Fitzgerald calls time on career

first_imgShare on Facebook Fitzgerald calls time on career Share on WhatsApp @Greg_Wood_ Thu 7 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT Share via Email Support The Guardian Read more “It is hard to swallow when you finally realise it is the end,” Fitzgerald said yesterday, “[but] in many ways I’m lucky, really. I smashed four vertebrae in my neck from the C6 up to C3, they were fairly badly damaged . . . and two of them had penetrated my spinal cord. There’s not a lot of flexibility there now, so [if I have] another fall the consequences could be pretty catastrophic.”I’ve been so lucky to be associated with a lot of good horses. Growing up as a kid, the dream was always to win a race at the Festival and that dream was realised in 1994 when I won the Cathcart on Raymylette. He is always going to have a very special place in my heart. Then there is See More Business, who won the King George and the Gold Cup for me.”Fitzgerald’s retirement leaves a vacancy for a stable jockey at Nick Henderson’s powerful Lambourn yard. Barry Geraghty was one name being linked with the position yesterday, while one of the best of the younger Irish jockeys, Andrew McNamara, is another possibility. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Shares00 Topicscenter_img Share via Email The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest Mick Fitzgerald, one of the most successful jump jockeys of all time, announced his retirement yesterday, four months after suffering serious neck injuries in a fall in the Grand National at Aintree.Fitzgerald, 38, rode his first winner in 1988 and steered home the 1,000th of his career as long ago as 2003. His many big-race victories included the Cheltenham Gold Cup on See More Business in 1999 and the 1996 Grand National on Rough Quest, while he was the top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival in 1999 and 2000. Since you’re here… Horse racing Share on LinkedIn Horse racing Greg Wood First published on Thu 7 Aug 2008 19.01 EDT Mick Fitzgerald’s retirement follows the serious neck injuries he suffered in a fall during the Grand National. Photograph: Scott Heavey/Action Images Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Presvis out as Cumani picks Swop

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Presvis out as Cumani picks Swop This article is more than 10 years old … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Since you’re here… Ask The Butler, who is also due to line up on Saturday, is currently top-priced at 12-1 with totesport and Hills, while other likely runners include Docofthebay, the runner-up last year. “He’s had a difficult year but I think he’s just starting to come right now,” Jamie Osborne, Docofthebay’s trainer, said yesterday. “I’m happier with him now than I have been all season and he does seem to do well at this time of year. He obviously has more weight to carry this time.” David Probert, one of the season’s top claiming riders with 39 winners, would have hoped to get a decent ride in Saturday’s race, but plans will be on hold after he suffered a suspected ankle injury before the first race at Bath yesterday. A serious inquiry into alleged corruption opened in London yesterday, when the jockey Dean McKeown and trainer Paul Blockley attended the British Horseracing Authority’s headquarters to answer charges related to 11 races between March 2004 and December 2005. McKeown and Blockley, who are both legally represented, are charged along with three owners – Clive Whiting, David Lovatt and Martyn Wakefield – two former owners and two unlicensed individuals, over the laying of horses to lose. All deny the charges. The inquiry is expected to last into next week.Two of the defendants, David Wright and Nicholas Rook, were unrepresented yesterday and risk being warned off for non-cooperation if they take no part in the hearing.Ron Cox’s tip of the dayUrban Warrior 4.30 SedgefieldFollowing five unsuccessful hurdles outings over distances short of 2m3f, Urban Warrior showed improvement upped to 2m5f at Plumpton nine days ago. Ian Williams’ gelding impressed that day after a decent spell on the Flat, coming clear of Will The Till by 12 lengths in a similar handicap. His trainer has found a good opportunity to follow up under a 7lb penalty before a further rise in the weights. Mon 29 Sep 2008 19.01 EDT Horse racing The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Share via Email Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Shares00 Share via Email Horse racing Britain’s bookmakers were able to bank some money from followers of Luca Cumani yesterday, when the trainer’s well-backed Presvis was scratched from Saturday’s Cambridgeshire Handicap. The smart ones will have it in an instant-access account, though, as Cumani still has two of the first four horses in the betting for the first leg of the autumn double, including the new favourite, Swop. Cumani has a well-earned reputation as a man to follow in the season’s biggest handicaps, though he has not won the Cambridgeshire since the victory of Dallas, 22 years ago. Swop, currently a 6-1 chance, seems certain to start favourite on Saturday, though, after finishing well into third behind his stablemate Ask The Butler at Sandown in August, on only the fifth start of his career. center_img Greg Wood Reuse this content Share on Messenger This article is more than 10 years old Read more @Greg_Wood_ Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Topics news Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook First published on Mon 29 Sep 2008 19.01 EDT Support The Guardianlast_img read more

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The Supreme Courts Recent Unanimous Decision In A Restitution Case Provides Yet

