Tag: 上海后花园

Political Rebels fight back

first_imgNo related posts. In an interview with the daily La Nación shortly before his death on Sept. 9, former Broad Front Party lawmaker José Merino Del Río noted what he called an “irritation with a government vacuum,” which has resulted in an “enormous and accumulated discontent that can be seen in the streets.”Merino said Costa Rican politics has reached its most discredited point, and that if you speak about politics, people resent it. “It’s all corruption, scams and unfulfilled promises,” Merino said. “Everyone is taking care of themselves, and the president has no power.” One month after Merino died while receiving treatment in Cuba for kidney cancer, student protests erupted on the streets of San José after President Laura Chinchilla vetoed a bill that would allow for small businesses to make photocopies of educational material (See story). The previous day, unrelated to the student protests, a report published by crhoy.com named 18 government officials currently under investigation by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, all members of the ruling National Liberation Party, or PLN (TT, Oct. 8). Investigations include allegations of embezzlement, corruption and illicit gain, although no one has been convicted and the investigations are ongoing.“It’s just one thing after another,” said Wilson Arroyo, a member of the youth wing of the opposition Broad Front Party, who said he is looking forward to political change. Wilson is one of a growing minority of young people looking for new political leadership. “The Broad Front gives us opportunities others [political groups] don’t. For example, I am the president of Broad Front Youth in the canton of Alajuela, and I am only 21 years old. These are the opportunities young people need.” An alternativeEnter leftist Broad Front Party lawmaker José María Villalta. Perhaps due to the power of his words, often matched by the volume of his voice, Villalta, 35, has made himself heard among the din of majority lawmakers as the only nationally elected Broad Front official. Villalta has taken the concerns of people like Arroyo seriously. Villalta served under Merino as a legislative assistant from 2006-2010, before Villalta also was elected. He has positioned himself in conspicuous opposition to the PLN, aligning with young voters and students. Prior to his political career, Villalta served in the University of Costa Rica’s Student Rights Association from 1997-1998 and later sat on the board of the Federation of Students from 1998-2000.The rift between the PLN and the socialist Broad Front Party was clearly demonstrated on Sept. 10, when PLN lawmakers exited the legislative plenary during Villalta’s elegy to the late Merino. PLN lawmakers were dismayed at Villalta’s attempt to stir up popular dissent over Chinchilla’s decision to veto a polemic photocopy bill. A reform bill introduced by Merino sought to modify Law 8,039, which left open possible penalties for a common on-campus practice, the photocopying of academic materials for students by photocopying shops and bookstores. The bill Merino presented would eliminate jail time for violation of intellectual property rights (TT, Aug. 17). Surprising many, the bill passed a second legislative debate, prompting the Chamber of Information Technology and Commerce to request a presidential veto. Chinchilla abided, spurring the protests.Villalta, undeterred, replied, “The government chose [to side with] powerful business chambers. The students need to photocopy to study, and we support their demands.” Responding to the protests, Chinchilla on Monday signed a decree that protects photocopying for academic purposes.“It’s very contradictory,” Villalta said. “The decree practically says the same thing the president vetoed a few days ago.”RebelsThe Broad Front Party is a spin-off of the short-lived, center-left Democratic Force. Merino served as a lawmaker for Democratic Force from 1998-2002, before breaking ties with the group and forming the Broad Front Party in 2004. A new website created by Broad Front Youth was launched this month, at www.rebeldia.org (which borrows the Spanish word for rebelliousness). Young party members have been quick to channel the energy of the recent protests, and the site provides a forum for organizing protests and connecting young people interested in the party.Antonio Trejos, who heads communications for the new website and its forum, said the site has seen a spike in activity since the protests, and more than 300 active, young party members participate throughout the country. “He [Merino] insisted the country needed deep changes, and even during the most chaotic circumstances, he stood up for pacifist solutions and always urged young party members to play an active role in the party,” Trejos said.“Merino was an untiring critic of the neoliberal model and of the United States as a foreign influence and decision maker for our national politics,” he added. Trejos said he believes Villalta is the next progression within the Merino model.“Villalta is not only the youngest lawmaker in the Legislative Assembly, but also the most active,” Trejos said. Villalta has sponsored and presented 47 bills, and six have passed. He is a champion of equal rights and has sponsored a same-sex union bill, as well as a bill that would legalize in vitro fertilization, which was banned in 2000.Trejos added that the Broad Front Youth movement is trying to better understand the historical conditions of the “battle” between social classes to “realize that we are a part of a social reality much larger: capitalism.”Villalta has listened to and acted on the growing discontent among the youth population, and with Chinchilla’s ratings the lowest of any Latin America leader, the Broad Front Party is hoping they can ride the waves of dissatisfaction to the polls.While Villalta has not announced his candidacy for president in 2014, he hasn’t ruled it out.“I’m considering all my options,” said Villalta, “of which [a presidential run] is one.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Hilton Worldwide opened the Waldorf Astoria® Orlan

