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In wake of Trumps fetal tissue clampdown scientists strain to adjust

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Michael DiVito Megan Sykes, an immunologist at Columbia University, has spent years using human fetal tissue to develop a mouse with a humanlike immune system, which mimics how type 1 diabetes develops in humans. The tissue is donated after elective abortions, and the mice are testbeds for potential diabetes treatments. But last week, she learned that President Donald Trump, acting on a priority of advocacy groups opposed to abortion, had issued a new policy that is likely to cause lengthy delays the next time she seeks U.S. government grants for her work—and could even choke off federal funding for all studies that use fetal tissue. The policy “is incredibly disappointing,” Sykes says, because it is a “politically motivated decree” that could derail numerous disease research efforts.The new Trump policy, issued 5 June after a 9-month review led by officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has three major components. One kills a long-standing contract between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and the University of California (UC), San Francisco, under which the university used fetal tissue to develop humanized mice for HIV drug testing. Another ends research using fetal tissue conducted by any scientist directly employed by NIH. The third and widest-reaching provision adds a lengthy and uncertain step to NIH’s process for awarding new or renewal grants to university scientists, such as Sykes, for studies that use human fetal tissue. It requires HHS to appoint a separate 14- to 20-member ethics advisory board to review each proposal that NIH reviewers have found worthy of funding. The review of up to 6 months will result in a funding recommendation to the HHS secretary, who can accept or reject the advice.Enacting the new policy “was the president’s decision …. to protect the dignity of human life,” Judd Deere, deputy White House press secretary, told Science. It was applauded by antiabortion activists, whose lobbying prompted HHS to launch its review of U.S.-funded fetal tissue research in September 2018. “This is a major pro-life victory,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List in Washington, D.C. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Many biomedical researchers were stunned, noting that the tissue, which would otherwise be discarded, has properties that make it valuable for research. It is less specialized than adult tissue, for instance, and readily adapts to new environments. “These new restrictions have no scientific or ethical basis and will roll back decades of consensus in the U.S., delaying the development of new treatments,” said Doug Melton, president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Skokie, Illinois, and co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.“The whole point here is to so wrap the research in red tape that it’s impossible or at least unlikely to be feasible for many researchers,” says bioethicist Alta Charo of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.A 1993 law formalized rules for using fetal tissue donated after elective abortions in U.S.-funded research. Last year, NIH spent $115 million on roughly 173 projects that rely on the tissue; about 160 were run by university scientists. One-third of the 173 grants focus on HIV/AIDS, many using humanized mice to probe, for example, how HIV hides out and evades the immune system, and what drugs might defeat it. Others tackle other infectious diseases, eye disease, and fetal development as well as toxic exposures during pregnancy.NIH says its scientists are conducting just three projects affected by the new rules; all will stop. “This decision is devastating. It effectively ends our studies looking into new approaches for an HIV cure,” says Warner Greene, director of the Gladstone Institutes Center for HIV Cure Research in San Francisco. Greene is a partner in one of the projects, run by retrovirologist Kim Hasenkrug of NIH’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana.At universities, the policy allows existing projects to continue until their current NIH funding expires. Nearly half of these extramural grants will expire within the next 18 months, and scientists will need to apply for a renewal if they want to keep the work going. Grantees are now grappling with what the new review process might mean.It has already caused at least one researcher to change course. HIV scientist Jerome Zack last week told colleagues at UC Los Angeles (UCLA) that he had decided to remove his work using fetal tissue to develop humanized mice from a renewal application, due at NIH in August, for a large grant supporting the university’s long-standing Center for AIDS Research. “The grant covers way more than mouse work, it covers all HIV research on campus,” he says. “I don’t want to jeopardize that.”Scott Kitchen, a Zack collaborator who directs mouse production at UCLA, says that in the past year his group provided humanized mice for more than 70 scientists on campus and nine at other institutions, as well as performing multiple large projects for several companies. “All of this has been critical in scientific and therapeutic development,” Kitchen says. “And all of it may now be derailed.”At Columbia, Sykes is worried about the one-third of her 15 staff who are funded through two NIH grants. She recently submitted a renewal proposal for one grant and planned to submit the other in July. HHS hasn’t said when the policy will kick in. But when Sykes asked NIH officials how it might affect her proposals, the response “wasn’t reassuring,” she says.Much could depend on whom the HHS secretary appoints to the ethics review boards. Under existing law governing HHS ethics boards, one-third to one-half of a board’s members must be scientists, and each must include at least one theologian, one ethicist, one physician, and one attorney. The law “absolutely” would allow HHS to pack the boards with members who oppose abortion, Charo says.Critics of the new policy also say it will undermine a goal of opponents of fetal tissue research: to find and encourage the use of alternatives. In December 2018, NIH Director Francis Collins noted that his agency was putting up to $20 million over 2 years into research on such alternatives. But scientists say that those alternatives need to be tested for validity against human fetal tissue itself. For the time being, Collins said in December 2018, fetal tissue would “continue to be the mainstay” for certain kinds of research.The new rules could remove that mainstay. But Charo notes a new president could reverse the policy, which is not codified in law.last_img read more

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USC researchers use AI to identify bloodbased markers of Alzheimers disease

first_img Source:https://www.usc.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 29 2019USC researchers found ‘hidden factors’ in medical data that could improve Alzheimer’s disease prediction and lead to better outcomesNearly 50 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. While age is the greatest risk factor for developing the disease, researchers believe most Alzheimer’s cases occur as a result of complex interactions among genes and other factors. But those factors and the role they play are not known–yet.In a new study, USC researchers used machine learning to identify potential blood-based markers of Alzheimer’s disease that could help with earlier diagnosis and lead to non-invasive ways of tracking the progress of the disease in patients. The method was developed by USC computer science research assistant professor Greg Ver Steeg, a senior research lead at the USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI). Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.”This type of analysis is a novel way of discovering patterns of data to identify key diagnostic markers of disease,” said team member Paul Thompson, the associate director of the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute and professor in the Keck School of Medicine at USC. “In a very large database of health measures, it helped us discover predictive features of Alzheimer’s disease that nobody suspected were there.”The study, “Uncovering Biologically Coherent Peripheral Signatures of Health and Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease in the Aging Brain,” appeared in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, The study authors are from the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute and the USC Information Sciences Institute.Identifying biomarkersWhile most Alzheimer’s research to date has focused on known hypotheses, such as the build up of amyloid plaque and tau protein in the brain, both measures have proved tricky to measure in the bloodstream.As such, diagnostic tests are largely based on memory. Unfortunately, by the time a person starts showing signs of memory loss, they may have already had the disease for decades. Catching the disease early, before symptoms even appear, is a crucial step in managing the disease with drugs and lifestyle changes that can improve quality of life.As a result, neuroscientists at USC wondered if there could be other “hidden” indicators of Alzheimer’s–factors that could be detected with a routine blood test. But how do you find something when you don’t know what you’re looking for?So, they turned their attention towards machine learning, enlisting the expertise of Greg Ver Steeg, a USC computer scientist and physicist who specializes in mining complex data.In 2013, Ver Steeg developed an advanced machine learning method called Correlation Explanation (CorEx) capable of teasing out patterns in areas often overwhelmed by large amounts of data, including neuroscience, psychology and finance. The same year, the method made the news when Shirley Pepke, a computational biologist at Caltech, used the algorithm to study her own cancer.Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpIn this particular study, the scientists’ goal was to use the same algorithm to unearth hidden factors–or clusters of related factors–in medical data that could be correlated with Alzheimer’s disease.”It could be that there is no single predictor of whether you are likely to have cognitive decline, if it’s begun already, or how severe it’s going to be,” said Ver Steeg. “But maybe there’s collections of indicators that would be a better signal. The question we were looking at was whether we could use the algorithm to find groups of features that could be a better predictor of Alzheimer’s than any factors measured individually.”Clusters of relationshipsThe researchers examined medical data collected from 829 older adults from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database to identify predictors of cognitive decline and brain atrophy over a one-year period.Participants fell into three diagnostic categories: cognitively normal, mild cognitive impairment and those with Alzheimer’s disease. The data included more than 400 biomarkers collected from brain imaging, genetics, plasma, and demographic information.Sure enough, when the scientists ran the data through Ver Steeg’s algorithm, distinct clusters of relationships emerged. Amyloid and tau were found to be important, but the algorithm also revealed strong relationships with cardiovascular health, hormone levels, metabolism and immune system response. For instance, low vitamin B12 levels, which can be a risk factor in cardiovascular disease, were grouped together with enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases, also characteristic of cardiovascular diseases, and a protein secreted by T-cells, known to participate in immune response.While the relationships between some of the measures had been previously documented and were known to be associated with Alzheimer’s, “the results points to a synergy between features being a stronger predictor than individual features,” said Thompson.”Maybe fixing one of these things alone doesn’t make a huge difference, but fixing a cluster of things could be helpful in reducing the risk of developing the disease.”A growing list of biomarkers could lead to earlier diagnosis and better prognosis, providing new targets for blood tests, said Thompson. In future studies, he and his team hope to confirm the results in a larger population of patients and use Ver Steeg’s method to find hidden factors in other diseases, such as schizophrenia and depression.last_img read more