first_img Learn More & Register The scenario is relatively common. Whether in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act context or otherwise, an individual acts contrary to the law and when his or her conduct is discovered various business organizations impacted by the illegal activity conduct an internal investigation.The question arises: if the individual engaged in the illegal activity is convicted, may the impacted business organizations recover from the individual internal investigation expenses under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA) and, if so, under what circumstances? In recent years, circuit courts have split on the relevant issues.Last week though the Supreme Court provided clarity in Lagos v. U.S. In the unanimous decision authored by Justice Breyer, the court concluded that the words “investigation” and “proceedings” in the MVRA are limited to government investigations and criminal proceedings. After excerpting the case, this post highlights how business organizations can best position themselves for MVRA restitution in certain FCPA matters by not voluntarily disclosing.As to the relevant factual background, the opinion states:“The petitioner, Sergio Fernando Lagos, was convicted of using a company that he controlled (Dry Van Logistics) to defraud a lender (General Electric Capital Corporation, or GE) of tens of millions of dollars. The fraud involved generating false invoices for services that Dry Van Logistics had not actually performed and then borrowing money from GE using the false invoices as collateral. Eventually, the scheme came to light. Dry Van Logistics went bankrupt. GE investigated. The Government indicted Lagos. Lagos pleaded guilty to wire fraud. And the judge, among other things, ordered him to pay GE restitution. The issue here concerns the part of the restitution order that requires Lagos to reimburse GE for expenses GE incurred during its own investigation of the fraud and during its participation in Dry Van Logistics’ bankruptcy proceedings. The amounts are substantial (about $5 million), and primarily consist of professional fees for attorneys, accountants, and consultants. The Government argued that the District Court must order restitution of these amounts under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act because these sums were “necessary . . . other expenses incurred during participation in the investigation . . . of the offense or attendance at proceedings related to the offense.” The District Court agreed, as did the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Lagos filed a petition for certiorari. And in light of a division of opinion on the matter, we granted the petition.”As to the relevant legal background and issue presented, the opinion states:“The [MVRA] of 1996 requires defendants convicted of a listed range of offenses to “reimburse the victim for lost income and necessary child care, transportation, and other expenses incurred during participation in the investigation or prosecution of the offense or attendance at proceedings related to the offense.”[…]The [MVRA] is one of several federal statutes that govern federal court orders requiring defendants convicted of certain crimes to pay their victims restitution. It concerns “crime[s] of violence,” “offense[s] against property . . . , including any offense committed by fraud or deceit,” and two specific offenses, one concerning tampering with a consumer product and the other concerning theft of medical products. It requires, in the case of property offenses, return of the property taken or its value; in the case of bodily injury, the payment of medical expenses and lost income; in the case of death, the payment of funeral expenses; and, as we have said …. in all cases, “reimburse[ment]” to “the victim for lost income and necessary child care, transportation, and other expenses incurred during participation in the investigation or prosecution of the offense or attendance at proceedings related to the offense.” (emphasis added).”The opinion then states:“We here consider the meaning of that italicized phrase. Specifically, we ask whether the scope of the words “investigation” and “proceedings” is limited to government investigations and criminal proceedings, or whether it includes private investigations and civil or bankruptcy litigation. We conclude that those words are limited to government investigations and criminal proceedings.Our conclusion rests in large part upon the statute’s wording, both its individual words and the text taken as a whole. The individual words suggest (though they do not demand) our limited interpretation. The word “investigation” is directly linked by the word “or” to the word “prosecution,” with which it shares the article “the.” This suggests that the “investigation[s]” and “prosecution[s]” that the statute refers to are of the same general type. And the word “prosecution” must refer to a government’s criminal prosecution, which suggests that the word “investigation” may refer to a government’s criminal investigation. A similar line of reasoning suggests that the immediately following reference to “proceedings” also refers to criminal proceedings in particular, rather than to “proceedings” of any sort.Furthermore, there would be an awkwardness about the statute’s use of the word “participation” to refer to a victim’s role in its own private investigation, and the word “attendance” to refer to a victim’s role as a party in noncriminal court proceedings. A victim opting to pursue a private investigation of an offense would be more naturally said to “provide for” or “conduct” the private investigation (in which he may, or may not, actively “participate”). And a victim who pursues civil or bankruptcy litigation does not merely “atten[d]” such other “proceedings related to the offense” but instead “participates” in them as a party. In contrast, there is no awkwardness, indeed it seems perfectly natural, to say that a victim “participat[es] in the investigation” or “attend[s] . . . proceedings related to the offense” if the investigation at issue is a government’s criminal investigation, and if the proceedings at issue are criminal proceedings conducted by a government.Moreover, to consider the statutory phrase as a whole strengthens these linguistic points considerably. The phrase lists three specific items that must be reimbursed, namely, lost income, child care, and transportation; and it then adds the words, “and other expenses.” Lost income, child care expenses, and transportation expenses are precisely the kind of expenses that a victim would be likely to incur when he or she (or, for a corporate victim like GE, its employees) misses work and travels to talk to government investigators, to participate in a government criminal investigation, or to testify before a grand jury or attend a criminal trial. At the same time, the statute says nothing about the kinds of expenses a victim would often incur when private investigations, or, say, bankruptcy proceedings are at issue, namely, the costs of hiring private investigators, attorneys, or accountants. Thus, if we look to noscitur a sociis, the well-worn Latin phrase that tells us that statutory words are often known by the company they keep, we find here both the presence of company that suggests limitation and the absence of company that suggests breadth.We add a practical fact: A broad reading would create significant administrative burdens. The statute provides for mandatory restitution, and the portion we construe is limited to “necessary . . . other expenses.” The word “necessary” would, if the statute is broadly interpreted, invite disputes as to whether particular expenses “incurred during” participation in a private investigation or attendance at, say, a bankruptcy proceeding, were in fact “necessary.” Such disputes may become burdensome in cases involving multimillion dollar investigation expenses for teams of lawyers and accountants. A district court might, for example, need to decide whether each witness interview and each set of documents reviewed was really “necessary” to the investigation. Similarly, the statute also limits restitution to expenses incurred only during “attendance at proceedings related to the offense,” inviting disputes as to whether, say, a licensing proceeding, a human resources review, an in-house disciplinary proceeding, a job interview, a Consumer Product Safety Commission hearing, or a neighborhood watch meeting qualified as “proceedings” sufficiently “related to the offense” so as to be eligible for restitution.To interpret the statute broadly is to invite controversy on those and other matters; our narrower construction avoids it. And one begins to doubt whether Congress intended, in making this restitution mandatory, to require courts to resolve these potentially time-consuming controversies as part of criminal sentencing—particularly once one realizes that few victims are likely to benefit because more than 90% of criminal restitution is never collected.There are, of course, contrary arguments—arguments favoring a broad interpretation. The Government points out, in particular, that our narrow interpretation will sometimes leave a victim without a restitution remedy sufficient to cover some expenses (say, those related to his private investigation) which he undoubtedly incurred as a result of the offense. Leaving the victim without that restitution remedy, the Government adds, runs contrary to the broad purpose of the [MVRA], namely, “to ensure that victims of a crime receive full restitution.”But a broad general purpose of this kind does not always require us to interpret a restitution statute in a way that favors an award. After all, Congress has enacted many different restitution statutes with differing language, governing different circumstances. Some of those statutes specifically require restitution for the “full amount of the victim’s losses,” defined to include “any . . . losses suffered by the victim as a proximate result of the offense.” The [MVRA], however, contains no such language; it specifically lists the kinds of losses and expenses that it covers. Moreover, in at least one other statute Congress has expressly provided for restitution of “the value of the time reasonably spent by the victim in an attempt to remediate the intended or actual harm incurred by the victim from the offense. Again the [MVRA] has no similar provision. And given those differences between the [MVRA] and other restitution statutes, we conclude that the considerations we have mentioned, particularly those based on a reading of the statute as a whole, tip the balance in favor of our more limited interpretation.We add that this interpretation does not leave a victim such as GE totally without a remedy for additional losses not covered by the [MVRA] GE also brought a civil lawsuit against Lagos for the full extent of its losses, and obtained an over-$30 million judgment against him. The Government says that GE has largely been unable to collect on that judgment, but there is no reason to think that collection efforts related to a criminal restitution award would prove any more successful.The Government makes one additional argument. It points out that GE shared with the Government the information that its private investigation uncovered. And that fact, the Government says, should bring the expenses of that investigation within the terms of the statute even if the “investigation” referred to by the statute is a government’s criminal investigation. The short, conclusive answer to that claim, however, lies in the fact that the statute refers to “necessary child care, transportation, and other expenses incurred during participation in the investigation or prosecution of the offense.”  It does not refer to expenses incurred before the victim’s participation in a government’s investigation began. And the Government does not deny that it is those preparticipation expenses—the expenses of conducting GE’s investigation, not those of sharing the results from it—that are at issue here. We therefore need not address in this case whether this part of the [MVRA] would cover similar expenses incurred during a private investigation that was pursued at a government’s invitation or request. It is enough to hold that it does not cover the costs of a private investigation that the victim chooses on its own to conduct. (emphasis added).For the reasons stated, we conclude that the words “investigation” and “proceedings” in the [MVRA] refer to government investigations and criminal proceedings. Consequently Lagos is not obliged to pay the portion of the restitution award that he here challenges. We reverse the Court of Appeals’ judgment to the contrary, and we remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”From an FCPA perspective, the key language in the court’s unanimous opinion is highlighted above in bold. In other words, it will be difficult for a business organization to seek restitution for investigative fees and expenses if those fees and expenses were the result of a voluntary disclosure (in other words, not a pro-active government investigation).On the other hand, if a business organization incurs investigate fees and expenses after being contacted by the government, a business organization is better positioned for MVRA restitution.As highlighted in numerous prior posts (see here and here for recent examples), there are many reasons why business organizations should pause before voluntarily disclosing alleged FCPA violations. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Lagos is yet another reason to pause. FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.last_img read more

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Can a Focus on WellBeing Really Reduce Antipsychotics

first_imgTweet40Share149Share137Email326 SharesI have been traveling and teaching the above approach, and making this claim for several years now. Recently, I was privileged to hear from a friend in Arkansas, who took this idea and ran with it.Angie Norman is a nurse practitioner who is Associate Director of the Arkansas Aging Initiative for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. We connected over dinner last May, and she was excitedly looking for a way to bring the Well-Being Approach to some of the long-term care homes in her state.Angie contacted a large, well-respected provider in the state and asked to be connected with four communities that still had relatively high rates of antipsychotic use. Angie then went into these four homes and began to teach this proactive approach, focusing on operationalizing the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being, as I developed in my book, Dementia Beyond Disease. The project lasted from May until December 2016, just over 6 months.I recently heard from Angie that three out of four homes had succeeded in a relative reduction in their rates of antipsychotic use of over 60% in that short time! Their absolute rates fell from 24.1% to 7.9%, from 17% to 5.1%, and from 41.2% to 16.2%. And the satisfaction scores of the team members improved along with these successes. She reports that continued progress is being made since the study was completed in December.Angie is now being asked by AHCA, Quality Partners of Arkansas, and the Arkansas Innovative Performance Program to develop a process to implement this model in the other homes around the state. Angie told me, “I believe this proactive approach is the key! It has changed my practice!” She also mentioned that her husband has been using this approach with his best friend, who is living with dementia, and has enjoyed great success and is seeing their friendship continue to grow. Of course, one might ask about the fourth home, whose relative rate only dropped 11% (from 18.4% to 16%). So I did. Angie’s response reinforces my contention that the success of these initiatives is a two-pronged approach. It not only requires education to hands-on team members about the well-being approach and how to operationalize it; it also requires a strong commitment from the formal leaders of the home, particularly the Administrator, Director of Nursing, Medical Director, and Consultant Pharmacist. These are the individuals who validate the team’s efforts for the larger organization, provide ongoing support, break down barriers, and also help the team by “having their backs” as they attempt a radically new approach to support and care. It appears that this process is still not yet fully realized in the last community, and the work there continues; in reality, not every organization is ready from Day 1 to take on a new way of operating.This is why my colleague Daniella Greenwood from Arcare Australia repeatedly reminds us that our employees need more than education; “they also need permission.” Arkansas was ranked #47/51 in antipsychotic drug use just two years ago. They are now #23 and had one of the top three improvement rates in 2016, with an overall relative reduction of over 40% from 2012! This initiative will give them an added resource to build on their success. Congratulations to Angie and the communities in the project for their remarkable success. I can’t wait to hear what happens next!Related PostsECT for Dementia and the Dangers of the BPSD MindsetDementia is the greatest shame of modern medicine; not because there have been no significant advances in treatment, but because—from restraints, to locked units, to antipsychotics, to ECT—we have lost our recognition of the humanity of those living with the diagnosis.More Trouble for AntipsychoticsAmid the roar over off-label use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, a new study from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry raises some new questions.   This study looked at the four most commonly-used atypical antipsychotics in 332 people for up … Continue reading →”We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us”Would it surprise you if I said that the very organizations that are discouraging the abuse of antipsychotic drugs to treat people living with dementia are actually convincing people to use them? It’s a matter of language.Tweet40Share149Share137Email326 SharesTags: Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia Eden Alternative well beinglast_img read more

