Mice study shows beneficial effect of MANF treatment on reversal of strokeinduced

first_imgJun 11 2018Stroke is the most common cause of adult disability. This is due not only to the high incidence of stroke, but also because spontaneous recovery is often incomplete and no drugs are available that hasten recovery.Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor MANF is neuroprotective when administered before experimental stroke in rats.A massive immune response mediated by activated microglia and macrophages occurs in the rat brain tissue after stroke. MANF has also recently been shown to recruit immune cells to the eye after retinal damage and to mediate retinal repair after photoreceptor transplantation.Dr. Mikko Airavaara and his group at the University of Helsinki, Institute of Biotechnology administered MANF to rats after the ischemic brain injury, either by injecting recombinant MANF protein or by delivering a MANF-expressing viral vector into the brain area adjacent to the lesion.Related StoriesNew discovery may explain some forms of strokeHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeMeasuring blood protein levels in diabetic patients to predict risk of strokeWhen MANF was administered directly into brain tissue 2 to 3 days after stroke, it did not affect lesion volume but promoted reversal of stroke-induced behavioral impairments. “This indicated that MANF had an effect on the recovery of brain tissue function after injury,” says Dr. Kert Mätlik, the lead author of the study.MANF treatment transiently increased the number of phagocytic macrophages close to the ischemic lesion. These cells are the professional cleaning crew that clears dying cells and dead material from injured tissue. “This really got me wondering if some of the inflammation is beneficial. What if facilitating specific branches of the inflammatory response enhances both tissue repair and functional recovery?” asks Mikko Airavaara.By virtue of the presence of a skilled neurosurgeon, Dr. Kuan-Yin Tseng in the lab and a collaboration with Dr. Maria Lindahl, the researchers were also able to study the outcome of experimental stroke in mice that lack MANF in their brain cells. These additional experiments revealed the neuroprotective effect of endogenously-produced MANF against ischemic injury.Mikko Airavaara has found the results very encouraging for pursuing the ultimate goal of combating long-term disability in stroke patients: “All in all this is a proof-of-concept study that shows the beneficial effect of MANF treatment on the reversal of stroke-induced behavioral deficits. It suggests that MANF or therapeutic agents with similar activity could be developed to repair brain tissue after stroke. However, much more work is needed before clinical studies can be considered”. Source:https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/health/post-stroke-delivery-of-neurotrophic-factor-manf-promotes-functional-recovery-in-ratslast_img read more

admin

Synthetic gene reveals potential therapeutic target for rare inherited disease

first_img Source:https://cemm.at/ Jun 11 2018DNA Repair is essential for a healthy organism. In every day of our lives, tens of thousands of damages occur in the genetic material of our cells. Hence, it is not surprising that a broad variety of repair mechanisms developed in the course of evolution that enables cells to quickly react and patch up the affected DNA strands. How important those repair mechanisms are becomes obvious, when they fail: Patients with FA are unable to repair DNA crosslinks, which, besides numerous other symptoms including bone marrow failure, in most cases eventually leads to cancer. So far, no curative therapy has been found for this disease.Damaged DNA and its complex repair mechanisms is the research focus of the group of Joanna Loizou, Principal Investigator at CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and finding new molecular targets to fight FA is one of their goals. In their latest study, published in Nature Communications (DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-04649-z), the researchers aimed to find additional genes that genetically interact with the diseased FA genes and are essential for the manifestation of the disease, and thereby, if destroyed, restore the ability of the cell to repair DNA crosslinks. The research project was performed in collaboration with scientists from the University of Cambridge, from the Leiden University Medical Center, the University of California, the University of Toronto and the group of Jörg Menche at CeMM.Related StoriesNew study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaResearchers develop a more precise version of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing systemLiving a healthy lifestyle may help offset genetic risk of dementiaThe scientists, with CeMM PhD student Lydia Garcia-Robinson and former post doc of Loizou´s lab Georgia Velimezi as shared first authors, deployed a novel genetic screen to search for synthetic viable interactions, using a genome-wide loss-of-function approach that uses insertional mutagenesis achieved via a gene-trap approach, on special lines of FA-defective cells that only possess one copy of each gene. With this method, they scored a bulls eye: the researchers found an enzyme that removes ubiquitin, an important regulator of protein activity and half live, to be synthetic viable for FA gene deficiencies.When the enzyme, called USP48, was artificially destroyed by CRISPR/Cas9, the FA-deficient cells were less sensitive to DNA-damaging compounds and showed an increased clearance of DNA damage. With further molecular analysis of the underlying processes, the researchers were able to show that the inactivation of USP48 in FA-deficient cells even restored a nearly error free repair of the damaged DNA.”Our results show that USP48 inactivation reduces chromosomal instability of FA-defective cells”, Joanna Loizou explains. “This highlights a role for USP48 in controlling DNA repair and suggest it as a potential target that could be therapeutically exploited for Fanconi Anemia. To develop USP48 inhibitory molecules could be a new potential approach to alleviate the symptoms of FA patients”.last_img read more

admin

BWH researchers develop rapid Zika detection test using mobile health technologies

first_img Source:http://www.brighamandwomens.org Jun 29 2018The Zika virus, which continues to cause microcephaly and other neurological complications in infants whose mothers were infected during pregnancy, remains a public health concern. Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital are working to develop a new way to rapidly and accurately diagnose Zika using mobile health technologies that could potentially be deployed in resource-limited settings. The researchers also envision that the tool could provide home testing for couples who are trying to conceive, particularly in locations with high risk of infection. In the June issue of ACS Nano, researchers describe a new technology that leverages advances in digital health systems and nanotechnology to transform a smartphone into a device capable of detecting Zika.”Zika diagnostics represent an urgent need in many parts of the world. Our goal is to address this unmet clinical need using cell-phone-based technology,” said corresponding author Hadi Shafiee, PhD, principal investigator at the BWH Division of Engineering in Medicine and Renal Division of Medicine. “Cell phones have the power to perform complicated analyses, handle image processing, take high quality images, and are ubiquitous in Zika-afflicted countries. We can leverage this to address outbreaks of infectious disease.”Traditional virus diagnostics rely on detecting antibodies in a person’s bloodstream that target Zika. However, many closely related viruses, including dengue, can elicit similar antibodies, leading to a high false positive rate for such tests. Other research groups are currently developing methods to go after the nucleic acid building blocks of the Zika virus, but Shafiee and colleagues have taken an entirely new approach: They are developing a way to detect intact copies of the Zika virus.To do so, the team is using nanotechnology. Researchers developed tiny platinum nanomotors that target Zika as well as microbeads that bind the virus. When both components are added to a sample containing Zika, they form a three-dimensional complex that moves in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. This movement can be detected using a smartphone hooked up to a $5 optical device.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’The technology can differentiate between the Zika virus and other closely related viruses through the uniqueness of motion signal. . The three-dimensional Zika complex moves rapidly while other non-target viruses will cause slower motion that can be easily excluded by the cellphone system for very specific detection. This motion mechanism overcomes the cross reactivity in antibody-based detection and the complexity of nucleic acid-based detections.This approach – known as the nanomotor-based bead-motion cellphone (NBC) system – detected Zika in samples with viral concentrations as low as 1 particle per microliter. The team also reports that the NBC system was highly specific – in the presence of other viruses, it accurately detected Zika.”The NBC system has the potential to be used at the point of care for disease detection in both developed and developing countries,” said lead author Mohamed Shehata Draz, PhD, an instructor in the BWH Division of Engineering in Medicine. “This is an important way to eliminate the social stress related to Zika virus infection and health problems specifically related to newborns.”The current study uses an optical device similar to what Shafiee and colleagues used previously to detect male infertility in semen samples. Unlike viruses, semen can be detected without nanoparticles and complexes. The new work highlights the potential of using cell phone technology for viral diagnostics, and Shafiee and colleagues plan to further explore and apply the approach to other viruses.last_img read more

admin

Additional inhibitor could be key to helping antiVEGF therapies overcome resistance in

