first_img Source:https://www.nyu.edu/ May 11 2018Working overtime may negatively influence nurses’ collaboration with fellow nurses and physicians, finds a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.The study, published in the Journal of Nursing Administration, showed that a third of nurses work beyond their scheduled shift, the average of which is nearly 12 hours.”One in three nurses reported working longer than scheduled. This appears to be a chronic problemfor nurses – one that extends an already long work day and appears to interfere with collaboration,” said Chenjuan Ma, PhD, an assistant professor at NYU Meyers and the study’s lead author.Collaboration among healthcare professionals is critical for quality care and patient safety. Previous studies have shown that patients receive superior care and have better outcomes in hospitals where nurses collaborate well with other healthcare providers. In fact, a study published May 2 in the International Journal of Nursing Studies by Ma and her colleagues finds that both collaboration between nurses and physicians and collaboration among nurses are significantly associated with patient safety outcomes.However, nurses frequently work long shifts, irregular hours, and unexpected overtime, putting them at risk for fatigue and sleep deprivation. Fatigue and sleep issues can lead to impaired emotional, social, and cognitive processing, which could, in turn, hurt nurses’ ability to collaborate. This study sought to evaluate how shift length and working overtime impact nurses’ perceptions of collaboration with other care providers, specifically with other nurses and physicians.The researchers used 2013 survey data from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, analyzing responses from 24,013 nurses in 957 units from 168 U.S. hospitals. Collaboration on a unit was measured using the nurse-nurse interaction scale (RN-RN Scale) and nurse-physician interaction scale (RN-MD Scale). Shift pattern was measured in three ways: average shift length, average overtime, and the proportion of nurses on a unit who worked overtime.The average shift length was 11.88 hours across the five types of nursing units measured, suggesting that 12-hour shifts are the predominant shift schedule for hospital nurses. Critical care and step-down units had slightly but significantly longer average shift lengths – both 12.17 hours – compared to other units (medical, surgical, and medical-surgical).Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerOn average, nurses worked 24 minutes longer than their scheduled shift. A third (33 percent) of the nurses on a unit reported working longer than initially scheduled and 35 percent of nurses said that the amount of overtime needed from nurses on their unit increased over the past year.The researchers did not find a significant relationship between average shift length and collaboration, meaning that longer scheduled shifts did not necessarily lead to less collaboration. However, after controlling for shift length, unit, and hospital characteristics, they found that collaboration suffered in nursing units with longer overtime shifts and more nurses working overtime.One hour of overtime was associated with a 0.17 decrease on the RN-RN scale and was marginally associated with a 0.13 decrease on the RN-MD Scale. In other words, a 0.17 decrease from the mean score on the RN-RN scale suggests that a unit’s rank on the RN-RN score would drop from the 50th percentile to roughly the 30th percentile.”Our research suggests that the more overtime hours nurses work, resulting in extended periods of wakefulness, the greater difficulty they have in collaborating effectively,” said Amy Witkoski Stimpfel, PhD, RN, assistant professor at NYU Meyers and the study’s coauthor.The researchers provided suggestions for nurses, nurse managers, and hospital administrators for sustaining good collaboration between healthcare professionals. Most importantly, they recommend using overtime as minimally as possible. However, given that longer shifts are the norm and completely eliminating overtime may not be possible, they also suggest offering fatigue management training and education, as well as training to help nurses and physicians communicate effectively and respectfully.”Our findings support policies that limit the amount of overtime worked by nurses. In practice, nurse managers should monitor the amount of overtime being worked on their unit and minimize the use of overtime,” Ma said.last_img read more

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first_imgJul 10 2018Treatments using antibiotics should stop as soon as possible to prevent patients passing the “tipping point” of becoming resistant to their effects, new research has shown.A team of researchers, led by Professor Robert Beardmore from the University of Exeter, has uncovered new evidence that suggests reducing the length of the antibiotic course reduces the risk of resistance.For the study, the researchers examined how microbial communities – groups of microorganisms that share a common living space in the body – reacted to different antibiotic cycling patterns, which sees the medication restricted or increased, under laboratory conditions.They found that changes both in the duration and dose of antibiotics used and in sugar levels (which mimics the variable sugar levels in human patients) could push these microbial communities beyond a “tipping point” – creating an irreversible shift to becoming drug resistant.The researchers insist this new study demonstrates that resistant species can increase within the body even after an antibiotic is withdrawn – if a tipping point was unwittingly passed during treatment.The study is published in leading journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on Monday, July 9th 2018.Professor Beardmore, a mathematical biosciences expert from the University of Exeter, said: “It’s a sensible idea that when you take an antibiotic away, resistance goes away too, but we wondered what kinds of antibiotic treatments don’t behave like that. After all, in some clinical studies, resistance didn’t disappear when the antibiotic did.”Antibiotic resistance occurs when microbes develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them, and so they multiply unhindered. Antibiotics are the most effective treatment for a wide-range of microbial infections, including strep throat and pneumonia.For decades, patients have been instructed to complete courses of antibiotics because the perceived wisdom had been that taking too few tablets would allow bacteria to mutate and become resistant. However, more recently it has been suggested that the longer microbes are exposed to antibiotics, the more likely it is that resistance will develop.Related StoriesArtificial DNA can help release active ingredients from drugs in sequenceNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchLittle research has been conducted to show how the length of a course of antibiotics impacts resistance, which, despite differences in patients, for example in their blood sugar levels, are recommended to be the same for all.In the new study, the researchers examined how microbial communities containing Candida albicans and Candida glabrata reacted to different doses of an antimicrobial when fed with sugar.Both species are commonly found together in healthy people, but are also opportunistic pathogens which can cause infection.The study showed that as the antimicrobial was introduced, the communities were reduced, while the removal of the treatment allowed them to flourish again.Crucially, the researchers showed that if sugar levels dropped in the community, it could reach a “tipping point” whereby resistance would persist even after the antimicrobial had stopped being used.The new research opens up the possibilities for further studies to better understand when the best time would be to stop antibiotic treatment, to prevent resistance occurring.Co-author Professor Ivana Gudelj added: “Our body is a mother ship for microbial communities but we’ve still expected to understand drug resistance by studying microbial species one at a time, in the lab.”We show this can be misleading because microbes have intricate relationships that the drugs make even more complicated, and yet our theories of antibiotic resistance have ignored this, until now. So that’s the first surprise: even sugars can affect antibiotic resistance.”‘Drug-mediated metabolic tipping between antibiotic resistant states in a mixed-species community’ appears in Nature Ecology & Evolution online on Monday, July 9th 2018. Source:http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_669817_en.htmllast_img read more

