New study confirms geographic bias in lung allocation for transplant

Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/study-affirms-geographic-discrimination-in-allocating-lungs-for-transplant Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 17 2018Results of a medical records study of more than 7,000 patients awaiting a lung transplant in the United States affirm the basis of a court filing in 2017 that called the organ allocation system geographically “rigged” in some regions of the nation.In a report, published online Nov. 15 in the American Journal of Transplantation, the Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers who conducted the study say the findings hold lessons for further improving the current lung allocation system, as well as the process for assigning other organs for transplant.”Patients everywhere suffer from donor shortages, and we all want to do whatever is possible to most efficiently allocate organs to the sickest people most likely to benefit and survive,” says Errol Bush, M.D., a member of the research team and the surgical director of the Advanced Lung Disease and Lung Transplant Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.The new analysis, he says, demonstrates that for U.S. patients awaiting a lung transplant prior to 2017, where you lived or received your health care may have unintentionally been more important than how sick and likely to benefit you were when it came to how long you had to wait for a donor organ.”The data told us that where transplant candidates live unfortunately had (and continues to have) a huge impact on the probability of receiving a transplant,” says Martin Kosztowski, M.D., M.P.H, a research fellow at Johns Hopkins and first author of the new paper. “And it means that patients who have the resources to travel to a different donor service area (DSA) or list at multiple centers are at an advantage.”The older allocation system, operated under policies set by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), was in place for many years, Bush says, and was tweaked in response to the 2017 court filing in a New York case.The lawsuit was brought on behalf of a young woman on the transplant waiting list who claimed that she was being unfairly discriminated against because of her location–New York City. Less sick people just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, the suit claimed, were receiving organs faster. The UNOS guidelines called for donor lungs to be assigned to the sickest patients on a regional basis, a system designed to use donor organs locally because of time constraints. Lungs that became available within any one of 58 DSAs would first go to someone waiting within that region, even if there was a sicker patient elsewhere.But the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York filing claimed the guidelines were needlessly discriminatory, and in response, the UNOS changed its policy so that lungs would be offered to the highest-ranking candidate within 250 nautical miles, rather than within DSA boundaries.In an effort to put more evidence behind that filing and other calls for allocation changes, Bush says, he and his colleagues analyzed data on 7,131 patients over the age of 12 who were awaiting lung transplants in the U.S. between Feb. 19, 2015, and March 31, 2017–all under the old allocation system.The data included each patient’s lung allocation score (LAS), a number used to determine transplant priority between 0 and 100 based on how sick a patient is and how likely the patient is to survive a transplant. The higher the lung allocation score, the more in need a patient is and the more likely that patient will be to die without receiving a lung transplant. Each year more than 2,000 lung transplants are performed nationwide.Related StoriesResearchers identify new subtypes of motor neurons and microglia present in ALS patientsRewiring of nerves gives movement to paralyzed arms and handsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsThe researchers calculated lung transplant rates by LAS in each DSA across the country by tallying the number of transplants performed divided by the number of active person-years spent waiting in a given LAS category (0-32, 32-34, 34-38, 38-42, 42-50 and 50-100).The ratio in lung transplant rates between any two DSAs ranged from 1.0 (for DSAs with identical rates) to 21.73–someone in one DSA would be nearly 22 times more likely to receive a lung than someone in the other DSA with the same LAS.On average, Bush says, there was a 2.05-fold difference between the lung transplant rates in any pair of DSAs. This meant that moving from one DSA to another actually had more of an impact, on average, than jumping between some LAS categories–the difference in transplant rates between an LAS of 38-42 and 42-50 was 1.54 fold, for instance.The Johns Hopkins researchers note that the findings clearly back up the complaint of the 2017 lawsuit–the lung transplant rate for patients with an LAS of 50-100 (the LAS category of the lawsuit plaintiff) in New York City was 3.2 lung transplants per person-year, while the rate in New Jersey for that LAS category was 12.49, almost four times higher. The researchers also note that Arizona and parts of Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina had some of the highest transplant rates compared with other states.Moreover, the disparity between locations rose over the course of the study–the average difference between transplant rates in any two DSAs was 1.69 in 2006 and 2.10 in 2016.While the new study didn’t analyze the new 250-mile-radius allocation system, the researchers suspect it may still hold some of the same biases, since it’s still based on location. Certain places in the country, Kosztowski points out, have much higher organ donation rates because of the rising drug overdose pandemic or deaths due to traumatic events, as well as trends in local donor organizations communicating with families and communities about the importance of organ donation.”That 250-mile radius is still arbitrary, and won’t necessarily fix the problem,” says Kosztowski. “We certainly want to assess the new system to see whether it’s improved things. Ideally, a transplant candidate shouldn’t have to worry about where they get on the transplant list.”The findings may also hold true for the way other organ allocation systems assign transplants based on location.The demand for lung transplants continuously outpaces donations, and nationwide there are generally more than a thousand patients waiting for a lung at any time. For every hundred patients on a waitlist for one year, about 15 die. Patients waiting for lung transplants–as well as those who have just received transplants–cost the health care system thousands of dollars a month.Although lung transplantation is a large operation and can be pricey, improvement in quality of life for patients and their families is worth it, say the researchers. Currently, lung transplant recipients at Johns Hopkins benefit from an almost 97 percent likelihood to live for at least one year after transplant. read more

