Statoil has officially changed its name to Equinor as part of a commitment to developing as a broad energy company. At the annual general meeting held on 15 May, the company’s shareholders approved the proposal for the name-change presented by the board of directors in March.The company has been registered under the new name in the Norwegian register of business enterprises (Foretaksregisteret) and the Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo Børs) has also updated its information accordingly, with the shares quoted under the new name and the ticker now reading EQNR.At the meeting, a shareholder also suggested that the board should present a strategy for business transformation from producing energy from fossil sources to renewable energy to ensure the company’s long-term sustainability and shareholder value, however, the proposal was declined.Even though now former Statoil retains oil & gas as the backbone of its business, the company’s new name is said to reflect the fact that it is involved in a broader energy market, especially involving renewable energy.The company is very active in the offshore wind sector, with shares in the Arkona offshore wind farm in Germany, as well as Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon and Dogger Bank in the UK, and is the majority owner and operator of the world’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland.The Norwegian company has also signed an agreement with Polenergia to acquire a 50% interest in the Bałtyk Środkowy III (BSIII) and Bałtyk Środkowy II (BSII) projects in Poland, and is expected to finalize a power purchase agreement with a US utility by the end of the year for an offshore wind farm in the states.
The downloading of illicit content from the internet in France is decreasing, while the consumption of legal content is growing, according to the latest survey by the Hadopi, the authority charged with implementing France’s antipiracy law.According to the survey, 78% of users now download legal content exclusively, , up from 71% in December 2011, while 15% use illegitimate sites, a lower proportion than previously. In total, 87% use legitimate sites. However, while the illicit consumption of music, images, video games and books has been decreasing, the consumption of TV shows and films is still giving cause for concern, with 21% admitting to accessing TV series from illicit sites and 24% accessing films and videos illicitly.
Spain’s La Liga has introduced a new OTT TV service that offers access to a range of minority sports from national sporting associations as well as second division football and summaries of La Liga matches.According to La Liga, the service, LaLigaSportsTV, which will – mostly – be available free-to-view, is intended as a way to distribute coverage of multiple sporting disciplines.The football league said that the service would provide a space for sports that are unavailable on traditional channels.La Liga said that the launch positioned it as the first major European league to roll out its own OTT TV service, offering a platform for niche sportsThe cloud-based service comes with a specially designed user interface and native apps, with content available in HD live and on-demand. LaLigaSports TV comes with a recommendation service based on usage patterns, as well as a scroll-based guide of available sports that is ordered according to user preferences over time.Individuals supporting the initiative include Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, José Hidalgo, president of the Asociación del Deporte Español (ADESP), Celestino García, the VP of corporate affairs at Samsung Electronics Iberia, Spain’s Rugby7 captain Paco Hernández and other sporting federation leaders.The service will be available via iOS and Android apps, Samsung smart TVs, Chromecast, Apple TV and Samsung streaming devices, with more web apps to follow.Content is available free of charge with the exception of second-tier football in the form La Liga 1|2|3, which is available for a separate subscription priced at €14.99 a year or €2.99 a month.Top tier football in the shape of La Liga Santander will not be available but match summaries will be broadcast along with pre- and post-match interviews.The service will include live coverage of sports such as motorsports, badminton, LEB Oro basketball, Liga ASOBAL handball, boxing, American football, Futsal, gymnastics, hockey, table-tennis, triathlon and water polo.Sports to follow later include cycling, petanque and fencing.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 28 2019Researchers at LSTM and Imperial College London have designed drugs which could help combat any potential new flu pandemic, by targeting the receptors of the cells by which the virus gains entry to the human body.In a paper published today(link is external) in the Journal of Immunology the team, led by LSTM’s Professor Richard Pleass, show that by engineering a part of an antibody they can target the viral proteins that allow flu to mutate and become so deadly to humans.Last year marked the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic that claimed nearly 100 million lives worldwide, thus becoming the deadliest disease outbreak in recorded history. Global annual influenza outbreaks account for 300,000-650,000 respiratory deaths, mostly in children and the elderly.Related