Jun 30 2018Researchers at The University of Kansas Cancer Center have launched a clinical trial that eliminates radiation from the treatment protocol for an invasive type of breast cancer that accounts for one-fifth of all breast cancer patients.These are the patients who have breast tumors that contain high levels of a protein known as HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), which speeds up the growth of cancer cells. Treatment for HER2-positive cancer typically begins with chemotherapy to shrink the tumor(s), followed by surgery to remove it. Patients then undergo radiation therapy to knock out any lingering malignant cells.Fifteen years ago, omitting radiation therapy would have been unthinkable. The risk of recurrence was just too great. But that was then. In the last decade, breakthrough drugs such as trastuzumab and pertuzumab, which shut down the HER2 protein, have transformed treatment for this kind of breast cancer. The addition of these new targeted drugs to the chemotherapy regimen has slashed the risk of recurrence by more than half.In 2012, Melissa Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology at the KU School of Medicine and a researcher affiliated with the KU Cancer Center, was a new faculty member at a tumor conference listening to other oncologists report how rare it is to see a recurrence of breast cancer in many early-stage HER2-positive patients. They were talking specifically about patients for whom chemotherapy, combined with these targeted drugs, destroyed all the cancer. When the surgeon went in to remove the tumor after the chemo, the tumor was already dead, which meant it contained zero live cancer cells. “I have been watching for six years, and have never seen a patient like that have a breast recurrence, not in my clinic,” said Mitchell. She also notes that patients with a dramatic response to the chemotherapy frequently ask why they need to have radiation.”The treatment drugs have just become so effective that it made us think that maybe we could scale back and spare patients the side effects of radiation,” she said. Those potential side effects include swelling of the breast, dryness, itching or burning, scarring, fatigue. In rarer cases, radiation has also been associated with a secondary cancer. Radiation has also been known to cause long-term heart and lung damage. Radiation visits also require time away from work or family, and for some patients in rural areas, those visits also may mean travel to a distant radiation treatment facility.Mitchell’s clinical trial is believed to be the first to examine removing radiation from the treatment plan for HER2-positive cancer with lumpectomy. Radiation has long been the standard of care for breast cancer patients who have had a lumpectomy. “If patients can avoid radiation with low risks, it’s to their advantage. It would also save tremendous amounts of time, resources, and money,” said Allen M. Chen, M.D, the Joe and Jean Brandmeyer Endowed Chair and Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology. “This study has the potential to change the standard of care and be groundbreaking.”How the trial worksMitchell and her follow researchers are in the process of recruiting post-menopausal women at least 50 years of age who are in the early stages of HER2-positive invasive ductal carcinoma (a type of breast cancer that originates in the milk ducts), and who have clear lymph nodes. Patients in the trial will choose whether they prefer to be in the intervention or control groups. Participants in the intervention group will not receive radiation, while those in the control group will receive the typical standard of care, which includes radiation.Mitchell notes that the patients she talks to already tend to fall into two camps. Some patients fear the cancer returning and say they want radiation because they don’t ever want to have surgery again. Some refuse radiation therapy or are hesitant about it: “There’s some fear about radiation. Other investigators are studying the potential to eliminate surgery in this same population, but surveyed patients have said they would rather skip radiation than surgery. Patients just feel more comfortable having the cancer cut out.” Patients also become overwhelmed by the time and financial stress that radiation treatment entails.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskPatients in the study who opt to omit radiation as part of their treatment after lumpectomy will have follow-up examinations every three months for five years. The examinations will include imaging (mammograms or MRIs), and patients will be asked to fill out surveys on quality of life and the cosmetic aspects of their treatment. Their results will be compared with those of the controls: patients who opted to have the standard radiation.”We hope to find that without radiation, patients do fantastic, that they do not have a recurrence–and all while having less risk of side effects, including heart and lung damage,” said Mitchell.A paradigm shiftThis might be the only trial looking at omission of radiation for HER2-positive breast cancer patients specifically, but it is part of a much broader shift. Not that long ago, cancer was so deadly that it was common to attack the disease from all possible treatment angles. Today, as more is known about cancer biology and as improved cancer treatments have produced better outcomes, researchers around the country are considering scaling back on therapies that might no longer be necessary or worth the side effects. And with new ways to gauge how individual patients will respond to different therapies, treatment can also be de-escalated according to what will work better for each patient-and what treatments would barely be effective at all.This is not to say that de-escalation is an entirely new idea. Qamar Khan, M.D., associate professor of medicine and a co-investigator on the study, points out that just the reduction in the number of radical mastectomies over the last couple of decades is a good example of de-escalation. “We realized that many women really didn’t need them,” he said.Mitchell herself has another study in which she is looking at shortening the radiation treatment time for node-positive invasive breast cancer from a six- to seven-week course to a three- to four-week one. A co-investigator on Mitchell’s HER2 study, Jamie Wagner, DO, chief of the breast surgery division (CK), is working on a national trial looking at de-escalating treatment for all types of breast cancer that are typically treated with chemotherapy followed by surgery. In that trial, the investigators are using extra imaging-MRIs, mammograms-to predict which tumors will be gone after chemotherapy. The next step would be to omit surgery for those patients.”There are many different avenues for de-escalation,” said Wagner. “We want to maximize outcomes with the best survival rates while doing only necessary therapies. Therapy is not without consequences that impact patients for the rest of their lives. If we can get the best outcomes with the least side effects, that’s the best thing for patients and what we are all here for.” Source:http://www.kumc.edu/news-listing-page/mitchell-her2.html
