Its that time of year again You wake up with a s

first_imgIt’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.last_img read more


Labour has published an election manifesto that in

first_imgLabour 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.”last_img read more


The Big Trends From Google IO 2017

first_img Add to Queue The Big Trends From Google I/O 2017 –shares It’s very easy to dismiss Google I/O as just an opportunity to show off new toys and to throw a big party. Given the appearance of LCD Soundsystem at this year’s closing concert, the impression is understandable. But I/O 2017 was when Google’s efforts in big data, search and device ubiquity bore fruit as it transitions toward a new focus on AI and machine learning.Everything old is finally here.Google I/O 2016 is etched in my mind for two reasons. First, it was deadly hot, dampening the fun of an outdoor conference with sweat. Second, nothing announced was actually released.In retrospect, 2016 was a building year for Google. Products announced last year, including Google Assistant and Google Home, have now been in the wild — some, like Android Wear 2, for just a few months. This year, we heard about improvements and Google opened them to developers.Developers can now work on Android, Chrome, the Google Assistant and Google Home through the Actions API. Instant Apps are also now available, taking away the primary friction point of downloading and using apps. The omnipresence of the Google Assistant also means Actions developed for it will filter into many new platforms, including the iPhone.In fact, the iPhone was mentioned with such frequency, it began to feel less like a competitor and more like another platform ripe for development. The fact that the Google Assistant will be moving into Siri territory made this abundantly clear.This is particularly notable because Android has always been the centerpiece of the Google developer experience. True, not every attendee is an app developer, but Android has always loomed large. This year, the presence of Android wasn’t necessarily diminished, but it was just one of many platforms under the Google umbrella.Taking the reins.As a developer conference, I/O is an opportunity to not only encourage developers to adopt new tools and new platforms, but to offer some useful feedback as well. That’s not unusual, but there was some tension in the discussions this year.At the developer keynote, Android luminaries explained how new restrictions on data, processing power and battery power for apps are not meant to be punitive but to make Android better for everyone, including users. That’s a sensible viewpoint — it might even be correct — but it felt decidedly more prescriptive than past Google sessions.That’s just a few of the new ways Google is reclaiming Android. Project Treble, described in the Android security panel, divides Android into three segments. Google will maintain control of the core OS segment, hopefully allowing for bigger, broader updates with less meddling from device manufacturers and carriers.There are also new rules about user identifiers. Developers and advertisers use these to track users on and off their devices and serve up targeted ads. Restricting them is a privacy win for consumers, and probably a data win for Google, which controls most of the means of identifying users.The turning point in Android O.Another innovation in Android O comes in the notification center. Google designers and developers have paid particular attention to notifications and icons over the last few iterations of the OS. They rightly understand this is a major area of interest for consumers, and a primary area of interaction.”Channels” is the internal term Google applies to new categories of notifications. In O, developers will group their notifications together into different types, letting users change how those notifications appear, or if they appear at all. Google’s leadership says this is a feature requested by users and developers, and the benefits for both are clear. Users get more control over how their phone works — a key Android concept. Developers have more ways to communicate with users, and users will be less likely to simply uninstall apps that generate unwanted notifications. Instead, those notifications can simply be silenced.That all comes with a catch: Once developers target Android version 26 (or Android O, to its friends), they must use notification channels. If they don’t, their app’s notifications will be dropped and simply not appear. This, of course, will have limited impact in the Android user community, given the low adoption rates for new Android OSes. But O will be a turning point for the platform and all developers.Also during the session on notifications, the Googlers on stage took the unusual step of asking developers not to abuse the ability to change colors on notifications — a new feature in Android O. This warning was included in the developer documentation (and I noted it in my review of the pre-release of O), but it was strange to hear it on stage. It was also strange to hear Googlers say they were “giving a lot of trust” to developers, and promising to take away these privileges if they felt colorful notifications were being abused. It was odd, partly because of the paternalistic tone, but also because the vast majority of Android developers were not in the room or at I/O.VR and AR, unleashed.There are only two major tech companies with fully functional AR experiences: Microsoft through HoloLens and Google with Project Tango. Tango has been my perennial favorite at Google I/O in part because it is so radically different from other Google efforts, and also because it has felt ready for primetime since 2014 at least.Tango had a big coming out this past year with the announcement of the first commercial phone to support it, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro.This year, we got word of an entirely new device with a thinner body and brighter screen. Lowe’s has also agreed to let Google map 400 of its stores to provide in-store navigation via Tango devices that can take you directly to items on your shopping list.From my conversations with the Project Tango team, the main focus right now is improving the overall experience and supporting the rollout of consumer applications for what was once a lab experiment. But we did get some hints. A session specifically on Tango showed off future efforts to identify discrete objects within the room, software that can map a room and then clear all the furniture from it and an app to automatically generate 2D floorplans. One of the most exciting applications was an autonomous aerial drone using Tango technology to navigate obstacles at top speed.The biggest VR announcement of Google I/O was, without a doubt, standalone VR devices. Google was short on details, but it’s a marked departure from previous VR efforts. Google dipped its toe into the world of VR with the Cardboard, a $20 frame for a smartphone that provided a surprisingly immersive and low-cost VR experience. The company doubled down with Daydream, which used only high-end phones and a specialized headset, but still cost dramatically less than any other VR experience.A standalone VR device effectively removes the hurdle of Google itself. It’s a huge boon to Google and for the developers who want to try this new platform. With a standalone device, Google can offer VR to anyone willing to purchase such a device. You won’t need a specialized Android phone; it will all be one package.Daydream is very impressive in its own right, and I’m excited for a standalone device that will allow iPhone users and others to enjoy Daydream apps. Hopefully it will cost far, far less than the Vive and the Oculus Rift. But I worry about moving too far from the humble Cardboard. Part of what impressed me about it was its DIY efficiency and remarkably low barrier for entry. As the price of Google’s VR experience goes up, the number of people who can enjoy it will go down.Going forward.In 2016, it wasn’t clear what the AI revolution actually meant for Google. While machine learning was certainly at the forefront, there wasn’t any tangible evidence of how this would work for Google. It could all have easily been dismissed as a fad, or just a nice way to encapsulate a sector of Google’s progress that had flown under the radar.This year, we finally saw what being “AI first” really means. It means Google in more places, it means developers being able to interact in new ways (and on new devices). And most importantly, it shows Google with far more focus than ever before. It seems very likely to me that this year specifically will mark a major turning point not just for Google, but for the entire industry. Software Analyst Google Next Article This story originally appeared on PCMag 2019 Entrepreneur 360 Listcenter_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 8 min read May 22, 2017 Apply Now » Google I/O 2017 was a continued transformation of the company, from machine learning to greater control of Android. Here’s what we learned at the show. Image credit: Google via PC Mag Max Eddylast_img read more