New path for treating Latino immigrants with mental health and substance misuse

first_img Source:https://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=2337 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 11 2019A team of researchers at the Disparities Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) – in collaboration with two teams in Spain and collaborators in the U.S. and Puerto Rico – has tested a novel preventive intervention designed to provide tailored treatment for Latino immigrants with both mental health and substance misuse symptoms. Their report is being published online in JAMA Network Open.”We know that Latino patients benefit when treatments are culturally tailored, evidence based and accessible,” says Margarita Alegria, PhD, chief of the Disparities Research Unit and a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “We sought to provide a customized treatment to Latino immigrants in different contexts – in the U.S. and Spain – to see how best to serve this growing and important demographic population in our communities.”The authors note that immigrants face enormous barriers to access appropriate behavioral health treatments. A variety of structural and institutional barriers mean that Latinos who need mental health and substance use services may be less likely to receive evidenced-based care and have worse outcomes than non-immigrant Latino adults. Therefore, the study team conducted outreach to people not seeking care, inviting them to be screened for elevated co-occurring mental health and substance use symptoms. If the screenings revealed mild to severe symptoms, they were invited to participate.The study team developed the Integrated Intervention for Dual Problems and Early Action (IIDEA) program to provide culturally tailored care that incorporates evidence-based practices – including cognitive restructuring and mindfulness-based therapy along with substance-craving reduction and coping strategies. The intervention was offered in both the Greater Boston area and in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, to Latino adults aged 18 to 70 who screened positive for co-occurring symptoms. IIDEA is an integrated therapy that involves 10 to 12 weekly sessions that include motivational interviewing, cultural formulation, assessment of barriers to care, psychoeducation, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness exercises, communication skills and reduction of risk behaviors.Related StoriesBiden calling ACA ‘breakthrough’ for mental health parity highlights gapsInternational study aims to more accurately describe mental health disordersCombat veterans more likely to exhibit signs of depression, anxiety in later lifeBilingual/bicultural staff across sites identified individuals in primary care and emergency departments, as well as non-clinical settings such as Latino-serving community-based organizations. A total of 341 participants were randomized to receive either the IIDEA intervention or take part in an enhanced usual care group with regular telephone check-ins to assure safety. Participants were assessed on enrollment and 2, 4, 6, and 12 months after enrollment.Results showed that the intervention reduced mental health symptoms but did not show an effect on alcohol and drug outcomes for participants overall, a large proportion of whom had mild symptoms upon enrollment. However, secondary analyses indicated that IIDEA was effective in reducing both substance use and mental health symptoms for participants who initially screened with moderate to severe symptoms. Those participating in four or more sessions also saw decreasing drug use and mental health symptoms.Lead author Alegria notes, “These results point to the potential for an adequate dose of tailored therapy, even as few as four sessions, to improve outcomes for those with moderate to severe symptoms.” More than half of participants completed the full course of treatment, supporting previous findings showing that premature termination of treatment may be reduced by the use of culturally adapted interventions and by matching patients with therapists who share their culture or language. Study authors also point to the importance of maintaining the effects of the therapy over time and hope to continue to address this in future work.The Disparities Research Unit (DRU) in the MGH Department of Medicine has a goal of generating innovative health services research that helps shape policy, practice and service delivery to reduce disparities and improve the well-being of multicultural populations. Utilizing collaborative approaches with researchers, clinicians and community agencies, the DRU supports an array of research activities as well as nurtures a core of junior researchers. The DRU has a strong focus on community-based and applied interventions to improve service delivery for multicultural populations.last_img read more

Deprivation and neglect in early childhood have impact on cognitive functioning in

first_img Source:http://www.childrenshospital.org/ When institutionalized children were placed early in quality foster care, early difficulties in visual-spatial memory and new learning diminished by adolescence, making them indistinguishable from other children by age 16. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 16 2019Young children experiencing deprivation and neglect in institutional settings have impaired memory and executive functioning at ages 8 and 16 compared with peers placed early in quality foster homes, report investigators at Boston Children’s Hospital. The study, interpreting the latest findings from the randomized controlled trial, the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP), was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”This study shows us that the effects of deprivation and neglect in early childhood continue well into the second decade of life, providing strong evidence that early experience has a long-term impact on cognitive functioning in adolescence — a very important period of social and biological development,” says Mark Wade, PhD, of the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and the paper’s first author.An estimated 8 million children worldwide live in institutions. The long-running BEIP study compares psychosocial, cognitive and brain outcomes in children raised in Romanian orphanages, versus those adopted early in life by carefully vetted foster families and children who were never in institutions.An analysis last fall reported high levels of mental health problems when institutionally-reared children reached adolescence, in particular difficult behaviors such as rule-breaking, excessive arguing with authority figures, stealing or assaulting peers. But these problems were reduced among children placed early with foster families.The new analysis focused on cognitive functioning, in particular memory and executive functioning. “Executive functioning includes several cognitive processes that help individuals be more goal-oriented and solve problems,” explains Wade. “It is important in academic achievement and social functioning in childhood, and is also related to long-term occupational attainment, income and other aspects psychosocial well-being.”Related StoriesRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionThe findings: “Institutionally-reared children start out with more difficulties, but when they are assigned early to positive caregiving environments, they may demonstrate some catch-up on certain aspects of executive functioning,” says Wade. “A safe, nurturing, and cognitively stimulating environment in a family-based setting is critical to children’s long-term success, and may help some who struggle early get back on track during adolescence.”EEG predictor?The study also found that an EEG measure of brain activity at age 8, namely higher resting EEG alpha power, predicted better executive functioning at ages 8, 12, and 16.”This may point to a neural mechanism that supports children’s cognitive development,” says Charles A. Nelson, PhD, director of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital and senior author on the paper. Children in all groups, institutionalized or not, improved on several measures of memory and executive functioning as they got older (from age 8 to 16). Among institutionalized children, even those eventually placed in foster care, early impairments in attention, short-term visual memory, spatial planning and problem solving (all components of executive functioning) among persisted through adolescence. The gap in spatial working memory between ever-institutionalized children and those raised in the community widened by adolescence. There was one note of hope:last_img read more

Younger patients receiving kidney transplant more likely to live longer shows data

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 23 2019The standard work-up of kidney transplant candidates is complex and includes many medical tests in part because most CKD patients are older and suffer from many comorbidities, for example, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease. According to the Annual Report of the ERA-EDTA Registry, the mean age of patients on renal replacement therapy is 61.5 years. Only 16% of all patients who are dependent on renal replacement therapy are 40 years old or younger (see Figure 1). “Yet these young and, apart from their kidney failure, relatively healthy patients, benefit most from kidney transplantation”, comments ERA-EDTA President, Professor Carmine Zoccali, MD (Italy). “Transplantation allows them to lead a normal life and greatly increases their life expectancy as well.”Related StoriesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsResearch highlights persistent gaps in quality of care for patients with chronic kidney diseaseData from the ERA-EDTA Registry shows that a 35-39-year-old patient on dialysis has a life expectancy of less than 15 years, whilst a patient in the same age group who has received a kidney transplant can expect to live another 30 years. This means that in young patients (under 40), transplantation doubles the remaining life span in comparison with dialysis (see Figure 2)!”We have to do all we can to get young patients listed for transplantation as soon as possible, preferably pre-emptively”, explains Professor Luuk Hilbrands, MD (The Netherlands), Chair of the DESCARTES (“Developing Education Science and Care for Renal Transplantation in European States”) working group of the ERA-EDTA.”The usual medical assessment of transplant recipients is very complex and time-consuming. This is why the DESCARTES working group developed a proposal for the work-up of low-risk kidney transplant candidates. We want to maximize the chance of pre-emptive transplantation for these young and `fit´ patients. Furthermore, a reduced work-up is also cost-effective.”The working group has defined a low-risk kidney transplant candidate as a patient aged 18-40 years who is prepared to undergo a first kidney transplantation, does not suffer from diabetes or cardiovascular disease or from any abnormalities of the urogenital tract, and who has not been on dialysis for longer than five years. A streamlined process of transplant work-up has been defined for such patients. “Transplant centers striving for cost-effective patient care will hopefully feel supported by this consensus report”, explains Professor Hilbrands. Source:http://web.era-edta.org/last_img

