Six months ago, when he announced he was ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, President Donald Trump identified March 5th as the deadline for Congress to work out a permanent solution for DACA recipients facing deportation. Federal courts have since intervened and allowed the renewal of existing DACA permits while the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reviews the White House decision to wind down the program.Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released a statement on the passing of today’s deadline for the (DACA) program;“I am disappointed that Congress has failed to implement a legislative solution for DACA recipients by the President’s deadline,” said Rep. Newhouse. “I advocated for Congress to act quickly so that DACA beneficiaries would not be left in uncertainty. Today’s deadline, marked by inaction, is a bitter disappointment to every DACA beneficiary who has worked and hoped for urgent action. 18,000 DACA recipients in Washington state find themselves in continuous legal limbo, and I urge my colleagues to come together to give them certainty. Just because federal courts are allowing existing permits to be renewed does not mean that Congress should continue to delay and be subjected to demands from the extremes in this debate. The only solution that can pass Congress – and be signed into law by the President – is one that balances legal certainty for DACA recipients with securing the border.” The immigration battle in the courtsTwo separate federal court injunctions have effectively halted the president’s rescission of the DACA program with the judges ordering the Department of Justice to maintain the current program as it was before Trump’s announcement last September.In January, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction that prompted U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to begin taking DACA renewal applications again.Since then, DACA policy for renewals has been operating on the Obama-era terms that were in place before it was rescinded.And in February, a federal judge in New York issued another preliminary injunction that also blocked Trump’s efforts to end the program.Currently, new applications are not being accepted but there were approximately 22,000 initial DACA grant requests pending as of January 31, 2018.
Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/six_years_of_exercise____or_lack_of_it____may_be_enough_to_change_heart_failure_risk May 15 2018By analyzing reported physical activity levels over time in more than 11,000 American adults, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conclude that increasing physical activity to recommended levels over as few as six years in middle age is associated with a significantly decreased risk of heart failure, a condition that affects an estimated 5 million to 6 million Americans.The same analysis found that as little as six years without physical activity in middle age was linked to an increased risk of the disorder.Unlike heart attack, in which heart muscle dies, heart failure is marked by a long-term, chronic inability of the heart to pump enough blood, or pump it hard enough, to bring needed oxygen to the body. The leading cause of hospitalizations in those over 65, the disorder’s risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and a family history.”In everyday terms our findings suggest that consistently participating in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week, such as brisk walking or biking, in middle age may be enough to reduce your heart failure risk by 31 percent,” says Chiadi Ndumele, M.D., M.H.S., the Robert E. Meyerhoff Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the senior author of a report on the study. “Additionally, going from no exercise to recommended activity levels over six years in middle age may reduce heart failure risk by 23 percent.”The researchers caution that their study, described in the May 15 edition of the journal Circulation, was observational, meaning the results can’t and don’t show a direct cause-and-effect link between exercise and heart failure. But they say the trends observed in data gathered on middle-aged adults suggest that it may never be too late to reduce the risk of heart failure with moderate exercise.”The population of people with heart failure is growing because people are living longer and surviving heart attacks and other forms of heart disease,” says Roberta Florido, M.D., cardiology fellow at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. “Unlike other heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, we don’t have specifically effective drugs to prevent heart failure, so we need to identify and verify effective strategies for prevention and emphasize these to the public.” There are drugs used to treat heart failure, such as beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, but they are essentially “secondary” prevention drugs, working to reduce the heart’s workload after dysfunction is already there.Several studies, Florido says, suggest that in general people who are more physically active have lower risks of heart failure than those who are less active, but little was known about the impact of changes in exercise levels over time on heart failure risk.For example, if you are sedentary most of your life but then start exercising in middle age, does that decrease your risk of heart failure? Or, if you are active much of your life but then stop being active at middle age, will that increase your risk?To address those questions, the researchers used data already gathered from 11,351 participants in the federally funded, long term Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, recruited from 1987 to 1989 in Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; greater Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Washington County, Maryland.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesThe participants’ average age was 60, 57 percent were women and most were either white or African-American.Participants were monitored annually for an average of 19 years for cardiovascular disease events such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure using telephone interviews, hospital records and death certificates. Over the course of the study there were 1,693 hospitalizations and 57 deaths due to heart failure.In addition to those measures, at the first and third ARIC study visits (six years apart), each participant filled out a questionnaire, which asked them to evaluate their physical activity levels, which were then categorized as poor, intermediate or “recommended,” in alignment with guidelines issued by the American Heart Association.The “recommended” amount is at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity or at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise. One to 74 minutes per week of vigorous intensity or one to 149 minutes per week of moderate exercise per week counted as intermediate level activity. And physical activity qualified as “poor” if there was no exercise at all.After the third visit, 42 percent of participants (4,733 people) said they performed recommended levels of exercise; 23 percent (2,594 people) said they performed intermediate levels; and 35 percent (4,024 people) said they had poor levels of activity. From the first to the third visit over about six years, 24 percent of participants increased their physical activity, 22 percent decreased it and 54 percent stayed in the same category.Those with recommended activity levels at both the first and third visits showed the highest associated heart failure risk decrease, at 31 percent compared with those with consistently poor activity levels.Heart failure risk decreased by about 12 percent in the 2,702 participants who increased their physical activity category from poor to intermediate or recommended, or from intermediate to recommended, compared with those with consistently poor or intermediate activity ratings.Conversely, heart failure risk increased by 18 percent in the 2,530 participants who reported decreased physical activity from visit one to visit three, compared with those with consistently recommended or intermediate activity levels.Next, the researchers determined how much of an increase in exercise, among those initially doing no exercise, was needed to reduce the risk of future heart failure. Exercise was calculated as METs (metabolic equivalents), where one MET is 1 kilocalorie per kilogram per hour. Essentially, sitting watching television is 1 MET, fast walking is 3 METs, jogging is 7 METs and jumping rope is 10 METs. The researchers calculated outcomes in METs times the number of minutes of exercise.The researchers found that each 750 MET minutes per week increase in exercise over six years reduced heart failure risk by 16 percent. And each 1,000 MET minutes per week increase in exercise was linked to a reduction in heart failure risk by 21 percent.According to the American Heart Association, fewer than 50 percent of Americans get recommended activity levels.
