the tunaThe greatest health benefit comes from eating only fatty fish (such as herring and mackerel) or a mixture of fatty and lean fish (such as plaice and pollock), while a smaller health gain is achieved by eating only lean fish. This is because fatty fish contain larger amounts of beneficial fatty acids.On the other hand, the calculations show a significant health loss if tuna is the only type of fish in the diet, because tuna is both low in beneficial fatty acids and can have high concentrations of methylmercury. The health loss is calculated as particularly high among women of childbearing age, as intake of fish with a high concentration of methylmercury can damage unborn children’s brain development.Related StoriesEating fatty fish free of environmental pollutants could reduce type 2 diabetes riskBioactive hydrogel promises faster wound healingFish consumption can help prevent asthma, study revealsFurthermore, the study shows that it is possible to reduce the proportion of Danes who have an insufficient intake of vitamin D significantly by replacing some of the red and processed meat with a mixture of fatty and lean fish. The study also points out that the proportion of Danes with an insufficient intake of dietary iron will not increase despite the lowered meat intake.Greatest effect among men over 50 and childbearing womenThe study shows large variations in the overall health impact when the red and processed meat gives way to fish. Everyone over the age of 50—but the men in particular—as well as women of childbearing age will reap the greatest health benefits from eating 350 grams of fish weekly, of which 200 grams are fatty fish.For men, this is because the group as a whole is at higher risk than other population groups of developing cardiovascular disease. The risk is reduced by replacing part of the red meat with fish that contain fatty acids, which can prevent cardiovascular disease.”In women of childbearing age the health benefit is particularly large because the intake of fish containing healthy fish oils will not only benefit the women themselves. The health-promoting properties of fish will also have a beneficial effect in the development of their unborn children, which is taken into account in the overall calculations,” Sofie Theresa Thomsen explains.Useful when developed intervention strategies and dietary adviceThe methods developed in the PhD study are useful e.g. when examining the health effects of various interventions designed to promote healthy eating habits or when developing official dietary guidelines.Source:Technical University of Denmark Journal reference:Thomsen, S.T. et al. (2019) A probabilistic approach for risk-benefit assessment of food substitutions: A case study on substituting meat by fish. Food and Chemical Toxicology.  doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2019.02.018 They show that the Danish population as a whole can gain up to 7,000 healthy years of life annually, if all adult Danes eat fish in the recommended quantities while at the same time reducing their meat intake. This estimate covers among others the prevention of approximately 170 deaths from coronary heart disease per year.”Sofie Theresa Thomsen Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 15 2019The average Dane will gain a health benefit from substituting part of the red and processed meat in their diet with fish, according to calculations from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark. Men over 50 and women of childbearing age in particular would benefit from such a change in diet.In a PhD study at the National Food Institute, Sofie Theresa Thomsen has developed a method to calculate the total health impact of replacing one food with another in the diet. The method has been used to assess the health impact that would be achieved by replacing red and processed meat with fish, so the intake reaches the recommended weekly intake of 350 grams of fish.Fish is an important source of healthy fatty acids and vitamin D, but may also contain potentially harmful substances such as methylmercury. Red and processed meat contributes to the intake of saturated fat in the Danish diet and is associated with the development of different types of cancer, but red meat is also an important source of e.g. dietary iron. Replacing red and processed meat with fish in the Danish diet can therefore have a health impact on human health.Seven thousand healthy years of life to be gained annuallyRisk-benefit assessments weigh up the beneficial and adverse health effects by estimating how many healthy years of life a population gains because of health improvements, or lose due to reduced quality of life or by dying earlier than expected.This is exactly what Sofie Theresa Thomsen has done in her calculations.last_img read more

Study explores contributors to postinjury mental health symptoms in urban black men