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first_img Source:https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ Jul 20 2018Delivering a single injection of a scar-busting gene to the spinal cord of rats following injury promotes the survival of nerve cells and improves hind limb function within weeks, according to a study published April 2 in The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings suggest that, with more confirming research in animals and humans, gene therapy may hold the potential to one day treat people with spinal cord injuries.The spinal cord is the main channel through which information passes between the brain and the rest of the body. Most spinal cord injuries are caused by damage to the axons, the long extensions that brain cells use to send these messages. Once these injuries take place, scar tissue forms and prevents the damaged nerves from re-growing.Previous animal studies show that one way to promote the growth of injured spinal nerve cells is to administer the enzyme chondroitinase ABC (ChABC), which digests scar-forming proteins, to the site of injury. However, because ChABC breaks down quickly, maintaining these beneficial effects for a long period of time requires invasive and repeated administration of the enzyme to the spinal cord. To get around this hurdle, in recent years, scientists began exploring gene therapy as a method to efficiently coax spinal cord cells to produce the enzyme.In the current study, a group of researchers led by Elizabeth Bradbury, PhD, of King’s College London used a single injection to deliver a ChABC gene into the spinal cord of injured adult rats. The treatment not only led the spinal cord cells to produce and secrete ChABC in large quantities over areas spanning the injury epicenter, it helped to maintain the overall health of the damaged spinal cord and restored hind limb function in the animals within 12 weeks.’These findings provide convincing evidence that gene therapy with chondroitinase not only encourages the sprouting of injured axons, but also imparts significant protection to nerve cells,” said Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD, who studies how nerve cells recover following injury at the University of California, San Diego, and was not involved in this study. ‘These are new and important findings that could lead to the development of testable therapies for spinal cord injury in people,’ he added.Related StoriesEMBL study reveals uncoupling between chromatin topology and gene expressionISTH introduces new global education initiative in gene therapy for hemophiliaRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationWith a single injection, Bradbury’s team delivered the ChABC gene into the matrix of the spinal cord (the space between spinal cord cells). Twelve weeks later, the animals that received the therapy had more spinal nerve cells and fibers compared with animals that did not receive the treatment. ChABC gene therapy also led to the recovery of hind limb function in the animals, allowing them to navigate the rungs of a horizontal ladder.Additional analysis revealed that ChABC gene therapy changed the way that inflammatory cells in the region respond following injury. Normally, after injury, immune cells invade the spinal cord and cause destructive and irreparable tissue damage. However, ChABC gene therapy decreased the presence of these cells and increased the presence of other immune cells called M2 macrophages that help to reduce inflammation and enhance tissue repair.’This scar-busting therapy represents an important advance since it reveals a novel interaction between the supportive matrix and the immune cells following an injury,” Bradbury said. The ability to treat large areas of the spinal cord for extended periods of time in animals “will be important for scaling up to the larger human spinal cord for future translation of this therapy to the clinic,’ she added.last_img read more

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first_img“What Is Keeping Women Out of Leadership Jobs in Academic Medicine?” Certain scientific fields require a special type of brilliance, according to conventional wisdom. And a new study suggests that this belief, as misguided as it may be, helps explain the underrepresentation of women in those fields.Sparked by sharing anecdotes about their personal experiences in fields with very different gender ratios, a team of authors, led by Andrei Cimpian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and philosopher Sarah-Jane Leslie of Princeton University, surveyed graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members at nine major U.S. research institutions. Participants rated the importance of having “an innate gift or talent” or “a special aptitude that just can’t be taught” to succeed in their field versus the value of “motivation and sustained effort.” The study, published online today in Science, looked across 30 disciplines in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, the social sciences, and the humanities.The authors found that fields in which inborn ability is prized over hard work produced relatively fewer female Ph.D.s. This trend, based on 2011 data from the National Science Foundation’s Survey of Earned Doctorates, also helps explain why gender ratios don’t follow the simplified STEM/non-STEM divide in some fields, including philosophy and biology, they conclude. “Nearly 40 percent of women leave engineering” “That’s what’s particularly cool” about the study, says Janet Hyde, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “It’s a single framework that explains all of those data.”Cimpian, Leslie, and their co-authors say that their analysis considered other factors believed to depress female representation in academia, including women having different academic preferences and working fewer hours than men, and found them to be much less significant than the field’s believed importance of genius. Only 6.5% of the 28,210 academics who were contacted provided usable data. But the authors say they corrected for that single-digit response rate, which they note is typical for surveys of academics, by weighting the respondents’ scores. Although female respondents emphasized hard work over brilliance more than did male respondents, the authors say that a “gender-balanced” score for each discipline’s belief in the importance of genius also predicted gender differences in the various fields.The authors suggest that faculty members and graduate student instructors convey their attitudes to undergraduates, who internalize them before making career decisions. Given the prevailing societal view that fewer women than men have special intellectual abilities, they speculate, female students may feel discouraged from pursuing advanced degrees in fields that consider brilliance crucial. Male students, on the other hand, will not experience this same feedback, leading to a gender disparity in the discipline.The study investigates gender distribution and field-specific beliefs only at a single point in time, and the results do not address how female representation in certain fields, in particular the life sciences, has risen dramatically in the past 50 years. However, the authors predict that the rates at which women have gained footholds in different fields may be related to how much these fields emphasize the importance of genius.The results do not speak to the actual extent to which brilliance might be required for success in various fields or whether men and women have different intellectual capacities, the authors emphasize. “The argument is about the culture of the field,” Cimpian says. “In our current cultural climate, where women are stereotypically seen as less likely to possess these special intellectual gifts, emphasizing that those gifts are required for success is going to have a differential effect on men and women.”He and his colleagues also conclude that their findings help explain why African-Americans are underrepresented in STEM professions while Asian-Americans are not. “That’s another line of evidence that supports the gender data and that this a real phenomenon,” Hyde says.The authors recommend that academics wanting to increase the diversity of their field should try to downplay the importance of innate ability for success. “More emphasis on the concrete steps that one can take to become a productive member of the field would probably be welcome,” Cimpian says. Expressions of positive expectations can significantly improve achievement levels, notes psychologist Virginia Valian of Hunter College in New York City. “It’s good for every field to stress the role of effort and motivation,” she says.Although the authors do not argue that this single measure explains all the variation seen between fields, some researchers believe that the study has not sufficiently considered other possible reasons. Donna Ginther, an economist at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, suggests that the extent to which a field is math-intensive — a topic she has explored — is one such factor. On the other hand, some researchers note that philosophy is not mathematically intensive, and thus that factor would not be expected to affect career choices.“It’s not perfect,” Valian says of the authors’ study, “but they did an impressive job with the measures that are available. I think it’s a really good first step.”Related content:“Study: Women and minorities less interested in academic research careers” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country “Is academic science sexist?” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email “More Action Needed to Retain Women in Science” “Paradigms and prejudice” 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 “Elite Male Faculty Employ Fewer Women” “The Complexity of Gender Differences in Choosing STEM”last_img read more

