November 20, 2002 Saturday,November16, 2002, at 4 p.m., two hundred people from around the countryand the valley gathered at Cosanti to remember Mel Roman (June 27, 1927 – November 9, 2002).[Photo: T & portrait photo: a courtesy of Louise Roman] Of Mel, Chairman ofthe Board of Trustees of the Cosanti Foundation since 1977, PaoloSoleri wrote: THE GENEROSITY OF HIS LIFE HAS PUT MEL IN THE ARISTOCRACYOF THE DOING AND THINKING WORLD. IN THAT POSITION, A PRIVILEGE OF THEFEW, HE HAS BEEN SURROUNDED BY AN HETEROGENEOUS AND LARGE NUMBER OFFRIENDS. THE GAINS FOR US ALL HAVE BEEN PALPABLE. A SALUTE TO MEL INSADNESS AND IN GRATITUDE. [Photo: T]
05Oct Want a Michigan fall travel guide? Contact Rep. Leutheuser Categories: Leutheuser News,News State Rep. Eric Leutheuser is offering area residents a taste of Pure Michigan – just in time for the autumn color tour.The Pure Michigan 2018 Fall Travel guide is available by emailing email@example.com or calling the legislator’s office at (517) 373-1794. Leave your mailing address and the free 80-plus page guide will be on its way.“The peak time for fall color this year in southern Michigan is expected to begin around Oct. 14. But colors already are peaking in the Upper Peninsula and our county fairs have concluded, so the season has officially begun,” Leutheuser said. “Some of the best ways to enjoy our state’s scenic beauty are to hit the highway, find a bike path or take a nature hike and see the fantastic fall foliage.”The Pure Michigan guide features articles and attractions from all over the state. The guide includes information on scenic color tours, hiking and bike trails, outdoor dining and more.“The autumn color show lasts only a few weeks, but it’s a magical time,” Leutheuser said. “Get out there and enjoy Pure Michigan.”Leutheuser represents Branch and Hillsdale counties in the Michigan House of Representatives.###
A close look at the brains of 40 U.S. Embassy workers in Cuba who developed mysterious symptoms has found no evidence of injury. The State Department has said the employees were hurt by some sort of attack.Advanced brain imaging techniques did reveal some subtle differences in the workers’ brains, says Ragini Verma, a professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and an author of the study published in this week’s JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.But those differences “do not reflect the imaging differences that we see in [traumatic brain injury] or concussion,” Verma says.”All you can say is something happened, which caused their brain to change,” she says.And even that conclusion was challenged by brain scientists who have been skeptical that any diplomat was attacked or injured from what became known as “Havana syndrome.”The differences could have been random or simply the result of different life experiences that can change the brain — like learning a foreign language, says Sergio Della Sala, a professor of human cognitive neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K. He called the study in JAMA “half-baked.””There is no evidence of any pathology,” says Douglas Fields, a neuroscientist who has investigated and written about the events in Cuba. “And when you look at the data, there’s no coherent syndrome, no pattern.”The new results should end speculation that embassy workers were injured by a sonic weapon or something even more exotic, Fields says. “The physical evidence to support the idea that there was some sort of an energy beam is completely lacking,” he says.The study is the latest development in a mystery that began in 2016, when dozens of people associated with the U.S. Embassy in Havana began reporting strange, high-pitched sounds or sudden changes in air pressure. Shortly after these events, they began experiencing dizziness, headaches, sleep problems, hearing problems and foggy thinking.The State Department began referring those workers to the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair.In 2018, doctors there reported in JAMA that 21 workers had symptoms that resembled those of a traumatic brain injury or concussion.As part of their evaluation, people sent to the University of Pennsylvania also got MRI brain scans, which appeared normal.”Just a traditional read of the images did not reveal much,” Verma says.Verma and several colleagues decided to take another look using advanced imaging techniques usually reserved for scientific research.They studied brain scans from 40 government workers who had reported symptoms. Then they compared those images with brain images from groups of healthy people.This time, the team did find something.”The most important thing is that there were differences,” Verma says.The differences were subtle and involved measures of brain volume, brain networks and the fibers that carry signals around the brain. They were most apparent in an area called the cerebellum, which is involved in balance and movement, and were also found in areas of the brain that process sound.Differences in those areas, Verma says, might help explain why the workers reported symptoms involving balance and hearing.But Fields says even that is a reach.”First of all, these techniques are not diagnostic, they are descriptive,” he says. “And they don’t provide any clinical evidence of any kind of abnormality or pathology. What they show are minor differences between two groups.”And the existence of some differences is hardly surprising, he says.”These methods are used to find differences that are associated with being left-handed or right-handed, male or female, low IQ [or] high IQ, whether you are a musician or not,” he says. “They’re all within the normal range.”And 12 of the workers had a history of concussion, which also could account for some of the differences.The real importance of the study is in what it did not find, Fields says.”If there’d been brain injury, that would have been evident on the clinical brain imaging studies that were done before,” he says. “There was no evidence of any pathology, and these more sophisticated measures confirm that.”The State Department did not respond to requests for comment on the study. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… Disabled people and their organisations have reacted to Boris Johnson becoming the new prime minister with alarm and scepticism, but also an appeal for “honest engagement”.Johnson (pictured) has already concerned many opponents – both within his party and among opposition parties – by filling key ministerial posts with Brexit-supporters and right-wingers such as Dominic Raab as foreign secretary and Priti Patel as home secretary.And although Johnson mentioned the need to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” in his first speech as prime minister yesterday (Wednesday), he mentioned only older people – like many ministers and other politicians before him – and ignored working-age disabled people, even though about half of local authority spending on social care is on working-age adults.Johnson said he had “a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve”, but there will be a suspicion that this is merely the much-delayed adult social care green paper promised by health and social care secretary Matt Hancock.Hancock, who has kept his post under the new prime minister, has already suggested that his green paper is unlikely to include a definitive plan for how to reform adult social care funding, but instead will simply “bring together the debate… behind a direction of travel where we can make progress”.Alan Benson, chair of Transport for All, the user-led charity which campaigns on accessible transport in London, said that during Johnson’s time as mayor of London “he not only failed to engage with disabled people and their organisations but he dismantled the structures that were already existing.“This sets a worrying precedent. We hope that a similar pattern is not now seen across government.”He said that Theresa May and London mayor Sadiq Khan had been “at odds” during May’s time as prime minister, resulting in “huge budget cuts” for Transport for London and “an unwillingness to devolve rail services”.Benson said: “This has hit London’s travellers hard and particularly impacted disabled and older people.”He warned that the relationship between Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan was even worse than that between May and the mayor, “so we can only see the situation deteriorating”.Baroness [Sal] Brinton, president of the Liberal Democrats, said Johnson’s record on equality – particularly around race – was “not encouraging”.She said: “The problem is he is just unthinking and the worry is that, particularly with disability, we may have the legislation but we don’t have the culture.“I would hope he will demonstrate a genuine delivery of the Equality Act to make disabled people’s lives better, but I am not holding my breath.“My worry is he is more concerned about a snappy message than he is about the underlying issues. He has to prove himself to the disabled community.”The crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell said she hoped Johnson would build on one of the “few positive moves” made by Theresa May, in the last weeks of her premiership, to set up a new strategic, cross-government disability unit in the Cabinet Office.She said: “This is an opportunity for him to engage honestly and realistically with disabled people on building a society inclusive of all people.“Better engagement with all sectors of society and parliament is something that he did mention in his acceptance speech – let’s hope he is serious about the ‘everyone’!”Sue Bott, head of policy and research for Disability Rights UK, raised concerns about the impact of a potential no deal Brexit under Johnson.She said: “Given the stated commitment of Boris Johnson to take the UK out of the European Union (EU) on 31 October with or without a deal, we are very concerned that the rights disabled people currently enjoy as members of the EU will continue post-Brexit, particularly given the impossibility of passing the necessary legislation on time.”There is already frustration with Johnson from The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), after he told a journalist during his leadership campaign that he wanted to increase the number of free special schools.Simone Aspis, ALLFIE’s policy and campaigns coordinator, said he had also ignored a letter from ALLFIE during the campaign that asked how he would implement the recommendations to the UK made by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities in 2017, when it called for a “coherent strategy” on “increasing and improving inclusive education”.Aspis said: “We understand Boris Johnson is looking to fund more special schools.“This is a clear violation of disabled people’s human rights, and non-engagement with disabled people’s organisations like ALLFIE is not a good start.”There was particular anger and frustration with the new prime minister from disabled people’s anti-cuts groups, which have been fighting Tory-led austerity policies for nearly a decade.Bob Ellard, of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said, before yesterday’s ministerial appointments were announced: “He’s a Tory and whoever he makes work and pensions secretary, chancellor and minister for disabled people will be Tories.“Since 2010 not one single Tory has done or said anything that benefits disabled people and that ain’t going to change now. The cruelty and the harm it creates is set to continue.”Michelle Maher, from WOWcampaign, said she believed a Boris Johnson government would see the UK become a “vassal state” to Donald Trump’s United States and would “wave goodbye to the NHS, which for sick and disabled people is our lifeline as no one will insure us”.She said: “Nowhere in the discourse are disabled children, adults and their carers.“We are completely ‘othered’ now by 10 years of austerity and hate speech aimed at us. This will only get worse for us, as a far-right Tory ideology takes hold.”John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said: “As humanitarians, of course we welcome his statement at the steps of Number 10 this afternoon that his government will try to do more for animal welfare.