A MAGICal Encounter

first_imgby, Kyrié Carpenter, Managing EditorTweetShare5ShareEmail5 Shares“Well, there is magic in the air!”My Lyft driver greeted me with enthusiasm. Her last ride had dropped off at the same terminal and door I was waiting at—a gig economy mini miracle.Little did she know MAGIC really was in the air for me. I had just landed from spending a week working on the MAGIC (Multi-Ability, multi-Generational, Intentional, Communities) pilot project.“Where you coming in from?” she asked me.“Evansville, Indiana,” I replied.“Just a visit then?”“Nope, coming home. Was out there for work.”“Oh, what’s it like out there?”“Pretty cool. College town. Quite a few alumni have stuck around and opened local businesses. There is a sense things are possible there. Everyone is really nice and friendly.”“So are you a professor then?”I told her not exactly, then pivoted. I did teach a class that week, and had guest lectured in several others. I guess I was technically an adjunct professor? I told her about my background in psychology and how I do a lot of work with aging and ageism. I rambled for way too long. I’m exceedingly terrible at describing what I do.Finally, she saved me from myself: “So you’re an advocate.”I told her she was right. She congratulated me and commented on how there were so many young people in San Francisco. She quickly added that she loves young people, loves being around them, but sometimes feels like they don’t know how to act around her.San Francisco is known for attracting young people. The city is obsessed with worshiping youth to the point trying to defeat aging, youthful blood transfusions, so-called aging cures, cryogenics and more are just the headline worthy tip of the iceberg. I was shocked to discover that census data does not back this perception up. In fact, the data shows that 14.8% of San Franciscans are over 65 compared with 15.2% nationally, not a striking difference. Our problem is not that we don’t have older adults. They are here. So why don’t we see them?“Today is actually my birthday,” my Lyft driver continued. “I am 68.”I told her happy birthday, that 68 is an awesome age to be. She replied that she normally doesn’t tell people her age, because they often treat her differently once they find out.We talked about ageism: sometimes the most ageist people are older adults who unconsciously speak disparagingly of themselves and their peers. (Check your own implicit age bias here) She said she feels assumptions are placed on her for being 68 years old, that she is judged for going to certain trendy bars and restaurants, doing stereotypically young activites and wearing fashionable fitting clothes. We talked about why it matters that people of different ages hang out together, starting with the obvious exchange of wisdom for wonder. We mused about how “aging gracefully” falls short when we set unrealistic expectations on what “graceful” means. We concluded that the well-worn phrase “age is just a number” doesn’t honor the life that has been lived. We ended up with more questions than answers.I had spent the previous week with people dedicated to figuring out how to build inclusive communities, no longer segregated by age and ability. It was invigorating. There’s real momentum in Evansville. But my ride home from the airport showed me how important this work is in communities across the country, including my own. That’s why I’m so excited to see what comes of the MAGIC pilot project and where it will go next.At the end of our ride, my driver asked me what I’d wish for her 68th birthday.“I wish for you to celebrate each year you have lived,” I responded. “The joys and the sorrows. Celebrate all that you are that has come with age, and all that you are that has nothing to do with your age. Know that your value comes from so much more than how many times you have circled the sun.”Related PostsPower-Up FridayWhat Are Old People ForThe Hillside Piano PlayerSandra Wood, the activity coordinator for Hillside Residential Care Home in Swansea, England attended the Eden Associate course taught by our Regional Coordinators for UK and Ireland, June Burgess and Paul Bailey. According to Sandra, this is what happened when she returned to work. “After spending a few days with…Death as Our GiftJuly 2, 2011 – Remembering Bob on the Two-Year Anniversary of his passing…. I received the phone call at about 5:30 am. It was time to say good-bye. I knew that the end was near, but we are never really ready to say good-bye to a loved one. I had…TweetShare5ShareEmail5 SharesTags: Ageism birthday lyft Questions: Aging San Franciscolast_img read more

Grip strength of children predicts future cardiometabolic health

first_img Source:https://www.baylor.edu Aug 13 2018While other studies have shown that muscle weakness as measured by grip strength is a predictor of unhealthy outcomes — including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, disability and even early mortality — this is the first to do so for adolescent health over time, a Baylor University researcher said.”What we know about today’s kids is that because of the prevalence of obesity, they are more at risk for developing pre-diabetes and cardiovascular disease than previous generations,” said senior author Paul M. Gordon, Ph.D., professor and chair of health, human performance and recreation in Baylor’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.”This study gives multiple snapshots over time that provide more insight about grip strength and future risks for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” he said. “Low grip strength could be used to predict cardiometabolic risk and to identify adolescents who would benefit from lifestyle changes to improve muscular fitness.”The study — “Grip Strength is Associated with Longitudinal Health Maintenance and Improvement in Adolescents” — is published in the Journal of Pediatrics. It was conducted by researchers at Baylor University, the University of Michigan and the University of New England.Students tracked in the study were assessed in the fall of their fourth-grade year and at the end of the fifth grade. Using the norms for grip strengths in boys and girls, researchers measured the students’ grips in their dominant and non-dominant hands with an instrument called a handgrip dynamometer.Researchers found that initially, 27.9 percent of the boys and 20.1 percent of the girls were classified as weak. Over the course of the study, boys and girls with weak grips were more than three times as likely to decline in health or maintain poor health as those who were strong.Researchers also screened for and analyzed other metabolic risk factor indicators, including physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition (the proportion of fat and fat-free mass), blood pressure, family history, fasting blood lipids and glucose levels.Related StoriesPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeResearch reveals genetic cause of deadly digestive disease in children”Even after taking into account other factors like cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity and lean body mass, we continue to see an independent association between grip strength and both cardiometabolic health maintenance and health improvements,” Gordon said.While much emphasis has been placed on the benefits of a nutritious diet and aerobic activity, this study suggests that greater emphasis needs to be placed on improving and maintaining muscular strength during adolescence.If someone with a strong grip develops an even stronger grip, “we don’t necessarily see a drastic improvement in that individual’s health,” Gordon noted. “It’s the low strength that puts you at risk.”Given that grip strength is a simple indicator for all-cause death, cardiovascular death and cardiovascular disease in adults, future research is certainly warranted to better understand how weakness during childhood tracks into and throughout adulthood,” he said. “Testing grip strength is simple, non-invasive and can easily be done in a health care professional’s office. It has value for adults and children.”*An estimated 17.2 percent of U.S. children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese and another 16.2 percent are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Excess weight carries a greater lifetime risk of diabetes and premature heart disease. While the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that youths perform at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily — including vigorous activity at least three days a week — fewer than a quarter of U.S. children do so, according to a report by the nonprofit National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.last_img read more

