Sebelius Apologizes For Health Website Troubles, Vows To Get It Fixed In nearly four hours of testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the secretary of Health and Human Services faced a barrage of complaints about the rollout of the health law.The Washington Post: Sebelius On Health-Care Law Rollout: ‘Hold Me Accountable For The Debacle. I’m Responsible.’The battle over the government’s problem-plagued health-care Web site escalated on Wednesday as Republicans attacked the Obama administration over an array of emerging issues involving the health law, including potential security vulnerabilities on the site and complaints from Americans facing cancellations of existing policies (Kliff, Rucker and Somashekhar, 10/30).NPR: Congressmen Berate Sebelius For Cancellations, Website WoesHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a date with lawmakers frustrated by the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. What she got at the House Energy and Commerce Committee was four hours of venting from Democrats and Republicans alike (Rovner, 10/31). The New York Times: Sebelius Apologizes For Health Site’s MalfunctionsIn three and a half grueling hours of testimony before a House committee, Ms. Sebelius apologized for the missteps and problems in efforts to carry out the president’s most important domestic initiative (Pear, 10/30). Los Angeles Times: Sebelius Apologizes For Obamacare ‘Debacle’Sebelius acknowledged that enrolling in insurance plans through the federal government’s online marketplace was a “miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans” — an observation Republicans repeatedly underscored by pointing to a screen that showed in real time that the website, healthcare.gov, was displaying an error message (Memoli, 10/31). The Wall Street Journal: Sebelius Apologizes For Health Site’s WoesDespite calls from some Republicans for her resignation, Mrs. Sebelius gave no indication that she had plans to do so, saying she was “committed to earning your confidence back” by fixing the site (Schatz and Radnofsky, 10/30).The Associated Press: Fact Check: A Sebelius Dodge At HearingBut her response to Republicans who pressed her Wednesday to sign up under a health insurance exchange was problematic. She said that because she’s part of the federal employee health plan, she’s not eligible to switch to the exchanges. In fact, Americans who have workplace health insurance, as most with coverage do, can drop it in favor of individual policies offered by the exchanges. But doing so would not make financial sense for most (Woodward, 10/30). NBC News: ‘Miserably Frustrating’: Sebelius Apologizes For Glitchy Obamacare SiteThe Cabinet secretary responsible for Obamacare apologized Wednesday to Americans frustrated by the glitch-prone website that has blocked them from comparing and enrolling in health insurance plans. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, called it “a miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans.” “I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of healthcare.gov,” she told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “So let me say directly to these Americans: You deserve better. I apologize” (McClam, 10/30). Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Sebelius Says Healthcare.gov Problems Are Her ResponsibilityKaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and CQ Roll Call’s Emily Ethridge discuss the days events on Capitol Hill, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ testimony in which she said she couldn’t give firm numbers on how many people have enrolled for health insurance using the website because the data are not yet trustworthy (10/30).The Fiscal Times: 4 Key Obamacare Questions Sebelius Didn’t AnswerHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius began her testimony today in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with an apology. So, yes, there was plenty of political grandstanding. But that doesn’t gloss over the fact that a lot of questions about ObamaCare remain unanswered. Here are four questions that Americans should still be asking (Wagstaff, 10/30). Wonkblog: From ‘Brosurance’ To Tricycles, The Sebelius Hearing Was Pretty WeirdA quick review of five genuinely bizarre topics that have occurred this morning (Kliff, 10/30). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Reuters: Obama Signs Bill Fixing Medicare Doctors’ Pay The Associated Press: Obama Signs Overhaul Of How Medicare Pays Doctors USA Today: Obama Signs ‘Doc Fix’ Bill In The Rose Garden The president praised congressional leaders from both parties for the “doc fix” bill that includes provisions for a children’s health care program. He said the plan will make the health care system “smarter,” without denying service. “This was a bipartisan effort, Republicans and Democrats coming together to do something that’s smart and common sense,” Obama said. “My hope is it becomes a habit.” He declined to take questions, including one about how the bill might affect the budget deficit. (Jackson, 4/16) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Obama Signs ‘Doc Fix’ Bill Overhauling How Medicare Pays Doctors The signing brings to an end years of last-minute fixes and contentious debate over how Medicare pays doctors while also tying doctors’ compensation to the quality of care they provide. The law also continues funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two years. U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill into law on Thursday that repairs the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians after Congress, in rare bipartisan fashion, passed a fix earlier this week to prevent a 21 percent cut in doctors’ pay. (4/16) Ending years of last-minute fixes, President Barack Obama on Thursday signed legislation permanently changing how Medicare pays doctors, a rare bipartisan achievement by Democrats and Republicans. The bill overhauls a 1997 law that aimed to slow Medicare’s growth by limiting reimbursements to doctors. Instead, doctors threatened to leave the Medicare program, and that forced Congress repeatedly to block those reductions. (Kuhnhenn and Fram, 4/16)
