Premier pipes up on crime again

first_img Husband arrested for murder in Long Island, Bahamas Recommended for you Nationwide manhunt launched after shooting victim dies Related Items:crime, premier rufus ewing TCI Police Commissioner says absolute focus is reducing crime, gives some insight into the decreases recorded Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 30 Sept 2015 – Premier Honorable Rufus Ewing says he continues to be disturbed by the mounting violence. The senseless loss of life and especially that of our young people is unsettling and vexatious. The premier said there is a national security council being formed jointly by the Office of the Premier and the Governor’s Office. The media statement came in as police were holding a press conference in regards to reports of a violent stabbing in Five Cays. Up to production time there was no further information on that story.last_img read more

admin

Sailors from USS Bonhomme Richard helping out in the community

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Sailors from USS Bonhomme Richard helping out in the community 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – U.S. Navy sailors from the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship and the third American warship to bear the name, will hold a handful of community relations events throughout the county today to meet with members of the community.The Navy dubbed the day of events “13/13 Day,” representing the ships 13 departments doing 13 different events around the county.More than 1,100 sailors are expected to participate in the event to share their pride in serving on the USS Bonhomme Richard, which arrived in San Diego after spending six years based in Sasebo, Japan, and build a rapport with county residents.Six of the ship’s departments will hold beach cleanup events at Silver Strand, Mission Beach, Presidio Park, Pacific Beach, Coronado Beach and La Jolla Cove.Several departments will also hold cleanup events in Balboa Park and the Chula Vista Veterans Home. Two departments are expected to collaborate with Meals on Wheels and the Boys and Girls Club. Posted: May 15, 2019 Updated: 11:07 AM May 15, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter #BHR is taking over San Diego right now!! #RevGators from 13 departments are doing 13 community relations projects across the city at the same time!! Check out some of the photos! pic.twitter.com/or0paHJmBi— USS Bonhomme Richard (@LHD6BHR) May 15, 2019last_img read more

admin

Teslas Models S and X wont be seeing big changes anytime soon

first_img Tesla Electric Cars Car Industry Enlarge ImageThe Model S looks an awful lot now like it did when it debuted in 2012, but that’s not a bad thing. Tim Stevens/Roadshow Most manufacturers would be freaking out about the future if it had models in its lineup that were mostly the same now as they were when they debuted seven years ago. Not Tesla, though. Despite many minor changes and a few technical updates, the Model S of 2019 is not wildly different from the one that debuted way back in 2012. That has led people to wonder if the Model S and its slightly newer sibling, Model X, will be getting a redo anytime soon.The answer to that, according to the Big T’s CEO Elon Musk, is no. The recent mechanical refresh to S and X that we saw a few months ago is the extent of what we can expect for the future. On the one hand, that sounds crazy, but on the other, it’s not like either model looks especially dated. Now playing: Watch this: There is no “refreshed” Model X or Model S coming, only a series of minor ongoing changes. Most significant change in past few years was to use high efficiency Model 3 rear drive unit as S/X front drive unit. That went into production 3 months ago.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2019 2 Musk’s decision makes sense from a business standpoint, too. Why would a company that is so resource-hungry as it is divert funding and personnel away from new models like Y or the Tesla truck to retool relatively low-volume flagship models?Now, Models S and X will continue to get minor updates, both in hardware and of course through software, but Musk also states that we shouldn’t expect even an interior re-do, despite the move away from the S and X’s more traditional interior layout to the more minimal style used on 3 and Y.In the long-term, it’s not clear how S and X fit into Tesla’s grand plans with all the robotaxis and semi-trucks and God knows what else Elon is cooking up. In the meantime though, they won’t be going anywhere, and if our own Tim Stevens’ recent review of the current Model S is anything to go by, that’s not a bad thing.Tesla didn’t had no further comment beyond Musk’s tweets. Comments 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Share your voice More From Roadshow Tesla Model S Long Range pulls further ahead of the EV… 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Tesla’s Model X gets artsy Tags 8:35 30 Photos Elon Musk Teslalast_img read more