Food scientists turn soy milk residue into healthy probiotic drink

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 27 2018Food scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have given okara – the residue from the production of soy milk and tofu, and is usually discarded – a new lease of life by turning it into a refreshing drink that contains live probiotics, dietary fiber, free isoflavones and amino acids. By encapsulating these nutrients in a beverage, they can be easily absorbed into the body, and promote gut health.Created using a patented, zero-waste process, the tasty drink can be stored at room temperature for up to six weeks and still retain high counts of live probiotics to better deliver health effects. This is unlike commercially available probiotic drinks which are mainly dairy-based and require refrigeration to maintain their levels of live probiotics. These beverages also have an average shelf-life of four weeks, and do not contain free isoflavones, which have a host of health benefits.”Okara has an unpleasant smell and taste – it smells fishy, tastes bland, and has a gritty mouthfeel. Our breakthrough lies in our unique combination of enzymes, probiotics and yeast that work together to make okara less gritty, and give it a fruity aroma while keeping the probiotics alive. Our final product offers a nutritious, non-dairy alternative that is eco-friendly,” said project supervisor Associate Professor Shao-Quan Liu, who is from the Food Science and Technology Program at the NUS Faculty of Science.Turning unwanted soy pulp into a nutritious drinkAbout 10,000 tonnes of okara are produced yearly in Singapore. As it turns bad easily, causing it to give out an unpleasant smell and a sour taste, okara is usually discarded by soy food producers as food waste.The idea of using fermentation to produce a drink from okara was first conceived by Ms Weng-Chan Vong, a PhD student from the NUS Food Science and Technology Program. She recounted, “Fermented soy products, such as soybean paste and miso, are common in Asian food culture. When I was young, my grandparents explained to me how these fermented foods are made. The fermentation process was like magic to me – it transforms bland food into something delicious.”Related StoriesPoor sleep linked to a lack of essential vitamins and mineralsProbiotic containing common gut bacterium could halve cardiovascular disease ratesYeast species thrives, despite losing DNA repair genes years ago”During my undergraduate studies at NUS, I worked on a project to examine how soy milk can be infused into different food items, and I realized that a huge amount of okara was being discarded. It occurred to me that fermentation can be one good way to convert unwanted okara into something that is nutritious and tastes good,” she added.Under the guidance of Assoc Prof Liu, Ms Vong took a year to devise a novel recipe that converts okara into a beverage that is fruity and refreshing. She experimented with 10 different yeasts and four different enzymes before coming up with an ideal combination.The final recipe uses the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei L26, the Viscozyme ® L enzyme and the Lindnera saturnus NCYC 22 yeast to convert the okara into a nutritious drink that achieves a minimum of 1 billion probiotics per serving, which is the current recommendation by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics to achieve maximum health benefits. The drink, which takes about one and a half days to produce, also contains free isoflavones, which are naturally occurring antioxidants that maintain cardiovascular health, as well as dietary fiber and amino acids.Next step: Refining the recipe for commercializationThe NUS researchers have filed a patent for their novel technique, and are currently experimenting with different enzymes and microorganisms to refine their recipe. They are also looking to collaborate with industry partners to introduce the drink to consumers.”In recent years, the food and beverage industry has been intensifying efforts to develop products that appeal to consumers who are increasingly health conscious. Our new product offers soy food manufacturers a viable solution to reduce waste, and also enables them to provide a healthy and eco-friendly beverage for their customers,” said Assoc Prof Liu. Source:http://news.nus.edu.sg/press-releases/healthy-probiotic-drink-soy-pulplast_img read more

Will lazy fish benefit most from new US marine megareserve

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Still, conservation groups are applauding the move. “This marks an important day for ocean conservation in this country,” said Matt Rand, the leader of the Pew Charitable Trust’s Global Ocean Legacy project, which has advocated for the expansion, in a statement. “We hope the steps taken today by the U.S. government will accelerate similar actions by a growing list of coastal nations to protect more of the world’s great ocean treasures.”Marine researchers predict the move will benefit a vast array of marine creatures by helping protect relatively remote and intact ecosystems. But they note any benefits could be decades away for some of the region’s most heavily exploited fish, including certain species of tuna. And how fast those populations recover could depend partly on just how “lazy” some of the fish are.In general, relatively little fishing occurs in the remote waters covered by the new reserve. Few fishing boats ply the waters around the atolls of Wake and Johnston, east of Hawaii, where fish abundance is naturally low. A fleet does target the more tuna-rich waters around the islands of Howland, Baker, Palmyra, Kingman Reef, and Jarvis. But those areas produce less than 4% of their total catch (mostly bigeye and skipjack tuna), according to figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).Tuna species that don’t stray far from the reserve during their lives could see quick benefits. For example, recent studies suggest that more than 90% of yellowfin tuna found around the main Hawaiian Islands remain in the region. (Yellowfin populations are estimated to be at 38% of historic levels.)The reserve’s immediate impact could be more muted, however, for fish species that routinely travel vast distances, and so spend relatively little time in the new preserve, biologists say. In particular, recent tagging studies suggest that bigeye tuna—prized for sushi and down to just 16% of historic populations—“do not exhibit any prolonged residency in this or any other area of the equatorial central Pacific,” wrote John Hampton, director of the Oceanic Fisheries Programme at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Nouméa, in an e-mail. (The group advises Pacific states on how to fish sustainably.)Even within mobile species, however, the reserve could help, researchers say. That’s because fish are like people: Some like to travel, and others are homebodies. For bigeye tuna, the proportion of lazy fish is unknown, but “the point is that some will [stay within the reserve, and] they will produce more offspring during a longer life than those who don’t,” says fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The lazy fish may also “pass on their short-travel habits to their offspring, who will grow in numbers.”Indeed, over many years, modeling studies suggest the reserve could even encourage the evolution of “lazier” but healthier fish populations, says fish geneticist Jon Mee, a former colleague of Pauly’s who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary in Canada. “We have lots of evidence that mobility has a genetic basis and is inherited to a fairly high degree,” he says. And if fish “that move more, die more, you will get evolution.” In simulations that Mee is developing, lazy individuals living in protected areas can have higher reproduction rates than their more mobile—and more vulnerable—relatives, leading to larger but less mobile populations.Another long-term benefit provided by the new reserve could be to make fish populations less vulnerable to climate change, says Patrick Lehodey, an oceanographer at the French satellite company CLS in Toulouse, France. In a recent study published in Climatic Change, he and colleagues found that by 2060, waters in the Central Pacific, where the reserves are located, will become warm enough to attract more skipjack tuna from the Western Pacific, where populations are now usually denser and fishing is more intense.Such results suggest there are few downsides to expanding marine reserves, says Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist at Oregon State University and NOAA administrator from 2009 to 2013.  “It makes sense to protect an area before it’s seriously degraded,” she says.See here for more on conservation science.*Update, 25 September, 7:30 a.m.: This story has been updated to clarify how the final White House plan differs from the proposal presented in June.*Update, 25 September, 11:46 a.m.: The lead has been corrected; the new additions will fall short of doubling the total area of the world’s marine reserves. The details of the expansion have been clarified. Jane Lubchenco’s quote has also been updated. President Barack Obama has moved forward with a plan to vastly expand three remote U.S. reserves in the central Pacific Ocean into a massive national monument.In June, White House officials announced that they were considering expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM), which covers about 225,000 square kilometers. On Wednesday evening, the White House announced that Obama will sign a proclamation expanding the monument to about 1.27 million square kilometers. Obama is acting under authority granted by the Antiquities Act, which allows a president to create a national monument with the stroke of a pen, and without action by Congress.The total is somewhat smaller than a proposal to protect some 1.8 million square kilometers that the White House floated in June. Obama will extend fishing bans and other monument protections to include the entire U.S. exclusive economic zone around the islands of Jarvis, Johnson, and Wake (the zone extends to up to 200 nautical miles offshore). But the White House did not advance plans to greatly expand protections around the islands of Palmyra, Howland, and Baker, which are targeted by tuna fishing boats. Making that move would have allowed the new U.S. monument to bump up against another megareserve, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and create the world’s largest swath of ocean closed to fishing. Fishing groups had opposed closing the tuna fishing areas, saying it would have created economic hardship. Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

