Autocar Tests 64kWh Hyundai Kona Electric Offers Verdict

For Autocar, the Kona Electric is a ground-breaking electric car.The success story of Hyundai has been one of the most compelling events in motoring history. Rising from the manufacturer of cheap and not-so-appealing cars to one of the biggest and most lucrative carmakers has been stellar.The recent introduction of first all-electric models from the South Korean carmaker further solidifies the company on the automotive map of the world. With almost all recent test drives coming out positive for the Kona, we’re even more inclined to consider it as one of the best electric crossovers on the market today. However, it always makes sense to learn what the experts think.More about the Hyundai Kona Electric Source: Electric Vehicle News Hyundai IONIQ Electric Comes Packing Kona Motor To Defend Race Title Hyundai Kona Electric Compared To Kia Niro EV: Video Recently, Autocar thoroughly tested the Hyundai Kona electric. According to the site, the Kona Electric is claimed to rewrite the range versus cost equation that has dogged the early EV debate.Ground-breaking, high-spec electric car offers 300 miles of range for less than £32,000Hence, with the Kona, you get both a price-point appealing entry-level EV, but you get the range you need, too.For just under £32,000, this 64kWh model promises a maximum potential range of 300 miles on official test cycles, all wrapped in an on-trend crossover bodyshape. On the fastest charge, its battery can go from 0-80% charge in 54 minutes. It’s worth noting, too, that lower-range, lower-cost versions are available.There are many advantages to the Kona. This is especially true when it comes to the driving experience, materials, design and more, where Kona delivers a decently polished performance aspect, all without breaking the bank. Furthermore, the Kona brings a relatively affordable range, dramatically widening the pool of potential customers whos lives could be bettered by an entrance of an all-electric crossover.Please find the full Autocar review (teaser, Kona Electric gets 4 out of 5 stars) right here. Enjoy! Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 27, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News See Hyundai Kona Electric In Acid Yellow 50 photos read more

Ssangyong Korando Revealed With Electric Version In The Cards

first_imgMore SUV News Both motors will be offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed Aisin automatic, while start-stop is standard on all front-wheel-drive models. What’s probably more important, an all-electric version of the new Korando should be launched later during the model’s lifecycle with Ssangyong saying it will “follow in due course.”When equipped with the diesel mated to an automatic, the crossover offers an impressive 4,410-pound (2,000-kilogram) towing capacity.As far as the modern safety and assist technologies are concerned, the crossover promises seven airbags as standard, as well as advanced emergency braking system, lane keep assist, vehicle ahead moving alert, safe distance and driver alerts, and others. The South Korean automaker claims the new Korando is “one of the safest cars in its segment.”Sales of the fourth-generation Korando will begin in Europe from the summer of this year with prices to be revealed closer to the on-sale date. Source: Electric Vehicle News On sale in Europe from mid-2019.The new, fourth-generation Ssangyong Korando may not be the most attractive vehicle debuting in Geneva this year, especially considering the huge number of exotic supercars, but it’s still an important model for the European market. Not only that, but it is also going to be offered as a fully-electric vehicle at a later date. Arriving with a distinctive design, the production model is inspired by the SIV-2 concept from 2016. The new Korando is longer, wider, lower, and with a longer wheelbase than the outgoing model, which translates into a sportier overall appearance and more room in the interior. Speaking of the cabin, it’s a bit more old-school and conservative, but the South Korean manufacturer says it features high-quality materials. BMW iNEXT Electric SUV Spied Testingcenter_img Rivian Releases New R1T Truck & R1S SUV Videos At launch, two engines will be offered, both meeting the latest Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standards. The first one is a newly-developed 1.5-liter turbo gasoline unit with 163 horsepower (122 kilowatts) at 5,550 rpm and a peak torque of 206 pound-feet (280 Newton-meters) between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. In addition, an updated 1.6-liter turbodiesel will be available, delivering 136 hp (101 kW) and 239 lb-ft (324 Nm) at 1,500 rpm. Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer PHEV Gets 43 Miles Of EV Range: Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 9, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

PSA Group FCA Are Considering Joint Platform Also For EVs

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 1, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Consolidation moves forward?According to Bloomberg, two big car manufacturers – the PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are in preliminary talks about limited cooperation (at least initially).The main topic is a partnership, which could result in a new joint “super platform”. Because the market shifts towards electrification, the new platform would, of course, include electric cars.Other areas of interest would be investment-intense autonomous driving technologies.See Also Source: Electric Vehicle News FCA Readies For Plug-In EV Offensive Electric Peugeot e-208 In Detail: Specs, Images, Videos Both, PSA CEO Carlos Tavares and FCA CEO John Elkann hinted recently that they looking for opportunities. PSA recently expanded its company to include Opel/Vauxhall while Fiat acquired Chrysler – partnership would result in further cost savings on volume production.PSA and Fiat already are engaged in cooperation on light-duty vans in Europe.Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffe, a professor at Bocconi University in Milan said:“No single car manufacturer alone can afford the sheer size of investments needed to develop platforms for the kind of smart, hybrid and connected vehicles that will hit the road in coming years. Talks between PSA and FCA, as well as the one by BMW and Daimler, are a clear sign that the industry needs to find a new equilibrium of competition on final products and services, leveraging on inevitable cooperation in technology development and supporting infrastructures.”Source: Bloomberg Fiat Concept Centoventi Allows For Custom Everything: Photos/Videoslast_img read more

Electric Pressure Washers Nest Thermostats and more are on sale in todays

first_imghttps://youtu.be/a80dwn_R-mcThe post Electric Pressure Washers, Nest Thermostats and more are on sale in today’s Green Deals appeared first on Electrek. Amazon offers the AR Blue Clean 1900PSI Electric Pressure Washer for $102 shipped. As a comparison, it originally sold for $199 but typically is listed at $140 or so these days. This is amongst the best prices we’ve tracked at Amazon and $3 less than our previous mention. AR Blue Clean’s electric pressure washer provides up to 1900PSI for cleaning those pesky winter stains away. Includes a 20-foot hose, various tips and more. Great for winter cleanup. Rated 3.7/5 stars by 3,300 Amazon customers. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe the podcast. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Minimum Wage Sick Leave Law ChallengeManweller Negotiates Internet Privacy BillDog Sought From

first_imgA voter approved initiative that raised the minimum wage and provides a paid sick leave requirement for workers is being challenged in Kittitas County.The Attorney General’s Office says the challenge claims the initiative violates state law requiring initiatives to only cover one subject.Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his office will defend the will of the voters.  In a similar case, the Washington State Supreme Court held that the City of SeaTac’s local initiative containing a minimum wage increase and a paid sick leave requirement did not violate the single subject rule.The case is expected to eventually reach the state Supreme Court.Voters approved Initiative 1433 in the November 2016 election with over 57 percent of the vote.last_img