Advances in deep brain stimulation for Parkinsons could lead to treatments for

first_img Source:https://www.wysscenter.ch/2019/04/08/advances-in-deep-brain-stimulation-could-lead-to-new-treatments-for-people-with-movement-and-psychiatric-disorders/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 8 2019A new paper published in Nature Reviews Neurology suggests that recent advances in deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson disease could lead to treatments for conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and depression. The authors of the paper, from the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), University of Geneva, University of Tübingen and the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering, argue that bi-directional electrodes which can both stimulate and record from deep brain structures – known as closed-loop DBS – could have applications beyond Parkinson disease.Other bi-directional brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have been in development in recent years, notably for the real-time signal processing of neuronal activity to allow control of a robotic arm directly from the brain in people with paralysis.Professor John Donoghue, Director of the Wyss Center: “Interestingly the fields of brain-computer interfaces for movement restoration and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson disease have developed largely independently. Deep brain stimulation researchers tend to be neurologists or neurosurgeons while brain-computer interface researchers are often neuroscientists, roboticists and engineers. By working together and sharing information we can learn from each other and potentially expand the reach of this technology so that it can help more people.”DBS is typically used to relieve the shaking and rigidity associated with Parkinson disease. Although it has been tried in more than 40 other brain targets, very few other disease indications for the treatment have been established. The latest closed-loop DBS systems sense changes in the brain following stimulation and automatically adapt the level of the next stimulating pulse accordingly. This adjustment in the way that stimulation is delivered allows for tailored, accurate treatment that may prove suitable for other disorders.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsOther areas that might benefit from closed-loop DBS include OCD – although early trials indicate that there may be a time delay before improvements are seen, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome – for the treatment of both movement tics and psychiatric symptoms, and depression – although early trials indicate that the exact position of the electrodes and stimulation parameters are critical.The authors warn against the use of DBS for purposes beyond disease and call for strong ethical standards that require both artificial intelligence and neural interfaces to respect and preserve people’s privacy, identity, agency and equality.Neurostimulators with sensing capabilities are still in their infancy. They have still only been used in research settings and so closed-loop DBS is not yet a long-term treatment solution for Parkinson disease, or any other disorder. These new systems will however soon become commercially available and when they do they will bring with them new treatment possibilities and new hope.These questions will be discussed at OptoDBS2019, the third edition of an international meeting held at Campus Biotech, Geneva later this year.last_img read more

Augusta vision scientist receives grant to learn more about keratoconus causes and

first_imgLiu suspects PPIP5K2 as well as some other keratoconus-associated genes may have similar pathways of action because their results are similar, Liu says. By walking down those action pathways, investigators can identify possible points where they could intervene to stop or eventually even prevent the disease in people with gene mutations that put them at risk, he says.Progression of the disease tends to stabilize once patients reach their 40s, potentially because hormone levels that surge upward in youth and are thought to be a contributing factor, begin to drop, Liu says. While the absolute causes are not yet known, the National Keratoconus Foundation says hormones, along with genetics and environment, all appear to play a role. Environmental contributors include ultraviolet light exposure, vigorous eye rubbing as well as allergies which can lead to vigorous eye rubbing. Other associations include oxidative stress, a normal result of our regular use of oxygen that can be destructive at higher levels. The onslaught of hormones around puberty also is still an unproven hypothesis that ties back to the fact that most cases are diagnosed at puberty and often progress during pregnancy, according to the foundation. A percentage of patients who have LASIX surgery also develop secondary keratoconus.More than a dozen genes are currently associated with the condition, some of which are involved in eye and cornea development and the extracellular matrix between cells, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.Protein-coding PPIP5K2 already is associated with autism, autism spectrum disorder, hearing loss and cancer.Treatments for keratoconus include a variety of contact lenses that can, somewhat like a body shaper, help the cornea keep its shape for a while at least. There’s also crosslinking therapy that can strengthen the cornea and help halt disease progression but takes about six months to work. A corneal transplant is likely the closest thing to resolving the disease, Liu says.Keratoconus affects men and women equally, about 1 in 500 to 2,000 individuals overall, and 5-15% of individuals born with Down Syndrome.Source: Our technology can be used to track those changes in real time,”Dr. Yutao Liu, Vision Scientist and Human Geneticist Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 17 2019It’s an eye condition where genetics and environmental factors like ultraviolet light and vigorous eye rubbing conspire to make the usual curvature of the cornea more pointy, leaving us with double vision and nearsighted.National Basketball Association and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry helped make keratoconus, which affects an estimated 1 in 2,000, a more visible eye condition this April.A $2.1 million grant from the National Eye Institute is now helping Dr. Yutao Liu, vision scientist and human geneticist, learn more about keratoconus’ causes and identify points to better diagnose, treat and maybe prevent the progressive disease that typically starts in our teens.”We want to help patients better understand what is happening to their vision by better understanding how keratoconus happens, and give physicians better points to intervene,” says the scientist in the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy at the Medical College of Georgia and James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute at Augusta University.Liu has developed the first mouse model of keratoconus, which is enabling his research team to watch the disease play out in real time. He is further exploring the role of mutations of the gene PPIP5K2, which he found in patients and used to make the new mouse model. He also is examining corneal tissue from people with and without the disease looking for still more genes and answers.Keratoconus may start in one eye, then progress to both, although it tends to be more severe in one eye, Liu says. The natural curvature of the clear cornea that readily lets the majority of light into our eye becomes instead thinner, weaker and more cone-shaped. Light, which our eyes and brain convert to images, gets refracted so we get double vision, astigmatism and severe nearsightedness.Some mistake the vision changes for more common eye problems, but the pace of change is typically much more rapid with keratoconus, Liu says.It was in two multigenerational families with multiple family members with the disease, the investigators identified the two specific mutations in PPIP5K2, a gene highly expressed in both human and mouse corneas.Now they want to learn more about how the mutations result in disease. They think at least one way the altered genes affect vision is with production of the cell fuel ATP in the cornea.It’s known that the function and form of mitochondria, the cell powerhouses where the food we eat is turned into ATP, is different in the corneas of patients with the disease. “People have found reduced ATP production in patients,” says Liu, who is looking at powerhouses and ATP again in his mouse model and human tissue. The clear impact of those lower fuel levels remains unclear, like whether it leaves corneal cells weaker or less able to hold their shape, so that is among the many questions Liu wants to answer. The investigators also want to know whether, as they suspect, the altered mitochondria produce more oxidative stress, which is already associated with keratoconus.They hypothesize the gene mutations along with environmental factors ultimately alter cellular processes resulting in the thinning of the cornea’s usually clear and well-organized stroma through which light must pass. There is also what appears to be a related change in the outermost epithelial layer of the cornea, which normally helps nourish the cornea and protect it from invaders like microbes or even a bit of debris. As the stromal layer thins, the epithelial layer thickens, an apparently harmless but possibly compensatory move, Liu says.They are using whole exome sequencing, which looks at the protein-coding regions of all our genes, to look at PPIP5K2 mutations in more patients and find more novel genes and gene mutations as well.Related StoriesNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’Atypical eating behaviors may indicate autismThey are looking in both corneal tissue removed for a corneal transplant for patients — which is essentially the only current way to fully correct the disease — and comparing what they find to healthy human corneal tissue.In the mouse model they developed, which has, like some of the families, mutations in the PPIP5K2 gene, they are looking downstream of these mutations to see how the vision-altering physical changes actually occur.By three months mice — who live about two years and have an accelerated path to most human-like disease — have opaque rather than clear corneas. With collaborators at Duke University, Liu helped develop software that enables them to use human optical-coherence tomography, which uses light to visualize the anatomy of the eye, to see this and other changes in the comparatively minute mouse eye structure. With this mouse version of OCT, they are finding in the mouse model that the corneal curvature has roughened and the epithelial layer thickened, like what happens in humans. In the compressed timeframe of a mouse, they can even watch the disease develop and look at what happens to the mitochondria and ATP.center_img Source:Medical College of Georgia at Augusta Universitylast_img read more