“As for the human catastrophe that has befallen disabled people under successive Tory prime ministers since 2010 – absolutely nothing.”McArdle also raised concerns about Johnson’s comments about mental health, in an article earlier this month, in which he claimed that the only way to really treat depression was through the “cure” of work.McArdle said: “Disabled people will now, and with good cause, be living in fear of what rash decisions this entirely unpredictable prime minister may take next with regard to mental health and social policy.”Rick Burgess, from Manchester DPAC, said: “Considering Boris Johnson’s voting record on social security and his total disinterest in disability rights indicates this will be a continuation of Tory disablism along with more hostile policies for all minority groups.“Only regime change through a general election will end this era of abrogation of rights, immiseration, and death.”Brian Hilton, digital campaigns officer for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, said: “We have a new prime minister but it appears no new ideas.“Brexit is set to dominate the political agenda for the foreseeable future, all of which distracts from the ongoing problems facing disabled people.”He called for a “clear timescale” for the publication of the social care green paper and a consultation which “actively engages with and listens to disabled people”.He said: “We also need Boris Johnson to signal that his government is going to tackle the devastating effects that universal credit is having on disabled people and their families.“It is no good tinkering around the edges with this failed endeavour, it needs replacing.”Fran Springfield, co-chair of Disability Labour, raised concerns about the NHS, and said that “Boris Johnson’s obsession with leaving the EU, with or without a deal, is a disaster for disabled people and everyone who uses the NHS”, and warning of the impact on the supply of vital drugs, appliances such as stoma bags, nutritional feeds, and on recruitment.
By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMar 18 2019Pills or oral medications contain inactive ingredients. Some of these may be responsible for the side effects says a new study. The study results appeared in an article published in the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.The researchers explain that the allergic reactions to the pills may be due to inactive ingredients that make up the pill including lactose, gluten, food dyes etc. People who are allergic to these ingredients may experience worsening of their symptoms or allergic reactions. Image Credit: Pavel Kubarkov / Shutterstock Dr. Giovanni Traverso, from the department of gastroenterology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School said that the results were surprising to the team of researchers. He was one of the authors of the study. He added, “. It involves almost every pill and capsule. And it’s something we tend not to think about.” Traverso is also part of the mechanical engineering department at MIT. He explained that the idea for this study came after a patient of Celiac disease presented with worsening of symptoms. The patient was not aware that the medication contained gluten, Traverso said and none of the prescribers were either. The team looked at other patients who had experienced similar side effects after taking the medication and found that several drug preparations could be harmful because of these seemingly innocuous ingredients.In 2017, the Food and Drugs Administration had prepared draft recommendations to label drug formulations that contained wheat derived products. The FDA also has a database with the list of all the inactive ingredients in prescription drugs.Daniel Reker, lead author of the study from Swiss National Science Foundation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said, “For most patients, it doesn’t matter if there’s a little bit of lactose, a little bit of fructose, or some starch in there. However, there is a subpopulation of patients, currently of unknown size, that will be extremely sensitive to those and develop symptoms triggered by the inactive ingredients.”Related StoriesFeeling safe and good sleep at night matter most to sick kids in hospitalStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryThe team found that 44.82 percent of the pills contain lactose which can cause side effects among those who are lactose intolerant. Similarly 33 percent of the preparations contain food dyes. Around 3.8 percent of a study population was found to be allergic to a food dye called tartrazine. Complex sugars or FODMAPS (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), in the pills are found in 55 percent drug formulations. This can lead to symptoms of bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. These sugars in the pills can worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Other ingrediets include corn starch in 36.54 percent pills, polyethylene glycol in 35.8 percent pills, povidone in 35.8 percent pills and carboxymethylcellulose in 21.38 percent pills. Some pills also contain wheat starch, artificial sweeteners, peanut oil etc. Traverso said, “Many probably have amounts that are low enough that they wouldn’t induce a reaction, but in patients taking more than one medication they might pose a problem. For example, lactose is in a significant proportion of medications.”Sravan Kumar Patel, a pharmaceutical chemist and an instructor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explained that the amount of these inactive ingredients is very small. He said, “If the required dose is 5 mg, that’s a really small amount and you can’t make a tablet out of that. So you mix it with an inactive ingredient such as lactose or dextrose and now you can make a tablet. It might not form into a tablet if you use something else.”Authors conclude in their study, “Recognizing that the inactive portion of a medication, which corresponds on average to two-thirds of the administered material, may be more ‘active’ than previously anticipated, we foresee potential implications for medical protocols, regulatory sciences, and pharmaceutical development of oral medications.”Source: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/483/eaau6753
