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House of Fraser could have been sold for £1, EY letter reveals

Friday 17 August 2018 2:35 pm House of Fraser could have been sold for £1, EY letter reveals whatsapp The letter also states that six parties made formal offers to buy the high street chain before it was acquired by Sports Direct for £90m on 10 August. One potential buyer had offered to purchase the retail chain on a solvent basis for £1.The bidder also made an offer to buy House of Fraser from an insolvency sale for £100m, but withdrew after “the party communicated that they could not justify the transaction commercially and they were withdrawing their interest”.Four other offers were rejected after it was assessed that they would generate a low recovery for creditors.Read more: Fast fashion now fading faster? Share whatsapp Beleaguered department store House of Fraser could have been sold for just £1 ahead of its acquisition by billionaire Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct brand, administrators EY revealed today.The retailer saw a £14.6m drop in profits in the 13 weeks to the end of April, four months before it entered administration. Turnover also declined 7.7 per cent in that period, a letter to creditors published today by EY showed.  Suppliers to House of Fraser, who are owed a total of £753m, will not be paid by Sports Direct, the BBC reported. The new owner is not legally obliged to pay suppliers anything owed ahead of 10 August, but often acquiring firms do make some payment as a gesture of goodwill.The news comes after the department store cancelled all online orders on Thursday evening after a dispute with warehouse operator XPO Logistics.XPO had ordered workers at its two warehouses in Milton Keynes and Wellingborough to stop working, and has reportedly refused access to Sports Direct vehicles attempting to collect stock for deliveries to shops and customers.House of Fraser tweeted: “Due to delays with delivering online orders, we have taken the decision to cancel and refund all orders that have not already been sent to customers. All customers affected will receive an email in the next couple of days.”Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.”Read more: High Street bounces back as shoppers seek leisure and dining Jessica Clark More From Our Partners Brave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.org read more


City Moves for 23 August – Who’s switching jobs?

first_imgGlobal real estate investor, developer and manager Oxford Properties Group, has announced a series of changes to its leadership team and the appointment of Dean Hopkins as chief operations officer. The changes come at a time of rapid worldwide growth for Oxford, which grew its assets under management by a third last year. Dean’s appointment brings invaluable C-Suite tech experience to the leadership team as Oxford adopts a digital-first strategy in its approach to property, facility and asset management. Jo McNamara becomes managing director, head of Europe and David Matheson takes the role of managing director, head of Asia Pacific and continues to lead investment and development activity in both Europe and Asia Pacific. Oxford entered the Asia Pacific market in late 2018 via its AU$4.5bn (£2.48bn) take-private acquisition of Investa Office Fund, a leading ASX listed office REIT. Both report to Paul Brundage, senior managing director, Head of Europe and Asia Pacific and member of Oxford’s executive leadership team. As part of the reorganisation, Eric Plesman and Chad Remis now lead Oxford’s North American business and have been appointed to the executive leadership team as executive vice presidents. Wealth management and corporate broking company WH Ireland has appointed Alistair Buchanan as a non-executive director (elect), subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval. He will also serve on the audit, risk, nomination and remuneration committees. Alistair was formerly chief executive of energy regulator Ofgem for 10 years and a partner at KPMG, where he was also UK chairman of power and utilities. He trained as a chartered accountant at KPMG before becoming an award-winning energy sector analyst and head of research for banks in London and New York. Meanwhile, WH Ireland has announced that following the receipt of FCA approval, Simon Lough has been appointed as a non-executive director. Mediconnect WH Ireland More From Our Partners Astounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comConnecticut man dies after crashing Harley into live bearnypost.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.com IT development expert Gary Nelson has been appointed head of engineering at Mediconnect, the developer of a framework blockchain solution to trace and manage prescription medication. Gary is currently a senior technical architect at IBM, focusing on enterprise data warehouse and business intelligence capabilities. Consulting across all business domains, he works on performance and optimisation improvements to existing hardware and software systems. Prior to that, he has headed development IT teams for some of the largest companies in the world including Johnson and Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teradata, Avaya, Unisys, Barclays Bank, Tesco, Nokia, Kesco and Lloyds Banking Group. Oxford Properties Friday 23 August 2019 12:38 am by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeFinanceChatterViewers Had To Look Away When This Happened On Live TVFinanceChatterNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyPast Factory4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!Past FactoryYourDailyLamaHe Used To Be Handsome In 80s Now It’s Hard To Look At HimYourDailyLamazenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.combonvoyaged.comThese Celebs Are Complete Jerks In Real Life.bonvoyaged.comPost Fun25 Worst Movies Ever, According To Rotten TomatoesPost FunMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStory whatsapp whatsapp Main image credit: Getty Share City MovesSend your appointments to [email protected] City Moves for 23 August – Who’s switching jobs at Oxford Properties, WH Ireland and Mediconnect? Today’s City Moves includes Oxford Properties, WH Ireland and Mediconnect.last_img read more