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 12 2018A new study led by SFU health sciences researchers Prabjit Barn and Ryan Allen reveals fetal growth may improve if pregnant women use portable air purifiers inside their homes.The study, a first of its kind, was conducted in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, which is one of the most polluted cities in the world and has fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels more than seven times higher than WHO guidelines. Fine particulate matter is the pollutant most consistently linked with human health effects.The researchers recruited more than 500 women early on in their pregnancies and placed high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) air purifiers in half of the women’s homes. The air purifiers decreased fine particulate matter in the women’s homes by 29 percent.”We found that pregnant women who used HEPA air purifiers inside their homes gave birth to babies that weighed 85 grams more on average at term than women who did not use air cleaners during pregnancy,” says Barn.The researchers say that these results provide further evidence that air pollution exposure during pregnancy has a negative impact on fetal growth and that reducing exposures can be beneficial. Source:https://www.sfu.ca/university-communications/issues-experts/2018/09/study-finds-air-purifiers-may-benefit-fetal-growth.html
Researchers have created a radio so tiny that almost seven would fit on the face of a penny. The device runs without a battery; instead it uses “power harvesting,” a process by which it recovers and uses energy from the same waves that carry signals to its antenna. Even if the radio chip did need a battery, a single AAA battery has enough power to run it for more than a century, researchers reported at the 2014 Symposium on VLSI Circuits Digest of Technical Papers. Many components of the radio had to be scaled down to fit onto the tiny silicon chip; the antenna, for example, is one-tenth the size of a Wi-Fi antenna—and yet, it runs at a fast speed of 24 billion cycles per second. The tiny radios cost only a few cents to manufacture, the researchers say, and such devices are key to the next wave of wireless devices; eventually they could link together gadgets like smart phones with everyday objects, which will then be able to make decisions with minimal human intervention.
We’ve all found ourselves in a tight situation when the economy is slow and we need work as soon as possible. But now that things are looking up, it might be time to look for a position that offers more for what you have to offer now that you have a steady check coming in.Everyone Else Is Getting Bonuses… Before you go to your boss with a request for more money, it pays to know just where your salary falls. Is your boss paying you what you deserve? Are they getting away with paying you pennies for premium work? You might be surprised at what you find after doing a little research.So what do you do if your paycheck is a lot lighter than it should be? If asking for a raise doesn’t work, it might be time to move on. Now that the job market is looking better, putting your resume in somewhere else might be the way to finally get paid the money you deserve. Here are sure signs you’re leaving much-deserved money on the table.The Company Is Making More Money Also On News One: You’re Just Happy to Have a Job But no paycheck to match. If your employer isn’t willing to pay you more for more work, you can always put those added skills on a resume to look for the next position on the ladder with the title and salary you deserve. If you have something valuable to offer that you think is unique, but you’re not getting paid like it, it might be time to start going out on interviews. Present your skills to prospective employers until you find one who values what you have to bring to the table. Or consider starting your own business where you’re in charge of your hourly wage and don’t have to answer to anyone else.Your Benefits Package Is BustedIf your benefits package falls well below the average or your company still doesn’t offer one, there are two things you can do: look for a company that gives you better perks, or negotiate for a raise in benefits instead of dollars. Times can be tough, but just holding on to any job can be keeping you from the salary and success you deserve. Don’t quit the job you have, but in the meantime, do keep an eye out for positions you’re qualified for that offer a lot more.You Know Your Worth It might be more valuable in the long run. And some employers are more willing to give up vacation days and better dental benefits than more zeros on a check.You’ve Been at Your Job for a While If that happens to you frequently, it might be time to research salaries for your position in your area (or outside of it if you’re willing to move). Your company might be paying you less for your position — and that’s information you can use to argue for more pay.You Have a Lot More Responsibility When you’re a loyal team member your boss can take that for granted and your paycheck can suffer. If it’s been a while since you’ve tested your skills and years of experience on the job market, it might be time to go on a few interviews. You might be surprised at the bigger salary you can demand when you show that you’re willing to switch companies. 