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first_imgVIENNA—It may seem counterintuitive, but life on Earth, even with all the messy erosion it creates, keeps continents growing. Presenting here this week at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union, researchers say it’s the erosion itself that makes the difference in continental size. Plant life, for example, can root its way through rock, breaking rocks into sediment. The sediments, like milk-dunked cookies, carry liquid water in their pores, which allows more water to be recycled back into Earth’s mantle. If not enough water is present in the mantle about 100 to 200 km deep to keep things flowing, continental production decreases. The authors built a planetary evolution model to show how these processes relate and found that if continental weathering and erosion rates decreased, at first the continents would remain large. But over time, if life never evolved on Earth, not enough water would make its way to the mantle to help produce more continental crust, and whatever continents there were would then shrink. Now, continents cover 40% of the planet. Without life, that coverage would shrink to 30%. In a more extreme case, if life never existed, the continents might only cover 10% of Earth. When it comes to a habitable planet, life even plays a role in building the habitats.last_img read more

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first_imgPerhaps one positive will come out of the fiery disaster that took down the World Trade Center buildings. The horrific incident inspired researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena to look for ways to make transportation fuels less explosive. Gasoline, kerosene, and other transportation fuels are composed of highly flammable hydrocarbons—typically 5 to 14 carbon atoms in length. During an impact, these short hydrocarbons readily form a cloud of tiny fuel droplets that can ignite, producing a fireball. Fuel researchers have long known that much longer hydrocarbon chains can interact with fuel molecules, causing them to form larger droplets during an accident. These larger droplets don’t linger as long in the air, so there is less chance for a catastrophic explosion. But earlier efforts to incorporate these long molecules into fuels brought other problems. They often got tangled in themselves, clogged fuel pumps, and often broke apart, reducing their ability to suppress fires. But now, the Caltech scientists report in Science that by linking together shorter molecules with sticky ends, the resulting “mega-supramolecule” can remain in one long chain. This huge polymer breaks apart under stress, leaving the fuel pump clog-free. It can also use its sticky ends to reassemble and restore its flame-suppressing activity. Most important, the new additives ensure the formation of larger droplets during an impact, warding off violent explosions (as shown in the video above). Future Fast and Furious movies should note—this fuel additive is not for you.last_img read more

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first_img Leeches may be gross, but their blood-feeding habits and painkilling saliva make them useful tools for medicine all over the world. And according to a new study, these slimy suckers could have yet another service to offer humanity: helping scientists track the health of rare rainforest animals. After a leech feeds, it stores its victim’s blood for months—an ability researchers have already used to look for elusive mammals like the Truong Son muntjac (Muntiacus truongsonensis), a tiny forest-dwelling deer from Vietnam. And more recently, some of the same team decided to test whether leeches store signs of not just the presence of their victims, but also the diseases they carry. The science isn’t for the squeamish. The researchers filled pig intestines with human blood that had been spiked with four different viruses—including a type of herpes—and let medicinal leeches (Hirudo spp.) suck on the resulting blood bubbles. After dissecting the leeches and amplifying the genetic material found within, the team still detected three of the four viruses 50 days later, they report in the European Journal of Wildlife Research. That means leeches in the wild may hold signs of the health of their victims weeks after they feed, as long as they store genetic material in the same way as their medicinal relatives. The research could provide an easier alternative to tracking down diseased wildlife that live in hard-to-access habitats, the team says. After all, finding the wild leeches isn’t too challenging: Some species happily seek out intrepid researchers, eager for the chance at a fresh meal. Leeches could aid the study of sick rainforest animals By Patrick MonahanApr. 5, 2017 , 1:30 PMlast_img read more