Jul 9 2018The Lipids & Liver group at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country is stepping up research into liver diseases that affect a significant proportion of the populationOne of the lines of research of the UPV/EHU’s Lipids & Liver group, which focusses on the mechanisms involved in the development and progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is achieving significant advances in a range of aspects; these include the identification of proteins that alter the metabolic pathways in the development and progression of liver disease, and even cancer, and the seeking of targets to enable the disease to be reversed.According to the latest figures, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects 30% of the general population, and this percentage rises to between 70% and 80% in certain risk groups, such as obese patients, patients with diabetes, etc., due to the fact that the latter is linked to metabolic diseases. The disease begins with a simple build-up of fat or lipid in the liver which in principle may be benign but which in some patients may progress and lead to hepatitis, steatohepatitis, because of its inflammation, and this is a risk factor for developing hepatic cirrhosis and even liver cancer. Right now, there is no specific treatment for this disease, and owing to the current high prevalence of obesity and diabetes, it is forecast that within a few years liver cancer cases caused by this fat storage could soar, as could the number of transplants caused by non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.The Lipids & Liver research group in the department of Physiology at the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Medicine and Nursing is working to find out what mechanisms are involved in the development and progression of liver diseases, and mainly the mechanisms related to alterations linked to lipid (fat) metabolism. Specifically, one of the group’s lines of research, which focusses on the study of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is involved in research that aims to “find out why the disease develops in some patients and not others; to find evolution markers that can provide us with a prognosis as to which patients are going to develop the disease; and to find not only hepatic markers (that can be obtained through biopsy) but also serum markers, which by means of simple blood tests can say which phase the patient is in”, explained Dr Patricia Aspichueta, head of the line of research.The liver is the metabolic center of the whole bodyBasically, the members of the research group are focussing on the study of lipid metabolism in the liver, in other words, on the chemical reactions in which they are formed or consumed. To do this, they work with animal models in which a gene has been silenced and to which different diets and treatments designed to induce the disease are given, and once a target in the animal model has been confirmed or identified, they proceed to validate it in human samples. What is more, they also work with in vitro or cell models, “because there it is easier to find out in which cell the metabolism has been damaged, modified or altered, we can play around with different drugs, different inducers, and it is easier to silence specific metabolic pathways, etc.”, explained Aspichueta.Related StoriesNew findings offer pathway for fight against non-alcoholic fatty liver diseaseAASLD Foundation awards $3.42 million for liver disease research and advanced hepatology trainingLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsThe members of the group are studying different molecules or targets involved in various liver disease processes. Aspichueta specifies some of the pathways that they have open in the research group: “Firstly, we want to identify the proteins that alter the metabolic pathways and which supply the liver with more lipid. We want to find out why this lipid store forms, and why the store causes the disease to progress to phases such as cancer, even. It is important to know which players are involved in these processes to be able to silence them and see if the disease is reversed.” They are also exploring the involvement of lipids in liver regeneration, “a hugely important perspective with respect to patients who have had a portion of their liver removed, because the liver is the only organ that regains its normal size”. In another of the studies they are exploring “how the liver controls adipose tissue, and how by modulating liver function we can get animals to lose weight”.Aspichueta confirms that they have found “an important therapeutic target that modulates the metabolism and the progression of the disease”. They have induced the development of liver cancer associated with obesity in animal models in which this protein has been silenced and “we have seen that the animals do not develop the disease at all: neither liver cancer nor the fat store. It’s amazing,” said the doctor. Now “we are working on human samples of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to validate the involvement of these proteins in human pathology”. The researchers are aiming to find targets that control several metabolic pathways at the same time, “because the metabolic alteration does not take place in a single pathway, rather a decompensation takes place, the metabolism becomes unbalanced and various pathways are affected,” she concluded. The liver is the metabolic center, and if we control the liver we can control many disorders associated with this liver disease”. Source:https://www.ehu.eus/en/-/gibel-gantzatsuaren-gaixotasun-ez-alkoholikoa-jomugan