Google and Red Hat Found a Dangerous Widespread Bug

first_img 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, 2016center_img 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 Meyerlast_img read more


Big Business Leaders Urge Repeal of Mississippi Law Opposed by LGBT Community

first_img April 7, 2016 Enroll Now for $5 Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Reuters Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Big Business Leaders Urge Repeal of Mississippi Law Opposed by LGBT Community Laws 3 min read Executives of several major U.S. corporations urged Mississippi on Wednesday to repeal a new state law that allows businesses to deny wedding services to same-sex couples on religious grounds.The measure, which also permits employers to cite principles of faith in setting workplace policies on dress code, grooming and bathroom access, was signed into law on Tuesday by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.Bryant hailed the statute, the latest in a series of state laws opposed by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists, as designed to “protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions … from discriminatory action by state government.”But top executives from General Electric Co., PepsiCo Inc., Dow Chemical Co. and five other major U.S. corporations, in an open letter, condemned the law as discriminatory. The letter was addressed to Bryant and the speaker of the Republican-controlled Mississippi House of Representatives.”The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business,” the executives said.Those measures, they said, make it more difficult to recruit and retain the best workers, and “diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses and economic cavity.”The call for repeal, circulated by gay rights advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign, was also backed by Levis Strauss & Co., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Whole Foods Market, Hyatt Hotels Corp and Choice Hotels International Inc.A similar letter was sent on Wednesday to state leaders in Tennessee opposing legislation there to bar transgender people from choosing bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. North Carolina’s own recently imposed bathroom gender restrictions have also prompted corporate objections.The governors of Georgia and Virginia also vetoed “religious liberty” bills last week.Even before its enactment, the Mississippi measure drew fire from several large employers in the state, including Nissan North America and MGM Resorts International.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to its enactment by banning all non-essential state travel to Mississippi, and civil liberties advocates said they were considering a court challenge.Still, nearly two-thirds of Mississippi voters supported the law, according to a poll highlighted on Tuesday by the Christian-based Family Research Council.The wave of such measures, pushed by social conservatives, came after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.(By Therese Apel; Additional reporting by Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Richard Chang) Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand 46shares Image credit: Reuters | Mike Blake Next Article Reuters Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (left).last_img read more