Going up the chain: Boris and Ursula attempt to thrash out trade accord

first_imgWednesday 23 December 2020 12:53 pm Up the chain: Boris and Ursula try to seal a deal before Christmas whatsapp Share Talks on the future relationship between the UK and the EU have now dragged on for four and a half years. (Photo by Aaron Chown – WPA Pool/Getty Images) Read more: One final push but fishing still an obstacle to trade accord Show Comments ▼ Michel Barnier has told members of the European Parliament that he has taken his offer on fishing as far as he can go. The current disagreement comes down to a matter of a few hundred million euros. Tags: Brexit Ms. von der Leyen and Johnson must come to a compromise agreement on how much the EU will pay for its fishing catch in UK waters.center_img PM Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are said to be in “close contact” in a last-ditch bid to secure a post-Brexit trade deal. Trade between the UK and the EU totalled £668bn in 2019. James Silver City figures continue to expect a deal to be struck. David Buik said it makes “too much sense not to do it.” Read more: City analysts wait for a deal that makes too much sense not to do whatsapp Talks are expected to pause for Christmas on Thursday, with a restart date not yet clear. The transition period ends in eight days, at which point the UK will leave the Customs Union and the Single Market.last_img read more


Construction work coming in at quickest rate seen this century

first_imgTHE CONSTRUCTION sector is continuing to pick up momentum, with workloads rising at their quickest rate for 20 years, new survey data shows today.The survey undertaken by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) uses net balances – the proportion of people giving a positive response minus the per cent of those giving a negative one. The net balance of firms report­ing an increase in workload over the third quarter rose to 46 – its highest level since 1994 and up from 41 per cent in the second quarter of the year. This marks the eighth consecutive quarterly rise in workloads.Private commercial property and house builds lead the boom, scor­ing record high net balances of 58 and 59 respectively.“Unprecedented housing demand, the bounce back from a very deep recession and govern­ment’s commitment to invest £36bn in more than 200 infrastructure projects is driving much needed confidence across the industry,” said Alan Muse, Rics director of built environment. Show Comments ▼ by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar Programinvesting.comThe Military Spent $1 Billion On this New Vehicle, And Here’s The First Lookinvesting.comMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekFreight & Shipping Quotes | Search AdsResearch & Compare Freight & Shipping QuotesFreight & Shipping Quotes | Search AdsEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity Mirror Chris PapadopoullosChris Papadopoullos was City A.M.’s economics reporter until February 2016. He is an economist at OMFIF. whatsapp Sharecenter_img Wednesday 22 October 2014 8:21 pm Construction work coming in at quickest rate seen this century whatsapp Tags: Construction industry More From Our Partners Brave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.org980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comlast_img read more