UC San Diego Program for Career Development in Glycosciences Johns Hopkins-Cleveland Clinic Program for Career Development in Glycosciences (Johns Hopkins University, Cleveland Clinic) BloodCenter of Wisconsin Program for Career Development in Glycosciences (BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Blood Research Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, Virginia Commonwealth University and Roswell Park Cancer Institute) Harvard Program for Career Development in Glycosciences (Harvard University) Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 30 2018Over the next five years, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, will award approximately $20 million to four academic centers to launch a new national Career Development Consortium for Excellence in Glycosciences: As part of the consortium, University of California San Diego will receive approximately $5 million over five years for its own Program for Career Development in Glycosciences. UC San Diego was also chosen to lead the consortium’s national administrative coordinating unit.All life forms on Earth contain four basic building blocks: nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), proteins, lipids (including fats) and glycans (simple and complex carbohydrates). While almost everyone has heard of DNA, RNA and proteins, people typically associate fats and carbohydrates with unhealthy food and obesity. But life requires that all four components work together in various combinations. Mounting evidence also suggests glycans play important roles in human development, health and disease, and should be taken into account when new therapeutics are designed and tested.”Since the molecular biology revolution of the 1980s and 1990s, most biomedical research has focused on DNA, RNA and proteins,” said Ajit Varki, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “Meanwhile, glycans have become the ‘dark matter’ of the biological universe — pervasive and critical, yet largely ignored by most researchers. As a result, our understanding of glycosciences, including glycan evolution, biological roles and clinical significance, have lagged far behind.”Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerVarki is also adjunct professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, co-director of the UC San Diego/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny and co-director of the UC San Diego Glycobiology Research and Training Center, which will manage the new program.Varki will lead the cross-disciplinary UC San Diego Program for Career Development in Glycosciences with Jeff Esko, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Kamil Godula, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.”Our new training program is an attempt to correct this anomaly in the history of biomedical science by making glycoscience more accessible, transforming the field from a super-specialized research domain to an integrated part of mainstream biology,” said Esko, co-director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center.The UC San Diego program will recruit and train as many as 18 early career glycoscientists over the next five years. Program applicants must be recent graduates with MD, PhD or MD/PhD degrees able to commit to one to three years of rigorous coursework in glycosciences while completing research with an approved program mentor — one of 19 established UC San Diego faculty members studying various biological, chemical and biomedical aspects of glycans.Trainees will also have access to leading-edge glycan research technologies in the GlycoAnalytics Core at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and opportunities to rotate in collaborating laboratories, network with visiting scholars and participate in local, national and international symposia.”Our goal is to develop a cadre of biomedical researchers who will drive forward much needed glycoscience-based solutions to a large variety of life-threatening and debilitating diseases,” Godula said.Source: https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/new_national_training_program_aims_to_mainstream_glycosciences
Watch a moth drink tears from a bird’s eye In November 2017, ecologist Leandro Moraes of the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus, Brazil, was in the middle of a research expedition in central Amazonia when he spotted something strange: a black-chinned antbird (Hypocnemoides melanopogon) resting on a branch with an erebid moth (Gorgone macarea) on the back of its neck. The moth was probing one of the bird’s eyes with its proboscis and appeared to be drinking from it. About 45 minutes later, Moraes came across a different moth drinking from the eye of another resting antbird.Butterflies and bees also drink the eye secretions of other animals—butterflies are partial to basking crocodiles, whereas bees like turtle tears. But fast-moving birds are unlikely hosts for these insects. At night though, the metabolism of birds drops; that’s when nocturnal moths exploit their tears, Moraes speculates.The moths probably acquire nutrients such as sodium and proteins from eye secretions of these birds, Moraes reports this week in Ecology. By sitting still on a resting bird’s back and using their long proboscis to reach its eyes, they avoid disturbing the bird, all the while maintaining a safe distance. By Richa MalhotraSep. 21, 2018 , 2:40 PM
Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family “Boyz” was critically acclaimed, a box office smash (over $57 million in the U.S.) and nominated for two Oscars (best director and best writing, screenplay written directly for the screen). Singleton became the youngest and first Black person to receive a best director nod. In 2002, the Library of Congress called the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and it is now preserved in the National Film Registry.Nearly three decades later, the film is still relevant on topics of police brutality, gentrification, race and more. The dynamic characters written by Singleton prove that not enough has changed from nearly three decades ago. Check out some of the unforgettable, educational and powerful moments below.Furious Styles, played by Laurence Fishburne, gives an epic speech on gentrification and guns.Furious Styles giving tips on being a father. 