admin

ACC launches investigation against 8 BNP leaders

first_img(Top) Nazrul Islam Khan, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdul Awal Mintoo and Morshed Khan. (Bottom) Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Mirza Abbas, Habibun-nabi Khan Sohel and Tabith Awal The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has now launched investigation into allegations of money laundering, amassing illegal wealth and suspicious bank transactions against eight BNP leaders.The anti-corruption watchdog has launched the investigation barely two months after a court sent the chief of country’s main opposition political party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and former prime minister Khaleda Zia to jail in a graft case filed by the ACC.Another case filed by ACC is pending against her. Besides, some 25 BNP leaders are facing graft cases filed by ACC. The BNP leaders against whom the ACC launched the investigation are: standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and Mirza Abbas, two vice chairmen Abdul Awal Mintoo and M Morshed Khan, joint secretary general and BNP’s Dhaka city’s south unit president Habibun-nabi Khan Sohel and Mintoo’s son and executive committee member Tabith Awal.ACC has also initiated investigation against Morshed Khan’s son Faisal Morshed Khan.ACC officials said the body entrusted one of its deputy directors, Shamsul Alam, with the investigation against the BNP.They said the ACC would send letters to banks concerned by this week, seeking information about the respective persons and would also ask the BNP leaders to submit their wealth statements.ACC officials said the organisation has launched the investigation after some media outlets, quoting intelligence sources, published news reports that “suspicious transactions” of as much as Tk 1.25 billon was made in 30 days’ time in the bank accounts of these BNP leaders.They said most of those whose bank account records show “unusual money withdrawal” are businessmen and the volume of transactions is not unusual either, but the withdrawal was made in cash which, ACC officials said, has created suspicions.The ACC would check if the money was spent other than on business purposes.ACC officials said allegations have it that Abdul Awal Mintoo withdrew some Tk 320 million on 11, 15 and 22 February and his son Tabith Awal withdrew some Tk 200 million in the same month.Morshed Khan withdrew Tk 180 million on 27 February while his son Faisal withdrew Tk 90 million on 26 February.It is alleged that some Tk 210 million was withdrawn from the bank account of Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain from 3 to 12 March and some of the money was withdrawn from outside Dhaka.  ACC is also claiming that some Tk 160 million was withdrawn from the account of Mirza Abbas on 28 February and 4 March.It is also being alleged that Tk 70 million was withdrawn from the bank accounts of Nazrul Islam Khan and Habibun-nabi Khan Sohel at different times.BNP has all along been accusing the Anti-Corruption Commission of serving the interests of the ruling quarters.At a press conference on 21 March, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that ACC is like a one-eyed animal.    BNP standing committee member Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain said, “The ACC has launched this investigation based on the reports published in some baseless online portals. How authentic are those reports? Neither me nor my family members have any account with that bank.”Terming the move purely political, he lamented that the ACC has chosen to turn a blind eye to people who have misappropriated millions, especially when the ministries and the Bangladesh Bank have proofs.Senior leader Nazrul Islam Khan said, “This is just another blueprint of the government to keep the active BNP leaders under pressure. The country knows why the ACC is after us when people who have institutionalised corruption are at large.””Such news was published on online portal Bangla Insider on 17 March. Everyone knows who are behind it. The ACC will now carry out an investigation based on that report. The involvement of constitutional bodies in such politicised acts is tarnishing their image, and that of the country as well,” said BNP vice chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo.No ACC official was available for a comment to this end. ACC spokesperson and secretary Shamsul Arefin’s phone did not receive a call despite repeated attempts. He did not reply to a text either.Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) executive director Iftekharuzzaman said, “We hope the ACC will carry out their duties within their legal framework. If they prioritise political identity it will be a blow to their accountability.”last_img read more