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Viruses in the intestinal tracts can lead to islet autoimmunity and Type

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 20 2019Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, provide new evidence supporting an association between elevated levels of enteroviruses in the intestinal tracts of children and islet autoimmunity, a precursor to Type 1 diabetes. The paper appears in the journal Scientific Reports.Approximately 40,000 cases of Type 1diabetes are diagnosed each year in the U.S. In Australia, where the study cohort originated, almost 60 percent of newly diagnosed cases are in children and people younger than 25 years.Related StoriesAADE’s comprehensive guidance on care of children, young adults with diabetes releasedSome people treated for type 1 diabetes may have monogenic diabetes, study findsStudy: Antidepressants reduce mortality by 35% in patients with diabetesResearchers examined blood and feces collected from 93 children as part of the Australian Viruses In the Genetically at Risk study (VIGR), a prospective birth cohort of children with at least one first-degree relative with Type 1 diabetes. The study used Virome-Capture-Sequencing for Vertebrate-infecting viruses (VirCapSeq-VERT), a viral sequencing tool developed at the CII that is up to 10,000 times more powerful at identifying viruses than conventional high-throughput (next generation) sequencing methods.A test of fecal samples found 129 viruses that were more abundant in the guts of children with islet autoimmunity versus age and gender-matched controls, including five enterovirus-A viruses significantly more abundant in cases. The enterovirus A species includes viruses that are the source of common infant infections such as hand, foot and mouth disease, but also encephalitis; in most cases, however, infections are asymptomatic or mild. Researchers say further study is needed to pinpoint the specific virus or viruses that can lead to islet autoimmunity and Type 1 diabetes.Blood samples did not show an association between enteroviruses and islet autoimmunity, a finding the researchers say is in keeping with the fact that the body clears viruses from the bloodstream more quickly than from the gut.”These findings strengthen the model that enteroviruses can spread from the gut into a child’s pancreas and trigger autoimmunity in the cells that regulate blood sugar,” says Thomas Briese, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology and CII lead on the project. “Knowing the virus types involved is a critical step toward developing new strategies for prevention and treatment of Type 1 diabetes.”​ Source:https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/viruses-linger-gut-could-trigger-type-1-diabeteslast_img read more

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Potential target for Group A Streptococcus vaccine identified

first_img Source:http://www.uky.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 1 2019Most people think of “strep throat” as a relatively benign infection cured by a round of antibiotics and a few days of rest. But the bacterium that causes strep throat — Group A Streptococcus — is also responsible for a number of much more dangerous disorders, including rheumatic heart disease and toxic shock syndrome.With the specter of increased resistance to antibiotics, the scientific community is feeling pressure to find new ways to treat bacteria like Group A Streptococcus. And it appears that an international group of scientists has gained some insight into this microbial enemy — and hope of a vaccine.Group A Streptococcus has a thick cell wall that protects it from environmental hazards, including attacks from our own immune system. This bacterium is remarkably resistant to the human antimicrobial protection mechanisms for reasons that are not well understood.Related StoriesGeorgia State researcher wins $3.26 million federal grant to develop universal flu vaccineResearchers develop improved vaccine for meningitis and bloodstream infectionsScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachThe group of investigators — led by Natalia Korotkova of the University of Kentucky and Nina Van Sorge of Utrecht University — wondered: was there any “weak point” in the bacterial cell wall that could be exploited?The group set out to identify the genes that conferred Group A Streptococcus resistance by bombarding the bacteria with two antimicrobials: zinc ions and human group IIA secreted phospholipase A2. They found that both assays identified the same culprit: the gacH gene.The team of more than a dozen scientists from five countries, each with a discrete expertise, further deciphered the function of this gene using a variety of biochemical, analytical and structural methods, determining that it enables Group A Streptococcus to reinforce its resistance to attack by our defense systems by modifying cell wall glycopolymers with glycerol phosphate.”This previously unrecognized Streptococcus cell wall modification impacts host-pathogen interactions and might therefore be a very attractive target for vaccine design, especially since the gacH gene is widely distributed in the genomes of Group A Streptococcus and related bacteria,” Korotkova said.State-of-the-art NMR methods and mass-spectrometry analyses enabled the identification of this modification.”This glycerol phosphate modification had gone unnoticed for decades due to loss during preparation steps,” she said.Because the Strep A bacteria is ranked among the top ten causes of mortality from infectious diseases in the world, the potential impact of a vaccine is considerable, particularly where resources and access to healthcare are limited.”We need additional studies to demonstrate that this glycerol phosphate-modified glycopolymer can be included as a component of a safe and effective Group A Streptococcus vaccine” Korotkova said. “last_img read more

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United Nations sounds alarm bell on drugresistant infections