first_img Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/august/additional-inhibitor-can-help-anti-vegf-therapy-overcome-resistance-in-deadly-brain-cancer Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 27 2018Adding another inhibitor to therapies that cut off a tumor’s access to blood vessels could be the key to helping those therapies overcome resistance in glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer. Drugs that target the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) – a signaling protein that stimulates the formation of blood vessels – are available but have yet to show an overall survival benefit in many malignant cancers. Now researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have shown the key may lie in adding an additional inhibitor that blocks the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which regulates cell growth and division. The study not only identifies PDGF as a combination target for anti-VEGF therapies, but it also shows that pairing makes tumors more sensitive to anti-VEGF therapies in mice. Nature Communications published the findings today.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerThe American Cancer Society estimates there will be almost 24,000 diagnoses of malignant glioblastoma in the United States in 2018. It is the most common and most aggressive primary brain tumor, and patients have a median survival of about 14 months. One treatment approach involves targeting VEGF – most commonly with the drug bevacizumab –, with the idea being that cutting the tumor’s access to blood vessels will cut off its supply of oxygen and nutrients it needs to survive.A team led by senior author Yi Fan, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn, analyzed human glioblastoma specimens and found VEGF receptor expression was reduced in tumor-associated endothelial cells – the cells that line the interior surface of the blood vessels. In other words, the tumors are transforming the endothelial cells to make these cells resistant to anti-VEGF therapies. That’s where the second inhibitor comes in. Researchers identified a PDGF pathway to knock out called PDGF/NF-κB/Snail. Blocking that pathway prevented the tumor endothelial cells from transforming, leaving the cancer vulnerable.”This could be the key to solving the biggest problem in the field of anti-vascular cancer therapies,” Fan said. “Tumors are highly resistant to anti-VEGF therapies alone, but our study shows the flaw is in the current treatment, not the concept itself.”Tianrun Liu, MD, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Fan’s lab, is the study’s lead author.Since drugs already exist that can target both pathways, researchers put the combination to the test and showed that blocking both VEGF and PDGF improved overall survival in mice.”These findings point the way toward a next generation of anti-VEGF therapies, opening the door to version 2.0,” Fan said.Fan noted that further research is needed to evaluate this combination in humans, as well as to look for other potential targets.​last_img read more

admin

Slideshow PETAs crusade against animal research

first_img PETA PETA 1992: PETA targets factory farms, launching an undercover investigation into foie gras production that leads to a police raid. anyaivanova/iStock Steve Rhodes/Flickr 1986: A Maryland laboratory stops putting chimpanzees in isolation chambers after PETA protests. PETA PETA 2014: PETA protests maternal deprivation experiments at a National Institutes of Health monkey lab with hundreds of ads and disruptions at scientific conferences. Campaign spurs four federal lawmakers to http://news.sciencemag.or 1994: PETA targets the fur industry, with supporters occupying the office of designer Calvin Klein in New York. 2008: PETA announces a $1 million prize for lab-grown meat, but abandons the prize in 2014, citing lack of interest. PETA 2000 to 2001: PETA targets fast food companies, convincing McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s to improve the welfare of the animals used in their food. 2013: PETA launches its International Science Consortium, which promotes and funds animal alternatives in biomedical research. 2010: After a PETA undercover investigation, Utah legislators prohibit forced selling of shelter cats and dogs for biomedical research. PETA Slideshow: PETA’s crusade against animal research PETA PETA 1989: PETA supporters don rabbit suits to persuade several major companies to stop testing on animals. By David GrimmJan. 22, 2015 , 2:00 PM 1981: Pacheco goes undercover at a Silver Spring, Maryland, monkey laboratory, exposing injured animals being kept in filthy conditions. The lead scientist is charged with animal cruelty, the first such conviction for a U.S. researcher. ( PETA center_img PETA 1996: PETA convinces Gillette to adopt a moratorium on animal testing by holding stock shares and proposing shareholder resolutions at the company’s annual meetings. PETA 1980: PETA is founded by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco. It organizes its first protest against animal research: “World Day for Laboratory Animals.” Dustin Quasar/Flickr 2010: Justin Goodman becomes an associate director of research at PETA. He soon begins publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presenting at meetings. 2014: After international protests by PETA, China Southern Airlines announces that it will “stop transporting live primates for laboratory experiments on all flights.” 2012: PETA donates simulators to Egypt so the country will stop using animals in medical trauma training. 2011: PETA files a lawsuit in federal court claiming that SeaWorld orcas are “slaves” under the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment. Mark Lennihan/AP Images David Shankbone/Flickr ‹› PETA PETA 2014: PETA protests maternal deprivation experiments at a National Institutes of Health monkey lab with hundreds of ads and disruptions at scientific conferences. Campaign spurs four federal lawmakers to http://news.sciencemag.or 1980: PETA is founded by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco. It organizes its first protest against animal research: “World Day for Laboratory Animals.” PETA 2009: PETA targets the University of Wisconsin, Madison, labs for using cats in sound localization experiments. The campaign involves bus ads and protests. PETA 2010: PETA activists strip down to protest wearing fur, taking to the streets with signs reading “Love in, fur out.” Since its founding in 1980, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sought to end animal research. Its tactics have changed over the years, as have its targets, which have broadened to include fast food, factory farms, and the cosmetics industry. As PETA shifts gears yet again—launching a new campaign to target animal research by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific literature—Science looks back at its 4-decade crusade.last_img read more

admin

Sea level rise accelerating faster than thought

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The results, published today in Nature Climate Change, show that global mean sea level rose slightly slower than previously thought between 1993 and 2014, but that sea level rise is indeed accelerating. The new findings agree more closely with other records of changing sea levels, like those produced by tide gauges and bottom-up accounting of the contributions from ocean warming and melting ice.In the past, researchers have used tide gauges to keep tabs on the performance of satellite altimeters, which use radar to measure the height of the sea surface. The comparison allowed them to sniff out and cope with any issues that cropped up with the satellite sensors. Tide gauges themselves are not immune to problems, however; the land on which they rest can shift during earthquakes, or subside because of groundwater withdrawal or sediment settling. These processes can produce apparent changes in sea level that have nothing to do with the oceans.So Watson’s team tried to correct for the rise and fall of tide gauge sites by using nearby GPS stations, which measure land motions. If no GPS stations were present, they used computer models to estimate known changes, such as how some regions continue to rebound from the last glaciation, when heavy ice sheets caused land to sink.The newly recalibrated numbers show that the earliest part of the satellite record, collected between 1993 and 1999 by the first altimetry mission, known as TOPEX/Poseidon, appears to have overstated sea level rise. That’s probably because a sensor deteriorated, ultimately forcing engineers to turn on a backup instrument. When combined with data from subsequent satellite missions, those inflated TOPEX/Poseidon numbers gave the appearance that sea level rise was decelerating, even as the global climate warmed.Also contributing to the apparent slowdown was a hiccup caused by natural climate variation, says John Church, a climate scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Hobart, Australia, and a co-author of the new study. Around 2011, “there was a major dip in sea level associated with major flooding events in Australia and elsewhere,” he says. Intense rainfall transferred water from the oceans to the continents, temporarily overriding the long-term sea level trend.The corrected record now shows that sea level rose 2.6 millimeters to 2.9 millimeters per year since 1993, compared with prior estimates of 3.2 millimeters per year. Despite the slower rates, the study found that sea level rise accelerated by an additional 0.04 millimeters per year, although the acceleration is not statistically significant. Watson says he expects that trend to grow stronger as researchers collect more data.The acceleration falls in line with predictions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Watson notes. “We’re tracking at that upper bound” of the IPCC’s business-as-usual scenario for greenhouse gas emissions, he says, which could bring up to one meter of sea level rise by 2100.Others say it’s too early to tell. “The IPCC is looking way out in time,” says geodesist Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who was not involved in the study. “This is only 20 years of data.”In the meantime, Nerem says, the altimetry community needs to focus on continuing to improve the satellite data. He thinks Watson’s team “addressed it in the best way we can right now,” but it would be even better “to have a GPS receiver at every tide gauge, and right now that’s not the case.”Regardless, the underlying message is clear, Church says: Sea levels are rising at ever increasing rates, and society needs to take notice. If you’re still thinking about buying that beach house, think again. A new study suggests that sea levels aren’t just rising; they’re gaining ground faster than ever. That’s contrary to earlier work that suggested rising seas had slowed in recent years.The result won’t come as a shock to most climate scientists. Long-term records from coastal tide gauges have shown that sea level rise accelerated throughout the 20th century. Models predict the trend will continue. However, previous studies based on satellite measurements—which began in 1993 and provide the most robust estimates of sea level—revealed that the rate of rise had slowed in the past decade compared with the one before.That recent slowdown puzzled researchers, because sea level contributions from melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland are actually increasing, says Christopher Watson, a geodesist at the University of Tasmania in Australia. So he and colleagues took a closer look at the available satellite and tide gauge data, and tried to correct for other factors that might skew sea level measurements, like small changes in coastal elevation. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