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first_imgHoesung Lee (center), chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, discussed a new report on limiting global warming during a press conference in Incheon, South Korea, on 8 October. Read more… By Scott Waldman, E&E NewsOct. 12, 2018 , 12:40 PM Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo Originally published by E&E NewsThe United Nations climate report released this week had some stunning revelations, claiming that the 2020s could be one of humanity’s last chances to avert devastating impacts.But some say its authors were being too cautious. 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 Email The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states in plain language that averting a climate crisis will require a wholesale reinvention of the global economy. By 2040, the report predicts, there could be global food shortages, the inundation of coastal cities and a refugee crisis unlike the world has ever seen.A number of scientists contend that the report wasn’t strong enough and that it downplayed the full extent of the real threat. They say it doesn’t account for all of the warming that has already occurred and that it downplays the economic costs of severe storms and displacement of people through drought and deadly heat waves.The world has a smaller carbon budget—the amount of fossil fuels that can be consumed before a critical tipping point is reached—than the report states, said Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University in Philadelphia. He published two papers with other researchers in recent years to show that the “preindustrial” baseline used for the report should not be based on late 19th-century data. The Industrial Revolution was already underway by then, he said, and humans had warmed the world by several tenths of a degree.”We are closer to the 1.5C and 2.0C thresholds than they indicate and our available carbon budget for avoiding those critical thresholds is considerably smaller than they imply,” Mann wrote in an email to E&E News. “In other words, they paint an overly rosy scenario by ignoring some relevant literature.”In other places, the report fails to highlight some major risks from climate change, said Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. In the summary for policymakers, the section that receives the most attention, it does not mention population displacements or conflict, he said. It also does not describe any risks except for destabilization of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, he said.”The danger of omitting these big risks is that policymakers underestimate the scale and urgency of the situation,” Ward wrote in an email. “The authors may have left them out because they are uncertain. However, policymakers may misinterpret their omission as a sign that the authors examined the risks and decided either that the impacts would be unimportant or that the probabilities are zero. It is the difference between an academic literature review and a professional risk assessment.”The IPCC report downplays the real costs of climate change, and its contribution to natural disasters, because it can be difficult to tease out the exact role of human-caused climate from a hurricane or other disaster, said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.He said the IPCC could make stronger statements about attribution of human-caused climate change to extreme weather. The report could also be stronger in connecting the costs of more extreme storms with human-caused climate change, he said.Another challenge is that the report relies on too many studies or reports that explore a single country, such as Iran or Romania, without looking at larger regional trends, Trenberth said.”The IPCC tends to be quite conservative both in terms of the way in which they do things but because you’re dealing with the lowest common multiple of a large number of people from many different countries who have a more limited background in terms of dealing with the material they’re actually assessing,” he said.The report also ignores “wild cards” in the climate system, or self-reinforcing feedbacks, said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor of climate sciences at the University of California, San Diego. That includes thinning Arctic sea ice, which allows the ocean to absorb more heat, causing even more ice loss and diminished reflectivity in the region, he said. Such feedback loops have a real possibility of pushing the planet into a period of chaos that humans cannot control, he said.Ramanathan said the report also takes solid research, such as his finding that 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming could be reached by 2030 to 2035, and downplays it in favor of being overly cautious.”I am a little bit concerned policymakers who are skeptical about all this are going to say, ‘They’re talking about half a degree difference; I’m not going to worry about that,'” he said.Other scientists criticized the report. Some said it’s understated, while others described it as overly alarming. One area that deserves more attention is the higher-risk scenarios, which have more uncertainty but also hold more devastating implications, said Andrea Dutton, a sea-level-rise expert at the University of Florida in Gainesville.”The take-away message is this: The scientists who have been studying climate change and writing these reports are some of the very same people who have the highest concern about the potential impacts,” she said. “If those most knowledgeable about the situation are also the most concerned, then it is time for the general public not just to start paying more attention but convert this concern and despair to action.”The research is presented in an appropriate and evenhanded way, evaluating risks and highlighting uncertainties where appropriate, said Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It’s also something that will be verifiable in the lifetimes of many of the scientists who contributed to it, he said. That shows the degree of confidence they have in their predictions, he said.”This is climate scientists really putting their predictions where their mouth is. This isn’t something that is going to happen in centuries; this is what we’re predicting is going to happen within decades,” Schmidt said. “I think that’s a statement about our confidence in what the trajectory is for many of these aspects and a warning to the people who are going to have to deal with it.”Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net New climate report actually understates threat, some researchers argue Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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first_img National academy president breaks her silence on ejecting sexual harassers Marcia McNutt Stephen Voss By Meredith WadmanDec. 20, 2018 , 3:45 PM It has been 7 months since the presidents of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, D.C., announced they had “begun a dialogue” about the standards of professional conduct required for membership in their exclusive ranks. In plainer terms, the three presidents of the prestigious academies—whose members are elected by existing members—were telegraphing their intention to try to find a way to expel proven sexual harassers and those found guilty of other kinds of misconduct. We “take this issue very seriously,” they wrote.Membership in the academies is a lifetime honor, and the current bylaws of all three make no provision for ejecting members. But in April, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C., was rocked by allegations that cancer scientist Inder Verma, a longtime member, had a long record of sexual harassment. The NASEM presidents’ statement followed in May. But it did not satisfy those pressing for change.“It’s staggering that they continue to refuse to make clear if there will be consequences for misconduct, including sexual harassment,” Gary McDowell, executive director of Future of Research, an Abington, Massachusetts–based nonprofit that advocates for junior researchers, tweeted on 22 May, the day the presidents’ statement was released. “This statement does not say action will be taken, only that they will ‘re-examine’ their policies.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Since then, NASEM has said little about the actions it is taking to expel harassers, although in June it issued a groundbreaking report showing that large numbers of women at all levels experience sexual harassment across the sciences. But the circumspection has not been for want of activity, according to NAS President Marcia McNutt, who broke her silence earlier this week in an interview with ScienceInsider.Her remarks have been condensed for brevity and clarity.Q: It was in May that you three NASEM presidents said you were looking into ejecting harassers. What has happened since?A: The report Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine came out in June. And that report was truly a watershed moment. I divide the timeline into two eras, BR and AR: before report and after report. Before the report came out, I was hearing things like: “Aren’t things getting better for women? Aren’t some of these problems in the past?” Or: “Yes, maybe there are still problems but aren’t these personnel problems or personal problems? … We are a PROFESSIONAL organization so we should concentrate on professional matters.”After the report … I have even had women who actually prided themselves on being fairly knowledgeable on women’s issues who said to me: “I was surprised by that data in that report and in not a good way.” [The report makes clear] that this is not something in the past. And that this is not a minor issue. This is a major issue. And it’s happening to a lot of people. So the report comes out in June. The next meeting of the NAS [governing] council is in August. The council says: “OK, before we can say we are going to be able to remove them we have to say what the standards are for their conduct.” We quickly drafted a code of conduct. We got together with National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering and we harmonized the draft across the three academies.[Since then] I have been going around the country, talking to members at regional meetings about the possibility of changing the NAS bylaws to remove members. And the response … has actually been quite positive. The appetite for the membership to really do the right thing, I have just been so energized by it. Especially when [they are] presented with evidence.Q: What’s next?A: We are putting together right now regional meetings in the [Washington], D.C., area and in Irvine, California, [hopefully in January 2019] that will focus just on the bylaw issue. Because by our [6] February [2019] council meeting we want to be able to have a good idea of what we want to draft into this bylaw.Q: Are you on track to propose a bylaw change at the NASEM annual meeting in late April 2019?A: Based on the meetings we have had to date, we see enough support that we are optimistic that should the remainder of the regional meetings be equally supportive that we think we could propose one. It’s an aggressive schedule … [but the] council’s goal and attempt is to do that.Q: What would the bylaw change look like?A: That’s what we would hope to work out. It has not taken full shape yet. But it would be providing the opportunity to remove a member under some sort of limited circumstances that would require some kind of process.Q: So in the case of a proven harasser, will you require a vote on this particular person’s ejection before the full membership? Or will you put to the membership a process by which the council is able to assess the evidence and decide on ejection?A: I’m not sure what I am foreseeing right now. The bylaws only allow for people to come into the academies and leave by dying or becoming emeritus [or resigning]. We need a change to the bylaws that would allow us some process for actually removing them, connected to … our code of conduct. Exactly how it would connect is undecided, but will be worked out in the next 2 months or so. I’m hoping it will be something the members will agree to and will think is fair. For example, it will have to have some kind of standards of evidence. Because I am sure the members will feel more comfortable about it if they feel there is no chance of it being politicized. … There is the concern that a small cabal could potentially distort the process for nefarious purposes if there are not the checks and balances in place.Q: What do you say to a 25-year-old  graduate student who is being harassed by her principal investigator and is completely in his power and feels trapped. And she is asking: Academies, why aren’t you doing this now?A: The academy really does care. … We definitely want to practice what we preach. We want to set the highest standards. We want to make sure that we are … that beacon for her and for the rest of the country. … The way we can do that is first of all by making sure that we have got our own house in order. … I know people feel like it has taken us a while to get here, but the important thing is we have to get the members on board.Q: NAS’s 2352 members are 83% male and the average age of a member is 72. Are you nonetheless encouraged that the members will vote something through?A: Yes. I am. I have been so encouraged by the degree to which so many of the—it’s not just the women in the academy … but so many of the men in the academy, too. They really care about their students. They care about their postdocs. They care about the academy’s reputation as well. And they see this as the academy’s obligation to be a leader.*Correction, 21 December, 9:55 a.m.: An earlier version of this story misstated the location of Future of Research.last_img read more