first_imgTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General and Co-Chair of the IACG, on the report made a statement saying, “We are at a critical point in the fight to protect some of our most essential medicines. This report makes concrete recommendations that could save thousands of lives every year.”Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Co-Chair of the IACG, in a statement said, “Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats we face as a global community. This report reflects the depth and scope of the response needed to curb its rise and protect a century of progress in health. It rightly emphasizes that there is no time to wait, and I urge all stakeholders to act on its recommendations and work urgently to protect our people and planet and secure a sustainable future for all.”Related StoriesReprogramming cells to control HIV infectionStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsJosé Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) added, “The report’s recommendations recognize that antimicrobials are critical to safeguard food production, safety and trade, as well as human and animal health, and it clearly promotes responsible use across sectors. Countries can foster sustainable food systems and farming practices that reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance by working together to promote viable alternatives to antimicrobial use, as laid out in the report’s recommendations.” Dr. Monique Eloit, Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in her statement added, “Antimicrobial resistance must be addressed urgently, through a One Health approach involving bold, long-term commitments from governments and other stakeholders, supported by the international organisations. This report demonstrates the level of commitment and coordination that will be required as we face this global challenge to public health, animal health and welfare, and food security. We must all play our part in ensuring future access to and efficacy of these essential medicines.”Antimicrobial resistance anecdotesAt present the CDC says that the United States is facing three urgent threats from antimicrobial resistance. These include; Implementation of One Health National Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plans on a more aggressive and prioritized mode Development of new antimicrobials Collaboration for more effective joint global action. Global awareness Investment for sustainable response to antimicrobial resistance and phasing out indicrimate use of antibiotics in agriculture Global governance, regulatory actions and improving accountability Clostridium difficile or C. Diff that can cause life threatening diarrhea and colitis. This infects around 50,000 patients annually and kills around 15000. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) – also called “nightmare bacteria” that affects 9000 people each year killing 600 Neisseria gonorrhoeae – or drug resistant gonorrhoea infection that affects 246,000 people annually The committee called the Ad hoc Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance comprised on scientific experts and representatives of major UN scientific agencies. They gathered in March 2017 and were asked to prepare guidelines to tackle the global problem of antibiotic resistance. The team writes in their report published this week (29th April 2019)  that antibiotic and other drug resistance is directly responsible for around 700,000 deaths annually per year. Of these 230,000 deaths occur due to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. They speculate that if action is not taken, by 2030, drug resistant illnesses could lead to around 10 million deaths each year. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also adds that antibiotic resistant infections affect around 2 million Americans each year and of these 23,000 deaths are seen.The report emphasizes on steps to prevent resistance not only among humans but also among animals and plants by preventing misuse and overuse of the existing antimicrobial agents. This is the first step to reducing resistance they write. They add that risk factors for spread of antimicrobial resistant pathogens include poor infection control, poor hygiene, poor sanitation, lack of access to clean water, lack of disease and infection prevention, lack of adequate and timely healthcare, inadequate vaccination, lack of diagnostic facilities, malnutrition, food safety and lack of good waste management systems etc.The Interagency Coordination Group writes that to address antimicrobial resistance the united efforts should be clean water, food safety, good sanitation, sustainable production and consumption and improved health. The report emphasized on “One Health”. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to combat antimicrobial resistance more antimicrobial drugs should be developed. The agency says that there are several drugs that are being developed but of these only around 14 percent would actually be deemed safe and effective to be used in humans.This present report recommends five steps to combat antimicrobial resistance. These steps include;center_img By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDApr 30 2019According to a new report from a United Nations Committee, antibiotic resistance levels are at an all time high and are the reason behind common infections becoming difficult to treat. The report adds that simple life-saving surgeries are increasingly becoming risky and life threatening because of lack of post operative effective antibiotic coverage. The authors write that the resistance shown against antibiotics, anti-virals, anti-fungals and anti-protozoal drugs has become a global phenomenon and could be called a “global crisis”. Recently the WHO has updated the treatment guidelines for gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis to accommodate antimicrobial resistance.Malaria and tuberculosis too have been increasingly developing resistance against first line drugs. The WHO says that in 2016 resistance to the first-line treatment for P. falciparum malaria (artemisinin-based combination therapies) has been reported from 5 countries of the Greater Mekong sub-region (including Cambodia, Myanmar, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Thailand and Viet Nam). A “WHO Strategy for Malaria Elimination in the Greater Mekong subregion (2015-2030)” has begun in all the five nations and in China. Drug resistance against HIV is also becoming a major concern worldwide. The WHO has launched a new “Global Action Plan for HIV Drug Resistance (2017-2021)” to prevent drug resistance against HIV.Since November 2015 an antibiotic awareness week is being observed, the theme being, “Antibiotics: Handle with care”. The WHO has a support system called the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS) to collect information regarding analysis of data on antimicrobial resistance and its sharing and global level decision and policy making. The WHO has a Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) which is its joint initiative with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) which encourages research and development of new drugs to fight antibiotic resistant organisms.In a study published this week in the journal Science and titled, “The challenge of antimicrobial resistance: What economics can contribute.” Authors Laurence SJ Roope and colleagues wrote that the “accelerating tide of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major worldwide policy concern.” They called AMR a problem of a similar magnitude of climate change calling it a “tragedy of the commons”. They forecast that AMR could cost governments same as a “2 degree rise in global average surface temperature”. The authors in their paper suggest how economic concepts such as “externalities and the principal–agent relationship” could help understand and tackle the problem. They suggest providing incentives for new antibiotic development and improvement of antibiotic stewardship using financial regulations and mechanisms.last_img read more

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New methodology for understanding psychiatric symptoms

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 25 2019A paper published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, provides a careful analysis of network analysis, a new methodology for understanding psychiatric symptoms.Network analysis is an analytical tool that allows one to explore the map of connections and eventual dynamic influences among symptoms and other elements of mental disorders. In recent years, the use of network analysis in psychopathology has rapidly grown, which calls for a systematic and critical analysis of its clinical utility.Related StoriesMild ecstasy use linked to greater empathy, PTSD researchMDMA has been shown to improve PTSD symptoms, but how?Eye-movement intervention reduces amygdala activity during recall of traumatic memoryThis systematic review of published empirical studies applying network analysis in psychopathology showed that network analysis has been applied in a plethora of mental disorders in adults (i.e., 13 studies on anxiety disorders; 19 on mood disorders; 7 on psychosis; 1 on substance abuse; 1 on borderline personality disorder; 18 on the association of symptoms between disorders), and 6 on childhood and adolescence.A critical examination of the results of each study suggests that network analysis helps to identify, in an innovative way, important aspects of psychopathology like the centrality of the symptoms in a given disorder as well as the mutual dynamics among symptoms. Yet, despite these promising results, the clinical utility of network analysis is still uncertain as there are important limitations on the analytic procedures (e.g., reliability of indices), the type of data included (e.g., typically restricted to secondary analysis of already published data), and ultimately, the psychometric and clinical validity of the results.Source:Journal of Psychotherapy and PsychosomaticsJournal reference:Contreras, A. et al. (2019) The Study of Psychopathology from the Network Analysis Perspective: A Systematic Review. Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. doi.org/10.1159/000497425.last_img read more

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IMAS survey reveals 74 of people living with axial spondyloarthritis struggle to

first_img Source: Novartis Jun 13 2019The European results of the International Map of Axial Spondyloarthritis (IMAS) reveal that people living with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) – a long-term inflammatory spine condition which is as prevalent as rheumatoid arthritis – face uncertainty and worry for their future, with 74% reporting difficulties finding a job due to the condition. These findings, presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2019) in Madrid, further highlight that the axSpA patient experience is poorly understood – an unmet need which international patient organization, Ankylosing Spondylitis International Federation (ASIF), is urging to be addressed. The survey highlights the need for open discussions between a person living with axSpA and their doctor to ensure that treatment goals are informed by the holistic needs of the patient. Through shared decision making and setting personal treatment goals, doctors and patients can work together to improve the patient’s health outcomes, allowing them to lead a more productive life both personally and professionally.”Dr. Victoria Navarro, Hospital Universitario La Paz (Madrid) AxSpA places a huge physical impact and psychological stress on those living with the condition, disrupting every aspect of their life and its quality, including mobility, sleep, work, and relationships. It is important to understand that symptoms vary from day to day and may impact people differently throughout their lives – and those affected by this should not remain silent, but speak out and get the support they need.”Raj Mahapatra, ASIF trusteecenter_img The data show that nearly two thirds of the 2,846 participants experienced work related issues, with the majority forced to take sick leave (56%) and many (45%) having difficulties in fulfilling their working hours. Many began experiencing these disruptive and debilitating symptoms at around the age of 26 – a time when many people are in the prime of their lives.Furthermore, results revealed that people living with axSpA can struggle for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis. On average, European participants were not diagnosed until over seven years after they developed symptoms, delaying treatment and potentially leading to a worse outcome for the patient, making them more likely to experience work-related issues. The survey also showed that patients most commonly feared losing mobility, pain and their disease progressing, but despite these fears, one in three had never discussed their treatment goals with their doctor. We are grateful to collaborate on this mission together with ASIF, the University of Seville and the medical and patient communities in the participating countries. AxSpA is still a disease that remains not well understood around the world. Together with our partners, we want to raise the voice of the patients to ultimately improve their care and quality of life.”Sam Khalil, Worldwide Head of Medical Affairs Immunology, Hepatology and Dermatology at Novartislast_img read more

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Henry Ford Cancer Institute treats its first patient with CAR Tcell therapy