admin

Crocodiles may sleep with only half their brain

first_imgFor many of us, being half asleep is a problem solved by the morning’s first cup of coffee. But some birds and mammals use it as a strategy: literally snoozing with one eye open and with one half of the brain awake. Scientists think the phenomenon known as unihemispheric sleep allows the animals to spot approaching predators, giving them a few crucial seconds to make their escape. Now, after filming young saltwater crocodiles (pictured) for a day, researchers have shown for the first time that the reptiles also can keep an eye open when slumbering, suggesting they may have the special sleep ability, too. What’s more, after a person entered their tank, the crocodiles increased the amount of time they spent with one eye open, which they kept trained in the person’s direction, the researchers report today in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Similar observations have been made in other reptiles including lizards, turtles, and caimans, meaning that the ability could be more common among crocodilians—a group that includes caimans, crocodiles, alligators, and gharials—than was previously thought, the researchers say.last_img read more

admin

Do human pheromones actually exist

first_img ViewApart/iStock By Lindzi WesselMar. 7, 2017 , 7:15 PM You may have seen the ads: Just spray a bit of human pheromone on your skin, and you’re guaranteed to land a date. Scientists have long debated whether humans secrete chemicals that alter the behavior of other people. A new study throws more cold water on the idea, finding that two pheromones that proponents have long contended affect human attraction to each other have no such impact on the opposite sex—and indeed experts are divided about whether human pheromones even exist.The study, published today in Royal Society Open Science, asked heterosexual participants to rate opposite-sex faces on attractiveness while being exposed to two steroids that are putative human pheromones. One is androstadienone (AND), found in male sweat and semen, whereas the second, estratetraenol (EST), is in women’s urine. Researchers also asked participants to judge gender-ambiguous, or “neutral,” faces, created by merging images of men and women together. The authors reasoned that if the steroids were pheromones, female volunteers given AND would see gender-neutral faces as male, and male volunteers given EST would see gender-neutral faces as female. They also theorized that the steroids corresponding to the opposite sex would lead the volunteers to rate opposite sex faces as more attractive.That didn’t happen. The researchers found no effects of the steroids on any behaviors and concluded that the label of “putative human pheromone” for AND and EST should be dropped. Do human pheromones actually exist? 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! Countrycenter_img Email Can human pheromones really influence our attraction to others? A new study says two putative pheromones cannot. 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 “I’ve convinced myself that AND and EST are not worth pursuing,” says the study’s lead author, Leigh Simmons, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Western Australia in Crawley.Simmons belongs to a camp of researchers that believes human pheromones likely exist, but none has yet been identified. He sees AND and EST as an unfortunate distraction, pushed forward in part by science’s “file drawer problem,” which relegates negative results to the laboratory filing cabinet.A push to publish more negative findings has led to studies like these emerging to question long-held views, says Tristram Wyatt, a pheromone researcher at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work. “It’s an Emperor’s New Clothes kind of moment.”Yet Wen Zhou, a behavioral psychologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, contends that AND and EST may well be human pheromones. “My major concern with the experiments in this study is that they were not rigorously designed and conducted,” she wrote in an email to Science. Zhou, who in 2014 published a study finding that AND and EST do indeed influence whether participants judge walking dot figures with “genderless gaits” to be men or women, doubts the faces used were truly “gender neutral.” She’s also concerned that tape used to affix steroid-soaked cotton balls to participants’ faces may have covered up the chemicals.Martha McClintock, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Chicago in Illinois who is widely credited with (and sometimes criticized for) elevating AND and EST to pheromone fame, along with the heavily contested idea that women living together will sync their menstrual cycles, says the findings only really negate an overly simplified view of AND and EST having an almost mystical ability to attract partners. She still thinks the compounds can affect behavior—just in a much more nuanced way than most people think. Her most recent research, for example, has examined how inhaling AND, perhaps from another person’s sweat, might influence someone’s emotions. “There’s no doubt that this compound, even in tiny amounts, affects how the brain functions,” she says.Wyatt, who is convinced the new work is solid, hopes that investigators will now re-evaluate how they search for human pheromones. Studies focused on sex and attraction are exploring a complicated realm, he says, as human sexual behavior is not well understood. Instead, he argues, scientists should examine babies, who have not developed confounding associations with smells, but seem to respond to pheromonelike substances from any mother’s areola gland secretions, which cause them to stick out their tongue and suckle.last_img read more

admin

New superglue could seal the deal for stretchable batteries soft robots

first_imgNew ‘superglue’ could seal the deal for stretchable batteries, soft robots By Zahra AhmadJun. 23, 2017 , 11:00 AM Superglue is great for fixing busted bookshelves, suitcase wheels, and—of course—shoes. But what if you want to fuse something a little more jiggly, like the gel cushions used to pad crumbling spinal discs? You’d be out of luck, until now. That’s because scientists have created a new kind of glue that can bond hard and soft substances to hydrogels, Jello-like materials used in everything from medical devices to soft robots. Previously, researchers in these fields used an ultraviolet light treatment, but it could take up to an hour or more to attach the surfaces together. Now, a team of experimental physicists has invented a new adhesive, made of superglue’s main ingredient—cyanoacrylate—plus an organic compound that diffuses into the parts being fused, leading to a tough bond without brittle residue left behind. This nonsolvent delays the hardening of the glue just long enough to let it seep into each layer being pressed together, forming a bond within seconds. The hydrogel bond can hold up to 1 kilogram and stretch up to 2000%, the researchers report this week in Science Advances. That’s good news for spine docs and robotics buffs alike—not only can the new adhesive help build devices like this octobot, but it can also be used to deliver drugs through soft, permeable patches that adhere to the skin. It can also help researchers designing stretchable batteries and electronic skin, hydrogel-based electronic patches packed with sensors for taking vital signs and communicating with outside devices. The only downside? It won’t be on the market for another 3 to 5 years.last_img read more