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first_img(left to right): JURGEN OTTO; KABIR GABRIEL PEAY; REPTILES4ALL/SHUTTERSTOCK 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 The ‘superblack’ patches on these spiders make their other colors glowMale peacock spiders attract mates through elaborate dances that show off their brilliant colors. The key to those vibrant hues appears to be so-called “superblack” patches on the arachnid’s abdomen. Using an electron microscope and hyperspectral imaging, scientists found that the patches are made up of an array of small, tightly packed bumps called microlenses. These microlenses reflect less than 0.5% of light, thus eliminating any highlights in the black and making the other nearby colors appear far brighter—even glowing.‘Wood wide web’—the underground network of microbes that connects trees—mapped for first time Trees, from the mighty redwoods to slender dogwoods, would be nothing without their microbial sidekicks. Millions of species of fungi and bacteria swap nutrients between soil and the roots of trees, forming a vast, interconnected web of organisms throughout the woods. Now, for the first time, scientists have mapped this “wood wide web” on a global scale, using a database of more than 28,000 tree species living in more than 70 countries.Snakebites, a globally neglected killer, get a ‘transformational’ injection of research fundsSnakebites kill as many as 138,000 people a year, mostly among the rural poor in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Another 400,000 victims suffer major disabilities such as amputation. Yet funders, more interested in infectious diseases that can be prevented and eradicated, have largely stayed away. That is now changing. This week, the Wellcome Trust charity in London announced an £80 million, 7-year research program to improve antivenoms and search for new treatments—a major influx of money in a small field.The world needs to get serious about managing sand, U.N. report saysOur reliance on sand is staggering—by volume, the amount we use is second only to water. As a key component of cement, asphalt, and glass, sand is integral to our phones, schools, hospitals, and roads. But our insatiable demand for sand now poses “one of the major sustainability challenges of the 21st century,” and meeting it will require “improved governance of global sand resources,” concludes a United Nations report released this month.Citizen sleuths exposed pollution from a century-old Michigan factory, with nationwide implicationsIn 2010, citizens in Rockford, Michigan, started to uncover evidence that a shuttered tannery owned by bootmaker Wolverine Worldwide had contaminated large swaths of land and water with “forever chemicals” linked to a wide array of health problems, known as a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The citizen sleuthing helped trigger a statewide survey of PFAS contamination and spurred hundreds of lawsuits. It has also made Michigan a closely watched battleground in a rapidly expanding scientific, political, and legal dispute over the threat PFASs may pose to millions of people in the United States. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Alex FoxMay. 17, 2019 , 4:25 PM Top stories: Superblack spiders, the ‘wood wide web,’ and an antivenom funding infusion Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img read more

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first_img Garima Abrol, wife of pilot killed in Mirage 2000 crash to join Air Force In February, Garima had expressed her anguish at not knowing how the incident took place and demanded answers from the authorities concerned. (Source: Twitter/@Chopsyturvey)Garima Abrol, wife of late Squadron Leader Samir Abrol who was killed in Mirage 2000 fighter jet crash in February this year, has got through the Services Selection Board examination in Varanasi. Garima has paved her way to join the Indian Air Forces’ academy in Telangana’s Dundigal, Retired Air Marshal Anil Chopra announced on Twitter along with a photo of the couple and a more recent post-training photo of Garima. “Mrs Garima Abrol, wife of Sqn leader Samir Abrol who martyred in Mirage2000 fighter plane crash while test flying it at HAL Airport. To join Air Force Academy. Woman of exceptional substance and will join @IAF_MCC in Jan 2020.Not all woman are made equal some are Armed forces Wives,” Chopra tweeted.Mrs Garima Abrol, wife of Sqn ldr Samir Abrol who martyred in Mirage2000 fighter plane crash while test flying it at HAL Airport. To join Air Force Academy. Woman of exceptional substance and will join @IAF_MCC in Jan 2020.Not all woman are made equal some are Armed forces Wives pic.twitter.com/gY7G8pV7f3— Aviator Anil Chopra (@Chopsyturvey) July 14, 2019Garima’s husband and Squadron Leader Siddartha Negi were killed when they were test flying the fighter jet. The incident had taken place at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru on February 1, 2019. They were conducting an acceptance sortie of the Mirage-2000 trainer, which had been newly-upgraded by state-run aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited when it crashed on Friday. Though the two pilots made a bid to eject, they were caught in the flames as the plane crashed with a huge explosion.In February, Garima had expressed her anguish at not knowing how the incident took place and demanded answers from the authorities concerned.Not wanting the death of her husband to be just another statistic, Garima Abrol had told The Indian Express: “I have so many questions in my mind. I do not see any answers. They keep telling me that there is a court of enquiry, but what will come of that? We can’t keep waiting, we want to know what exactly happened… from past records in such cases, I have seen that nothing special happens.”On her Facebook page, Garima had written, “My husband was a proud Indian and I loved sending him off to serve the nation with a morning cup of tea and a head held high. Every soldier’s wife’s biggest fear in life is when her husband would be called to the frontline and serve in an active war. I too had this fear. Many times, I woke up crying after having one such bad dream… But Samir would hold me, console me and tell me… that is the ultimate purpose of his job. How many more of these pilots have to give up their life to shake you up and make you realise there is something really wrong in the system?” After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Advertising Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Top News By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 16, 2019 12:02:38 pm 12 Comment(s)last_img read more