first_imgThe National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2019, an estimated 5,930 people in the U.S. will have ALL, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Each year, approximately 3,100 new patients aged 20 or younger are diagnosed with ALL. The disease is also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “Acute” means that the disease can progress quickly, resulting in death within a few months if it is not treated.”Without this therapy, patient survival would be less than 10 percent,” says Dr. Peres.The therapy is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pediatric and young adult patients who have ALL, and for adult patients with DLBCL that has relapsed or is difficult to treat. CAR T-cell therapy is available only at a few hospitals in Michigan that have special certification.”Ours is a program with more personalized care. We have top experts in lymphoma and leukemia, so patients can feel confident they will have a team that can manage an untreatable cancer and hopefully get some response and possibly a cure,” Dr. Peres.For patients with DLBCL that has relapsed or has not responded to other treatments, the first FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapy, tisagenlecleucel, showed a relapse-free survival of 65% at 12 months. CAR T-cell gene therapy is a one-time treatment at the forefront of precision medicine. Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s Bone Marrow Transplant program, a joint effort by the bone marrow transplant physicians and staff, is critical to the success of CAR T-cell therapy.Related StoriesNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessarySugary drinks linked to cancer finds study”We are utilizing the patient’s cells and manufacturing a specific immune therapy for them,” says Dr. Peres. “Instead of chemotherapy that treats the whole body and is hopefully killing the cancer, we’re treating the cancer with targeted and precision medicine using the patient’s immune system.”CAR T-cell therapy involves several steps: T-cells are removed from the patient in a process similar to donating blood. After the cells have been separated from the blood, the blood is immediately returned to the body. The pharmaceutical company’s manufacturing lab inserts a new gene into the T-cells with instructions to make and add a new protein to their surface. That protein is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). While the CAR T-cells are multiplying in the laboratory, the patient may remain out of the hospital and may receive a brief course of outpatient chemotherapy. When millions of CAR T-cells have been grown – this may take a few weeks – the cells are frozen and delivered to the hospital where they are infused into the patient. The CAR T-cells will continue to multiply in the patient and attack cancer cells, working as a “living drug.” When patients are told ‘nothing else can be done,’ and they hear that CAR T-cell therapy may be an option, they are going to be very excited.”Edward M. Peres, M.D., medical director of the CAR T-Cell Program at Henry Ford Cancer Institute One of the challenges with CAR T-cell therapy is the side effects. Many patients have severe flu-like symptoms as the T-cells fight cancer. Some people may experience confusion or additional neurological symptoms that can be reversible. Other side effects can be more serious. To evaluate and treat those side effects, the patient remains in the hospital for two or more weeks.”Patients can rest assured that they will be closely monitored in a transplant unit and/or intensive care unit, and will be provided medications for any side effects,” says Dr. Peres. “We do everything possible for these patients.”Likewise, the detailed management process begins during a patient’s first visit when a multidisciplinary team evaluates everything from past medical to possible medical scenarios, psychological areas and even insurance coverage. Each patient also has a designated nurse navigator and financial coordinator.”We make it very easy for the patient. All they have to do is show up,” says Dr. Peres. Source:Henry Ford Cancer Institute Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 18 2019Henry Ford Cancer Institute has treated its first patient with CAR T-cell therapy, an approach that uses engineered cells from a patient’s immune system to destroy cancer. The altered cells remain active for years after the treatment, acting as a “living drug.”Only specially-certified trained hospitals can offer CAR T-cell therapy to patients with B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Henry Ford is one of them, and a Southeast Michigan woman is the health system’s first patient.last_img read more

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Caregiver depression linked to increased emergency department visits for patients with dementia

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 9 2019An observational study of 663 caregivers and the patients with dementia they care for suggests caregiver depression is associated with increased emergency department visits for their patients. A total of 84 caregivers had depression at the study start and it was associated with an increase in rates of emergency department use by patients after accounting for a number of other potential mitigating factors including patient age and the severity of dementia.There were 196 patients with dementia who had at least one emergency department visit in the first six months of the study. Caregiver depression was associated with an additional 0.7 emergency department visits per person-year for patients compared to caregivers without depression (1.5 vs. 0.8 visits) on an absolute scale. Limitations of the study to consider include selection bias because those caregivers with higher depression may have declined to participate. Other factors may also influence the results, including socioeconomic status. Still, the results reveal an important potential caregiver vulnerability that if overlooked in clinical encounters could neglect an important component of care and limit the ability to maximize patient outcomes. Source:JAMA Neurologylast_img read more

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Gender is personal – not computational

Transgender youth more often diagnosed with mental health conditions Citation: Gender is personal – not computational (2018, May 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gender-personal.html Should an algorithm try to guess what gender people are by how they look? Credit: all_is_magic/Shutterstock.com Provided by The Conversation How machine learning works. They described how being misgendered by algorithms could potentially feel worse than if humans did it. Technology is often perceived or believed to be objective and unbiased, so being wrongly categorized by an algorithm would emphasize the misconception that a transgender identity is inauthentic. One participant described how they would feel hurt if a “million-dollar piece of software developed by however many people” decided that they are not who they themselves believe they are. Privacy and transparencyThe people we interviewed shared the common public concern that automated cameras could be used for surveillance without their consent or knowledge; for years, researchers and activists have raised red flags about increasing threats to privacy in a world populated by sensors and cameras. But our participants described how the effects of these technologies could be greater for transgender people. For instance, they might be singled out as unusual because they look or behave differently from what the underlying algorithms expect. Some participants were even concerned that systems might falsely determine that they are trying to be someone else and deceive the system. Their concerns also extended to cisgender people who might look or act differently from the majority, such as people of different races, people the algorithms perceive as androgynous, and people with unique facial structures. This already happens to people from minority racial and ethnic backgrounds, who are regularly misidentified by facial recognition technology. For example, existing facial recognition technology in some cameras fail to properly detect the faces of Asian users and send messages for them to stop blinking or to open their eyes.Our interviewees wanted to know more about how automatic gender recognition systems work and what they’re used for. They didn’t want to know deep technical details, but did want to make sure the technology would not compromise their privacy or identity. They also wanted more transgender people involved in the early stages of design and development of these systems, well before they are deployed. Creating inclusive automatic systemsOur results demonstrate how designers of automatic categorization technologies can inadvertently cause harm by making assumptions about the simplicity and predictability of human characteristics. Our research adds to a growing body of work that attempts to more thoughtfully incorporate gender into technology. Minorities have historically been left out of conversations about large-scale technology deployment, including ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. Yet, scientists and designers alike know that including input from minority groups during the design process can lead to technical innovations that benefit all people. We advocate for a more gender-inclusive and human-centric approach to automation that incorporates diverse perspectives.As digital technologies develop and mature, they can lead to impressive innovations. But as humans direct that work, they should avoid amplifying human biases and prejudices that are negative and limiting. In the case of automatic gender recognition, we do not necessarily conclude that these algorithms should be abandoned. Rather, designers of these systems should be inclusive of, and sensitive to, the diversity and complexity of human identity. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. This sort of situation is not just creepy and invasive. It’s worse: Efforts at automatic gender recognition – using algorithms to guess a person’s gender based on images, video or audio – raise significant social and ethical concerns that are not yet fully explored. Most current research on automatic gender recognition technologies focuses instead on technological details. Our recent research found that people with diverse gender identities, including those identifying as transgender or gender nonbinary, are particularly concerned that these systems could miscategorize them. People who express their gender differently from stereotypical male and female norms already experience discrimination and harm as a result of being miscategorized or misunderstood. Ideally, technology designers should develop systems to make these problems less common, not more so.Using algorithms to classify peopleAs digital technologies become more powerful and sophisticated, their designers are trying to use them to identify and categorize complex human characteristics, such as sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity. The idea is that with enough training on abundant user data, algorithms can learn to analyze people’s appearance and behavior – and perhaps one day characterize people as well as, or even better than, other humans do.Gender is a hard topic for people to handle. It’s a complex concept with important roles both as a cultural construct and a core aspect of an individual’s identity. Researchers, scholars and activists are increasingly revealing the diverse, fluid and multifaceted aspects of gender. In the process, they find that ignoring this diversity can lead to both harmful experiences and social injustice. For example, according to the 2016 National Transgender Survey, 47 percent of transgender participants stated that they had experienced some form of discrimination at their workplace due to their gender identity. More than half of transgender people who were harassed, assaulted or expelled because of their gender identity had attempted suicide. Imagine walking down the street and seeing advertising screens change their content based on how you walk, how you talk, or even the shape of your chest. These screens rely on hidden cameras, microphones and computers to guess if you’re male or female. This might sound futuristic, but patrons in a Norwegian pizzeria discovered it’s exactly what was happening: Women were seeing ads for salad and men were seeing ads for meat options. The software running a digital advertising board spilled the beans when it crashed and displayed its underlying code. The motivation behind using this technology might have been to improve advertising quality or user experience. Nevertheless, many customers were unpleasantly surprised by it. Explore further Many people have, at one time or another, been surprised, or confused or even angered to find themselves mistaken for a person of another gender. When that happens to someone who is transgender – as an estimated 0.6 percent of Americans, or 1.4 million people, are – it can cause considerable stress and anxiety.Effects of automatic gender recognitionIn our recent research, we interviewed 13 transgender and gender-nonconforming people, about their general impressions of automatic gender recognition technology. We also asked them to describe their responses to imaginary future scenarios where they might encounter it. All 13 participants were worried about this technology and doubted whether it could offer their community any benefits. Of particular concern was the prospect of being misgendered by it; in their experience, gender is largely an internal, subjective characteristic, not something that is necessarily or entirely expressed outwardly. Therefore, neither humans nor algorithms can accurately read gender through physical features, such as the face, body or voice. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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Singapore says hackers stole 15 million health records in record cyberattack