Salgado, a 50-year-old section chief for the hospital’s LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health, told the AP in an email Thursday that he had posted various photos of gender-reassignment patients’ genitalia and that all of the patients had given their consent. But he said the hashtags, which “I had never seen in my life,” were added by someone who had hacked his account. Salgado said the petition was sent by a patient with gender dysphoria who was going through a difficult time in life. Salgado said he loves the transgender population and has spent years caring for them. (3/14) The New York Times: Florida Surgeon Resigns Over Instagram Photos Of Transgender Patients’ Genitals This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Associated Press: Surgeon Denies Posting Homophobic Comments On Social Media Well-Known Transgender Surgeon Resigns Following Furor Over Instagram Pictures Of Patients’ Genitals Dr. Christopher Salgado, 50, worked at the L.G.B.T.Q. Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health at the University of Miami Health System. “The purpose really was to be educational with it, but it went awry,” he said. However, critics were not only upset about the pictures but the captions that appeared to be mocking, as well. A well-known Florida surgeon who specializes in transgender health care has resigned from his position at the University of Miami amid an uproar over pictures he posted on Instagram that showed surgical procedures and patients’ genitals alongside captions and hashtags that mocked transgender people and Asians. The surgeon, Dr. Christopher Salgado, 50, worked at the L.G.B.T.Q. Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health at the University of Miami Health System until last month. Interspersed with photos of himself smiling with friends and colleagues, he posted images and text on his Instagram account, @sexsurgeon, that many people found disturbing. He deleted the account last month. (Stack, 3/14)
advertisement Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick Reuters Sponsored By: More What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Comment Share this storyBank of Canada could resume hikes if data proves slowdown temporary: Poloz Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Email Featured Stories Reddit Bank of Canada could resume hikes if data proves slowdown temporary: Poloz The Governor warns that U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies could provoke a new global recession The Bank of Canada could start hiking rates again “sometime down the road,” although such a move will depend on whether upcoming economic data backs up its assessment that a current slowdown is only a temporary detour, the central bank’s head said on Thursday.The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates five times since July 2017, although it has stayed on the sidelines in recent decisions as global trade concerns, the slumping oil sector and a weaker housing sector have weighed on the Canadian economy.The bank again held rates steady on Wednesday but took a more dovish stance than in recent releases, removing wording around the need for “future hikes,” while lowering its growth forecasts for 2019.But in a televised interview with Maclean’s magazine on Thursday, Governor Stephen Poloz said the central bank believed the slowdown would be temporary, lasting “a couple of quarters,” and implied the worst was already over. Brent could hit $100 before year-end, but it won’t end well for global economy, analyst says Bank of Canada holds rate, drops bias for future hikes as economy stalls William Watson: Trumpians consider mucking with monetary policy just when it’s working beautifully “What we have to do then is wait and see if the data proves to us that we were right about that,” he said. “Assuming we are, then sometime down the road we’ll be able to say: ‘OK, now it’s time to start normalizing again,’ but that remains to be seen.”Related Stories:Bank of Canada expected to part ways with central bankers around the world todayBank of Canada content to leave rates unchanged, frets about trade war damageHigh-flying loonie could give Bank of Canada pause in this week’s interest rate decisionHe repeated that any move would be data-dependent.The Bank of Canada estimates its neutral range is between 2.25 and 3.25 per cent. The overnight interest rate is currently at 1.75 per cent.Poloz also said there was nothing to signal that Canada was on the verge of recession, but when asked if U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies could provoke a new global recession, he said: “Certainly.”“When you think about the gains in income and living standards that have been created by trade liberalization in a postwar period, to erase even a portion of those would be to risk causing a recession globally,” Poloz said.© Thomson Reuters 2019 3 Comments Facebook ← Previous Next → Recommended For YouGroping for new tools, central banks look at Japan’s yield controlsChina shares rise, yuan stronger after Q2 GDP meets expectationsAP FACT CHECK: Trump wrong about Dems, census, citizenshipChina June crude oil throughput rises to record on new plantsJapan PM Abe’s ruling bloc set for solid upper house win – polls April 26, 20197:55 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Twitter Join the conversation →