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 19 2018A new study by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the University of Pennsylvania and six other centers reveals that children with developmental delays, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are up to 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese compared with the general population.The findings were published online by The Journal of Pediatrics.This is the first large study to demonstrate that young children with ASD or developmental delays are at an equally high risk of developing obesity. Among children with ASD, those with a higher degree of impairment and more severe symptoms were found to be at even greater risk of developing obesity by age five.The study included nearly 2,500 children between the ages of two and five years old. This age group is especially relevant, since it is an important window for early obesity prevention.The research was conducted as part of the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). The multisite study analyzed 668 children with ASD, 914 children with developmental delays or disorders and 884 children from the general population who served as controls. Children’s heights and weights were measured during clinical visits, and ASD severity was measured using the Ohio State University Global Severity Scale for Autism.The study showed that children with ASD were 1.57 times more likely to be overweight or obese than the general population. Children with developmental delays were 1.38 times more likely to be overweight or obese. The risk for obesity was even more pronounced in children with severe ASD symptoms, as they were 1.7 times more likely to be classified as overweight or obese than children with mild ASD symptoms.”These findings make it clear that monitoring these children for excess weight gain at an early age is critical, and that prevention efforts should be expanded to include not just children with ASD, but those with other developmental diagnoses, as well,” said Susan E. Levy, MD, MPH, the study’s lead author and medical director of the Center for Autism Research at CHOP.Related StoriesNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaAlthough increased obesity in children with ASD has been reported in other studies, this study is the first to examine if children with other developmental disabilities are also at increased risk for developing obesity. Also, the researchers examined connections between excess weight gain and the presence of other medical, behavioral, developmental, or psychiatric conditions.”We need more research to understand why these children are more likely to develop obesity, and which children are at the highest risk,” said Levy. Other medical conditions are especially common among children with ASD, and the authors note that these may play a role in excess weight gain. Possible factors include endocrine disorders, genetic disorders, gastrointestinal symptoms, medication-associated side effects, sleep disturbances, or rigid food choices, among others.The research findings may shed light into possible mechanisms underlying the increased obesity risk in children with ASD, which may offer targets for early intervention. The authors suggest that clinicians monitor children who receive a diagnosis of ASD or developmental delays/disorders for signs of excess weight gain, and that they provide specific guidance for their parents in an effort to prevent obesity. Parents should discuss with their medical caregiver any concerns they have about their child who may be showing signs of obesity.Source: https://www.chop.edu/last_img read more

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 6 2018The gut microbiome — the world of microbes that inhabit the human intestinal tract — has captured the interest of scientists and clinicians for its critical role in health. However, parsing which of those microbes are responsible for effects on our wellbeing remains a mystery.Taking us one step closer to solving this puzzle, UC Santa Barbara physicists Eric Jones and Jean Carlson have developed a mathematical approach to analyze and model interactions between gut bacteria in fruit flies. This method could lead to a more sophisticated understanding of the complex interactions between human gut microbes.Their finding appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”Especially over the past 20 years or so, scientists have been finding that the microbiome interacts with the rest of your body, with your immune system, with your brain,” said Jones, a graduate student researcher in Carlson’s lab. “Many diseases are associated with certain microbial compositions in the gut.”The human gut microbiome as yet is too diverse to fully analyze. Instead, the research team, led by Carnegie Institution for Science biologist Will Ludington, used the fruit fly as a model organism to tease apart how the presence of particular gut bacteria could lead to physical and behavioral effects in the host organism.In their paper, “Microbiome interactions shape host fitness,” Carlson, Jones, Ludington and colleagues examine the interactions between five core species of bacteria found in the fly gut, and calculate how the presence or absence of individual species influences aspects of the fly’s fitness, including lifespan, fertility and development. “The classic way we think about bacterial species is in a black-and-white context as agents of disease — either you have it or you don’t,” Ludington said. “Our work shows that isn’t the case for the microbiome. The effects of a particular species depend on the context of which other species are also present.”Building on previous research that found the presence versus the absence of bacteria affected the longevity of an organism (sterile hosts lived longer), the researchers’ work on this project revealed that the situation is far more nuanced. For example, the presence of certain bacteria might increase the host’s fecundity, while others might decrease longevity. “As we examined the total of what we call a fly’s fitness — it’s chances of surviving and creating offspring — we found that there was a tradeoff between having a short lifespan with lots of offspring, versus having a long lifespan with few offspring,” Ludington explained. “This tradeoff was mediated by microbiome interactions.”Related StoriesDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionTo decipher these interactions, Ludington performed a combinatorial assay, rearing 32 batches of flies each inhabited by a unique combination of the five bacteria. For each bacterial combination, Ludington measured the fly’s development, fecundity and longevity. The analysis of the interactions required Carlson and Jones to develop new mathematical approaches.”One model that often would be a starting point would be to consider the interactions between pairs of bacteria,” said Carlson, whose research delves into the physics of complex systems. “This research shows us that a strictly pairwise model does not capture all of the observed fly traits.”What the study shows, the researchers said, is that the interactions between the bacterial populations are as significant to the host’s overall fitness as their presence — the microbiome’s influence cannot be solely attributed to the presence or absence of individual species. “In a sense,” said Jones, “the microbiome’s influence on the host is more than the sum of its parts.”The newly developed models could be extended to better understand the interactions of the thousands of different species of bacteria in the human microbiome, which could, in turn, shed light on the many connections to microbiome-affiliated diseases including mood disorders, neurological dysfunctions, autoimmune diseases and antibiotic-resistant superbugs.”In many cases infections are caused by bacteria that we all have in ourselves all the time, and are kept in check by native gut bacteria,” Carlson said. It’s not so much that the infection is some new, horrible bacteria, she explained, but that the populations of other bacteria have changed, resulting in unrestricted growth for the infectious bacteria.”It’s really about understanding the population dynamics of these systems,” she said. Source:http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2018/019279/modeling-microbiomelast_img read more

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first_img Source:https://www.utu.fi/en/news/press-release/maternal-smoking-during-pregnancy-increases-risk-of-adhd-among-offspring-up-to-3-fold Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 26 2019The higher the cotinine levels were in the mother’s blood during pregnancy, the greater was the child’s risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in life, showed an epidemiological study conducted by the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry at the University of Turku in Finland. Globally, it is the first study in which the connection between fetal nicotine exposure and diagnosis of ADHD was shown by measuring cotinine levels from pregnant maternal serum specimens.Despite its proven negative effects on fetal development, smoking during pregnancy remains a significant public health issue. During 2017, approximately 12.5% of all pregnant women in Finland smoked during pregnancy and 7% continued to smoke throughout their pregnancy.Related StoriesCannabis use during pregnancy may cause premature birthEffective stop smoking treatments less likely to be prescribed to people with mental health conditionsExercise during pregnancy can promote bone health of both mother and child- Exposure to maternal smoking is associated with various adverse perinatal outcomes. An association between maternal smoking and offspring ADHD has been shown in several studies. However, the causality of the association has been questioned to be mostly due to familial confounding, says Adjunct Professor Roshan Chudal from the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry at the University of Turku.- All previous studies on the topic were based on maternal self-report of smoking that has been shown to underestimate the true rates of smoking. The disclosure of smoking is even lower among pregnant smokers, continues Dr Chudal.Cotinine Reveals Connection between Smoking and Offspring ADHDCotinine is the biomarker indicating nicotine exposure. This includes active smoking as well as nicotine exposure from other sources such as nicotine replacement therapy or passive smoking. Measuring cotinine levels from maternal serum specimens collected during pregnancy, this study investigated the association between nicotine exposure during pregnancy and offspring ADHD.This study included 1,079 ADHD cases and an equal number of matched controls born between 1998 and 1999. Maternal cotinine levels were measured from maternal serum specimens collected during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and archived in the national biobank. The strength of the research is the availability of valuable information from the Finnish Maternity Cohort biobank (FMC).- In this first nationwide study using maternal cotinine levels, we report a strong association between prenatal nicotine exposure and offspring ADHD says Professor Andre Sourander, the leader of the research group from the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry.The World Health Organization (WHO) considers smoking one of the main public health concerns worldwide.- Given the high prevalence of both smoking during pregnancy and ADHD among children, these findings warrant future studies on the interplay between maternal smoking and environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors, observes Professor Sourander.last_img read more