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Minimizing dehydration without overdrinking

first_img Urine color. The color of the first morning’s urine void after awaking is an overall indicator of hydration status. Straw or lemonade colored urine is a sign of appropriate hydration. Dark colored urine, the color of apple juice, indicates dehydration. Bright urine often is produced soon after consuming vitamin supplements. Sweat loss. Change in body weight before and after exercise is used to estimate sweat loss. Since an athlete’s sweat loss during exercise is an indicator of hydration status, athletes are advised to follow customized fluid replacement plans that consider thirst, urine color, fluid intake, sweat loss and body weight changes that occur during exercise. Later signs include: Dizziness Increased weakness Labored breathing with exercise Thirst Flushed skin Premature fatigue Increased body temperature Faster breathing and pulse rate Increased perception of effort Decreased exercise capacity Fluid ReplacementReplace fluids during exercise to promote adequate hydration. Drink water rather than pouring it over your head. Drinking is the only way to rehydrate and cool your body from the inside out. Sports drinks are more appropriate than water for athletes engaged in moderate- to high-intensity exercise that lasts an hour or longer. Rehydrate after exercise by drinking enough fluid to replace fluid losses during exercise. Remember swimmers sweat, too. Like any athletic activity, when you swim, your body temperature rises and your body sweats to keep from overheating. You may not notice because you are in the water, but you can become dehydrated. Swimmers, from competitive athletes to families splashing around, need to drink fluids before, during and after swimming, even if you don’t feel thirsty.Warning SignsKnow the signs of dehydration. Early signs are: Minimize DehydrationDehydration can occur in virtually every physical activity scenario. It doesn’t have to be hot. You don’t have to have visible perspiration. You can become dehydrated in the water, at a pool or lake, or skiing on a winter day.Dehydration results when athletes fail to adequately replace fluid lost through sweating. Since dehydration that exceeds 2 percent body weight loss harms exercise performance, athletes are advised to begin exercise well hydrated, minimize dehydration during exercise and replace fluid losses after exercise.Be alert for conditions that increase your fluid loss through sweat.Related StoriesResearchers identify molecular pathway underpinning exercise and improved motor learningCombining aerobic exercise and resistance training helps obese older adults preserve muscle massSupervised fun, exercise both improve psychosocial health of children with obesity Air Temperature: The higher the temperature, the greater your sweat losses. Intensity: The harder you work out, the more you perspire. Body Size and Gender: Larger people sweat more. Men generally sweat more than women. Duration: The longer the workout, the more fluid loss. Fitness: Well-trained athletes perspire more than less fit people. Why? Athletes cool their bodies through sweat more efficiently than most people because their bodies are used to the extra stress. Thus, fluid needs are higher for highly trained athletes than for less fit individuals. May 16 2018Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of healthy physical activity. Drinking the right amount of fluids before, during and after physical activity is vital to providing your body the fluids it needs to perform properly. Sports dietitians assist athletes by developing individualized hydration plans that enhance performance in training and competition while minimizing risks for dehydration, over-hydration and heat illness and injury.Hydration GoalThe overall goal is to minimize dehydration without over-drinking. Adequate hydration varies among individuals. Practical ways to monitor hydration are: Source:https://www.eatright.org/fitness/sports-and-performance/hydrate-right/hydrate-rightlast_img read more

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Certain antibodies against a carbohydrate could protect against malaria

first_imgJul 10 2018Certain type of antibodies against α-Gal- a carbohydrate expressed by many organisms including the malaria parasite- could protect against malaria, according to a new study led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by “la Caixa” Foundation. The results, published in Scientific Reports, indicate that a-Gal is an interesting candidate to include in future vaccines against malaria and other infectious diseases.The magnitude and type of immune response against the malaria parasite is key in controlling the disease. To date, most studies have focused on the antibody response to parasite proteins. However, sugars (or glycans) expressed on the surface of the parasite could also trigger an immune response.Alpha-gal is a particularly interesting glycan: it is expressed by practically all organisms on the evolutionary scale, from bacteria in out gut, to pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, protozoan parasites such as P. falciparum (that causes malaria) or mammals such as cows. Only humans, apes and old-world monkeys lack the enzyme to synthesize it and generate a strong immune response against it. Recent studies suggest that antibodies to α-Gal could protect against malaria.Related StoriesNew route to quickly transport subcutaneously administered antibodies into lymph nodesAntibodies could cause arthritic painHuman liver cell protein aids development of malaria parasite, study findsIn this study, the teams led by Luis Izquierdo and Carlota Dobaño, ISGlobal researchers, joined forces to assess the magnitude and type of antibody responses against α-Gal in infants and children from Mozambique (a low malaria transmission region) and Ghana (a high transmission region). They used a technique recently developed by Dobaño’s group that allowed measuring for the first time different subclasses of antibodies against this and other parasite antigens in a single reaction and from one drop of blood.”The relevance of this study is that it provides new information on a response (anti α-Gal) that plays a potential protective role against a variety of infectious diseases, not only malaria,” explains Dobaño.The results show that the levels of different α-Gal antibodies vary according to age and are higher in low malaria transmission zones. A significant increase in IgM ?-Gal antibodies was observed in the initial months of life, while IgG antibodies increased later in life. Importantly, an IgM response was associated with protection against clinical malaria, especially in the first months of life, while total IgG were associated with malaria risk.”It would be really interesting to identify the specific α-Gal glycan expressed by the malaria parasite, and to confirm the potential association between certain IgG subclasses and protection,” says Izquierdo. “In any case, these results confirm that α-Gal could be a promising molecule to include in future malaria vaccines,” he adds.Source: https://www.isglobal.org/en/new/-/asset_publisher/JZ9fGljXnWpI/content/ciertos-anticuerpos-dirigidos-contra-un-azucar-estan-asociados-con-la-proteccion-frente-a-la-malarilast_img read more

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Researchers receive £2 million to study how to improve asthma in African

first_imgJul 10 2018Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have been awarded £2 million to study how to improve asthma in African children.The investment from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is part of its Global Health Research Program and will fund the three-year project ‘Achieving Control of Asthma in Children In Africa’ (ACACIA) taking place in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe.Previously, asthma in African children was not thought to be a major health issue. But more African children are developing the long-term disease as they move to urban areas. Recent surveys in schools found that over 20 percent of South African children aged 13 to 14 have ongoing asthma symptoms. But to date, there has been a lack of evidence to tackle the issue.Related StoriesTaking vitamin D and E during pregnancy may ‘reduce likelihood’ of asthmaImproper inhaler use common in children with asthmaStudy provides new insight into development of asthmaUsing theater to improve asthma awarenessThe study will involve 3,000 children aged between 12 and 14 years old with asthma symptoms, and use surveys to assess their asthma control, treatment, attitudes to asthma, as well as the barriers to achieving good control.A similar UK study led by this research group found that 46 per cent of young people (aged 12 – 18) had suboptimal asthma control, and that many young people faced a range of barriers to good asthma management, including lack of knowledge, forgetfulness and perceived stigma.The team will use the new African school survey data to design and test a school-based intervention, which will include the adaption of an existing theater performance, written by the Nigerian-born playwright Tunde Euba, which addresses asthma knowledge and stigma.’Diseases of urbanization’Professor Jonathan Grigg from Queen Mary University of London, and Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Group, said: “The number of children in sub Saharan Africa who live in urban areas is rapidly increasing. These children are developing diseases of urbanization such as asthma. However, very little is known about the severity of asthma in African children. Working with leading pediatricians across Africa, this grant will allow us to describe the burden of asthma in children, and the reasons underlying poor asthma control.”Dr Louise Wood, Director, Science, Research and Evidence Directorate, Department of Health and Social Care said “The NIHR is adding substantive value to the field of global health and helping to keep the UK at the forefront of health knowledge for global benefit. These new activities complement the breadth and range of our existing portfolio of funded research to improve health outcomes across LMICs and demonstrate the NIHR’s role in supporting the UK Aid Strategy.” Source:https://www.qmul.ac.uklast_img read more