Quincy Superintendent Backs Out of Yakima Job ProcessCascade School Board Names Superintendent

first_imgQuincy School District Superintendent John Boyd has withdrawn his application to be the new superintendent for the Yakima School District. He was scheduled to meet with the community and go through final interviews on Thursday. The district will now decide between two candidates with the second round of interviews happening today. Boyd was selected as the Quincy Superintendent in 2014.last_img

Various Ecigarette flavorings may increase risk of cardiovascular disease

first_imgThe research supports previous evidence showing that flavorings induce toxicity in the lung and cardiovascular systems, she adds.The American Heart Association warns against the use of e-cigarettes. It states that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are tobacco products that should be subject to all the laws applying to those products. The association calls for robust new regulations to prevent access to the products, as well as their sales and marketing to young people. It also calls for more research into the products’ health impact. Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/aha-tae061118.php By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jun 14 2018The flavorings found in in electronic cigarettes and related tobacco products could cause changes in the lung, heart and blood vessels that lead to cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in an American Heart Association journal.© Aleksey Kurguzov/Shutterstock.comAs reported in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, researchers tested nine chemical flavorings commonly found in e-cigarettes, hookah, little cigars and cigarillos for their short-term effects on endothelial cells – the cells lining the inside of blood vessels and the heart.Related StoriesPotential benefits and risks of using e-cigarettesStudy finds increase in cigarette smoking among minority teens after college affirmative action bansResearch paves way for new treatment to protect people from cardiovascular diseaseLead author Jessica Fetterman (Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts) and colleagues report that all nine flavors were dangerous to cells at the highest levels tested and impaired the production of nitric oxide in cultured endothelial cells. Nitric oxide inhibits inflammation and clotting and regulates the widening of blood vessels in response to increased blood flow.Five of the flavorings, namely menthol, clove, cinnamon, vanillin and burnt flavoring – resulted in higher levels of an inflammatory marker and lower levels of nitric oxide.Fetterman says the findings suggest that inhaling the flavorings may have serious health consequences:center_img Increased inflammation and a loss of nitric oxide are some of the first changes to occur leading up to cardiovascular disease and events like heart attacks and stroke, so they are considered early predictors of heart disease.”last_img read more

Researchers use gene therapy to cure obesity and type 2 diabetes in

first_imgJul 9 2018A research team from the UAB led by Professor Fatima Bosch has managed to cure obesity and type 2 diabetes in mice using gene therapy.A single administration of an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) carrying the FGF21 (Fibroblast Growth Factor 21) gene, resulted in genetic manipulation of the liver, adipose tissue or skeletal muscle to continuously produce the FGF21 protein. This protein is a hormone secreted naturally by several organs that acts on many tissues for the maintenance of correct energy metabolism. By inducing FGF21 production through gene therapy the animal lost weight and decreased insulin resistance, which causes the development of type 2 diabetes.The therapy has been tested successfully in two different mouse models of obesity, induced either by diet or genetic mutations. In addition, the authors observed that when administered to healthy mice, the gene therapy promoted healthy ageing and prevented age-associated weight gain and insulin resistance.After treatment with AAV-FGF21, mice lost weight and reduced fat accumulation and inflammation in adipose tissue; fat content (steatosis), inflammation and fibrosis of the liver were also reversed; this led to an increase in insulin sensitivity and in healthy ageing, without any adverse side effects.The results have been reproduced after genetic manipulation of three different tissues (liver, adipose tissue or skeletal muscle) to produce the FGF21 protein. “This gives a great flexibility to the therapy, since it allows to select each time the most appropriate tissue, and in case some complication prevents manipulating any of the tissues, it can be applied to any of the others. When a tissue produces FGF21 protein and secretes it into the bloodstream, it will be distributed throughout the body”, states the director of the study Dr. Fatima Bosch.The authors highlight the importance of these results, since “the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity is growing at alarming rates around the world”, explains the UAB researcher and co-author of the study Claudia Jambrina. Obesity also increases the risk of mortality and represents an important risk factor for cardiovascular and immune diseases, hypertension, arthritis, neurodegenerative disorders and some types of cancer.Related StoriesUCR biomedical professor to investigate how body’s cannabis-like molecules influence obesityObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver disease”This is the first time that long term reversion of obesity and insulin resistance have been achieved upon a one-time administration of a gene therapy, in an animal model that resembles obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans”, explained the first author of the paper and UAB researcher Veronica Jimenez. “The results demonstrate that it is a safe and effective therapy”.The results also reveal that the administration of the gene therapy protected against the risk of tumor formation in the liver in response to a hypercaloric diet for a prolonged period of time.The native FGF21 protein has a short half-life when administered using conventional procedures. For this reason, the pharmaceutical industry has developed FGF21 analogues/mimetics and has already conducted clinical trials. FGF21 analogues/mimetics, however, require periodic administration to mediate clinical benefits, but may raise immunological issues associated to the administration of exogenous proteins. The gene therapy vectors used by Dr. Bosch’s team, however, induce the mice to produce for many years the same FGF21 hormone naturally produced by the body, after a single administration and without any adverse effects.For Dr. Bosch the next step will be to “test this therapy in larger animals before moving to clinical trials with patients”. AAV-mediated gene therapy has been approved in Europe and the United States for the treatment of several diseases, due to its efficacy and safety profile. Similarly, there exists extensive clinical experience in applying AAV-mediated gene transfer to liver and skeletal muscle. Consequently, “the therapy described in this study constitutes the basis for the future clinical translation of FGF21 gene transfer to treat type 2 diabetes, obesity and related comorbidities”, Dr Bosch concludes.The results of the research are published today in EMBO Molecular Medicine. The study was conducted by researchers from the Centre for Animal Biology and Gene Therapy (CBATEG), the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and of Animal Health and Anatomy of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and from the CIBER de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM).Source: https://www.uab.edu/last_img read more