20 Tweets Dragging Roseanne Barr To A White Privilege Hell If other people have found greener pastures, consider joining them. A job that overworks and underpays most of its employees is unlikely to change for the better anytime soon.The Business Isn’t Doing Well And you’ve been taking longer lunch breaks and cutting corners to pay yourself back. It’s a sign that it’s time to look for another position that will motivate you to work to your potential by paying you what you deserve. But you’re not. If you feel you deserve one, it’s time to ask. If you’re still being overlooked it’s time to move on to where you’re more valued.You Haven’t Received a Raise in over a Year At the moment, going out on a job hunt doesn’t feel worth it for just a few extra thousand dollars a year. But if you consider long-term goals, you might think differently. Add a few thousand to your salary every few years in your career and those zeros can add up. Sometimes it pays to push for more now so it can pay off later.You Took a Job Below Market Salary Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on MadameNoire on August 9, 2016.It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that 40 percent of employees feel that they’re not getting paid enough. Most of us feel like we could use a little more money for the hours we put in at our jobs. But how do you know when you’re actually being underpaid and when it just feels like “I don’t get paid enough for this”? You’re Comfortable with Your Salary Just because they can’t pay you more doesn’t mean you can’t earn more elsewhere. There’s company loyalty and there are career goals. If you don’t feel like your job has the potential to get back on track, move on.SEE ALSO:What $100 Buys You From State To StateHow To Save Kids From Being Broke Adults LegacyProd Most positions come with annual increases in salary, even just to compensate for cost of living increases. If you haven’t had that conversation with your boss, you may be the one who needs to start it.You Just Know It’s Time to Go And yet, your paycheck has stayed the same. It might be time for a meeting to talk about being compensated for your contributions to the company’s success. Have examples and figures to prove what you’ve done already.Your Colleagues Are Living LargeYou end up at a dinner with someone with the same job as you and think “How can they afford all of this on a __ salary?” Everyone Else Has Already Quit
Many centuries before caviar became a prized — and pricey — delicacy served at restaurants, something amazingly similar was eaten by Stone Age humans out of their clay pots. That’s what a new study that was published in late 2018 in the journal PLOS One has concluded. The study featured protein analysis of a 6,000-year-old cooking pot, revealing traces of cooked fish roe. The pot was recovered from an archaeological site in Germany.Fragment of Endmesolithic pottery. Photo by 2018 Shevchenko et al. CC BY SA 4.0“For the study, researchers from Germany conducted a protein analysis of charred food remains caked to the shards of an Stone Age clay cooking vessel,” reported Mental Floss. “After isolating roughly 300 proteins and comparing them to that of boiled fresh fish roe and tissue, they were able to the identify the food scraps as carp roe, or eggs.”Prehistoric societies knew how to make full use of natural resources, the study authors pointed out.These groups of humans often lived close to rivers or lake shores. The scientists’ best guess is that these were hunter-gatherers who camped near lakes.Stone Age by Viktor VasnetsovTrying to understand how the Stone Age people used “aquatic resources,” the scientists assembled “zooarchaeological” materials (shellfish, bones, scales), processing tools, and related art objects like zoomorphic figurines, paintings, and adornments. They also analyzed the DNA recovered from ancient fishbones.According to Smithsonian, the lead author, Anna Shevchenko of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, “identified the elements of this prehistoric recipe by conducting protein analysis of charred food traces left on a clay cooking vessel dated to around 4000 B.C.”Common carpProteins on the clay that they analyzed matched those of the common carp (Cyprinus carpio).Specifically, the proteins are common in the fish eggs. Other proteins they looked at suggest that the pot also held fish flesh. The authors say that the long-ago diners may have prepared their delicacy by poaching roe in fish broth or water, using leaves to cover the pot, according to Nature.Fragment of ancient clay cooking pot. Photo by 2018 Shevchenko et al. CC BY SA 4.0The clay shards that they analyzed were recovered from Friesack 4 in Brandenburg, Germany, which is a Stone Age archaeological site that has yielded about 150,000 artifacts for study, including objects made from antlers, wood, and bone, since the date it was discovered in the 1930s.In the same study, the researchers report that they also found remnants of bone-in pork on a vessel recovered from the site.Through such research, scientists have confirmed that some of the foods we think of as modern delicacies have been around for thousands of years, not only fish eggs but also cheese, salad dressing, and bone broth.Electron microscopy of rim and basal foodcrusts from #3258 vessel. Photo by 2018 Shevchenko et al. CC BY SA 4.0This research technique falls under the burgeoning field of proteomics, or the large-scale study of protein sets, according to Smithsonian. Proteomics allows researchers to focus on species- or age-specific proteins, providing a higher level of detail than most archaeological assessments of historical food substances.The scientists said in a statement: “Burnt food particles are often found adhering to vessel shards on archaeological excavations. The analysis of their protein content helps us understand many aspects of prehistoric life.”To analyze a ceramic bowl of burnt food leftovers found at an archaeological site in the state of Brandenburg in Germany, scientists from the Brandenburg State Office for Historic Preservation and the Archaeological Museum (BLDAM) contacted the mass spectrometry experts at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden.Read another story from us: Unearthing Fast Food Joints and Takeaway Culture in Ancient Rome“The team led by Anna Shevchenko at the MPI-CBG developed a new proteomics analysis that can identify more than 300 proteins and differentiate ancient and contemporary proteins. In this way, the researchers found in the charred remains of prehistoric food the fish roe of a carp,” according to the statement.