admin

Seventeen volunteers let this worm live inside them to help defeat a

first_img 3 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 Worms mature, mate, and lay eggs. Seventeen volunteers let this worm live inside them to help defeat a dangerous disease At 12:05 p.m. on a Thursday in February, a lab technician takes a six-well plate containing a solitary red snail and places it in a heated water bath under a strong light. The light and warmth signal hundreds of tiny larval parasites to stream out of the mollusk. Now, the clock starts ticking for Meta Roestenberg, an infectious disease physician here at Leiden University Medical Center. She has about 4 hours to launch a unique, controversial experiment in which she will let the parasites burrow into the arms of four healthy volunteers. If she waits too long, the larvae start to die.Roestenberg and her colleagues are infecting people with Schistosoma mansoni, one of five tiny waterborne worm species that cause schistosomiasis, a disease that sickens millions of people in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America and kills thousands each year. There is no schistosomiasis vaccine and only one old, inadequate drug, praziquantel, to treat it. Infecting humans could help speed up the development of new interventions. Roestenberg has designed the experiment to prevent the parasites from reproducing, and she says the risk to volunteers is extremely low.But not low enough, some scientists argue, because there is no guarantee that subjects will get rid of their parasites when the study is over. “I would not volunteer for this study and if I had a son or daughter who wanted to volunteer, I would recommend against it,” says Daniel Colley, a schistosomiasis researcher at the University of Georgia in Athens. In nature, male and female Schistosoma mansoni worms pair up within the host. Email 5 1 Parasites to the people Researchers have long grown Schistosoma mansoni in the lab, using hamsters. Now, they are also infecting humans with the parasitic worms. 2 Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Kai KupferschmidtFeb. 21, 2018 , 4:25 PMcenter_img N. DESAI/SCIENCE Eggs are harvested from liver and used to infect snails. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE SOURCE 4 Male and female larvae are used to infect hamster. Larvae emerge from snail. Male larvae are allowed to burrow into arm ofvolunteer. At 1:05 p.m., the technician takes the plate out of the bath. The larvae are ready to be harvested. Viewed under a microscope, they move around frantically, like minipropellers. Another technician removes one drop, dilutes it, adds iodine to kill the parasites, and counts them. That allows the researchers to calculate how many are left in the well: 574. They need only 80 today, 20 per volunteer.A snail population in an African lake could shed millions of these larvae into the water on a single day, each equipped with a chemical sensor that lets it home in on humans entering the water. After penetrating the skin, they migrate to the liver, where they mature and mate. Male-female couples stay together and move to blood vessels in the bowel, where they can reside for years, shedding hundreds of eggs a day. Most eggs end up in urine and feces, and if they make their way back into the lake they may infect fresh snails. But some get trapped in the liver, kidneys, or spleen, causing damage and leading to pain, blood loss, malnutrition, and sometimes death.Researchers in this same lab recreated the parasite’s life cycle decades ago, with hamsters taking the place of humans. That allowed them to produce and study S. mansoni. Now, Roestenberg wants to bring humans back into the mix. Field trials, especially of vaccines, are hugely expensive and complex, and the risk of failure is considerable. A controlled infection study can act as a gatekeeper, she says: “It gives you an indication whether something can work in humans or not.”  Studies in which people are purposely infected with malaria, cholera, and flu are on the rise, but they haven’t been done with schistosomiasis, in part because damage from the S. mansoni eggs can be irreversible. The goal of the current study, which began in early 2017, is to find out whether Roestenberg’s infection model is safe; if so, she hopes to test a vaccine later this year.At 1:35 p.m., Roestenberg walks to the room where the volunteers will be infected. She opens a transparent plastic container that contains epinephrine, antihistamines, and corticosteroids. “This is the emergency box,” she says—in case a subject has a strong allergic reaction. None of the 13 volunteers infected so far has, although one who was infected with 30 larvae developed a strong fever. In another precaution, the volunteers have been tested to rule out risk factors such as HIV infection and pregnancy. In nature, people become infected with both male and female parasites, but Roestenberg uses only males, so there will be no eggs and thus, she says, no symptoms. And when the study ends in 12 weeks, the volunteers will be given praziquantel to cure them.That drug, Colley emphasizes, is “not terribly effective.” But Roestenberg says that even if it fails, volunteers needn’t worry. “The ethics board asked me: ‘If one worm survives even after multiple treatments, what will happen to that person?’ And I said: ‘They’ll probably live to be 100.’” The board gave her its blessing. Colley agrees the risk is low, but still, S. mansoni has an average life span of 5 to 10 years. “That is a long time to have something as ugly as a schistosome living in your blood vessels, putting out excrement and things.” At 2:15 p.m., Roestenberg huddles in a small meeting room with three colleagues. The worms are not drugs, but they need to be released for use just like an experimental drug would be. The scientists check numbers on some documents against data on a computer screen, then they sign a form. The experiment can begin.Twenty minutes later, back in the infection room, the volunteers stretch out their arms so that a little metal cylinder, a few centimeters in diameter, can be taped to their skin. Carefully, an assistant pipettes a few drops of water, containing exactly 20 parasites, into each cylinder. The volunteers are nervous, but they say they are motivated. “I like the fact that the study is related to vaccines, because I’ve worked in that field before,” says one, a young scientist. The woman next to him says she comes from East Africa and knows the disease firsthand. They will also be paid €1000 for their time.Once infected, the volunteers will return to the lab every week so the research team can test their blood for a molecule called CAA, which the worms regurgitate from their stomachs. CAA’s presence will indicate that the worms are still alive; in future trials, its absence might mean that a vaccine or drug has worked.Some schistosomiasis scientists agree that the potential benefits justify the minimal risks. “My hope is that it would hugely accelerate identification of worthwhile candidate vaccines,” says Alison Elliott of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who works at a joint Ugandan and U.K. research unit in Entebbe. She is interested in establishing the model there; people in Uganda, a country badly affected by schistosomiasis, might react differently to a vaccine if they were exposed to the worms in childhood, she explains. At a recent stakeholders’ meeting, “Ethics and regulatory colleagues were very supportive of taking discussions of the model forward, and community representatives are already keen for the opportunity to volunteer!” Elliott added in an email.“It’s itching a little bit,” one of the Leiden volunteers says 5 minutes into the exposure. After half an hour, when the infested water is removed from the volunteers’ forearms, red spots reveal where the parasites have entered their new hosts. Then, close to 4 p.m., the clock stops ticking; the volunteers head home and Roestenberg and her colleagues go out for a coffee.last_img read more

admin

Beerslinging robot predicts whether youll give that brew a thumbs up—or down

first_imgiStock.com/doug4537 By Matthew HutsonMay. 30, 2018 , 9:45 AM Beer-slinging robot predicts whether you’ll give that brew a thumbs up—or down To make predictions, the researchers used two types of data. First, as RoboBEER poured, it measured 15 beer attributes including bubble size, beer color, gas release, and foam height and stability. Second, people’s faces were videotaped as they watched the beer videos. Artificial intelligence (AI) analyzed the videos to measure biometric factors such as pupil dilation, heart rate, and emotional expression. For each viewer, the researchers fed 28 pieces of RoboBEER and biometric data into a neural network—another AI algorithm—to see whether the data correlated with the person’s conscious ratings. As we pawn more and more jobs off on robots, there are a few you’d think we’d keep for ourselves, like beer taster. But brewers often need an automated way to ensure product quality, and a research team in Australia has developed a cheap method to help them. Their latest study assesses a freshly poured beer’s frothy top. Why focus on the bubbles? Because foam affects people’s enjoyment of beer and sparkling wine even more than taste and aroma do.To gauge people’s reactions to beer foam, the researchers needed a consistent way to produce the foam, so they employed RoboBEER, a robot they’d previously built out of Lego pieces that pours beer from bottles into a glass. They showed videos of these robo-pours to people and asked them several questions about how they liked the height and stability of the foam, as well as the beer’s clarity and overall perceived quality. The goal was to be able to show people a video and predict these ratings without a long—or any—questionnaire, and without having to serve any actual beer, which slows the evaluation process even more. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The neural network could predict whether someone liked a beer’s foam height with about 80% accuracy, the team reports in Food Control. In unpublished work, the team has found that an AI with just the RoboBEER data can predict a beer’s likability—as rated in sipping sessions by consumers or even connoisseurs—with about 90% accuracy. And it doesn’t need a designated driver.last_img read more