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Researchers discover various mechanisms of resistance to cancer therapy

first_img Source:http://www.unibe.ch/ Jul 30 2018An international research team under the co-direction of the University of Bern and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) has discovered various mechanisms of resistance to cancer therapy. The findings help researchers to understand the self-repair of cancer cells after a therapy and thus help to fight resistant tumors more efficiently.The DNA in our cells is constantly subjected to damage, caused in particular by the cells’ normal metabolism. Current estimates assume up to 70,000 impairments per cell per day. Healthy cells can repair this damage, however, using the proteins BRCA1 and BRCA2, for example. If they are defective though, this leads to an increased number of DNA mutations, which can cause cancer. Damage to these two repair proteins is associated above all with the occurrence of breast and ovarian cancer. Tumors with such a defect can be fought using a new therapy with so-called PARP inhibitors. If the protein PARP, which also plays a role in DNA repair, is blocked as well as the defective repair proteins, the cancer cells die off while the healthy body cells (with still functioning repair proteins) survive. Unfortunately, despite the clinical success of the PARP inhibitors, patients often develop a resistance. The precise causes for this resistance are still unclear.In close cooperation with the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam (Jonkers Laboratory), the Institute of Cancer Research in London (Lord Laboratory), the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto (Durocher Laboratory), and the Genome Integrity Laboratory in Oxford (Chapman Laboratory), a research team from the University of Bern has now identified four different resistance mechanisms against these PARP inhibitors. The findings can be used to develop new approaches for tackling therapy resistances. Thanks to this research, new insights have also been obtained into the fundamental mechanisms of DNA repair. The results have been published in the “Cancer Cell”, “Cell Reports”, and “Nature”.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryMillions of cancer cells examinedUsing the gene scissors CRISPR/Cas9 and targeted silencing of genes, the researchers were able to find out which genes guide DNA repair in combination with the cancer therapy. They modified millions of BRCA-mutated cancer cells genetically, although they only changed an average of 1 gene per cell. These millions of cells were then treated with PARP inhibitors, and the cells that remained, having survived the treatment, were those which had become resistant due to certain genetic changes. “The changes in these cells then indicated to us which genes are involved in the development of a resistance”, says Sven Rottenberg of the Vetsuisse Faculty at the University of Bern. In order to observe this, the researchers also cultivated the tumor cells in a three-dimensional matrix, which offers the advantage that these cell cultures are more similar to the real tumors. With these tests, the researchers discovered that the success of the PARP inhibitors depends on the functions of other proteins that are also involved in the repair of DNA breaks. If these (in part newly discovered) proteins are not functioning, resistance to PARP inhibitors develops.Exploiting the tumors’ Achilles heelNew opportunities arise from understanding the exact resistance mechanisms: “In our models, we have seen that the tumours that are resistant to treatment by PARP inhibitors – due to the deficiency of other DNA repair proteins – can be fought with radiotherapy or already established anti-cancer drugs such as temozolamide. This opens up therapeutic options for patients in which the cancer has reappeared after an initially successful treatment with PARP inhibitors”, explains Rottenberg. His research group is working on finding more weak points in the resistant tumours, with the hope of developing new therapeutic approaches and of overcoming the resistance shown by cancer that occurs due to defective repair proteins.​ last_img read more

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New technology rapidly assesses antibiotics by using bacteria in bear saliva

first_img Source:https://news.rutgers.edu/scientists-use-bear-saliva-rapidly-test-antibiotics/20180912#.W5kyvkZKi70 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018If you’re looking into the mouth of a brown bear, one of the world’s top predators, your chances of survival probably aren’t good. But a team of Rutgers and other scientists has discovered a technology that rapidly assesses potentially lifesaving antibiotics by using bacteria in saliva from an East Siberian brown bear.The technology involves placing a bacterium from a wild animal’s mouth – or other complex source of microbes with potential antibiotic properties – in an oil droplet to see if it inhibits harmful bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, according to a study published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Microbes in wild animals or other exotic sources are an unexplored area in the search for antibiotics. The microbiota of wild animals may help protect them from the aggressive microbes that surround them. The new technology, which allows microbial species to be tested individually, is a powerful tool for discovering antibiotics and exploring external influences on a microbiome, the study says.Related StoriesNew research could help design algae that produces fuels and cleanup chemicalsNew methods to recognize antimicrobial resistant bacteria and how they workMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribing”It is tedious to look for bacteria that produce antibiotics by testing them on Petri dishes and looking at how they inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria,” said study coauthor Konstantin Severinov, a principal investigator at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology and professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “We swiftly determined the spectrum of the antibiotic activity in saliva from a Siberian bear.”The bear was caught wild and then released. The technology used powerful machines to rapidly sort several hundred thousand oil droplets with bacteria from the live bear’s mouth, and the scientists found one droplet with zero Staphylococcus aureus. The beneficial strain of bacteria that killed Staphylococcus aureus produces a previously known antibiotic – amicoumacin.Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) resists several antibiotics and can cause pneumonia and sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to severe infection in the body, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”The bear was chosen largely because it was captured way out in the wilderness where, it was assumed, microbes typical for the species and not affected by civilization are present,” Severinov said. “The latter consideration is important since studies show that the diversity of microbiota depends on diet and decreases dramatically, for example, in zoo-kept animals or urban humans compared with people from indigenous tribes.”Placing single species of bacteria in droplets allows us to monitor their responses to various insults, such as antibiotics, while avoiding interactions in complex microbiomes, such as our own. Our method should allow us to test how our microbiome responds and changes when various drugs are administered.”last_img read more

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Family history in blacks Latinos associated with higher risk of AFib

first_img Source:https://today.uic.edu/afib-linked-to-family-history-in-blacks-latinos Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 21 2018Despite being the most common heart arrhythmia disorder in the U.S., there is not much research on the causes of atrial fibrillation in minority populations. And while researchers know that black and Latino individuals are less likely than whites to develop the condition, which is also known as AFib, they cannot yet fully explain why these groups are paradoxically more likely to experience higher rates of complications and even death as a result of AFib.Thanks to the development of a large, diverse registry of patients, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago who have been studying AFib in minority populations think they have unlocked one small part of the mystery.”Our analysis shows that there is a genetic predisposition to early-onset AFib in blacks and Latinos that is greater than what we see in whites,” said Dr. Dawood Darbar, professor of medicine and head of cardiology at the UIC College of Medicine.The findings from the study, which looked at data from 664 patients with AFib, are published in JAMA Network Open.Darbar says that the study offers the first research-based evidence in support of increased monitoring, even including genetic testing, of individuals and their families who have first-degree relatives diagnosed with AFib prior to age 60 as a preventive measure against complications that can develop as a result of the condition, including stroke.”Many people with AFib do not know they have the condition until they present to the emergency room with a stroke,” Darbar said. “Identifying people at risk for AFib and preventing these complications is the most effective way to improve AFib outcomes in black and Latino communities.”Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairWhile Darbar says more studies on AFib are needed, this one is unique because most prior studies on family history and AFib relied on data from mostly white populations, leaving doctors with little research to guide personalized treatment in minority communities. Of the 664 patients enrolled in UIC’s AFib registry at the time of the study, 40 percent were white, 39 percent were black and 21 percent were Latino.The researchers found that there was a family history of AFib in 49 percent of patients who were diagnosed with early-onset AFib — which is defined as occurring in patients younger than 60 years of age — compared with only 22 percent of patients diagnosed with AFib later in life. When broken down by race, the chances of a patient with early-onset AFib having a first-degree relative with the condition was more than two-and-a-half times more likely for blacks and almost 10 times more likely for Latinos, compared with only two-and-a-half times more likely for whites.”I was surprised to see that even though blacks and Latinos have a lower risk of developing AFib than whites, they had similar or higher risk if there was a family history of the condition,” Darbar said. “This is telling information for practicing health care providers who, while working with patients, need to determine risk and develop preventive strategies — not just for patients, but for their families, as well.”last_img read more