Source: Electric Vehicle News New York Formula E e Prix – Di Grassi Wins, Vergne Takes Championship Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 16, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News New York Formula E ePrix: Vergne Wins Finale, Audi Takes Team Championship NIO Files For $1.8 Billion IPO On New York Stock Exchange New York is set to utilize the funds to significantly increase the number of electric and clean vehicles in the stateThe fallout from Volkswagen dieselgate scandal is still one of the prominent features of the automotive industry in the United States. However, the funds that are coming online thanks to the fines paid by the German car maker, are finding their way to clean transportation projects across the nation. According to an announcement by the New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the state has received a whopping $127.7 million from the 2016 Volkswagen settlement. In turn, this will allow them to significantly increase the number of electric vehicles and other eco-friendly vehicles in the state.More news from New York For New York, the improvements will include getting new trucks, buses, locomotives, ferries, tugboats, and cargo handling equipment. Furthermore, the funding will improve the availability of electric vehicle charging equipment statewide.To ensure proper spending of the funds, acting on Governor’s direction, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in concert with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, New York Power Authority, state Department of Transportation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and others, have developed Clean Transportation NY – a blueprint for the state to invest the settlement funding for maximum benefit.When a federal judge approved the national settlement plan for Volkswagen’s installation and use of NOx cheat devices, hitting approximately 580,000 Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles back in October 2016, there was little doubt that most of that money will be spent on improving eco-friendly vehicle infrastructure across the nation. Thanks to the support of the Attorney General’s Office, New York received $127.7 million as part of this legal settlement. More than 60% of the amount is slated to be spent to accelerate the adoption of electrified transportation. This will be done VIA reducing the cost of electric buses and trucks, but also, the funding is to boost the adoption rates for the electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the state as well.Furthermore, New York aims to replace or re-power older vehicles and devices. These include older generation school buses, but also, utility trucks and equipment used by various NY public services. These are slated to be replaced with both emission-free modern electric versions or other newer, much lower-emitting technologies that would provide substantially greater emission reductions.The Clean Transportation NY investments will also include funding for electric vehicle charging points and infrastructure. In turn, this is slated to encourage the growth of all-electric ground support equipment at airports and light-duty, on-road all-electric vehicles throughout the state. We’re already seeing cargo ships docking and turning off their engines, utilizing the power grid provided by the ports. With these items, the level of emissions arising from the state’s busiest airports could be taken down, resulting in a more hospitable working environment and a more pleasant surrounding for the passengers.Finally, the plan calls for bolstering the state’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program. The ZEV program calls for vehicle manufacturers to research, develop, and market electric vehicles that will have zero emissions. If proper funding is provided, we could see more car companies venturing into EV production across the state of New York, further curbing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.Source: Green Car Congress
Pascal Wehrlein maintains he did not gain a penalty-earning advantage during his clash with Lucas di Grassi in the dramatic finale to ABB FIA Formula E’s race at Mexico City. Wehrlein had led the disrupted race from pole and was chased hard throughout, first by Nissan e.dams driver Oliver Rowland and then Audi’s di Grassi.The Mahindra driver, who was making just his third FE start, entered the final few laps of the race at an energy disadvantage to di Grassi and the pair raced side by side – briefly rubbing sidepods – into the first chicane on the last tour.Wehrlein cut across the corner and stayed in front, later being passed by di Grassi on the run to the line as his car lost drive when it reached its energy limit, and was given a five-second penalty immediately after the race, dropping him from second to sixth.“What I’m not happy about is the penalty,” Wehrlein told Motorsport.com. “Going from second place to P6 is not what we deserved and also I didn’t gain an advantage in the chicane.“But these are the rules, the stewards decided like that. They thought I had an advantage because of that.“Everyone saw how much I slowed down after one corner – I was like three-four seconds ahead and then I didn’t go on power until they were straight behind me again. That’s the only thing I’m disappointed about.