admin

Mexico Still Dealing With Earthquake Damage Rescinds Offers To Provide Aide In

first_imgAn offer to support the recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey has been taken off the table. With the country of Mexico currently dealing with its own natural disasters, their government has rescinded offers to help in Texas.In a statement Mexican officials say they must channel all available logistical support to the families and communities affected by last week’s earthquake and a hurricane which hit a day later.Over 2.5-million people are in need of aid following the massive earthquake which measured 8.1 off Mexico’s Southern coast. The country’s emergency services have been stretched even thinner by the need to deal with the effects of Hurricane Katia which hit Veracruz.The Mexican Consulate here in Houston told News 88.7/Houston Public Media via email that the offer to assist in Texas was sent to the U.S. State Department on August 28th. Included in the offering was support personnel, technical equipment and supplies. The Foreign Ministry says they received a communication from the U.S. Embassy a week later. The U.S. response included a letter from the Texas Secretary of State stating that only some logistical support would be needed.“Mexico informed the Texas and U.S. Governments that it will not be possible to provide the assistance originally offered to Texas in late August in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, given that the Mexican government will channel all available logistical support to the families and communities affected by the earthquake of September 7 and the effects of hurricane Katia in Veracruz. Fortunately, judging by the closure of most of the shelters located in the Houston area and from communication with Texas officials, it seems that the current need for aid has declined considerably,” said the Mexican Consulate.While Mexico is unable to assist the Israeli government has made an  $1-million donation to relief efforts. Sharelast_img read more

admin

Rule Changes Would End Remnants Of Electric Bill Assistance For LowIncome Texans

first_img Listen Share 00:00 /00:45 State regulators could move this week to get rid of rules designed to help low-income Texans with their electric bills. Under a proposal being considered by the Public Utility Commission of Texas on Thursday, electric companies would no longer have to give low-income customers a break on late fees, and they wouldn’t have to make special payment plans available for those customers.Carol Biedrzycki, with the advocacy group Texas Ratepayers’ Organization to Save Energy – or “ROSE” – worries about that.“Those things can very well make it more difficult for people to maintain utility service,” she said.A now-defunct state program used to directly help low-income families pay electric bills. The utility commission said these changes are essentially meant to fully wind down that program, as state lawmakers intended, and to remove references to it in the rules. The commission notes the changes would also create a new requirement that companies let all customers split up their deposits for new electric plans.Commissioners could vote on the proposal at a Thursday meeting, or ask for more information before considering it on a later date. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Xlast_img read more

admin

From Foster Care to Park Heights Leader

first_imgBy Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, syoes@afro.comAs Pamela Curtis strides toward the front porch of the first group home she lived in during her childhood, much of which was spent in foster care, there does not seem to be a hint of anger, melancholy or anxiety on her face or in her spirit. In fact, there is a sense of calm that exudes from her as she sits down on the front stoop of the home located in a quiet Northwest Baltimore neighborhood.“Sleeping with my clothes on because the group home mother’s sons kept calling me `fresh meat’ and made comments about coming in my room,” said Curtis via Facebook message regarding that chapter during her years in foster care. “It’s all beautiful,” she added, alluding to the rock solid faith that brought her through those challenging times and guide her today.Pamela Curtis is founder and president of Pushing the Vision Outreach. (Courtesy Photo)Curtis is founder and president of Pushing the Vision Outreach, a 501c3, non-profit (established Feb. 2010), she describes as a, “Multicultural organization that caters to the underserved communities in Baltimore City and surrounding counties, through mentoring, workshops for parents, financial counseling, empowerment events and the redevelopment of communities. I just want the forgotten to be remembered.”This week she is making the final preparations for her “Pushing the Vision Outreach Day” on Aug. 4, the day in 2016 former President Barack Obama, the state of Maryland and Baltimore City by proclamation recognized Curtis’ organization and her work. This year she chose the theme “The Rise of Kings” she says “to honor, appreciate and recognize men statewide.”Curtis’ event (which is also her 35th birthday celebration) will be at the Langston Hughes Business and Resource Center in her beloved Park Heights; the community she has adopted and works in. Curtis is the outreach coordinator for Park Heights Renaissance and she is also president of the Park Circle Community Association, the youngest community association president in Baltimore City. She is also the Park Heights neighborhood liaison for the Baltimore Police Department’s monitoring team (for the implementation of the consent decree) and Curtis, the mother of two teenage boys, is also a member of the Women’s Commission of Maryland.Her story is unique and perhaps implausible in the minds of some; a teenage girl who grew into young womanhood in Baltimore’s foster care system (she entered the system at 12, an aged out of it at age 21) to become an influential community leader at 35. Yet, she argues her star is rising as a leader not despite her past, but perhaps because of it.“I moved to Park Circle in Aug. 2017, by Dec., I was the president (of the neighborhood association).“(Park Heights) is a food desert and a desert as well. You remember growing up in Park Heights and you remember seeing the guys on the corners, or even people selling frozen cups, or someone selling something you needed for your household,” Curtis said. “But, to now drive and see the vacant houses or what used to be corner stores that you used to walk to to get penny candy or chips…but, now to see it in such a stage.” Where others see blight and despair Curtis sees opportunity and burgeoning pockets of beauty.“But, honestly, Park Heights is in such a transitional stage, it’s shifting…it’s transforming into something only a true visionary could envision, beautiful houses, homes,” she said.“Truth be told, those who focused on those houses being boarded up…no shade, but reality, those were the problem people. How can you see something broken or cracked and not want to be the solution and fix it? Because it takes one person.”Given what our city has gone through in the last three years since the death of Freddie Gray in police custody and the subsequent uprising in April 2015, it is easy to be cynical if you are a resident of Baltimore; it has been easier perhaps for people to pack up and head for the nearest, or farthest county. But, there are still true believers in this city; people who truly believe in the people of this city, Curtis is one of those true believers.“People are so quick to say, `Oh, you know, I want to move out of the city.’ But, it’s beauty in the city, it’s history in this city, there’s power in this city. Umm, there’s money in this city and that’s why outside developers are coming into this city, because they know it’s money. If you build it, they will come,” Curtis said.last_img
admin