95 Photos Of Black People Marching For Our Lives Doughboy, played by Ice Cube, on how the media ignores the ‘hood.This film is certainly a classic.Singleton checked himself in a hospital after experiencing weakness in his leg. He had a stroke on April 17, which was alleged to be “mild.” Reportedly, he flown back from Costa Rica and the plane flight may have triggered the medical emergency.Get well soon, John Singleton.SEE ALSO:Trump-Supporting DA Calls ‘Ghetto’ Maxine Waters A ‘Bitch,’ Can’t Believe She Hasn’t Been ShotThis Colin Kaepernick Retweet Says Everything You Need To Know About The NFL Players’ Anthem GrievanceMeet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s Clothes The reminder that it is not only white cops who are anti-Black.Reva Styles, played by Angela Bassett, putting Furious’ misogyny in check. Bassett had been working in Hollywood for yeas but this one of the many moments that made us all fall in love with her.Ricky, played by Morris Chestnut, gets shot — grab a tissue. One of the greatest tear-jerking moments in cinematic history. More By NewsOne Staff Boyz N The Hood , Ice Cube , John Singleton The legendary John Singleton was declared dead on Monday when his family removed him from life support after the filmmaker suffered a stroke recently. In honor of his legacy, we are looking back on the 51-year-old’s debut film, “Boyz n the Hood.”See Also: John Singleton’s Family Feuds Over His Money Amid Filmmaker’s Poor HealthDirected and written by a then 23-year-old John Singleton, “Boyz n the Hood” hit theaters on July 2, 1991. The film, which starred up-and-coming actors Regina King, Nia Long, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Angela Basset, Laurence Fishburne and many more, tackled life in South Central, Los Angeles during the 1980s. Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’
Easter Island is home to 887 monolithic carvings, called moai statues. The moai were built by the Rapa Nui, who were native to the island, somewhere between the years 1400-1650.The largest of the moai weigh up to 86 tons and can be as much as 30 feet tall, although the average size is about half that big, according to Easter Island Travel.The statues are made from volcanic tuff, which is partially fused and cemented volcanic ash, which means it’s fairly easy to shape, but also extremely heavy.Moai statues on Easter Island.It was quarried up the slope of the extinct volcano on the island.It’s assumed that the statues were mostly carved while lying flat on their backs, with the backs only finished when the statue was complete and set upright.There are around 1,000 statues on the island.When the statues were finished, islanders would place them around the island.There are some theories suggesting that they were moved to their final resting places using platforms rolled on logs, but other theories suggest that the finished works could have been rocked and “walked” to their final positions, using just manpower and rope.Rano Raraku Quarry is the site on the side of a dormant volcano, where all the moai on the island were carved. It was a working quarry all the way to the early 18th century. 397 moai still remain on the site at various stages of completion.Many of the statues were first thought to just be enormous heads or head-and-shoulders busts, but research shows they are far more than that.First and foremost, archaeologists have discovered that the statues that appeared to be just heads are actually attached to bodies, according to Forbes.Over the centuries since the statues were erected, sediment and rocks from upslope have slowly buried the statues, leaving only the heads visible.Moai in Rapa Nui National Park on the slopes of Rano Raruku volcano on Easter Island, Chile.A group of archaeologists from UCLA started the Easter Island Project, and have been excavating the buried forms.That may explain how the statues came to be, but why did they end up placed where they did?Mysterious Easter Island monumentsNewsweek reported that another group of researchers, headed by anthropologist Carl Lipo, is answering that question. Lipo has been studying the Rapa Nui and why they disappeared from the island for the past 20 years.One of the issues which sparked his curiosity was how a population managed to survive on an island with so little drinking water. Average rainfall for the island is only about 48 inches a year, and there aren’t a lot of springs or other freshwater sources.Lipo and his colleagues began doing field studies to try to figure out how the Rapa Nui might have used the brackish groundwater that comes up along coastlines.Rapa Nui Dancers, Easter Island.There were historical accounts that the Rapa Nui drank brackish water, but nothing to indicate where they accessed it.Their surveys found several places where brackish water could be obtained, but the really interesting thing was that the moai statues seemed to be placed where there was water that was fit to drink.It has stood at the east side of Rapa Nui for hundreds of yearsLipo said “The more we looked, the more consistently we saw this pattern. Places without ahu/moai showed no fresh water. The pattern was striking, and surprising in how consistent it was. Even when we find ahu/moai in the interior of the island, we find nearby sources of drinking water. That was a real surprise.”Lipo noted that the issue of why the monoliths had been built has always been a central mystery about the civilization which used to inhabit the island.Moai at Ahu Tongariki by the Rapa Nui people, Easter Island, Eastern Polynesia, Chile.It would be logical to expect that the statues should all be placed in spots where they would be easy to see, especially to outsiders, but that’s not necessarily the case.Using them as markers of vital natural resources, however, helps explain a lot about their placement.It’s his hope that the new insight into the placement of the stones can help scientists unravel more of the mysteries of the statues, but also the culture which created them.Read another story from us: Archaeologists Discover the Oldest Library in GermanyThe Rapa Nui civilization was decimated by the diseases and slave raiding brought by European explorers, but before that, the culture managed to survive for five hundred years in a remote environment with very few natural resources. Lipo would like to be able to further unravel just how they managed to do it.