ShareTweetSharePinPoster competition winners: Makayla George, Sydni Samuel and Joshua Dangleben from the Morne Jaune Primary SchoolThe Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT) has awarded the participants in the ‘My Business of the future’ poster competition and “A day in the life of an entrepreneur- shadow an entrepreneur experience” essay competition. The winners and participants were announced at a press briefing which was held at the Public Service Union (PSU) building on Tuesday.The winners of the poster competition are: Makayla George, Sydni Samuel and Joshua Dangleben from the Morne Jaune Primary School. Joy-Marie, Ciara Gregoire and Axya Isreal from the Convent Preparatory School came in 2nd while Regal Forest Fountaine from the Warner Primary School came 3rd.Kiah Charles and Darnail Augustine of the Convent Preparatory School were also recognized for participating in the poster competition.The Winner of the essay competition was Klazienne Morancie of the Arthur Waldron Seventh-Day Adventist Academy. Alana Luke of the Dominica State College (DSC) came 2nd and Kalyanna Deluge of DSC placed 3rd.The poster competition targeted primary school students who were instructed to create an image showcasing what business they would like to establish when they grow up. The essay competitions involved older persons who wrote about a Dominican entrepreneur that they admire.During Global Entrepreneur Week in November, the winners of the essay competition will get a chance to meet that entrepreneur and experience how their life is for a day.Phillip Rolle is Development Officer of DYBT EnterpriseAt the briefing, Development Officer of DYBT Enterprise, Phillip Rolle said 23 potential entrepreneurs benefited from the 13th Entrepreneurial Development Programme (EDP) which ran from may 13th to June 7th 2019.He said the first element of the EDP was the achievement motivation training (AMT) which was a one-week residential style programme to assist these young, business-minded people to understand their personality, leadership potential and to discover entrepreneurial spirit. That phase of the programme took place at Fort Shirley, Cabrits National Park, from May 13th to 17th.“The programme continued for the next three consecutive weeks at the PSU conference room and included intense modules on the essential elements of a business plan which, once approved by the DYBT, will facilitate the participants, access to credit at most local finical institutions, through a loan grantee arrangement,” Rolle stated.He said the beneficiaries also interfaced with resource persons and successful entrepreneurs and were provided with insight on taxes, banking, social security and business registration and other real business experiences, through panel discussions.Rolle said over 500 graduates of the DYBT programme now own successful businesses.
By Toni Gibbons NAVAJO COUNTY — From higher case loads to fewer prosecutors, Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon gave a bleak view of the county’s criminal justice future if a significant source of revenue, likeSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad August 21, 2018 County attorney pleads for jail district to continue services
Cross country added to Snowflake athletics By Toni Gibbons The Snowflake School District Governing Board unanimously approved the reinstatement of the Snowflake High School (SHS) cross country team as a funded sport at the meeting on Sept. 13. SuperintendentSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad September 19, 2018 Photo by Toni GibbonsSnowflake High School cross country Head Coach Lynn Johnson requested the Snowflake School District Governing Board reinstate the cross country team as a funded sport due to the increase of students participating.
