Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dan rowinski Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The wait is over. Apple announced its newest iPhone today at an event in San Francisco and, as rumored, it is indeed larger than its predecessors, runs 4G LTE, and has a bigger, better display. After months of speculation and a litany of leaks, the new device is indeed called the iPhone 5 and nearly everything about it is an improvement over the iPhone 4S.The iPhone had a growth spurt. Gone is the 3.5-inch display that has defined previous iPhones, replaced by a 4-inch display. Apple increased the screen resolution as well, improving from 960×640 pixels in the iPhone 4S to 1136×640 for the iPhone 5. The screen now supports a movie standard 16:9 aspect ratio. Despite being longer, the iPhone 5 is thinner and lighter than the 4S. At 7.6 millimeters, the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner as well as 20% lighter (112 grams) than the 4S. During the keynote, Apple called it the “world’s thinnest smartphone.” Actually, while the iPhone 5 is impressively thin, it is not the world’s thinnest smartphone. That honor goes to the Droid Razr, which sports a 7.1mm-thin body.Apple also unveiled its newest processor running the iPhone, the A6, which promises to double performance from the A5 chip inside the iPhone 4S. The A6 is also 22% smaller than the A5 and will launch apps 2.1 times faster, according to Apple.The least surprising but perhaps the most significant aspect of the iPhone 5 is that it now supports 4G LTE. In the U.S., that means the iPhone will run on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. In Canada the iPhone will run on Rogers, Bell, Telus, Virgin Mobile, Fido and Koodo. The battery life on the iPhone 5 is improved, though Apple is never very specific on battery specifications during its keynote presentations. Apple claims that the iPhone 5 will deliver 10 hours of video playback, 8 hours of browsing using 4G LTE and 8 hours of 3G talk time with 225 hours of standby. Those numbers are actually almost exactly the same as the iPhone 4S, but considering the larger screen and more powerful processor, the battery of the iPhone 5 is definitely improved.The camera is still 8 megapixels, as was its predecessor, but Apple has improved the color saturation, optics and software that runs the camera to perform faster and more precisely. The camera now supports shared photo streams and panorama modes for landscape pictures. It also has a sapphire lens that will enhance focus and create crisper images. One of the biggest controversies surrounding the iPhone 5 is that Apple has changed the dock connector. Called “Lightning” (to match its Thunderbolt connector for its PCs), the new dock connector is 80% smaller. The Lightning connector has an all digital, 8-signal design (for improved data transfer) and is more durable than the 30-pin connector Apple has employed since 2003. The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order on September 14th, starting at $199 for the 16 GB model. The 32 GB will retail for $299 and 64 GB at $399 with a carrier contract. Overall, the iPhone 5 is a big step up from anything that Apple has produced so far. Is it enough to excite consumers? Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Apple#iPhone#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Indiana’s Troy Williams will be looking to do this again on FridayToday’s game against Michigan State is huge for Indiana for a number of reasons. The Hoosiers can pick up a big win against another likely tournament team, and impress a pair of huge recruits that are attending the game at Assembly Hall. Forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea is playing his part in the effort. The high-flying junior somehow split four Spartan defenders from just a few feet inside the foul line to slam home a missed three attempt. DUNK OF THE YEAR: https://t.co/NuDV8t1GV1— OHB (@ohholybutt) March 7, 2015We’d tell Michigan State to box out, but we’re sure Tom Izzo has already covered that.
Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is hailing teachers for their commitment to the improvement of students’ performance in various school assessments, and their increased participation in co-curricular activities.The Minister was addressing teachers at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Golden Torch Awards ceremony, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on July 5.Senator Reid noted that the improvement in performance is reflected in the 2018 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which saw improvement over last year’s results in four of five subjects.They include Language arts, Communication Task, Science and Social Studies.The 2017 Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Assessment also showed improvement, with increases in the percentage of students achieving mastery for both areas; and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, which recorded improved passes in 18 of 34 subjects at this level.Participation from students in co-curricular activities, including national festival competitions, TVJ’s Schools’ Challenge Quiz, national debates, sports, speech and other activities have also been achieved.“So, on behalf of a grateful nation, please accept our sincere thanks. The entire Jamaica appreciates your service to our beloved country. Someone’s life has been made better because of you. You have touched the hearts and minds of thousands,” the Minister said.JTA President, Georgia Waugh Richards in her remarks said it is important to recognise the “yeoman’s duty and task that our (teachers) have done”.She described those teachers before her as “trailblazers” and noted that “a debt of gratitude” is owed to them because they have “laid very strong and very firm foundations”.“You are the bedrock of the Jamaican education system. You are the standard-bearers. Every time you step into the classroom you work a little miracle. You open a mind that others would see as difficult, impossible to do. You give love even when you are not a recipient,” she said.During the ceremony, 150 teachers from across the island with over 35 years of service to education were presented with awards.The brainchild of educator and former JTA President, Ray Howell, the Golden Torch Award was first instituted by the JTA in 1991 and the first awards presented in 1993.Each academic year, forms are sent to schools at the beginning of the second term for Principals to indicate the teachers on staff who satisfy the criteria.The award is normally presented at a special function during the first week of July each year. Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is hailing teachers for their commitment to the improvement of students’ performance in various school assessments, and their increased participation in co-curricular activities. Senator Reid noted that the improvement in performance is reflected in the 2018 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), which saw improvement over last year’s results in four of five subjects. The Minister was addressing teachers at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Golden Torch Awards ceremony, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on July 5. Story Highlights
The 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.
Northern Michigan University prepares students for cannabis jobs starting at $70,000 a year. Image credit: Heath Korvola | Getty Images Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read Download Our iOS App Free Green Entrepreneur App A University in Michigan Is Offering a Bachelor Degree for Marijuana Entrepreneurs Guest Writer There have already been classes offered at colleges around the country relating to marijuana, including the legal issues surrounding legalization and how cannabis is portrayed in the media. Louisiana State University is even growing medical marijuana in a partnership with a private company.That’s all interesting, but no school has offered an entire degree program focused on the marijuana industry. Until now.Northern Michigan University, located in the state’s remote Upper Peninsula, has launched a four-year program that allows students to graduate with a degree in Medical Plant Chemistry. The focus is not only on learning the biology and chemistry of marijuana, but also on preparing students for a career in the cannabis industry.That means graduates can roll out of the program and into the marijuana industry, working in grow houses or research labs where new strains of marijuana are created and tested. It also means a salary of around $70,000 right out of school, the program’s creator told CNBC.Related: Cannabis Industry Rallies to Overcome Unique Legal Barriers to Recovery From Northern California FiresScience, business and marketing in one degree.The program actually focuses on more than just cannabis horticulture. Over four years, students also delve into financial management and marketing in the marijuana industry.So far, a dozen students have entered the program. One of them, Alex Roth, told the Detroit Free Press the coursework is far more difficult than people might initially think: “When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, ‘Wow, cool, dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana.’ It’s not an easy degree at all,” Roth said.So why launch the program now? According to the school, legalization of marijuana in states across the country means “a national shift away from the prohibition of cannabis has been signaled.” And that means the time is ripe for people who specialize in studying how marijuana can best be used for medicinal purposes.Related: Survey: A Quarter of Cancer Patients Use Legal Medical Marijuana.The medical benefits of marijuana.Northern Michigan University is located near the shore of Lake Superior in the town of Marquette, between the Ottawa and Hiawatha national forests. It’s far off the beaten path. But the cannabis program is cutting edge.In creating the program, the school looks to be the first to educate scientists specifically on the creation and testing of marijuana strains that can impact the health of users. The school notes such research is nothing new, as “natural products chemistry” has helped healthcare by identifying and synthesizing compounds based on chemicals produced in nature.In short, no one knows all the ways medical marijuana can benefit people, and the world needs people trained to figure it out.The university’s goal is to produce graduates who are both well-versed in the biology and chemistry of marijuana as well as in the entrepreneurial aspects of the marijuana industry.“The additional focus on entrepreneurship and laboratory accreditation standards means that our graduates will not only be qualified to perform the instrumental analysis in a laboratory, but will also be empowered to build their own testing laboratory, dispensary and growing operation from the ground up,” the school states on its website.Follow dispensaries.com on Instagram to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. –shares Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. dispensaries.com October 26, 2017 Cannabis Next Article Add to Queue