ShareTweetSharePinA vehicle on fire following a traffic collision at Grand SavanneA collision involving two vehicles occurred on a section of road at Grand Savanne, Salsibury last night (Friday April 27, 2019), according to information reaching Dominica News Online (DNO).According to the reports, one of the vehicles caught fire.The reports also indicate that there was an explosion shortly after the accident.DNO was later informed that the road, which was blocked to vehicular traffic as a result of the accident, was cleared a little more than two hours later.We have received no information about the occupants of the vehicles and whether any one was injured in the accident.Video Playerhttps://dominicanewsonline.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/WhatsApp-Video-2019-04-26-at-8.12.20-PM.mp400:0000:0000:30Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.
These inspections and report “concluded” that “no press has been functioning” on the premises “for at least 10 years, misuse of land outside the primary purpose” and “100% shares transferred to other company violates” the relevant provisions of the law.The Land and Development Office said this in its reply to an appeal filed in the apex court by The Associated Journals Ltd, which publishes the Congress party mouthpiece ‘National Herald, challenging the February 28, 2019 judgment of Delhi High Court upholding the eviction order.The affidavit stated that Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971, under which the order was made, was a complete code in itself and the jurisdiction of the SC in the matter would be limited.The Office stated, “It is submitted that this court has on numerous occasions refused to exercise its writ jurisdiction in matter concerning PP Act. It is therefore submitted that concerning the factual conspectus, this case would not be an appropriate case to exercise the writ jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court, especially as there has admittedly not been any breach of principles of natural justice nor has the Order dated 30.10.2018 been passed without jurisdiction.” Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Chandrayaan-2 launch on July 22 at 2.43 pm: ISRO Advertising By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2019 2:45:36 am 0 Comment(s) The Herald House building in New Delhi. (file)The Land and Development Office of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has told the Supreme Court that its October 30, 2018 order directing taking over of the Herald House in the national capital was “well reasoned” and came after “multiple inspections and report by a special three-member committee”. Top News P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies
Source:http://www.umn.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 12 2018In a Policy Forum article appearing in the Oct. 12 issue of Science, leading bioethics and legal scholars sound the alarm about a recent report from National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The Academies’ report on “Returning Individual Research Results to Participants” makes recommendations on how to share research results and data with people who agree to participate in research studies and calls for problematic changes to federal law. This report proclaims its support for research participants’ rights but, in reality, creates major new roadblocks to the return of data and results to participants and would roll back important privacy protections people have under current law, according to the analysis in the new Science article.The article’s authors, Susan M. Wolf and Barbara J. Evans, collaborated as part of the “LawSeqSM: Building a Sound Legal Foundation for Translating Genomics into Clinical Application” project funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute and National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Wolf is the McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy; Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law; and Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota and is Chair of the University’s Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences. Evans is the Mary Ann and Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director of the Center for Biotechnology & Law at the University of Houston.”Researchers conducting imaging, environmental health, and genetics studies have offered participants their research findings for years,” Wolf and Evans point out. Research participants value access to their results for a wide range of reasons, including protecting their health, and evaluating the privacy risks posed by circulation of their data. People value access to results even when the results are still under study and may be uncertain. Over the past 20 years, researchers have developed pathways for returning results in situations where the results raise clinical concerns, such as suggesting that the person may have a medical condition that needs clinical follow-up evaluation. These pathways are ethically sound and protect the participants’ safety by ensuring compliance with necessary laws and regulations. Unfortunately, the Policy Forum article asserts, “the Academies’ report rejects this widely supported, legally sound approach” and instead recommends restrictions on access to research results and data.Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchResearch on cannabis use in women limited, finds new studyComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchWolf and Evans write that, “Efforts to turn back the clock on return of results appear rooted in confusion about the law.” The Academies’ report incorporates incorrect statements about the federal CLIA legal framework, which aims to ensure the quality of laboratory tests conducted for health care purposes.The report overstates the degree to which research laboratories can be regulated under the CLIA statute.The Academies’ report also conflicts with existing federal privacy laws that protect research participants’ access to their own data. For more than 50 years, Congress has treated individual access to one’s own data as an essential element of personal privacy protection, as seen in the Privacy Act that protects data stored in governmental databases, the HIPAA Privacy Rule that protects Americans’ medical privacy, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act that expanded HIPAA’s protections to genetic information. Only by seeing the personal data collected can an individual assess the privacy risks involved. Yet the Academies’ report recommends that an individual’s access to their data be restricted to the subset of data that meets certain quality standards. Wolf and Evans explain how this would undermine federal privacy protections, which recognize that privacy can be put at risk even by low- quality data and data that is wrongly attributed to a person.Finally, the Policy Forum article criticizes the Academies’ recommendation to load multiple decisions about return of results on Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). This would place “substantial new burdens on IRBs, despite extensive literature on the limits of IRB decision making.” The report “maximizes the burden on IRBs by mischaracterizing existing consensus guidelines and suggesting that IRBs start over.”Wolf and Evans conclude, “The Academies’ report endorses the idea of participant access to results and data, but then builds daunting barriers. The report rejects established legal rights of access, two decades of consensus guidelines, and abundant data showing that participants benefit from access while incurring little risk. The report too often prefers paternalistic silence over partnership.””True progress on return of results requires accepting participants’ established rights of access and respecting the value that participants place on broad access to their data and results. The next step is not to build barriers but to promote transparency.”