first_imgHilton Worldwide opened the Waldorf Astoria® Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek on October 1, 2009. The date of October 1 holds historical significance by marking the debut of the original Waldorf Astoria property, The Waldorf=Astoria in New York, 78 years ago to the day. Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty, City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Golf Course Architect Rees Jones were among the dignitaries leading ribbon-cutting events. Known as Bonnet Creek, the 482-acre vacation destination is conveniently surrounded by Walt Disney World® on three sides, yet secluded by a private nature preserve.“We are delighted to introduce the Waldorf Astoria Orlando and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek into our global portfolio,” said Paul Brown, President of Global Brands and Commercial Services, Hilton Worldwide. “Orlando has a rich history with our company; we thank the entire Central Florida community for its hospitality and look forward to continuing to contribute to this dynamic destination.”Themed “A Day of Firsts,” the ceremony celebrated the opening of the first property to share the name Waldorf Astoria with the original New York hotel, which remains the only property with the unique equal sign in its name, The Waldorf=Astoria. The New York and Orlando properties are joined by 18 other hotels that have their own distinct names but are included in The Waldorf Astoria Collection.Florida native Sergeant Joshua Stephen Cope, who earned the Army Commendation Medal and two Purple Hearts for his military service in Iraq, was named the first guest of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. The inspirational Lalita Booth, recipient of the H. Truman Scholarship and current Harvard graduate student, was welcomed as the first guest at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.The “first ladies of Orlando,” a group of Central Florida women, were recognized and honored by Managing Director Peter Kacheris. The first female Mayor of Orlando Glenda Hood, the city’s first African American female Police Text Box: L to R: Waldorf Astoria Orlando Managing Director Peter Kacheris, City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Hilton Worldwide Senior Vice President Eastern North America Ted Ratcliff, Mayor of Orange County Richard Crotty, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Owner Representative Bill MacArthur, Waldorf Astoria Orlando General Manager Michael King, Owner Representative Dan Paris, Golf Course Architect Rees Jones, First Guest Sergeant Joshua Stephen Cope, Hilton Worldwide president global brands and commercial services Paul Brown, Owner Representative Eric Siegel.Chief Val Demings and the first female Dean of the University of Central Florida Medical School Deborah German were among the pioneers honored.“It is an honor for the 700 employees, including myself, to welcome our first guests today and continue the vision of Conrad Hilton by filling the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality,” said Bonnet Creek Managing Director Peter Kacheris.The Waldorf Astoria Orlando infuses the Jazz Age-elegance of Art Deco from The Waldorf=Astoria in New York, including a stunning lobby clock, with the vibrant ambiance of Florida. Comprised of 497 deluxe rooms and suites, the hotel features signature Waldorf Astoria food and beverage establishments such as Peacock Alley® and Bull & Bear Steakhouse® as well as 28,000 square feet of exclusive flexible meeting space. The hotel’s outdoor facilities feature a formal signature pool, encircled by chic private cabanas and complimented by lush tropical landscaping.The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek transcends the hotel experience with 1,000 elegantly-appointed rooms and suites, six distinct dining options including La Luce® by Napa Valley Chef Donna Scala, a two-acre lagoon-style pool with a lazy river and 122,000 square feet of meeting space. Its outdoor venues include BonnetCreekIsland, a private retreat ideal for drinks or storybook weddings.The centerpiece of the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is the 18-hole 7,113-yard championship course designed by acclaimed Golf Course Architect Rees Jones. One of the few golf courses in the Orlando area to be free of real estate dotting its greens, the first course under the Waldorf Astoria brand is open to all players – those staying at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando or the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and those who want to experience a piece of history.Guests of both properties can also take advantage of exclusive theme-park transportation, the first WA Kids children’s program, the 24,000-square-foot Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain® and the 4,000-square-foot fitness center.www.waldorfastoriaorlando.comlast_img read more