Study Treatment of psychosis can be targeted to specific genetic mutation

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 4 2019Treatment of psychosis can be targeted to a specific genetic mutation in patients with psychotic disorders, according to a study in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier. The study provides a proof-of-principle demonstration that treatments can be tailored to a specific genotype, rather than diagnosis, to relieve symptoms. The findings also link an individual structural mutation to the underlying biology of psychosis and treatment response.Genetic mutations that have large effects on psychiatric disease risk are rare, with some known to occur in only one or a few families, like the mutation described in the study led by Deborah L. Levy, PhD, McLean Hospital, a psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA. The mutation was a copy number variant (CNV) in which the two patients in the study had four, instead of the usual two, copies of the GLDC gene. The authors hypothesized that this mutation might reduce brain glycine, a key factor for proper glutamatergic functioning, which is disrupted in schizophrenia. The researchers assessed whether this CNV could help guide treatment decisions by targeting the mutation to normalize its effects, a “genotype first” approach. “This approach contrasts with the standard clinical practice of treating individuals on the basis of clinical symptoms or diagnosis independent of specific genetic variants,” said Dr. Levy.Addition of agents to restore glutamate function, glycine or D-cycloserine, to the patients’ standard medications improved psychotic symptoms in both patients beyond their usual treatment regimens. Each of the patients also saw some reductions in other symptoms, including mood symptoms and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including enhanced emotional engagement and less social withdrawal.Related StoriesDoes genetic testing affect psychosocial health?New study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaLiving a healthy lifestyle may help offset genetic risk of dementia”It is important to note that the two subjects studied here bore little clinical resemblance, with distinctly different symptom burdens, and highly dissimilar courses of illness,” noted first author J. Alexander Bodkin, MD, McLean Hospital. This suggests that response to the treatment arose from targeting a specific biological process, rather than clinical diagnosis per se.”Most studies of rare structural variants will have very small sample sizes, complicating the usual approach to statistical analysis. Nevertheless, because the effects of a targeted treatment can be large, it is important to prioritize opportunities to study even small groups of patients who may benefit,” observed author Charity J. Morgan, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA.”Psychiatry is in the very early days of precision medicine, i.e., the effort to match particular patients to the specific treatments that they need. In their article, Dr. Levy and her colleagues provide a wonderful example of this approach,” said John Krystal, MD, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. “The substances that they administered, glycine and D-cycloserine, do not produce noticeable behavioral effects in healthy people or in patients with psychotic disorders. However, because these substances replaced a deficient co-factor involved in neural communication in these particular individuals, their administration alleviated mood and psychosis symptoms. As in these cases, we expect psychiatry to develop more instances where specific treatments can be developed to meet the needs of particular groups of patients.” Source:ElsevierJournal reference:Bodkin, A. et al. (2019) Targeted Treatment of Individuals With Psychosis Carrying a Copy Number Variant Containing a Genomic Triplication of the Glycine Decarboxylase Gene. Biological Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.04.031 The compelling aspect is that this CNV can be linked to pathophysiology, and, as the new study shows, to treatment.”Dr. Deborah L. Levy, McLean Hospitallast_img read more