US Astronauts Prepare Station for Commercial Space Taxis

first_img 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 Queuelast_img read more


New Consumer Research Reveals Increasing Usage of Multiple TV Sources by Viewers

first_imgNew Consumer Research Reveals Increasing Usage of Multiple TV Sources by Viewers in Major European Countries PRNewswireMay 15, 2019, 7:17 pmMay 15, 2019 digital media analystGracenoteMarketing TechnologyNewsNielsenonline TVTV Universe Previous ArticleUnited Airlines App Crowned Best of the Best with Webby Award WinNext ArticleYes, Mailchimp is Expanding into a Full-Fledged Marketing Technology Platform Independent Study Conducted by Gracenote and Nscreenmedia Reveals Insights into Consumer Behavior and Attitudes on Pay TV, Free-To-Air and Online TV in the UK, Germany and SwedenGracenote, a Nielsen company, and nScreenMedia, a leading digital media analyst firm, announced findings from a new independent survey focusing on pay TV, free-to-air and online TV viewership in major European countries. The study titled, “TV Universe – UK, Sweden, Germany: How People Watch Television Today” offers the most current and holistic view of consumption behavior and attitudes towards different TV services and features in the three key markets which combined, account for 31% of the European Union’s total population according to Statista.The “TV Universe – U.K., Sweden, Germany: How People Watch Television Today” report reveals that TV viewing has become a complicated undertaking for European audiences who juggle multiple services to get all the video content they want and access those services across multiple devices. For instance, pay TV is currently the most popular television source in the U.K. and Sweden with nearly two in three consumers in each market using it. In Germany, however, the most popular source is free-to-air TV which accounts for the vast majority of viewers at nearly eight in ten.Marketing Technology News: Introducing MHz Curationist – Framing the World We ShareA key finding of the research conducted in Q1 2019 was the fast adoption rate of online TV. Across the board, online TV is now the second most popular source behind pay TV with usage ranging from just under 40% in Germany to more than 50% in the U.K. and Sweden. This is a remarkable rise as online TV is a relatively new offering. In fact, Netflix, the original online streaming service, only launched in the U.K. in 2012. Whereas 12 years ago most homes relied on a single-source for TV, today nearly half of viewers in all three of the countries studied are multi-source television households.In all three European markets surveyed, consumers pointed to on-screen program guides and user interfaces (UIs) as being critical tools for finding content to watch. Six in ten viewers indicated visual imagery and TV artwork displayed in the guides exert important influence on their viewing choices. Among the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, the number jumped up to around 90%. In addition, respondents indicated TV show and movie descriptions which shed light on content are also factors in their tune-in decision-making. 70% of U.K. viewers said the program descriptions were at least somewhat important. 65% of Swedes and 57% of Germans thought the same.Marketing Technology News: ATTOM Data Solutions CEO Rob Barber Honored As Gold Stevie Award Winner In 2019 American Business AwardsAdditional themes to emerge from the report were as follows:Free-to-air TV gaining traction on mobile: More free-to-air viewers use broadcaster apps to supplement viewing than pay TV viewers use their operator “TV Everywhere” apps. In fact, over half of free-to-air users in each country use broadcaster apps.The smart TV wins: The TV is the preferred device to watch video content on in all three countries. A significant 70% of total viewing time is on the TV screen in the U.K. and Germany, while in Sweden, the number clocks in at 60%. Samsung is the most popular TV brand in all three countries.“Consumer behavior relating to TV viewing is changing rapidly in Europe as it is around the world,” said Simon Adams, Chief Product Officer, Gracenote. “This new research provides the clearest, most timely snapshot of how viewers in the U.K., Germany and Sweden get the movies and TV programs they are looking for and how they discover new content. By understanding viewer needs, behaviors and attitudes, Gracenote is uniquely positioned to help the industry develop new products and features that maximize TV viewership and engagement – critical business priorities in today’s hotly competitive landscape.”The report also delves into viewing habits by market.  Among the most surprising insights:17% of the U.K. study group use all three TV sources available to them, higher than in Sweden and Germany.While the on-screen guide is the dominant way Swedes and Brits find content to watch, newspaper TV guides and channel flipping are the main ways for Germans.31% of Swedes consider online TV to be their primary TV source, the highest of the three countries studied.“The new TV Universe study shows that online TV has become the second most popular source of TV entertainment in a remarkably short period of time,” said Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst at nScreenMedia. “Also telling is the fact that, though most online viewing takes place on the television, consumers don’t have the discovery tools they need to efficiently find something to watch there. Features such as voice and cross-service search are thinly used in each country. There is also plenty of room for improvement with content recommendations as a quarter or less think they accurately reflect their interests.”Marketing Technology News: IBM, Thomson Reuters Introduce Powerful New AI and Data Combination to Simplify How Financial Institutions Tackle Regulatory Compliance ChallengesThe research was sponsored by Gracenote, the global leader in entertainment metadata powering the world’s top TV providers, music services, CE device manufacturers, media companies and automakers. The company’s Global Video Data offering, comprising TV schedules, program details and imagery covering movies and TV programming worldwide, provides a foundation for on-screen TV/video guides and UIs. In addition, Gracenote’s recently announced Advanced Discovery suite of hyper-detailed metadata is enabling smarter search and discovery features for TV and OTT platforms.The consumer research study conducted from February to March 2019 surveyed 1,500 adult TV viewers in the U.K. Germany and Sweden. The data was weighted to represent the general population of each country. Information gathered from public and private sources, industry interviews and other research sources was also used in the study.last_img read more