admin

How does chemo brain work One cancer drug might interfere with brain

first_img Email How does chemo brain work? One cancer drug might interfere with brain signaling 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 For the millions of people treated for cancer, “chemo brain” can be an unnerving and disabling side effect. It causes memory lapses, trouble concentrating, and an all-around mental fog, which appear linked to the treatment and not the disease. Although the cognitive effects often fade after chemotherapy ends, for some people the fog persists for years, even decades. And doctors and researchers have long wondered why. Now, a new study suggests an answer in the case of one chemotherapy drug: Brain cells called microglia may orchestrate chemo brain by disrupting other cells that help maintain the brain’s communication system.“I can’t tell you how many patients I see who look at me when I explain [chemo brain] and say, ‘I’ve been living with this for 10 years and thought I was crazy,’” says Michelle Monje, a pediatric neuro-oncologist and neuroscientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. It’s still mostly a mystery how common long-term cognitive impairment is after chemo. In one recent study by clinical neuropsychologist Sanne Schagen at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, it affected 16% of breast cancer survivors 6 months after treatment.Monje began to probe the cognitive effects of cancer treatment in the early 2000s, starting with radiation, a therapy that can be far more debilitating than chemotherapy. A Science paper she and her colleagues published in 2003 suggested radiation affected a type of brain cell called microglia, which protect the brain against inflammation. Just like immune cells in the blood, microglia—which make up at least 10% of all brain cells—become activated during injury or infection. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The symptoms of chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction pointed to abnormalities in myelin, the fatty sheath around nerve fibers that helps them transmit brain signals. More than 10 years ago, stem cell biologist Mark Noble at the University of Rochester in New York and his colleagues reported that brain cells called oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), which ultimately help form myelin, were exquisitely sensitive to chemotherapy. But later work suggested OPCs could rapidly repopulate in a healthy brain, and the long-term effects of chemotherapy on OPC cells remained mysterious.Monje began the new study almost 7 years ago. First, she and her colleagues examined stored brain tissue samples from children and young adults who had died from various cancers, and control patients who’d died of something else. Some had received a host of chemotherapy drugs, and some had never gotten chemotherapy. In those who’d had chemo, OPCs were markedly depleted, but only in the white matter of the brain, which is a heavily myelinated brain region. The researchers focused on a particular chemotherapy drug, methotrexate, which is especially associated with long-term cognitive problems.Monje’s team wanted to confirm the findings in just-donated tissue, which was offered to them by the families of two children: a 3-year-old whose brain cancer was treated with high doses of methotrexate, and a 10-year-old whose brain cancer progressed so rapidly that there was no time to administer much therapy. Again, the child who’d received methotrexate—with the last dose well over a month before he died—had a near-wipeout of OPCs in white matter. The other child did not.Next up for the scientists was designing a mouse model of chemo brain caused by methotrexate. The mice got the same chemotherapy treatment as the 3-year-old, adjusted for their tiny body size. The animals “have a very clear impairment in attention and short-term memory,” Monje says. The animals also had the same decrease in white matter OPCs. Studying the organ 6 months after chemotherapy ended—a long time in the life of a mouse—the researchers saw that “the myelin sheaths were thinner,” Monje says, which would disrupt brain signaling.The big question for Monje was whether chemotherapy was directly killing OPCs or creating an environment that was hostile to them. To answer this, her team transplanted healthy OPCs into the brains of mice previously administered methotrexate. Those healthy cells showed the same disregulation, Monje says. Typically, the brain replenishes OPCs as needed, but in the mice, it didn’t. Something in the brain’s environment was causing the cells’ decay and disappearance.Ultimately, the story came full circle back to the microglia that Monje had first eyed more than 15 years ago. Additional experiments on brain cells revealed methotrexate activates microglia in the brain’s white matter, causing a cascade of effects and ultimately depleting OPCs. Because several compounds that deplete microglia are in clinical trials for cancer and other indications, the scientists were able to test one of them on their chemo brain–affected animals. They found that depleting microglia was effective: It restored OPCs, normalized myelin, and rescued short-term memory, the research team reports today in Cell. That means, they write, that the microglia are likely behind chemo brain for this particular drug.“The authors did a great job at trying to look at this phenomenon from very different angles,” says Schagen, making sure, for example, that findings in brain tissue also held true in mice. The activation of microglia, Schagen says, looks like an “important” direct mechanism. But Schagen, who has studied the effects of several chemotherapy drugs on mouse brains, also stresses that these findings are limited to methotrexate; other chemotherapy drugs may cause cognitive problems in different ways. The dose and its timing may also affect a drug’s brain effects, Schagen says.Monje says there’s a lot left to do before launching a clinical trial of any potential chemo brain fighter. One question is how long any such drug must be used. Another is what molecular mechanisms are driving the brain cells to behave as they do. But she’s hopeful that, after many years of trying, she and others are moving in the right direction.center_img By Jennifer Couzin-FrankelDec. 6, 2018 , 11:10 AM JPagetRMphotos/Alamy Stock Photo Cognitive problems are a common side effect after chemotherapy. A new study suggests how one type of chemo may contribute. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

admin

Genetically engineered immune cells fight off deadly virus in mice

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Genetically engineered immune cells fight off deadly virus in mice A computer-generated image of a B cell Science Picture Co/Science Source By Mitch LeslieMay. 17, 2019 , 2:00 PMcenter_img In the new study, immunologist Justin Taylor of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and colleagues tested whether they could engineer B cells to recreate an antibody already known to be potent against RSV. With the DNA-snipping CRISPR genome-editing system, they cut one of the antibody genes in mouse B cells. The scientists then used a virus to ferry a gene for the anti-RSV antibody into the cells. After the inserted gene settled into position in the sliced DNA, it began to work, and the B cells churned out the RSV-targeting antibody. Using the same approach, the scientists could also prod human B cells to create antibodies against three other viruses, including HIV and one type of influenza virus. “We got amazingly high efficiencies,” says Taylor, with up to 60% of cells manufacturing the added antibody, higher than in previous studies that attempted to engineer B cells.To determine whether transplanting the modified cells could prevent infections, the scientists injected the genetically engineered B cells or control cells into mice and then exposed the animals to RSV. Five days later, the lungs of the control mice teemed with the virus. But the lungs of mice that had received the engineered cells contained almost no RSV, the researchers report today in Science Immunology. And when the researchers injected the modified B cells into mice with defective immune systems—a common problem in bone marrow recipients, who are susceptible to RSV—the rodents were able to fight off the virus 82 days later.No HIV vaccine exists, but a few people exposed to the virus naturally produce extremely potent antibodies against it. The B cell approach might allow researchers to harness these antibodies and thus provide protection against HIV infection. Engineering the cells to make different antibodies might fend off other diseases caused by viruses that have evaded vaccines.“This is an important paper,” says immunoengineer Michael Goldberg, CEO of the biotech startup STIMIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s optimistic that cells will eventually be used in people. “Hopefully, children will one day go to their pediatrician’s office to receive engineered B cells that express the best-known antibodies for protection against most strains of certain viruses.”But genome engineer Branden Moriarity of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis suggests the approach may be so expensive—cancer treatments that rely on other engineered immune cells cost hundreds of thousands of dollars—that it won’t be practical. “People will not be using engineered B cells prophylactically in the near future.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Researchers may have demonstrated a novel way to protect us from some of the world’s deadliest viruses. By genetically engineering immune cells to make more effective antibodies, they have defended mice from a potentially lethal lung virus. The same strategy could work in humans against diseases for which there are no vaccines.“It’s a huge breakthrough,” says immunologist James Voss of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, who wasn’t connected to the study.Vaccines typically contain a disabled microbial invader or shards of its molecules. They stimulate immune cells known as B cells to crank out antibodies that target the pathogen. Not everyone who receives a vaccine gains protection, however. Some patients’ antibodies aren’t up to snuff, for instance. And researchers haven’t been able to develop vaccines against some microbes, such as HIV and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes lung infections mainly in children and people with impaired immune systems.last_img read more

