TeliaSonera-backed Estonian service provider Elion grew its IPTV subscriber base by about 10% in the year to March, ending the quarter with 160,000 subscribers.Elion had 216,000 broadband customers at the end of March, up 6% year-on-year.Elion CEO Arti Ots said the company would focus on network investment over the coming year. The group invested €6.5 million in upgrading its network in the first quarter. Elion this month also introduced the first in a number of digital home management services.
Here’s a chart that Washington state reader S.A. shamelessly ripped from a Zero Hedge piece yesterday—and I thought I’d offer it with no comment. I was amazed by the big withdrawal from SLV yesterday The gold price chopped sideways in a five dollar price range up until shortly before 1 p.m. GMT in London on their Thursday. Then, in a minute or so, the price got sold down about six bucks, before rallying strongly after that. The rally got capped less than an hour later at 8:30 a.m. in New York. From there, gold traded sideways until about noon—and at that point it developed a slightly positive price bias, which really developed some legs at 2:30 p.m. in the thinly-traded New York Access Market. That rally lasted until just about 4 p.m. EST—gold’s high of the day—and then the price didn’t do much after that going into the electronic close. The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,307.10 and $1,325.30 in the April contract. Gold finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,323.00 spot, up $12.10 from Wednesday. Volume, net of February and March, was very decent at 144,000 contracts. The silver price had much more of a roller coaster ride in Far East and morning trading in London—but after the sell-off just before 1 p.m. GMT in London, the silver price action followed the gold price action like a shadow, including the rally in the thinly-traded electronic market after the Comex close—and silver’s high price tick of the day just before 4 p.m. EST. The low and high prices were reported as $21.515 and $21.90 in the March contract. Silver finished the Thursday session at $21.82 spot, up 28.5 cents from Wednesday’s close. Net volume was less than on Wednesday, but a still very decent 32,500 contracts. Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart for yesterday—and as I said, it looks almost identical to the spot gold chart posted above. After getting sold down early in Far East trading on their Thursday, both platinum and palladium rallied to finish in the green, but only by a few dollars each. Here are the charts. The gold stocks rallied right from the open, with a big chunk of the gains in by the London p.m. gold fix. After that, the stocks rallied continued to rally higher, but at a much more modest rate. Then, when gold had its rally in the thinly-traded electronic market after the Comex close, the shares rallied a bit more—and the HUI finished up 3.89%—virtually on its high of the day, gaining back all of Wednesday’s losses and a bit more. I was impressed. The silver equities rallied right from the open as well—and most of their gains were in by precisely 11 a.m. EST. After that they traded sideways, but caught a bit of a tail wind as well when silver rallied in after hours trading in New York before the equity markets closed. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 4.03%—not gaining back everything it lost on Wednesday, but pretty close. Skyharbour Resources (TSX-V: SYH) is a uranium exploration company and a member of the Western Athabasca Syndicate which controls a large, geologically prospective land package consisting of five properties (709,513 acres) in the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan. The properties are strategically located to the north, south, east and west of Fission Uranium’s (TSX-V: FCU) Patterson Lake South (“PLS”) recent high grade uranium discovery on the western flank of the Athabasca Basin. $6,000,000 in combined exploration expenditures over the next two years is planned on these properties, $5,000,000 of which is being funded by the three partner companies. Numerous high-potential drill targets have been identified with drilling to start in March, 2014. The Company has recently acquired a 60% interest in the Mann Lake Uranium Project on the east side of the Basin strategically located 25km southwest of Cameco’s McArthur River Mine. The ground adjacent to this property is Cameco’s Mann Lake Joint Venture where an aggressive 13,000 metre, 18-hole drill program is about to commence and previous grades of up to 7.12% uranium have been intersected in drilling. The Company has 43.6 million shares outstanding with insiders owning over 25% of the outstanding shares. Skyharbour’s goal is to maximize shareholder value through new mineral discoveries, committed long-term partnerships, and the advancement of exploration projects in geopolitically favourable jurisdictions. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 145 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. The short/issuer on 140 of those contracts was Barclays. They also stopped 50 contracts as well. HSBC USA stopped another 65 contracts. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were no reported changes in GLD on Thursday—but over at SLV there was a big surprise in store. After a huge deposit of 3.85 million troy ounces on Tuesday, there was a big withdrawal of 2,212,315 troy ounces yesterday. The only answer I have for this, is something that Ted Butler has been talking about for the last couple of years. He suspects that a big buyer has been purchasing shares by the truckload [read JPMorgan Chase] and has been continuously redeeming their shares for physical metal so they don’t exceed SLV reporting requirements. In a nutshell, this means that JPM is using SLV as a vehicle to load up on the shares—and the physical metal at the same time—without having to report it to anyone. This is over and above what they show in their Comex-approved depository. This may also have been what’s happening in GLD since the start of they year as well. As I mentioned yesterday, the big rallies in both silver and gold have not been matched by corresponding deposits in either SLV or GLD—and Ted Butler’s explanation as to why it’s not happening is the only theory that holds any water., at least for me. If you have another idea, I’d love to here from you. Over at the Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending Friday, February 14, they reported a smallish decline in their gold ETF of 5,611 troy ounces. Their silver ETF showed a small increase of 29,353 troy ounces. Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List” had this to report on the weekly goings-on within the SLV ETF for the week ending at the close of trading on Wednesday: “Analysis of the 19 February 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list—9,670,272.5 troy ounces were removed (all from Brinks London), 13,037,078.1 troy ounces were added (all to Brinks London), no bars had a serial number change.“ “In reality, 5,290,714.0 oz were added—and 1,923,884.0 removed. The other 7.7M oz appears to be a ‘substitution’ (JPM removed bars, such as 6.7M oz of Russian State Refineries and Met-Mex bars, and replaced them with different ones, such as Kazakhmys and Valcambi bars).“ “As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 557.5 oz. All daily changes are reflected on the bar list.” The link to Joshua’s website is here. For the second day in a row, there was no reported in/out movement in gold at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday—and is almost always the case, there was more in/out activity in silver, as 74,150 troy ounces were reported received—and 303,398 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that activity is here. Here’s a three-year chart of the Continuous Commodity Index, the CCI, which is the new name for the old CRB Index—and look at it fly as of the start of the year. It’s hugely overbought, but worth keeping an eye on. If the central banks of the world are looking for inflation, here’s the first sign that it’s on its way. The new CRB chart looks similar. Here’s a chart that Casey Research’s own Jeff Clark sends our way every few weeks. It’s the latest monetary base numbers from the St. Louis Fed. Soon the line will break through the $4.0 trillion mark. I have another bunch of stories for you today—and you can cherry pick from the selections offered. Undoubtedly, we’ll get a measure of what they may be up to in Friday’s Commitments of Traders Report. Specifically, what JPMorgan has done, particularly in silver, will likely be the key feature. JPM hasn’t sold on higher prices over the past two reporting weeks in either gold or silver and that has been the big standout so far. If JPMorgan turns out to have sold some of its long gold position on higher prices, there’s not much to say. But if this crooked bank starts adding short positions in silver, there will be plenty to say, namely, overt price manipulation. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 19 February 2014 To tell you the truth, I don’t know what to make of yesterday’s price action in either gold or silver. Don’t get me wrong, I was more than happy to see both metals do as well as they did—and as Ted Butler has told me on many occasions, it’s a mug’s game trying to forecast what might happen in day to day price action. As Ted mentioned in his quote above, we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday—and I will be awaiting the numbers with some anticipation; hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Whatever the numbers show, I’ll have it all for you in tomorrow’s column. Once again I was amazed by the big withdrawal from SLV yesterday. As I said in yesterday’s column, with gold up $100—and silver up 2 bucks so far this year, metal should be pouring into both GLD and SLV. They are to a certain extent, but no sooner does metal get deposited, when some is taken out. Ted has his explanation for this, which I posted further up—and it makes perfect sense to me. If you wish to refresh your memory, you can scroll up and read it again, as I don’t wish to repeat myself in this space. One thing I have noticed is that the further down the road we get on this price management scheme in all four precious metals, the more inexplicable it gets. Whatever is happening out of sight of the general public, which includes us, appears to be well organized—and sooner or later it will all come to an end. At that point we should have some sort of dénouement on all of this—and that day can’t come soon enough for me, although it does fall into the category of “be careful what you wish for.” We did have the usual sell-off in both gold and silver in early trading in the Far East on the their Friday morning—but both platinum and palladium emerged unscathed. Both gold and silver struggled higher later in the day—and as I write this paragraph, London has been open for 10 minutes. Both silver and gold are down from Thursday’s close in New York—and both platinum and palladium are basically unchanged. Volumes in both metals are considerably lighter than they were this time yesterday—and the dollar index is up a handful of basis points. And as I put the finishing touches on today’s efforts shortly after 5 a.m. EST, I note that prices haven’t changed by much in all four precious metals. Gold volume is still on the lighter side—and mostly of the HFT variety. Silver’s volume is decent as well, but once the roll-overs are subtracted out, the real volume is not overly heavy, either—and the dollar is still up the same handful of basis points. Since today is Friday, it’s hard to know what to expect as far as price action is concerned for the rest of the day. But as is almost always the case, it’s what happens during the New York trading day that really matters—and I don’t expect today will be any different. By the way, with what appears to be the start of a major up-trend in the precious metals, it might be worth your while to jump back in, or increase your exposure to the precious metals once again, as the HUI is already up over 22% year-to-date. Your best bets for that are Casey Research’s monthly BIG GOLD newsletter—and Casey Research’s flagship publication—Casey International Speculator. If you go for Casey International Speculator, it includes a subscription to BIG GOLD at no extra charge. It costs nothing to check them out—and Casey Research’s 90-day money back guarantee applies to both. That’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it if you live west of the International Date Line—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Sponsor Advertisement Here’s the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart so you can see the Comex price action in more detail. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 80.21—and once the trading day began in the Far East on their Thursday, the index slid down to its 80.04 low shortly before 2:30 p.m. Hong Kong time. From there it rallied to its 80.41 high at noon in New York in a broad trading range. After that it gave up some of its gains by 4 p.m. EST—and then didn’t do much after that, closing the day at 80.28—up a whole 7 basis points from Wednesday’s close.
In This Issue. * Dollar’s all-out assault is stopped.. * Euro rebounds on cease fire news. * Aussie 2nd QTR GDP beats expectations! * China to spend some reserves on shipping. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Ukraine / Russia Agree To Cease Fire. Maybe. Good Day! . And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Man, I had better get my eye checked! I think I’m beginning to read stuff that’s not the way it’s presented! Here’s the skinny: I woke up from a quick and not long enough nap to answer the door yesterday afternoon, and after welcoming the ATT guy into the house, I brought up my work email on my mobile device, and there was an email from our office managing guru, Danielle, telling me about elevator work that would take place around the time I arrive in the morning. “Great! I said, for I had some blood work that I needed to get done tomorrow, so I’ll just stay home, write and then go get the blood work done, rather than get all dialed in at work to leave right away. Unfortunately, the email said Sept 4.. not Sept 3. UGH! So, I’m writing from home today, when I didn’t have to! The elevator work is tomorrow! What a dolt I am sometimes! Front and Center this morning, there was word earlier that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to a cease-fire. But then the “official word” from the Kremlin came out, and said that the Russian and Ukrainian Presidents had only discussed steps toward peace. There’s been no further discussion on what that meant, or maybe it was just a matter of semantics, but it sounds to me that the Kremlin wants their say before any “agreement” is made. The Currency traders are taking this “non-agreement in stone” as a good sign, and the euro has rallied a little bit. In fact the dollar’s all-out assault on the currencies and metals yesterday, (Gold lost $24) has backed off a bit this morning, albeit the moves are small. I forgot to mention yesterday that there is a bevy of Central Bank meetings this week, and that all gets started today with the Bank of Canada (BOC) meeting. I don’t expect any surprises from the BOC today, and their neutral bias should remain in place. The recent data from Canada, as chronicled here in the Pfennig, has been upbeat, but I doubt it’s enough. yet that is. Oh, and before I forget again. which, I might add, seems to be happening to me more and more these days, the other central bank meetings this week include the European Central Bank (ECB), The Bank of England (BOE), and the Bank of Japan (BOJ). And we can’t take our eye off the ball with regards to the Jobs Jamboree, which will take place on Friday this week! So, an event-full week, but in the end it will be just a bunch of boondoggles and cooked booked. The Biggest mover overnight, is the Aussie dollar (A$). Australia printed their 2nd QTR GDP last night, and it showed a solid number of .5% for the QTR and 3.1% year on year. That beat the expectations, and the A$ has reversed yesterday’s selling on the news. I did see “something” as a doctor might say to a patient, that we’ll have to keep our eye on. The Personal Income component of the GDP report showed a -.6% decline in disposable income. That’s not a good sign for the 3rd QTR. Just like I told you yesterday about how the Personal Income decline in the U.S. was not good for 3rd QTR GDP, the same will hold true for Australia, unless.. this was just a blip, and the next two months turn around, which is why I say we’ll have to keep our eye on this. But for right here ,right now, the A$ is in rally mode, so don’t stop it now, it’s on a roll! Remember when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Don’t Stop him he’s on a roll. HAHAHAHAHA! One of the funniest scenes ever in a movie. On a side bar. A few years ago, used that line about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, and I actually had a few readers send me notes telling be that it was Not the Germans, but the Japanese that bombed Pearl Harbor. That made the whole line even more funny! Of course the actual bombing is not, was not funny. I’m strictly talking about the line in the Animal House movie! Back to Australia for a minute. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Gov. Stevens, made some comments after the 2nd QTR GDP report printed last night, and in his speech, he made a tactical error, and sound hawkish. I’m certain that he didn’t mean to do this, but h did, and the A$ was the beneficiary. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come out with a retraction. There’s news this morning from two of my fave currencies / countries. Sweden and Norway, and none of the news is good. In Sweden, the markets are calling for the Riksbank to implement unconventional methods to reach their target inflation rate. Read, Quantitative Easing / QE. I shake my head in disgust, for this Central Bank USED to be prudent and kept their eyes on price stability. And in Norway, the latest data from Statistics Norway, their latest survey of Oil producers and explorers suggest an 18% drop in investments next year. So far in 2014, they’ve seen a 14% decline in investments. So a further drag on the Norwegian economy next year, folks. Of course this is where you reach back in the memory bank and recall that Chuck told you of the huge cash reserves from Oil that Norway is holding, and you say, “But, Chuck, doesn’t the Norwegian Gov’t have a 140.9 Billion krone revenue pile that they could use to plug deficits and support growth during this slowdown?” And I would say, yes! You, dear reader, get a Gold Star! Both the Eurozone and he U.K. printed their latest Services PMI’s this morning, and it was like two ships passing in the night. the U.K. Services industry printed above expectations, while the Eurozone’s print was slightly weaker. But still above 50 (actually at 52.5) But this morning is all about the cease-fire, no cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. And any sign that the sanctions could be removed would be HUGE for the Eurozone! Gold has found a bid this morning, albeit a small bid, after losing some major ground yesterday. So, Gold loses $24 on a day when the U.S. announces air strikes in Somalia, and Russian President, Putin rates his saber, and then turns around and gains a couple of shekels when a cease-fire is announced. Now, you tell me, where the logic is in all of that! And the metal that has had the best performance so far this year, gaining 22% to date, Palladium, is getting whacked badly this morning on the cease-fire news. I have to say that I’m taken back a step or two watching this price movement in Palladium, given the need of the metal in industrial use hasn’t changed. But, the interruptions of delivery that hung over the metal like the Sword of Damocles, from strikes, earlier this year in S. Africa, and now the conflict in Russia/ Ukraine, seem now to be a thing of the past. But, I don’t think this is anything to get upset about! Look at this whacking of Palladium’s price as an opportunity to buy at a cheaper price. That’s how I look at it! The Chinese renminbi was allowed to appreciate last night.. You know how I always tell you, be yourself, no wait! No time for Mr. Wizard Chuck! I always tell you about China’s treasure chest of reserves that they can use to help the economy when they see a problem ? Well, here’s a classic case of what I’m always telling you. It was reported by the State Council overnight, that Beijing plans to build an efficient shipping system by 2020. Don’t you love it when a country makes investment in their future? So, besides the BOC meeting this morning which will most likely be a non-even, the U.S. Data Cupboard has the conn today.. Since Friday will be the Jobs Jamboree, we’ll see the ADP Employment Report for August today. the ICSC-Goldman Store Sales report, and Factory Orders. The Gallup Poll people are putting together an index on U.S. Job Creation, which should be interesting.. The U.S. Data Cupboard did produce a stronger than expected ISM Manufacturing Index (59 in August VS 57.1 in July), just as I thought, and said it would probably do, given the weakness in the dollar, but, as I also said, I would expect this index number to come down in the coming months given my expectation of a short-term dollar rally. You see, the dollar’s value goes a long way toward whether Manufacturing cooks or not. The last time the ISM Index was this strong was March 2011. And we had QE up to our eyeballs, so everything gets thrown out of whack as far as looking at fundamentals and history. But think you get the picture. For What It’s Worth.Well, I’ve told you all about the agreement that China and Russia signed a couple of months ago whereas Russia agreed to supply China with gas.. Well, there was news this weekend that I found at www.zerohedge.com on this story, and it involves the largest gas pipeline in the World to link the two countries. here’s a snippet. “If after months of Eurasian axis formation, one still hasn’t realized why in the grand game over Ukraine supremacy – not to mention superpower geopolitics – Europe, and the West, has zero leverage, while Russia has all the trump cards, then today’s latest development in Chinese-Russian cooperation should make it abundantly clear. Overnight, following a grand ceremony in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, Russia and China officially began the construction of a new gas pipeline linking the countries. The bottom line to Russia – nearly half a trillion after China’s CNPC agreed to buy $400bn in gas from Russia’s Gazprom back in May. In return, Russia will ship 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually over a period of 30 years. The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world’s largest fuel network in the world.” Chuck again. yes, it’s happening right before us folks. the “shift” away from a dependence on the U.S. But then long time readers will say to themselves, Hey! But Chuck has been telling us this was going to happen because of the debt buildup and history for a long time! And you would be correct! To recap. the dollar’s all-out assault on the currencies and Gold yesterday has backed off this morning with the news that maybe a cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia has been made and maybe not. Australia printed a strong 2nd QTR GDP, well stronger than expected, and RBA Gov. Stevens ended up on the hawkish side of statements, and I’m sure he didn’t mean to! Gold got whacked yesterday, but has wrapped a tourniquet around the bleeding this morning, while Palladium takes over at the bloodletting table for Gold. Not good news from Sweden and Norway this morning, and the Bank of Canada meets today, should be a non-event. Currencies today 9/3/14. American Style: A$ .9325, kiwi .8325, C$ .9175, euro 1.3160, sterling 1.6460, Swiss $1.0895, . European Style: rand 10.6965, krone 6.2045 ,SEK 6.9915, forint 238.75, zloty 3.1870, koruna 21.0315, RUB 36.92, yen 105.05, sing 1.2520, HKD 7.7505, INR 60.49, China 6.1697, pesos 13.09, BRL 2.2435, Dollar Index 82.83, Oil $93.71, 10-year 2.45%, Silver $19.17, Platinum $1,409.88, Palladium $879.00, and Gold. $1,267.80 That’s it for today. What a dolt I am for that elevator repair mix up. UGH! It looks really froggy out this morning. Spell checker didn’t like my version of foggy, but I told it to deal with it! Another exciting win by my beloved Cardinals last night, I sure hope this time it’s for real, and no false dawn like we’ve seen all season long! Speaking of froggy, it reminds me of many years ago, when Kathy & Chuck were driving to St. Louis from Des Moines, Ia. The fog was so thick that the only way I could continue to drive was to crack the door open so I knew where the white line on the road was. That was dangerous, yes, I know it. Just shows how desperate we were to get out of Des Moines and back home to St. Louis! Well, after about 6 years, I finally had to have a new wireless modem put in the house. I was going crazy with all the interruptions to my TV! Hey! It’s college football season, baseball playoffs are around the corner, and the NFL starts tomorrow night, I had to get that fixed! HA! I noticed at the grocery store this past weekend that they had HUGE displays out of Halloween candy already.. UGH! What? I next week too early to get the Christmas stuff out? Our Hockey Blues were showing off their new jersey last week. Everything runs together now I guess! Oh well. I’ve got to get this to Mike for the finishing touches, I hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
Can’t cool off this summer? Heat waves can slow us down in ways we may not realize.New research suggests heat stress can muddle our thinking, making simple math a little harder to do.”There’s evidence that our brains are susceptible to temperature abnormalities,” says Joe Allen, co-director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University. And as the climate changes, temperatures spike and heat waves are more frequent.To learn more about how the heat influences young, healthy adults, Allen and his colleagues studied college students living in dorms during a summer heat wave in Boston.Half of the students lived in buildings with central AC, where the indoor air temperature averaged 71 degrees. The other half lived in dorms with no AC, where air temperatures averaged almost 80 degrees.”In the morning, when they woke up, we pushed tests out to their cellphones,” explains Allen. The students took two tests a day for 12 consecutive days.One test, which included basic addition and subtraction, measured cognitive speed and memory. A second test assessed attention and processing speed.”We found that the students who were in the non-air-conditioned buildings actually had slower reaction times: 13 percent lower performance on basic arithmetic tests, and nearly a 10 percent reduction in the number of correct responses per minute,” Allen explains.The results, published in PLOS Medicine, may come as a surprise. “I think it’s a little bit akin to the frog in the boiling water,” Allen says. There’s a “slow, steady — largely imperceptible — rise in temperature, and you don’t realize it’s having an impact on you.”The findings add to a growing body of evidence that documents the effect of heat on mental performance, both in schools and workplaces.For instance, a 2006 study from researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that when office temperatures rise above the mid-70s, workers’ performance begins to drop off. Researchers reviewed multiple studies that evaluated performance on common office tasks. The study found that worker productivity is highest at about 72 degrees. When temperatures exceeded the mid-80s, worker productivity decreased by about 9 percent.Another, more recent study compared worker performance in green-certified buildings and typical office buildings. They found a dip in cognitive function linked to conditions in the indoor environment, including higher indoor temperatures and poor lighting.And, when it comes to performance in the classroom, a study funded by the Harvard Environmental Economics Program finds that taking a standardized test on a very hot day is linked to poorer performance. The study includes an analysis of test scores from students in New York City who take a series of high-school exams called the Regents Exams.The author, R. Jisung Park, assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, writes that compared with a 72-degree day, “taking an exam on a 90◦F day leads to a 10.9 percent lower likelihood of passing a particular subject (e.g. Algebra), which in turn affects probability of graduation.”There’s still a lot to learn about how our brains and bodies respond to heat. “We all tend to think we can compensate, we can do just fine” during heat waves says Allen. But he says the “evidence shows that the indoor temperature can have a dramatic impact on our ability to be productive and learn.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