Medicaid expansion making diabetes meds more accessible to poor study shows

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Pauline Bartolone: pbartolone@kff.org, @pbartolone Aug 6 2018Low-income people with diabetes are better able to afford their medications and manage their disease in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a new study suggests.The Health Affairs study, released Monday afternoon, found a roughly 40 percent increase in the number of prescriptions filled for diabetes drugs in Medicaid programs of the 30 states (including Washington, D.C.) that expanded eligibility in 2014 and 2015, compared with prior years.By contrast, states that didn’t embrace the Medicaid expansion saw no notable increase.”Gaining Medicaid insurance would have significantly reduced out-of-pocket spending for insulin for previously uninsured patients, thereby facilitating uptake of the medication,” the Health Affairs study said.Diabetes, characterized by abnormally high blood sugar, is a chronic disease that requires expensive and ongoing medical care. More than 114 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes or prediabetes, making the disease one of the country’s most formidable health challenges.”In the long run, preventing diabetic complications not only saves lives, but it improves public health and saves public money,” said Dr. Michael Bush, an endocrinologist in Beverly Hills, Calif., and president of the California chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.Bush and other experts said the Health Affairs study shows that the Medicaid expansion can help patients manage their health and also limit unnecessary spending. An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited by the study shows that each diabetic patient who is treated for the condition can lead to a $6,394 reduction in health care costs (in 2017 dollars) because of fewer hospital admissions.In California, roughly 3.9 million people gained coverage when the state expanded eligibility for Medi-Cal, the state’s version of the federal Medicaid program. In all, about 13.5 million people — more than one-third of Californians — are enrolled in Medi-Cal.By 2016, about 12 million people had enrolled in Medicaid nationwide as a result of the expansion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The foundation estimates that more than 2 million people who live in non-participating states would have qualified for Medicaid had their states chosen to expand. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)”It’s not particularly surprising that extending Medicaid opened up this door for lots of other people to be able to fill prescriptions and be able to take advantage of managing a chronic disease like diabetes,” said Flojaune Cofer, director of state policy and research at Public Health Advocates, a nonprofit organization based in Davis, Calif., that seeks to eliminate health inequalities in California.But Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the Medicaid expansion may not mean good news for everyone.Medicaid pays a fraction of a drug’s list price, so pharmaceutical companies may hike prices for everyone if they don’t feel they’re being compensated fairly, he said. That, in turn, could drive up everyone’s premium costs or lead those with private insurance to pay more out-of-pocket.”You have to look at not just the immediate effects of a policy, but all of the effects of a policy,” Cannon said. “As prices rise, fewer people will be able to afford diabetic medications.”Last year, nearly 900,000 Californians with Medi-Cal were known to have diabetes, according to state figures.One of them is James Warden, 62, a retired rancher near Fresno, Calif., who said he was forced to stop working because of a back injury several years ago.Warden enrolled in Medi-Cal in 2016 and was diagnosed with diabetes last year after a urinary condition landed him in the hospital, he said. Without the coverage, he said, he wouldn’t have the insulin his body needs.Related StoriesMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesIntermittent fasting may protect against type 2 diabetesUranium toxicity might have caused obesity and diabetes in Kuwait, finds new study”Medi-Cal saved me,” he said. “I wouldn’t have the money to be able to pay, or go to the doctor or anything.”The researchers found that people in groups with a higher prevalence of diabetes before the ACA became law, such as those ages 55-59, showed larger increases in filling their diabetes prescriptions after the Medicaid expansions.The price of insulin, a staple medication for many diabetes patients, rose almost 200 percent from 2002 to 2013, according to the study.And nearly 40 percent of insulin users who responded to the American Diabetes Association’s 2018 insulin affordability survey reported that they had faced a price increase in the past year. As a result of the price hikes, many said, they took less of the medication, missed doses or switched to a cheaper drug.In states that didn’t expand Medicaid after 2014, such as Texas and Florida, the number of diabetes prescriptions filled remained relatively flat, the study found. In these states, low-income and uninsured diabetics must rely on a “patchwork of options” to get insulin and other medications to treat their disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. Patients may need to seek help through drug company patient assistance programs or charities, the group said.The study also showed a surge in filled prescriptions for newer, pricier diabetes drugs that have fewer side effects and control diabetes more effectively. And there was an increase in prescriptions for metformin, a generic drug that is often used as a first line of treatment for new Type 2 diabetes patients.The rise in metformin prescriptions suggests the federal health law also led to more people being diagnosed with the disease, the authors said.The study, conducted by University of Southern California pharmaceutical and health economists, was based on an analysis of filled prescriptions before and after the state Medicaid expansions began in 2014. The number of states that expanded Medicaid has since grown to 33 states and Washington, D.C.The prescriptions analyzed cover the period from 2008 to 2015. About 15 percent of retail pharmacies did not share their information, and the data did not include prescriptions filled by health clinics or via mail-order, which could have led to underestimates of the total effect, the authors said.Bush, the Beverly Hills endocrinologist, acknowledged that providing diabetes drugs to Medicaid patients is costly to taxpayers. But he said it’s money well spent.”This is clearly a disease where if you take care of it now, you can prevent complications that occur later,” he said.KHN’s coverage of these topics is supported by California Health Care Foundation and Laura and John Arnold Foundation.This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.last_img read more