“I’m not disappointed about running out of energy in the last 50m because that’s Formula E and next time I will make sure that this will not happen again.”More reaction from Mexico:Piquet, Vergne at odds over red flag-inducing crashBuemi “speechless” at Nissan’s Mexico energy miscalculationDi Grassi “couldn’t believe” epic last-lap Mexico City win Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 23, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News Wehrlein explained that pushing hard during the early stages of the race “was a bit messy” and ultimately caused his finish line shutdown, but also pointed out the fine margins at play during the event.“Afterwards you realise here and there you could have done something different, but as it was my first full energy race – the other one [in Santiago] was temperature limited – I was quite happy,” he added.“50m is not a lot – it’s lifting for one corner 10m earlier, 20m earlier.”When asked to give his opinion on di Grassi’s last lap move, Wehrlein said: “All the time I am close to him we either crash or touch each other. It seems [to be] the way he likes to drive. For me it’s fine.”Di Grassi felt Wehrlein had been “more than aggressive” in his late-race defending.“On the last lap I was behind him and pretended to go to the outside and he left a door, a door small enough to go down the inside between the wall and the kerb and I went there,” he continued.“I went side-by-side with him and then he cut the chicane [at Turn 4]. Probably he would get a penalty anyway, but that was the move [that was key].”
In March it will be total domination for the Tesla Model 3Well, it didn’t take long for Tesla to conquer Western Europe with volume deliveries of the Tesla Model 3. According to industry analyst Matthias Schmidt (schmidtmatthias.de), in February Tesla sold the most all-electric cars the region (over 4,000, including 3,730 Model 3 registrations). And we must remember, Model 3 wasn’t even at full speed yet.Another interesting note is that February wasn’t the strongest month for other manufacturers, but as of today, Tesla improved its share of the battery-electric vehicle market to about one fifth. Total electric car sales are estimated at 20,100 (about 1.9% of total volume).More sales reports Polestar EVs Have A Center Raised-Floor Tunnel + Other Fun Facts Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News The other interesting finding is that Hyundai/Kia were #2, ahead of Renault and Nissan, which makes sense given that the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV are two outstanding choices among long-range electric cars.Come next month, we expect absolute domination by Tesla with the Model 3.W.Europe #electriccar market February 2019:>Over 20k registrations continues>1.9% electric car sales mix Feb>Tesla top OEM> Model 3 top selling model in debut month> 12 month rolling total = 216k> Cumulative = 690kMore data available shortly at https://t.co/JrJPrLdAAN pic.twitter.com/YXc7pE4ixj— Matthias Schmidt (@auto_schmidt) March 14, 2019 Tesla’s Confusing Price Changes: Here’s A Chart Of The Adjustments See Starman Drive The Tesla Model 3: Video
Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 19, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Formula E Rome ePrix Race Results: Spoiler Alert Formula E Rome ePrix Race Highlights: Video Source: Electric Vehicle News Wehrlein made an immediate impact in FE by being in contention to win in both Mexico and Chile, before disappointing pace in Hong Kong before a coming together between teammate Jerome d’Ambrosio and Dragon Racing’s Felipe Nasr.More Formula E News Pascal Wehrlein suspects his Mahindra Racing team is struggling in cold conditions after the Rome E-Prix made it three “not so great” ABB FIA Formula E races. Ahead of the Rome E-Prix, Mahindra conducted testing to get on top of its recent poor form after Wehrlein suggested Mahindra should revert to an older specification.But after finishing a low-key 10th in Rome, Wehrlein told Motorsport.com that he believes the Mahindra M5 Electro is affected by cooler weather.He said: “It helped [going back to an older set-up], I said in the race that the pace was a lot better than in qualifying but somehow the balance was quite different in the race.“It seems we struggle a bit more with colder conditions. Hong Kong was cold, here [in Rome] was cold. Mexico and Chile were really hot.“[It’s] low grip and you’re trying to change things but you always hope for big steps and, in the end, if you miss the grip you can change whatever you like on the car and it won’t improve.”The former Formula 1 driver explained he now felt more comfortable in the car with the older specification now applied.“We thought about a few things [after Sanya] and yes, we went back on some things,” said Wehrlein ahead of the Rome E-Prix. “I think I wasn’t 100% happy in the car [pre-Rome].“We changed quite a few things coming to Hong Kong and Sanya and I think we tried it.“Then it’s always weird because you don’t have the right feeling and how to expect it [to behave].“Now I have the feeling for it again, some things I liked and some things I didn’t.” Vandoorne Had Driveshaft Failure Immediately Following Formula E Finish
It’s equipped with 60 kWh of Tesla batteries and already covered 20,000 miles.Source: Electric Vehicle News
Username Lost your password? Houston trial lawyer John Zavitsanos went after opposing counsel and her “playbook” to win a jury verdict of no wrongdoing for his client, National Oilwell Varco, in a $120 million-dollar employment discrimination lawsuit.(Editor’s Warning: This article contains offensive language.) You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Remember me Password