It’s that time of year again. You wake up with a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, a little achy — maybe a fever. Is it a classic head cold, or do you need to be more concerned? Could it be the flu?”There’s lots of confusion out there, because both are viral respiratory illnesses,” says Dr. Yul Ejnes, an internal medicine specialist in private practice in Rhode Island and spokesperson for the American College of Physicians. “No one likes to get a cold, but people are more fearful of the flu.”And rightly so.Last year’s influenza season was particularly severe, resulting in an unusually high number of hospitalizations and deaths from flu complications.So, if you do have the flu, it’s important to consult with your health care provider about treatment. And distinguishing between a cold and flu may be easier than you think, Ejnes says. There are some clear distinctions between the two similar types of viral illness in terms of symptoms — how quickly they appear and how severe they become.Suddenly flattened? Think fluFlu symptoms, Ejnes says, usually start abruptly — though you can spread the virus before symptoms surface.”Patients can pretty much tell you when the symptoms hit them — after lunch, for example, or yesterday afternoon,” says Ejnes.A cold, on the other hand, takes a couple of days to build up. You may have a scratchy throat one day and then the nose starts to get stuffy the next day.You may also develop a fever with a cold. But typically, it’s a “low-grade” rise in temperature, hovering around 99 or 100 degrees Farenheit.With flu, that fever is usually significantly higher — at least 101 degrees. Chills and body aches are another flu hallmark or, as Ejnes says, “feeling like a truck ran you over — where you can’t even move a muscle.”Dragging yourself out of bed can seem impossible when you have the flu. “You’re just wiped out with total body fatigue,” he says, whereas with a cold, people often “soldier on” and get out of bed for work or social activities.Heading to work isn’t a good idea, of course, even with a mild cold, because it exposes others to the virus — but lots of people do it. (Colds tend to be most contagious in the first several days of illness.)There can be congestion and cough from the postnasal drip of a head cold, but it’s not nearly as severe as with flu. Influenza can trigger long bouts of coughing and even trouble breathing.So, when patients tell Ejnes that their symptoms developed suddenly, their fever is high and their body aches severe, he assumes flu, he says.But should those symptoms send you to the doctor? That depends, Ejnes says. If you’re a healthy adult without any chronic health problems, you may instead do fine with merely phoning your doctor, who can quickly prescribe any of several antiviral medications. That medicine is most effective when given within two days of symptoms.”It’s not a miracle drug by any stretch,” cautions Ejnes, but it can offer some relief by reducing the severity of symptoms and the duration of the illness by a day or so.Ejnes says he prefers a phone chat to a visit in such cases — partly to limit the number of people in his waiting room who have the flu.”I’ve had the most ironic scenarios, where somebody’s coming into the office to get a flu shot and — while they’re waiting to be called in — they’re sitting next to someone who’s coming in with symptoms that might be the flu.”So call first.’Red flags’ that escalate riskHowever, doctors do want people who are at high risk of developing complications to be seen by the health team when flu is suspected, says infectious disease physician Dr. Matthew Zahn. He’s the medical director of the Division of Epidemiology and Assessment for the Orange County Health Care Agency, in Southern California, and spokesperson for the Infectious Disease Society of America.This at-risk group includes children under age 5, whose immune systems are still developing; adults 65 and older, whose immune systems are waning; pregnant women; and individuals who have certain underlying medical conditions. These pre-existing conditions include asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, kidney disorders and liver disorders — all are known to diminish the strength of the immune system and the ability to fight off influenza.Antiviral medicine can be helpful for this group, he says, even if it is given more than two days after flu symptoms appear.And whether you get treatment or not, there are some important “red flags” to be aware of with the flu, says Zahn.Watch for “any sort of breathing problems,” he says. Coughing occasionally is one thing, but if you’re having trouble catching your breath, go see your doctor “really quickly.”Breathing problems can be symptomatic of pneumonia, a common and serious complication of the flu, in which the air sacs of one or both lungs become clogged.A sudden and significant change in mental health status with the respiratory symptoms is also a red flag, Zahn says. If you or a loved one have trouble focusing or are not as alert as normal, make your way to a doctor right away.Flu shots aren’t just for the kids and grandpaWhile antiviral medication can reduce symptoms, infectious disease specialists agree that the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine.”Each year we have tens of thousands of people die of flu,” Zahn says, and the vaccine can help prevent that. While flu seasons are unpredictable and strains of the virus mutate from year to year, vaccines can still be anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent effective in preventing severe complications and hospitalization.Vaccination rates against flu are highest among Americans 65 and older and among children 4 and younger, he says, but most others could benefit from a flu shot, too. And that’s not happening — among American adults aged 18 to 64, typically less than half get immunized.Of course, it’s best to get your flu vaccine at the beginning of flu season — in the fall — but it’s not too late. The influenza season runs throughout winter.As for treating a cold, well, you’re pretty much out of luck.”The reality is nothing is available to shorten the duration of a head cold,” says internist Ejnes.Over-the-counter medication can ease symptoms, he says. Decongestants can help reduce cough, nasal sprays can help reduce stuffiness, and lozenges can help relieve a sore throat.”Some folks have more luck with these OTC remedies than others,” Ejnes says.Then there is the ever-popular chicken soup, which can help you feel better — especially if there’s lots of steam, which can help clear up nasal congestion.But, bottom line, Ejnes says patients just have to do whatever they can to ease symptoms until the cold runs its course — usually in seven to 10 days. “There’s nothing we can do to speed that process up.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Health officials in Washington have declared a state of emergency and are urging immunization as they scramble to contain a measles outbreak in two counties, while the number of cases of the potentially deadly virus continues to climb in a region with lower than normal vaccination rates. Washington Department of Health officials announced that as of Monday afternoon there have been 36 confirmed cases and 11 suspected cases of the disease. That is a significant increase from Friday’s reported numbers when Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. At the time there were 26 confirmed measles cases. In Friday’s statement, Inslee said, “Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children. The existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties.”Since then nine new cases have been confirmed, all in Clark County, which borders Portland, Ore., creating concern in that state as well. Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist told NPR’s Patti Neighmond this is likely only the beginning of the epidemic since many of the families with infected children traveled to very public places, including Costco, Ikea, the Portland International Airport and the arena where the Trail Blazers play. Lindquist added that officials are particularly concerned that “folks that are immuno-compromised — pregnant women, young kids and those that are unvaccinated — could be at risk for this disease” without realizing it because the telltale measles rash might not appear for four days into the sickness. As a result, people may not know they are carrying the disease and could easily unwittingly expose others to the extremely contagious virus.Measles virus travels through the air. It can be contracted without even being near a person with the virus because it lingers for up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with the measles has been. It can cause serious complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis, and can be deadly. Inslee notes, “Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed.”Clark County Public Health has identified 35 confirmed cases and 11 suspected cases since Jan. 1, when it first began investigating the outbreak. In all but four instances, the person who had contracted the disease had not been immunized. In the remaining cases, authorities had not yet verified their immunization status.The majority of those infected were children, with 25 of the 35 confirmed cases impacting children under 10 years old. Children under the age of one cannot be immunized. So far, King County has reported the only adult case, a man in his 50s who was hospitalized but has since recovered. Although it’s not clear where he became infected, the man said he’d recently traveled to Clark County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who have not been immunized but believe they have been exposed to the airborne virus, get the MMR vaccine. It explains, “If you get MMR vaccine within 72 hours of initially being exposed to measles, you may get some protection against the disease, or have milder illness.” Before the vaccine was introduced in 1963 measles was the single leading killer of children in the world. To this day, it still kills 100,000 children a year worldwide, most under the age of five. Measles was declared completely eliminated within the U.S. in 2000 due to the country’s widespread vaccination program. However, state laws allowing parents to opt out of mandatory vaccinations quickly began eroding those statistics, leading to outbreaks across the nation.The number of measles cases nearly tripled in 2018 to 349 over 2017, when only 120 cases were reported. The CDC attributed the jump to primarily unvaccinated people in the Orthodox Jewish communities in New York state, New York City and New Jersey. The agency noted the outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel.And, in 2017, low vaccination compliance rates among the Somali-American community living in Minnesota led to a cluster of 75 cases. As NPR reported, “In 2014, there were 667 cases in the U.S., including a large outbreak among Amish communities in Ohio. In 2015, there were 188 cases, including some linked to an outbreak that started at the Disneyland amusement park. Prior vaccination is critical to keeping people from contracting the virus if they are exposed to it.”Washington and Oregon are among the country’s many states that allow parents with a personal or philosophical objection to decline the measles vaccination, among some others. And Seattle, Spokane and Portland are among 15 U.S. cities considered “hot spots” for their high rates of non-medical exemptions to vaccines that cover measles, mumps and rubella. Pediatrician Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine, told NPR there is a very-aggressive anti-vaccine lobby throughout the Pacific Northwest that have effectively driven up the rates of vaccine non-compliance, leaving scores of children vulnerable to the infection.The groups often spread misinformation claiming a link between vaccines and autism. A claim that has been wholly refuted by the Centers for Disease Control.Washington state officials are now beginning the arduous and costly task of tracking down everyone who might have been exposed to the infection and cautioning them to be on the alert for symptoms, including runny nose, red eyes, fever and rash. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Labour has published an election manifesto that includes pledges on social care and welfare reform, but offers few new policies on disability rights.The manifesto says Labour is the “party of equality” and that that “no person should suffer discrimination or a lack of opportunity”.But it warns that, with the exception of the “protected” areas of health, education and international development, “there will be cuts in spending” under a Labour government.It promises reform of the work capability assessment (WCA), the test introduced by the last Labour government in 2008 to assess eligibility for employment and support allowance (ESA), with a new focus on the “support disabled people need to get into work”, and a new independent scrutiny group of disabled people set up to monitor the WCA.There will also be a new specialist support programme “to ensure that disabled people who can work get more tailored help”.And Labour promises to abolish the “bedroom tax”, which it says is “cruel”, with two-thirds of those affected by cuts in housing benefit being disabled people or families with a disabled member. The manifesto also promises that a Labour government would abolish the employment tribunal fee system introduced by the coalition, improve training for teachers on working with disabled children, and strengthen the law on disability, homophobic, and transphobic hate crime.On social care, the manifesto focuses on older people and carers, rather than disabled people of working-age, saying: “Care is at the heart of Labour’s values. No-one should fear old age or be left to struggle alone caring for a loved one.”Since 2010, it warns, billions of pounds have been cut from adult social care budgets, which it says has left “300,000 fewer older people getting vital care services, at the same time as the number of older people in need of care is increasing”.As with the Conservatives, the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, Labour promises to integrate the health and social care systems, while also focusing on mental health.The manifesto says that “vulnerable older people, disabled people and those with complex needs will be helped to have more control of their lives”, with the entitlement to a personal care plan, the option of a personal budget “where appropriate”, and a single named person to coordinate their care, as well as “better information and advice on managing their condition”.It also pledges to end time-limited, 15-minute social care visits, introducing instead “year-of-care budgets” that would cover all of a person’s physical, mental health and social care needs and improve care in people’s own homes, and recruiting 5,000 new home-care workers – under the control of the NHS – to “help care for those with the greatest needs at home”.A separate health and care manifesto promises to do more to ensure that people with mental health problems, learning difficulties and autism “enjoy the same rights as anyone else”, with “meaningful progress” for these groups a priority.It also promises to consult on a new offence of corporate neglect for directors of care homes, which could mean a prison sentence if they neglect or are involved in abuse of people in their care.Disability News Service contacted disabled Labour candidates Emily Brothers and Mary Griffiths-Clarke for their views on the manifesto, but they failed to respond.But Dame Anne Begg (pictured), the disabled Labour candidate standing in Aberdeen South, was able to comment, although the Scottish Labour manifesto had not yet been published.She said Labour’s promise to strengthen the law on disability hate crime was “very welcome”, as was the section on supporting disabled people to live independently, including the abolition of the bedroom tax.She said: “There is also a promise to set up an independent scrutiny group of disabled people to look at how the WCA could be reformed. “I would like any Labour government to go further on this, as I think a fundamental rethink [of the WCA] is required and so would hope any scrutiny group would have a role in this.“I am also glad there is an acknowledgement that there needs to be a specialist programme to give tailored help to disabled people seeking work.“Those on ESA are not well served by the present Work Programme and [the specialist programme for disabled people] Work Choice.”Dame Anne added: “I also think the plans to set up a single service to meet all the needs of a person’s health and care needs will be welcomed by disabled people, as they are often the people who are passed from one service to another and sometimes fall between the cracks.”She also praised Labour’s focus on a right to access talking therapies for people with mental health problems, which she said was “particularly important for those who are trying to get back in to, or remain, in work and used to be a feature of the Pathways to Work scheme the last Labour government had in place and which the coalition government scrapped.”
