November 20 2002 Saturday November16 2002 at 4

first_imgNovember 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]last_img

Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4 is due to launc

first_imgSwedish commercial broadcaster TV4 is due to launch a third channel, TV12, in spring 2014 focused on lifestyle and sports. The broadcaster said the new channel will broadcast the best of TV4’s existing sports output, but as part of a dedicated sports network.The news comes as TV4 today rolled out a new sports package, called TV4 Play Premium Sports, which will give viewers access to TV4’s existing sports output and C More Sports – a group of Scandinavian sports channels – via tablet, mobile and computer.TV4 said that in the coming years it plans to integrate its digital operations into its core business and to take a “leading position in the pay- TV segment on the net with a powerful enhanced consumer offering.”“We have a successful history of reinventing ourselves – and now it’s time again . By integrating the digital in our core business and continue to streamline our operations, we create power and room for growth,” said TV4 Group CEO Casten Almqvist.last_img read more

Gluten lactose food dyes in pills could be causing side effects finds

first_imgBy 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/eaau6753last_img read more

Antibiotic levels in water and potential risk of drugresistant bugs

first_imgReviewed 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-bacterialast_img read more

Study provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated

first_imgThe human brain contains functionally segregated neuronal networks with dense internal connections and sparse inter-connectivity. Aging is thought to be associated with reduced functional specialization and segregation of these brain networks.Joint senior authors Assoc Prof Zhou and Prof Michael Chee, Director of Duke-NUS’ Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, led the research team, collecting data from neuropsychological assessments and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans from a cohort of 57 healthy young adults and 72 healthy elderly Singaporeans. Each elderly participant was scanned two to three times during a period of up to four years. The neuropsychological assessments tested participants’ ability to process information quickly, focus their attention, remember verbal and visuo-spatial information, and plan and execute tasks. The fMRI scans measured how brain regions are functionally connected based on low-frequency blood oxygenation level fluctuations over time. Participants were asked to relax with their eyes open and remain still as these were performed.Related StoriesRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionDr Joanna Chong, first author of the paper and a PhD graduate from Assoc Prof Zhou’s lab at Duke-NUS, developed approaches to convert the fMRI images into graphic representations that depict the inter- and intra-network connectedness of each individual’s brain. She then compared differences in brain functional networks between the young and elderly participants, and in the elderly over time.The team tracked changes in brain functional networks that affected specific cognitive abilities, such as goal-oriented thought and action, and choosing where to focus attention. As one ages, these networks associated with cognition are less efficient in information transfer, more vulnerable to disturbance, and less distinctive.”Overall, our research advances understanding of brain network changes over time, underlying cognitive decline in healthy aging,” said Assoc Prof Zhou. “This can facilitate future work to identify elderly individuals at risk of aging-related disorders or to identify strategies that can preserve cognitive function.”Commenting on the study, Prof Patrick Casey, Senior Vice Dean for Research at Duke-NUS, stated, “Aging is a significant risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases in people, including neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. Governments worldwide are concerned about the public health implications of increasingly aging populations. Basic research such as this plays a vital role in informing efforts to help us stay healthy longer as we live longer lives.”The researchers aim to next examine how various factors, such as genetic and cardiovascular risks, might influence aging-related changes in brain networks. By studying a larger group of healthy young, middle-aged and older adults, they hope to develop better ways to predict cognitive decline. Source:Duke-NUS Medical SchoolJournal reference:Chong, J.S.X. et al. (2019) Longitudinal Changes in the Cerebral Cortex Functional Organization of Healthy Elderly. The Journal of Neuroscience. doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.1451-18.2019. We currently live in a rapidly aging society. Compared to cross-sectional studies, it is vital to understand brain changes over time that underlie both healthy and pathologic aging, in order to inform efforts to slow down cognitive aging.”Study’s corresponding author, Associate Professor Juan Helen Zhou, neuroscientist from the faculty of Duke-NUS’ Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders program Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 14 2019Functional regions within the brain become less distinct and inter-connected in the elderly over time, especially in those networks related to attention span and cognition. The finding, published by researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School in The Journal of Neuroscience, adds to current understanding of longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with aging.last_img read more