Virus found in child mummy suggests recent rise of deadly smallpox

first_imgAncient rashes that scar the faces of Egyptian mummies have long been cited as evidence that smallpox ravaged the region more than 3000 years ago. But now, a study of viral DNA extracted from a 17th century child mummy—the oldest known sample of any virus—suggests that the deadliest form of smallpox emerged in humans much more recently, just in time to hitchhike with New World explorers and decimate populations around the world.If the team’s analysis is right, it would “challenge many of the current beliefs about one of the most notorious pathogens in human history,” says historian Kyle Harper of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, who was not involved with the work.The team behind the new study recovered the smallpox virus by accident. Researchers in Lithuania and Finland hoping to gather DNA from a more obscure virus collected tissue from the mummified remains of a young child found within the mid-17th century crypt of the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit of Vilnius. The child had no visible pox marks, but when the researchers sent the sample to the ancient DNA lab of Hendrik Poinar at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, his postdoc Ana Duggan got a big surprise. The sample was rich with variola, the virus that causes smallpox, the team reports today in Current Biology. The large quantity of the virus allowed the researchers to construct a high-quality copy of its genome, the first from such an old virus. (The most ancient pathogens sequenced have been from bacterial DNA, including one that caused the plague 1600 years ago.) Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img The team was also surprised to find that the child mummy’s ancient viral DNA shared many distinct features with modern strains of the variola virus, including several mutations, suggesting they were closely related. The researchers built a family tree of 49 modern strains and the child’s ancient one, and traced the evolution of all of them back to a common ancestor that arose between 1530 and 1654 C.E.This date is remarkably recent—only a hundred years or so before the time of the child mummy, and long after the dynasties of Egyptian pharaohs. It’s also much later than other accounts of epidemics, such as pustulous rashes from fourth century China and the Antonine Plague in Rome in 165 C.E., which have been attributed to smallpox by historians. These people may have suffered from chickenpox or measles instead, says Poinar, or from a different type of less deadly pox, which has since gone extinct.But where did this new, deadly strain of variola come from in the 16th and 17th centuries? One possibility is that it could have lurked in an animal host and jumped to humans. Alternately, a mutation may have arisen in variola in humans that made it more deadly. If it did come from animals, it could still persist there, with the potential of reinfecting humans again, Poinar says.The study “raises interesting questions about the diversity of strains that were present in the prevaccination era,” says Anne Stone, a biological anthropologist at Arizona State University in Tempe. The first step in solving this mystery will be to replicate the team’s result, says Ann Carmichael, an emeritus historian at Indiana University in Bloomington. She herself scoured death records in Italy and France and could find no real evidence of epidemics of smallpox before the 17th century. Carmichael predicts ancient DNA researchers will embark on a similar quest. “Everywhere there are mummies, they’re going to be looking.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

This robotic exoskeleton could help prevent falls in the elderly

first_imgThis robotic exoskeleton moves the wearer’s legs to restore balance during a fall. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) This robotic exoskeleton could help prevent falls in the elderly 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 The words “robotic exoskeleton” probably bring to mind futuristic soldiers and sci-fi flicks like Aliens, Iron Man, or The Wrong Trousers. But despite military efforts to create such technology, it might show up somewhere less glamorous first: nursing homes. Researchers in Italy and Switzerland have developed a prototype device that can detect a slip in progress and help its wearer avoid falling. If perfected, a system like this could one day help millions of elderly people and amputees maintain balance and avoid serious tumbles.As people age, they naturally become weaker and less agile. Add disease or injury, and falling becomes a worry with every step. And it can be more than an inconvenience—falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among the elderly. Instead of waiting for the inevitable, some researchers are trying to take preventive action with powered exoskeletons—braces for the legs with motorized joints that assist while walking. But the braces are usually bulky and slow, and most people don’t need their assistance with every step. So the researchers set out to solve that problem with a device that would take action only when needed.“It’s the first time that someone has rationally dealt with falls by having the robot collaborate with the person,” says David Reinkensmeyer, a biomechanical engineer at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the research. “It’s supercool.”center_img The new Active Pelvis Orthosis (APO) consists of a waist brace holding motors on the hips that move lightweight carbon-fiber links connected to thigh braces. It uses an algorithm that monitors leg movement; if the legs diverge from a natural gait in a way that suggests a slip, the motors apply force to help the legs counteract the slippage.To find out how it would work in people, its developers at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne outfitted eight elderly adults and two above-the-knee amputees (who wore prosthetic legs) with the device. The device testers walked on a custom treadmill split in two. Once in a while, the right or left half would jolt forward, simulating a foot slipping on ice or a loose rug. Sometimes the APO was on, sometimes it was off, and sometimes the study participants didn’t wear the APO at all. Motion capture cameras recorded their limb positions, creating stick-figure animations for analysis.After the start of a slip, the APO reacted within a third of a second, correcting a person’s gait for a quarter of a second. Stick figure analysis showed that—without the help of an additional restraining harness to prevent real falls—they would have fallen without help from the APO, the authors reveal today in Scientific Reports. What’s more, during normal walking, the APO, which weighs about 5 kilograms, had no effect on gait. “It’s a great example of trying a unique approach to exoskeleton control that’s having real results,” says Daniel Ferris, a biomedical engineer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who was not involved in the research. “I’m very excited about it.”The device doesn’t require much customization. After a user straps in, they program in their weight and take three steps. The device forms an internal model of their normal walking movement in just a couple of minutes. The device doesn’t completely replace a user’s reflexes, but merely amplifies their leg force by 20% or 30%. “It’s a nice example of a robot being synergistic with a person in an emergency situation,” Reinkensmeyer says.Ferris explains why no one has done this before: There’s no universal hardware on which to test control systems, so each lab has to build its own. And you need experts in electronics, mechanical engineering, control algorithms, and biomechanics. In addition, he says, researchers have previously focused on the “low-hanging fruit” of helping users walk steadily, without worrying about recovery from falls.Ferris thinks a device will be ready for the market in 10 years; Reinkensmeyer in just one or two. As part of the needed development to reach that goal, Silvestro Micera, one of the study authors, hopes to make the APO less bulky and untether it from the external computer that controls it. Future iterations will also include algorithms and motors to help with different types of falls, such as stumbling sideways, he says. If all goes well, your grandfather could become Iron Man before you do. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Hillary Sanctuary/EPFL By Matthew HutsonMay. 11, 2017 , 9:00 AMlast_img read more