The best stories are about people not events

first_imgBefore the moment, King hadn’t even known that his book was in the race. He didn’t know then that his account of four African American men, who were falsely accused of a crime against a white woman in Florida in 1949, would be featured in the top books of 2013. He wouldn’t have imagined that his book would be in line soon to be adapted into a Hollywood film.King received the Pulitzer in the non-fiction category for his book Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. The book is a well researched history of civil rights case of a former associate justice in the American Supreme court, Thurgood Marshall or as King calls him ‘Mr Civil Rights’, who fought in favour of four African American men, who were accused of raping a white woman. The case led to the Ku Klux Klan waging havoc on the town of Lake County in Florida. Burning African American houses and lynching black men followed. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Marshall was even threatened and one of his associates were killed. King’s book brought to light numerous details  of the case with his research on the FBI files and other valuable materials.Gilbert King is a part of a panel discussion in 2015’s Jaipur Literature festival and he was in the national capital one bright Sunday to interact with school students. He talked about his love for writing and photography and why he chooses to write about injustice and his views about other pressing issues in the world. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix On Civil RightsHistory of slavery goes a long way in America and so after Abraham Lincoln the general perception was that the African community was better off now. But there was still segregation and a lot of racism. Around the time of the second world war, suddenly the African American community was deemed ‘equal’ and good enough to be sent to war. They travelled to different parts of the world where they were respected as American soldiers. They fought as equals with passion for their country. So once the war was over, and when they came back to America, they were again pushed back into living in ghettos and as second class citizens. This time they revolted and this resulted into the Klu Klux Klan lynching soldiers and other acts of violence. The county they fought for wasn’t protecting them. There was no society, no police to protect them. And this is when they turned to law. Thurgood Marshall rose as a leader and protector of civil rights then.My book is one of the many cases that remained untold. People didn’t know of all the horrific incidents that took place and writing this book was a matter of conscience for me. It was a crucial case at that time and Marshall rose as a hero. My book is a tribute to a hero.On Racial progress todayThe Internet and camera phones has made it easier to tell stories. For instance something like the Ferguson unrest would not have become this popular had it not been for the Internet, which has brought it to a higher level of consciousness for people. It has  drawn attention.While I was researching for Devil in the Grove, I used to wonder how the world would have reacted if an injustice like this would have been covered on camera. But look at Ferguson case, look at Eric Garner, an African American, who was choked to death by a police officer. A video was recorded and it went viral. But police brutality is somehow justified in our society.Today, we may feel good that we have Barack Obama as the President of the United States but the issue of racial injustice is as crucial as it was then. But having said that, I think the situation has improved a lot. People may point out at the Ferguson incident or the Trevor Martin incident  (17 year old African American who was shot by a neighbourhood watch volunteer). To say that the situation is the same is unfair to the leaders who fought for their rights. Back then no one would know about it. Today everyone recognises the issue and that is a victory in itself. You get to the court room today and at least there is a trial.On WritingI was always drawn to underdog stories. I used to read books like the Count of Monte Cristo and I was always interested in crime stories. As a photographer I love the idea of learning new things like a child would see. The enthusiasm came to me as a writer as well to learn and tell stories. Suddenly I was seeing new things, things I had never heard before. My writing is a way to tell people what I am thinking in my head, like a photograph should. As a student I was always distracted. My grades weren’t good and my teachers used to complain that I read other things than the class assigned books. I went about my way and ended up becoming who I am. To aspiring writers I would say, read. And read history. Make yourself comfortable with the structure of a story. Be it writing  a book or just journalism, people want to know the human narrative, the experience. One needs to understand  that the best stories are about people and not about events. They are not about banks, they are about people in the banks.On IndiaMy impression about Indians is that there is a certain joy in people, a certain sensitivity. This is my first trip to India but I have found that people appreciate life in a different way than America. Conversations revolve around families, about reflection on life, simple things unlike the fast paced conversation that I see in America. I think Indians in general and Indian writers observe things in details.I attended the Jaipur literature festival to listen to writers like V S Naipaul. My idea of Indian literature is that it is vast. There are so many Indian books I want to read and there are so many writers who inspired me during the festival. There is so much I take back from here, that a book on India cannot be ruled out.As far as the festival itself is concerned, I believe as writers we are always at our desks. We don’t interact, I don’t teach, so I am always researching and writing and it’s kind of lonely.Such festivals make me meet people I love. People I love reading and for me it’s also about appreciating the fact that ‘Oh my God, I am on the same panel with such renouned writers’.last_img read more