Bluelight scope improves detection of bladder cancer

first_img Source:https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2018/blue-light-technology.html Aug 9 2018From day one, Robert McMichael has been determined to live the best life he can. Born with muscular dystrophy, he refused to let his physical challenges block his path to achievement and completed medical school and a demanding residency in neurology.When the Mansfield physician was diagnosed with bladder cancer about a year ago, he brought the same fighting attitude to this new challenge. He wanted the best treatment possible and that, he learned by reading everything he could about bladder cancer, included exams conducted with an about-to-be-approved medical device called a blue-light flexible cystoscope.Dr. McMichael told his doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center that he wanted his quarterly bladder exams to be done with a blue-light scope, which is better at illuminating cancer than a traditional white-light scope. Fortunately for Dr. McMichael, researchers at UT Southwestern had been among those testing this new technology, so that when FDA cleared the device for use recently, UT Southwestern became one of just four institutions in the country to offer the blue-light scope for outpatient use. Dr. McMichael became patient No. 1.”Blue light works better than white light because we instill a photosensitizing agent into the bladder that’s taken up by cancer cells and not by normal cells. Subsequently, when you shine a blue light on it, the cancer cells look pink and normal cells don’t, so there’s a big contrast,” said Dr. Yair Lotan, Professor of Urology and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.”White light has some limitations, and we know that we can miss anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of cancers when we just look with white light. We’re especially likely to miss a type of cancer called carcinoma in situ, which represents about 10 percent of bladder cancers. It’s a flat, patchy lesion, so it’s harder to spot than other cancers, which project out,” said Dr. Lotan, who holds the Helen J. and Robert S. Strauss Professorship in Urology.Bladder cancer is typically discovered when a patient finds blood in the urine, and most of the time it is found before it has invaded the muscle of the bladder. Standard treatment for early stage bladder cancer consists of surgically removing the cancer lesions and immunotherapy. Patients will then return at regular intervals for cystoscopy examinations of the inside of the bladder to determine if new cancer lesions have occurred. Dr. Lotan likened the periodic exams for bladder cancer to patients who have had a skin cancer removed and then revisit the dermatologist on a regular basis.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThere are about 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed each year in the U.S., making it the fifth most common cancer in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health. While bladder cancer is often diagnosed at an early stage, the cancer has a high rate of recurrence. “The risk of recurrence can be as high as 50 to 70 percent for patients with high-grade disease,” Dr. Lotan said.Blue-light cystoscopy has previously been available at some institutions, including UT Southwestern, for use in the operating room, but it wasn’t available in a flexible scope until now. Examinations that are done in an outpatient setting must be done with a flexible scope because the rigid cystoscope used in the OR would be too uncomfortable for patients who were awake, Dr. Lotan explained.”Once you have bladder cancer, you have to be under surveillance indefinitely,” said bladder cancer patient Dr. McMichael, who has a follow-up exam every three months. “I’m not kidding you – I asked Dr. Lotan, “Can I have blue-light cystoscopy?’ So when he called me back and said I could, I was happy. If there’s any cancer to be seen, the blue-light cystoscopy significantly improves the chances of seeing it.”Dr. Lotan said UT Southwestern Medical Center is one of just a handful of institutions around the country offering blue-light flexible cystoscopy. “The blue-light technology has really advanced the field. We’re detecting cancer that does not look very different from the normal lining, but is really there and that we’ve been missing for a long time.”UT Southwestern Medical is recognizing its 75th year in 2018. The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of 49 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. and the only one in North Texas, is among just 30 U.S. cancer research centers to be designated by the NCI as a National Clinical Trials Network Lead Academic Participating Site.Dr. Lotan was a consultant to Photocure, the company that makes the imaging agent used in blue light cystoscopy.last_img read more

Christiana Care Health System successfully reduces opioid prescriptions

first_img A 40 percent reduction in the number of opioids prescribed after some ob-gyn and general surgery procedures. A reduction by almost 50 percent in the rate of opioid prescriptions among discharged emergency department patients. A 37 percent reduction in primary care patients on chronic opioid therapy for pain in a pilot project. There is plenty of progress to make. In 2012, Delaware was the nation’s No. 1 prescriber of high-dose opioid pain relievers and 17th in opioid prescriptions overall. By 2016, Delaware saw on average a death a day from an opioid overdose.”We’ve embarked on a multifaceted strategy to educate providers about responsible prescribing practices, promote non-opioid alternatives to control pain and spread evidence-based guidelines around opioid prescription,” said Linda Lang, M.D., chair of Christiana Care’s Safe Opioid Stewardship Steering Committee and chair of the Department of Psychiatry.The overall goals of Christiana Care’s efforts are to reduce chronic opioid use, combat addiction and, ultimately, reduce overdose deaths. Because primary care offices are the single largest source of opioid prescriptions, it is there that much of the progress can be made.Opioids at the doctor’s office Whether their pain is sudden or chronic, most patients first go to their primary care doctor for help.Christiana Care is putting non-opioid alternatives front-and-center in patients’ electronic medical record, educating providers about alternatives to pain and identifying patients on long-term opioid use at the highest risk, said Roger Kerzner, M.D., FACC, clinical director for specialty services at the Medical Group of Christiana Care.There is some evidence that a team approach focusing on high-risk populations can pay off. A pilot project at the Rocco A. Abessinio Family Wilmington Health Center at Wilmington Hospital resulted in a 37 percent reduction in the number of patients on chronic opioid therapy.Data analysis is one tool the pilot used to identify patients who are at higher risk of addiction and even accidental death from chronic opioid use due to their other medications, health conditions and other factors, said Ed Ewen, M.D., director of clinical data and analytics and a primary care physician at Christiana Care.These patients’ cases were reviewed by a multidisciplinary team that came up with patient-specific recommendations to help them transition out of opioid use.”We can find those patients and focus on them with a concerted team effort to mitigate their risk,” Dr. Ewen said.Another key focus, Dr. Kerzner said, is to try alternative approaches for patients who started using opioids in the past few months and whose use may become chronic.Many patients are first exposed to opioids after a surgical procedure, and too many of them eventually become dependent on them.Delaware OPEN tackles acute pain Building off the work by a grant-funded effort in Michigan called the Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network, or OPEN, Christiana Care developed a straightforward set of guidelines that recommend specific medications and quantities after 21 surgical procedures.Related StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceNew computational model explores daily pain sensitivity rhythmsOpioid overdose deaths on the decline says CDC but the real picture may still be grimLed by anesthesiologist Matt Powell, M.D., Delaware OPEN intends to reduce the wide variation in the number and type of opioids prescribed after surgeries. Patients who are prescribed more opioids than they need may hold onto them and use them later for ailments like pain, depression or trouble sleeping, he said.Often, prescribing fewer opioids means accepting some level of pain after a procedure. Dr. Powell says doctors are now talking about pain in terms of function: Can the patient work, sleep and carry out other everyday tasks?Though the guidelines are optional for prescribers, the early data showing a 40 percent reduction in opioids -; which relates to many of the surgical procedures performed from July 2017 to July 2018 -; shows many are taking the new advice.On Aug. 15, Christiana Care will host a team from Michigan who will share their results to a statewide audience that includes other Delaware health systems.Christiana Care’s emergency departments, too, are engaged in finding alternatives to treat acute pain.ED cuts opioid prescriptions in half Christiana Care’s three emergency departments are successfully tackling the addiction crisis from both ends by helping those with a substance use disorder access treatment and by prescribing opioids more intentionally.Its success in cutting by nearly half the rate of opioid prescriptions among discharged patients, to 8 percent in May 2018, owes to a combination of efforts, including the implementation of new opioid prescription guidelines developed by the Delaware chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, or ACEP.”Our repeated education of Delaware ACEP guidelines, along with initiatives like Middletown’s Opioid Alternative Environment and the Suboxone pilot, has helped us treat pain in an appropriate manner without prescribing needlessly,” said John T. Powell, M.D., MHCDS, FACEP, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Christiana Care.By tapping Project Engage’s peer counselors to meet with patients, the emergency departments are identifying those struggling from withdrawal. When appropriate, the emergency department is piloting a program to start these patients on Suboxone, a medication which provides immediate relief from the symptoms of withdrawal, and also connecting them with an all-hours treatment center that offers medication-assisted therapy and counseling. Meanwhile, the Middletown Emergency Department is developing alternatives to opioids in an effort called the Opioid Alternative Environment. That doesn’t mean opioids have no place there, but that other methods -; including trigger point injections of anesthetic and, in some cases, IV acetaminophen -; will be tried first.Removing the fuel for addiction Terry Horton, M.D., chief of Christiana Care’s Division of Addiction Medicine, likens the battle against opioid over prescription and addiction to a raging forest fire.Such a fire, he said, is most dangerous when it can tap into a ready fuel source, like downed trees and dry undergrowth. If you can remove the fodder, you can limit the risk of a major conflagration.”Our efforts to prescribe opioids responsibly,” Dr. Horton said, “are reducing the fuel for that fire.”​ Source:https://christianacare.org/center_img Aug 21 2018Before surgeon Emily Penman, M.D., begins a mastectomy or lumpectomy, her lightly sedated patient receives a nerve block, an injection of medicine to control pain after surgery.Its effectiveness, when combined with other anti-inflammatory medications, has lowered the need for opioids while reducing by 30 percent the proportion of patients who experience severe pain in the post-anesthesia care unit.Christiana Care Health System is successfully reducing its use of opioids systemwide, including in post-surgical prescribing, its emergency departments and in primary care. New evidence of its progress includes:last_img read more