May 22 2018Anaplastic thyroid cancer is almost uniformly fatal, with an average lifespan of about 5 months after diagnosis. And standard treatment for the condition includes 7 weeks of radiation, often along with chemotherapy.”We put patients through toxic treatment for seven weeks when most will only live five months. I’m not sure that’s how I would want to spend my time,” says Sana Karam, MD, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and assistant professor in the CU School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology.Now a paper published in the journal Thyroid suggests an alternative. Rather than conventional radiotherapy, the paper suggests that thyroid tumors may be more susceptible to treatment with precisely targeted radiation known as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), and possibly with fewer side effects.The study was made possible by one of Karam’s patients.”It was one of those journeys that reminds you why we are so fortunate to be physicians,” Karam says. The patient was only 50 years old at the time of diagnosis. “I treated him with six or seven weeks of radiation only to find that the cancer had already progressed elsewhere in his body. He had six kids, five of them adopted, and at the end of his life one of the only things he could enjoy eating was ice cream, and so they all enjoyed it together.”After her patient passed, the family created a fundraiser called Cream Cancer that accepted small donations from ice cream parlors near where they lived. Eventually the family raised $10,000, which they donated to the Karam lab to fund research to improve treatments for future thyroid cancer patients.”My biggest thing was seeing if we could replace seven weeks of radiation with a shorter regimen, say three sessions of targeted radiation instead of thirty of conventional radiation,” Karam says.Because the laboratory of CU Cancer Center colleague, Bryan Haugen, MD, holds one of the largest existing batteries of thyroid cancer cell lines, Karam and first co-authors Andy Phan and Ayman Oweida, PhD, were able to show that anaplastic thyroid cancer cells are almost universally resistant to conventional radiotherapy.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerKaram wondered if targeted radiation might succeed where conventional radiation failed. In collaboration with the lab of CU researchers Rebecca Schweppe, PhD, and Nikita Pozdeyev, MD, Karam tested these two radiation strategies in mouse models of the disease.”What we found is that not only is this condensed regimen of targeted radiation equivalent to conventional radiation therapy, but it’s actually superior, not only in terms of local control but also distantly,” Karam says.Karam’s last point is an important one. A common criticism of targeted radiation is the idea that while it may treat the deposits of cancer at which it is aimed, it may not treat invisible deposits of cancer elsewhere in the body – invisible deposits that might be irradiated as a byproduct of more system-wide, conventional radiation therapy. However, recent work in the Karam lab and elsewhere shows that focused radiation may have a systemic effect.”It may be that SBRT eradicates the root of the cancer so that it can’t continue to send out cells that lead to metastases, or it may be that SBRT wakes up the immune system to the presence of cancer, which helps the immune system combat cancer elsewhere in the body,” Karam says.Whatever the mechanism, mice treated with SBRT had less cancer and lived longer than mice treated with conventional radiation.The work also found a genetic signature of cancers that resist radiotherapy, namely hyper-activation of the gene CXCR4, which is associated with inflammation and has been shown to aid tumor growth in models of other cancer types.”Because of our patients who are willing to contribute their tumor tissue to create the cell lines we need for our experiments, and because of our expertise with animal models, Colorado is known to be one of the best places for thyroid cancer research,” Karam says.And because of her patient’s motivated family who raised money for research through loose change from ice cream parlors, Karam is able to take another step on the path toward demonstrating more effective, less toxic strategies against anaplastic thyroid cancer. Source:http://www.coloradocancerblogs.org/ice-cream-funds-research-showing-new-strategy-against-thyroid-cancer/
Jun 30 2018University of Otago research provides insights into an underlying mechanism that could explain why new cancer therapies to help treat metastatic melanoma do not always work on patients, paving the way for predicting which patients will benefit from certain drugs.Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Pathology, Dr Aniruddha Chatterjee, who has already gained national recognition as one of the country’s top emerging scientists, jointly led the work published today in a leading international journal from the Cell Press, iScience, together with colleagues Professor Mike Eccles from the Department of Pathology and Professor Peter Hersey from the University of Sydney.Their findings shed much needed light on why new immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab – approved by the New Zealand Government for the first time in 2016 to treat metastatic melanoma – do not work on many patients.The new immunotherapeutic drugs herald a significant advancement in a cure for cancer. But while they can be effective for some melanoma patients, for others the therapies do not work at all, and most eventually become resistant to immunotherapy treatments.One of the key components of the immune checkpoint mechanism is a protein on the surface of cancer cells called PD-L1 which can potentially be receptive to or block immunotherapy.The Otago researchers were able to show that an epigenetic modification – DNA modifications