Tiny spacecraft are breaking out of Earths orbit

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Tiny spacecraft are breaking out of Earth’s orbit Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Cheap, small satellites have swarmed into Earth orbit over the past decade, cutting the cost of studying our home planet from space. Now, these spacecraft, some no bigger than a briefcase, are becoming capable enough to venture into deep space—or at least the inner solar system. Two are halfway to Mars, more than a dozen planetary probes are in development, and scientists are coming up with ever more daring ideas for doing cheap, high-risk interplanetary science.”Planetary is definitely getting excited,” Lori Glaze, head of NASA’s planetary science division, said last week at a symposium on small deep-space probes at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Earlier this year, NASA began to accept proposals for a line of small planetary missions, with costs capped at $55 million. Glaze says 12 teams have submitted proposals, and the agency plans to select several finalists in February 2019. Europe, too, has plans for small planetary probes, also known as CubeSats for the cube-shaped modules from which they are built. “We see now the potential for interplanetary CubeSats,” says Roger Walker, the European Space Agency’s technology CubeSat manager in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.Small satellites can be assembled from low-cost components and released by the dozen from a single rocket. But systems key to interplanetary flight, including propulsion, communication, and navigation, have traditionally been too bulky to fit into a small package. Email NASA/JPL-CALTECH center_img By Eric HandAug. 23, 2018 , 11:45 AM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The Mars Cube One mission—the first interplanetary CubeSats—will coast past the Red Planet this fall. A mission called Mars Cube One (MarCO), twin craft launched in May along with the Mars InSight lander, is breaking that size barrier. Built from six standard, 10-centimeter cubes, they are meant to provide a communication relay for InSight as it descends to the surface. But Glaze says the craft, which passed the halfway point in their journey last week, are already pioneers. “These CubeSats have flown farther than any ever before,” she says. “They’ve already demonstrated the ability to do a comm relay.” An unfurled radio antenna panel, three times the size of the CubeSats themselves, transmits a trickle of data directly to Earth using the CubeSats’ limited solar power.MarCO also showcases a miniature guidance, navigation, and control system developed by Blue Canyon Technologies in Boulder, Colorado. The technology has helped make CubeSats attractive for space science, says Dan Hegel, Blue Canyon’s director for advanced development. “CubeSats were tumbling around, not doing much,” he says. “There was no motivation before to try and shrink your instrument.” The company shrank reaction wheels, gyroscopes, and star trackers into a system that sells for less than $150,000 and fits in half a cube.Propulsion is a lingering concern. The small craft may need to change course, or slow down to orbit a planet, moon, or asteroid. Although MarCO’s propulsion system occupies half of the craft, it holds only enough fuel to make small trajectory adjustments en route to Mars, and it squirts pressurized gas like a fire extinguisher, an inefficient approach. As a result, the CubeSats will helplessly coast past the Red Planet after completing their mission.CubeSats in Earth orbit have tested solar sails, thin mirrored foils that deliver a gentle push from the pressure of sunlight. Other developers are betting on solar electric propulsion systems. A device built by ExoTerra Resource in Littleton, Colorado, uses electricity from solar panels to bombard a xenon gas “fuel” with a beam of electrons, creating a charged plasma. An electric field shoots the plasma out the back, generating a feeble thrust. No bigger than a hockey puck, the device, called a Hall thruster, uses fuel much more efficiently than conventional rockets do, ExoTerra President Michael VanWoerkom says. “If you’re willing to wait longer to get there, you can package a lot of propellant into a very small space,” he says.A big test of propulsion technologies will come at the end of 2019, when NASA’s heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System, is due for its maiden voyage. It will carry 13 CubeSats, many of them focused on moon science. “Almost all are using different propulsion technologies,” says Goddard’s Barbara Cohen, principal investigator for one of the missions, Lunar Flashlight, an effort to confirm the presence of ice in permanently shadowed regions of polar craters by shining lasers into them.Better propulsion could help solve another problem facing planetary small satellites: a lack of rocket rides. CubeSats often piggyback on larger mission launches, but rideshares beyond low-Earth orbit are rare. Solar electric propulsion systems could help craft released into low-Earth orbits make an escape. A small satellite equipped with a Hall thruster could spiral out from Earth to the moon in a few months, VanWoerkom says. Reaching Mars would take a few years.Scientists are starting to have big dreams for their small packages. Tilak Hewagama, a planetary scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park, wants to send a small satellite to intercept a comet on its first arrival in the solar system. Most comets have swung around the sun many times, and their once-pristine surfaces have grown weathered. But nearly every year, astronomers discover a few that are swooping in for the first time. By then, it is too late to develop a spacecraft to study them, Hewagama says. But a small satellite already parked in a stable orbit could maneuver in time to witness the comet’s passage up close—a risky plan that Hewagama says NASA wouldn’t be willing to pursue for a larger, more expensive craft.Timothy Stubbs, a planetary scientist at Goddard, wants to use two 30-kilogram satellites to explore the origin of curious bright swirls on the surface of the moon. One idea is that weak magnetic fields in moon rocks—implanted by comet impacts or a long-extinct magnetic dynamo—might be repelling the solar wind particles that weather and darken the surrounding soil. But understanding the interactions between the particles and the fields requires skimming the moon in a close, unstable orbit that would require large amounts of fuel to maintain. Stubbs’s solution: Orbit two small satellites in tandem, linked by a thin Kevlar tether 25 kilometers long, so that a satellite in a higher orbit can stabilize its mate a mere 2 kilometers above the surface.Both teams plan to submit proposals to the new NASA funding program—if they can whittle costs down to fit the $55 million cap. Small satellites may be cheap, but developing a deep-space mission traditionally requires a big team and lots of testing to pare down risk. Symposium organizer Geronimo Villanueva, a Goddard planetary scientist, says NASA officials are working on changing the rules for small satellites headed for deep space so that higher risk levels are acceptable. “We need to change the way we do business,” he says.last_img read more

Scientists luck upon a new way to make a rainbow

first_img Chemists have stumbled across a new way to separate reflected light into the colors of the rainbow—a phenomenon known as iridescence. The surprisingly simple technique, which is something of a hybrid of previously known ones, could have applications both scientific and aesthetic.“It’s really cool,” says Kenneth Chau, an optical engineer at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, Canada, who was not involved in the work. “I’m surprised I didn’t see it in the lab myself.”In iridescence, an object reflects different colors at different angles, separating white light into its constituent colors. One way to achieve it is through refraction, the bending of light as it passes from one translucent medium to another. For example, a rainbow emerges when light bends as it enters spherical raindrops, bounces off the back of them, and then bends again as it exits the drops. The entire process redirects different colors at slightly different angles, spreading them to create the rainbow. 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 Adrian ChoFeb. 27, 2019 , 1:05 PM Scientists luck upon a new way to make a rainbow Iridescence can also arise when a thin translucent film lies atop a reflective surface, like oil on a puddle. Some light waves reflect off the top of the film and some from the bottom. Depending on the thickness of the film, the angle at which it’s viewed, and the wavelength of the light, the waves will recombine and interfere to either reinforce each other or cancel each other out. Such thin-film interference gives an oily puddle its colorful stripes.Finally, iridescence can arise through diffraction, when light reflects off a more complicated periodic structure, such as the grooves in a compact disk. Again, the light waves rebounding from the grooves can interfere to reinforce or cancel one another, depending on the wavelength of the light and the angle at which it is viewed. Such diffraction explains the brilliant colors of some butterfly wings and humanmade photonic crystals.Now, Lauren Zarzar, a materials chemist at Pennsylvania State University in State College, and colleagues report producing iridescence in a new way. They happened across the effect in early 2017, when they cooked up micron-size spherical droplets containing two types of oil in which the lighter oil formed a lentil-shaped upper layer the researchers hoped to use as a lens. But surprisingly, when illuminated from above, the edges of the lentils glowed with a color that depended on their size and the angle at which they were viewed, the team reports today in Nature.Zarzar says her group certainly wasn’t the first to witness the effect. “People have come up to me and said, ‘Oh, I know exactly what you’re talking about! I’ve seen it, too.’” Yet, a literature search revealed no mention of it. Researchers assumed it must be a refraction or diffraction effect, but those schemes couldn’t fit the data, Zarzar says.Clarity came only with the computer simulations performed by Sara Nagelberg and Mathias Kolle, mechanical engineers and team members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Their analysis showed the iridescence emerges through a new mechanism that blends certain elements of the previously known ones.In the end, the effect can be demonstrated and most easily explained in a much simpler system: water droplets that condense and hang from the underside of the lid of a petri dish. Light waves entering near one edge of a droplet can bounce two or more times off the dome of the droplet before emerging near the other edge—much as light reflects off the back of a raindrop in a rainbow. However, the light waves entering at slightly different distances from the center of the droplet can bounce different numbers of times. And waves bouncing different numbers of times can interfere and reinforce each other, as in diffraction or thin-film interference. As a result, different colors emerge at different angles, which can be controlled by changing the size of the droplet.“We were really racking our brains for quite some time,” Zarzar says. “No other explanation came close to matching the effect.” Chau says, “They did a great job doing detailed experiments and simulations to see how the effect arises.”The new effect could be related to one called a glory that is sometimes seen by airplane passengers flying over clouds. If the sun shines from directly above, the plane’s shadow below will appear surrounded by rainbowlike bullseye. That effect is thought to arise from the interference of light waves reflecting within water droplets in the clouds.Engineers already use thin films and refractive particles to create iridescence in video displays, paints, and decorative wall coverings. With its simplicity and adjustability, the new effect could open ways to color the world. It has one obvious limitation, Chau says: The incident white light has to come from a specific direction, so the effect won’t work in ambient light. Still, “Humans are always looking for new and different ways to produce artificial color,” he says. “I foresee that this will definitely allow for a lot of exploration.”center_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Taliban car bomb kills at least 12 in attack on Afghan security