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 6 2019Although injury is unexpected and acute, it can result in long-term health problems and disability. Up to half of all patients experience postinjury depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the months after injury, increasing suboptimal recovery, disability, and costs for care. For patients like urban black men, some of whom have experienced prior trauma, childhood adversity and neighborhood disadvantage, acute postinjury stress responses are exacerbated.Addressing the psychological effects of injury can improve health and reduce the negative outcomes of injury. Yet, in a national survey, only seven percent of trauma centers incorporate routine screening for PTSD symptoms.An original investigation from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) explores the risk and protective factors that contribute to postinjury mental health symptoms in urban black men. It finds that those men with violent injuries as compared to non-violent injuries have more severe postinjury mental health symptoms. But importantly it shows the need to take into consideration prior life experiences, such as adverse childhood experiences, neighborhood disadvantage, pre-injury health and psychological resources in addition to acute stress responses to an injury event, in order to identify injured patients at highest risk for poor postinjury mental health outcomes. The intersection of prior trauma and adversity, prior exposure to challenging neighborhood disadvantage, and poorer preinjury health and functioning should not be overlooked in the midst of acute injury care when assessing for the risk of postinjury mental health symptoms.”Lead-investigator Therese S. Richmond, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, the Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing, and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation Related StoriesExploring how schizophrenia and depression are related to drug consumptionSocial media use and television viewing linked to rise in adolescent depressive symptomsSome children are at greater risk of ongoing depression long after being bulliedResults of the study are set for publication in an upcoming issue of JAMA Surgery in an article titled “Contributors to Postinjury Mental Health in Urban Black Men With Serious Injuries.”The three-and-a-half-year study focused on outcomes in more than 600 urban black men who were hospitalized for serious injury. The researchers followed study participants for three months after hospital discharge to access for depression and PTSD symptoms. Almost one half of study participants met the diagnostic criteria for depression and/or PTSD at follow-up.”This study takes a life-trajectory approach, helps inform potential points of intervention to improve outcomes, and adds to understanding both risk and protective factors across the life trajectory in an understudied group at high risk for injury,” said Richmond. “We must integrate psychological care into the very essence of trauma care if we are to improve outcomes from serious injuries. Because symptoms develop after hospital discharge, further developing and using screening instruments designed to predict the future development of postinjury mental health problems is warranted to focus services on those patients at highest risk.”Source:University of Pennsylvania School of NursingJournal reference:Richmond, T.S. et al. (2019) Contributors to Postinjury Mental Health in Urban Black Men With Serious Injuries. JAMA Surgery. doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2019.1622.last_img read more

Why cyberattacks dont work as weapons

Cyber operations are a “normal” side effect of political conflicts of all kinds. Credit: iStock Cyberattacks in political conflictsIt is only very recently that those of us conducting political science research have been in the position to systematically examine cyberattacks as a phenomenon of political violence – simply because the number of cases is increasing. We see that cyber operations are a “normal” side effect of political conflicts of all kinds. Both state and non-state actors use cyber activities to intervene in conflicts in various ways.Testing the technical and political effects of cyber operations in various contexts is attractive to both state and non-state actors, as the costs are relatively low and mostly indirect. The targets have exploitable technical vulnerabilities and insufficient security measures, while victims often find it difficult to assign a clear attribution (specifying the perpetrator) and thus punish the attacker. This is why we are seeing more, and particularly more spectacular, cyberattacks. However, these attacks are often restrained: as rational actors, states are not interested in uncontrollable escalation.Are cyberattacks a justification for war?At the same time, efforts to develop rules of behaviour have intensified in order to reduce the remaining danger of escalation. An international consensus has developed that only cyberattacks that cause a high level of destruction equivalent to a kinetic military attack should be viewed as a reason for war. We can also see that the US seeks to regulate the cyber activities of states such as Russia (electoral manipulation) and China (industrial espionage) using the classic instruments of international politics, such as diplomatic negotiations, bilateral agreements and sanctions.The most important point, however, is the awareness that cyberattacks only have a limited use as instruments of destruction – as weapons. Only a short while ago, strategic “cyberwar” was considered as the central threat; a virtual attack out of nowhere (e.g. against a power supply) that would bring a state to its knees.The reality looks a little different: the difficulties of achieving controllable effects and causing actual violence by means of cyberattacks mean that cyber methods are above all suited to protest actions of various kinds. They aim to cause confusion and influence a population’s opinions. They are also well-suited for espionage, for (with a bit more effort) local sabotage and – much less frequently – as preparatory or disruptive measures in the course of “traditional” military operations.What does this mean for the digital future?Fears of a digital meltdown are unfounded. However, a wide range of actors are already using digital networks to achieve strategic goals against the will of other actors. This means that digitalised areas must guard against deliberate interference – because the more connected things become, the more potential targets there are.In the future, an even better understanding of the motivations of political actors will be necessary. We must analyse how and on what basis they make their decisions and what role digitalisation plays. In this way, we can utilise technical solutions to influence political incentives through international standards, so that confidence in the technical opportunities of the future will be possible despite the strategic exploitation of cyberspace. Citation: Why cyberattacks don’t work as weapons (2018, January 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-cyberattacks-dont-weapons.html Explore further US blames North Korea for series of cyberattacks Digitalisation will fundamentally alter many aspects of our lives – in many cases for the better. However, our increasing dependence on computers and networks for data exchange and storage is creating new vulnerabilities for both individuals and society. The key word here is: cybersecurity. This encompasses more than just technical solutions: it involves not only security in cyberspace, but also security that is influenced by cyberspace. Provided by ETH Zurich 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. read more