News / We are ‘well insulated’ from this charter market crash’, says Danaos CEO

first_imgBy Mike Wackett 19/05/2020 Short-term containership charter rates have plunged by up to 40% since the beginning of the year, as ocean carriers rush to off-hire surplus tonnage.Shipowners are again coming under pressure to adjust charter party daily hire rates for long-term fixtures, in a repeat of the abnormal discounts seen before the 2016 Hanjin bankruptcy.“Liner companies have addressed the drop in volumes brought on by the pandemic by cancelling sailings and idling capacity. As a result, short-term charter rates have dropped by between 25% and 40%, depending on vessel size,” said Danaos CEO and president Dr John Coustas.Dr Coustas was unveiling the Greek shipowner’s first-quarter results.Operating revenue from Danaos’s fleet of 55 containerships, ranging from 13,100 teu to 2,200 teu, mostly leased to top-ten global carriers, came in at $106m, down 5.9% on the year before, while adjusted net income decreased by 13.7% to $33.3m.Danaos attributed the fall in revenue to factors including a $3.2m loss of earnings due to “incremental delays in Chinese shipyards” for scrubber retrofitting.The shipowner said there was also a $1.7m decrease in revenue in the three months “as a result of lower re-chartering rates for certain of our vessels”.Dr Coustas said: “What is most important is that we look forward, and continue to execute our strategy and maintain a solid base to withstand the current market turbulence.“To that end, we are successfully managing charter renewals, albeit at lower charter rates, but still at rates well above operational breakeven levels.”And he claimed Danaos was “well insulated from near-term volatility”, due to $1.3bn in revenue through to 2028, underpinned by charter party contracts.However, Danaos has suffered before from the apparently sacrosanct protection of the charter party. It lost $2bn of contracted revenue from ships on long-term charter to Hanjin at the time of its collapse.Prior to the demise of the South Korean carrier, Danaos had been obliged to endure a painful 20% reduction in daily hire rates from Hanjin compatriot HMM, as part of the carrier’s financial restructure.HMM remains Danaos’ biggest customer by revenue, contributing 38% of the total turnover. This was earned from five 13,100 teu ships that, having been sublet to Maersk and MSC as part of HMM’s slot charter arrangement with the 2M alliance, are now to be deployed within THE Alliance network as part of the carrier’s new membership.Prior to the full impact of the pandemic, Danaos had negotiated the purchase of two post-panamax ships and successfully fixed the vessels on two-year time charters.The shipowner took delivery of the 2008-built 8,626 teu Niledutch Lion in March and the ship went immediately on charter to the Dutch niche African trade operator at $28,000 per day. And in April, Danaos received the 2005-built 8,463 teu Phoebe, now chartered out for two years to the Japanese carrier ONE at a so far undisclosed rate.However, at present the vessel is idled off the Chinese coast as part of THE Alliance’s blanking programme, although of course still costing ONE the daily hire rate.last_img read more