Kessler Foundation awarded 50000 grant to study outcomes of new stroke therapy

first_img Source:https://kesslerfoundation.org/content/kessler-foundation-receives-grant-study-outcomes-new-stroke-treatment Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 11 2018Kessler Foundation has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the Charles and Ann Serraino Foundation, Inc. The two-year grant will advance the Foundation’s practice-based stroke rehabilitation research to advance the diagnosis and treatment of spatial neglect, a hidden disability that complicates recovery after brain injury, especially right brain stroke.Ten rehabilitation facilities across the U.S. currently implement Kessler Foundation’s spatial neglect assessment and treatment protocols, the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process (KF-NAP™), and the Kessler Foundation Prism Adaptation Treatment (KF-PAT™). Therapy teams at each center are tracking and reporting their use of these tools. This grant enables investigators at Kessler Foundation to analyze the impact of the care processes–whether, across this network of care providers, this rehabilitation may enhance functional recovery.Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsNew approach to post-stroke rehabilitation proposedPeople who worked long hours have higher risk of stroke, shows study”Through this support, we will be able to examine the impact of our treatment program on the recovery and independence of stroke survivors, their successfully returning to home, the community, and the workplace,” remarked AM Barrett, MD, director of Stroke Rehabilitation Research at Kessler Foundation. “We expect to confirm numerous previous controlled trials that indicated functional benefit of spatial neglect care, and we believe better recovery will translate into improvements across important clinical benchmarks for stroke rehabilitation, including lower fall rates and higher rates of home discharge,” noted Dr. Barrett. “Our aim is to present evidence of enhanced quality care and cost-efficacy with the system. If successful, these results can then be leveraged to influence medical systems and third-party payers to adopt prism adaptation therapy as a standard of care for stroke survivors across the country.”The Charles and Ann Serraino Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, is dedicated to supporting quality of life for senior citizens. “This gift from the Charles and Ann Serraino Foundation will significantly advance the Foundation’s stroke rehabilitation research in the treatment of spatial neglect,” said Michele Pignatello, chief development officer of Kessler Foundation. “With this support, senior stroke survivors will gain better access to quality care, which will allow them stay engaged in family life and the community.””Charles Serraino, who was a former Board member of Kessler Institute, was committed to giving back through accessible and preventative healthcare,” remarked Joanne Serraino, President of the Charles and Ann Serraino Foundation. “This grant upholds his vision in providing improved care for seniors who have had a stroke, and ultimately, preserving quality of life. I am happy to partner with an organization that shares the same innovative values as my father, Charles Serraino, and look forward to the future.”last_img read more