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Video Robot worm glows in rainbows as it crawls

first_imgResearchers have made a number of flexible, skinlike light-emitters and touch sensors in recent years. But none quite like the one reported in today’s issue of Science: A novel wormlike robot that changes colors as it inches its way forward. The device starts with three flexible plastic segments, each of which contains an air pouch under the surface, as well a light-emitting layer that beams green, yellow, or blue light. The light emitters are made from materials that gleam when plied with electricity—sandwiched between two layers of stretchy silicone and two pliable electrodes. This design allows the material to stretch five times more than previous flexible light-emitters, while still shining bright. To make the robot walk, the researchers pump air in the three pouches one at a time. As each chamber is pressurized, the outer luminescent skin is stretched, increasing the electric field across it, which in turn increases the amount of light emitted. Inflating and deflating three chambers in sequence causes the wormlike robot to scoot forward a tad. It won’t break any speed records; it can only shuffle 32 body lengths in an hour. But it puts on a nice light show along the way. Down the road, such materials may help engineers build robots that can sense their environment and send visual cues to people around them about what’s going on.last_img read more

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Why do seabirds eat plastic They think it smells tasty

first_imgBy 2050, nearly 200 species of seabirds—from penguins to petrels—will be eating plastic. But what attracts them to this often-deadly debris is more than its resemblance to a tasty morsel of jellyfish or seaweed. The smell of plastic, when fouled by algae, is also attractive to some seabirds, suggests a new study. To find out how this happens, researchers strapped mesh bags full of three types of plastic beads to buoys off the California coast. They found that the floating beads picked up a chemical called dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a byproduct given off by algae and other microorganisms as they break down (usually when they’re being eaten). Because the algae-eaters are themselves seabird prey, DMS serves as a dinner bell for many species of foraging seabirds, which home in on patches of DMS-rich water and scoop up whatever foodlike items are there. And chemical analyses suggest that it takes less than a month for some types of plastics to pick up the telltale scent, the researchers report online today in Science Advances. Because similar plastic beads straight from the manufacturer don’t emit DMS, it’s likely that the scent comes from algae growing on the surface of the beads and from DMS that they adsorb via exposure to seawater. The team also found that DMS likely plays a key role in plastic ingestion: Only 8% of birds that don’t respond to DMS ate plastic, versus 48% of birds that use it as a feeding signal. The team hopes that an answer to the birds’ plight will come through science, likely in the form of new plastics that don’t get fouled by DMS-producing organisms.last_img read more

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Another Alzheimers drug flops in pivotal clinical trial

first_img Originally published by Endpoints NewsScratch yet another Phase III Alzheimer’s drug hopeful.Merck announced late Tuesday that it is shuttering its EPOCH trial for the BACE inhibitor verubecestat in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s after the external data monitoring committee concluded that the drug was a bust, with “virtually” no chance of success. A separate Phase III study in prodromal patients, set to read out in two years, will continue as investigators found no signs of safety issues. Derek Lowe’s take on drug discovery & the pharma industry By John Carroll, Endpoints NewsFeb. 15, 2017 , 11:00 AM Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Guess how this latest Alzheimer’s trial came out The brain of a person with Alzheimer’s (left) is shrunken, compared with a normal brain (right), from nerve cell death, and a new drug has failed to stem such neurodegeneration. Alfred Pasieka/Science Source This is one of Merck’s top late-stage drugs, and news of the failure drove down the pharma giant’s shares in after-market trading by 2.45%.BACE drugs essentially seek to interfere in the process that creates amyloid beta, a toxic protein often found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. As the top amyloid beta drugs like bapineuzumab and solanezumab — which sought to extract existing amyloid beta loads — ground their way to repeated failures, developers in the field turned increasingly to BACE therapies as an alternative mechanism that could provide the key to slowing this disease down.center_img Read more… Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country “Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most pressing and daunting medical issues of our time, with inherent, substantial challenges to developing an effective disease-modifying therapy for people with mild-to-moderate disease. Studies such as EPOCH are critical, and we are indebted to the patients in this study and their caregivers,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “While we are disappointed that a benefit was not observed in this study, our work continues with APECS, which is studying verubecestat in people with less advanced disease.”Lilly recently decided to go ahead and stop its own prodromal Phase III for solanezumab after concluding that there was no logical reason to believe it could succeed after the study in patients with a mild form of the memory-wasting disease ended in disaster.No significant new drug for Alzheimer’s has been approved in the past 14 years, despite massively expensive trials aimed at tackling the disease. The pipeline has been littered with big failures, which have come in a steady drumbeat of defeat and discouragement.Curiously, the next Phase III in Alzheimer’s to read out will belong to Axovant, a startup from Vivek Ramaswamy, who bought in a failed drug from GSK and put it back into the clinic. Their 5-HT6 therapy follows a series of failures in the field for drugs that aimed at amping up cognition. The next big drug in the clinic — aducanumab — belongs to Biogen, which has stirred some significant expectations for a therapy that also has a troubling safety history.Reprinted from Endpoints News. Copyright 2017. Endpoints News reports and analyzes the top global biotech and pharmaceutical R&D news of the day. Sign up for its free reports at https://endpts.com Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Related blog: In The Pipeline Merck’s effort was the most advanced in the pipeline, but Eli Lilly and others are still in hot pursuit with their own persistent BACE efforts. Teams from Biogen/Eisai and Novartis/Amgen are also beavering away on BACE. Another Alzheimer’s drug flops in pivotal clinical triallast_img read more

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What the hell is going on Polio cases are vanishing in Pakistan

first_img Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country ©NEOC/PAK2017/ABID AHSAN Extensive sampling shows that poliovirus lurks in many open sewers. Just a year ago, poliovirus seemed on its last legs in Pakistan, one of its final strongholds. Polio cases were steadily falling, from 306 in 2014 to 54 in 2015, 20 in 2016, and, by last count, eight in 2017. Blood tests showed that, overall, immunity to the virus had never been higher, even among children aged 6 to 11 months, thanks to years of tireless vaccination campaigns. Surely, there were not enough susceptible kids to sustain transmission, and the virus would burn itself out within a year.Unsettling new findings, however, show it is far from gone. In the most extensive effort in any country to scour the environment for traces of the virus, polio workers are finding it widely across Pakistan, in places they thought it had disappeared. They are wondering “just what the hell is going on” and how worried they should be, says epidemiologist Chris Maher of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, who runs polio operations in the eastern Mediterranean region. Does this mean the virus is more entrenched than anyone realized and is poised to resurge? Or is this how a virus behaves in its final days—persisting in the environment but not causing disease until it fades out?“We have never had this level of environmental sampling anywhere else. We have nothing to compare it to,” Maher says. “We don’t understand the dynamic,” agrees Michel Zaffran, who leads the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at WHO. “But we take it very seriously.” In response to the sampling data, he and his colleagues are already changing their tactics—and their definition of success.center_img ‘What the hell is going on?’ Polio cases are vanishing in Pakistan, yet the virus won’t go away By Leslie RobertsJan. 11, 2018 , 1:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, Pakistan is one of just three endemic countries—places where indigenous wild poliovirus has never been vanquished. With its dysfunctional government, unceasing violence, poverty, and huge numbers of people on the move, it may well be the toughest challenge for eradication. The border with Afghanistan is so porous that the two countries are considered one epidemiologic block in which the virus circulates freely. Conventional wisdom is that if Pakistan defeats polio, Afghanistan will soon follow. That could be the key to global eradication, as no virus has been detected in Nigeria for the past 15 months.Since the eradication effort began in 1988, the gold standard for detecting poliovirus has been surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP)—finding and testing every child with a sudden weakness or floppiness in the arms or legs. The yearly case count has been the benchmark for success: After 12 months without a polio case, WHO has historically removed a country from the endemic list.But as case numbers fell to today’s low levels, AFP surveillance is no longer the only meaningful indicator. Only about one in 200 or 300 people infected with the virus becomes paralyzed; the rest show no symptoms but can still shed the virus in their stool and infect others. Environmental surveillance can detect that hidden virus.Polio workers collect sewage samples, usually from open drainage ditches, and test them for virus. If the test is positive, that means someone in the catchment area is infected and actively excreting it. Pakistan now has 53 sampling sites, more than any other country. And at a time when cases are the lowest on record, 16% of samples from across the country are testing positive.“It is extraordinary to have so much virus in sewage and so few cases,” Zaffran says.What makes the environmental samples so hard to interpret is that a catchment area may contain the combined feces of 50,000 or 100,000 people. “If you isolate a virus from a child, you know who is infected. When you find it in an environmental sample, you don’t know if three people are infected or 3000,” Maher explains.One possible explanation for the disconnect is that AFP surveillance is missing cases. Maher doubts that the number is significant, but others suspect that too many children among the mobile populations, including the marginalized Pashtun minority, still aren’t being vaccinated despite ramped up efforts to reach them. “I don’t think polio is entrenched across Pakistan, but this last reservoir of ‘people on the move’ is sustaining the virus,” says Steve Cochi, a polio expert at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.Maher has another view. “My own suspicion is this is part of what we see at the end,” he says. “The lack of cases means immunity is high, but because of the very difficult circumstance in Pakistan,” the virus still has a tenuous hold. Ultimately, he says, “The virus will die out because it is not getting enough purchase.”The program is not taking any chances. The response to each positive environmental test is now as aggressive as to a case of paralysis. And the program is hammering the virus with repeated vaccination campaigns throughout the “low season,” between December and May, when cold weather makes it tougher for the virus to survive. Whether the strategy works will become clear later this year when the weather turns warm. But one thing is certain: The absence of cases is no longer enough to declare victory over polio. Going forward, a country will not be considered polio-free until 12 months have passed without a case—or a positive environmental sample.last_img read more