A makeover for oral PrEP: designing real-world HIV prevention for women

first_imgFirst OpinionA makeover for oral PrEP: designing real-world HIV prevention for women By Ann S. Kim Dec. 11, 2018 Reprints [email protected] Tags advocacyglobal healthinfectious diseasewomen’s health Please enter a valid email address. Around the world, more than half of individuals living with HIV are women. Young women are twice as likely as young men their age to contract HIV. Among 15- to 19-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa, girls account for 3 of every 4 new infections. As a direct result, complications related to HIV are the leading cause of death among women ages 30 to 49.advertisement The V brand oral PrEP starter kit, which includes a compact pill-carrying case, lets women take charge of HIV prevention without fear of stigma. IDEO Cambridge When Manu (an alias of her choosing) got married, she never suspected her future husband had something to hide — something that would change her life and health forever. He came from a respectable family and had a good job. The only clue was perhaps the rushed wedding, which took place just 20 days after they met.Manu told me her story as we sat in her cramped bedroom in Delhi. She was sipping tea as I filmed the conversation. I kept my promise not to film her face. Revealing her identity was a risk she couldn’t take. It could mean her — and her parents — losing everything, including her job, their home, and their place in their community.A few months after the wedding, Manu discovered she was pregnant. She went to a doctor for routine blood tests. During what should have been a joyful time, the tests revealed her husband’s secret: He was HIV positive. And now Manu was, too.advertisement Ann S. Kim Author Ann Kim leads a group interview for feedback on early design concepts for V. IDEO CambridgeHIV passes more easily from a man to a woman than the other way around. But the risk isn’t explained through biology alone. The spread of HIV reflects the vulnerabilities and inequalities of what it means to live as a woman today.In South Africa, it is not uncommon to hear from women that their first sexual experiences were sexual assault. In India, the largest number of infected individuals are not truck drivers or sex workers, but housewives. How does a wife negotiate condom use with her husband without seeming to accuse her husband of infidelity?Wherever women have less power, less access to education and health care, and live in poverty, they have greater chances of acquiring HIV.Time and time again, women have told me they are waiting for a solution that would put them in control of protecting themselves against HIV. While there are microbicides on the horizon, like a vaginal ring and other delivery methods, the best and only prevention option right now is oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a formulation of the same medicines used for treating people who are HIV-positive.Yet simply having a rational understanding that HIV is a threat, or even having access to PrEP, isn’t enough to create a habit to take the medication. In communities where HIV is common, pills and medications carry stigma — a visit to a clinic, even for prevention purposes, can make onlookers think someone is already infected with HIV. Related: Privacy Policy Don’t let HIV ravage a generation poised to transform Africa About the Author Reprints Adherence to PrEP, the HIV prevention drug, is low. A new study suggests a pill with a tiny sensor might help Input from health care providers, the gatekeepers of oral PrEP, was key. We heard from doctors, nurses, and pharmacists working on the front lines of HIV treatment and prevention that the boldness and vibrancy of the V approach would help them better connect with the women they’re trying to reach.Designers believe that changing behavior starts by designing for a new mindset. With HIV and other afflictions, like addiction, mindsets are defined by stigma. In my work with the U.S. surgeon general, opioids and addiction were a high priority. While we created practical tools for clinicians, like pocket guides for prescribing opioids, the change we had to create alongside those tools was a reframing of addiction, from a personal failing to a disease.In the case of V, the design is more than the physical tools and resources around taking oral PrEP. The power lies in changing the way HIV prevention looks and feels for those at greatest risk of acquiring it. V transforms the traditional prevention message — “Don’t get HIV”— into a message of aspiration and self-determination: “Be empowered to care for yourself.” The vibrant, optimistic, visual design of the brand language is not just aesthetic; it changes the way women think about and relate to HIV and their own health.Whether it is HIV, addiction, or mental health, the same lesson comes up: Disease does not create stigma — it’s what humans inflict on one another. But the shame and isolation of stigma can be as harmful as the disease itself. As a patient once said to me, “Handling my HIV is fine because I have medicines. It’s the stigma that’s hard to manage.”In a world where women do not always have agency, my hope is that design-led solutions can transform prevention from a source of shame into an empowering ritual of self-care.Ann S. Kim is director of health and well-being at IDEO Cambridge. She is also the director and cinematographer of “Lovesick,” a new documentary about matchmaking for HIV-positive individuals. @ideo Related: As a designer in the health care and public health sectors — I was the first chief design officer for the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General under Dr. Vivek Murthy — I’ve encountered many different versions of Manu’s story. Through those narratives, I’ve come to see HIV/AIDS as an epidemic among women. Leave this field empty if you’re human: Designers in health care seek solutions that thread into everyday life. For example, IDEO, the company I work for, helped the online pharmacy PillPack develop what started as a tech solution — a better way of packaging and delivering medication — into a human solution that gives patients and caregivers easier ways to integrate drug regimens into daily life. In a similar vein, we knew we needed to take a holistic approach to designing PrEP for women. If we hyperfocused only on the “compliance” of taking a pill every day, we would miss the mark.With our collaborators at CONRAD, a research group focused on reproductive health, local partners in South Africa, and funding support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, we worked to develop an HIV-prevention approach that offers what women want and what works in their lives. We immersed ourselves in a collaborative design process with the diverse women we aimed to serve, and together created V, a new approach to oral PrEP for women, which launched this week.V was designed as an experience ecosystem that supports a woman’s journey, from her initial awareness of HIV to getting tested for it, accessing PrEP, and staying on it. V is meant to feel more like a branded self-care product than a medical treatment. This de-stigmatizes PrEP as a way to lower for women the barrier to taking it. For instance, the carrying case for PrEP pills resembles a lip balm case, holds a week’s dose, and is made from soft silicone that silences the attention-grabbing rattle of pills.During the design phase for V, we set up mobile storefronts to get feedback on our idea. Women (and some men) crowded around, so enthused by the concept that some even asked to buy the prototypes. In urban area and rural ones, the response signaled a hunger for something different. To support awareness of it, the V toolkit includes “Ambassador” parties, inspired by Tupperware parties, where women can speak in private and build group accountability around adherence. Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts.last_img read more