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Rep Cox sworn in for second term

first_img11Jan Rep. Cox sworn in for second term Categories: Cox News,Cox Photos State Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia, was sworn in for her second term by Chief Justice Stephen Markman on the House floor today. She was joined by her family, from back left, son, Conor, daughter, Sinéad, son, Rory, husband, Mike, father, Robert Erpelding, and mother, Marguerite Erpelding. The 99th Michigan Legislature began session today following the ceremonial swearing in.###last_img

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Copyright 2018 NPR To see more visit httpwww

first_imgCopyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img

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The combined Mega Millions and Powerball winnings

first_imgThe combined Mega Millions and Powerball winnings have topped $2 billion. Tickets are reportedly selling at a rate of up to hundreds per minute in the 44 states (plus D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands) where they’re available.It’s more than money at stake if you win. A financial windfall is life-changing, but lottery wins, in particular, are not always a reason to celebrate. Because maybe money can’t buy happiness.But can it? Recent psychological research indicates that while money isn’t everything, not having it actually is.“When our basic needs for adequate food, safety, health care, and shelter aren’t met, an increase in income makes a much larger difference for us than when we are relatively comfortable,” Sonja Lyubomirsky writes in Psychology Today.Another way to put it is that money makes us happier if it keeps us from being poor. After all, those of us who have very little are more likely to be evicted from our homes, go hungry, live in a crime-ridden community, have a child drop out of school, lack the resources to obtain medical care, or be unable to manage the pain, stress, and practical demands of a disease or disability. Even a modest increase in income can alleviate or prevent many of these adverse situations.These ideas help explain why money makes poorer people happier, but why does money have a relatively weak effect on wealthier people’s happiness? One answer is that as income rises beyond a certain level, its positive effects (e.g., the ability to fly first class or retain top-notch medical specialists) may be offset by some negative effects, like increased time pressure (e.g., longer working hours and commutes) and increased stress (e.g., holding powerful positions, anxieties about investments, and problems with overindulged children). And because wealth allows people to experience the best that life has to offer, it can reduce their capacity to savor life’s small pleasures.Winners of the lottery face an additional set of pressures, and these issues start piling up as soon as the winning number is drawn. First, who do you tell? Sure, you may want to brag, but lottery winners are hounded by scammers and sometimes robbed or killed. Time found several winners who regretted even buying a ticket. Next, if you win, do you take the money in installments, or settle for a smaller amount up-front? And how do you handle taxes and the inevitable outreached hands that reach toward you once it becomes clear you’ve won?Fortunately for most people reading this, odds are, we’ll never have to answer these questions.GUESTSJay Zagorsky, Professor, Boston University Questrom School of Business; @ProfJayZSusan Bradley, Founder, Sudden Money Institute; expert, financial transitions planning; @SuddenMoneyFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.last_img read more

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Did We Learn Nothing From the DotCom Bust