Source:https://www.hptn.org/news-and-events/press-releases/hptn-075-study-demonstrates-high-rate-of-hiv-infection-among-african Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 24 2018Researchers from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) today presented results from the HPTN 075 Study at the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) conference in Madrid, Spain. The study evaluated the feasibility of HIV prevention research among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) in three countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Findings from the study showed participants were at an alarming risk for getting HIV. The incidence among study participants was substantially higher than the estimated incidence among heterosexual men and women in the general population in the same countries.”Several studies have shown the burden of HIV is quite high among MSM and TGW, but little is known about the rate of new infections, or HIV incidence, among these groups in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Theo Sandfort, PhD, HPTN 075 protocol chair and research scientist, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University in New York. “The exceptionally high HIV incidence we found indicates an urgent need for increased access to HIV prevention approaches that consider all the factors that put this vulnerable population at such high risk.”Related StoriesHIV therapy leaves unrepaired holes in the immune system’s wall of defenseHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsA total of 401 MSM and TGW, regardless of HIV infection status, were enrolled at four sites in Kenya, Malawi and South Africa. Each participant was followed for 12 months, during which five study visits were conducted. These visits included interviewing participants about behaviors that may put them at risk for HIV infection, medical examinations and collection of blood samples. Of the 401 enrolled, 329 were HIV-negative at the time of enrollment. By the end of the study, 21 of them had become infected with HIV. This translates to an overall incidence rate of 6.96 per 100 person-years. Incidence rates differed substantially by study site: Malawi: 1.3; Kenya: 3.75; Soweto, South Africa: 8.97; and Cape Town, South Africa: 14.44.”HPTN 075 provides compelling findings that indicate an urgent need for further HIV prevention studies for men who have sex with men and transgender women in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Wafaa El-Sadr MD, MPH, MPA, HPTN co-principal investigator and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University in New York. “These studies must examine the realities in which these groups exist and develop integrated intervention strategies that are effective and feasible.””MSM and TGW in sub-Saharan Africa face distinct structural barriers to accessing HIV prevention and treatment,” said Myron Cohen, MD, HPTN co-principal investigator and director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases in Chapel Hill, NC. “The HPTN is poised to tackle these barriers as we prioritize this population in our prevention agenda.”