admin

Scientists share MIT disobedience award for MeToo advocacy

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Meredith WadmanNov. 27, 2018 , 5:00 PM Email She also targeted AAAS, publisher of ScienceInsider, with an online petition demanding that the organization oust AAAS fellows who are proved to be sexual harassers. AAAS’s governing council in September adopted a policy allowing that. McLaughlin also succeeded earlier this year in getting the website RateMyProfessors.com to drop its “hotness” category, formerly designated by a red chili pepper.McLaughlin, who founded the group #MeTooSTEM, does not pull punches in calling out known and alleged harassers, usually on Twitter, and has made enemies as her profile has risen; she recently received a package of excrement via FedEx. “This award provides great moral clarity on what is right,” she told ScienceInsider. “It says that doing this, shamelessly making campuses and conferences safer, puts you on the right side of history.” (At its annual meeting earlier this month, the Society for Neuroscience also honored McLaughlin for her advocacy on behalf of women in science, technology, engineering, and math.)Marts, the other scientist honored, left science after enduring sexual harassment while completing a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Marts’s life since Duke has included a 10-year stint as vice president for scientific affairs at the Society for Women’s Health Research in Washington, D.C. More recently, she has been a consultant advising nonprofits how to address sexual harassment at meetings and conferences. She also helped the American Geophysical Union adapt its code of conduct to define sexual harassment as scientific misconduct—a move that made it a leader among scientific organizations. “I’m thrilled,” Marts told ScienceInsider. “I owe a huge debt to … the scientific society executives who are willing to admit they have a problem and to face it head-on.”Another scientist was among four runners-up for the award, each of whom received $10,000. In 2017, Deborah Swackhamer, an environmental chemist, was ousted as chair of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Board of Scientific Counselors after refusing senior EPA officials’ requests that she alter remarks she had prepared for testimony to Congress.The award winners were chosen by a panel of 11 judges that included scientists such as MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden. The Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge today honored two women who have played leading roles in advancing the #MeToo movement within science by awarding them, along with one other #MeToo advocate, its edgy, $250,000 “Disobedience Award.”BethAnn McLaughlin, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, will share the prize with biologist Sherry Marts and #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke. The Disobedience Award, now in its second year, is funded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman to honor people or groups “who engage in ethical, nonviolent acts of disobedience in service of society.” Hoffman has said he wanted to “recognize the people who help us look in the mirror and see who our better selves could be.”McLaughlin—better known to her Twitter followers as @McLNeuro—will collect one-third of the prize money for speaking out against sexual harassment in science. Angered by a Science article describing allegations of sexual harassment against cancer scientist Inder Verma, who has since resigned from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, McLaughlin in May launched a petition urging the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to eject proven harassers from lifetime memberships in the prestigious academies. NASEM leaders soon said they would explore whether and how they might do so. They say full votes of their memberships are needed for change. Vanderbilt University Medical Center center_img Neuroscientist BethAnn McLaughlin of Vanderbilt University in Nashville was honored for founding #MeTooSTEM. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Scientists share MIT ‘disobedience’ award for #MeToo advocacy Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

admin

Trump to launch artificial intelligence initiative but many details lacking

first_img Email Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) By Matthew HutsonFeb. 11, 2019 , 12:01 AM 1) Research and development. The administration will ask agencies to “prioritize AI investments” in their spending, but did not detail how much funding the White House will request to support the initiative. (Congress ultimately determines spending levels.) The initiative also calls for better reporting of AI R&D spending by agencies, in order to create an overview of how much is spent across the government.2) Infrastructure. Agencies are expected to help researchers access federal data, algorithms, and computer processing.3) Governance. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other groups will together draft general guidelines for governing AI to ensure its safe and ethical use. The official couldn’t say which specific issues the effort would address, but noted that it will involve experts from the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Defense, and other agencies. The senior administration official noted that one concern is protecting data privacy.4) Workforce. The White House’s AI advisory committee and its council on job training will look for ways to continue workers’ educations. In addition, agencies will be asked to create fellowships and training programs in computer science.5) International engagement. The administration hopes to perform a delicate balancing act: collaborating on AI with other countries, while not compromising U.S. interests or ceding any technological edge. The official deflected questions about how engagement efforts might address China’s challenges to U.S. interests, and did not say whether the initiative would address immigration and visas for scientists, engineers, and students.The initiative follows several steps the Trump administration has already taken on AI. In May 2018, it held a summit on the role of AI in industry. And in September 2018, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced that it had committed $2 billion to AI research funding. (The total included some projects already underway.) That month, the White House also called for public input on updating an existing National AI R&D Strategic Plan.Early reaction is mixed. “The White House’s latest executive order correctly highlights AI as a major priority for U.S. policymaking,” says Kate Crawford, a co-director of AI Now, a research institute at New York University in New York City. But she’s concerned about its focus on industry and apparent lack of input from academia and civic leaders. She says passing mentions of privacy and civil liberties don’t dispel worries about the Trump administration’s “troubling track record” on these issues. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a defining issue of our time, affecting national security, economic development, human rights, and social media—for better and worse. And today, President Donald Trump will sign an executive order launching the American AI Initiative, directing federal agencies to focus on the technology.The administration has yet to provide many details, however, saying only that it will be assigning federal agencies specific timelines for “deliverables” and expects to release more information over the next 6 months.The U.S. initiative, which follows on the heels of at least 18 other countries that have announced national AI strategies, will have five “key pillars,” a senior administration official told reporters yesterday during a telephone briefing. They are: Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Trump to launch artificial intelligence initiative, but many details lacking President Donald Trump Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

admin

Holbrook Council provided draft of cemetery policy

first_img By Toni Gibbons The Holbrook City Council met on Jan. 23, with City Clerk Cher Reyes providing the council with the final draft of the rules, regulations and prices for the plots at the newSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad February 6, 2018 Holbrook Council provided draft of cemetery policylast_img