New study seeks to surface data to produce a stronger measles vaccine

first_img “We need to remember is that measles is, in fact, one of the most infectious viruses that we know. … So you can imagine what the spread of said virus would be if the vaccine weren’t around,” said Petrova.Petrova said the new study is an important finding that enhances scientists’ understanding of the immunological response of wild-type virus — but “they should not be misunderstood when it comes to efficacy and the importance of vaccination, which is key to managing measles outbreaks.”While the research sheds light on the importance of developing stronger vaccines in the future, it also raises questions of whether different delivery methods, such as aerosol delivery as opposed to the traditional intramuscular delivery, might make the immunity more long-lasting.“Our research can really help understand more about why there’s such a difference in the immunological response, and also improve our knowledge about the design of a future vaccine,” said Lin. By Shafaq Zia April 17, 2020 Reprints Justin Sullivan/Getty Images As a viral infection that starts in the respiratory system, measles, like the virus that causes Covid-19, is an acute, highly contagious disease. Unlike Covid-19, however, measles can already be prevented through vaccination.And the measles vaccine, as far as vaccines go, is extremely good — both remarkably safe and effective. Two doses of vaccine in childhood protect about 97% of the children who receive it.Still, scientists are always looking for new information that could help them create a vaccine that would provide even better — and longer-lasting — protection.advertisement Privacy Policy Tags infectious disease Related: In the LabNew study seeks to surface data to produce a stronger measles vaccine center_img Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. Please enter a valid email address. Researchers stressed that the findings don’t mean the current measles vaccine is ineffective. And as Velislava Petrova, a postdoctoral fellow in human genetics at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, pointed out, a natural measles infection can have serious consequences on the immune system, unlike any effects of the live-attenuated virus.“If you contract the natural virus, you face immunosuppression after measles because it causes such a strong response in the immune system, which is really a negative effect. The vaccine, though, has a less strong effect on the immune cell compartment, but the body still manages to generate protection,” said Petrova.Saad Omer, director of Yale University’s Institute for Global Health, also stressed the important of vaccine as a means of protection against infection.“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But then if you’re focusing on the stronger part, you don’t get it,” he said.The new study, led by Wendy Lin, pathology resident at the Columbia University Medical Center and her colleagues, was recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.In the study, the researchers compared characteristics of infection with wild-type virus and with live-attenuated virus in rhesus macaques. Eight male macaques were infected with wild-type virus, and aerosol delivery of live-attenuated virus, in the form of dry powder, was used to infect 17 male and 14 female macaques. The results demonstrated that in infected macaques, wild-type virus replicated more efficiently and thoroughly to B and T cells that are actively involved in initiating an immune response to viral infections.On the other hand, live-attenuated virus, though replicated efficiently in the respiratory tract, had limited ability to spread in the B and T cells, leading to a less vigorous immune response.“We observe a huge difference in the antibody response. Monkeys with wild-type virus have higher antibody titer [number of antibodies in the blood], which indicates that this protection could be very long-lasting,” Lin told STAT.Measles spreads through air after an infected individual coughs or sneezes. The infectivity of the virus is so high that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people with close contact with that person will also become infected if not protected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Watch: The tricks that make measles so infectious Toward that end, a new study helps shed new light on the nature of protection offered by the attenuated measles virus, which is used in the vaccine, compared with immunity induced by natural measles infections. Leave this field empty if you’re human: In the study, conducted in macaques, natural virus infection pointed to consistent protection for decades. Protection levels provided through the measles vaccine, by contrast, can decrease over time — though people who receive the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine according to the U.S. vaccination schedule are still usually considered protected for life against measles and rubella.advertisementlast_img read more


How do you separate scientifically sound stem cell therapies from scams?