first_imgSingaporean authorities say the theft is the city state’s biggest data breach to date Singapore’s health and information ministries said a government database was broken into in a “deliberate, targeted and well-planned” strike, describing the attack as “unprecedented”.”Attackers specifically and repeatedly targeted the personal particulars and outpatient information of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,” health minister Gan Kim Yong told a media conference. Officials declined to elaborate on the identity of the hackers citing “operational security”.Wealthy Singapore is hyper connected and on a drive to digitise government databases and essential services.While the city-state has some of the most advanced military weaponry in the region, authorities have long warned of cyber breaches, with attackers ranging from high-school students in their basements to criminals and state-actors.In 2017, hackers broke into a defence ministry database, stealing the information of some 850 army conscripts and ministry staff. Explore further Hackers have stolen health records belonging to 1.5 million Singaporeans, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who was specifically targeted in the city state’s biggest ever data breach, authorities said Friday. Citation: Singapore says hackers stole 1.5 million health records in record cyberattack (2018, July 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-singapore-hackers-stole-million-health.htmlcenter_img Singapore invites cyberattacks to strengthen defences © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Stricter emissions limits jolt Europes auto industry

first_imgThe annual European Car of the Year prize went to Jaguar’s new electric I-Pace model, marking only the second time in the 45-year history of the award that it has gone to a fully electric vehicle, after Nissan Leaf won in 2011 Citation: Stricter emissions limits jolt Europe’s auto industry (2019, March 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-stricter-emissions-limits-jolt-europe.html Europe’s biggest annual car show, which will open its doors to the media on Tuesday and to the public two days later, has long been synonymous with new lines of powerful and prestigious racing cars and shiny petrol-guzzling SUVs.But even before the 2019 show got under way, it was clear that electric would be all the rage.Monday afternoon, the annual European Car of the Year prize went to Jaguar’s new electric I-Pace model, marking only the second time in the 45-year history of the award that it has gone to a fully electric vehicle, after Nissan Leaf won in 2011.The show itself is set to be little more than a showcase for new electric concept cars, from small city autos by the likes of Citroen and Honda, to SUVs by Aston Martin, Audi and Mercedes, and even a new electric Volkswagen buggy.Other carmakers will unveil brand new models, like Peugeot with an electric version of its popular 208, and Kia with a new compact crossover called e-Soul.’Credible'”Electric vehicle breakthroughs at Geneva have been predicted several times before in recent years but this time it is credible,” Ferdinand Dudenhoffer, head of the Center Automotive Research in Germany, told AFP.The first explanation is the introduction of far stricter CO2 emissions limits that will kick in next year in Europe, he said.A second, equally important, incentive stems from Volkswagen’s pollution-cheating “dieselgate” scandal, which has hit demand for diesel-powered vehicles since 2015.Until recently, carmakers turned primarily to diesel to bring down their emissions averages, but “there is no going back to diesel, so they have no other choice but to speed into the electrical era,” Dudenhoffer said.At the same time, electric cars are quickly becoming the norm in China, the world’s biggest market for new vehicles, amid a major push by authorities.Californian carmaker Tesla has meanwhile shaken up the high-end market by unleashing its Model 3 sedan, which in recent months has become the number one premium brand in the United States.While Renault and Nissan, followed by Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia, saw the electric writing on the wall early on, others are now being forced to follow. And Californian carmaker Tesla has shaken up the high-end market by unleashing its fully electric luxury Model 3 sedan, which in recent months has become the number one premium brand in the United States This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Electric vehicles will take centre stage at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, as automakers scramble to bring their fleets into line with strict CO2 emissions standards set to kick in next year. Explore further Heavy finesAutomakers are at high risk of being hit with heavy fines of up to one billion euros ($1.13 billion) if they do not follow the looming European limits that require a company’s entire fleet to emit no more than 95 grammes (3.4 ounces) of CO2 per kilometre on average per vehicle, according to a recent study by the BCG consultancy.Over time, “if the carmakers do not sell enough electric vehicles, they will be ruined by fines,” PSA chief Carlos Tavares warned Monday in an interview with the French daily Le Figaro, comparing the new emissions targets to “a threat that will lead to a Darwinian reaction.” The problem is that the market is still in the embryonic stage. Even if a wider supply in 2019 and especially in 2020 may prove stimulating, demand may too weak to support so many new electric models.”More than 300 electric vehicles have been announced through 2025, that’s a lot,” said Thomas Morel of McKinsey.Sales of electric cars in Europe jumped 50 percent from 2017 to 2018, but last year there were still just 25 models jousting for the continent’s electric market, representing barely 1.3 percent of all new car registrations, according to the Jato Dynamics consultancy.”This will grow exponentially, but we will still be talking about small volumes” in the short term, said Flavien Neuvy, head of the Observatoire Cetelem, which conducts economic surveys in the global automotive industry.Toyota vice president Didier Leroy told a news conference late Monday that the challenge was not technical “but to do it in the appropriate way and the affordable way for the customer.”Joking with French reporters later, he said: “If we don’t find the solution we’ll have to go into some other business.”Nissan’s Leaf and Renault’s Zoe registered the strongest sales in Europe last year, while Tesla held the global lead.While small city cars and high-end luxury vehicles have successfully veered towards electric, “medium-sized and (medium-)priced cars are missing”, said Guillaume Crunelle of Deloitte.The problem, he said, is that the pricey batteries make electric cars expensive. But over time, the prices should drop below that of their petrol-fuelled counterparts, which Crunelle said should happen around 2022-23.”That will mark the shift from a niche to the mass market,” he said. © 2019 AFP Automakers seek to electrify Geneva car show, fight off gloom “In Europe, automakers are investing everything in electric, even if they don’t believe in it, even if it is to sell them at a loss,” said Tommaso Pardi, head of automobile research group Gerpisa.last_img read more

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Airbus v Boeing at the WTO Only the lawyers win

first_img Citation: Airbus v. Boeing at the WTO: Only the lawyers win (2019, April 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-airbus-boeing-wto-lawyers.html EU vs BoeingIn a complaint opened in June 2005, the EU alleged that Boeing had received $19.1 billion worth of prohibited subsidies from 1989 to 2006 from various branches of the US government. WTO judges said in a 2012 ruling that roughly a third of the subsidies in question were illegal.The US said it would make changes to comply with ruling.Various disputes were then filed over several years, largely over the question of whether US federal and state governments were actually complying with the ruling. Last month, WTO judges found that the US had failed to fully remove all the prohibited subsidies. Brussels v. Washington stateIn 2014, the EU initiated a third case challenging tax breaks and other incentives provided by Washington state to support production of Boeing’s 777X, which is set to take to the skies in 2020.It has been dubbed the “baby Boeing” case, given its narrow scope. In 2017, WTO judges said Washington state’s subsidies were legal in a decision that was not subject to appeal. © 2019 AFP When Airbus scored a major win in 2016, the company’s own chief executive Tom Enders said the protracted WTO tussle “benefits only the armies of lawyers both sides employ for more than a decade”.The world’s two aviation giants do not face each other directly at the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, with Boeing represented by the United States and the European Union acting for Airbus. The hostilities have continued unabated since 2004, when Washington declared that a 1992 US-EU agreement governing subsidies in the aircraft industry was dead.Here is a summary of the cases that have been brought to date, as fears rise that the row could escalate after the US threatened to impose $11.2 billion in tariffs on European products to counter support allegedly given to Airbus.US vs Airbus Washington fired the first shot in 2004, accusing Britain, France, Germany and Spain of providing illegal subsidies and grants to support the production of a range of Airbus products. In 2010, WTO judges delivered a mixed ruling, saying some of the support given to Airbus was prohibited while other parts were permitted under international trade law. The next eight years saw appeals and counter-appeals over both the substance of the rulings and then over whether the EU had adequately amended its behaviour to comply with the rulings. The latest compliance ruling is not expected before the end of this year. The world’s two aviation giants Boeing and Airbus do not face each other directly at the WTO—Boeing is represented by the US and the EU acts for Airbus Explore furthercenter_img The tit-for-tat legal battle between Airbus and Boeing at the World Trade Organization could, after 15 years, be fairly described as epic. Fears are rising that the row could escalate after the US threatened to impose $11.2 billion in tariffs on European products to counter support allegedly given to Airbus WTO confirms US failed to fully comply over Boeing subsidies This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Hyderabad 9yrold girl dies of suffocation burn injuries after fire engulfs hostel