Combating data breach fatigue

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. Provided by Iowa State University Nearly 700,000 UK nationals affected by Equifax breach: company Explore further If you shop online or swipe a credit or debit card when out to eat, you’ve likely received a notice your personal information was compromised in a data breach. And if you’re like most consumers, chances are you did nothing in response, says an Iowa State University researcher. Citation: Combating data breach fatigue (2018, January 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-combating-breach-fatigue.html Cyberattacks are so prevalent that Rui Chen, an associate professor of information systems in ISU’s Ivy College of Business, says consumers are experiencing data breach fatigue. Chen and colleagues at the University of Texas at San Antonio (Eric Bachura, Rohit Valecha, H. Raghav Rao) are working to understand this behavior. Based on industry research, they know many consumers do not change their passwords or sign up for identity theft protection.”When a data breach happens they’re not motivated to take any corrective or protective action,” Chen said. “They don’t use a stronger password and change it more often or check their credit files. When this happens society pays, and criminals are the only ones who benefit.”Retailers are not the only targets of these data breaches. Hackers have hit medical facilities, government agencies and email providers. With so much personal information digitized and stored online, Chen says breaches are now the norm for consumers and breach fatigue creates an ever-growing opportunity for cyber criminals. Chen and his colleagues received funding from the National Science Foundation to study public response to the 2015 data breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which affected 21.5 million people. In a paper, recognized for best paper at the 2017 Americas Conference of Information Systems, the researchers outlined a consumer response model to crisis events, such as data breaches, based on the five stages of grief.Social media and public sentimentThe research team examined more than 18,000 tweets posted on Twitter over a two-month period that included the hashtag #OPMHack. Chen says the tweets – limited at that time to 140 characters – were ideal for gauging public sentiment (anxiety, anger and sadness) and testing their model. The two-month period started with public notification about the breach and included five significant events, such as the OPM director’s resignation. Researchers expected to see fluctuations in Twitter activity based on these events, but what stood out was the drop-off rate following each spike. Chen says the drop-off rate after the news first broke was around 35 percent, which means consumers were no longer engaged on social media and commenting on the breach. Near the end of the two-month period, the drop-off rate hit 84 percent.”The quick drop off in engagement indicates either an acceptance of the breach event or an apathetic tendency toward it, as would be expected with the onset of breach fatigue,” Chen said.Analysis of the tweets found heightened levels of anxiety, followed by anger and then sadness. Chen says the tweets also provided a comparison between direct victims of the OPM data breach and others commenting on social media. The researchers did not see a difference between the groups when measuring anxiety and anger, but there was a significant difference in sadness, which was higher in the victim group.The research team is surveying victims of the OPM and the Yahoo! data breach to learn more about how data breach fatigue affects behavior. The work may help improve interventions to change consumer behavior and limit the economic costs associated with these breaches, Chen said. It is also important for future policy intended to crack down on cybercrime.”If people don’t care about data breaches, lawmakers will have no motivation to beef up laws to protect against cyberthreats,” Chen said. read more