Facebook news use declining WhatsApp growing study

first_imgFacebook has been hit hard by a huge scandal over user data privacy Citation: Facebook news use declining, WhatsApp growing: study (2018, June 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-facebook-news-declining-whatsapp.html The Reuters Institute report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, found that the use of social media for news fell by six percentage points in the United States compared to last year.”Almost all the decline is due to a decrease in the discovery, posting and sharing of news in Facebook,” said lead author Nic Newman, a founding member of the BBC News website.Facebook suffered its worst public relations disaster in its history when a huge data privacy breach was revealed earlier this year.The scandal saw many users around the world opt to move away from Facebook, and to spend more time on other apps like WhatsApp and Instagram—which are also owned by Facebook.The 2018 Digital News Report found that WhatsApp is now used for news by around half of the sample in Malaysia (54 percent) and Brazil (48 percent) and by around a third in Spain (36 percent) and Turkey (30 percent).The report, based on a YouGov survey of over 74,000 online news consumers, found Instagram had also taken off in Asia and South America, while Snapchat progressed in Europe and the United States.The report also revealed that the average level of trust in the news has remained relatively stable at 44 percent—a slight increase from 43 percent last year. However, only 23 percent said they trusted the news they find in social media.Real or fake?More than half (54 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that they were concerned about what is real and fake on the Internet. The rate was highest in Brazil at 85 percent and lowest in the Netherlands at 30 percent.The survey found that a majority of respondents believed publishers and platforms have the biggest responsibility to fix the problem of fake and unreliable news.Some 60 percent of respondents in Europe, 63 percent in Asia and 41 percent in the United States believed that their governments should do more to stop “fake news”.The report also found that podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular way of accessing news, with 33 percent of respondents in the United States and 18 percent in Britain making use of them.It found that in Britain, Germany and the United States, around half of those polled who have voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home use them to receive news. © 2018 AFP Social networks extend gains as news sources in US: surveycenter_img 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. News consumption is increasingly shifting from social media like Facebook to messaging applications like WhatsApp, according to a study published Thursday which also found high levels of international public concern about fake news online. Explore furtherlast_img read more

How to find and delete where Google knows youve been

first_imgEven if “Location History” is off on your phone, Google often stores your precise location. Here are some things you can do to delete those markers and keep your location as private as possible. But there’s no panacea, because simply connecting to the internet on any device flags an IP address, a numeric designation that can be geographically mapped. Smartphones also connect to cell towers, so your carrier knows your general location at all times.TO PREVENT FURTHER TRACKINGFor any device:Fire up your browser and go to myactivity.google.com . Sign into Google if you haven’t already. On the upper left drop-down menu, go to “Activity Controls.” Turn off both “Web & App Activity” and “Location History.” That should prevent precise location markers from being stored to your Google account.Google will warn you that some of its services won’t work as well with these settings off. In particular, neither the Google Assistant, a digital concierge, nor the Google Home smart speaker will be particularly useful.On iOS:If you use Google Maps, adjust your location setting to “While Using” the app; this will prevent the app from accessing your location when it’s not active. Go to Settings – Privacy – Location Services and from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.In the Safari web browser, consider using a search engine other than Google. Under Settings – Safari – Search Engine, you can find other options like Bing or DuckDuckGo. You can turn location off while browsing by going to Settings – Privacy – Location Services – Safari Websites, and turn this to “Never.” (This still won’t prevent advertisers from knowing your rough location based on IP address on any website.)You can also turn Location Services off to the device almost completely from Settings – Privacy – Location Services. Both Google Maps and Apple Maps will still work, but they won’t know where you are on the map and won’t be able to give you directions. Emergency responders will still be able to find you if the need arises.On Android:Under the main settings icon click on “Security & location.” Scroll down to the “Privacy” heading. Tap “Location.” You can toggle it off for the entire device.Use “App-level permissions” to turn off access to various apps. Unlike the iPhone, there is no setting for “While Using.” You cannot turn off Google Play services, which supplies your location to other apps if you leave that service on.Sign in as a “guest” on your Android device by swiping down from top and tapping the downward-facing caret, then again on the torso icon. Be aware of which services you sign in on, like Chrome.You can also change search engines even in Chrome.TO DELETE PAST LOCATION TRACKING:For any device:On the page myactivity.google.com , look for any entry that has a location pin icon beside the word “details.” Clicking on that pops up a window that includes a link that sometimes says “From your current location.” Clicking on it will open Google Maps, which will display where you were at the time.You can delete it from this popup by clicking on the navigation icon with the three stacked dots and then “Delete.”Some items will be grouped in unexpected places, such as topic names, google.com, Search, or Maps. You have to delete them item by item. You can wholesale delete all items in date ranges or by service, but will end up taking out more than just location markers. In this July 25, 2018 photo, Kalyanaraman Shankari, right, and her husband Thomas Raffill hold their phones while posing for photos in Mountain View, Calif. An Associated Press investigation shows that using Google services on Android devices and iPhones allows the search giant to record your whereabouts as you go about your day. Shankari, a graduate researcher at UC Berkeley who connects commuting patterns with urban planners, noticed that her Android phone prompted her to rate a shopping trip to Kohl’s. That happened even though she had turned off Google’s “location history” setting, which according to the company should prevent it from remembering where a user has been. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.center_img Citation: How to find and delete where Google knows you’ve been (2018, August 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-delete-google-youve.html 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