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Logging in Europes primeval forest ruled illegal

first_img Email Logging in Europe’s primeval forest ruled illegal Czarek Sokolowski/Associated Press In a ruling issued yesterday, the court agreed that the ministry had not properly assessed the potential impact of the increased logging on the protected habitat, and foresters had erred by cutting trees more than 100 years old and removing dead wood that provides habitat for endangered beetles and nesting spots for owls. Logging also should not have occurred during the nesting season. The court was not convinced that the bark beetles justified the logging.Szyszko lost his job in January when the government shook up the cabinet; his replacement, Henryk Kowalczyk, said yesterday that the ministry will adhere to the court’s ruling. He told Polish radio that he is convening an expert committee to create a long-term plan and find a compromise between forestry management and hands-off protection. Agata Szafraniuk, an attorney with ClientEarth in Warsaw, says the time for compromise is past. “Now is the moment for the long-term solution, which we think is [an expanded] national park.” Szafraniuk says the ruling will have an impact beyond Białowieża by setting a higher standard for forestry assessments. “This is a tremendous change in the whole of forest management in Poland,” she says.Meanwhile, Chylarecki fears that logging will continue in Białowieża. Although the Forest Service has exhausted the logging quota it set in 2016, he expects that it will request further allocations from the ministry before the next management plan begins in 2022. “I don’t believe the foresters will be willing to wait 4 years without any earnings from timber.”Andrzej Bobiec, an ecologist at the University of Rzeszów in Poland, has mixed feeling about the ruling. Although glad the logging has stopped, he notes that the decision says nothing about replanting. Replanting open ground is bad, he says, because the land will eventually resemble an industrial timber plantation, providing less diverse habitat for other creatures.Bobiec also worries that the EU laws are based on keeping habitats intact. This means a future court might be persuaded that foresters are following habitat protection laws when they maintain a mix of species, by cutting some and planting others, in a particular place. It also means that the laws neglect what is ecologically special about Białowieża, which is that its habitats change—driven by outbreaks of bark beetles, for example, or windstorms—on a large scale, compared with other forests in the European Union.Instead of protecting “favorable conservation status,” Bobiec proposes, it would make more sense to conserve “favorable dynamics.” Given the current laws, Białowieża’s wildness would have greater security if it were encompassed by a national park, he says. Europe’s top court has ruled that controversial logging in Poland’s iconic Białowieża Forest is illegal, but the fight over the forest’s future is far from finished. “The controversy over what to do next is just beginning,” says ornithologist Przemek Chylarecki of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.Białowieża is the best-preserved remnant of old-growth forest that once spanned lowland Europe. Straddling the border between Poland and Belarus, the 1500-square-kilometer forest has centuries-old trees, as well a menagerie—including wolves, lynx, dozens of species of birds, beetles and fungi—found nowhere else. Foresters and preservationists have fought over Białowieża for decades. Ecologists would like to see the forest left to its own devices—as is the case with a small national park at its core—while foresters argue that logging and replanting are necessary to protect against pests and to maintain certain habitats.The latest battle began after spruce bark beetles began to kill drought-weakened trees in 2012. Foresters started felling trees in a bid to stop the beetle, but biologists said the attempt was doomed to fail and would cause more damage than the beetles. In March 2016, Jan Szyszko, the minister of the environment at the time, tripled the amount of logging permitted in one of three districts managed by the Forest Service, ostensibly to speed up the campaign against the beetle. Environmental groups suspected that the motives were economic, and they pressed the European Commission to take Poland to court. Last summer, the Court of Justice of the European Union ordered a temporary halt to the logging, although it allowed an exemption for cutting trees that pose a risk to public safety. Protesters march against logging last August in the Białowieża Forest.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Erik StokstadApr. 18, 2018 , 5:45 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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Was cancer scientist fired for challenging lab chief over authorship