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first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019Dozens of counties in the Midwest and South are at the highest risk for opioid deaths in the United States, say University of Michigan researchers.In a study of more than 3,000 counties across the U.S., the researchers found that residents of 412 counties are at least twice as likely to be at high risk for opioid overdose deaths and to lack providers who can deliver medications to treat opioid use disorder.States with among the most high-risk counties include: North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida.The study, published in the June 28 issue of JAMA Network Open, suggests strategies for increasing treatment for opioid addiction, including by increasing the number of primary care clinicians capable of providing medications as well as improving employment opportunities in those communities. The study found that certain factors–such as a younger population, lower rates of unemployment and higher density of primary care physicians–are associated with a lower risk of opioid overdose death and lack of capacity to treat opioid use disorder.Haffajee, also a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, said it’s important to understand the differences of the opioid epidemic at the local level.”In rural areas, the opioid crisis is often still a prescription opioid issue. But in metropolitan counties, highly potent illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are more prevalent and are killing people,” she said. “That’s likely why we identified metropolitan areas as higher-risk, despite the fact that these counties typically have some (just not enough) treatment providers.”Understanding these differences at the sub-state level and coming up with strategies that target specific county needs can allow us to more efficiently channel the limited amount of resources we have to combat this crisis.” Source:University of Michigan We hope policymakers can use this information to funnel additional money and resources to specific counties within their states. We need more strategies to augment and increase the primary care provider workforce in those high-risk counties, people who are willing and able to provide opioid use disorder treatments.”Lead author Rebecca Haffajee, assistant professor of health management and policy at the U-M School of Public Health 412 counties (13%) are classified as high-risk, having both high opioid overdose mortality and low treatment capacity. 751 counties (24%) had a high rate of opioid overdose mortality. 1,457 (46%) counties lacked a publicly available provider of opioid use disorder medication. 946 out of 1,328 rural counties (71%) lacked a publicly available provider of opioid use disorder medication. The U-M researchers looked at opioid overdose mortality rates in 3,142 U.S. counties between January 2015 and December 2017. They defined an opioid high-risk county as one with opioid overdose mortality above the national rate and with the availability of providers to deliver opioid use disorder medications below the national rate.The study, they say, is the first to include data from all three opioid use disorder medications on the market, including methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Their analysis included publicly listed providers of methadone (1,517 opioid treatment programs), buprenorphine (24,851 clinicians approved to prescribe the medication) and the extended-release naltrexone product Vivitrol (5,222 health care providers, as compiled by the drug manufacturer).Related StoriesShort-term opioid use increases the positivity of emotional experiencesBirth, child outcomes linked with maternal opioid use during pregnancyConcurrent use of benzodiazepine and opioids complicates neonatal abstinence syndromeIn their cross-sectional study, the researchers also looked at demographics, workforce, access to health care insurance, road density, urbanicity and opioid prescriptions.Among counties analyzed, they found that:last_img read more

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first_imgBy Lois Zoppi, BAJun 20 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Obesity rates among pre-schoolers who receive government food aid are in decline, according to data extracted from a US nutrition program. The findings, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June 2019, confirm that previous data showing that declining obesity rates were not anomalies.Rawpixel | Shutterstock“Prevalence of childhood obesity is high in the United States, especially among children from lower-income families,” the study begins.12,403,629 children aged 2 to 4 years old from 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and 5 US territories who were enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 were included in the study.Results showed that overall prevalence of obesity declined from 15.9 percent in 2010 to 13.9 percent in 2016, and the overall prevalence of overweight and obesity also declined significantly, from 32.5 percent in 2010 to 29.1 percent in 2016.In 2016, the pool of study participants had “slightly lower proportions of non-Hispanic white and Hispanic children and higher proportions of non-Hispanic black and Asian/Pacific Islander children when compared with the study population in 2010.Any differences between sex, age, and race and ethnicity were tested and analyzed to confirm any trends within these demographics, but it was found that “significant decreases” in obesity and overweight prevalence were found across all demographics. The greatest decreases in prevalence were seen in boys and Asian/Pacific Islander children.In 2016, the pool of study participants had “slightly lower proportions of non-Hispanic white and Hispanic children and higher proportions of non-Hispanic black and Asian/Pacific Islander children when compared with the study population in 2010.The study hypothesizes that “WIC food package revisions and local, state, and national initiatives” may be the reason for the decline in obesity rates, although the exact cause has yet to be officially determined.The addition of extra fruit, vegetables, and whole grains could be responsible for the decline in worrying obesity rates among children, researchers suggested.Swapping high fat produce for low fat itemsAlthough obesity rates are still too high among children, Heidi Blanck, who is in charge of obesity prevention at the CDC, said the results “gives us more hope that this is a real change.”With the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease all increasing with obesity, it is clear why any decrease in obesity rates is being celebrated.According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 15 percent of children across America aged 2 to 5 were obese in 2015 to 2016.Researchers have also warned that obese and overweight children often grow up to remain overweight in later life. As such, curbing weight gain in children is important to increase their chances of maintaining a healthy weight during adolescence and adulthood.Williem Dietz, a former CDC obesity expert, called the changes “meaningful and substantial,” and attributed alterations in the WIC, which saw high-fat milk swapped for low-fat milk and smaller amounts of juice included in food assistance packages, to the decrease in obesity rates. He noted that these changes accounted for 9,000 less calories being consumed per month per child.Further changes will be needed in order to curb the obesity epidemicTo reduce childhood obesity rates even further, broader changes need to be made. Families and childcare facilities should also routinely serve fruit, vegetables and whole grains as part of a child’s regular diet.Maureen Black, a child development and nutrition specialist at the University of Maryland called for employers to lengthen parental leave and make breastfeeding easier for new mothers, as breastfed children are less likely than non-breastfed children to become obese in later life. Journal reference:Pan L, Freedman DS, Park S, Galuska DA, Potter A, Blanck HM. Changes in Obesity Among US Children Aged 2 Through 4 Years Enrolled in WIC During 2010-2016. JAMA. 2019;321(23):2364–2366. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.5051.last_img read more