first_imgHyderabad: 9-yr-old girl dies of suffocation, burn injuries after fire engulfs hostelTwo more girls were hospitalized with breathing problems after thick smoke engulfed the hall at the hostel at around 11 PM last night, where 20 girls were sleeping, the official said.advertisement Press Trust of India HyderabadJuly 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 20:00 IST All the girls were rescued except for the nine-year-old, a fourth standard student, who died on the spot.(File photo)A nine-year-old girl student died of asphyxiation and burn injuries in a fire at a state-run girls hostel in Khammam, following a short circuit, police said Monday.Two more girls were hospitalised with breathing problems after thick smoke engulfed the hall at the hostel at around 11 pm on Sunday night, where 20 girls were sleeping, the official said.All the girls were rescued except for the nine-year-old, a fourth standard student, who died on the spot.Police suspect that the short circuit was caused due to rain, following which a tube light burst and sparks fell on a bed, resulting in flames and thick smoke engulfing the hall.A fire engine was pressed into service and the flames were doused, Police said.ALSO READ | Jhilmil fire: Factory owner, his brother arrestedALSO READ | Fire breaks out at Nandaram market in KolkataALSO WATCH | Massive fire at Delhi hotel, people jump off a building to save al ifeFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShahrukh Tags :Follow asphyxiationFollow FireFollow KhammamFollow SmokeFollow Hostel Nextlast_img read more

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Opposition slams Uttar Pradesh govt over law and order

first_imgOpposition slams Uttar Pradesh govt over law and orderTwo leaders were killed on Monday raising questions over the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.advertisement Next Nelanshu Shukla LucknowJuly 16, 2019UPDATED: July 16, 2019 19:46 IST Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (File Photo)HIGHLIGHTSOm Mishra, a VHP leader, was gunned down in Pratapgarh on Monday morningIn Ayodhya, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav was shot dead in the Maharajganj area on July 15Samajwadi Party, Congress and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party have criticised UP governmentThe opposition parties have accused the Yogi Adityanath government of failing to curb lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader were shot dead in two separate incidents in Pratapgarh and Ayodhya respectively.Thirty-eight-year-old Om Mishra, VHP president of the Kunda tehsil and a lawyer by profession was gunned down in Pratapgarh on Monday morning when he was riding his motorbike.Immediately after the incident, local lawyers and residents carried out a protest demanding action against the accused.The police have registered an FIR and efforts are being made to arrest the perpetrators who have still not been identified.Meanwhile, the superintendent of police (SP) of Pratapgarh has been attached to the director general of police’s office. Senior Superintendent of Police Special Task Force (SSP STF) Abhishek Singh has been made police chief of the district.In Ayodhya, local SP leader Akhilesh Yadav was shot dead in the Maharajganj area on July 15 while on his way to the gym. His family members have blamed three local people responsible for the incident.Local SP workers also staged a protest outside the district hospital demanding action and claimed that the murder took place due to political vendetta.Speaking to the media, SP leader and former state minister Tej Narain Pandey said, “There is jungle raj in UP and our party workers are being killed across the state. We demand strict action against those responsible for the murder.”Superintendent of Police (SP) Ayodhya Vijay Pal Singh said: “Crime has been committed by bike-borne assailants. Immediately after the incident Akhilesh was taken to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Investigation is on.”Voices of protestSpeaking to India Today TV, UP Congress leader Dwijendra Tripathi said “UP CM says that criminals have disappeared from the state after the police started carrying out encounters but the situation is completely different. Lawlessness is increasing everyday and cops are failing to take action against the perpetrators. People are being killed mercilessly in broad day light and those responsible for such crimes are being given a free hand by the government.”Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) leader CP Rai said, “Increasing incidents of crime against women and young children is a major concern and now people are being murdered on streets. The government and top police officers only make tall claims of taking strict action against the criminals but nothing is being done on the ground. “Responding to the opposition, state cabinet minister and government spokesperson Srikant Sharma said “In both Pratapgarh and Ayodhya, the police have formed teams to nab the perpetrators and soon they will be behind bars. Our government will not tolerate any criminal activity. We will continue to take action against those taking law in their hands.”ALSO READ | Lucknow: UP law panel recommends life term for mob lynching crimesALSO WATCH | Mayawati brings back Jai Shri Ram debate, says take action against those forcing people to chant religious slogansFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhurylast_img read more

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AAP leader Ashutosh quits party Kejriwal refuses to accept resignation

first_imgpolitical candidates SHARE SHARE EMAIL In a setback to the AAP, one of its top leaders, Ashutosh, announced his resignation from the party today, citing “very very personal reasons”, although Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he will not accept it “in this lifetime”.Ashutosh’s resignation is being interpreted differently with some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) insiders claiming that he was unhappy over the party’s decision to send a businessman to the Rajya Sabha from Delhi. Others claimed that he was “angry” over being denied a Rajya Sabha ticket by the party.The convenor of AAP’s Delhi unit, Gopal Rai, said Ashutosh was not “angry”, adding, “Everyone has the right to take personal decisions.”Ashutosh described his association with the Kejriwal-led party as “beautiful and revolutionary”, while urging the media to respect his privacy and not to chase him for sound bites.Reacting to the development, Kejriwal, who is the AAP national convener, tweeted: “How can we ever accept ur resignation (sic)?,” and added in Hindi, “Na, is janam mein to nahin (not in this lifetime)”.The chief spokesperson of AAP’s Delhi unit, Saurabh Bhardwaj, told PTI that Ashutosh’s resignation was not accepted and he was urged to reconsider his decision.“Every journey has an end. My association with AAP, which was beautiful/ revolutionary has also an end. I have resigned from the party/requested PAC to accept the same.“It is purely from a very, very personal reason. Thanks to party/ all of them who supported me throughout,” Ashutosh tweeted earlier.The journalist-turned-politician had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk on an AAP ticket and managed to bag over three lakh votes, more than Congress veteran Kapil Sibal and over a lakh less than the BJP’s Harsh Vardhan.Senior AAP functionary and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, “We all will request Ashutosh to take his resignation back.” He, however, added that his relationship with Ashutosh as a “true and dependable friend” will continue lifelong. “His separation from the party is not less than a heart rending incident for me,” Singh tweeted.Ashutosh, who was a member of the top decision-making body of the AAP — the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) — was “indifferent and less active” towards the party matters of late, a senior party leader said.  Published on parties and movements August 15, 2018 COMMENT SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more