first_imgXiaoqi Xie says she was fired from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey because she asked to share first authorship on a paper submitted to Nature. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Was cancer scientist fired for challenging lab chief over authorship? Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Several of Xie’s colleagues, who did not want to be identified, describe her as a quiet, conscientious scientist who regularly worked late and was helpful to colleagues. “I don’t see her as someone who would speak up to dispute authorship unless it’s something pretty egregious,” said one. Colleagues and the union that represents cancer institute faculty in employment disputes also say the animal care lapses Xie is charged with normally would not be firing offenses.Rutgers, through a university spokesperson, declined to answer questions about Xie’s termination or related matters and refused to make White available for an interview. But the school issued this statement: “We do not comment on specific personnel matters. Rutgers University has comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure that fair employment processes are followed.” Xie’s dismissal comes against a backdrop of increased scrutiny of the power structure in science. It also shines a light on the perennially fraught issue of how credit for authorship is designated in a hugely competitive environment in which prominent placement as an author propels young careers and sustains established ones. “The firing aside, the reason that these issues are so fraught is that careers, particularly early ones, can be made or broken by these sorts of authorship decisions,” says Steven Goodman, a clinical epidemiologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who studies how the publication process incentivizes and rewards scientists. “Authorship is a very crude instrument, a poor surrogate for the value of contributions,” he adds. “But it’s widely relied on. And that’s what raises the stakes.”A long-term relationship unravelsThe Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is considered the crown jewel of the medical school and bioscience entities that are part of The State University of New Jersey. White was recruited in 2005 as the institute’s associate director for basic science and has risen to become its second in command.Before coming to the United States, Xie earned an M.D. at Zunyi Medical University in China, and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology at Umeå University in Sweden. She began as a postdoc in the cancer institute lab of Joseph Bertino, working there from 2007 until she joined White’s lab in 2011. She was promoted in 2016 to instructor—a short-term faculty position below assistant professor that doesn’t necessarily involve teaching. Rutgers guidelines stipulate that instructors who are not promoted to assistant professor within 3 years ultimately lose their jobs.Beginning in 2013, Xie says, she set up hundreds of cages of mice engineered to lack autophagy. She inoculated the mice with melanoma cells and by late 2015, she says, she had powerful evidence that tumors grew more slowly in the autophagy-deficient mice. Xie combed the literature to try to find the biochemical explanation and, in a 31 May 2016 lab meeting, she proposed a research direction that, she says, no one else in the lab had offered. She also suggested new experiments to test it. (Xie provided Science with a Powerpoint version of her lab presentation.)At that meeting, says Xie, White insisted that she surrender the project to a postdoc who had arrived in the lab a few months earlier. That person conducted mouse experiments seemingly identical to those Xie had already conducted, although the grant supporting the postdoc specified that the person study lung cancer in a different mouse model, according to an abstract of the grant obtained by Science. The postdoc and colleagues then executed experiments including those that Xie had proposed in her presentation, she says, leading to the biochemical findings that are the centerpiece of the paper at Nature. The postdoc is now first author on the paper, which White has said is accepted, according to Xie. (In a statement, a Nature Research spokesperson said, “We are unable to comment on papers that may or may not be under consideration for publication in Nature.”)Xie first challenged White on authorship of the paper in an email on 26 March. Xie had been sent a draft of the paper in which the contributions section stated simply that she “assisted with tumor growth experiments.” She was listed as second author, after the postdoc. (That postdoc did not respond to repeated emails requesting an interview.) Xie argued in the email that she should share first authorship with the postdoc. Her email to White described “3 years of [my] very hard work,” her results, and her May 2016 Powerpoint proposing the research direction. Xie’s email stated: “I strongly protest this kind of unfair treatment, and I strongly believe that my discovery and contribution deserves more than the second authorship.”At a 8 May authorship meeting with White, Xie’s union representative, and Janice Mehnert, a cancer institute physician who was Xie’s direct supervisor, Xie repeated the arguments. On 15 August, 1 week after receiving notice that the university was instituting proceedings to terminate her, Xie notified Nature that she had not been given a chance to review and consent to the paper as it was submitted and that she had a complaint about the crediting of authors in the manuscript. In the statement to Science, a Nature Research spokesperson said: “Nature Research journal editors are not in a position to investigate or adjudicate authorship disputes before or after publication.”After Xie contacted Nature, White apparently crafted a written review of the authorship designation on the paper, which Science has obtained. It notes that in December 2015, Xie signed a letter promoting her to “instructor” and committing to 100% effort and salary on a grant not involving the autophagy work, under Mehnert. “Due to 100% effort on that grant,” the review states, “Xie was not involved in numerous meetings and discussions related to this project outside of lab meetings.” The authorship review adds that Xie “seems unaware that [the autophagy hypothesis] is the main topic of the [postdoc’s] fellowship” and “does not merit first authorship as the bulk of the work is being done by [the postdoc.]” It says Xie “was the only author that did not provide comments on the manuscript other than complaining about the description of her contribution to the work.”The review further argues that Xie was not involved at all with a paper published in August 2014 by others in White’s lab, pointing to autophagy in normal host cells as playing a role in tumor growth. White’s review also states that in early 2015, well before Xie’s November findings in the mice inoculated with melanoma, another lab colleague, working at White’s direction, had shown that lung tumors grow poorly in mice engineered to lack autophagy. Xie counters that those earlier results scarcely reached statistical significance, and says that is why, 1 year later, White asked the new postdoc to recreate Xie’s much more dramatic results in autophagy-incapable mice inoculated with melanoma.Mistreated mice?Xie challenges many of Rutgers’s stated reasons for firing her, both the alleged animal care violations and the missed meetings. The American Association of University Professors Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey in Newark, the cancer institute faculty union, also disputes the stated grounds. In a 21 September letter to senior Rutgers officials, the union wrote that the firing is retaliation for the authorship dispute and is “an orchestrated effort to force Dr. Xie out.” The letter added: “Dr. Xie’s past evaluations will show that following [animal care] protocols has never before been an issue. … It is simply not credible that a researcher who has served the institution admirably for eleven years would suddenly deviate from animal protocols without explanation.”The union communication noted that mice with melanoma are expected to get sick, and that many researchers besides Xie regularly receive the animal health concern “cards” that Rutgers has used of evidence of Xie’s purported negligence. Roger Johansen, the union’s president, added in an interview that, even if Xie failed to promptly put down mice as Rutgers alleges, “Usually for [animal care] violations, you retrain the person. You don’t fire them. Here they go from zero to 60 just like that.”A Rutgers official wrote in Xie’s 28 September termination letter that her lack of prior animal violations was “irrelevant” to the matter at hand. “You failed to euthanize the animals in a timely manner despite receiving directives to do so, and you failed to correct your practice … even after being told that you must adhere to the approved protocol.” The official, Lisa Bonick, executive director of Rutgers’s Office of Academic Labor Relations, added that the mice at issue had tumors larger than allowed under the experimental protocol, ulcerated tumors, or both. Bonick also wrote: “You were repeatedly told that you were not adhering to approval protocol via the issued animal health concern notices; emails from … veterinary staff, Dr. Mehnert and Dr. White; conversations with Dr. Mehnert, Dr. White and … veterinary staff; and meetings.”Xie says she was never interviewed or notified by veterinary staff or the university’s Animal Care and Use Committee that she had violated rules—receiving an animal health concern card is not listed as a violation but as a statement of needed action on Rutgers’s website—until after she received a letter on 7 August notifying her of the university’s intention to terminate her.Xie adds that emails between her and veterinary staff, to which she no longer has access, could make clear that she responded promptly to five animal health concern cards dated 8 May, 9 May, 4 June, 29 June, and 5 July; often, after receiving such a card, she emailed veterinary staff to note that she had euthanized an animal on their request, although such emails are not required. Rutgers refused requests from the union to make Xie’s emails available.The final daysIn Rutgers’s final termination letter to Xie on 28 September, Bonick dismissed the claim of retaliation, writing, “Dr. Mehnert and Dr. White made it very clear [during an 18 September hearing on the proposed termination] that it was important to them that you feel [sic] as though you were a valued member of the lab, and they therefore took your concerns seriously and looked into them very carefully. ” The letter says White enlisted two senior faculty members not involved with the upcoming paper to blindly review it. “Both individuals agreed with the authorship,” Bonick states.Rutgers also wrote that Xie had become “insubordinate” this spring and summer, failing to attend three meetings with White or Mehnert. Xie acknowledges missing one meeting, on 15 June—a meeting that Xie herself had requested, to amend an animal care protocol to allow open wounds on sick mice to be treated with antibiotics—forgetting about it while she was on the phone with her elderly mother, who was recently widowed in China. (At the time, she did not tell White or Mehnert why she forgot the meeting.)Xie says she sought out White with pictures and videos of sick mice for a second meeting, on 9 July, to discuss the care of the animals, but there was no specified time for the meeting. When she failed to find White in her lab, she decided to present the photos and videos at the next day’s lab meeting. Xie says she doesn’t recall being notified of a 19 July meeting with White and Mehnert to discuss her poor performance review, which was issued on 17 July. Bonick wrote in the termination letter that Xie “ignored” the 9 July meeting and “refused” to attend the 19 July meeting. Xie lost access to her Rutgers email, computer, and other documents on 7 August, and she was escorted out of the building.One of Xie’s colleagues is skeptical that the animal care violations were the real reason for her dismissal. “Having a sick card is really a minor thing. Even if you were to not follow up in a timely manner I don’t think it’s grounds for termination.” By Meredith WadmanOct. 9, 2018 , 12:55 PM Rutgers University last month terminated a veteran cancer scientist in retaliation, the researcher says, for challenging a powerful principal investigator on the authorship of a paper apparently accepted for publication in Nature. The researcher is now deciding whether to appeal her dismissal in arbitration through her union or to sue Rutgers.Xiaoqi Xie, 54, was fired on 28 September from a research job in the lab of Eileen White, deputy director and chief scientific officer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick. Xie, who had conducted research at the institute since 2007 and has worked in White’s lab since 2011, was cited in her termination letter for failing to do her job “effectively,” for “conduct unbecoming” a faculty member, and for “serious violation” of university policies, namely her alleged failure on five occasions between May and early July to promptly euthanize more than 20 sick mice being used to study melanoma—charges she disputes. In the letter, Rutgers also accuses her of missing three meetings with her bosses.The firing comes 6 months after Xie first challenged White’s decision to give another lab scientist sole first authorship on a paper, submitted in April to Nature and not yet published. That manuscript reveals a novel mechanism by which tumor growth is stunted when host animals are incapable of autophagy—the cell’s degrading and recycling of unneeded or damaged components. White is a leading authority on autophagy and has earned many scientific honors, including selection as an AAAS fellow. (AAAS is the publisher of ScienceInsider.)last_img read more

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This tiny waspinspired drone can pull 40 times its own weight

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Courtney MiceliOct. 24, 2018 , 2:00 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email FlyCroTug’s unprecedented strength gives it an advantage over other miniature drones, which—because of their size—can typically only survey their environment instead of actually interacting with it. That could make this new class of robots useful in everything from planting sensors in hard-to-reach spots in tall buildings and bridges, to removing debris in disaster zones.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country This tiny robot may look unassuming, but even at a mere 100 grams—about as heavy as a bar of soap—the FlyCroTug can pull up to 40 times its own weight, according to a new study.To create FlyCroTug—named for its flying, micro, tugging features—researchers took a cue from wasps. Typically, these insects use their stinger to subdue prey before transporting it back to their nest. If the prey is too heavy to fly with, some wasps plant their feet on the ground and pull their prey home. Similarly, when a payload is too heavy for flight—anything bigger than the robot itself—the FlyCroTug stays on terra firma, where it uses adhesives and tiny metal hooks called microspines to stick to a surface, and a powerful tether to tug on an object.Researchers demonstrated the FlyCroTug’s capabilities by anchoring it atop a partially collapsed building and having it haul up a bulky set of sensors to inspect small openings in the rubble. FlyCroTugs can also work together to open doors; one pulls the handle downward while sticking to the door itself, and another pulls the door open while anchored to the ground, the team reports today in Science Robotics. This tiny wasp-inspired drone can pull 40 times its own weightlast_img read more