Bikeshare companies are transforming US cities – and theyre just getting started

Citibike station in midtown Manhattan. Credit: Jim Henderson, CC BY Seattle turned to dockless companies to fill the gap after a publicly funded dock bike-share system there failed in 2016. The city could soon have one of the largest bike-share systems in the country. Cities around Boston that are outside of the service area of Hubway, the area’s public bike-share system, just reached a deal to provide dockless bike-share service, expanding access to hundreds of thousands of people. And in San Francisco, Uber recently purchased Jump Bikes, a dockless electric bike-share startup, and soon will allow users to reserve electric bikes with their Uber app. If recent examples are any indication, bike sharing in the United States will be a mix of complementary dock-based and dockless systems, run by both public entities and private companies. The humble bicycle, aided by smartphone technology, is resurging as an urban transportation option. Officials in Dallas warn dockless bike-share companies to keep bikes from blocking sidewalks, ramps and trails. Dockless systems are also helping to address equity issues posed by public dock-based systems, which often are located in more affluent and predominantly white urban neighborhoods. Because dockless systems don’t require stations, they can be rapidly deployed in zones that dock-based systems may be slow to reach. Students at Beijing University developed this approach in 2014 to improve campus mobility. Dockless bike-share companies have flooded Chinese cities with bikes in the past two years, leading to massive piles of discarded bicycles in public spaces. The modern concept of bike sharing – offering bikes for short-term public rental from multiple stations in cities – was launched in Copenhagen in 1995, but U.S. cities only started piloting their own systems in the past decade. Washington D.C. led the way, launching SmartBike DC in 2008 and an expanded network called Capital Bikeshare in 2010. This program now boasts over 480 stations and a daily ridership of 5,700. Within a few years, bike-share systems launched in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and dozens of other cities. In 2016 there were 55 systems across the country with a total of over 40,000 bikes. And momentum continues to grow. In 2017 Citi Bike in New York City added 2,000 bikes, increasing its fleet to a total of 12,000. San Francisco is expanding its system from just 700 bikes to 7,000, thanks to a sponsorship deal with Ford. Going docklessThe newest twist in this rapid expansion is dockless bike sharing, which lets users park bikes anywhere within defined districts and lock and unlock their bikes with smartphone apps. Users don’t have to locate docking stations or worry about whether space will be available at their destination. These systems also are cheaper to set up, so providers can charge lower user fees. Some dockless bike-share companies offer rides for as little as US$1 for the first half hour. Provided by The Conversation Dockless bike-share hits US capital, following craze in China (Update) Dockless cycle share bike in Seattle. Credit: Joe Mabel, CC BY Explore further Citation: Bike-share companies are transforming US cities – and they’re just getting started (2018, April 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-bike-share-companies-cities-theyre.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Residents of major U.S. cities are becoming used to seeing docks for bike sharing programs nestled into parking spaces or next to subway station entrances. Adorned with stylish branding and corporate sponsors’ logos, these facilities are transforming transportation in cities across the country. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. read more

Leap of faith From seminary to trade union movement

first_img COMMENT The passing away of a quintessential rebel SHARE COMMENTS death politics PM Modi condoles Fernandes demise George Fernandes, former defence minister (file photo) Former Defence Minister George Fernandes studied at a Christian seminary to become a priest but went on to become a trade union leader whose word was gospel for lakhs of workers, said 89-year-old banker Ranjit Bhanu.Bhanu is the Chairman of the New India Co-Operative Bank Ltd, which was co-founded by Fernandes in 1968. Till the end of March, 2018, the bank had deposits of ₹2,547 crore and advances of ₹1,168 crore.Bhanu, who is also a criminal lawyer and a trade unionist, recounting the veteran leader’s qualities said ‘simplicity thy name is George’. India has lost a unique leader, he cannot be compared with others. He started his career as a trade union leader but he rose to prominence when he defeated senior Congress leader S K Patil in Parliamentary elections of 1967. Patil was known as the uncrowned king of Mumbai due to his grip over the city, he said. Welfare of workersBhanu added that in 1967, Fernandes was invited to visit West Germany where he was inspired by the model of the German Labour Bank, which was a bridge between workers and businessmen. It lead to the formation of the Bombay Labour Co operative Bank Ltd in 1968, which today has metomorphosed into the New India Co-Operative Bank and continues to work for the welfare of the worker and the businessman.A friend of Fernandes and political analyst, Nagesh Kesari said that the former Defence Minister was not only a good orator but a principled leader, who had great ability to rally the workers for a cause. He could engage across the political spectrum but never deviated from his principles.General Secretary of the Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat (HMKP), Subash Malgi, who has been his associate for the last 55 years said that while participating in the Indian railway strike in 1974, Fernandes was in a dilemma while standing for the presidentship of the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF), which was the largest rail union in the country.Leadership of the AIRF was pivotal for a successful strike but for that to happen, Fernandes, who also the Chairman of the Socialist Party had to fight his own comrade and party’s General Secretary, Peter Alvares. Fernandes was hesitant but when he realised that the rail workers’ solidarity was at stake, he filed the nomination papers.center_img January 29, 2019 Engine that powered Konkan Railway SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on George Fernandes passes away after prolonged illness RELATED peoplelast_img read more