first_imgBy Reuters |Kabul | Published: July 7, 2019 1:32:28 pm Child suicide bomber kills five at wedding in Afghanistan Advertising Afghan radio station closes down following Taliban threats Arif Noori, a provincial government spokesman in Ghazni, confirmed eight members of the NDS and four civilians died in the blast, with more than 50 civilians injured. “Many injured people were being rushed to the hospital,” he said.Afghanistan, Taliban, Taliban attack Afghanistan, Afghanistan Taliban, Taliban bomb blast,  NDS Ghazni blast, Indian Express, latest news Injured boys receive treatment in a hospital after a car bomb attack in Ghazni province, central Afghanistan, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (AP)It wasn’t immediately clear whether the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.The blast in a crowded area of Ghazni city was the latest in a wave of near-daily attacks by the Taliban, who now hold sway over about half of Afghanistan and continue to intensify attacks on Afghan forces despite increased efforts towards a peace agreement to end the 18-year war. Related News Despite Afghan-Taliban peace talks, war on civilians continue Afghanistan, Taliban, Taliban attack Afghanistan, Afghanistan Taliban, Taliban bomb blast,  NDS Ghazni blast, Indian Express, latest news Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Ghazni province, central Afghanistan, Sunday, July 7, 2019. Afghan officials say a car bomb in central Afghanistan has killed a few people and wounded dozens of people, many of them students attending a nearby school. (AP)Taliban Islamist fighters killed at least eight Afghan security force members and four civilians, as well as wounding more than 50 civilians, by blowing up a car bomb in central Ghazni province on Sunday, government officials and the Taliban said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for detonating the bomb near the National Directorate of Security (NDS) compound in Ghazni city during Sunday morning’s rush hour. “Dozens of NDS officers were killed or wounded,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Mysterious human relatives moved into penthouse Siberian cave 100000 years earlier than

first_img Mysterious human relatives moved into ‘penthouse’ Siberian cave 100,000 years earlier than thought Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Ever since DNA extracted from a girl’s tiny pinkie bone found in the cave revealed that she belonged to a formerly unknown type of human, researchers have been trying to nail down when the Denisovans lived. In 2015, several samples of cut-marked animal bones and charcoal found near the pinkie bone yielded radiocarbon dates of at least 50,000 years, at the oldest limit of the method. But that was a minimum age because bone fragments, teeth, and DNA from four other Denisovans and from a young woman whose DNA shows she had a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father have also been found in the cave, some in deeper, older layers. One tooth might have been as old as 170,000 years.Those older dates had wide margins of error. So, Russian Academy of Sciences archaeologists who have been excavating at Denisova for 40 years invited geochronologists Zenobia Jacobs and Richard Roberts of the University of Wollongong in Australia to try state-of-the-art optical dating methods. Optical dating reveals when single grains of quartz or potassium feldspar in a sample of sediment were last exposed to sunlight and, thus, when the sediment was deposited. By measuring 280,000 individual grains of these minerals in more than 100 samples collected near stone tools or fossils, the Wollongong team calculated the average age of every layer of the cave’s deposits.The team checked its dates for the most recent layers against radiocarbon dates that geochronologists Tom Higham and Katerina Douka at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom determined from 50 new cut-marked bone and charcoal samples. The Oxford team also developed a new statistical model that merges data from several dating methods, as well as from genetic sequencing, which can reveal the relative ages of fossils. By evaluating all the data and their range of errors, the model determines which dates are most reliable. “There’s a huge value in using multiple techniques,” says Ed Rhodes of the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the work. The resulting dates, he adds, are “fully convincing.”The oldest stone tools in the cave date back to at least 287,000 years, according to the optical methods. These so-called Middle Paleolithic tools look subtly different from those associated with Neanderthals in other caves in Siberia, suggesting they are the first artifacts ever linked to the Denisovans. Direct evidence of Denisovans—so-called environmental DNA found in the sediments—also appears a bit before DNA from Neanderthals, who occupied the cave on and off from 193,000 to 97,000 years ago.The Denisovans were “evidently a hardy bunch,” Jacobs says. They apparently persisted at the site through multiple episodes of cold Siberian climate, based on analysis of fossil pollen. In contrast, when the Neanderthals showed up, the pollen shows that the forest around the cave had hornbeam, oak, and Eurasian linden trees, which thrive in a relatively warm and humid climate.The dates also suggest a new puzzle: Who made so-called Initial Upper Paleolithic artifacts, such as ornaments of bone, animal teeth, mammoth ivory, and ostrich eggshell, that date to between 43,000 to 49,000 years at the site? Higham’s Russian collaborators propose they were made by Denisovans, like the tools from older layers. No modern human fossils have been found in the cave, they note. But others say the artifacts resemble the handiwork of modern humans in Eurasia, suggesting the newcomers arrived just after the Denisovans vanished—or even hastened the disappearance of this lost group.”My money would be on early modern humans, who can be mapped elsewhere at this date, for example at Ust’-Ishim in Siberia,” says paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London, not a member of the team. “Only more discoveries and more research can resolve that question.” By Ann GibbonsJan. 30, 2019 , 1:00 PM 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 Zimbabwecenter_img RICHARD ROBERTS With its light-filled main gallery and sweeping views of the Altai Mountains of southern Russia, Denisova Cave was a Stone Age version of a Manhattan penthouse. Overlooking the Anui River, where herds of animals came to drink, it offered an unparalleled vantage for spotting game and other humans, as well as refuge from Siberian storms. Generations of Neanderthals, their Denisovan cousins, and modern humans enjoyed the view.But when did each group reside there? The timing could yield clues to how these diverse humans interacted and shed new light on the most enigmatic of the three, the Denisovans, who are known only from DNA and scrappy fossils from this cave. Denisova’s human fossils and artifacts have been notoriously difficult to date because of the complex layering of sediments in its three chambers. Now, two teams have combined state-of-the-art dating methods to create a timeline of the cave’s occupants.For the Denisovans, the results—reported in Nature this week—paint a portrait of endurance. They first moved in 287,000 years ago, more than 100,000 years earlier than had been thought, and then occupied the cave off and on through shifting climates until 55,000 years ago, a period when Neanderthals also came and went. “The general picture is now clear,” says archaeologist Robin Dennell of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, who was not a member of the teams. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Denisova Cave offered a good vantage for spotting game—and other humans.last_img read more

Sleeping sickness parasite exhibits metabolic flexibility and adaptability

first_img Source:https://www.plos.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 28 2018Parasitic protozoa called trypanosomes synthesize sugars using an unexpected metabolic pathway called gluconeogenesis, according to a study published December 27 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by David Horn of the University of Dundee in the UK, and colleagues. The authors note that this metabolic flexibility may be essential for adaptation to environmental conditions and survival in mammalian host tissues.Trypanosomes cause human sleeping sickness and animal African trypanosomiases, which are a range of devastating but neglected tropical diseases affecting cattle, other livestock and horses. The mammalian stage of the parasite circulates in the bloodstream, a nutrient-rich environment with constant temperature and pH and high glucose concentration. Bloodstream-form African trypanosomes are thought to rely exclusively upon a metabolic pathway called glycolysis, using glucose as a substrate, for ATP production. In contrast to this view, Horn and colleagues show that bloodstream-form trypanosomes can use glycerol for ATP production and for gluconeogenesis — a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate carbon substrates.Related StoriesHigh-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may improve brain function and memory in older adultsUltra-Small Microelectrode Biosensors for Brain Injury AnalysisWhat happens when you eliminate sugar and adopt the keto diet?The authors showed that even wild-type parasites, grown in the presence of glucose and glycerol, use both substrates and have active gluconeogenesis. Moreover, mammalian-infective parasites assemble a dense surface glycoprotein coat, the glycan components of which incorporate carbons from glycerol. Therefore, gluconeogenesis can be used to drive metabolism and metabolite biosynthesis. The results reveal that trypanosomes exhibit metabolic flexibility and adaptability, which is likely required for survival in multiple host tissue environments. According to the authors, this finding should be considered when devising metabolically targeted therapies.The authors add, “The findings challenge a dogma that has persisted for more than 30 years; that these parasites rely solely on glucose and glycolysis for energy production in their mammalian hosts.”last_img read more