first_img John C. Dvorak This promises to be a year of confusion in the tech world. Less than two weeks in, and we’re already mired in this chip flaw madness, while the continued rise in Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies is concerning. What’s a sure thing? Driverless cars? Quantum computing? Nobody knows.I could go down the list, but I’m feeling a little déjà vu. In the late ’90s, those who questioned a stupid idea or trend were immediately told they did not “get it.” We were in a “new economy” where everything had changed, after all.What didn’t change was an economic collapse when reality set in. Having dog food shipped to your house by Pets.com was not viable as a business model. It folded.How is that different from what Amazon is doing today with Amazon Prime? You join Amazon Prime for $99 a year and get all sorts of free benefits including video streaming of movies and free two-day shipping of everything imaginable. Only creative bookkeeping makes it work. Hello 1999. I won’t even bother with the Webvan parallels.Then there is the mania over driverless cars. According to one observer at CES, if you weren’t there with some driverless car technology, you might as well have stood in the corner.Driverless cars will only work in a crime-free, vandal-free world. Don’t kid yourself, these devices have decades to go. It’s not because of the car tech. It’s because computers are still stupid and can easily be fooled when placed in the real world to navigate and interact on their own.Onward to the most dubious of all technologies: quantum computing. Nobody can ever explain it in a way that doesn’t make you draw back your head and flash a sour look on your face. I have listened to the theoretical angles about this so-called technology and, afterwards, felt I was just in a game of three-card monte.I spent a long time talking to one of the most knowledgeable reporters who has covered the technology from the outset and he still doesn’t know what to make of it and whether the inventors are sincere, deluded or just full of it. It’s impossible to tell. Yet, Intel and others are jumping on board “just in case.”Perhaps the most amazing hoax ever perpetrated since Piltdown man is Bitcoin, all the other cryptocurrencies and the blockchain hoo-hah.We were all fools not to buy it when one bitcoin was 50 cents. That much I will agree on. But would we be holding on forever? Who knows? For years I have equated Bitcoin with the Beanie Babies phenomenon; its collapse foretold the dot-com collapse. At least a Beanie Baby had an intrinsic worth, that of a small plaything for kids. Bitcoin has removed anything intrinsic. All it has is perceived value. You cannot play with a Bitcoin, you cannot melt them down, you cannot use them as a toy or art. They are magic dust.But mention this to a Bitcoin fanatic, and I’m told I “don’t get it.” Hello, 1999.I’ve heard there is a Bitcoin vending machine someplace, but I cannot imagine what a hassle it would be to use. It’s nuts. But through the mechanism of mass hysteria, they are worth a fortune and going higher in value.How long can this go on? If the scene has locked on to the late 1990’s groove of insanity, it’s possible that we are in an analog of 1998 and can maybe make it through the year without a collapse. But looking at the start of the year, I doubt it. Smoke, meet mirror. Image credit: via PC Mag –shares Lessons Columnist at PCMag.com January 15, 2018 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Did We Learn Nothing From the Dot-Com Bust?center_img Next Article 4 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business A lot of ‘tech’ these days would fit perfectly into the pre-bust dot-com era-and that should have us all very, very nervous. Add to Queue Register Now »last_img read more

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Study links poor manganese uptake to scoliosis

first_imgOur goal in studying the genetics of this disorder was to see if there was anything we could learn that might change how we treat patients.”Dr. Christina Gurnett, Senior Author Our study links a common disease – scoliosis – to something that’s potentially modifiable in the diet. But we don’t want people to go out right now and start manganese supplements, because we already know that too much manganese can be harmful.”Dr. Christina Gurnett, Senior Author Source:This news story is based on a press release by Washington University School of Medicine, originally published on EurekAlert, and the research study itself. The team found that, compared with children without severe scoliosis, children who develop the condition are twice as likely to carry a genetic mutation that disrupts the ability of cells to absorb and use manganese.For the study, first author Christina Gurnett and colleagues sequenced the genes of 457 children with severe scoliosis and 987 children without the condition.The research revealed that a mutation in the gene SLC39A8 was only found in 6% of the healthy children, compared with 12% among the scoliosis group.Further analysis of 841 children with moderate to severe scoliosis and 1,095 healthy children showed that the variant was twice as likely to occur in the scoliosis group.The team also studied zebrafish engineered to have a disabled version of the gene and found that the animals developed skeletal abnormalities, including curved spines.Although manganese is an essential mineral, high doses can cause a neurological condition called manganism, which leads to difficulty walking, tremors and psychiatric symptoms.The mineral has also been associated with high blood pressure, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia.On the other hand, too little manganese has been shown to cause problems with fat and sugar metabolism, impaired growth and curvature of the spine in animal models.center_img By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Oct 9 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A new study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine has shed light on why some children start to develop scoliosis as they hit puberty.Image Credit: Photographee.eu / ShutterstockThe study, which was recently published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that some cases of severe scoliosis may arise as a result of the body being unable to fully utilize manganese, an essential dietary mineral that is needed for bone and cartilage growth. The researchers warn that any supplementation with manganese would have to be carefully monitored to avoid any risk of other diseases developing.Gurnett says the team has started testing this by studying zebrafish that have had manganese added to their water: “But we still need to do human studies to figure out how much exactly is both safe and effective.”last_img read more

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AEGEA Medical begins PACE II clinical study in women who underwent endometrial