that do not directly alter the DNA sequence, but instead change the frequency by which a cell uses specific genes – specifically DNA methylation, influences whether PD-L1 is expressed on the cancer cell surface.Dr Chatterjee, who last year was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to study the epigenetics of metastasis, says melanoma is a global problem, but particularly relevant in New Zealand where we have the highest incidence rates of the disease.Oncologist Chris Jackson, who is a researcher for the University of Otago’s Centre for Translational Cancer Research but not involved in this project, explains “biomarkers” are tools to select which patients benefit from which cancer therapies.”Currently, there are no reliable biomarkers for predicting benefit from immune therapy in melanoma and these are desperately needed in the clinic,” Dr Jackson says.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancer”Biomarkers would help choose which patients are likely to benefit and who are not. Many groups worldwide are searching for immune-therapy biomarkers and this Otago discovery of an epigenetic marker appears very promising.”However, the findings will now need to be tested in people with melanoma undergoing treatment to see if this test can make it “from the bench to the bedside”, Dr Jackson says.Dr Chatterjee says the findings suggest epigenetic therapies could be used in clinical trials in combination with immunotherapy in melanoma to treat patients. However, further trials would be needed before this could become a possibility.The Health Research Council has just this month awarded $1,198,714 to the researchers to continue their work on patients in New Zealand over the next three years. Professor Eccles says they plan to develop a DNA methylation marker panel that predicts the likelihood of melanoma patients responding to immunotherapy treatment.”This work will contribute to selecting the best treatment option for patients, and also for developing new targets for epigenetic therapies.”There is currently no robust biomarker able to predict patient response and also relatively little understanding of the basis for resistance to immunotherapy treatment of melanoma. There is a global effort to unlock the secrets behind resistance to immunotherapy and the Otago researchers believe they may have uncovered a key piece of the puzzle.DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism that plays a key role in switching genes “on” or “off” and helps to determine cellular function. Generally, DNA methylation silences gene expression and has been implicated in cancer.”Our research provides evidence that it is the global loss of DNA methylation that regulates constitutive expression of the immune checkpoint PD-L1 in melanoma,” Dr Chatterjee explains.The findings have been heralded by the researchers’ peers internationally as “highly novel” and a major advance in understanding melanoma biology.Source: https://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago690068.html
Source:https://www.binghamton.edu/ Jul 11 2018Living at higher latitudes, where there is also less sunlight, could result in a higher prevalence rate of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.”The results of this project are exciting because they provide additional evidence for a new way of thinking about OCD,” said Meredith Coles, professor of psychology at Binghamton University. “Specifically, they show that living in areas with more sunlight is related to lower rates of OCD.”To compile their data, Coles and her research team read through many papers that addressed OCD prevalence rates in certain places and then recorded the latitudes of each location.Related StoriesI’m a CPAP dropout: Why many lose sleep over apnea treatmentUnpleasant experiences could be countered with a good night’s REM sleepMore than 936 million people have sleep apnea, ResMed-led analysis revealsIndividuals with OCD commonly report not being able to fall asleep until later than desired. Often times, they will then sleep in very late in order to compensate for that lost sleep, thus adopting a delayed sleep-wake pattern that may have adverse effects on their symptoms.”This delayed sleep-wake pattern may reduce exposure to morning light, thereby potentially contributing to a misalignment between our internal biology and the external light-dark cycle,” said Coles. “People who live in areas with less sunlight may have less opportunities to synchronize their circadian clock, leading to increased OCD symptoms.”This misalignment is more prevalent at higher latitudes – areas where there is reduced exposure to sunlight – which places people living in these locations at an increased risk for the development and worsening of OCD symptoms. These areas subsequently exhibit higher lifetime prevalence rates of the disorder than areas at lower latitudes.While it is too soon to implement any specific treatment plans based on this new information, future studies are in the works to test a variety of treatment methods that address sleep and circadian rhythm disruptions.”First, we are looking at relations between sleep timing and OCD symptoms repeatedly over time in order to begin to think about causal relationships,” said Coles. “Second, we are measuring circadian rhythms directly by measuring levels of melatonin and having people wear watches that track their activity and rest periods. Finally, we are conducting research to better understand how sleep timing and OCD are related.”Additionally, the team of researchers hopes that further study exploring exposure to morning light could help develop new treatment recommendations that would benefit individuals with OCD.