MD Anderson Cancer Center collaborates with Dragonfly for new immunotherapy drug clinical

first_img Source:https://www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/immunotherapy-clinical-trials-collaboration-with-dragonfly-therapeutics.h00-159299889.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 16 2019The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc., today announced a strategic collaboration to bring Dragonfly’s TriNKET™ (tri-specific natural killer cell engager therapy) immunotherapy drug candidates to patients in clinical trials beginning in 2019.Dragonfly committed more than $10 million to launch the studies, which will be available for patients with both solid tumor and hematological cancers.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis system”We will be studying the possibility of offering novel therapeutics that can directly kill cancer, recruit immune cells and provide a potentially different safety window than existing immuno-oncology options,” said John Heymach, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Thoracic Head & Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson. “We are hopeful that these agents could provide a new treatment option for our patients.”Dragonfly’s TriNKETs™ bind to the proteins expressed on both cancer cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Through this binding NK cells are activated, making them aware of the cancer and allowing them to directly kill the cancer cells while notifying other immune cells to attack the cancer. NK cells’ unique ability to distinguish stressed cancer cells from healthy cells also provides TriNKETs with a broader potential safety window than traditional T cell-based immunotherapies.”MD Anderson has demonstrated expertise in advancing breakthrough treatment options to patients in thoughtfully designed, innovative clinical trials,” said Bill Haney, co-founder and CEO of Dragonfly Therapeutics. “We’re excited to work with their clinicians to bring our first oncology drug candidates to patients.”last_img read more

New study shows that people with dyslexia have structural dysfunction in subcortical

first_img Source:https://tu-dresden.de/tu-dresden/newsportal/news/neurowissenschaftler-der-tu-dresden-entschluesseln-neuronale-mechanismen-bei-lese-rechtschreibschwaeche Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 27 2019Developmental dyslexia is one of the most widespread learning disabilities. Different therapeutic approaches and learning strategies are used to tackle the reading and writing difficulties associated with dyslexia, but to-date it is impossible to cure dyslexia. Furthermore, for many affected individuals it takes a long time until they receive a dyslexia diagnosis. Children with dyslexia have considerable problems at school and are under great emotional pressure both at school and in the family. Adults with dyslexia frequently feel ashamed of their weakness and try to hide it from their social and professional environment. But why do seemingly completely normally developed children and adults have such problems with reading and/or writing?Related StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpMany scientists think that the cause of dyslexia is a dysfunctional processing of auditory speech. However, even today, the reasons for these alterations in speech processing remain unknown. A long-standing assumption is that developmental dyslexia is caused by dysfunction of structures in the cerebral cortex.Neuroscientist Prof. Katharina von Kriegstein from TU Dresden and an international team of experts now show in a recently published study that people with dyslexia have a weakly developed structure that is not located in the cerebral cortex, but at a subcortical processing stage; namely the white matter connectivity between the left auditory motion-sensitive planum temporale (mPT) and the left auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body. MGB).For this study, the team headed by Prof. von Kriegstein analyzed people with developmental dyslexia in comparison to people without dyslexia (control group) and conducted diagnostic tests and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain. Using special analysis techniques, the neuroscientists reconstructed the fiber structures between the mPT and the MGB. The results are the following: people with LRS have less fiber connectivity between mPT and MGB in the left hemisphere of the brain than people from the control group. The people in the control group, in contrast, showed very strong fiber connectivity between mPT and MGB, particularly those who performed extremely well in the reading test.”Understanding the neural mechanisms of developmental dyslexia will be decisive for the development of early diagnostics and of targeted therapies. We expect our findings to initiate major novel research endeavors in the scientific community, because they show that brain structures that have thus far been insufficiently studied may be very relevant for explaining developmental dyslexia,” summarizes Prof. Katharina von Kriegstein on the success of her study.​last_img read more

Western Dental offers tips to prevent bad breath

first_img Try the “cotton test.” Wipe the top surface of your tongue with a piece of cotton gauze and smell it. If there’s a foul smell and a yellowish stain on the cotton, it’s likely that you have an elevated sulphide production level and bad breath. Lick the back of your hand, let it dry for 5-10 seconds, then smell it or run a piece of dental floss between your back teeth and smell the floss. Stand in front of the mirror and stick your tongue out as far as possible. If the very back of the tongue is whitish, it may be a sign that you have bad breath. Source:http://www.westerndental.com However, the best way to truly identify the source of chronic bad breath is visit a dentist for a professional diagnosis. A dentist can check for gum disease, which can lead to bad breath.Most people can reduce or eliminate bad breath by committing to the basics of good dental hygiene. Visit a dentist at least twice a year but understand that most of the work must be done at home.Dr. Luther offers these tips below to prevent bad breath: Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 4 2019Western Dental & Orthodontics has some advice for those who strive to maintain fresh breath.We all dread having bad breath (halitosis), yet it can happen to anyone, according to Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer at Western Dental.Bad breath results from the presence of a foul-smelling odor that is expelled from the mouth. It can be a sign of periodontal disease, tooth decay or poor overall oral hygiene.Part of the problem is knowing that you have bad breath, because it’s typically challenging to pick up on one’s own scent. And family members, close friends and colleagues may feel uncomfortable telling you.Related StoriesRemoving bacterial armor could be new way to fight anthraxStudy finds slime and biofilm hidden in hospital sinks, faucetsWearable sensors show how antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread through hospital wardsDr. Luther suggests these tips on how one can determine if you have bad breath: Brush twice a day at a 45-degree angle to your gums Brush or scrape your tongue Floss regularly, at least once a day There are certain foods that trigger bad breath (onions, fish, garlic). Consider avoiding or reduce your intake of these foodslast_img read more

Researchers identify the missing link in postexercise boost to brain function

first_imgMar 26 2019A discovery about how exercise improves brain function could be harnessed for research into aging, and boosting learning and memory. Neural precursor cells form into neurospheres, which then differentiate into astrocytes (green) and new neurons (red). An international team from The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Dresden University of Technology has identified what triggers the boost to brain function through exercise.Dr Tara Walker from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute said the improvements were linked to blood cells.“When we exercise, stem cells in the hippocampus – a region of the brain that plays an important role in learning and memory – divide and turn into new neurons, which leads to improvements in memory,” Dr Walker said.“What wasn’t clear was how the stem cells know to start dividing and form neurons after exercise – in other words, how does running change our brain?“When we exercise, it’s likely that our blood composition also changes, so we decided to investigate blood to see what post-exercise changes might influence the neural stem cells and cause them to form new neurons.”To test the theory, the researchers screened the blood of mice after they’d been running, and compared it to control mice without running wheels.Related StoriesExtremely strenuous exercise can overload the heart without increasing cardiac riskIt’s never too late to take up exercise, advise researchersExercise during pregnancy can promote bone health of both mother and childQBI’s Dr Odette Leiter said the team found a lot of the changes that occurred in the blood following exercise were related to platelets, small cells in our blood.“We found that platelets caused neural stem cells to multiply and develop into neurons, as opposed to other cell types that they also have the potential to form,” she said.“Platelets are mostly known for their role in wound healing – they cause blood to clot and skin cells to adhere together – but we found the response activated in platelets after running was different.“It’s exciting because platelets are a lot more complex than originally thought, with the ability to release different molecules depending on the stimulus that has triggered them.”Dr Walker said the discovery opened up intriguing new questions and research possibilities, especially in aging.“The growth of new neurons decreases significantly with age, which leads to cognitive decline in specific types of learning and memory,” she said.“Our next step is to investigate whether we can harness the positive effect of platelets to boost neuron development and improve learning and memory in both mice and humans.The research was published in Stem Cell Reports with much of the work taking place in Dresden.Dr Walker, who has previously worked at QBI, has returned with Dr Leiter to continue the research through collaborations and facilities available at the institute.Source: https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2019/03/blood-cells-missing-link-post-exercise-boostlast_img read more