By AP |Los Angeles | Published: June 5, 2019 7:27:38 am Top News 0 Comment(s) Garcia is being held on $25 million bail, officials said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Garcia had an attorney.A third follower, Alondra Ocampo, 36, was arrested in Los Angeles County and is being held at the sheriff’s Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood ahead of her arraignment Wednesday in Los Angeles. A fourth defendant, Azalea Rangel Melendez, remains at large.David Correa, a spokesman from the headquarters of La Luz del Mundo in Guadalajara, Jalisco, said in a phone call that they learned about the charges from the media and were waiting for official information.“We categorically deny those false accusations,” Correa said. “We know him personally and he is an honorable and honest man.” Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 22 at 2.43 pm: ISRO Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Worshippers raise their hands at La Luz Del Mundo, “Light of the World, Restoration of the Primitive Christian Church,” during the Holy Dinner celebration at the Hermosa Provincia Temple in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Source: AP/File)The leader and self-proclaimed apostle of La Luz del Mundo — a controversial church based in Mexico that claims over 1 million followers — has been charged with human trafficking and child rape, California officials said Tuesday. The church, whose name translates to The Light of the World, has been the subject of child sex abuse allegations for years but authorities in Mexico have never filed criminal charges.In May, an opera concert at Palacio de Bellas Artes, the main cultural venue in Mexico, generated controversy because in some places it was presented as a tribute to Garcia. Critics said a secular state such as Mexico shouldn’t use a public place for that purpose.The work, “The Guardian of the Mirror,” was broadcast on social networks and screened outside the Palace, with the church’s followers in the audience.La Luz del Mundo denied that it was an homage and said the opinions expressed in social networks were not promoted by the institution. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 22 at 2.43 pm: ISRO P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Best Of Express Joaquin Garcia and another follower of the church, 24-year-old Susana Medina Oaxaca, were arrested Monday after landing at Los Angeles International Airport, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office said.Garcia, 50, faces 26 counts of felony charges that range from human trafficking and production of child pornography to forcible rape of a minor. The charges detail a series of disturbing allegations involving three girls and one woman between 2015 and 2018 in Southern California.Garcia coerced the victims into performing sex acts by telling them that refusing would be going against God, authorities said.
Advertising Written by P Vaidyanathan Iyer | New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2019 10:10:57 am Recently, the Cabinet cleared Adani Enterprise’s bid for the lease of three airports — Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru — operated by Airports Authority of India on a public-private partnership basis. Adani would carry out the operations, management and development of the airports for 50 years. BSNL offers cashback up to 25%, free Amazon Prime on broadband plans More Explained On list: BSNL, GAIL, state bank assetsAN INTER-MINISTERIAL committee of the government will soon recommend a second list of PSU assets, including pipelines of GAIL, mobile towers of BSNL and MTNL, and ATMs of state-owned banks, that could be monetised to raise resources for fresh investment by these undertakings. Advertising In the first round, the IMC had approved and submitted a list of 19 assets for monetisation to the government. These included 12 sports stadiums (three of Railways — one in Delhi and two in Visakhapatnam), five of Sports Authority of India (Delhi), two of ONGC (one each in Ahmedabad and Vadodara), one of BPCL in Mumbai, and one of RINL in Visakhapatnam.Also on the first list were NTPC’s Badarpur Thermal Power Plant in Delhi, ITDC’s Ashoka Hotel in Delhi, and four mountain railway properties in Darjeeling, Matheran, Nilgiris and Kalka-Shimla. It also included 18 central government holiday homes across India, which are currently under the Directorate of Estates.Also Read | Merger of three PSU general insurance companies to get ‘serious push’ this fiscalAccording to senior officials, in many cases of asset monetisation and recycling, the idea is to give the funds raised back to the company itself. “To beat the slowdown, we need the private sector to restart investment. If PSUs start spending, it will give confidence to the private sector to make fresh investments, which can set in motion a virtuous cycle of investment,” an official said. Advertising “The money raised by leasing such a large tower network can be used to at least pay back the small and medium enterprises to which BSNL owes significant sums. The government need not provide funds from the Budget for this,” said an official.State-owned banks have vast ATM networks, although mergers between some have led to a marginal decline. In 2017-18, public sector banks had 1.45 lakh ATMs, 3,000 less than the previous year. Private sector banks, on the contrary, added about 1,500 ATMs last year, taking the total number to 60,145.“The IMC is still discussing with relevant departments on how best to utilise the large ATM network of public sector banks. Can they be pooled? Will it be possible to hive it off? How best can these assets be recycled and monetised?” said sources.The IMC is encouraged by two big asset sale decisions taken by the government over the last year or so. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) decided to auction nine projects last year. Australian capital fund manager Macquarie won these by offering an upfront payment of Rs 9,400 crore. Macquarie is required to collect toll, and operate and maintain these projects for 30 years, after which the assets will be handed back to NHAI. The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and comprising the Finance Secretary and Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), has already held three-four rounds of meetings with administrative ministries to push through the second lot of assets for recycling and monetisation.The IMC has discussed hiving off the pipeline and tower businesses of GAIL and BSNL, for second wave of asset monetisation respectively, and leasing them out to private players. It is also considering ways to utilise the large ATM network of state-owned banks.“This is the only way to raise money for big investments by government companies,” said an official, who did not wish to be named. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Taking stock of monsoon rain Officials noted that asset recycle and monetisation should not be confused with disinvestment. In disinvestment, the government offloads or sells part of its ownership, whereas in asset monetisation, the ownership remains with the government — the underlying assets are leased on a long-term basis to private players.For instance, GAIL had a network of around 11,400 km of natural gas high-pressure trunk pipelines with a pan-India capacity to handle volumes of around 206 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metres per day), as on March 31, 2018. However, average gas transmission during the last financial year was only 105 mmscmd, roughly 50 per cent of capacity.The pipelines can be handed over to private players on long-term lease, and the funds raised could be used by the PSU to expand its national pipeline network.While BSNL leases out some of its mobile towers, it has been at a slow pace. Given its country-wide network — 67,279 towers till September 2018 — it leased out only 1,415 to other telecom service providers and earned Rs 336 crore. Hiving this off to a separate business, like what many private telecom players had done, will attract investors.Read | Centre readies list of land assets for disinvestment Best Of Express Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Over 1,000 mobile towers of BSNL not functional over non-payment of energy bills: Ravi Shankar Prasad Related News BSNL is offering broadband consumers 5GB daily data free of cost 16 Comment(s)
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 19 2018Parents educated beyond high school invest more in family health care, reducing the likelihood of adverse medical conditions despite differences in family income and health insurance, according to a recent Rutgers study that appeared in the Southern Economic Journal.The study, led by Alan Monheit and Irina Grafova, at Rutgers School of Public Health, examined the association between parental education and family health care spending in single-mother and two-parent families based on data from the 2004 to 2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).Related StoriesPersistent poverty endangers health in 20% of UK childrenMaking Bacterial Infections a Thing of the Past for Chronic Respiratory ConditionsB. Braun awarded prestigious quality mark by Royal College of Surgeons of EnglandThey found that parental education beyond 12 years is associated with increases in family health care spending and decreases in specific health conditions and poor health status, including hypertension, diabetes, and asthma.According to Monheit and Grafova, higher parental education was associated with increased total health care spending on both children and parents, and was also associated with sizable increases on ambulatory care spending for both family types.For instance, compared to single-mother families in which a mother lacks a high school diploma, single-mother families in which a mother is college educated spend an additional $1,000 annually toward family ambulatory health care.The study also found that families headed by single mothers who had higher levels of education spent more for prescription drugs and dental care while two-parent families with more education spent more for dental care and mental health services.”Our study confirms the important association between the educational attainment of parents and the family’s access to and use of health care services,” said Monheit.The study’s findings support the well-established “Grossman model of health demand,” in which health is a “good” that is inherited and increased by investments beyond the price of medical care, and depreciates over time as someone’s health naturally deteriorates over time. This study thus supports the critical association between education and monetary investments in health. Source:https://news.rutgers.edu/kids-health-outcomes-have-more-do-parents-level-education-income/20181017#.W8dbOBNKiBs
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 5 2018In an effort to prevent some of the world’s most lethal diseases, an international research team spanning five continents and led by Montana State University will study bats in Australia, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Ghana.Raina Plowright, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in MSU’s College of Agriculture and College of Letters and Science, is leading a project to unravel the complex causes of bat-borne viruses that have recently made the jump to humans, causing concern among global health officials.The research team — which includes more than 20 scientists from Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Cambridge, UCLA, Penn State, Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, Griffith University in Australia and five other universities and institutions — is supported by a $10 million cooperative agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, an independent agency of the U.S. Defense Department that funds ambitious and potentially groundbreaking projects.”This research brings together one of the biggest teams in the world working on emerging bat pathogens,” Plowright said, adding that the project will study how the viruses are transmitted at the cellular level as well as on the scale of whole landscapes. “Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is find new solutions that can prevent people from getting sick.”Collectively called henipaviruses, the bat-borne pathogens were first identified in 1994 after an Australian