Exercise may decrease cerebral blood flow and improve brain function in older

first_img Source:https://sph.umd.edu/news-item/exercise-may-improve-cognition-reducing-brain-blood-flow-older-adults Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 31 2019Exercise can impact biomarkers of brain function in a way that might prevent or postpone the onset of dementiaExercise training alters brain blood flow and improves cognitive performance in older adults, though not in the way you might think. A new study published by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that exercise was associated with improved brain function in a group of adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and a decrease in the blood flow in key brain regions.”A reduction in blood flow may seem a little contrary to what you would assume happens after going on an exercise program,” explained Dr. J. Carson Smith, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology. “But after 12-weeks of exercise, adults with MCI experienced decreases in cerebral blood flow. They simultaneously improved significantly in their scores on cognitive tests.”Dr. Smith explains that for those beginning to experience subtle memory loss, the brain is in “crisis mode” and may try to compensate for the inability to function optimally by increasing cerebral blood flow. While elevated cerebral blood flow is usually considered beneficial to brain function, there is evidence to suggest it may actually be a harbinger of further memory loss in those diagnosed with MCI. The results of the study by Dr. Smith and his team suggest exercise may have the potential to reduce this compensatory blood flow and improve cognitive efficiency in those in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.A control group of cognitively healthy older adults without mild cognitive impairment also underwent the exercise training program, consisting of four 30-minute sessions of moderate-intensity treadmill walking per week. But the program yielded different responses from each group.Related StoriesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsExtremely strenuous exercise can overload the heart without increasing cardiac riskUnlike the group with MCI, whose exercise training decreased cerebral blood flow, the exercise training increased cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex in the healthy group after 12 weeks. Their performance on the cognitive tests also significantly improved, as was observed the MCI group.For this study, changes in cerebral blood flow were measured in specific brain regions that are known to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, including the insula (involved in perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning), the anterior cingulate cortex (involved in decision making , anticipation, impulse control and emotion) and the inferior frontal gyrus (involved in language processing and speech).Specifically, among those with MCI, the decreased cerebral blood flow in the left insula and in the left anterior cingulate cortex were strongly correlated with improved performance on a word association test used to measure memory and cognitive health.A previous publication from this study led by Dr. Smith focused on how the exercise intervention influenced changes in the brain’s neural networks known to be associated with memory loss and amyloid accumulation, which are both signs of MCI and Alzheimer’s.”Our findings provide evidence that exercise can improve brain function in people who already have cognitive decline,” Dr. Smith said optimistically. “We have an interest in targeting people who are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s earlier in the disease process. We are seeing that exercise can impact biomarkers of brain function in a way that might protect people by preventing or postponing the onset of dementia.”last_img read more