Source:https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 30 2019A study conducted by Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania sheds light on the factors that influence young people’s access to and use of alcohol, and subsequent engagement in safe or unsafe sexual behaviors. The results showed that alcohol use intersects with a spatial dimension in relation to where youths are consuming alcohol and subsequently engaging in sex which, in turn, influences their likelihood of using condoms and practicing safer sex. The findings are published online in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.”Our study aimed to understand the spaces in which young people are engaging in sex after drinking alcohol, the ways in which space is influenced by social and cultural perspectives and the economic realities of their lives and, that in turn, influence their likelihood of using condoms in such contexts,” said first author Marni Sommer, DrPH, RN, associate professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia Mailman School.The researchers explored the experiences and perspectives of 177 adolescent girls and boys in and out of school in four sites across Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These included in-depth interviews with the adolescents as well as adults; mapping alcohol density outlets and advertising around schools and youth centers, and participatory activities conducted with adolescent boys and girls in and out of school.Very frequently described spaces for sex after alcohol included guesthouses and rented rooms–both articulated as spaces more likely to be used when there was some advance planning or preparation with regard to the likelihood of a sexual encounter after drinking. Young people said these spaces were preferred for their convenience, comfort, and for the ready availability of condoms. By contrast, youth described a range of situations in which they might have sex after drinking and no condoms would be available, such as cars, toilets in bars, the beach, classrooms after school, and alleys.Young people described gendered norms around adolescent girls’ ability to be away from home, with the expectation that they return to their houses by a certain hour, added an additional pressure of time that pushed for more rushed sex in whatever convenient spaces might exist after drinking. Poorer youth may also be more likely to engage in “rushed sex” due to cost of safer spaces, such as guesthouses.Related StoriesPeople use executive control processes to ignore cues that signal something rewardingQuitting drinking may improve health-related quality of life for womenRomantic relationships can alter the impact of genetic influences on alcohol outcomesThe alcohol context in Tanzania, as in many sub-Saharan African countries, has been under-studied, despite data indicating heavy episodic drinking (21 percent males; 14 percent females) among Tanzanians. Sommer and colleagues felt it was important to conduct research to better understand the ways in which the use of alcohol among young people in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly those with a high-density of alcohol outlets, is intersecting with their sexual encounters, and how this dynamic is influencing the practice of safer sex.An earlier study led by Sommer and Dr. Sylvia Kaaya at MUHAS of adolescent boys in rural and urban Tanzania revealed the intense peer pressure boys experience from older adolescent boys and men to consume alcohol to demonstrate their manhood, and how the use of alcohol helped them to overcome their shyness around approaching or “seducing” girls.Unique to the latest study was the inclusion of adolescent girls and boys in a range of participatory activities, such as photovoice, mapping, and story writing, that enabled insights into the alcohol-sex dynamics from the perspectives of young people themselves.Sommer recommends that future research identify new and innovative ways to assure that condoms are more widely accessible for youth engaging in sex. She also sees a critical need for structural and environmental interventions that both reduce youth access to alcohol, and increase the availability and accessibility of condoms in spaces and situations where alcohol is sold or consumed.”It is key to keep youth at the center of public health research focused on improving their sexual and reproductive health,” said Sommer. “They are the knowers of their own lives, and often have the most useful insights for how to best address the vulnerabilities they encounter in daily life.”
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 18 2019In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (Special Issue on Stable Ischemic Heart Disease, Volume 3, Number 3, 2019, pp. 291-296(6); DOI: https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2017.0072 Juan R. Vilaro from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA considers stable ischemic heart disease in the older adult.Related StoriesCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsDemographic trends worldwide show a progressively aging population and an increase in the overall medical complexity of elderly patients with cardiovascular disease. Elderly patients, especially those aged 75 or older, are relatively under-represented in many of the clinical trials that helped create major society guidelines for evaluation and management of ischemic heart disease. Consequently, risk benefit ratios of a guideline-based approach in these patients are not well defined, especially with regards to pharmacotherapies and percutaneous coronary interventions. In this article we offer a practical approach to defining the elderly population, and provide an evidenced based review of the diagnostic and therapeutic implications of advanced age in the evaluation and management of ischemic heart disease. Source:http://cvia-journal.org/
Source:http://www.bmc.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 11 2019Compared to experimental studies that require complex infrastructures such as laboratories or clinical trials at multiple centers, studies using a longitudinal cohort (an observational research method in which data is gathered for the same participants repeatedly over a period of time) could be a good alternative for investigators as they begin their early research careers.”The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) is an excellent example of a database to initiate investigations and generate questions that could be followed later by experimental studies,” explains Hugo J. Aparicio, MD, MPH, assistant professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, in a perspective article in the journal Stroke.Related StoriesOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryFunded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, FHS began in 1948, as a database of thousands of participants from Framingham, Mass., who volunteered and shared their medical and personal data to advance clinical knowledge. Over the decades, FHS has helped answer key questions related to cardiovascular and neurological diseases. More than 15,000 participants have been included in FHS studies resulting in nearly 3,700 published articles using the data.According to Aparicio, data from longitudinal cohort studies often contain more detail than administrative datasets, which can result in research with higher quality data that can lead to higher impact publications. In addition, ongoing studies often have well-established research teams and senior investigators with extensive experience. “Access to high-quality data, mentorship and training in the research process are critical for launching a career in clinical research.”However, he cautions that using longitudinal cohort studies does pose some challenges and limitations, including: the way that data is collected makes interpretation of results critical and requires careful insight; loss to follow up when patients drop out of the studies and the difficulty of analyzing rare conditions caused by limited number of participants compared to the total general population.Regardless, Aparicio hopes his perspective article stimulates early career investigators to take advantage of these resources. “Beyond opportunities to publish, joining a research team at a cohort study can open doors for mentorship, expand research skills and help focus and refine your research path.”