New tool provides a standard way to measure effects of caring for

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 17 2019A traumatic brain injury happens in an instant: a battlefield blast, a car crash, a bad fall. But the effects can last a lifetime – and can leave the survivor dependent on daily care from their loved ones for decades.Now, a new tool seeks to give a voice to those caregivers, who spend countless hours tending to the daily needs of family members whose moods, thinking and abilities seemed to change overnight.Developed by researchers from across the country who worked with hundreds of caregivers of people with TBI, it provides a new standard way to measure the physical, mental and emotional effects of caring for survivors of TBI.The researchers hope it can form the basis for a new wave of research that could inform clinical care for patients and their caregivers, as well as, caregiver training and support programs, and even caregiver reimbursement policies.They’ve published the results of a rigorous evaluation of the tool in a special supplement to the journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and are sharing the tool on several platforms for researchers.They also hope the tool, called TBI-CareQOL Measurement System, could be useful to researchers who want to study caregivers of other patients whose “new normal” is very different from the one they had before, and isn’t likely to change.Many TBI survivors suffered their injury in the prime of life, and many during service to the nation. TBI is the most common injury among service members who returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with nearly 384,000 service members and veterans affected. One-third of them, and another 90,000 civilians who sustain TBIs each year, are left with moderate to severe disability from their injury.”Caregivers of persons with TBI are underserved and overlooked,” says Noelle Carlozzi, Ph.D., the University of Michigan Medical School psychologist who led the effort. “The medical system treats the patient and sends them home, but behind many of our severely injured patients are family caregivers who we don’t do enough to train, support or study in a scientific way.”Carlozzi heads the Center for Clinical Outcomes Development and Application, based in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.A team effortIn the new papers, she and her colleagues from Northwestern University, Wayne State University/the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center/Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Baylor College of Medicine/TIRR Memorial Hermann, and the University of Delaware lay out how they developed and tested the TBI-CareQOL tool.The team worked with 560 caregivers who took care of 344 civilians and 216 military service members or veterans who had suffered a TBI more than a year earlier. They found the caregivers through their own institutions and through outreach efforts from the Hearts of Valor caregiver support network run by the Operation Homefront nonprofit organization, and by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.By taking time out of their already busy schedules to fill out banks of computerized questionnaires that the research team developed, the caregivers made it possible to create the new tool.The researchers also got permission to look at the medical records of the patients the caregivers were taking care of, so they could know the severity of the injury and other information.Thanks to this help, Carlozzi says, the TBI-CareQOL tool should enable a much stronger form of research on caregivers’ health and quality of life. This could help bring new resources to this field of study.Capturing many measuresRelated StoriesSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysThe tool includes measures of how much of a sense of loss the caregiver feels for themselves or the loved one they’re caring for, how much anxiety they feel about their ability to tend to their loved one’s needs, how trapped they feel in their role as caregiver, and how much strain the daily demands of their loved one’s care places on them. This latter measure includes feelings of being stressed, overwhelmed or even downtrodden by caregiver responsibilities.Carlozzi notes that in addition to these new measures, the new tool includes standard measures of health-related quality of life used to study patients with many conditions. Called PROMIS measures, they have been previously validated in other studies; the new papers validate them among caregivers of people with TBI.The team envisions that most caregivers who take part in future studies that use the TBI-CareQOL tool will do so on tablets, smartphones or computers. They’ve designed it so that caregivers answer questions most pertinent to them based on their answers to previous questions – which means it takes up the shortest time possible but still gets complete information. A paper form will also be available.The computerized version will be available through Assessmentcenter.net, as well as other online data capture systems. They will also make it available through a website that the team is developing. In the meantime, paper forms are available by contacting Carlozzi.Potential uses Measuring caregivers’ current state, and how it changes over time, could become part of the routine clinical care for patients with TBI, she says. How well a caregiver is faring can affect how well the patient does, for instance with therapy, medications and behavioral health issues.”We hope that in addition to the TBI-CareQOL being used for research, clinicians will adopt these measures to screen caregivers during office visits by patients with TBI, and figure out who needs additional services,” she says, noting that caregivers usually attend their loved ones’ appointments because patients with TBI can have trouble remembering or accurately reporting what their clinicians said or recommended.Assessing caregivers could also help fine-tune the financial, social and service support they receive from various sources. Currently, some family caregivers who have lead responsibility for caring for current and former military service members with TBI can receive compensation for their time. So can some caregivers of people injured in automobile accidents in states with no-fault auto insurance.But often these payments are not enough to provide a level of income similar to what they could receive in the workplace, even though many caregivers have to leave their jobs or cut back on their hours in order to care for a loved one with serious lasting issues from their TBI. That financial stress can often compound the emotional stress caregivers feel.In upcoming papers, Carlozzi and her colleagues will report their findings from measures related to disruption of family life – a topic that has special importance to military and veteran caregivers, who often have small children to care for at the same time they’re caring for a TBI-survivor spouse. They also hope to do more to measure sleep and activity levels in caregivers.”Thanks to the efforts of all our partners, and our funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, we’re glad to share this validated, rigorous tool for assessing the quality of life of caregivers of persons with TBI, which we hope will provide a much-needed understanding of their lives and opportunities to help improve their care,” says Carlozzi. Source:http://www.med.umich.edu/last_img read more