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Pioneering the wellness concept for offices in Malaysia

first_img Tags / Keywords: Economy13 Jul 2019Much to benefit from Malaysia-China tiesBanking12 Jul 2019Fed’s Williams joins with other officials leaning toward rate cutsOil & Gas11 Jul 2019OPEC action and trade truce may give oil the lift it needs The 10-acre project is set to be the country’s first commercial development to adopt a total wellness concept in its design, a concept that Mah Sing Group Bhd CEO Datuk Ho Hon Sang says is “the future of architectural design”.While wellness – which is among the components of sustainable development – is already widely incorporated in developments elsewhere in the world, the concept is still at its infancy in Malaysia.“Architectural design is moving into an era of designing with wellness in mind. This is because wellness leads to sustainability,” he tells StarBizWeek in an interview.Many developers, both local and overseas, have been incorporating sustainable features into their developments for years, in order to reduce the building’s impact on human health and the environment.Futuristic design: Ho says the Onyx Icon City will have a concept that is ‘the future of architectural design’.Sustainable architecture encompasses various elements apart from wellness, such as increased efficiency and moderation in the use of resources such as energy, water and building materials.Moving forward, Ho says other projects by Malaysian developers will undoubtedly begin featuring wellness elements, as awareness about its importance and benefits continue to rise.Onyx Icon City will be located next to Mah Sing’s earlier Icon City integrated development, fronting the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) and Federal Highway.Unlock exclusive insights, analyses, and curated news on the economy on The Star Online’s Business section with Starbiz Premium.SubscribeLog In Drop-off zone: An artist’s impression of the drop-off area of Mah Sing Group’s Onyx Icon City. Property , StarBizPropertycenter_img More Stories A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND office development, designed based on the concept of wellness, is coming up in one of Petaling Jaya’s most prime locations.Apart from a Wellness Tower within the development, which will consist of a wellness medical centre, medical suites and a wellness hotel, the entire Onyx Icon City development will have unique features designed to improve the well-being of its occupants.Among the features are a network of electronic filters set up to help remove air contaminants, ensuring fresh air within the office building, and the use of electromagnetic field shielding paint on walls to deflect radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation.Healthy alkaline water sources located in the buildings aim to help occupants recharge, while the building’s façade glazing system will allow direct sunlight to flow in, enhancing focus, efficiency and productivity. Corporate News13 Jul 2019IJM contract termination likely due to deadline issueCorporate News13 Jul 2019Alliance Bank to undergo streamlining?Corporate News13 Jul 2019Yinson continues to draw interestlast_img read more

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Miya poet expresses regret if his writing hurt Assamese sentiments

first_img Next Miya poet expresses regret if his writing hurt Assamese sentimentsAccording to the Home Ministry statistics, there were 2,653 incidents of stone pelting in 2016 for which 10,571 miscreants were arrested by police.advertisement Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 14, 2019UPDATED: July 14, 2019 17:13 IST The poem, in an East Bengali dialect, spoke about the alleged discrimination towards Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam. (File Photo/PTI)HIGHLIGHTSA leading ‘Miya’ poet was among the 10 poets booked for his poem on alleged discrimination of Bengali-Muslims in AssamHafiz Ahmed said he had written the poem in 2016 and it was not related to the citizenship determination exerciseThe controversy erupted after a few poets uploaded a video of the ‘I am Miya’ poem written by AhmedA leading ‘Miya’ poet, who was among the 10 poets booked after a video of his poem about alleged discrimination towards Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam was shared online, expressed regret if his writing had hurt Assamese sentiments.Hafiz Ahmed said he had written the poem in 2016 and it was not related to the citizenship determination exercise, whose final list is slated to be released on July 31.”I cannot think of insulting Assamese sentiment through my poems. I had contributed to Assamese literature since long,” Ahmed said in a statement on Saturday.”I was even physically assaulted for standing in support of Assamese language,” he said. “Still, if my poem has hurt the sentiments of anyone, then I express my regret.”The controversy erupted after a group of poets recently uploaded on social media a video of the ‘I am Miya’ poem written by Ahmed.The poem, in an East Bengali dialect, spoke about the alleged discrimination towards Bengali-speaking Muslims in Assam over the years and especially during the updation process of the National Register of Citizens.Following this, senior journalist Pranabjit Doloi filed a complaint last Thursday against 10 poets of the genre, accusing them of labelling Assamese as xenophobic in their poems.Apart from Ahmed, other poets against whom an FIR was filed are: Rehana Sultana, Abdur Rahim, Ashraful Hussain, Abdul Kalam Azad, Kazi Sharowar Hussain alias Kazi Neel, Shalim M Hussain, Karishma Hazarika, Banamallika Choudhury and Forhad Bhuyan.Guwahati Deputy Commissioner of Police Ramandeep Kaur said on Sunday that no arrests had been made, but the investigation was on.”I am not against the genre of the ‘Miya poetry’ or the Muslims, but I am against the content of the poems,” Doloi told PTI.In a statement, noted litterateur and educationist Hiren Gohain and a group of social activists appealed for peace during the sensitive period of the NRC updation and denounced the filing of the FIR, saying such an action cannot be supported in a democracy.The activists, however, criticised the genre and alleged that the poems in the East Bengali dialects were aimed at “weakening” the Assamese language. They also expressed concern over the poets writing in their own dialects despite knowing Assamese well.Nevertheless, they called for a healthy debate between supporters and opponents of the genre.ALSO READ | Nagaland to carry out its own version of NRC from July 10ALSO READ | Assam releases woman detained for 3 years over mistaken identity as foreignerALSO WATCH | NRC’s dilemma: Lakhs face identity crisis in AssamFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPrakriti Sharmalast_img read more

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Induction of Congress MLAs into BJP is death of Parrikars legacy Vijai

first_img Press Trust of India PanajiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 19:03 IST HIGHLIGHTSGoa Congress suffered a body blow on Wednesday when 10 of its 15 MLAs switched over to BJPSubsequently, CM Sawant dropped four ministers — three of Goa Forward Party, including Vijay Sardesai, from his cabinetSardesai also announced that Goa Forward Party was “withdrawing” its support to the BJP-led governmentOutgoing Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Vijai Sardesai on Saturday said the induction of ten MLAs of the Congress into the BJP was the “death of the legacy” of late chief minister Manohar Parrikar – the tallest saffron leader in the coastal state credited for forming the coalition government in 2017 by bringing together regional parties.The Congress in Goa suffered a body blow on Wednesday when 10 of its 15 MLAs switched over to the BJP, a development that raised the ruling stock in the 40-member House to 27.Subsequently, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant dropped four ministers — three of the Goa Forward Party (GFP), including Sardesai, and one Independent — from his cabinet.”Parrikar died twice…once on March 17 physically while today it is the death of his political legacy,” Sardesai told a gathering held near Parrikar memorial at Miramar.Meanwhile, Sardesai also announced that the Goa Forward Party (GFP) was “withdrawing” its support to the BJP-led government.He alleged that the ruling government wanted to finish Parrikar’s legacy, which won’t be allowed.”We supported the Pramod Sawant government because I had given my word to Parrikar that the support to the government will continue in any circumstances. We now feel cheated and ditched by the NDA,” he said.Sardesai reiterated that he had not recieved any communication from Central leaders of the BJP.”The central leadership of the BJP has lost its face. The NDA has ditched their partners,” he said.ALSO READ: 3 Congress rebels, one BJP MLA sworn in as Goa MinistersALSO READ: Hours before Goa Cabinet reshuffle, CM Pramod Sawant drops four ministersFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanjay Nirala Induction of Congress MLAs into BJP is death of Parrikar’s legacy: Vijai SardesaiOutgoing Deputy CM of Goa Vijai Sardesai said the induction of ten MLAs of Congress into BJP was the “death of the legacy” of late CM Manohar Parrikar.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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Wheeler offered a pr