Technology July 21, 2008 Next Article 6 min read Stream Your Music Collection Over the Net Listen to your favorite tunes anywhere, anytime, by putting your entire music library online. It’s easy, and we show you how. Brought to you by PCWorld We’re living in the Internet Age, so what good is a music collection that’s trapped inside your home PC? Your songs should be able to go where you go, be it the office, a friend’s house, an airport lounge, or even the backseat of a taxi.Fortunately, liberating your song library is easier than you might think, so you can stream it from your PC or the Web to just about anyplace. Better still, unlike a new iPod, it won’t cost you a cent.There are lots of ways to get to your music via the Net, but I’m going to show you two distinct methods using fantastic freebies. MP3tunes, a Web-based service, houses your music collection online. Meanwhile, Orb streams songs straight from your PC to nearly any Internet-connected device–including some cell phones. Which one is the better choice for you? As it turns out, you might want to tap both. Read on, and I’ll explain why.Store Your Music Online with MP3tunesMP3tunes makes a mighty generous offer: The service will store up to 25 gigabytes of your music files free of charge. Once you’ve uploaded your collection, you can sign in to your account from any Web-connected PC and stream to your heart’s content–complete with playlists and auto-generated mixes. What’s more, MP3tunes effectively doubles as an online backup for your collection, a great insurance policy against hard-drive disaster.Start by signing up for an account, which gives you an MP3tunes “locker.” (If your collection exceeds 25GB or you want advertising-free access, a 50GB premium account will run you $40 annually. Other plans are available if you need even more storage.) Next, download LockerSync 3.0 from MP3tunes’ Downloads section. This utility keeps your local music library in sync with your online music locker. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.You can let LockerSync scan your entire system for music or set it to monitor and sync specific folders. Then it’s just a matter of waiting while the software copies your tunes to MP3tunes’ servers. And there’s the rub: Depending on the size of your collection, it can take a few days of 24/7 uploading to finish the job. That’s not MP3tunes’ fault: Internet service providers typically throttle upstream performance, devoting most of the available bandwidth to downloads.Fortunately, once you’ve completed the initial upload, subsequent syncs should go much faster (assuming you add only a few songs or albums at a time). And you can start streaming music from your locker even while uploads are underway. The MP3tunes player runs in a browser window and offers familiar controls, including shuffle and repeat modes and a playlist builder. Mouse over any song in the track list to play, download, or trash it, or to add it to a playlist. You can even edit a song’s metadata.Its name notwithstanding, MP3tunes doesn’t limit you to MP3s: It can stream most unprotected audio formats, including AAC, Ogg, and WMA. Of course, that leaves out DRM-laden songs purchased from iTunes and other stores, but that’s to be expected. To avoid the hassles of DRM–on MP3tunes and throughout your digital life–I recommend either buying CDs or purchasing from DRM-free online stores such as Amazon. (For more on DRM-free music, see Dan Tynan’s “Four Ways to Reclaim Your Digital Rights”.)On the plus side, MP3tunes offers a browser plug-in that lets you add songs straight to your locker from any site that hosts MP3s (or from the company’s own Sideload site, which aggregates songs from around the Web).Stream Music From Your PC With OrbWhile you’re waiting for MP3tunes to upload all your music, consider installing Orb. This free service turns your PC into a media server, streaming not only songs, but also video, photos, and even TV, to just about any Web-connected device. That means you can tap your music library from your work PC, your Palm Centro, your Nintendo Wii, or your iPhone–to name just a few of the supported gadgets.The Orb software client requires Windows XP or later and a broadband Internet connection. (If you want to add TV to the streaming mix, you’ll need a TV tuner as well–check Orb’s FAQ page for a list of supported models.) Once Orb is installed, configure the software to monitor the system folders containing your music (and, if desired, photos and videos). The software will also help you sign up for an Orb account, which requires nothing more than a user name, a password, and an e-mail address.With the Orb client up and running, you’re ready to stream. The hitch, of course, is that you’ll need to leave your computer on at all times. If it’s configured to go into power-saving sleep mode, no problem: Orb can transmit a “wake-up” command that should get your machine out of bed. (You may need to tweak the BIOS and/or ethernet adapter settings to enable the Wake on LAN option, which makes this kind of remote control possible.)To listen to your tunes, fire up the Web browser on the device you’re using–a PC, your smart phone, a game console, or whatever–and then head over to mycast.orb.com. The Orb interface varies depending on the device you use to access it; a PC affords the richest experience, a customizable portal where you can access not just music, but also weather, news, games, and RSS feeds. Click Audio-Random if you just want to shuffle-play your song library, or click the Open Application button, and then Audio, for a familiar media-player interface.Orb is by no means the only option for streaming music from your PC; others include JukeFly, SqueezeCenter, and Vibe Streamer. Like Orb, these services cost nothing to use, but they stream only music–no video or photos–and their support for mobile devices is limited, or zero. Plus, Orb is a snap to set up and use, making it the obvious choice if you want anytime, anywhere access to your tunes. Apply Now » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Add to Queue
Add to Queue Google and Red Hat Found a Dangerous, Widespread Bug Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now » February 17, 2016 Software –shares 3 min read Engineers at Google and Red Hat independently found an egregious bug in very widely-distributed computer code library known as “glibc”.The bug, which dates back to 2008, affects hundreds of thousands of devices and programs that use software derived from the GNU free-software project. The products, which range from servers to routers to Internet-of-things devices, are vulnerable when they try to use a certain function to translate web addresses into their underlying, numerical IP addresses.If an attacker controls the web server or domain name the victim is trying to communicate with, or if someone is intercepting the communications between the victim’s device and the server or domain name, it’s possible to make the victim’s computer crash — or, with some effort, to even insert malicious code in that machine.Computers running Windows or Mac OS X or iOS or Android should not be affected.Google explained in a blog post that one of its engineers had discovered the bug when she found a problem with software she was using for remotely controlling a computer. It turned out that two Red Hat employees were also examining the bug’s impact.Google released a piece of code that proves the vulnerability can crash a victim’s computer. It said it has also developed a proof-of-concept for remotely running code on the victim’s machine, but it’s not releasing that publicly, for obvious reasons.There is now a patch for the bug, and server administrators should definitely be installing that right away. People using Linux versions such as Canonical’s Ubuntu should be moving quickly to protect themselves.Given the severity of the bug, there are now at least two points worth considering.Firstly, as Google Chrome security engineer Chris Palmer pointed out, the episode highlights the fact that free-software projects don’t always fix their bugs in a timely manner — it turned out someone first raised this bug last July.Next time someone claims that the abusive culture of GNU/Linux keeps the engineering bar high, #glibc is your answer.