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 30 2018AEGEA Medical, Inc. has announced the commencement of the Post-Ablation Cavity Access (PACE II) clinical study in women who previously underwent endometrial ablation as part of AEGEA’s pivotal trial of the company’s patented Adaptive Vapor Ablation technology. The multi-center observational study, which is being conducted at seven sites across the U.S. in up to 50 women, is designed to assess uterine cavity access as well as the feasibility of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions three to four years following treatment.AEGEA Medical is conducting the PACE II study based on results from the AEGEA PACE pilot study, which found that post-procedure access to the mid-uterine cavity or beyond was possible in 82 percent of the study’s 11 patients who previously participated in a Phase II study of vapor ablation in The Netherlands. The primary observational endpoint of PACE II is the ability to access the uterine cavity and perform a diagnostic hysteroscopic exam, with other observational endpoints including feasibility of endometrial biopsy and IUD placement, the ability to visualize the uterine cornua/ostia, and presence and characteristics of adhesions within the uterine cavity. The company expects PACE II to be completed within six months.”While endometrial ablation technologies have served physicians and their patients well for some time, the issue of post-procedure uterine cavity access has never really been addressed,” said Maria Sainz, president and CEO of AEGEA Medical. “We believe this is a very important success metric for the therapy, as it speaks to the possibility of future uterine-related interventions. The PACE Pilot data on 11 patients treated with Adaptive Vapor Ablation technology is very promising in how Vapor Ablation can address this unmet need, preserving physician and patient options in the future.”Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyNew solution makes fall recovery safer and easierEndometrial ablation is a safe, effective and fast-growing procedure for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), with the number of U.S. cases estimated to have increased from 430,000 in 2014 to 490,000 in 2017 alone. As the number of procedures continues to rise per year, studies have shown that scar tissue and re-access to the cavity can be challenging post therapy, limiting the ability to search for suspected cancer via ultrasound or biopsy, and ruling out the use of IUDs for therapeutic intervention. In these scenarios, the lack of post-procedure uterine cavity access often leaves women with hysterectomy as the only viable option.”Post-procedure uterine cavity access is the next big topic in endometrial ablation,” said the study’s National Principal Investigator, Alan Johns, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Research Baylor Research Institute, Fort Worth. “Given the early performance of AEGEA’s Adaptive Vapor Ablation technology in this area, I believe it has the potential to address this issue, providing physicians and patients with a more thoughtful approach to endometrial ablation that allows for future uterine interventions as necessary. Importantly, this multi-center study has been designed with objective criteria to avoid patient selection bias. Additionally, the study includes independent expert review of the hysteroscopy imagery to further increase the data’s scientific rigor.” Source:http://aegeamedical.com/last_img read more

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Study shows new emerging role of osteopontin in HCVrelated hepatocellular carcinoma

first_img Source:https://www.kanazawa-u.ac.jp/latest-research/62282 Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 13 2018[Background]Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and was estimated to be responsible for 745,000 deaths in 2012. Recently, highly efficient and direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) have been able to eliminate HCV from infected livers in more than 90% of cases. However, emergence of HCC at a rate of about 1% per year is now reported in HCV-infected livers. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies are needed to prevent HCV infection, HCC recurrence, and hepatocarcinogenesis.Osteopontin (OPN) is a multifunctional cytokine and is involved in normal physiological processes, as well as in numerous pathological conditions, including inflammation, fibrogenesis, and carcinogenesis. In liver diseases, OPN plays an important role in acute liver injury, viral replication, liver repair, fibrosis, and HCC.Recent work has identified CD44 as the most common marker for cancer stem cells (CSCs) in several human cancers. CD44 has a pivotal role in regulating the properties of CSCs, including their self-renewal, tumor initiation, metastasis, and chemoradioresistance, and OPN reportedly interacts with CD44.In HCC, enrichment of several stem cell markers, including CD133, CD90, CD13, epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), CD44, CD24, and oval cell marker OV6, is reported in certain side populations of CSCs. However, CSCs represent only a minor population of the cancer cells and there is currently no evidence for a role for CSCs in supporting HCV replication. Therefore, identifying the underlying mechanism of HCV pathogenesis and its relationship to CSCs is an important research challenge.In this study, a group from Kanazawa University evaluated the significance of the OPN-CD44 axis for HCV replication in EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs, and investigated the role of OPN in the regulation and maintenance of EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs.Related StoriesResearchers use artificial intelligence to predict molecular classification of colorectal cancerResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNew drug combinations and dosing schedules improve outlook in advanced colon cancer[Results]EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs showed marked HCV replication when compared with EpCAM?/CD44? cells. In addition, the levels of OPN mRNA and protein were higher in EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs than in EpCAM?/CD44? cells. OPN significantly enhanced HCV replication in EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs and markedly suppressed interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene expression. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibitor 6-bromoindirubin-3-oxime increased the EpCAM+/CD44+ CSC population and OPN expression and impaired IFN signaling via signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) degradation. Furthermore, OPN regulated stemness of EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs, which led to inactivation of IFN signaling and enhanced HCV replication.[Significance and future prospects]The Kanazawa University group focused its attention on CSCs, as HCC is proposed to develop from CSCs, even though they represent a small part of the HCC cell population. However, HCV replication in CSCs is still poorly understood. This study showed the significance of the OPN-CD44 axis for HCV replication in EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs.The results of the Kanazawa University group highlight a new role for OPN in supporting HCV replication in EpCAM+/CD44+ CSCs through a reduction in STAT1 activation. They also provide evidence that OPN has the potential to maintain CSC phonotypes, and identify the OPN-CD44 pathway as a potential target for regulating HCV replication and stemness in HCC cells.last_img read more