Better city bike maps are made by volunteers

first_img This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. How did OpenStreetMap measure up?Our analysis focused on how well different types of routes were mapped. We measured cycle tracks (which physically separate bikes from motorized traffic), on-street painted bike lanes (which use painted lines to separate bikes from motorized traffic), bike paths (which are located away from streets) and local street bikeways (which include traffic-calming features and where bicycling is encouraged).Painted bike lanes are the most common type of route and also the most consistently well mapped. This makes sense, because the definition of a painted bike lane may be clearest across time and place. There is also a straightforward way for volunteers to tag it on OpenStreetMap. But it was harder for us to distinguish cycle tracks from on-street painted lanes or paths (bicycle-only or multi-use) using OpenStreetMap. Local street bikeways were challenging to identify because of the wide range of ways cities design these kinds of routes along residential roads. Some use traffic-calming measures such as curb extensions, traffic islands, speed humps and raised traffic crossings to slow vehicle traffic and encourage safety, or greenery, reduced speed limits and bike-friendly markings on signs and the road surface. North American cities are building more bicycling routes, by adding on-street painted lanes, physically separated cycle tracks, bicycle-only or multi-use paths and local street bikeways. These different kinds of routes appeal to different types of users, from the interested but concerned cyclist to the keen road rider. Despite this boost in biking infrastructure, a city’s website may not immediately reflect the changes or it may lack important information that can make cycling safer or more enjoyable.Web-based maps that allow people to add information about bike routes give riders detailed data about the type of route, what it might feel like to ride there (do you have to ride close to cars?) and where it can take them (for example, shopping, work or school). They can also tell us which Canadian city is the most bike-friendly. Measuring bike routesWe set out to assemble a dataset of bike routes in Canadian cities using their open data websites. But we found it was nearly impossible to keep it up-to-date because cities are constantly changing and the data are shared using different standards. A safe, connected network of bike lanes and paths encourages cycling. Credit: Shutterstock Not all bike routes are equal. Some places that are marked as bike routes on a map feel precarious when traversed on two wheels, including shoulders covered in debris and places where you can feel the wind from speeding cars. Explore further The solution was OpenStreetMap, which creates and distributes free geographic data. Anyone can add data or make edits to OpenStreetMap, whether they want to build a better bike map or make a navigation app. We looked at OpenStreetMap data for three large cities (Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal) and three mid-sized cities (Victoria, Kelowna and Halifax) in Canada. Not only did the data in OpenStreetMap agree reasonably well with the cities’ open data, in many cases it was more up-to-date. OpenStreetMap tended to include more local details such as when painted bike lanes ended and often marked the short cuts connecting suburban streets. Bicycle routes that are physically separated from motor vehicles and pedestrians, like cycle tracks and bicycle-only paths, have the greatest benefits for bicycling safety and encourage bike use. Ease of access to bicycle routes is important to a city’s overall bicycle friendliness, but there are other important things to consider including the distance to destinations, the number, slope and length of hills, number of riders and how the transportation culture of a city can influence its safety. Bike-friendly Canadian citiesOur results showed that Montréal has the greatest total distance in cycle tracks in Canada. As cities continue building more bicycle routes, researchers and planners can use OpenStreetMap to measure these changes on the ground. The perfect bicycle map is up-to-date, covers the entire globe and gives riders an idea of the kinds of experiences to expect on different trails, roads and paths. People cycling in cities can contribute to the high-quality geographic data needed to understand changes in bicycle friendliness. But OpenStreetMap is only as good as its contributions. The exciting thing is that anyone who wants a better bike map —city planners, researchers and everyday riders—can join the bike-mapping revolution by logging in to OpenStreetMap and mapping the features that are important to bicyclists.center_img A physically separated cycle track in Victoria, B.C. Credit: E. Gatti (TeamInteract.ca) Correspondence between OpenStreetMap and Open Data for categories of bicycling infrastructure. Bicycle infrastructure can reduce risk of cycling injuries by half Provided by The Conversation Citation: Better city bike maps are made by volunteers (2019, April 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-city-bike-volunteers.html 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

A Sunken Soviet Sub Is Raising the Radioactivity of the Norwegian Sea

first_imgA Cold War Soviet nuclear submarine met disaster 30 years ago when it sank in the Norwegian Sea, leading to the deaths of 42 sailors. But instead of lying peacefully at the bottom of the sea, that sub, called the Komsomolets, is leaking radioactive material deep beneath the waves. Several samples collected by an underwater robot from and around the sunken sub’s ventilation duct show that it’s leaking high levels of cesium, a radioactive element, according to the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR). Some of the cesium levels are 800,000 times higher than normal levels in the Norwegian Sea, according to the institute. However, this radiation does not pose a risk to people or fish, the IMR noted. [Photos: WWII Shipwrecks Found Off NC Coast]These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65931-radioactive-soviet-submarine-leak.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  The Soviets launched the 400-foot-long (120 meters) Komsomolets, which means “member of the Young Communist League,” in May 1983, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. While the Komsomolets was on patrol in April 1989, a fire broke out on board, leading to the sub’s eventual demise. As the Komsomolets sank, its two nuclear reactors and at least two torpedoes with plutonium-containing nuclear warheads fell to the bottom of the sea. Since then, the Russians and Norwegians have monitored the wreck, noting its radioactive leaks. “We took water samples from inside this particular duct because the Russians had documented leaks here both in the 1990s and more recently in 2007,” Hilde Elise Heldal, the expedition leader, said in the IMR statement. “So we weren’t surprised to find high levels here.” An analysis showed that one sample had 100 becquerels per liter, compared with the usual 0.001 becquerels per liter normally found in the Norwegian Sea. (A becquerel (Bq) is a unit of radioactivity that represents decay per second.) But Heldal said it was important to put this number into perspective. For instance, following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, regulations were set for how much cesium would be allowed in foods. “After the Chernobyl accident in 1986, Norwegian authorities set this limit to 600 Bq/kilogram,” she said. So, even though the cesium levels from parts of the submarine “were clearly above what is normal in the oceans,” they still “weren’t alarmingly high,” Heldal said. Moreover, samples taken a few yards from the duct didn’t have any measurable levels of cesium in them. “We didn’t find any measurable levels of radioactive cesium there, unlike in the duct itself,” Justin Gwynn, a researcher at the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, said in the statement. Strange cloud But the remotely operated vehicle (ROV), called the Aegir 6000, did catch a strange sight on film: an eerie cloud emanating from the submarine’s duct. After detecting the cloud, the ROV took a sample, which was later found to contain high levels of cesium. Then, the ROV took another sample from a cloud seen rising from a nearby grille. This reading also had high radioactivity levels. Now, the researchers are wondering if this “cloud” is related to the high radioactivity levels in those areas. “It looks very dramatic on video, and it’s definitely interesting, but we don’t really know what we’re seeing and why this phenomenon occurs,” Gwynn said. “It’s something we want to find out more about.” [Photos: WWI-Era German Submarine Wreck Discovered Off Scotland Coast] The researchers plan to study the many samples the ROV collected from the submarine. In the meantime, Heldal stressed that seafood eaters have little to worry about. “What we have found during our survey has very little impact on Norwegian fish and seafood,” she said. “In general, cesium levels in the Norwegian Sea are very low, and as the wreck is so deep, the pollution from Komsomolets is quickly diluted.” Even so, scientists plan to monitor the vessel for years to come, especially since it’s the only known source of radioactive pollution in Norway’s waters. “We need good documentation of pollution levels in seawater, seabed sediments and, of course, fish and seafood,” Heldal said. “So, we’ll continue monitoring both Komsomolets in particular and Norwegian waters in general.” Originally published on Live Science. In Photos: WWII-Era Shipwrecks Illegally Plundered in Java Sea Image Gallery: Stunning Shots of the Titanic Shipwreck In Pictures: Japan Earthquake & Tsunami last_img read more