admin

SSKM canteen staff demand money for extra food

first_imgKolkata: One man’s meat is another man’s poison. The carcass meat row, which has created a ruckus across the state, has now cast its spell on the canteen services of SSKM Hospital. Taking advantage of the incident, a group of canteen staff in the Hospital were demanding money from patients or their family members for providing extra pieces of fish. The patients undergoing treatment in the hospital get their food for free. They are entitled to get one piece of fish in their meal. However, they were informed that if any one wants to have an extra piece of fish, he or she has to pay Rs 5 for each. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSome of the canteen staff, who are mostly contractual workers, have been making money in this way. It was learnt that this practice has been going on in the hospital for quite sometime.At around 1.55 pm on Tuesday, some canteen staff were distributing lunch among the patients undergoing treatment at the CTVS department of the hospital. A patient had asked for an extra piece of fish. One of the staff said she needs to pay Rs 5 for one extra piece. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe patient paid the amount to have an extra piece from the canteen employee. The state government has been spending crores of money over free treatment and other services to the patients. Despite the efforts by the government to extend quality services, a section of people within the system are maligning the government for their own benefits, alleged some relatives of the patients. It is learnt that canteen staff get an estimation from each department on the number of patients, based on which they prepare food. Patients can have food of their own choice. There are many patients who do not take fish. The pieces that remain undistributed are being served among other indoor patients in exchange of money. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream project to provide free health services in state-run hospitals across Bengal was initially criticised, following resistance by a section of doctors and paramedical staff, having some alleged links with drug manufacturers and suppliers. It would remain a half-pursued dream, if this ‘corrupt’ practice exists. A senior official at the state health department, on condition of anonymity, said a section of doctors and paramedical staff at government establishments were trying to oppose various health service schemes introduced by the government for their personal gains. It may be mentioned, that a few days ago, the store keeper of Bangur Institute of Neuroscience had been arrested on the charges of demanding money for an orthopedic implant, which the patient was supposed to get it for free.last_img read more