first_img Stem cell clinics co-opt clinical-trials registry to market unproven therapies, critics say Leave this field empty if you’re human: Stem cells are attractive to researchers because they can essentially replicate any cell in the body. The hope is that stem cell therapies will let scientists replace a patient’s damaged or lost cells.But right now, there are very few proven and approved applications of stem cells.But scientists are in the early stages of testing a whole host of other stem cell treatments. Researchers in Germany, for example, used stem cells to cure a boy’s rare skin disorder; now they are conducting wider clinical trials to see if the results can be replicated. Other evidence-based trials are looking at stem cells as treatments for diseases like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.“There’s only a handful of true stem cell therapies … that have good data to back up their efficacy,” says Timothy Caulfield, research director of the Health and Law Institute at the University of Alberta. “I’m hopeful for the future, but that’s where we are right now.” Adobe If you value our coronavirus coverage, please consider making a one-time contribution to support our journalism. “It’s completely impossible for individual patients, even individual physicians, to evaluate the evidence underlying every therapy that’s out there and to make an informed decision,” said Sean Morrison, the director of the Children’s Medical Research Center at UT Southwestern and the chair of the International Society for Stem Cell Research public policy committee.The Wild West of information has spawned a side project for many in the space: trying, desperately, to correct the record and help patients make good decisions. Some are simply volunteering their time and expertise to help sort out the science. Others are institutions that offer more legitimate treatments, like the Mayo Clinic, or that fund clinical trials in the area, like the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.advertisement There are a handful of places — and even individual people — to whom patients can turn for help.People like Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher at the University of California Davis School of Medicine who spends his limited free time policing the internet for false advertisements and misinformation from rogue stem cell clinics.He flagged an advertisement on the website for the science journal Nature that looked just like any other peer-reviewed research article on the website — but falsely claimed that a controversial type of stem cell could help the heart recover from a heart attack, which is unproven. Nature ultimately took it down.Knoepfler also runs a blog called “The Niche” aimed at educating patients about stem cell research and therapies and guiding them to potential clinical trials. He keeps an updated web page of legitimate clinical trials for patients, does regular Q&A posts where he answers common patient questions and misconceptions, and responds to as many emails and comments as he can. HealthHow do you separate scientifically sound stem cell therapies from scams? Please enter a valid email address. Look up “stem-cell therapies,” however, and you’ll come across a whole host of advertisements and offerings from largely unregulated clinics — the kind some researchers call “snake oil salesman.”These kinds of clinics try to sell one-size-fits all therapies. They market blood cells and fat cells as treatments for anything from Alzheimer’s to knee pain. Clinics will remove a patient’s fat cells, and inject them back in, claiming these are stem cells, when they often aren’t.Patients who turn to these overhyped treatments have more to lose than the tens of thousands of dollars these therapies cost — some patients have been blinded or developed tumors after receiving these therapies.The FDA has tried to regulate the industry — it’s brought lawsuits against several clinics selling unproven therapies and issued warnings to patients about unproven treatments. The Federal Trade Commission, too, has also sued or settled with several clinics for deceptive advertising of stem cell therapies  and recently sent warning letters to clinics pushing stem cell therapies that treat Covid-19.But the FDA has also struggled to clarify what it will accept and what it won’t when it comes to regenerative medicine. It didn’t offer guidelines on the issue until 2017, and it has struggled to enforce those rules, which largely requires clinics to follow typical drug development rules and protocols for rigorous clinical trials. The deadline by which clinics have to comply with those rules isn’t until May 2021“Unfortunately, the FDA has been slow to enforce its own regulations, so they’ve tolerated the proliferation of unproven therapies,” said Morrison. “But the FDA … is getting more aggressive about enforcing their regulations.” Related: For patients who’ve run out of other options, experimental, unproven therapies like stem cell treatments offer new hope. But how do you sort the scientifically legitimate from the dangerous?Regenerative medicine is a controversial field, still in its infancy. There are academic researchers and major biotech companies testing key treatments in high-profile, vetted clinical trials — but there are also fringe clinics promising stem cell injections that can cure everything from Alzheimer’s disease to cerebral palsy, though they have no evidence to back up those claims.Sketchy clinics pull people in with big promises and slick advertising — anecdotal testimonials posted in online videos on blogs or social media. But some also mimic more reputable scientific endeavors by posting their work on ClinicalTrials.gov — a federal repository that doesn’t always vet postings to ensure their protocols meet federal standards.advertisement FDA extends deadline for stem cell clinics to comply with drug development rules  Related: By Natalya Ortolano Aug. 18, 2020 Reprints Rudy Giuliani wants FDA to fast-track a stem cell therapy for Covid-19; critics see political meddling The NIH told STAT in an email last year that each of the studies on the website is vetted by humans. A spokesperson also emphasized that the postings must include information about risks and benefits of trial participation, as well as a recommendation to talk to a physician. The NIH also said they were “exploring additional measures” to address the issues.Experts can use their expertise to distinguish between a rigorous clinical trial and a poorly designed one, leading patients to an experimental therapy backed by scientific evidence. But patients might not have the scientific savvy to do the same on their own.Stem cell clinics take advantage of the power of patient testimonials. One study analyzed 159 YouTube videos advertising unproven therapies and found that 91.2% of them featured a patient extolling the ways the therapy had helped them — only 4.4% of the videos mentioned whether the treatment was based on scientific research or publications.“The use of an anecdotal testimonial narrative will overwhelm our scientific critical thinking.” said Caulfield, the University of Alberta researcher who was an author of the study. “Even if in the back of their mind the patient thinks, ‘Well, I don’t know if this is going to work or not,’ they see that testimonial with someone like them … saying it works for them — that can be a very powerful marketing tool.”“We’re asking a lot of patients, right?” he added. “We’re going to ask them to tease out a good study from a bad study or a good journal from a bad journal.” Related: Related: Previously unseen mutations in stem cells of young donors can be passed to recipients, study finds Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. We need better regulation of stem cell therapies, especially rogue clinics And patients clearly struggle with the decision. Several described to STAT the challenges associated with trying to evaluate the science on their own.Maria Alducin, who has suffered severe neurological symptoms that she attributes to side effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, sought out stem cell therapies after conventional treatments failed her.