Are earthquakes triggered by oil and gas production becoming deadlier

first_img 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 SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA—Over the past several years, a torrent of small earthquakes has accompanied the glut of oil and gas produced by industrial operations across the central United States. In 2014, Oklahoma saw three times as many earthquakes magnitude 3.0 or greater than California. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is not the main culprit. Rather, most of the small earthquakes have been linked to injection wells, which dispose of huge quantities of water used to flush out oil and gas in extraction operations. Here today at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science), Science had a chance to catch up with three experts working at the forefront of this field of induced seismicity: William Ellsworth, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California; Mark Zoback, a geophysicist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California; and John Parrish, the California state geologist in Sacramento.So far, most of the earthquakes associated with injection have been small—things that might rattle the china cabinet. What is the potential for larger, life threatening earthquakes?Ellsworth: That’s really one of the hardest problems we have. It requires knowing where the faults are, and what their dimensions are. And knowing if they’re oriented properly, and if there is sufficient stress to drive them. We’re really stuck using what we’ve seen happen in the past. In Oklahoma, we know that there was an earthquake about magnitude 7, 1300 years ago. We also saw the magnitude 5.7 just in 2011. So things that have happened in the past should be considered in the future.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Zoback: We know the risk is posed by large faults which are potentially active in the current stress field. The challenge is, can we find those faults and avoid them. The thing the public has to remember is that not all faults are dangerous.USGS is trying to incorporate induced earthquakes in its hazard maps. You’re saying that places like northern and central Oklahoma are becoming potentially as hazardous as places like the New Madrid region near Memphis, Tennessee, and Charleston, South Carolina, which have a history of highly damaging earthquakes?Ellsworth: Over the short term—what’s likely tomorrow—those would be areas of high hazard. Whether they’re high over the timescales we think about for building codes is a whole other question. That I don’t think we have an answer to.This could eventually force stricter building codes in places like Oklahoma. Is it fair for those additional costs to be born by builders when the earthquake risk is essentially a dial controlled by oil and gas industry?Zoback: That’s a policy question. If you go back to building bridges and roads, trucks pay fees, because they’re hard on bridges and roads. How these things get paid for is a policy decision.Parrish: It’s really going to be a local decision.Sometimes you say there’s a strong link between certain wells and earthquakes. Other times you say there’s a lot of uncertainty in making that connection. What allows you to make a definitive diagnosis?Ellsworth: If there’s one well, and there are earthquakes directly beneath that well … then you can make a pretty good connection as to what’s going on. If you have multiple wells, we know that the pressure field is going to be distributed, and it can be very far reaching.Why does California see so many fewer induced earthquakes than places like Oklahoma?Parrish: Our geology is quite a bit different from the geology in the midcontinent and the eastern states. For one thing, their production formations are very old. California, we have very poorly consolidated sediments that are much younger.Ellsworth: The change has been when water begins to be injected in virgin formations, places where no perturbations have happened before. That seems to be to me at least one of the signatures for situations where can say these earthquakes have been induced.Aside from identifying problematic faults, what other techniques are there that industry can adopt to minimize induced earthquakes?Zoback: Let’s take Youngstown, Ohio. It’s right on the border with Pennsylvania. What was happening in Pennsylvania is that the flowback water after hydraulic fracturing was being trucked to Ohio so that it could be injected into … permitted injection wells where the geology was better. They’ve migrated from trucking water out, to recycling the water.Are these good times to be an earthquake scientist?Zoback: It’s always a good time.Ellsworth: We have new challenges, which is good.Parrish: I like the saying: Love a geologist, and feel the earthquake.Check out our full coverage of the AAAS annual meeting.What message would you send into space? Tell us on Twitter and Vine with #msgtospace!last_img read more

Anesthesia gases are warming the planet

first_imgAnesthetics may make that tooth surgery bearable, but they are also contributing—at least somewhat—to climate change, a new study reveals. The gases act in much the same way as carbon dioxide (CO2), trapping energy from the sun in the atmosphere and warming the planet. Over the past decade, atmospheric concentrations of the commonly used anesthetics desflurane, isoflurane, and sevoflurane have risen globally to 0.30 parts per trillion (ppt), 0.097 ppt, and 0.13 ppt, respectively, scientists report in Geophysical Research Letters. Although those numbers may not seem like much—especially compared with CO2, which reached concentrations of 400 parts per million in 2014—the higher global warming potential of the anesthetics has some scientists worried. For example, every 1 kilogram of desflurane is equal to 2500 kilograms of CO2. They also tracked concentrations of another anesthetic, halothane—which many countries have phased out because it can damage the liver—and found its concentration had declined since 2000. Although nitrous oxide is also widely used as an anesthetic, the researchers purposefully did not include it in the study because, unlike the other gases, it is used in a variety of settings other than anesthetics, such as the food industry and in semiconductor manufacturing. Although no one is suggesting a return to the days of biting on a piece of leather or wood to distract from the pain of surgery, scientists argue that limiting or even eliminating the use of desflurane, the most potent of the three gases studied, would help. Also, the study’s researchers point out, no mandate exists that requires used anesthetic be captured and disposed of, and as a result, almost all of it is released directly into the atmosphere.last_img read more

Marine toxin puts mice to sleep

first_imgVenomous cone snails have been a gift to biomedical researchers. Over the past 50 years, scientists have isolated compounds from these predatory marine animals that do everything from stop pain to protect cells during a heart attack. Now, researchers have isolated a cone snail compound that does something unexpected: It puts mice to sleep. All of these compounds belong to a group of ion channels modifiers known as conotoxins. In the wild, the snails use these toxins for capturing prey, and typically when researchers inject them into mice, the rodents either have no response or become paralyzed. In the new study, published this month in Toxicon, researchers isolated and sequenced 14 novel peptide toxins from the venom of the cobweb cone, Conus araneosus (pictured above with its dissected venom gland). When they injected five of them into mice, one put the rodents to sleep for several hours, whereas the others had no effect. The team says the discovery expands the range of therapeutic uses for conotoxins, and could lead to drugs to treat sleep disorders.last_img read more