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Pesticides other environmental pollutants advance progression of ALS

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 28 2019While exact causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unknown, new research shows pesticides and other environmental pollutants advance the progression of the neurodegenerative disease.The latest study from the University of Michigan ALS Center of Excellence, recently published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery Psychiatry (a BMJ journal), supports the group’s 2016 research that found increased levels of numerous pesticides in blood tests of people with ALS, says senior author Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., director of U-M’s ALS Center of Excellence”Our latest publication shows that other toxins like polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs, are also elevated in ALS patients and correlate with poor survival,” says Feldman, a Michigan Medicine neurologist. “Our research shows that environmental pollution is a public health risk that we believe must be addressed.” ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive disease that causes people to lose their ability to move their limbs and body.For the study, each of the 167 U-M patients had blood drawn shortly after being diagnosed with ALS. They were then divided into quartiles based on the concentration of pollutants in their bloodstream. The quartile with the highest amount of pollutants had a median survival time of 1 year and 11 months from the initial date of ALS diagnosis. Meanwhile, the quartile with the lowest concentration of pollutants had a months-longer median survival time at 2 years, 6 months.”Our concern is that not only are these factors influencing a person’s likelihood to get ALS, but also speeding up disease once they have it,” says Michigan Medicine neurologist Stephen Goutman, M.D., M.S., the study’s primary author and the director of U-M’s ALS clinic.High rate of disease in MichiganMichigan Medicine researchers are uniquely poised to study the origins of ALS in the search for more effective treatments and, eventually, a cure. Feldman says Michigan has one of the highest rates of ALS in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”‘Why us? Why Michigan?’ We believe the answer may lie in the fact that Michigan is both an industrial and agricultural state,” says Feldman, who founded Michigan Medicine’s ALS Center of Excellence in 1998.Throughout Michigan’s farming history, a variety of persistent environmental chemicals have been used in pesticides. These chemicals are absorbed into the ground and can potentially reach water supplies. While harmful pesticides have been identified and banned, such as DDT in 1972, their consequences persist, taking decades to degrade in some cases. These chemicals can accumulate in the sediments of rivers and the Great Lakes, as well as in the fish that populate them.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairMichigan’s industrial activities have placed the state among the top five generators of hazardous waste in the U.S., with 69 designated Superfund sites. PCBs, which are non-flammable, man-made chemicals used in electrical and hydraulic equipment, were in use until 1979. Similar to pesticides, these industrial chemicals degrade slowly, can leech into the ground and may affect the environment for decades to come.”If these chemicals are getting into the water bodies, such as lakes and rivers, in Michigan, this could be a source of exposure for everybody,” Goutman says. “These persistent environmental chemicals take a long time to break down, sometimes decades. Once you’re exposed they may accumulate in your body. They get into the fat and can be released into the blood. We’re particularly concerned about ALS patients who have been exposed to higher amounts of these chemicals.””As pollution changes the environment, we are being exposed to more and more toxins. We don’t yet know how this is going to contribute to human disease over time. As we look at more toxins, we want to identify those that are of greater significance in terms of disease onset or progression,” Goutman adds.”If we can determine what these chemicals are doing to our organs, brains and motor neurons, then we can develop drugs to counteract those effects.”Improve quality of life, advance the researchALS has no cure, but two FDA-approved medications, riluzole (also known as Rilutek) and edaravone (also known as Radicava), are shown to have modest effects in slowing disease. Goutman says using non-invasive ventilation – a ventilator that’s connected to a mask that covers the nose, nose and mouth, or entire face – is an extremely effective therapy for ALS. It’s reported to increase survival by 13 months on average. Also, it is important to not overlook other related symptoms in ALS and treat these to improve quality of life and to address mobility and safety, which Goutman discussed in a recent Facebook Live presentation.Feldman says future research will continue to address the question her patients most frequently ask: “Why did I get this disease?” A clear understanding of the development of ALS will help researchers work toward a cure.Next, the team plans to study a new cohort of patients in U-M’s clinic. Repeating similar results would further validate their findings, they say, establishing the framework for a national study. The scientific team has also received funding from the Center for Disease Control to understand the metabolism and interactions of pesticides and pollutants in ALS patients, and how specific metabolites correlate with disease onset, progression and survival. Feldman says understanding the metabolism of pesticides will lead to drug discovery. Source:https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/pesticide-exposure-contributes-to-faster-als-progressionlast_img read more