admin

Dead fish in a small pond

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Tourism promoter Advantage SA has apologised after a PR campaign to invite media to Adelaide and “be the big fish in a small pond, and come test the water” backfired, with the death of a number of goldfish.Aimed at spruiking South Australia as a destination, 55 goldfish were sent out inviting guest to a tour partly funded by the state Labor Government and run by Advantage SA, the Australian reported. Recipients of the bowls with inscriptions “be the big fish in a small pond, and come test the water” were quick to complain, with news spreading of mass goldfish deaths. Advantage SA chief Karen Raffen yesterday apologised, explaining it was not the intention to either harm or cause any distress to the fish or those receiving the initiations.”On behalf of Advantage SA, I would like to personally apologise for any offence caused by the arrival of the fish,” Ms Raffen said. Ms Raffen said all fish were alive and healthy when they were hand-delivered to the media executives, with enough food to last six months.Advantage SA is contacting all recipients to check on the fish, and if they are not wanted, they will be found good homes. Dead goldfishlast_img read more

admin

Rep Hall to chair House Oversight Committee

first_img Lawmaker will lead panel during 2019-2020 legislative sessionState Rep. Matt Hall of Emmett Township will chair the House Oversight Committee for the 2019-2020 legislative term.Hall is currently in his first term representing the 63rd House District, which encompasses southern and central Calhoun County and eastern Kalamazoo County.The Oversight Committee will handle issues involving state government, including reviewing audit reports released by the Auditor General and legislation addressing governance of the Legislature and state departments and agencies.“I’m honored to lead the deliberation process for government efficiency and transparency,” Hall said. “Under my leadership, the Oversight Committee will work to hold state government accountable and ensure hard-working taxpayers are receiving the quality services they deserve.”Hall also has been appointed to serve on the House Tax Policy, Regulatory Reform and Education committees during the 2019-2020 legislative session. Categories: Hall News 17Jan Rep. Hall to chair House Oversight Committeelast_img read more