Source:https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/fruit-vegetables-breast-cancer/ Jul 19 2018Women who eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables each day may have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially of aggressive tumors, than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In their findings, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and yellow and orange vegetables, had a particularly significant association with lower breast cancer risk.”Although prior studies have suggested an association, they have been limited in power, particularly for specific fruits and vegetables and aggressive subtypes of breast cancer,” said first author Maryam Farvid, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition. “This research provides the most complete picture of the importance of consuming high amounts of fruit and vegetables for breast cancer prevention.”Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerThe study was published online July 6, 2018 in the International Journal of Cancer.The researchers analyzed diet questionnaires submitted every four years by participants in the Nurses’ Health Study (88,301 women, starting in 1980) and the Nurses’ Health Study II (93,844 women, starting in 1991). Data on other potential breast cancer risk factors such as age, weight, smoking status, and family cancer history were taken from biennial questionnaires.They found that women who ate more than 5.5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day had an 11% lower risk of breast cancer than those who ate 2.5 or fewer servings. (A serving is defined as one cup of raw leafy vegetables, half a cup of raw or cooked vegetables, or half a cup of chopped or cooked fruits.)To find out whether the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption differed among various types of breast cancers, the researchers conducted an analysis by tumor hormone receptor status and molecular subtype. They found that higher consumption of fruits and vegetables was particularly associated with lower risk of more aggressive tumors including ER-negative, HER2-enriched, and basal-like tumors.Previous work by this research group linked reduced breast cancer risk with higher fiber intake, but the benefits of fruits and vegetables found in this study appear to be independent of their fiber content, according to the researchers. This suggests that other constituents of these foods, such as antioxidants and other micronutrients, may also be important in reducing breast cancer risk.”While a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is associated with many other health benefits, our results may provide further impetus for women to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables,” said senior author Heather Eliassen, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Chan School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Source:https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/2018/billion-brain-links-map Aug 3 2018Scientists have created an elaborate map of more than a billion brain cell connections, helping to shed light on how memories are formed and recalled.Their complex series of images are the first to illustrate how these vital connections are organized and could impact on our fundamental understanding of the brain.Researchers also showed that this molecular map is altered in mice with features of autism and of schizophrenia, suggesting that it could provide vital insights on brain disorders.The study focused on gaps between brain cells – known as synapses – that allow chemical and electrical messages to flow and are vital to healthy brain function.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaThis is the first time that such a map – called a synaptome – has been created across the entire brain.Researchers led by the University of Edinburgh used cutting-edge techniques, including molecular imaging and artificial intelligence, to look at synapses across the mouse brain.They studied sections of brain tissue engineered to emit light, allowing the scientists to see individual synapses in color. By tagging distinct types of molecules in each synapse by color, they were able to detect a vivid pattern of synapses across the brain.Different groups of synapses were active depending on distinct behaviors of the mice – such as feeding, running and jumping.Researchers say that the diversity of synapse types may be key to recalling information, helping the brain to quickly locate memories through patterns of its activity. This finding could help scientists understand more about how memory problems develop.The study also showed that mice bred to mirror aspects of autism and schizophrenia had altered synaptome maps and did not recall information properly. This could open new avenues towards understanding many different brain diseases and behavioral conditions.The study was funded by the European Research Council and Wellcome and is published in the journal, Neuron.Lead researcher, Professor Seth Grant of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, said: “There are more synapses in a human brain than there are stars in the galaxy. The brain is the most complex object we know of and understanding its connections at this level is a major step forward in unraveling its mysteries.”In creating the first map of this kind, we were struck by the diversity of synapses and the exquisite patterns that they form. This map opens a wealth of new avenues of research that should transform our understanding of behavior and brain disease”.