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Drone sighting briefly grounds flights at Frankfurt airport

first_img Citation: Drone sighting briefly grounds flights at Frankfurt airport (2019, May 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-drone-sighting-briefly-grounds-flights.html Drone sighting halts flights at Ireland’s Dublin Airport 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. Frankfurt airport was shut down for nearly an hour on Thursday morning as operators halted flights over a drone sighting, in the latest such incident affecting a busy European hub. A drone sighting led to a shutdown of Frankfurt airport, one of Europe’s busiest hubscenter_img No landings or take-offs were allowed after a drone was spotted over the southern part of the airport area in the early morning, but the all clear was given at 08:15 am (0615 GMT) at Germany’s busiest airport.The aviation authority said 143 take-offs and landings were cancelled and 48 aircraft already in the air were diverted to other airports among a total of 1,500 scheduled flights on Thursday.The drone, which was approximately 1.5 metres in diameter, was spotted by several pilots.Police are investigating and a helicopter tried to track the remote-controlled device after the latest drone incident to disrupt flights at the airport.In March, flights were halted for half an hour at Frankfurt airport following a drone sighting, also over the southern part of the site, causing lengthy delays and the cancellation of 60 of that day’s 1,439 scheduled flights. German air traffic controllers registered a total of 158 obstructions to scheduled flights caused by drones in 2018, up around 80 percent on the 2017 figure.Germany is not the only country to suffer from airborne pests.London’s Gatwick airport was shut down for three days last December over drone sightings, causing holiday travel misery for tens of thousands.As a result, the British government in March brought into force a no-fly zone for drones within five kilometres of British airports. Explore further © 2019 AFPlast_img read more

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Japanese official says negotiators working hard on USJapan trade deal