admin

Silicon Valleys Corrupt Underbelly Its Far Worse Than We Thought

first_imgAfter addressing the topic of sexual harassment and misconduct in Silicon Valley last month, I finally got my hands on a copy of Brotopia, an eye-opening new book, and a lot of executives should be happy I did not pursue my career in law enforcement. Otherwise I would be working my butt off to get them off the streets behind bars.Everyone connected to tech — especially investors, employees or customers of tech firms — should read this book. Specifically, for investors, it will give you insights into a level of extreme avoidable risk that has not been factored into the market — at least not yet.If I were interested in developing a strategy either to ensure a Republican win in the mid-term elections or to move the center of tech to China, India, South Korea or Israel, this book would be invaluable.That’s because it highlights how easily most of the men and some of the women in the book could be blackmailed (given the nature of China, North Korea and Russia, perhaps that’s already happening to some of them). That could be one of the reasons Russia’s fake news effort was so successful during the last election, and why its expected larger effort in the coming elections once again could succeed.My perspective is not so much to analyze the book as it is to talk about the foundational elements and potentially devastating impact of the problems associated with power abuse at scale, combined with a power shift between men and women that these abuses have accelerated.My product of the week is Brotopia, but rather than ending with comments on the book, I’ll use my reaction to it as the foundation of my analysis. Analyzing the Problem You’ll read about justifications for sordid behavior that mostly comes down to “I have the power, so the rules don’t matter.” You also will find that even though men drive these things, some women have been turning them to their advantage.The book is one of the best-referenced books I have ever read. It is an easy read, but you will find it deeply upsetting (assuming you are human), and it might motivate you to act. It is, however, light on what we should do about the problems, which is why that is my focus.Read the book. It could save your job, protect your mental health (particularly if you avoid becoming a victim), and give you ideas about how to protect not only yourself but also the important women in your life. As I was writing this, thanks to Peter Thiel’s announcement, one other recommendation came up. I am far from religious, but when reading the book, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah came to mind. In that story, Lot got out and because he did not look back, he survived.I think Peter Thiel’s decision to move out of Silicon Valley puts him in the role of Lot, suggesting that the final recommendation is to get your headquarters and brand out of Silicon Valley before this all blows up.While it may be an explosion seemingly in slow motion at the moment (the book highlights an impressive number of past terminations), all it will take is an underage girl claiming rape against a high-profile executive, an abused woman’s spouse/father/son going postal on her abuser, or a death to cover up a rape, to trigger a catastrophic outcome for Silicon Valley and everyone in it.Every sex party and incident of abuse is effectively Russian Roulette — and based on the book, that gun is attempting to fire far more than once a day.One final thought: Even if you take the abuse and illegal drugs out of this, the level of absolute stupidity behind this abusive behavior is unprecedented. Do you really want your money, your firm’s future, and your brand connected to this lack of brain power?Would you rather, when this goes, talk about how you anticipated and addressed the problem, or look like an idiot for not seeing it going on seemingly in front of your face? This could blow this week or next decade, but when it finally goes, it likely will go big.My mother died so that I could live. Other women raised me — they cared for me when I could not care for myself. I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for my wife, and I could do no less than stand with women on this. To others of my sex, we too need to stand up and be counted.This abusive behavior must end. Identifying the Causes Analysts look, or should look, at problems differently from others. When we are doing the job correctly, we are expected to ignore the outcomes of a problem and focus instead on the causes and dependencies, in order to estimate collateral damage from both the problem and any fix. The more senior of us are expected to come up with a viable solution. By “viable,” I mean something that is within the realm of possibility to execute.Taking this objective view isn’t always easy. In this case, I found it hard to put aside my growing anger while ready Brotopia and found it increasingly hard to think of the perpetrators of the described abuses as anything but demons.The likely reactions of those who learn about abuses is itself a problem. I personally have good impulse control, but last week’s shooting in Florida is a reminder that others don’t. I expect that if I were to find that my sister, nieces or wife had been abused in some of the ways this book spells out, my restraint might not be adequate. Consider this recent Olympics-connected incident. I doubt there are many fathers who wouldn’t do the same, though likely not in court. I’d place the primary causes of this bad behavior into four areas.First, the perpetrators are people who had little power and an excessive focus on sex early in life. These people then accumulated power, some of them massive amounts, that they were neither prepared for or trained to wield.Second, human resources organizations, which initially were created as a barrier to unions (as alternative advocates for employees), have evolved into weak compliance organizations. The result is that they are far better at covering up problems like this than they are at mitigating them. In fact, I’d argue that many have become enablers for abuse and harassment in large companies. VCs, where a significant amount of these abuses have been occurring, typically don’t have HR.Third, unions don’t exist in the tech market, and women are not yet organized to respond to this threat collectively. This is like the way it was before the birth of unions, a time when male workers also were treated as cheap disposable assets.Fourth, women have not yet realized or capitalized on the power they have. They often have flawed champions (politicians, attorneys, etc.) whose true motivations are questionable, and many continue to allow men to make critical decisions for them — for example, right to life vs. choice. Women have more buying and voting power than men do, and they could use it for devastating effect if they chose to. I expect we are closing in on either a trigger event or the identification of a trigger event. Wrapping Up: Peter Thiel – Sodom and Gomorrahcenter_img I really want you folks to read the book, so this is more of a teaser than anything else. In its pages, you will a find story, which is not presented as uncommon, of an employee watching her boss orally and anally engaged with two partners. You will read about job interviews (with women) in strip clubs and how sex is being exchanged for deals at a massive scale. You’ll learn that the cheapest good lunch in San Francisco is in a strip club with benefits, regularly patronized by employees from zero tolerance companies. The activities described in this book have been embraced by some of the most powerful individuals in the world. They are people who work at Tesla, SpaceX, Google, and a broad cross-section of the VCs. Other major power players are connected to this bad behavior in many ways.An uncontrolled purge, kind of what has been happening in the entertainment industry, could be devastating to the technology industry — and particularly, Silicon Valley.That collapse would shift billions of investments in technology out of Silicon Valley, California and the U.S., with a devastating impact on local, state and federal tax revenues. It would allow hostile governments with poor human rights reputations to point to the U.S. as their equal.Shifts in customers — particularly government and major brand shifts away from the identified firms — would be massive. I’d place Oracle, given its model and culture, as the most at risk, followed by Google and Facebook.Google once was linked tightly to President Obama, making it an ideal political target. Facebook’s risk is greater proximity to the Russian election-tampering probe and the other bad players, rather than any identified bad behavior by its people.Both Google and Facebook already have been called out as likely targets by the incoming FTC chair, making them ideal examples for attack.What this means is that if corrective action were taken in an uncontrolled fashion, the collateral damage in terms of jobs, income and California/U.S. revenues would be catastrophic. My Recommendations Dependencies/Collateral Damage HR and internal audit in firms, both in the tech industry and buying from it, need to be staffed up and missioned both to mitigate or eliminate the behavior and to protect the firm’s assets. This means that executives, board members and employees who actively have been taking part in abusing women employees and customers need to be identified and terminated for cause.In addition, buying agents who are cutting deals in exchange for sex or any other bribe need to be identified, the contracts reviewed, vendor penalties assessed, and either/or both terminated and charged criminally for their behavior. Anti-drug polices, fraternization policies and enforcement methods need to be reviewed and strengthened as needed.Crisis teams need to be ramped up, prepared for the related required disclosures, and funded to deal with the coming image and brand damage at scale. This is not just for the tech companies, because vendors and customers that have major recognized brands will be dragged into the resulting press crapstorm through employees involved with any of sex parties or sex for business sales efforts.I also would expect hosts of revealing pictures (cellphones are common and 360-degree cameras growing) to drive the entry of major legal players, like Gloria Allred, targeting where the pockets are deep and legal defense is light. VCs would be the easiest targets, but a major brand like Apple, Google or Facebook also would be very attractive.Boards must get it on the record that executives have been questioned about this behavior and reminded that it would result in immediate termination. They must terminate the executives who have indulged in it. Recall that a considerably smaller incident critically damaged HP.Women either should exit the industry or formally organize. However, this should be done in a measured fashion, and the effort — for lack of a better term, “union of women” — should be led by a qualified person who wouldn’t use it as a stepping stone to becoming U.S. president (because that would introduce conflicts). I’d recommend starting with this as a foundational model.As a side note, that may make the woman leading this the best actual candidate, because she could use that position to fix the problem. (I believe it is better to have a politician who is using the job to fix a problem like this, over one who is using the problem to get the job.) Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more

admin

Apple Spotlights Key iOS 113 Features

first_imgTalking Business The update will provide new ways to experience augmented reality on the iPhone and iPad, offer new Animoji on the iPhone X, and give users a consolidated view of their health records in the Health app.A beta version of ARKit — Apple’s AR dev platform for iOS mobile devices — also has been released to devs.ARKit 1.5 can turn posters, signs and artwork into interactive AR experiences. It can recognize and place virtual objects on vertical surfaces such as walls and doors.”There has been lots of buzz around ARKit,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager at IDC.”Apple’s helping democratize AR and that’s a very smart way to do it,” he told TechNewsWorld, “with a significant installed base of users, particularly on the iPhone X.”Apple has been scrabbling to remain competitive in AR, suggested Michael Jude, research manager at Stratecast Frost & Sullivan.”The Android family of phones is already well on its way to AR,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Apple has had the hardware platform, but has been slow on the software side. It think they’re looking at being left in the dust if they don’t deliver some real application capabilities.” iOS 11.3 will give the iPhone’s camera 50 percent greater resolution, and will support autofocus.The update has added four Animoji characters to the 12 already available.In iOS 11.3, Apple Music will offer ad-free music videos.Apple News will have a new Video group in the For You sections and an improved Top Stories section.HomeKit software authentication will allow developers to add HomeKit support to existing accessories while protecting security and privacy. Business Chat lets users communicate directly with businesses within the Messages app. Apple’s Tuesday release of iOS 11.2.5 fixed some vulnerabilities and added new features.New battery management features will be added in a later iOS 11.3 beta release, Apple said.The company apparently has accelerated its update rollout pace, said Linda Sui, a research director at Strategy Analytics.The company “wanted to please iOS users and remove the adverse impact from slowing down old iPhones,” she told TechNewsWorld.The iPhone X’s weaker-than-expected performance and battery life issues also are factors, and iOS 11.3’s release will “help Apple fight against these headwinds,” Sui said. Apple on Wednesday unveiled new features that will become available when iOS 11.3 is released this spring.The company has released the developer preview of iOS 11.3 to members of the iOS Developer Program. A public beta of the update is expected shortly. To Your Health The new Health Records feature in the Health app will allow consumers to see their available medical data from multiple providers, including hospitals and clinics, organized in one view. Health Records improves users’ health data access and control. They also will receive regular notifications for lab results, medications and other health-related information. Health Records data is encrypted and passcode-protected. Better Battery Performance Sonia Arrison is a trustee at Singularity University and author of the book 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith. Follow her on Twitter @soniaarrison. A Few More Things A new Business Chat feature, which will launch in beta when iOS 11.3 is made publicly available, will let users communicate directly with businesses within the Messages app.Among the companies Business Chat initially will work with are Lowe’s, Discover and Wells Fargo.The app lets users chat with a service rep, schedule an appointment, or make purchases through Apple Pay without leaving the app. The feature doesn’t share the user’s contact information with businesses, and users can stop chatting at any time. Lowe’s is a far second to Home Depot in the home improvement market; MasterCard and Visa dominate the credit card market; and Wells Fargo is still under a cloud for its banking practices, which raises the question of why Apple teamed with these particular companies.”Partners that are hungry can be counted to push the Apple capabilities to shore up their business,” Frost’s Jude observed. “If Apple wants to dictate terms, a weaker partner is the way to go.”However, “unless a substantial number of business people live on the iOS platform, [Business Chat] is likely to be a niche feature,” he suggested.last_img read more