“I can read hundreds of articles … and there is all sorts of contradicting information,” she said. “It’s just very frustrating to see.”Even patients who find legitimate clinical trials take on the burden of weighing the risks of the experimental treatments — it can be tough to decide whether or not to participate.“Everything was so new to us about this,” said Jake Javier, who participated in a clinical trial for a stem cell transplant to treat spinal cord injuries at Asterias Biotherapeutics in 2016 after breaking his neck jumping into a swimming pool.“We had no idea how my life would be from here on out or what kind of condition I would be in and we had no idea about what stem cells really were or what would happen, so it was a whole new world for us,” he added. Support STAT: In a statement to STAT, an FDA spokesperson said the agency is still working to shut down clinics that put patients’ health and safety in danger.“We are concerned that people may use these products with a false sense of security about their safety and efficacy. As such, the agency has stepped up its oversight of cellular and related products in recent years and has issued compliance actions, including numerous warning and untitled letters, and pursued litigation for serious violations of the law, including some involving patient harm,” the spokesperson said.Several experts have also expressed concern over a lack of oversight on Clinicaltrials.gov, the federal repository overseen by the National Institutes of Health. Standalone stem cell clinics have registered their unproven stem cell therapies as clinical trials on the website, which could lead patients to believe they are running rigorous, clinical trials that have been reviewed by an Institutional Review Board. Even the company that the FDA sued and shut down for providing stem cell therapies that ultimately blinded people, U.S. Stem Cell, had trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov at the time of the injunction. The Mayo Clinic also established a consultation service to help achieve the same aim.  The Mayo Clinic Regenerative Medicine Consult Service helps patients and providers learn about available regenerative therapies and stem cell clinical trials relevant to their condition. Patients can make an in-person appointment, or, more often, call.Nearly a third of the patients who consulted with the clinic ask about unproven stem cell therapies, one study of the visitors found. Consultants redirected these patients to resources explaining the risks associated with unproven therapies like those provided by the International Society for Stem Cell Research or recommended searching through therapies at Clinicaltrials.gov — the study did not mention if consultants warned about issues with the website.Shane Shapiro, the medical director of the regenerative medicine therapeutics program at Mayo Clinic stressed to STAT that the goal of the clinic is not to help the patient find a stem cell therapy, but the best therapy for their condition. And many do end up with options, the same study of the visitors found.“More often than not, when we have an informed discussion with the patient, we’re able to show them there are still treatments that are available to them … and sometimes [the] treatments that patients may be hunting for may not be the best option for them,” Shapiro said.“Our job really is just to reach the patient at their level of understanding of their particular condition and of the regenerative therapy that they might be seeking out and make sure that they have all the facts and that they have all the science,” he added. Experts warn, however, that far more work is needed to help patients sort through the science — particularly since sketchy stem cell clinics can be dangerous. Legitimate resources are available for patients online, but it’s easier to stumble on misinformation than expert advice — even if you’re a top official at the Food and Drug Administration, said Peter Marks, who helms the agency’s biologics center.On a recent trip to Florida, he walked by a stem cell clinic offering unproven therapies.“I am a physician, and even I wouldn’t know if I was not educated to know,” Marks said. “Everything looks like: Wouldn’t this be an approved medical procedure, right? And wouldn’t you be getting an FDA-approved product?” Related: He stressed to STAT, and stresses to patients who reach out and visit the blog, that he is not a physician — his goal isn’t to tell anyone what to do, just to inform and direct them to appropriate resources. He’s especially careful when responding to patients who email him. He usually recommends they be cautious or consult with their physician.When people ask about specific clinics that he suspects of hawking unproven treatments, he says he’s careful about how he responds. “Maybe to my knowledge they haven’t really published anything, or I’m already aware of some kind of negative side effect someone reportedly had when they went to that firm,” he said.Knopfler also monitors his very active comments sections. He removes posts that promote specific clinics or unproven therapies, and weighs in on big issues in the field, like whether patients should be charged for undergoing an unproven procedure. Related: Kudos to Google for banning stem cell ads. Other tech companies should follow Privacy Policy Related: Feds crack down on stem cell clinics that touted autism treatments, blindness cures The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which funds stem cell research and clinical trials, has taken a different tack: using some of the same tactics rogue stem cell clinics use to promote their research.They make videos and blog posts highlighting stem cell research and active, FDA-approved clinical trials they have funded, often including patient testimonials about the potential of evidence based stem cell treatments.“We want to make sure that people understand that there are good clinical trials and there is good research, and then there’s this other element which has … almost no scientific rigor behind it,” said Kevin McCormack, senior director of public communications and patient advocate outreach at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.“We just have to keep repeating our messages on blogs, social media, through videos, and working with as many other agencies and organizations and the media to highlight the difference between the good science and the bad science,” he added.Although they promote FDA-approved clinical trials, they are careful to manage expectations. It’s unlikely any of these treatments will be a cure, but rather provide incremental improvements.“Many of these clinical trials are basically experiments, and many of them are Phase One so it’s the first time any of this has been tested or tried on people,” said McCormack. “There’s a great deal of uncertainty on the part of patients, so the more we can explain what we do and what’s involved, then the more impact we can have.”McCormack said he gets emails and phone calls nearly every day from patients seeking stem cell therapies. He tries to help as many as he can by seeking out reputable FDA approved clinical trials that can treat their specific medical issue — he doesn’t want to leave them to navigate Clinicaltrials.gov on their own. But he said often there is not an ongoing clinical trial for the patient’s condition.“I just have to explain that there isn’t anything there, but then also put in some information about how you can, if you do find something that you think would be interesting … decide whether or not it’s a good clinical trial to be a part of,” said McCormack. Tags government agenciespatientslast_img read more