Vacuum maker Dyson plans expansion for UK electric car site

first_img The company said it plans to spend an additional 116 million pounds ($151 million) to build more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) of test tracks at the former Hullavington Airfield in southern England. The cars are expected to launch in 2021.It also plans new office buildings for more than 2,000 staff that will eventually be employed at the site. Overall, Dyson has said it will invest 2 billion pounds in its electric car program.Billionaire founder James Dyson, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, has been a prominent advocate of Brexit but has faced criticism for moving much of the firm’s production to Asia. Dyson has said that the British government should leave the European Union immediately, then work out trade deals with the bloc and others.The company has already spent 84 million pounds restoring two hangars dating from 1938, where 400 employees now work. In the next phase of development at the 750-acre site, the company is proposing to build tracks to put battery-powered vehicles through their paces, including handling and stability, off-road driving, a skid pan and a high speed runway for speeds above 100 miles per hour (161 kph).It will join an increasingly crowded field, as traditional automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover launch their own EVs to compete with Tesla.”Tesla has done some amazing things and survived against the odds but have failed to make a profit,” said David Bailey, an auto manufacturing expert and professor at Aston University.”My concern is that they’ve never made cars before.”The challenge for Dyson is to come up with a breakthrough technology, either in batteries or motors, he added. He also suggested that Dyson may be better off linking up with an established carmaker.Dyson hasn’t released any details about the vehicle, though it has indicated it plans to incorporate in-house solid state lithium battery technology, acquired through its 2015 purchase of Michigan company Sakti3. Solid state batteries are lighter than conventional cells but hold much more energy, promising extended range for electric vehicles. Dyson, the British company best known for its ground-breaking vacuum cleaners, said Thursday that it plans to build auto test tracks as it expands electric vehicle development at a former Royal Air Force airfield. Citation: Vacuum maker Dyson plans expansion for UK electric car site (2018, August 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-vacuum-maker-dyson-expansion-uk.html Explore further Dyson shifts up a gear with electric car hub This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_img Citation: Amazon forges fellowship for ‘Lord of the Rings’ online video game (2019, July 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-amazon-forges-fellowship-lord-online.html (c)2019 U.S. TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Amazon has landed a prime franchise on which to build an online game: the Lord of the Rings. Amazon Game Studios will jointly develop the free online game with Hong Kong-headquartered Leyou Technology Holdings, which owns several game studios including Digital Extremes, maker of sci-fi role-playing action game “Warframe.”There is no release date for the console and PC game, a massively multiplayer online action title … la “World of Warcraft.”Last year, Athlon Games, an L.A.-based Leyou subsidiary announced it had reached a deal with Middle-Earth Enterprises to create a game based in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit-laden universe during the time before the events in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Leyou will market and publish the new game in China, while Amazon will handle its release in the rest of the world.This isn’t Amazon’s only Lord of the Rings project. It is also developing an unrelated original Prime Video TV series based on The Lord of the Rings, a prequel to “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first of the three Rings books.Amazon Game Studios already has several games in development including “New World,” based in an alternate history 17th century colonization game.”Tolkien’s Middle-earth is one of the richest fictional worlds in history, and it gives our team of experienced MMO developers—from the same studio developing ‘New World’—tremendous opportunity to play and create,” said Christoph Hartmann, vice president of Amazon Game Studios, in a statement. “We have a strong leadership team in place to helm this new project, and we’re actively growing our team to help build this incredible experience.””Bringing Middle-earth to life necessitates having the very best partners, and Amazon’s customer obsession, technology, and talented teams make it the ideal choice for a co-developer and publisher,” said Leyou Technologies Holdings CEO Alex Xu in a statement. “We believe our combined resources and expertise will result in a beautiful and compelling game that customers will love and play for years to come.”Amazon’s other video game pursuits include the Twitch video game streaming platform and the tech-retailing giant is reportedly developing its own cloud gaming service as well.BTW, there’s already a competitor, “The Lord of the Rings Online,” a free-to-play massively multiplayer online game that has been active for 12 years. Explore further 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. Amazon is bringing ‘The Lord of the Rings’ to the small screenlast_img read more