StoriesResearchers map virulence factor of influenza A virus in real-timeNaturally occurring human antibody reveals hidden weakness in influenza virusDrugs designed with advanced computing technologies could help tackle hospital superbugsProfessor Pleass explained: “Influenza vaccines have limited public health impact during pandemics, and current influenza vaccines are less efficacious than vaccines for many other infectious diseases. This is because influenza viruses that circulate in human and animal populations mutate two key viral surface proteins, haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), thus allowing them to escape from protective antibodies produced through natural infection or vaccination”Both HA and NA target a sugar called sialic acid, that is found in abundance on the receptors of cells lining the mammalian respiratory tract, which the virus uses to gain entry into the body. The sialic acid-binding contacts on HA and NA do not mutate readily, otherwise the virus would not be able to infect human cells.The team has engineered antibody Fc fragments with enhanced sialic acid that target these conserved parts of both HA and NA, binding influenza viruses and thus blocking their interactions with human cells.By targeting sialic acid, these engineered biologicals may also be useful in the control of other pathogens, such as group B streptococci, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma genitalium, and Newcastle Disease Virus.”Better anti-influenza therapeutics are urgently needed.” Continued Professor Pleass: “The transfer of antibodies from people recovering from influenza during the 1918 and 2009 pandemics reduced mortality from influenza by 50% and 26% respectively. However, to be useful, these antibody medicines (also called FLU-IVIG) need to be manufactured in advance of future epidemics, which is obviously problematic as there may be modest or little neutralising activity against newly emerging strains. Therefore, combinations of existing medicines, including FLU-IVIG, with sialic acid blockers could increase their efficacy while future-proofing against the next pandemic.”Professor Sara Marshall, Head of Clinical and Physiological Sciences at the Wellcome Trust, who provided funding for this work, said: “This is a fascinating project, and one which could have really far-reaching impact not only for influenza but as a platform technology to develop new medicines for many other diseases that are currently treated by antibodies.” Source:https://www.lstmed.ac.uk/news-events/news/lstm-and-imperial-college-researchers-design-new-anti-influenza-drugs
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
© 2018 AFP PayPal buys money-sending service Xoom in $890 mn deal US-based PayPal, a unit of eBay, said that its biggest acquisition to date would strengthen its platform for handling payment transactions at small businesses, particularly in Europe and Latin America.”Small businesses are the engine of the global economy and we are continuing to expand our platform to help them compete and win online, in-store and via mobile,” PayPal chief executive Dan Schulman said in a release.”In today’s digital world, consumers want to be able to buy when, where and how they want.”Schulman described the merging of iZettle and PayPal as a “strategic fit” combining shared values and culture with complementary product offerings and geographies.The iZettle platform for handling retail transactions is used by nearly a half million merchants, according to PayPal.The startup has been compared to Square, a payments platform co-founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey that made it easy to take credit card payments using smartphones or tablets.Buying iZettle will expand PayPal’s reach into shops in Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.”Combining our assets and expertise with a global industry leader like PayPal allows us to deliver even more value to small businesses to help them succeed in a world of giants,” iZettle chief executive Jacob de Geer said in the release.The Stockholm-based startup founded in 2010 expected to handle about $6 billion in transactions this year, taking in gross revenue of approximately $165 million in the process. The company said it expects to reach profitability by the year 2020.After close of the acquisition, co-founder Jacob de Geer will remain in charge of iZettle, reporting to PayPal chief operating officer Bill Ready, according to the companies.Earlier this month, iZettle filed paperwork to go public with an offering of shares that valued the company at slightly more than a billion dollars.PayPal closed the Nasdaq trading day in New York with a market value of about $94 billion based on its share price, which rose a percent to $80 in after-hours trades. Explore further 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. PayPal on Thursday announced a deal to buy Swedish online commerce startup iZettle for $2.2 billion, a deal that came as the young company was poised for a stock market debut. Citation: PayPal buys payments startup iZettle for $2.2 bn (2018, May 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-paypal-payments-startup-izettle-bn.html US-based PayPal, a unit of eBay, has made its biggest acquisition to date by buying Swedish online commerce startup iZettle for $2.2 billion