Source:https://www.mountsinai.org/about/newsroom/2019/mount-sinai-and-ibm-researchers-uncover-key-to-greater-efficacy-in-cancer-treatment Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019Researchers from Mount Sinai and IBM have discovered a novel clue in explaining how cancer cells with identical genomes can respond differently to the same therapy. In a Nature Communications paper published today, researchers reveal for the first time that the number of mitochondria in a cell is, in great part, associated with how the cancer responds to drug therapy.Cancer is the second-leading cause of mortality worldwide, with approximately one in six deaths across the globe attributed to the disease. While treatments for cancer continue to improve as technology advances, researchers and clinicians have been unsuccessful in explaining the diversity of responses in cancer cells to treatments of oncological disease. In many cases, cancer cells with matching genetic makeup will respond differently to the same treatment. Mount Sinai and IBM researchers combined computational and biological methods to uncover a clue to this behavior.Cells die when met with bacteria, malnourishment, or viruses. But also, to promote normal function, our bodies eliminate billions of cells each day–a process known as “programmed cell death” or apoptosis. Mitochondria, often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell because of their ability to produce cellular energy, can also act as a catalyst in the activation of programmed cell death, and certain anti-cancer drugs work by activating this process. This function encouraged researchers to explore the hypothesis that cancer cells with identical genetic makeup, but different quantities of mitochondria, may have varying susceptibility to death if exposed to the same drugs that promote apoptosis.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsIn exposing various types of cells to six concentrations of a pro-apoptotic drug and measuring the abundance of mitochondria within the surviving cells, Mount Sinai and IBM researchers discovered that surviving cells had a greater amount of mitochondria than untreated cells. This strongly suggests that cells with fewer mitochondria are more likely to respond to certain drug treatments.To analyze this data, researchers used a mathematical framework called DEPICTIVE (an acronym for DEtermining Parameter Influence on Cell-to-cell variability Through the Inference of Variance Explained) to quantify variability in the survival or death of cells due to mitochondrial abundance. Overall, the framework determined that the variability of mitochondria explained up to 30 percent of the varying responses to the pro-apoptotic drug.”Enhancing our understanding of the relationship between mitochondria variability and drug response may lead to more effective targeted cancer treatments, allowing us to find new ways to tackle the problem of drug resistance,” said Pablo Meyer, PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Team Leader of Translational Systems Biology at IBM Research, and co-corresponding author of the publication. “The outcomes of this study were truly multidisciplinary, and only made possible by the strong scientific collaboration established between Mount Sinai and IBM.”
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 9 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Evenity (romosozumab-aqqg) to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women at high risk of breaking a bone (fracture). These are women with a history of osteoporotic fracture or multiple risk factors for fracture, or those who have failed or are intolerant to other osteoporosis therapies.More than 10 million people in the U.S. have osteoporosis, which is most common in women who have gone through menopause. People with osteoporosis have weakened bones that are more likely to fracture.”Today’s approval provides women with postmenopausal osteoporosis who are at high risk of fracture with a new treatment that will reduce this risk,” said Hylton V. Joffe, M.D, M.M.Sc., director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s Division of Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Products. “But Evenity may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death so it’s important to carefully select patients for this therapy, which includes avoiding use in patients who have had a heart attack or stroke within the previous year.”Evenity is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the effects of the protein sclerostin and works mainly by increasing new bone formation. One dose of Evenity consists of two injections, one immediately following the other, given once a month by a health care professional. The bone forming effect of Evenity wanes after 12 doses so more than 12 doses should not be used. If osteoporosis therapy is needed after the 12 doses, patients should begin an osteoporosis treatment that reduces bone breakdown.The safety and efficacy of Evenity were demonstrated in two clinical trials involving a total of more than 11,000 women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. In the first trial, one year of treatment with Evenity lowered the risk of a new fracture in the spine (vertebral fracture) by 73% compared to placebo. This benefit was maintained over the second year of the trial when Evenity was followed by one year of denosumab (another osteoporosis therapy) compared to placebo followed by denosumab. In the second trial, one year of treatment with Evenity followed by one year of alendronate (another osteoporosis therapy) reduced the risk of a new vertebral fracture by 50% compared to two years of alendronate alone. Evenity followed by alendronate also reduced the risk of fractures in other bones (nonvertebral fractures) compared to alendronate alone.Related StoriesStudy discusses beneficial effects of antibody therapy that targets sclerostinAn injection of nanoparticles for spinal cord injuriesWomen exposed to common antibacterial more likely to develop osteoporosisEvenity increased the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke in the alendronate trial, but not in the placebo trial. Therefore, Evenity contains a boxed warning on its labeling stating that it may increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death and should not be used in patients who have had a heart attack or stroke within the previous year. Health care professionals should also consider whether the benefits of Evenity outweigh its risks in those with other risk factors for heart disease and should discontinue Evenity in any patient who experiences a heart attack or stroke during treatment.Common side effects of Evenity included joint pain and headache. Injection site reactions were also observed.The FDA granted the approval of Evenity to Amgen.Source: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm635653.htm