Big testicles mean a softer voice at least in howler monkeys

first_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 Do males with bigger testicles have deeper voices? The jury is still out on humans, but if you’re a howler monkey, forget about it. A new study finds that the animals can make a lot of noise or a lot of sperm—but trying to do both just takes too much energy. The findings shed important new light on the kind of evolutionary tradeoffs animals must engage in to ensure the survival of their species.The study is “long overdue,” says Dawn Kitchen, a physical anthropologist at Ohio State University, Columbus, who was not involved with the work. The results, she says, are “robust and clearly point to a trade-off.”It’s a man’s world in many ways, but among primates, being a male still has its challenges. You’ve got to attract mates, fend off competing males, and keep your sperm count high enough to finish the reproductive job. Howler monkeys, members of the genus Alouatta and native to Central and South America, are famous for their powerful roars. Their vocalizations, among the loudest produced by any animal, resonate across the jungle, and can be heard from up to 5 kilometers away. Primatologists have observed that the roars can go on for more than 40 minutes, a considerable investment in energy. Most researchers think that the racket helps fend off competition from other males. 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 (*)center_img Email The sizes of howler monkeys’ larynxes—the noise-producing voice box common to most mammals—vary widely among the 10 universally recognized species. The best measure of larynx size is the hyoid, a U-shaped bone that supports the tongue and larynx; its size varies from only 8 cubic centimeters in some species to 110 cubic centimeters—14 times larger—in others. Likewise, the size of a howler monkey’s testes varies about seven times between the species with the smallest pair, about 3.5 cubic centimeters, and the one with the largest, about 23 cubic centimeters. This wide size range holds up even when corrected for differences in body size.A team led by Jacob Dunn, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, decided to investigate the exact relationship between these two indicators of male virility. The researchers used both new and published data on hyoid and testes size of 144 male howler monkeys from specimens of nine of the 10 species, collected in nine museums in the United States, Brazil, and Europe. For the new data, the group used laser surface scanning to produce 3D models of the hyoids. And to verify previous assumptions that hyoid size determined how deep and resonant the howls were, the team analyzed the frequencies of previously recorded howler monkey calls.The researchers found that, as expected, there was a linear correlation between the size of a species’s hyoid and the so-called “formant spacing” of its calls, a measure of the deepness and resonance of the vocalizations; so having a big hyoid generally means producing louder roars. But as they report online today in Current Biology, there is a clear inverse linear relationship between the size of a monkey’s hyoid and the size of his testes. In other words, species with deeper calls had smaller balls.Another important finding, Dunn and his colleagues report, was how these two body measures are related to the number of males in a howler monkey’s immediate social group, which ranges from one to three animals depending on the species. Thus, species in which the males congregate into larger groups had smaller hyoids and larger testes, whereas species living in groups with just a single male had larger hyoids and smaller testes.Putting all of these results together, the team comes up with the following evolutionary scenario: Species that live in smaller groups invest more energy in fending off males from other groups, simply by howling louder; if they are successful, then they can get away with smaller testicles because they have more exclusive access to the females around them. But males in larger groups, who are not alone in trying to mate with local females, invest more energy in competing with each other: They produce as much sperm as possible to increase their chances of being the lucky guy to impregnate the gal, a phenomenon known as sperm competition.“You can’t invest in everything at once,” Dunn says, because both howling and sperm production have high energetic costs. “Perhaps surprisingly, given sperm’s reputation as an abundant resource, there is strong evidence that sperm production is actually quite costly.” Similarly, Dunn adds, howling for 40 minutes at a time is “a very strenuous activity.”Kitchen says that the findings are particularly important for the insights they provide into the monkeys’ social organization. Instead of using their loud roars to compete within their social group, she says, they direct all that noise to males from outside the group who might be wanting to get at the local females. And in larger groups where up to three males are trying to impregnate the females—as opposed to “haremlike” groups where one male has all the gals to himself—“investing in sperm competition would be more cost-effective than investing in energetic vocal displays.”last_img read more

Congress poised to pass sweeping biomedical innovation bill

first_imgThe final version released 25 November, however, includes about $3 billion less, according to The Hill newspaper. “How to pay for that funding in a bipartisan way was the subject of months of tough negotiations,” The Hill reports. “The new spending is paid for in part through cutting $3.5 billion from ObamaCare’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, a cut that had drawn some resistance from Democrats. The measure also raises some money by selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”According to a statement released by the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee, the bill includes $1.4 billion for President Barack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, $1.8 billion for Vice Joe President Biden’s “cancer moonshot,” and $1.6 billion for the White House’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative.Although congressional leaders are still negotiating portions of the bill, a final vote is expected before Congress adjourns in December. The House will is expected to get the ball rolling this week, with a vote scheduled for Wednesday, 30 November.To learn more about 21st Century Cures and what it will mean for researchers, come back to ScienceInsider in coming days. 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 Congress is poised to approve a massive piece of legislation that would provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $4.8 billion over the next decade for a set of research initiatives, including brain and cancer research and efforts to develop so-called precision medicine treatments that are tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup.The bill, known as 21st Century Cures, also includes a number of other provisions that could shape how federally funded researchers do their work. It would, for instance, establish a new, quasi-governmental Research Policy Board that would advise the government on how to streamline regulations that affect federally funded researchers. Roughly half the appointees to the board, which could have up to 22 members, would come from academia and nonprofit groups. Creation of the board follows decades of complaints about burdensome federal regulations from researchers.21st Century Cures has been in development for more than 2 years. Originally spurred by a desire among many members of Congress to finds ways to speed the development of new treatments, the bill focuses primarily on shaping policy at NIH and the Food and Drug Administration. It also became a vehicle for those hoping to boost NIH funding, including through so-called mandatory funding mechanisms, which create a dedicated funding stream that is not vulnerable to the vagaries of the annual appropriations process. A version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives included some $8 billion in new NIH funding, for instance.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

This modified smartphone measures blood pressure directly from your finger

first_img High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke, but it often goes undetected and untreated. A new technology could change that by putting a simple blood pressure monitor in everyone’s pockets. Normally, blood pressure is measured using an inflatable cuff that presses down on an artery in the arm while a device records the effect on blood flow. Now, scientists have created a smartphone attachment that measures blood pressure directly from the finger, removing the need for any specialized equipment. The user places their finger on a pressure sensor and is guided by a chart displayed on the phone to gradually increase the applied force. Meanwhile, another sensor measures blood volume by illuminating the finger and detecting changes in how light is absorbed. Software on the phone then uses this information to determine blood pressure. The researchers tested their prototype on 30 people, and found that most quickly learned how to use it, they report today in Science Translational Medicine. Although the device was not quite as precise as an arm monitor, the scientists say its accuracy could be improved by taking multiple measurements over time. Modern smartphones already contain most of the hardware needed to transform them into portable blood pressure monitors, which would be particularly useful in developing countries where access to cuff-based devices is limited, but where smartphones are becoming commonplace. By Matt WarrenMar. 7, 2018 , 2:00 PM This modified smartphone measures blood pressure directly from your fingerlast_img read more