St. James City mobile home park experiences flooding, damage due to Eta

first_imgLee County Commission could allocate over $3 million to fight homelessness June 16, 2021 AdvertisementA boat lift cover was even crushed and torn down by the wind.“I just saw the structure being lifted and then dropped,” Roger Zeisloft, the homeowner whose boat lift was damaged, said. “These things happen so quickly that you don’t have a lot of time to think but it was a little traumatic.” With high tide rolling in, many people said they are preparing for more possible flooding. ST. JAMES CITY, Fla. – Areas of St. James City were pounded with wind and rain as Eta passed through.Several roads like 8th Avenue were flooded, making it difficult for cars to pass.A mobile home park was also underwater. The roof of one home caved in.“When the water came up to our knees that was pretty scary,” Maureen Schlag, who lives at the park, said. RELATEDTOPICS Advertisement All-electronic tolls to stay on certain Lee County bridges June 17, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 commentscenter_img AdvertisementTags: EtaLee CountyTropical Storm Eta Balloons from your outdoor celebration could be dangerous to wildlife June 16, 2021 AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Lee County officials to accept millions for homelessness relief June 13, 2021 Advertisementlast_img read more


FSW Softball leads the way with school’s first national championship

first_imgSoftball player “embarrassed and disrespected” after umpires ask her to cut braids off May 14, 2021 “It just kind of put a stamp on that yeah you are right that they aren’t just having good seasons they are competing and they are working towards championships and here’s the proof of the fruits of our labor,” FSW Director of Athletics George Sanders said.Proof that is going to be shared across all Bucs sports.“I think it is a bragging rights thing for our school,” Coach Iamurri said “This is a school thing. We want them to win we want them to be successful because it is about us as a family.”With the first championship getting ready to be celebrated across Southwest Florida at the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels game Tuesday night and a ceremony at the school Wednesday the ball is now in the other teams’ courts and fields.The process works and their time is coming soon.“A couple of them text me and I told both of them hey you are next it is just a matter of time,” Coach Iamurri said.“The formula is there and we can reproduce that and if we keep getting good kids will have a chance to do so,” Sanders said.The Bucs are now off for the summer with sports starting back up in the Fall beginning with volleyball. FSW softball moves on to quarterfinals May 27, 2021 RELATEDTOPICS Advertisement“It is so big for our school you know. Only six years of this program, of all these programs for all the sports so it’s really big,” Poot said.While softball closed the deal, every FSW team had a national ranking this year and competed or won a conference title. Meaning that this win for the program validates that the process in place works.“It is really a great, great, great formula that we have at our school with the athletics both academically and athletically,” FSW Softball head coach Robert Iamurri said. FORT MYERS, Fla. – After only six years the Florida Southwestern athletics department brought home its first national championship over the weekend after going a perfect 5-0 in the NJCAA national tournament.The Bucs trip out west was complete with dramatic comebacks, a SportsCenter top 10 play, and overall great softball as the Bucs brought the championship to Fort Myers.“I am so proud of our team and it was absolutely a team effort,” FSW freshman infielder Feline Poot said.It took a team effort on the diamond and off that gave FSW the crown jewel that every program has been hunting since athletics started back up at the school. FSW Softball Player Beats the Odds After Injury May 4, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments FSW softball team removed from Southwest flight for not wearing masks June 3, 2021 AdvertisementTags: FSWsoftball Advertisement Advertisement AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 commentslast_img read more