Source:https://www.utsa.edu/today/2018/08/story/RobotRecord.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 28 2018It can’t be seen with a human eye. It doesn’t look anything like C-3PO or R2-D2, or even BB-8. But, nevertheless, it is a robot (all 120nm of it) and its creators from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are now world record holders in the Guinness World Records for creating the Smallest Medical Robot.The series of nanorobots was created by Soutik Betal during his doctoral research in Electrical Engineering under the guidance of professors Ruyan Guo and Amar S. Bhalla in the UTSA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and they could one day lead to huge medical advancements.Guo explains, “In a nutshell, we have developed nanocomposite particles that can be remotely controlled by an electromagnetic field. They function like extremely tiny robots that interact with biological cells.”The nanocomposites are made of two different types of multifunctional oxide materials in a “core and shell” configuration. The core is magnetic. It changes ‘shape’ in response to magnetic fields. The shell is ferroelectric. It converts pressure into electric potentials.The magneto-elasto-electric coupled effect in the nanocomposites act as arms and legs that move the nanoparticle around to interact with targeted biological cells. The nanorobots can move cells to align with one another, push cells into different locations and possibly be used to deliver medication into a cell.The experimental demonstration of UTSA’s remotely controlled medical robot was performed in late 2016 by Betal, who was conducting his doctoral dissertation research in Guo and Bhalla’s Multifunctional Electronics Materials and Devices Research Laboratory (MeMDRL). While the fabrication of core-shell structured materials have been developed through international research exchanges with collaborators in Brazil, the team discovered and Betal demonstrated the nanocomposites produced permeable motion.Related StoriesExciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear'”We were intrigued and initially puzzled at the fact that nanoparticles larger than the opening of a cell membrane’s channels could actually enter inside,” said Guo.The nanocomposite research also benefited from the MeMDRL’s interdisciplinary research collaboration with faculty in the UTSA Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Physics and Astronomy. The research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (Grant no. NSF 1002380), by the U.S. Department of Defense (Grant no. W911NF-12-1-0082) and by the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise.Recognition for the work began when a study was published early this year in Nature – Scientific Reports. The Guinness Book of World Records designation followed the article publication.The greatest rewards, however, may yet be ahead for the tiny robots.”Their abilities leave room for much hope,” Guo said. “We believe cancerous cells may be specifically targeted for treatment eliminating the need for some chemotherapy treatments, and Alzheimer’s disease victims could possibly receive special treatments by aligning cells which have ceased to live in the brain. There is still much work to be done, but we are very happy for this recognition and the potential that lies ahead.”
This isn’t a photo of the Milky Way; it’s a deep, dark cave in New Zealand. And those blue things aren’t stars; they’re maggots. A chemical reaction in their Malpighian tubules—structures analogous to kidneys—makes their posteriors glow, much to the delight of more than 200,000 tourists who visit them every year. These larvae of fungus gnats eat by creating a hammock of mucus and silk secreted from glands in their mouth, and then dropping down fishing lines with glistening droplets that capture insect prey summoned by their glow. To find out what makes these threads so sticky, researchers went spelunking and brought threads preserved in liquid nitrogen back to the lab. They discovered glowworm threads have little in common with sticky spider threads. Spider silk is an incredibly complex mixture of silk and glycoproteins; the droplets on glowworm silken threads are 99% water, with just one unexpected ingredient: urea, the main component of urine, the team reports today in PLOS ONE. One question that remains is how the mucus threads, secreted at the head end of the larva, somehow become covered with small amounts of urea, which is produced at the other end. The researchers speculate that urea, which is used commercially as a glue in plywood and other laminates, might be the source of the stick in the silken threads. They’re keen to head back into the caves to find out.