Trumps EPA wants to stamp out secret science Internal emails show it

first_img Yogin Kothari, Union of Concerned Scientists By Scott Waldman, E&E News, Niina Heikkinen, E&E NewsApr. 20, 2018 , 12:20 PM Originally published by E&E NewsUpdate: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a draft rule on “Strengthening Transparency and Validity in Regulatory Science” to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the White House’s Office of Managment and Budget on 19 April, reports E&E News. But the agency released no details about the proposal. OIRA now has at least 90 days to review the proposed plan. Here is E&E’s 20 April story on the background of the plan:EPA coordinated with Republicans in U.S. House of Representatives about their plans to restrict the science used in crafting regulations, newly released emails show. This data has to be somewhere, and if someone needs to see it then arrangements have to be made. You can’t attack this stuff with a broad brush. 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 In March, Pruitt announced that he would follow through. He said EPA plans to require that data and methodology from studies used to craft regulations be made public (Climatewire, March 16). The topic has long been contentious. Smith and others describe the effort as a way to ensure science used to craft regulations can be properly scrutinized. Critics have said it is an effort to limit air pollution research and other studies that have been cited as reasons for regulations.EPA has said little about its plans to make science more transparent, other than Pruitt’s brief interview with a conservative news outlet to say the plan was coming at some point.The new emails reveal how Pruitt’s staffers have worked behind the scenes with Smith’s office.On Jan. 16, a few days after Pruitt met with Smith at EPA headquarters, a Smith staffer followed up with Pruitt’s shop.”It was great to see you last week and appreciate the Administrator’s time. Chairman Smith is very keen for our staff to get together to discuss further transparent science-based regulations at the EPA,” Smith’s aide Joe Brazauskas wrote to EPA congressional affairs staffer Aaron Ringel. “We can meet at your earliest convenience with the appropriate EPA staff to discuss this matter further.”Within an hour of receiving Brazauskas’ email, Ringel circulated the message to colleagues at EPA.”All, see below follow up from Chairman Smith’s meeting with the administrator,” he wrote. “Want to check on who would be the most appropriate [for] them to speak to. In short, this is in regards to his pitch that EPA internally implement the HONEST Act (no regulation can go into effect unless the scientific data is publicly available for review).” Scott Pruitt is administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Read more… One of the aides copied on Ringel’s email was Richard Yamada, the deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. Yamada previously worked for years on the Republican staff of the House Science Committee led by Smith.The emails also show that EPA staffers wanted to have the program rolled out by the end of February.Brittany Bolen, who works in EPA’s policy office, sent an email dated Feb. 12 saying that Pruitt’s chief of staff Ryan Jackson “asked to have this rolled out by the end of the month.”Timing for the rollout of the policy is still unclear.EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said yesterday, “These discussions are part of the deliberative process; the policy is still being developed.”The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) said the emails show the plan was crafted by political staff with little input from scientists. They also show that EPA’s political appointees are mostly concerned about industry, rather than environmental or health protections, said UCS spokesman Yogin Kothari.”This idea to restrict the use of science at EPA was hatched solely and worked on almost exclusively by political appointees who are doing everything they can to ensure that independent science doesn’t get in the way of policy decisions at the agency,” he said. “It’s an effort to stack the deck in favor of industry that EPA is supposed to regulate.”‘This directive needs to be revised’The emails also reveal that an EPA political appointee — a former chemical industry executive — raised concerns about the science overhaul.Nancy Beck, deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s chemicals office, raised pointed concerns about what a secret science policy would mean for both pesticide registration and for chemical companies and regulating chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).In an email sent on Jan. 31, Beck warned Yamada; Erik Baptist, EPA’s senior deputy general counsel; and Justin Schwab, deputy general counsel, that requiring underlying data to be public would affect pesticide registrations and TSCA implementation. In early January, EPA chief Scott Pruitt met with Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, to discuss one of Smith’s pet projects—overhauling how EPA uses science. Smith hasn’t been able to get legislation to do so through Congress, so he pitched Pruitt to do so internally, according to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails were obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and shared with E&E News.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country This idea to restrict the use of science at EPA was hatched solely and worked on almost exclusively by political appointees who are doing everything they can to ensure that independent science doesn’t get in the way of policy decisions at the agency. It’s an effort to stack the deck in favor of industry that EPA is supposed to regulate. Trump’s EPA wants to stamp out ‘secret science.’ Internal emails show it is harder than expected Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) “This directive needs to be revised. Without change it will jeopardize our entire pesticide registration/re-registration review process and likely all TSCA risk evaluations,” she wrote. “Let me know what more you may need from me to facilitate a change.”Beck noted that under EPA regulations, pesticide registration requires companies to submit studies that include a “huge amount of data” and cost the companies millions of dollars to conduct. “Guideline studies of this type are never put in journal publications — there is no audience for them, thus in IARC’s eyes they are not published,” she wrote.The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, develops an international database of chemicals that could potentially cause cancer. Beck notes that most of the data in this process are considered confidential business information, but the “CBI” tag can be waived to make the data available in many instances.”Making data available is very different than requiring a publication requirement. Such a requirement would be incredibly burdensome, not practical and you would need to create a whole new arm of the publishing industry to publish these types of studies that nobody is interested in,” she wrote.Beck added that there would be a similar problem under TSCA, where data for many existing chemicals aren’t published because there is “no incentive for anyone, anywhere to publish them.””Yes, thanks this is helpful — didn’t know about the intricacies of CBI — ok, we will need to thread this one real tight! Thanks Nancy!” Yamada wrote in response to Beck’s warning.Richard Denison, a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, noted that EPA staff and members of Congress had previously objected to Smith’s “Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act” — the basis for the potential EPA policy — for the data collection burden it would put on researchers, who would have to go back and identify which data could be made public.Critics also warned at the time that the impact would be to significantly reduce the number of studies that could be used to develop regulations, and many suspected this was the real purpose of the bill.”What Nancy Beck is ironically pointing to is the same set of issues would fall on the industry, because it is not only whether the information would be made public or not, it’s the cost and burden associated with doing so,” Denison said.EPA spokeswoman Bowman did not comment on whether EPA planned to follow Beck’s suggestion to revise its proposal. “It’s important to understand, however, that any standards for protecting CBI would be the same for all stakeholders,” she said.At least one “secret science” policy proponent said he was open to requiring researchers and companies to make data available when they are requested by “legitimate researchers” rather than publishing all underlying data.”This data has to be somewhere, and if someone needs to see it then arrangements have to be made,” said Steve Milloy, former EPA transition team member. “You can’t attack this stuff with a broad brush.”In another email from March, months after the process had started, Beck found a passage from documents the agency’s pesticide program released in December 2016 saying EPA “does not believe that it is appropriate to refuse to consider published studies in the absence of the underlying data.”The document Beck referred to also said, “The EPA frequently relies on peer reviewed studies in the public literature across agency programs without possessing underlying data and the federal courts have made clear that the EPA is not required to obtain or analyze the raw data in order to rely on such studies.”Beck wrote in the email, “I’m sharing for awareness, particularly regarding court cases that are cited.”Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net.Previous coverage:A battle over the ‘best science’Senate advances ‘secret science’ bill, setting up possible showdown with White HouseHouse approves EPA ‘secret science’ bills despite White House veto threatIn battle over epa subpoena, privacy remains sticking point Steve Milloy, former Environmental Protection Agency transition team member Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img read more