This Common Sugar Substitute Can Be Deadly for Dogs FDA Warns

first_img 11 Ways Your Beloved Pet May Make You Sick 20 Weird Dog and Cat Behaviors Explained by Science 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Dog Ownership You should always be careful about what you let your dog eat — case in point, a common sugar substitute found in everything from chewing gum to peanut butter can be deadly for man’s best friend, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This week, the FDA warned pet owners about the dangers of xylitol, a type of sugar alcohol that is sometimes found in sugar-free foods. Although the substance is safe for humans, it can be poisonous for dogs. Over the last several years, the agency has received reports of dogs being poisoned by eating foods that contain xylitol. Many of the poisonings occurred when dogs ate sugar-free gum, the FDA said. But xylitol can also be found in other food or consumer products, including sugar-free candy, breath mints, baked goods, sugar-free (or “skinny”) ice cream, toothpaste, cough syrup, and some peanut and nut butters. [These 7 Foods Cause the Most Pet Deaths]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65921-sugar-substitute-xylitol-deadly-dogs.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  When dogs eat xylitol, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and causes a rapid release of insulin, the hormone that helps sugar enter cells. This insulin spike may cause dogs’ blood sugar levels to plummet to life-threatening levels, a condition known as hypoglycemia, the FDA said. In humans, xylitol isn’t dangerous, because it does not stimulate the release of insulin. Signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs — including vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking or standing, seizures, and coma — typically occur within 15 to 30 minutes of consumption, and deaths have occurred in as little as 1 hour, the FDA said. To protect your dog, the FDA recommends checking food labels for xylitol, particularly if the product is advertised as sugar-free or low sugar, said Martine Hartogensis, a veterinarian at the FDA. “If a product does contain xylitol, make sure your pet can’t get to it,” Hartogensis said in a statement. This also applies to products you might not think of as food, such as toothpaste, which your dog might still attempt to eat. And if you give your dog peanut or nut butters as a treat or vehicle for pills, you should also check the label to make sure the product doesn’t contain xylitol, the agency said. Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoairdogusa.comThe World’s Best Washable Air Purifierairdogusa.comUndolast_img read more

Cabinet clears sale of REC to PFC Centre to get ₹15000 cr

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister   –  File photo COMMENT Deal will help Govt reach ₹80,000-cr disinvestment target Published on December 06, 2018 SHARE The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given an in-principle approval for the strategic sale of 52.63 per cent stake in Rural Electrification Corporation to Power Finance Corporation along with transfer of management control.According to the present evaluation, this deal is expected to fetch the exchequer around ₹15,000 crore. This transaction will help the government meet its ₹80,000-crore disinvestment target for this fiscal.This is in line with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget announcement of integrating PSUs in the same line of business. The transaction will be through the acquisition route. Speaking to reporters after the decision, Jaitley said, “It was announced in the Union Budget that if there are multiple public sector undertakings operational in the same space, we will adopt a merger, acquisition or takeover model for consolidation. For this transaction, PFC will be acquiring REC…REC will become a PFC subsidiary.”“This is as per the proposal of the Ministry of Power,” he added. The modalities will be worked out by the alternative mechanism — a committee headed by the Finance Ministry. As at September-end, the government held 57.99 per cent in REC, and 65.64 per cent in PFC. But the government holding in REC came down to 52.63 per cent after stake-sale through exchange-traded funds (ETFs).Next on the radarOfficials said that next on the radar is the merger of NTPC and SJVN Ltd. While NTPC is keen on the deal, the Himachal Pradesh government expressed apprehensions fearing that the focus of the company will get diluted.The first such integration was of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation with ONGC. COMMENTSlast_img read more

Cyclone Fani Adani Group commits Rs 25 crore to Odisha Chief Ministers

first_imgAdani group   –  Photo via Twitter cyclones Published on The Adani Group has committed Rs 25 crore to the Odisha Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, to support the people affected by the cyclone ‘Fani’ that wreaked havoc in the coastal state.Adani Group said it will extend full support to the government’s rehabilitation efforts towards the affected areas of Odisha.“The Adani Group stands united with the state administration and the people of Odisha in this hour of despair. For immediate relief, we commit to contribute Rs 25 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Going forward, we also plan to provide key resources for the massive rehabilitation work underway. We want to reassure the people of Odisha that the Adani Group will work shoulder to shoulder to rebuild this beautiful state,” Karan Adani, chief executive officer, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd, said in a statement.The Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL), a wholly-owned unit of APSEZ, runs the Dhamra port in Orissa. After receiving forecast regarding the landfall of cyclone Fani from IMD, officials of DPCL met Sarpanches of adjoining Gram Panchayats and assured all support in case of any eventuality.To minimise the impact from the cyclone, Adani Group had engaged all resources to ensure the safety of their staff and clients. Arrangements for medical support, dry relief, restoration of communication, drainage and providing specialised marine services; was placed on priority. As a safety measure people from areas hit by the cyclone were shifted to the Adani DAV School.As part of rehabilitation work, DPCL is coordinating with government officials and their on-ground staff for distribution of food, water and medical supplies. Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd SHARE COMMENTS COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL May 07, 2019 disaster managementlast_img read more

Radha Mohan Singh is the frontrunner for Speakers post

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on COMMENTS Lok Sabha SHARE Maneka Gandhi likely to be the pro tem Speaker Former Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has emerged as the front-runner for the post of Speaker in the Lok Sabha.The other names being considered are eight-term MP and former Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and veteran leader SS Ahluwalia.Singh, a low-profile RSS worker, whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as his “friend” during an election rally in Motihari, Bihar in 2014, is most likely to be elected as Speaker on June 19. The first Lok Sabha convenes on June 17th.While Radha Mohan Singh is expected to be the Speaker, it is likely that Maneka Gandhi will be the pro tem Speaker appointed by the President a day prior to the House convening. This is on account of seniority because Maneka Gandhi, owing to her having been elected for eight terms, is among the most senior MPs in the Lok Sabha. The processTo appoint the pro tem Speaker, a list of the senior -most Members of the House is submitted by the Legislative Section to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister for selection. The candidate is then appointed and sworn in by the President.The Election of the Speaker will be conducted by the pro tem Speaker through a motion in the House. After the election, the Speaker is led to the Chair by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and the pro tem Speaker vacates the Chair. “The pro tem Speaker is sworn in by the President. He or she conducts the business, including the election of the Speaker, which is done through a motion. After the election, of the Speaker, the House adjourns,” said former Secretary General of the Lok Sabha P D T Acharya.The chronology of the first session of the 17tth Lok Sabha has been fixed with the summoning of the House approved by the Union Cabinet for June 17. The Session is expected to conclude on Friday, July 26. The Rajya Sabha will be convened on June 20.The President will be requested to address both the Houses of Parliament, assembled together in the Central Hall of Parliament, on June 20 at 11 am in term of article 87(1) of the Constitution. The Union Budget for 2019-20 will be presented in the Lok Sabha on Friday, July 5, 2019 at 11.00 am. June 03, 2019 2 COMMENTlast_img read more