first_imgWASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Japanese officials are working hard to reach agreement on a bilateral trade agreement, a senior Japanese official told Reuters on Wednesday, adding he was looking forward to news on the deal in the near future. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a family photo session in front of Osaka Castle at the G-20 summit, in Osaka, Japan June 28, 2019 Tomohiro Ohsumi/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoThree industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday that the United States and Japan were working on a small trade deal involving agriculture and autos that could be agreed by President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when they meet in New York in September. Asked about progress in the bilateral trade talks, Koji Tomita, Japan’s sherpa to the Group of 20 industrialized countries (G20), said, “When President Trump came to Japan at the end of May, he was talking about doing a deal as soon as possible. Our team is now working pretty hard, so we are looking forward to some news in the near future.” An auto industry official told Reuters the deal taking shape could involve Japan offering U.S. farmers new access to its market in return for Washington reducing tariffs on certain Japanese auto parts. But he emphasized the talks remain fluid. Such a deal would give Abe a win on autos while helping Trump shore up support among farmers, an important constituency ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Trump and Abe discussed trade in late May and then again in Osaka, Japan, during a Group of 20 meeting last month, but no details of their talks were released. A source close to the White House said Japan appeared very willing to open up its markets. The source said the Trump administration was rushing to conclude a deal with Japan to use as leverage in its sputtering negotiations with China on. “The Chinese are fearful the Japanese will get one first,” the source said. “Because it could effectively bring back (the Trans-Pacific Partnership).” Improved access to the Japanese market would help the United States compete with members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade agreement among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. PACIFIC PACT One of Trump’s first acts as president was to pull the United States out of the predecessor agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which had been the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama’s strategic pivot to Asia. Before Trump withdrew the United States in 2017, the TPP was set to become the world’s largest free trade deal, covering 40 percent of the global economy. A revival of TPP, even in modified form, would be bad news for China, which had been shut out of the pact. Trump, angry about Japan’s $67.6-billion trade surplus with the United States, has threatened to slap 25% tariffs on imported Japanese cars but delayed those as talks continue. Jennifer Hillman, a professor at Georgetown Law School and former judge on the World Trade Organization’s highest court, said Japan faced pressure to open its markets to U.S. agricultural products. “The issue is going to be whether or not Japan is going to be willing to make the same kind of commitments it made in the TTP,” she told a panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She said she was not “particularly optimistic” that Japan would reach an agreement with the United States any time soon. Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Cynthia OstermanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

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Of shikhanji and dhabawalas The world according to Rahul Gandhi

first_imgRahul Gandhi, Congress chief   –  PTI COMMENTS COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on SHARE politics June 11, 2018 Congress president Rahul Gandhi today cited the examples of successful American entrepreneurs to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies but took the analogies too far by describing the founder of Coca-Cola as a ‘shinkanji seller’ and that of McDonald’s a ‘dhaba wala’He also said the founders of Ford, Mercedes and Honda were ‘mechanics’ whose skills were recognised by the meritocratic system in their countries and allowed them to prosper.Addressing a convention of OBC workers of the Congress, Gandhi sought to emphasise the point that the Modi government ignored skills and talent and did not provide the right opportunities to backward classes with entrepreneurial drive.In that context, he talked about the founders of world-renowned companies such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.“Everyone must have heard about the Coca-Cola company. Who started this company. Who was he, does anyone know? I will tell you who he was. The person who started the Coca-Cola company was one who sold ‘shikanji’ He used to sell ‘shikanji’ in America. He used to mix sugar in water. His experience and talent was honoured and he got money and started the Coca-Cola company.“You must have heard about McDonald’s company, which is seen everywhere. Who started it and what did he do? He used to run a ‘dhaba’ (roadside restaurant). You show me that ‘dhaba-walla’ in India who has created a company like Coca-Cola. Where is it?”Gandhi went on to ask the gathering if they had heard of the Ford company, Mercedes and Honda and who had started them.“It was a mechanic. Ford and Honda were mechanics. You show me an automobile company in India that was started by a mechanic. Where is it? It is not that our people, our ‘dhaba-wallahs’ do not have sense and strength. It is not that India’s mechanics did not have the potential as that of Ford or Mercedes. It is that if the doors of bank are open for Ford, Mercedes, then the doors of banks and politics are shut for our ‘dhabawalas’, mechanics and ‘dhobis’ and other backwards,” he said at the convention.However, his remarks failed to achieve the desired results, at least on social media, with the hashtag “#AccordingToRahulGandhi” becoming an immediate hit and one of the top India Twitter trends, as thousands mocked him in various creative ways, using pictures, cartoons and graphics.Someone also ‘tampered’ with the Wikipedia page of John Pemberton, the American pharmacist who is best known as the developer and founder of Coca-Cola. In the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page, someone had added: “He used to sell lemonade (Shikhanji) in his earlier days along with Gandhi family.”However, this flippant addition was removed shortly afterwards.The Wikipedia page made no mention of Pemberton ever being involved in the lemonade business.It describes Pemberton, who lived from July 8, 1831 to August 16, 1888, as a pharmacist who in May 1886 developed an early version of a beverage that would later become world-famous as Coca-Cola. He sold his rights to the drink shortly before his death.last_img read more

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