admin

CDC investigating fastmultiplying Asian Longhorned tick

first_imgClose-up Haemaphysalis longicornis. Image Credit: AUKID PHUMSIRICHAT / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 29 2018The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned about the spread of tick borne diseases across the United States in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that was released this week.The report warns the general public about the threats posed by the Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) that has been spreading across several US states since 2017. The Asian long horned tick is an arachnid that is native to Korea and other parts of east Asia. Ben Beard, Ph.D., deputy director of CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, in a statement said, “The full public health and agricultural impact of this tick discovery and spread is unknown. In other parts of the world, the Asian longhorned tick can transmit many types of pathogens common in the United States. We are concerned that this tick, which can cause massive infestations on animals, on people, and in the environment, is spreading in the United States.” The first report of a tick present on a sheep came from New Jersey in August 2017. Since then there have been reports from eight other states Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  The reports have come from 45 counties and regions and ticks have been isolated from domestic animals, farm animals, wild animals, individuals as well as the environment.Ticks are capable of rapidly multiplying with a single female tick being able to produce 1 to 2000 eggs at a time without mating. This means that an infested person would soon have a massive spread of ticks. Ticks need to be removed and dealt with, say the authorities and the local agriculture departments need to be informed about the tick species that are noted, says the CDC. Tick infestation can reduce cattle production by up to 25 percent warns the CDC.“We really don’t know if diseases will be spread by this tick in the United States and, if so, to what extent. But it’s very important that we figure this out quickly,” Lyle Petersen, of the CDC’s division of vector-borne diseases said in a statement. He added that ticks have been known to spread diseases among humans rapidly.Related StoriesNew method improves detection of atrial fibrillation in stroke survivorsUsing NMR to Study Protein Structure, Dynamics and MechanismsCommon antibacterial agent may be bad news for bone healthAt present the CDC is working with experts at the federal, state as well as local levels which includes agricultural science experts, veterinary doctors and experts on public health to understand the situation. The team is working to determine the distribution of the Asian longhorned tick across the United States and the types of pathogens it can carry and the infections that it can cause. Some of the infections that are carried by ticks as vectors include Anaplasma, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, Babesia and Rickettsia. The team is also working towards development of accurate laboratory tests that would help diagnose such infections and also develop strategies to clean the colonies of the ticks. The team would determine the frequency of bites of the ticks and how often it is capable of spreading the infection to humans. Overall detection, prevention and control strategies are being devised by the team says the CDC.The report says, “A broad range of interventions should be evaluated, including insecticide and acaricide sensitivity testing. Many state and federal agencies are developing and disseminating information for stakeholders, including development of hotlines, and some states are identifying ticks submitted by the public.”Some of the tips that have been stated on the CDC website as to how the general population can prtect themselves against tick infestation and subsequent infections include use of appropriate insect repellents such as those containing DEET, IR3535, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), 2-undecanone and para-menthane-diol (PMD). The website states the protective clothing and gear that is incorporated with permethrin should be used. People are advised to take showers within two hours of a visit to a tick infested area and also inspect their bodies carefully for presence of ticks. All tick infested clothes need to be placed in dryers with high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill off the ticks present on them. Those owning dogs, domestic animals or farm animals need to consult with their veterinary doctors to keep their pets and livestock safe from ticks.center_img Source:https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p1129-tick-spreading-widely.html and https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6747a3.htm?s_cid=mm6747a3_wlast_img read more

admin

Black patients less likely to adopt active surveillance for lowrisk prostate cancer

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 23 2019At a time when a growing number of men with prostate cancer considered “low risk” are opting for active surveillance or watchful waiting rather than immediate treatment with surgery or radiation, a new study reveals that black men are less likely than white men to adopt an active surveillance strategy for their disease.This difference, reported in a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine¸ appears to be due in part to socioeconomic and insurance factors, according to Brandon Mahal, MD, from the department of radiation oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, and last author of the report. For example, he suggested, poorer or less well-insured black men might experience more barriers to the follow-up care – periodic exams, blood tests, and repeat biopsies – involved in active surveillance, resulting in a decision by providers and/or patients to opt for immediate definitive treatment.But the study, which looked at trends between 2010 and 2015, found that even after socioeconomic factors were accounted for, African American men were 16 percent less likely to adopt active surveillance or watchful waiting for “low risk” prostate cancer. A possible explanation, said Mahal, is that providers may be concerned that low risk prostate cancer in black men may be more aggressive than in white men; in fact, he said several studies have suggested that black men with low-risk disease might have poorer outcomes compared to non-African American men. “Given the under-representation of black patients in clinical trials and concern about underlying aggressive disease, expert panels advise caution when applying conservative management to black patients,” said the report. That awareness could drive more black men toward immediate surgery or radiation therapy, noted Mahal.The disparity “really demonstrates that there’s a need for further study into low-risk disease in African American men so that we can better treat these men with low-risk disease,” Mahal said.Low-risk prostate cancer is defined as being clinical stage T1 to T2a (early stage disease); a Gleason score of 6 or less (on a scale of 2 to 10) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of less than 10 ng per milliliter.The researchers’ analysis used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Prostate with Watchful Waiting Database, which included 50,302 patients of whom 7,517 (14.9%) were black and 42,785 (85.1%) were nonblack. From 2010 through 2015, the use of radical prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate gland) and definitive radiotherapy decreased from 41.4% and 46.0% to 28.8% and 34.8% respectively among black men. The decrease was from 48.5% (prostatectomy) and 36.7% (radiotherapy) to 31.8% and 24.9% among nonblack men.In the same period, the use of active surveillance or watchful waiting almost tripled, increasing from 12.6% to 36.4% among black men and from 14.8% to 43.3% among nonblack men – the latter group adopting surveillance at a greater rate. This is the first study that has truly been able to examine how the factors of race and socioeconomic status impact the use of active surveillance for prostate cancer in the United StatesBlack men are underrepresented in clinical trials that have evaluated active surveillance. These findings demonstrate the need for clinical trials to better guide management for black men with low-risk prostate cancer.”Santino S. Butler, first author of the report Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerSpecifically, said Mahal, to investigate whether active surveillance is a safe option for black men with low-risk disease, “we need clinical trials of African American men with low-risk prostate cancer where we evaluate their tumors for aggressive markers and also evaluate their outcomes with active surveillance. These studies would settle debates about the aggressiveness of low-risk prostate cancer in African American men and would help guide management decisions, which are now being made based on limited data.”Source:Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteJournal reference:Butler, S. et al. (2019) Active Surveillance for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer in Black Patients. The New England Journal of Medicine. doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc1900333.last_img read more

admin