Nurses play key role in promoting compassionate care for patients with alcohol

first_imgSusceptibility to AUD is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. When a susceptible person is exposed to alcohol, a series of brain adaptations occur, increasing the desire for alcohol. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 12 2019Nurses play a critical role in promoting compassionate care for patients and families affected by alcohol use disorder (AUD), including evidence-based medication-assisted treatment (MAT) approaches, according to a paper in the July/September Journal of Christian Nursing, official journal of the Nurses Christian Fellowship. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.”Using a compassionate, informed, and understanding approach, nurses can reinforce the idea that AUD is a disease in need of treatment, and those afflicted can be led to accept help,” writes CDR John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE. He discusses the causes of and treatments for AUD – including the Sinclair Method, with targeted use of the opioid blocker naltrexone to reduce the desire to drink.Nurses ‘A powerful force’ in helping patients with AUDAffecting more than 10 percent of the population, AUD is the major preventable cause of death in adults under age 50. Despite the devastating effects AUD, less than 10 percent of affected patients receive medically proven treatment – especially early in the course of disease, when treatment is most effective.Dr. Umhau writes: Considering the remarkable gap between treatment given and the potential for medicine to help, nurses can be important advocates to reduce the scope of suffering.” Traditionally, treatment for AUD has focused on social and psychological support, emphasizing abstinence. A growing body of evidence supports the effectiveness of MAT to reduce craving and excessive consumption of alcohol, reducing harm and promoting abstinence. Available treatments include targeted use of the oral opioid blocker naltrexone, as part of an approach called the Sinclair Method.Related StoriesSobering up: In an alcohol-soaked nation, more seek booze-free social spacesStudy highlights secondhand effects of drinkingRecreational marijuana users tend to drink more alcohol, medicinal users drink lessIn the Sinclair method, patients take naltrexone before drinking in order to block alcohol’s reinforcing effect on the desire to drink. Over time, using naltrexone to block the euphoric effect of brain endorphin produces “pharmacologic extinction” of drinking behavior. Dr. Umhau writes, “The gradual reduction in the desire to drink induced by naltrexone makes treatment acceptable to people who would otherwise reject help because they are not ready to give up drinking completely.”Other medications, can promote abstinence, including acamprosate and disulfiram. Nutritional therapy can help to correct the malnutrition that is common in patients with AUD. Psychological interventions can be very helpful, such as the use of cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients cope with cravings and relapses. “While continuing care for AUD is associated with better outcomes, and residential rehabilitation programs lasting a month or longer have helped many people, there is little data on their effectiveness,” Dr. Umhau comments.Faith-based programs have a long played an important role in helping people with AUD. Although no longer overtly Christian, Alcoholics Anonymous still focuses on a “higher power.” Dr. Umhau notes that faith-based groups “may help overcome the guilt and shame which can be severe obstacles to recovery.” He adds, “The faith community has begun to recognize the important role of MAT to help prevent the devastating effect of AUD on family relationships.””Nurses can be a powerful force in the process of recovery from AUD,” Dr. Umhau concludes. “Using a compassionate, informed, and understanding approach, nurses can reinforce the idea that AUD is a disease in need of treatment, and those afflicted can be led to accept help.”center_img Source:Wolters Kluwer These adaptations involve neurochemical and neuro-inflammatory changes which are induced by the effects of alcohol consumption and which are exacerbated by an inferior diet.”Dr. Umhaulast_img read more

Amazon looks to floating warehouses in the sky for drone deliveries

first_img Citation: Amazon looks to floating warehouses in the sky for drone deliveries (2018, July 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-amazon-warehouses-sky-drone-deliveries.html ©2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Amazon is looking to push its supply chain into the heavens as it goes full steam ahead on drone deliveries. Amazon eyes defense against hijacking of delivery drones by ‘nefarious individuals’ 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. The e-commerce titan recently received a patent for product-distribution warehouses that float in the sky, and are carried and held aloft by blimps.It’s part of Amazon’s grand plan to move from ground-based deliveries into the airspace above our heads, where drones would zip quietly overhead, carrying our paper towels, toasters and printer cartridges to us in record time, and generating substantial cost savings for the $887 billion company.The heavenly warehouses, or “aerial fulfillment centers” as Amazon describes them, would be serviced by a fleet of drones, which the company likes to call “unmanned aerial vehicles.””An AFC may be positioned at an altitude above a metropolitan area and be designed to maintain an inventory of items that may be purchased by a user and delivered to the user by a UAV that is deployed from the AFC,” the patent document says.The blimps, or “airships,” would contain a lighter-than-air gas such as helium, or heated air, so they would float.Of course, stationing a floating warehouse over a city and having drones coming and going from it raises safety concerns that previous Amazon patents have already identified. The company has patented a system that would cause a drone to fragment in case of malfunction, to reduce the falling-object hazard. Amazon has also noted that drones could fly into buildings, or be hijacked by “nefarious individuals.”It’s not clear that the Seattle firm headed by CEO Jeff Bezos will achieve its goal of delivering many products by drone. And it is also unclear whether the company will pursue the technologies described in the warehouses-in-the-sky patent.last_img read more

Journalists slam pending Bangladesh digital security law

first_img A powerful body of editors of leading newspapers and TV stations has officially protested the bill, called the Digital Security Act, and plans to form a human chain to protest Saturday in front of the national press club in Dhaka.”We are moving toward a bad time. This law will hurt the media, democracy and freedom of expression,” said Khandakar Muniruzzaman, acting editor of the Bengali-language daily Sangbad and among those planning to participate in the protest Saturday.Senior editors, journalist groups and human rights groups in and outside Bangladesh are echoing these concerns, demanding that lawmakers clarify sections of the bill they say could be wielded arbitrarily against government critics before the president signs it.In Bangladesh, the president customarily signs anything passed by Parliament. He can send it back to Parliament, but if members think no changes are needed, it will go back to him for a signature. If the president does not sign it in six months, it automatically becomes law.The bill would replace a previous information communication technology law, which was also criticized by journalists and human rights groups for its alleged use to crack down on dissent. Many editors and reporters have been sued for defamation under the law.Observers say the bill is part of a broader campaign to silence critics in Bangladesh, and reflects a worrying trend in fledgling Asian democracies.Journalists in Nepal are combating a similar law, part of an expansive rewriting of that country’s civil and criminal codes meant to define the parameters of Nepal’s new constitution.Laws like the one recently passed in Nepal and the one pending in Bangladesh, where democracy was restored in 1990 after the military dictator was ousted, could make it more difficult for journalists to expose corruption.Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who political opponents decry as an autocrat, defended the bill in Parliament last week, saying that it was meant to protect the country from propaganda.”Journalism is surely not for increasing conflict, or for tarnishing the image of the country,” she said. Citation: Journalists slam pending Bangladesh digital security law (2018, September 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-journalists-slam-pending-bangladesh-digital.html The bill would also authorize prison sentences of up to three years for publishing information that is “aggressive or frightening” and up to 10 years for posting information that “ruins communal harmony or creates instability or disorder or disturbs or is about to disturb the law and order situation.”Government officials have listed incidents in recent years in which false social media posts about people disrespecting the Quran have incited violence.Critics of the bill say existing criminal laws adequately address these concerns.Fears of the broad reach of the bill extend beyond journalists.Human Rights Watch said the law would be ripe for abuse, in part because it would empower police to search or arrest suspects without a court order.”Bangladesh authorities have failed to address serious human rights violations, and when criticized, chosen to target the messenger,” spokeswoman Meenakshi Ganguly told The Associated Press.”Bangladeshi journalists, already under pressure, will now worry about doing their job in exposing government failures,” she said.Some critics say introducing such a law a few months before general elections, which are expected in December, could also target opposition activists and candidates.Bangladesh’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, or BNP, has said the bill is intended to silence its members. Party leader former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, an archrival of Hasina, is currently in jail for corruption. Her supporters say her jailing is politically motivated, an allegation authorities have denied.An election-time government is expected to be formed in mid-October that Hasina is supposed to head in line with the constitution, but the opposition says an election under Hasina could be rigged. The opposition wants a non-partisan caretaker government to oversee the elections.The opposition says their activists are facing thousands of politically-motivated criminal charges, but police say they are following the law, without regard to suspects’ political affiliations. Journalists and human rights groups are demanding major amendments to a bill recently passed in Bangladesh’s Parliament, saying it will further choke constitutionally protected freedom of speech. Bangladeshi journalists are taking particular umbrage with a section of the bill that authorizes up to 14 years in prison for gathering, sending or preserving classified information of any government using a computer or other digital device. The journalists say publishing such information is a way to hold officials accountable. The section evokes the sentiment of a British colonial-era law about protecting official secrets. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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. An Oct. 7, 2017 file photo of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Journalists and human rights groups are demanding major amendments to a new law passed in Bangladesh Parliament in September, 2018, saying the law will choke constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression. Hasina, who political opponents decry as an autocrat, defended the controversial bill in Parliament, saying that it was meant to protect the country’s 162 million people. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad, File) In this May 3, 2016 file photo, Bangladeshi journalists cover proceedings outside a court in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Journalists and human rights groups are demanding major amendments to a new law passed in Bangladesh Parliament in September, 2018, saying the law will choke constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad, File) Fighting ‘fake news’ with the lawlast_img read more