— Chris Palmer (@fugueish) February 17, 2016Secondly, we can probably expect to see servers and such get patched quickly, but devices with embedded software — routers and Internet-of-things devices, for example — don’t typically get updated very often, if at all. Internet-of-things manufacturers in particular have a legendarily lax attitude to security.If a computer doesn’t have a screen attached to it, people tend to forget that it’s a computer and needs regular care and attention. In cases like this, that’s a problem. Image credit: Pexels David Meyer
Image credit: NASA via Reuters Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Reuters Next Article 2 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now » NASA U.S. Astronauts Prepare Station for Commercial Space Taxis August 22, 2016 Two NASA astronauts completed a six-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Friday to install a parking spot for upcoming commercial space taxis, which will end U.S. reliance on Russia for rides to the orbiting outpost.Station commander Jeff Williams and flight engineer Kate Rubins floated outside the station’s airlock and headed toward the berthing slip once used by NASA’s now-retired space shuttles, a NASA TV broadcast showed.”Great view,” said Rubins, who made her first spacewalk.Since grounding the shuttle fleet in 2011, the United States has been dependent on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the space station, at a cost of more than $70 million per person.During Friday’s spacewalk, Williams and Rubins attached an adapter onto the shuttle’s docking port that will allow commercial space taxis under development by Space Exploration Technologies and Boeing to park at the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.”It’s a gateway to a new era in commercial space,” said NASA mission commentator Rob Navias.California-based SpaceX, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, plans to begin test flights of its new passenger Dragon capsule to the station in 2017.Boeing’s debut flight of its CST-100 Starliner capsule is expected in 2018.NASA had hoped to have the first of two new docking ports installed last year, but the equipment was destroyed during a SpaceX cargo ship launch accident in June 2015.A replacement docking port is under construction and expected to be delivered to the station in early 2018.On Friday, Williams and Rubins routed a cable for the second docking port’s installation in early 2018.The astronauts had planned to tackle a few other lower-priority maintenance tasks, but NASA decided to end the spacewalk after an intermittent communications problem developed with Williams’ spacesuit, Navias said.Williams and Rubins are scheduled to make another spacewalk on Sept. 1 to retract a solar array cooling panel that is no longer being used and to install a high-definition television camera on the station’s exterior frame.(Reporting by Irene Klotz in Cairns, Australia; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Paul Simao and Chizu Nomiyama) This story originally appeared on Reuters NASA astronaut Jeff Williams works inside the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the International Space Station. Add to Queue
Source:https://www.keckmedicine.org/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 7 2018For approximately 8 million Americans, visiting a doctor regularly is the key to managing their psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by itchy or painful red patches that can appear anywhere on the body. But for some people, seeing a specialist regularly can be a monumental challenge, especially for those who live in rural or underserved communities. A new study led by the Keck School of Medicine of USC, however, raises the possibility that one day, people with psoriasis may be able to simply go online to receive their care. Published today in JAMA Network Open, the study found that online and in-person care were equally effective at improving psoriasis symptoms.”Patients with chronic skin diseases need ongoing care, and depending on where they live, their access to dermatological care can be variable,” says the study’s lead author April Armstrong, MD, MPH, professor of dermatology (clinical scholar) and associate dean for clinical research at the Keck School. “Our study suggests that an online care delivery model is an effective way to bring high-quality care to patients regardless of where they live or what their work/life schedules look like.”Related StoriesNewly discovered bacteria-killing protein on the epidermis requires vitamin A to workAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers investigate causal relationship between higher BMI and psoriasisIn the multicenter study, Armstrong and her colleagues followed nearly 300 patients who had been randomized to either online or in-person care and monitored their symptom improvement.Patients assigned to online care logged in to a secure, web-based connected health platform where they could communicate with their primary care provider or dermatologist, share images of their skin and receive treatment recommendations. After reviewing transmitted information, health care providers evaluated patients’ progress, provided patient education and prescribed medications electronically. Patients assigned to in-person care received treatment as usual.Psoriasis severity was measured at baseline and again at three, six, nine and 12 months. Across the follow-up visits, the two groups achieved similar improvement in psoriasis severity scores.”From a patient’s perspective, there are several benefits to an online care delivery model: They don’t need to travel to a facility with specialty care, they can receive high-quality specialty care at home and they can communicate with their doctor at a time that’s convenient for them,” Armstrong says. “From a provider’s perspective, the benefits include flexibility in where and when they work.”While this study focused on patients with psoriasis, Armstrong believes that the online care model has other potential applications as well.”The use of teledermatology needs to be considered in other patient populations with chronic skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis. There is a critical need for children and adults with atopic dermatitis to receive high-quality specialist care for this condition through novel telehealth delivery methods,” she says.