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Bemidji and Erskine were among those with high rankings in proficiency, it has a contract with NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the "Commercial Crew" program with the first crucial test flight scheduled for the second quarter Zuma was SpaceXs third military launch The Falcon 9 won US Air Force certification for national-security space missions in May 2015 breaking a lock long-held by United Launch Alliance a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp Contracts for military launches include satellites that let troops communicate on battlefields and are estimated to be valued at about $70 billion through 2030 Contact us at editors@timecomFX’s new series Legion sits at the nexus of several hot trends in television Like Netflix’s Jessica Jones and Luke Cage this superhero serial about a less-heralded X-Men brings a darker and more sophisticated edge to a comic-book character than most big-budget movies would dare Unfolding in a manner that places a higher premium on visual grandeur and ambition than on moment-to-moment coherence it recalls puzzle shows like The OA (Netflix) and Mr Robot (USA) And it’s on FX the network whose willingness to follow creative types (including Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley) down whatever rabbit hole they choose has made it for the moment TV’s top destination Which is why it’s both unsurprising and still a pity that Legion fails to connect The show draws so hard on various indulgences currently granted to prestige TV that it exhausts itself in the attempt Instead of simply eliding the classic appeals of television (character plot development) the show tosses them over entirely in the pursuit of more and more striking imagery The show follows the institutionalized David Haller (Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens almost unrecognizably slimmed-down) who suffers from diagnosed schizophrenia on a journey to the center of his psyche Haller comes to learn that his disaffection from the human race may not entirely be due to his diagnosis Indeed he may just have powers entirely outside of the possible Are they why he’s unable to see or comprehend the world around him as we know it Or is the world itself behaving oddly bending to his as-yet-unharnessed gifts We don’t know yet if Haller is misperceiving what he sees which means the show either is or isn’t about mental illness and addiction But in the show’s first three episodes this question is never more than a brief diversion likely because we know this show was made under the auspices of Marvel: Haller is not going to turn out to be just imagining the whole thing And so as though biding time before the eventual crossover whole scenes unfold lugubriously seemingly just to prove that they could be done The show this recalls most strongly is USA’s Mr Robot which also deals in only occasionally interesting questions of reality; that show has aged poorly as it’s pursued endless bits of fringe around its edges while forgetting to tell what had once seemed to be its story The fact is there needs to be something more nourishing to an artwork than the question of whether what one is seeing is realthe answer if it has any weight at all gets that gravity from character and writing Hawley’s last season of television the masterful second installment of Fargo had moments of surrealism ones that were intended to provoke questions as to the nature of reality But moments like those (revolving around the presence of alien spacecraft intervening in the show’s Upper Midwest gang war) came only after the show had built out a world worth paying attention to Here we get truisms from Haller’s handler (Fargo‘s great Jean Smart allowed to be little more than cryptic) that add up to little interspersed with skittering through Haller’s web of associations including a beloved sister (Katie Aselton) and junkie pal (Aubrey Plaza) It all adds up to a show that attempts to draw intrigue from discordant notes and from fractured narrative but that gives us little to hang onto The show is visually dazzling well-acted and even aurally interesting and I concluded its first three episodes with no clue who David Haller is aside from a vector for familiar and easy tropes around mental illness and a way to keep the spectacle churning This is the flip side of the growing willingness among cable and streaming outlets to allow for more and more innovation along lines dictated by creators While I’m hardly stuck in the past it’s hard not to feel as though a Legion a little less addicted to showy cross-cutting and visual splendor for its sake might have invested a bit more energy in figuring out who David Haller is Until it does that elementary work Legion is worth saving on your DVR but not quite worth taking the leap of investing real time A show this ambitious shouldn’t take the easy way out when it comes to building a character worthy of being called a “hero” Contact us at editors@timecomChina might be in the midst of another round of stockpiling stepping up crude oil imports to fill its strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) The slowdown in oil demand in China is one of the chief concerns regarding the state of oversupply in global oil markets Excess production has driven down prices but soft demand in China over the past year or so has led to a protracted recovery After a period of softness oil imports could be rising once again Bloomberg reports that the number of oil supertankers docking at Chinese ports is at a 16-month high And there are 83 supertankers currently on their way to China with a capacity of 166 million barrels of crude the highest number in four months Oilpricecom: Expert Commentary: Oil Market Analysis and The Week Ahead In the first quarter of this year China diverted about 787000 barrels per day into its strategic stockpile the highest rate since Bloomberg has been tracking the data in 2004 Overall as of March China was importing around 77 million barrels per day The activity makes sense China needs to fill up its strategic reserve and has had several facilities come online last year with more storage sites under construction The timing is fortuitous since China can fill its storage reserves with oil at incredibly low prices Oilpricecom: The Real Reason Saudi Arabia Killed Doha Another source of additional demand comes from a policy change in the downstream sector The central government recently loosened the rules on oil imports allowing smaller refineries to import more crude oil These so-called "teapot refineries" with capacities of around 20000 to 100000 barrels of production per day struggled under the old restrictions producing at only 30 to 40 percent of capacity because of an inability to import oil That has changed and domestic refining production is set to rise and with it so are imports This could provide a bit of a lift to crude oil markets as Chinas additional SPR demand and higher refinery utilization could take a bite out of excess supply This article originally appeared on Oilpricecom Contact us at editors@timecomHillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had a made-for-TV moment of solidarity at the Democratic debate Tuesday shaking hands and declaring to a standing ovation that controversy over Clinton’s email is much ado about nothing “I’ve taken responsibility for it I did say it was a mistake” Clinton said of her use of a personal email server during her time as Secretary of State “I have been as transparent as I know to be turning over 55000 pages of my e-mails asking that they be made public” Clinton went on to blast the congressional committee investigating the matter calling it “an arm of the Republican National Committee” and a “partisan vehicle” noting recent statements made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that it had succeeded in hurting her poll numbers She went on to say she’d rather spend the debate talking about “the issues that matter to the American people” Sanders chimed in: “I think the Secretary is right And that is I think the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails" Underdog Lincoln Chafee however was eager to pile on “Theres an issue of American credibility out there” he said “So any time someone is running to be our leader and a world leader which the American president is credibility is an issue out there with the world” Asked if she wanted to respond Clinton simply replied: “No” See Bernie Sanders’ Career in Photographs Bernie Sanders (R) member of the steering committee stands next to George Beadle University of Chicago president who is speaking at a Committee On Racial Equality meeting on housing sit-ins 1962 Special Collections Research Center/University of Chicago Library A photo taken on July 22 2015 of Bernie Sanders and his son is seen in an old clip from an alternative newspaper called the Vermont Freeman in Burlington VT The Washington Post/Getty Images Bernie Sanders in his office after winning his first election as the mayor of Burlington Vt on Sept 15 1981 Donna Light—AP Bernie Sanders right greeted voters at a Burlington polling place on March 1 1983 in Burlington Vt Donna Light—AP Bernie Sanders and his campaign celebrating after his mayoral re-election circa 1983 in Burlington Vt Courtesy of Bernie Sanders Campaign Bernie Sanders recording his singing in a studio Nov 20 1987 in Burlington Vt Toby Talbot—AP Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O’Meara in Washington circa 1991 Courtesy of Bernie Sanders Campaign Bernie Sanders James Jeffords and Patrick Leahy toast to the passing of the Northeast Dairy Compact on June 14 2006 in Montpelier Vt Toby Talbot—AP Bernie Sanders officially announces his candidacy for US Senate on May 19 2006 at the Unitarian Church in Burlington Vt Alden Pelett—AP Bernie Sanders and the other members of the Vermont Congressional delegation at the annual lighting of US Capitol Christmas on Dec 5 2007 in Washington Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks during a rally in support of Social Security with Sen Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders on March 28 2011 in Washington Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Rep Steve Cohen and Bernie Sanders attend a rally near the reflection pool held by 350org to protest the amount of money members of Congress receive from the fossil fuel industry on Jan 24 2012 Tom Williams—Getty Images Bernie Sanders at the signing ceremony of Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice Accountability and Transparency Act on Aug 7 2014 in Belvoir Va Alex Wong—Getty Images Bernie Sanders waits to speak at a rally to advocate for an increase in pay to $15 USD per hour as part of a "Fight for $15" labor effort on April 22 2015 in Washington Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images Bernie Sanders shakes Colleen Green’s hand as he leaves a town hall meeting on May 11 2015 in Charlottesville Va Jay Paul— Reuters Bernie Sanders kisses his wife Jane O’Meara before officially announcing his candidacy for the US presidency during an event at Waterfront Park May 26 2015 in Burlington Vt Win McNamee—Getty Images Bernie Sanders delivers remarks at a town meeting at the South Church May 27 2015 in Portsmouth NH Win McNamee—Getty Images Bernie Sanders speaks during a news conference to discuss legislation to restore pension guarantees for thousands of retired union workers on June 18 2015 in Washington Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images Bernie Sanders kisses his wife Jane O’Meara during a campaign event on Aug 10 2015 in Los Angeles Bloomberg/Getty Images Bernie Sanders speaks to a primarily Latino audience during a campaign stop at the Muscatine Boxing Club on Sept 4 2015 in Muscatine Iowa Bloomberg/Getty Images Bernie Sanders and Jerry Falwell Jr,Credit: AsiaWireChina has had huge difficulties with workplace accidents, Lucas Jackson—Reuters U. 3000 in Maiduguri and 2, identity, haven’t been drinking. I schedule these sessions three mornings a week and consider it a win when one or more yield results. Foreigners are horrified by what they read is happening in our country. Trump will even occasionally preview one of his tweets with Hicks – although she does not tweet herself.
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