New discovery could improve therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

first_imgPatients typically live to 20 or 30 years of age. There have been important improvements in respiratory care, which used to be what a majority of patients would succumb to. Now, in their 20s and 30s, they’re often succumbing to cardiomyopathy. The heart is functioning with a major component of the cell membrane missing. Over time, it wears out.”Lead author Michelle Parvatiyar, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences in FSU’s College of Human Sciences The study was part of continued efforts by UCLA biologist Rachelle H. Crosbie, the study’s corresponding author, who previously identified sarcospan as a protein that could improve mechanical support in skeletal cell membranes lacking dystrophin. Her finding buoyed DMD researchers and affirmed sarcospan’s potential as an effective tool in the fight against the condition.”But nobody had really looked at how increasing the levels of this protein might affect the heart,” Parvatiyar said.Using a unique mouse model with a dearth of dystrophin, Parvatiyar and her collaborators did just that.In their study, the team found that while it’s is not a like-for-like replacement for dystrophin, an overexpression of sarcospan in cardiac cells seems to do the job of stabilizing cell membranes. Even under stress, researchers found, sarcospan overexpression was able to improve the membrane defect in dystrophin-deficient cells.”Sarcospan doesn’t quite do the job of dystrophin, but it acts as a glue to stabilize the membrane and hold protein complexes together when dystrophin is lacking,” said Parvatiyar, explaining a concept developed by Crosbie.Related StoriesWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeCardiac measurements confirmed that sarcospan does protect the cell membrane even when the heart is placed under stress. Study co-author and FSU College of Medicine Associate Professor Jose Pinto performed the measurements, along with FSU graduate student Karissa Dieseldorff Jones and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine research assistant Rosemeire Takeuchi Kanashiro.In addition to serving as a kind of stabilizing glue, researchers said sarcospan could also act as a scaffold that supports other essential proteins at the cell membrane. That function could allow sarcospan to carry mini versions of dystrophin -; which, in its normal state, has a long and unwieldy genetic code -; to the edges of cardiac cells, where they could buttress the fragile membranes.”The idea is that you could administer the sarcospan and the dystrophin at the same time, and the sarcospan could facilitate mini dystrophin localizing to the cell membrane and help hold those complexes in place,” Parvatiyar said.Sarcospan’s two possible functions could augment existing DMD treatments, Parvatiyar said, or they could give rise to novel therapies that fortify weakened cardiac cell membranes and improve the quality of life for people with DMD.In her previous position at UCLA, Parvatiyar had frequent interactions with DMD patients and their families. She said these interactions, and the unshakeable hope she’s witnessed in those suffering from DMD, continue to drive her and her colleagues in the search for new ways to combat this debilitating condition.”Those were the first times in my life I’d ever had someone come up to me and thank me for my work,” she said. “Sometimes you can feel removed from it in the laboratory day after day. You see incremental progress. But to see people who are really yearning for help is motivating. Their positivity is incredibly inspiring.”Source:Florida State UniversityJournal reference:Parvatiyar, M.S. et al. (2019) Stabilization of the cardiac sarcolemma by sarcospan rescues DMD-associated cardiomyopathy. JCI Insight. doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.123855. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 16 2019A new multi-institution study spearheaded by researchers at Florida State University and the University of California, Los Angeles suggests a tiny protein could play a major role in combating heart failure related to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common lethal genetic disorder among children.In collaboration with scientists from across the nation, FSU researchers found that increased levels of the protein sarcospan improve cardiac function by reinforcing cardiac cell membranes, which become feeble in patients with DMD.Their findings were published in the journal JCI Insight.The condition, which typically afflicts young boys, is caused by a mutation that prevents the body from producing dystrophin, a protein crucial to the health of skeletal, respiratory and cardiac muscles. Advances in treatment for certain types of DMD-related muscle degradation have helped to prolong patients’ lifespans. However, as DMD patients age, their heart function declines dramatically.last_img read more