Following protest police increase presence outside Nigerian High Comm

first_imgKUALA LUMPUR: The police will be increasing their presence at the Nigerian High Commission following a protest after the death of student Thomas Orhions Ewansiha.“KL police will monitor the situation and increase security by performing more patrols in the area,” said city police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim. “We also urge Nigerian nationals here to obey local laws and to not take matters into their own hands. “The police will not hesitate to take action in preserving the peace.  “We confirm that a protest was held there on July 11 at around 11.50am due to the recent death of a Nigerian man at the Immigration depot in Bukit Jalil,” he added.Comm Lazim said in a statement on Friday (July 12) that the protestors claimed that the High Commission had not taken responsibility for the welfare of their countryman.The police were dispatched after a report was made by staff due to some arguments after protestors were not allowed into the office there. However, they dispersed when told to do so by the police,” he said.Ewansiha died on Tuesday (July 9) while in Immigration Department detention after attempting to flee during a raid.The Immigration Department stated that his arrest was conducted in accordance with set procedure. It said Ewansiha suffered a seizure before succumbing while still in detention on July 9. His death led to the protest outside the Nigerian High Commission.Related stories:Limkokwing confirms PhD student died in custodyNigerian tried to flee during raid, says ImmigrationWisma Putra: No protest outside Malaysian High Comm in Nigeria Nation 10 Jul 2019 15 Nigerians nabbed {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}center_img Related News Related Newslast_img read more

NBA invests in Jeremy Linbacked basketball AI app

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} The NBA’s adoption of HomeCourt represents another win for AI in sports, following the technology’s expanded presence in financial services, manufacturing, public security and other sectors.AI in sports has largely been adopted in so-called wearable gadgets, which help analyse the movement of athletes in a particular sport and monitor certain health markers during intense training.The HomeCourt app works with an iPhone or iPad to record video shots taken by a player on court, while providing real-time statistics from that workout session. It also provides edited video clips for a shot-by-shot review of a player’s performance.All that data is designed to help a player measure the accuracy of shots taken from different areas of the court, as well as a player’s running speed and height of vertical jump.HomeCourt, according to NEX Team co-founder Wu, now provides users with the experience of being in a video game as they compete in drills. This gamification was designed to make the app more fun to use for players, especially kids, he said.The other new investors in NEX Team’s latest funding round included the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, a non-profit initiative of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding; Hong Kong-based Blue Pool Capital, a firm owned by Alibaba executive vice-chairman Joseph Tsai; and American actor Will Smith’s Dreamers Fund.Tsai is chairman of the board at the South China Morning Post, which is owned by New York-listed Alibaba. He is also co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, an NBA team located in that New York City borough, where Lin played from July 2016 to July 2018.The partnership between NEX Team and the NBA will see HomeCourt introduce new league-themed skills competitions, including shooting contests, as well as achievement rewards, such as discounts in NBA stores, according to Wu. They also plan to add interactive training drills and other challenges jointly with various NBA teams and players during the league’s regular season, which starts in the last week of October.“The HomeCourt app marries a passion for technology with old-school deliberate practice and skill development,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “This exciting partnership builds on our continued efforts to embrace innovation and artificial intelligence to reach and engage basketball players around the world.” World 09 Jul 2019 Exclusive: China’s PLA signals it will keep Hong Kong-based troops in barracks Tags / Keywords: Related News Lin, who uses HomeCourt to help guide his workouts, said the app’s value goes beyond elite athletes because it was designed to make basketball training more accessible to ordinary players without professional coaching.“Especially in certain places where people love the game but there isn’t a huge abundance of coaches who can help, this is where the app can be so powerful because it can really influence the next generation of players just by providing the right curriculum,” he said.Lin, 30, is a California native of Taiwanese descent who ignited “Linsanity” in the NBA when he played with the New York Knicks for two seasons from 2011. He became the first Asian-American to win an NBA title with the Raptors in June.The idea for HomeCourt came to NEX Team co-founder Lee in 2017 when his wife and daughter came to one of his pickup basketball games, where he failed to make a shot. Lee wanted to make an app that could record his casual practice to show his family how he typically played.He said that initial idea turned into a more sophisticated concept about tracking and helping improve the performance of basketball players.NEX Team is the second startup venture for Lee. He founded an online spreadsheet company called EditGrid in 2003 after he graduated from the University of Hong Kong. In 2008, EditGrid was sold to Apple, where Lee worked as a senior engineering manager for eight years. He started NEX Team in 2017 with some of his old colleagues from EditGrid and a few engineers from Apple, Google and Microsoft Corp.The startup’s early investors included retired NBA player Steve Nash, former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. – South China Morning Post World 08 Jul 2019 Hong Kong police arrest six at Kowloon protestcenter_img The US National Basketball Association (NBA) invested in a basketball analytics app backed by Toronto Raptors point guard Jeremy Lin as part of broader efforts by the league to embrace advanced technology.NEX Team, developer of the HomeCourt app, raised US$8.5mil (RM34.94mil) in its recent series A funding round from investors including the NBA, which has also become a strategic partner. The app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to track and analyse how a basketball player makes shots during training or in a game. Its features have since expanded to include more drills and augmented reality.“Sports are sports, but the reality is that our world is becoming more digital and technological,” said Lin in a phone interview on Thursday. “Nowadays if you don’t use technology, you’re at a disadvantage.”Lin is an early investor in the San Jose, California-based NEX Team that was co-founded by Hong Kong-born David Lee, who serves as the chief executive at the startup, and vice-president Alex Wu. The new funding will enable the company to expand its staff of developers, according to Wu. World 09 Jul 2019 Hong Kong leader says extradition bill is dead, but critics unconvinced SCMP , Tech , Apps Social , Start ups , Big Tech , Innovation , Business , Companies , Sport Related News Lin, 30, is a California native of Taiwanese descent who ignited “Linsanity” in the NBA when he played with the New York Knicks for two seasons from 2011. — SCMPlast_img read more

But the case may wi

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