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The Oldest Known Person in America Passes Away at the Age of

first_imgLessie Brown, believed to be the oldest person in America, died on January 9, 2018, at the age of 114. Brown’s daughter, Verline Wilson, confirmed with cleveland.com that she died at approximately 10:45 a.m. in her home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.She became the oldest person in the United States in May 2018 at 113, according to the Gerontology Research Group in Georgia.Sweet Happy birthday cakeUSA Today reported that Brown said in 2013 it was God’s will that she had lived so long. “Others in her family attributed her long life to the fact that she ate a sweet potato nearly every day until she was well past 100.”“Oh, I don’t know. A lot of them say it’s because I ate a lot of sweet potatoes, but I don’t think that’s it. I don’t know, God’s will,” she told WJW-TV when she celebrated her 109th birthday.Born in 1904 in Georgia, Lessie Brown grew up on a farm near Stockbridge. She was one of 12 children.Stockbridge City Hall. Photo by McFortner CC BY 3.0According to NPR, Brown’s grandparents were slaves in Georgia. Brown left school after the eighth grade, working full time on her parents’ farm. At 16 years old, the family moved to Cleveland.She married in her early twenties and had five children, three girls and two boys. Her husband, Robert Brown, died in 1991. They’d been married for 66 years.For more than 70 years, she attended Emmanuel Baptist Church in Cleveland.Brown’s daughter, Verline Wilson, told Cleveland.com that her mother responded, “That’s good,” when she told her in May 2018 that she was the country’s oldest person following the May 9, 2018, death of 114-year-old Delphine Gibson, of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, according to USA Today.President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sent Brown a letter on her 112th birthday, her grandson Ronald Wilson told the media.The Obama family“That meant a lot to her because in the era that she grew up in, she never thought she’d be able to vote for a black president,” he said. “But she did — twice.”While some supercentenarians — those who live to at least 110 years of age — have attributed their longevity to whiskey, Brown avoided alcohol, her family says.Her oldest daughter Vivian Hatcher told a TV reporter in May, “It’s her belief in God, and he’s allowed this, and I’m thankful for that. We’ve been together for years and I’m grateful.”“She is such a Godly woman,” granddaughter Gayle Chambers told Cleveland Magazine. “She inspired all of her kids and grandkids, including me, how to pray. She even prayed on her knees at the side of her bed until she couldn’t kneel anymore.”Read another story from us: The Oldest Generation of People to Ever be PhotographedAccording to the Gerontology Research Group, there are now 34 remaining supercentenarians worldwide whose age has been validated; all but one of them are women, reported NPR. The oldest living person is Kane Tanaka of Japan, who recently turned 116.Tanaka said the secrets to a long life are family, sleep, and hope.last_img read more

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Road to Hell4 Despite peoples plight councillors are mum on bad roads

first_img Related News Post Comment(s) Best Of Express Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Chandigarh reels under traffic; war over Metro on for five years Panchkula, Panchkula roads, Panchkula roads recarpeting, Panchkula Municipal Corporation, Panchkula news According to traffic police records, 31 persons were killed in 30 road accidents between January 1 to May 31 this year. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh/Representational)WHILE THE public grapple with bad roads in the city, receiving no relief despite insisting that the matter needs urgent redressal, councillors have remained silent on the issue at crucial Municipal Corporation House meetings, which are held every month. Chandigarh: Traffic cops turn up to fix potholes Advertising Advertisingcenter_img Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: July 18, 2019 8:37:34 am According to traffic police records, 31 persons were killed in 30 road accidents between January 1 to May 31 this year. Of them, 17 were two-wheeler riders, and nine were pedestrians.Former councillor Subhash Chawla alleged that this silence had its roots in ‘’vested interests’’. “I have been the mayor twice and have been in the corporation for ten years. I can say on record that 90 per cent councillors never raise questions on the wrongdoings in road construction…rather there is pressure on engineers to get the work done quickly for reasons known to them. I commute in Chandigarh daily and there is no road which doesn’t have a construction defect. There should be a vigilance inquiry into this road business. I don’t understand why senior officers are keeping mum,” he added.Mayor Rajesh Kalia however said, “What can councillors do…contractors are working in cahoots with officers and they listen to them alone…a single contractor is given work at five-odd places…I have learnt that even if 20 per cent work is done, they release payment for 40 per cent).’’ Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off When the roads go down Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla claimed he had raised questions in the MC House about the poor quality of roads. “Even today I wrote to the commissioner that roads in Sector 30 have got eroded in three years even when their life is supposed to be at least five years. They are wasting money even today. Once I even took samples of a road, but my mistake was that I gave them to officials for inspection and they got it done as per their convenience. I should have got the samples tested on my own,” he added.Local BJP councillor Farmila told Newsline that the roads at Dadumajra were being constructed in a “defective manner”.“Unhone sadak ko khurcha bhi nahi, ussi tooti sadak pe maal daal rahe the. Maine JE, SDO ko bola ki ye to galat hai…to kehte aap ko technical knowledge nahi hai…maine bola ki mujhe itna pata hai ki sadak ko pehle ache se khurachte hain…uske baad maal daalte hain…(They did not even scrape the road properly, they started pouring a bitumen mix on the same old road. I told the JE and SDO that it was wrong, but they said I don’t have technical knowledge,’’ she added.Farmila said that after merely two days, the road started getting chipped. “It was then that I took on the engineers and they halted the work. I have told them that if the roads are not laid with honesty, I will get them made all over again,” she claimed. Roads in Dadumajra were being re-carpeted in the rainy season. The work has now been halted.Councillor Kainth complains to CBICouncillor Satish Kainth has marked a complaint to Chief Vigilance Officer and CBI, asking them to inquire into alleged corruption in a project of purchasing road quality testing machines worth lakhs, and “illegal purchase” of a Bolero for an SDO instead of a Tata Ace vehicle meant to mount these machines.Newsline had reported how these new testing machines, which were purchased for over Rs 30 lakh, were found dumped in a corner of the basement of the civic body’s building in Sector 17. It was also found that instead of the Tata Ace vehicle which was approved by the House to mount these machines, civic officials had allegedly purchased a Bolero for an SDO. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies last_img read more

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Case against TRS MLA son for obstructing forest officials

first_img Related News Telangana, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, TRS MLA booked, TRS MLA obstructing forest officials, Telanagna forest officials attacked, V Venkateshwara Rao, Raghav Rao, Indian express “Forest officials were digging to plant saplings and constructing a wall to prevent encroachment of forest land when several people arrived there and confronted the forest officials. MLA Venkateshwara Rao and his son arrived and asked us to leave. When we were leaving they started filling up the trenches,” M R Rao said. (Representational Image)Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislator V Venkateshwara Rao and his son Raghav Rao have been booked by police for obstructing forest officials during an afforestation drive. Advertising Telangana forest officer assaulted: ‘MLA, brothers have history of assaulting government officials’ Day after attack, Telangana forest official says want to join work soon By Express News Service |Hyderabad | Published: July 3, 2019 3:09:01 am “The forest officers asked them to stop as it amounts to encroaching forest land but they got into an argument and a few persons assaulted the two officials,” Jha said.Based on the officials’ complaint, a case has been registered at Mulakapalli Police Station against six persons, SP Sunil Dutt said. “We will take strict action against anyone involved in attacking or preventing government officers from doing their duty. We have told forest officials to inform us before going to disputed sites so that we can provide police protection,” Dutt said. A case against the Kothagudem MLA and his son was registered on Tuesday at Lakshmidevipally Police Station for stopping forest officials led by Deputy Forest Officer M R Rao from doing their duty at Lothuvag village in Telangana’s Bhadradri Kothagudem district on Monday.“Forest officials were digging to plant saplings and constructing a wall to prevent encroachment of forest land when several people arrived there and confronted the forest officials. MLA Venkateshwara Rao and his son arrived and asked us to leave. When we were leaving they started filling up the trenches,” M R Rao said.In another incident in the same district, two forest officials were beaten up by villagers late Monday night. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) P K Jha said that the two officers had gone to Gundalapadu village after receiving information that some people had started cultivating on forest land in Mulakalapalli forest division. Advertising Week after assault by TRS MLA’s brother, Telangana forest official gets armed security 0 Comment(s)last_img read more

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