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 27 2019A JRC report brings together data on antibiotic levels in water, showing that small concentrations have found their way into a range of Europe’s waterbodies.Because of the threat of new drug-resistant bugs evolving when these antibiotics come into contact with bacteria present in the water, scientists are gathering evidence to better understand the potential risk.Their data confirms that the levels of antibiotic residues in drinking water are minute and do not represent a risk to human health.However, antibiotic residues can be found at higher levels in waste water, surface waters, agricultural runoff and water used for aquaculture (farms of fish, muscles, seaweed and other marine species).The report is part of JRC efforts dedicated to investigating the implications of antibiotics in water.Scientists aim to determine the minimum concentration of antibiotics that could cause resistance in bacteria, so that future limits can be based on risk assessments that take into account this potential.The report also highlights that the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (the phenomenon of bacteria resisting the effects of antibiotics) can be constrained if measures are taken to improve the effectiveness of wastewater treatment processes and to control the use of antibiotics in medicine and animal husbandry.Where do antibiotics end up after they’ve done their job?Antibiotics are prescribed for a vast range of bacterial infections in humans and have saved the lives of millions since their discovery.They are also given to animals as part of veterinary treatment, including to control infections in farm livestock.Resistant bacteria regularly evolve in places where antibiotics are commonly used – such as in hospitals where the MRSA ‘superbug’ (resistant to a wide range of antibiotics) is often found.On top of this, antibiotics don’t simply disappear after they’ve done their job of fighting off a bug.They are excreted from the body and so there’s also a risk of similar bugs proliferating in water in treatment plants, in manure and slurry, and in the environment if the concentration of antibiotics is high enough to select for their survival.The prevalence of antibiotic use has led to growing concern over the spread of AMR. In Europe, about 25000 people die of infections from antimicrobial-resistant bacteria every year.It’s also estimated that AMR costs the EU €1.5 bn per year in healthcare costs and productivity losses.Which antibiotics? How are they monitored?Looking at data on 45 antibiotics from 13 countries worldwide, the report’s authors found sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin to be the three most frequently found in the water that flows out of waste water treatment plants.Most of the data came from Europe (79.2%) and, for the antibiotics detected, the concentrations ranged up to 1 µg/L (one millionth of a gram per litre).Related StoriesA bacterium may limit cardiovascular risks of 1 in 2 people, study showsRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infections’Scissors’ component of CRISPR/Cas9 sometimes gets stuckThese medicines are all commonly prescribed for urinary tract infections, while ciprofloxacin is also prescribed for ear and chest infections.Similar concentrations of antibiotics were also reported in surface waters, despite the fact that a reduction in their levels might reasonably have been expected due to the dilution of these substances as effluents run into rivers and lakes.Ciprofloxacin is included alongside amoxicillin, erythromycin, azithromycin and clarithromycin on the Watch List monitoring program under the EU’s Water Framework Directive, which gathers data on substances that may pose a risk at EU level.The analytical methods used have to be able to detect concentrations as low as between 0.019 and 0.089 µg/L, corresponding to concentrations considered not to have direct effects on aquatic organisms such as algae, crustacean and fish.Antibiotics in fish farms?The report notes that therehasso far beenlittle research into the use and effects of antibiotics in the aquaculturesector.In Europe,the use of antibiotics inallanimalfarming activities, including aquaculture,isregulatedby specific legislation.Aquaculture products(as well as any products from the animal farming systems)must not contain pharmacologically active substances abovean established Maximum Residue Limit.Efficient monitoring at EU levelreliesonsurveillance programmesimplementedin the EU Member States, andrelevant dataaremadeavailableto the Commission.Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-producing sector and it is estimated to account for approximately half of the total food supply coming from fish.While it is necessary to prevent bacterial diseases in aquaculture products, the use of vaccines could lessen the need for chemicals and antibiotics in this sector, on condition that vaccines against the most relevant diseases are registered and accessible in all EU member states.BackgroundIn June 2017 the Commission adopted the EU One Health Action Plan against AMR. The key objectives of this new plan include:1. Making the EU a best practice region2. Boosting research, development and innovation3. Shaping the global agendaThe Commission has also adopted the first deliverables of the plan, for example the EU Guidelines on the prudent use of antimicrobials in human health.The guidelines aim to reduce inappropriate use and promote prudent use of antimicrobials in people. They target all actors who are responsible for or play a role in antimicrobial use.The Commission also recently adopted a Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment – a set of actions addressing the multifaceted challenges that the release of pharmaceuticals poses to the environment. Source:https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/antibiotics-water-and-risk-drug-resistant-bacteria