outbreak of Hendra virus killed a dozen horses and their owner. Outbreaks of a related virus, called Nipah, have since resulted in hundreds of deaths in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India.What most worries health experts, according to Plowright, is the potential for henipaviruses to cause future pandemics if human-to-human transmissions increase or new henipaviruses emerge that are more transmissible among humans. The diseases are highly lethal — up to three-quarters of infected individuals die — and there is no cure or vaccine for human infections.According to Peter Hudson, Willaman Professor of Biology at Penn State University and the project’s co-principal investigator, insights into how and why henipaviruses jump to humans could also help prevent outbreaks of other bat-borne diseases such as SARS and Ebola, which killed about 11,000 people in West Africa from 2014 to 2016. Even as health workers struggle to treat Ebola victims and contain human-to-human transmission, scientists haven’t fully understood the human-bat interactions at the root cause of the problem, he said.”I think we’re on the edge of finding out,” Hudson said.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairDogs and cats relieve academic stress and lift students’ mood, according to a new studyCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentPlowright’s prior research indicates that ecological changes such as deforestation may play a significant role in causing henipavirus outbreaks. For instance, her team found that incidents of Hendra virus in Australia are linked to bats flocking to urban and agricultural areas in response to loss of food sources in native forests, where the flying mammals play an important role in pollination. Those periods of nutritional stress are thought to suppress the bats’ immune systems and cause the animals to excrete viruses in urine and other body fluids. When horses eat contaminated grass beneath the trees where the bats feed, they become infected and pass the disease to humans. Similarly, Nipah virus in Bangladesh is transmitted to humans when bats feed on date-palm sap that is harvested and sold for human consumption.”Henipaviruses are also found in bats across Africa and Asia, and we don’t know how many are spilling over into other animals and people in places with poor surveillance,” Plowright said.Samples taken from the bats at the study locations will be sent to Rocky Mountain Labs, the National Institutes of Health facility in Hamilton, Montana, that is specially equipped to study emerging pathogens. Researchers there will inventory the viruses, document their genetic makeup and use controlled cell culture experiments to assess their ability to infect humans.The team will analyze the bat samples for proteins that indicate the ability of the bat immune system to respond to viruses as well as environmental stress, potentially providing insights into how the diseases spread to humans. Meanwhile, field observations and satellite imagery will be used to track environmental variables such as changes in land-use. The changes will be studied for links to the bats’ having closer contact with humans and to the animals’ immune response as a result of nutritional stress, according to Plowright.By putting together all of those pieces, Plowright said, the research team will develop mathematical models that predict outbreaks based on the presence of henipaviruses and environmental conditions that stress bat populations. That would give health officials information that could help them prepare for, or even prevent, future outbreaks, she said.According to Plowright, one solution to these deadly diseases may be simpler than once thought: protecting bat habitat or even restoring native food sources such as flowering trees in areas away from people. “We think we might be able to solve this problem by solving the root cause,” she said. Source:http://www.montana.edu/news/18219/msu-project-to-prevent-bat-borne-diseases-wins-10-million-grant
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 21 2018Opioids for pain management in pediatric patients are sometimes necessary but their use has raised concerns about the effects of opioids and later abuse.This analysis examined opioid prescribing rates using information from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2006 to 2015 on more than 69,000 emergency department visits for patients younger than 18. Prescribing rates decreased from 8.2 percent in 2006-2010 to 6.3 percent in 2011-2015. Prescribing seemed to vary by region of the country, race, age and payment. For example, opioid prescribing rates were higher in the West; white patients and patients 13 to 17 were more likely to get prescriptions; and patients using Medicaid were less likely to get opioid prescriptions. The results of this observational study suggest inconsistencies in opioid prescribing requiring further research. Source:https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/study-looks-at-ed-visits-to-examine-opioid-prescribing-in-pediatric-patients/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 23 2019Diabetes mellitus is associated with various health problems including decline in skeletal muscle mass. A research group led by Professor Wataru Ogawa at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine revealed that elevation of blood sugar levels leads to muscle atrophy and that two proteins, WWP1 and KLF15, play key roles in this phenomenon. These findings were published on February 21 in the online edition of JCI Insight.Muscle mass decline associated with aging impairs our physical activity, making us susceptible to a variety of health problems and thus leading to shortened lifespans. Age-dependent muscle mass decline and the consequent impairment of physical activity is known as “sarcopenia”, a serious health burden in aging societies.We already knew that patients with diabetes mellitus are prone to muscle loss as they age, but an underlining mechanism for this phenomenon remains unclear. Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by insufficient action of the hormone insulin. Insulin not only lowers blood sugar levels, but promotes the growth and proliferation of cells; insufficient action of insulin has been thought to result in the suppression of growth and proliferation of muscle cells, which in turn contribute to the decline in skeletal muscle mass.Professor Ogawa’s research team made the surprising discovery that a rise in blood sugar levels triggers the decline in muscle mass, and uncovered the important roles of two proteins in this phenomenon. They found that the abundance of transcription factor KLF15 increased in skeletal muscle of diabetic mice, and mice that lack KLF15 specifically in muscle were resistant to diabetes-induced skeletal muscle mass decline (Figure 1). These results indicate that diabetes-induced muscle loss is attributable to increased amounts of KLF15.Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useIntermittent fasting may protect against type 2 diabetesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesThe team investigated the mechanism for how the abundance of KLF15 is increased in skeletal muscle of diabetic mice. They found that elevation of blood sugar levels slows down the degradation of KLF15 protein, which leads to an increased amount of this protein. Professor Ogawa’s team also discovered that a protein called WWP1 plays a key role in regulating the degradation of KLF15 protein.WWP1 is a member of proteins called ubiquitin ligase. When a small protein called “ubiquitin” binds to other proteins, the degradation of the ubiquitin-bound proteins is accelerated. Under normal conditions, WWP1 promotes the degradation of KLF15 protein by binding ubiquitins to KLF15, keeping cellular KLF15 abundance low. When blood sugar levels rise, the amount of WWP1 decreases, which in turn decelerates the degradation of KLF15 and thus the increase in the cellular abundance of KLF15.This study uncovered for the first time that elevation of blood sugar levels triggers muscle mass decline, and that the two proteins WWP1 and KLF15 contribute to diabetes-induced muscle mass decline.As well as diabetes mellitus, other conditions such as physical inactivity or ageing result in muscle mass loss. The proteins KLF15 and WWP, which have been shown to contribute to diabetes-induced muscle mass loss, may also be related to other causes of muscle loss. Currently, no drug is available for the treatment of muscle loss. Professor Ogawa comments: “If we develop a drug that strengthens the function of WWP1 or weakens the function of KLF15, it would lead to a groundbreaking new treatment”. Source:http://www.kobe-u.ac.jp/research_at_kobe_en/NEWS/news/2019_02_22_01.html
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 5 2019Scientists at the University of East Anglia will investigate the link between sleep and dementia at a new state-of-the-art sleep unit opening today (4 April).Sleep disturbances are common in dementia. But it is not yet known whether Alzheimer’s causes sleep problems, or whether sleep problems could be an early predictor of the disease.Pioneering research at UEA’s new sleep and brain research unit will investigate this big question.The research team hope that treating sleep disturbances early on could help slow down the progression of the disease – particularly as there are no other treatments available which do this.The first study to take place in the unit will investigate whether healthy people who are at increased genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s could be more vulnerable to sleep loss and how their body clock is affected.Volunteers spending a night in the unit can expect to stay in a modern hotel-like en-suite room.But instead of a relaxing break – their every move will be overlooked by a team of sleep specialists. They will also be hooked up to sensors measuring brain activity and take part in thinking, memory, balance, co-ordination, and attention tests throughout their stay.Lead researcher Dr Alpar Lazar, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences, said: “We live in an ageing society, and sleep disturbances and dementia are two significant health problems in older adults.”A symptom of Alzheimer’s is poor sleep. Good sleep is central to maintaining cognitive performance – such as attention and memory as well as general brain health.”Sleep deficits have been shown to be early markers in certain brain disorders.Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionNew app created to help people reduce exposure to anticholinergic medicationsWhy women who work are less likely to develop dementia”But is it Alzheimer’s causing sleep problems, or do sleep problems modulate or contribute to the disease process?”Recent evidence suggest that sleep could be actively involved in the disease process. Trying to identify the cause of early sleep problems in people who have been recently diagnosed or who have genetic predispositions towards Alzheimer’s and the impact of these sleep problems on the brain will help us determine whether improving sleep could potentially slow down the disease process.”In this first study, we will look at healthy people who may, or may not, have an increased genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future.”Volunteers will undertake a screening process, including genetic and psychological testing, wearing a small wrist-worn device to measure sleep and activity at home, and keeping a sleep diary.”They will then take part in a three-night lab session under one of two conditions -including one night complete sleep deprivation, or taking multiple short naps.”It may sound gruelling, but we hope it will help us understand more about the links between sleep, the body clock and the genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This will help design future studies investigating specific sleep related interventions that could potentially slow down the progression of the disease.”Dr Lazar has been awarded a Seed Award in Science from the Wellcome Trust, which helps researchers develop novel ideas. Local businesses including Dovetail Furnishings, Hughes Electrical, Mattressman and Warings Lifestore have donated gifts-in-kind to help furnish the research unit. Source:https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/dedicated-sleep-and-dementia-research-unit-launches-at-uea