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first_img This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Ryan Reynolds in a scene from the film, “Deadpool.” When Walt Disney Co.’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox is completed at 12:02 a.m. Wednesday, Disney will add the R-rated superhero Deadpool, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to its bench of Marvel characters. (Joe Lederer/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. via AP) Explore further Disney has closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business, putting “Cinderella,” ”The Simpsons,” ”Star Wars” and “Dr. Strange” under one corporate roof. Cars enter and leave Fox Studios, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. Disney has closed its $71 acquisition of Fox’s entertainment business on Wednesday, March 20, in a move set to shake up the media landscape. The closure paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) Cable and telecom companies have been buying the companies that make TV shows and movies to compete in a changing media landscape. Although internet providers like AT&T and Comcast directly control their customers’ access to the internet in a way that Amazon, YouTube and Netflix do not, they still face threats as those streaming services gain in popularity.AT&T bought Time Warner last year for $81 billion and has already launched its own streaming service, Watch TV, with Time Warner channels such as TBS and TNT, among other networks, for $15 a month.In addition to boosting the Disney streaming service, expected to debut next year, the deal paves the way for Marvel’s X-Men and the Avengers to reunite in future movies. Though Disney owns Marvel Studios, some characters including the X-Men had already been licensed to Fox.Disney also gets a controlling stake in the existing streaming service Hulu, which it plans to keep operating as a home for more general programming. Family-friendly shows and movies will head to Disney Plus.No pricing has been disclosed for Disney Plus. The streaming service will feature five categories of material: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. Disney charges $5 a month for ESPN Plus, a service that offers programming distinct from the ESPN cable channel.Meanwhile, Fox Corp.—the parts of 21st Century Fox that are not part of the deal, including Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting—started trading on the Nasdaq under the “FOX” and “FOXA” tickers on Tuesday. Disney streaming service just got a lot biggercenter_img The deal is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. It will also likely lead to layoffs in the thousands, thanks to duplication in Fox and Disney film-production staff.By buying the studios behind “The Simpsons” and X-Men, Disney aims to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention – and dollars.Disney needs compelling TV shows and movies to persuade viewers to sign up and pay for yet another streaming service. It already has classic Disney cartoons, “Star Wars,” Pixar, the Muppets and some of the Marvel characters. With Fox, Disney could add Marvel’s X-Men and Deadpool, along with programs shown on such Fox channels as FX Networks and National Geographic. Fox’s productions also include “The Americans,” ”This Is Us” and “Modern Family.”The deal helps Disney further control TV shows and movies from start to finish – from creating the programs to distributing them though television channels, movie theaters, streaming services and other ways people watch entertainment. Disney would get valuable data on customers and their entertainment-viewing habits, which it can then use to sell advertising.Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call in February that Disney Plus and other direct-to-consumer businesses are Disney’s “No. 1 priority.” Citation: Disney closes $71B deal for Fox entertainment assets (2019, March 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-disney-71b-fox-assets.html © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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first_imgRELATED SHARE August 07, 2018 COMMENT After a bitter power struggle with M Karunanidhi in the DMK, VR Nedunchezhian (lleft) crossed over to MG Ramachandran’s ADMK.   –  THE HINDU  MGR, as Ramachandran was popularly known, gained popularity as an actor, and in the DMK’s early years, had been instrumental in popularising its philosophy through his movies. MGR’s growing popularity led to an initial cold war with Karunanidhi, which later developed into open rivalry between the two.Karunanidhi introduced his elder son, MK Muthu, as an actor, and got him the kind of roles that MGR did. Movie buffs of the early 1970s still recall how Muthu aped MGR in make-up, hairdo, apparel and choice of do-gooder roles. But he faded away after a few movies.In 1972, after MGR was expelled from the DMK, he floated the Anna DMK (later the All India ADMK). The ADMK captured power in 1977 and held government till 1988. The AIADMK is, till date, the DMK’s single-largest rival and both parties have alternately been in power in the State.Vaiko’s expulsionAnother landmark exit was that of Vaiko, who was expelled in 1993. Vai Gopalsamy, as Vaiko was known then, floated the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, a political party which ate into the DMK’s support base and has been a thorn in its flesh ever since, although it has never had the success of the AIADMK. The popular perception at the time was that Vaiko’s growing popularity and strength within the DMK was emerging a threat to the growth of Karunanidhi’s son, MK Stalin, who is now the Working President of the DMK. The MDMK website spells this out clearly.But Karunanidhi’s costliest ever mistake could be closer, within his family: his inability to resolve the power tussle between sons Stalin and Alagiri. Stalin worked his way up the ranks to first become the DMK’s Youth Wing Secretary, its Treasurer, Deputy General Secretary and now Working President. In 2009, he was even made deputy CM. Alagiri is believed to wield significant power in the southern districts. Both are in a running battle though they do not acknowledge it.A frustrated Karunanidhi even tried expelling Alagiri from the DMK after he became overtly defiant. But Karunanidhi stopped short of categorically announcing a transition of power to Stalin. COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published oncenter_img Indefatigable politician PM mourns Karunanidhi’s death; will be in Chennai tomorrow M Karunanidhi would brook no competition. Early in his political career, power centres within the party were edged out. But on two occasions this proved costly for the DMK. One of Karunanidhi’s earliest moves was to out-manoeuvre VR Nedunchezhian, a strong contender to take over the DMK and the chief ministership from CN Annadurai, who died in office.Though Nedunchezhian stayed on with the DMK for over a decade, he exited in 1977 and subsequently joined the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which had been floated by MG Ramachandran, who, too, had left the DMK after a clash with Karunanidhi. death state politics Tamil Nadulast_img read more

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first_img COMMENT Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on June 19, a plea of Gujarat Congress challenging the decision of the Election Commission to hold separate bypolls to two Rajya Sabha seats in the state. The Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant following the election of BJP chief Amit Shah and party leader Smriti Irani to Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi, respectively. A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to list the matter on Wednesday after senior advocate Vivek Tankha mentioned it for urgent hearing. The petition filed by Congress MLA from Amreli and Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Pareshbhai Dhanani, has sought a direction to the EC to hold the bypolls together.A press note issued by the poll panel on June 15 scheduled the election for both the seats on July 5. The EC clarified that the vacancies for bypolls to all Houses, including Rajya Sabha, are considered “separate vacancies” and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same. But Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda told reporters the EC decision was “unconstitutional” and the BJP has “pressured” the EC to hold the bypolls separately. Reacting to Chavda’s accusations, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said bypolls to Rajya Sabha are held separately, which is why the EC decided to issue separate notifications. Shah has been given the charge of Union Home Ministry and Irani Women and Child Development Ministry. Supreme Court of India Election Commission of India June 18, 2019 SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more

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