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? 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 »
ISG Provider Lens Reports See Contact Center Industry Moving from Resolving Queries to Providing End-To-End Customer Service ExperiencesContact centers have evolved from query resolution to full-featured customer experience centers by embracing artificial intelligence and speech analytics, according to two new reports published by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.The two ISG Provider Lens Contact Center/Customer Experience Services reports – one a quadrant analysis of global provider capabilities, the other a view based on buyer archetypes – find contact centers adopting AI to improve service and performance. Contact centers are using elements of machine learning and natural language processing to provide customer recommendations and enable constant system learning.Speech analytics and conversational AI have been major disrupters in the contact center space, the report said. AI systems are providing a holistic view of a customer history by pulling data from past contacts.“Machine assistance is creating more value out of voice processes,” said Esteban Herrera, partner and global leader of ISG Research. “Virtual help is making contact centers more intelligent.”Many enterprises using contact center vendors are also looking for more ways to enable customer self-service, the archetype report said. AI is helping enterprises move to intelligent self-service models, with knowledge management hubs that can predict patterns and pull out relevant information. In addition, many enterprises are looking for contact center support to help them deal with customer queries made through social media, the report said.Marketing Technology News: Grant Thornton’s Tax practice embraces Microsoft Power BIThe reports also find the contact center industry moving rapidly toward non-voice business models, including intelligent bots. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots can send emails and chat-based decisions to customers. “Bots are moving toward becoming complex decision-making agents,” Herrera said.Service providers also are offering consulting expertise to enterprises looking to deploy their own bots, the quadrant report said. Some enterprises are interested in using AI-powered bots to continuously measure customer sentiment and course-correct, as needed.The ISG Provider Lens Contact Center/Customer Experience Services Global Quadrant Report for 2019 evaluates the capabilities of 17 providers across the contact center/customer experience quadrant. The report names Alorica, Concentrix, Conduent, Sitel, Sutherland, Teleperformance and TeleTech as leaders in the quadrant.Meanwhile, the ISG Provider Lens Contact Center/Customer Experience Services Archetype Report for 2019 examines four different types of clients, or archetypes, that are looking for contact center service providers. The report evaluates the capabilities of 17 contact center providers to deliver services to the four archetypes:Customer service buyers: These are traditional customers focused on managed solutions. They don’t consider contact centers part of their core operations. They are taking a step-by-step approach during their digital transformation, including the adoption of non-voice services.Peak season buyers: They seek providers offering cost-effective services through an established work-at-home contact center model. They look for flexibility to increase or decrease the number of agents they use depending on varying business demands and seasonal peaks.Automation seekers: These buyers are seeking to embark on a digital journey as a way to cope with changing preferences of customers, including technologically advanced millennials. They want to offer 24×7 connectivity across all touchpoints, and they want service providers that offer traditional contact center services but also have automation capabilities, including virtual agents.Digital experts: They focus on domain-specific consulting strategies involving design thinking. They are looking for more than technology partners or vendors; they want to engage with providers that can help them in their transformational journeys, leveraging digital technologies to drive innovation and increase efficiency.Marketing Technology News: Philo Reveals Connected TV Ad Platform to Reach Latest Generation of TV LoversAmong the providers ISG evaluated against these buyer types, Alorica, HGS, Sitel, Sutherland, Teleperformance and TTEC were named leaders in three archetypes. Concentrix, Conduent and Genpact were leaders in two, while Atento, Hexaware, Tech Mahindra and WNS were leaders in one.A customized version of the archetype report is available from Sitel.The ISG Provider Lens Contact Center/Customer Experience Services Global Quadrant Report is available to ISG Insights subscribers or for immediate, one-time purchase on this webpage, while the ISG Provider Lens Contact Center/Customer Experience Services Archetype Report is available on this webpage.Marketing Technology News: MGH Survey Finds Nearly Half of US Diners Have Tried a New Restaurant Because of its Social Media Posts Contact Centers Adding AI to Become More Intelligent, Responsive to Customers PRNewswireApril 23, 2019, 5:03 pmApril 23, 2019 Artificial IntelligenceCustomer Experience ServicesInformation Services GroupMarketing TechnologyNewsTechnology Previous ArticlePX Open Marketplace Surpasses 500 Publishers in its ExchangeNext ArticleDeskforce Announces First Investment Round
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.
Reviewed 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-progression