The team aims to make their model a part of the standard of care. By predicting which individuals will develop cancer in the future, management strategies can be tailored accordingly, preventing breast cancer from developing and saving lives. Since the 1960s radiologists have noticed that women have unique and widely variable patterns of breast tissue visible on the mammogram…These patterns can represent the influence of genetics, hormones, pregnancy, lactation, diet, weight loss, and weight gain. We can now leverage this detailed information to be more precise in our risk assessment at the individual level.” By Kate Bass, B.Sc.May 9 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a deep learning model that can predict breast cancer from mammogram images up to five years before a diagnosis can be made by doctors.create jobs 51 | ShutterstockBreast cancer is the most common cancer in women and is responsible for around 500,000 deaths each year worldwide. There are now many effective treatments for breast cancer, but a successful outcome is still dependent on an early diagnosis.Later diagnoses require more aggressive treatments, which come with considerable side effects and often fail. Identifying patients at risk of developing breast cancer has therefore been a key focus for researchers looking to reduce the number of breast cancer-related deaths.Screening programs using mammography are employed to enable early detection and treatment of breast cancer. However, such screening requires scrutiny of each mammogram for signs of abnormality, which is highly labor-intensive due to the large number of women that must be screened.In addition, since the images are manually reviewed, there remains an element of subjectivity and the risk of human error. In order to speed up the review of mammograms and enable objective assessment of risk, researchers have been working on developing computer models that can rapidly and reliably screen mammogram images for breast cancer risk.‘Unique patterns of breast tissue’Using information from more than 90,000 mammograms taken at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a team at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has developed a new deep-learning model that detects subtle patterns of change in breast tissue that the human eye is unable to detect.Programmed using mammograms and known outcomes of over 60,000 patients, the model identifies precursors to malignant tumors and can predict from a mammogram if a patient is likely to develop breast cancer.Unlike assessment of key risk factors, such as age, family history of breast cancer, hormonal status, and breast density, the MIT deep-learning model identifies patterns indicative of breast cancer. The predictions are thus data-driven and can be made up to 5 years before the cancer develops. The screening thus provides an individual risk assessment that could be used to customize screening and prevention programs on a patient-by-patient basis.Constance Lehman, professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and division chief of breast imaging at MGH, commented on the research: It’s particularly striking that the model performs equally as well for white and black people, which has not been the case with prior tools…If validated and made available for widespread use, this could really improve on our current strategies to estimate risk.” Source:Yala A., et al. (2019). A Deep Learning Mammography-based Model for Improved Breast Cancer Risk Prediction. Radiology. doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2019182716. The results were ‘striking’The model was used to retrospectively identify women at high risk of developing breast cancer from almost 89,000 consecutive screening mammograms taken between 2009 and 2012. It correctly placed 31% of all the patients who had subsequently developed breast cancer in the top risk decile. The corresponding value achieved using the existing Tyrer-Cuzick model was only 18%.Allison Kurian, an associate professor of medicine and health research/policy at Stanford University School of Medicine, commented.
Source:University of Houston The release of catecholamines is a normal and acute occurrence if you’re needing to run a marathon or escape an attack, for instance, but in heart failure it is no longer acute, it becomes a chronic response. Every day for the rest of your life those hormones will be elevated above normal levels. Once this happens, this elevated response desensitizes receptors on the cells of the heart.”Bradley K. McConnell, Associate Professor of Pharmacology Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 23 2019A University of Houston College of Pharmacy researcher is characterizing a potential therapeutic target to increase heart function following a heart attack, helping alleviate the symptoms of heart failure.The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute awarded $459,000 to associate professor of pharmacology Bradley K. McConnell to do the work which involves the actions of adrenaline/noradrenaline. They are also known as catecholamines, the “fight-or-flight” response hormones on the heart. Related StoriesSmoking triples the risk of death from cardiovascular diseaseCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsCatecholamines are released and bind to the β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) located on the cells of the heart. β-AR signaling is the primary mechanism to increase the ability of the heart to contract or pump blood. However, chronic β-AR stimulation, which occurs in heart failure, results in reduced contractility due to desensitization of these receptors and thus the heart is no longer able to respond to the demands of the body.The receptors, once able to bind to the hormones, respond to the overstimulation of the continual adrenaline rush on them by desensitizing, or retracting into the cell itself. If the receptor is no longer there it cannot help respond to the heart’s demands.”I want to try to identify how to get those receptors to stay on the membrane longer so that even during heart failure we can get those receptors to increase heart function,” said McConnell. He said the key is a protein called gravin, or AKAP12, an A-kinase anchoring protein that fine-tunes cellular responses and interacts with the β-AR subtype, β2-AR, to regulate the expression of this receptor on the cells of the heart, allowing it to bind and respond to the catecholamine’s actions.”We are working to identify the role of gravin on regulating the expression of receptors on membranes,” said McConnell. “We have primitive data that without gravin we see a much larger increase of the receptor on the membrane, and the overexpression brings the opposite effect.”McConnell’s co principal investigator on this project is Preethi Gunaratne, professor of biology and biochemistry.
There’s a fugitive on the loose in northern Italy. He’s skilled at scaling electric fences, goes by the name of M49, weighs 300 lbs. (136 kilograms) and is very, very fluffy. That’s right — northern Italy’s most wanted fugitive is a bear. Deemed a danger to humans and wildlife, M49 was captured in the Trentino region of northern Italy on Sunday and placed in a high-security enclosure with other “so-called problem bears,” the Trentino Press Office said in a statement. But mere walls couldn’t contain M49. Within hours, the bear had scaled all three electric fences, plus a 13-foot (4.3 meters) barrier and vanished without a trace. A search team of park rangers and sniffer dogs is scouring the region for M49, whose tracking collar was removed upon his capture. Trentino Gov. Maurizio Fugatti gave the rangers permission to shoot the bear if they encounter him, explaining in a translated statement that the bear’s escape over a fence “carrying 7,000 volts shows how dangerous it is.” [8 Human-Animal Encounters That Went Horribly Wrong]Advertisement The World Wildlife Fund for Nature Italy disagreed. In a statement, representatives from the group said the fence was most likely “not working properly, since bears do not fly.” A camera trap image of DJ3, another “problem bear” from the Trentino region of Italy. Credit: Trentino Press Office A camera trap image of escaped bear M49. The fugitive bear escaped an enclosure where he was being held. Credit: Trentino Press Office Italian Twitter is following M49’s escape with baited breath, and users appear to be on the side of the fluffy fugitive. The hashtag “#fugaperlaliberta,” which means “#escapeforfreedom” in Italian, is trending on Twitter. Brown bears are native to the Italian Alps but were nearly extinct in the region by the early 20th century. In the late 1990s, conservationists brought 10 brown bears to Italy from Slovenia. That population of 10 has since grown to between 50 and 60 bears. Since the reintroduction effort, bears in the region have frequently come into contact with humans. In 2017, one bear startled an Italian village when the animal lowered itself into an alley and barreled through the town, The Telegraph reported. That same year, another bear was shot when it mauled an elderly man walking his dog. 7 Iconic Animals Humans Are Driving to Extinction Image Gallery: Beastly Bears | Photos of Bears The World’s Biggest Beasts: Here and Gone Trentino authorities could have prevented interaction between M49 and humans by setting up electric fences outside of populated areas, biologist Luigi Boitani from Rome’s La Sapienza University told Italian media, Phys.org reported. That said, the electrified enclosure was never going to contain “a large, adult and spirited male bear,” Boitani said. (His statement was translated from Italian.) Originally published on Live Science.
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