admin

Developing drugs to sell in the US is a complex an

first_imgDeveloping drugs to sell in the US is a complex and costly process. It’s estimated that for every 1,000 compounds discovered in the pre-clinical stage, perhaps only one will make it through the entire FDA approval process to be sold on the market. Navigating this approval process can often take more than a decade; depending upon the source, the average cost of bringing a new prescription drug to market ranges from $1.2 to $1.5 billion. [Ed. Note: This Forbes article claims that the true cost is actually much higher.] But the potential reward from a blockbuster drug can be several billion dollars in sales a year for the remaining life of the patent.Consider that in 2010 alone, the five top-selling biotech drugs on the market (Avastin, Rituxan, Humira, Herceptin, and Lantus) generated revenues of $31.8 billion. These five drugs are all big-pharma products (Roche, Abbott, and Sanofi), but many of the new potential blockbuster drugs are coming out of smaller, more innovative biotech outfits. Obviously, a multibillion-dollar blockbuster drug will affect the value of a small – say $200-million market-cap biotech company – a lot more than it would a $150-billion market-cap big-pharma company like Roche.It’s this potential of uncovering the next blockbuster drug from a relatively small company that makes biotech investing so enticing. But it’s a risky game. Success or failure of your trade can often hinge on one piece of news (at least in the short run). Good news equals big gains, and bad news equals big losses.Companies that aren’t yet selling any products routinely see their stocks swing up 100% or more in a single day on good news from a clinical trial or FDA approval of a drug candidate – or watch them tumble 90% if a drug fails to impress the FDA or results from a trial are anything less than glowing.For instance, on February 22, 2012, an FDA advisory panel voted 20-2 in favor of approval of Vivus’ new obesity drug, Qnexa. The drug still requires approval by the FDA itself (decision date is expected by April 17), which has rejected previous obesity drugs after panel support. But that did not stop shares of Vivus (NASDAQ.VVUS) from soaring. The stock rose from a close of $10.55 the day before the FDA panel vote to a close of $18.73 the first trading day after the vote (trading was halted on 2/22), a one-day increase of more than 77%. By February 27 (just the third trading day after the FDA panel vote), the stock was trading as high as $25.14, a full 138% above the pre-panel vote close.Vivus is not some lone anomaly, either. Just five days before the news about Qnexa, Corcept Therapeutics (NASDAQ.CORT) announced that the FDA had approved Korlym as a once-daily oral medicine to control hyperglycemia in adult patients with Cushing’s syndrome (a rare and life-threatening endocrine disorder that results from long-term exposure to excess levels of the hormone cortisol); the stock jumped 47% in one trading day, from a close of $3.03 to a close of $4.45 on the news.Then there’s Chelsea Therapeutics (NASDAQ.CHTP). On February 23, 2012, the company announced that the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee (CRDAC) voted 7-4 to recommend approval of Northera for the treatment of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (a condition which often causes dizziness) in people with central nervous system disorders like Parkinson’s. The stock surged on the news, climbing more than 60% in one trading day.Just to show how extreme it can get, take the example of Vanda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.VNDA). Vanda received FDA approval of its schizophrenia drug Fanapt on May 7, 2009, which resulted in a one-day gain for the stock of over 625%. And just four trading days after that, the stock closed at $12.96, a full 1,100% above its $1.08 close on March 6, 2009.Of course the converse is true as well. When the news is negative, early investors may find themselves holding little more than toilet paper. Take one of the same companies from above, Chelsea Therapeutics, for instance. About two weeks before the stock made a one-day gain of 50%, it suffered a one-day loss of nearly 40% on news from the company that it had received certain briefing documents from the FDA that sparked worries about Northera’s approval chances. The stock fell from a close of $4.99 on February 10, 2012 to a close of $3.11 the next day.And then there’s Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ.OREX). The FDA failed to approve this company’s obesity drug, Contrave, early last year, and the stock fell more than 72% in one day, from a close of $9.09 on January 31, 2011 to a close of $2.50 on February 1.With all this in mind, I thought it might be helpful to post a list of some of the FDA decisions that are coming up in the next few months – in case you are interested in digging into these stocks more and trying to make a play based on upcoming news.[Ed. Note: The following list was checked to ensure accuracy, but it’s possible for the timing on these decisions to change going forward.]Company: MAP Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.MAPP) Drug: Levadex Indication: Orally inhaled drug for the acute treatment of migraine in adults FDA Decision Date: March 26, 2012Company: Affymax (NASDAQ.AFFY) Drug: Peginesatide Indication: Once-monthly injection for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease in adult patients on dialysis FDA Decision Date: March 27, 2012Company: Vivus (NASDAQ.VVUS) Drug: Qnexa Indication: Extended-release, once-daily capsule for the treatment of obesity FDA Decision Date: April 17, 2012Company: Vivus (NASDAQ.VVUS) Drug: Avanafil Indication: Orally administered, as-needed pill for the treatment of erectile dysfunction FDA Decision Date: April 29, 2012Company: Protalix BioTherapeutics (NYSE.PLX) Drug: Uplyso Indication: A plant-cell expressed recombinant form of glucocerebrosidase for the treatment of Gaucher disease FDA Decision Date: May 1, 2012Company: Talon Therapeutics (NASDAQ.TLON) Drug: Marqibo Indication: A novel targeted nanoparticle-encapsulated anti-cancer compound currently for Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and melanoma FDA Decision Date: May 13, 2012Company: Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.IRWD) & Forest Laboratories (NYSE.FRX) Drug: Linaclotide Indication: A guanylate cyclase type-C agonist for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic constipation FDA Decision Date: June 9, 2012Company: Amarin (NASDAQ.AMRN) Drug: AMR101 Indication: A next-generation omega-3-based triglyceride-lowering therapy FDA Decision Date: July 26, 2012Company: Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ.ONXX) Drug: Carfilzomib Indication: A next-generation proteasome inhibitor in development for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma FDA Decision Date: July 27, 2012While you’re certainly free to throw your hat in the ring and start picking biotech stocks willy-nilly based on what you think a particular news outcome will be, I wouldn’t recommend it. Navigating the universe of biotech is tricky, and even the professionals get creamed.The trick is to put the odds of success in your favor so your wins outnumber your losses. And if you’ll indulge a bit of unapologetic self-promotion, that’s exactly what our team at Casey Extraordinary Technology has done. Sure, we’ve been wrong before. And we’ll be wrong again in the future – but our successes far outnumber our failures. So, if you’re interested in getting to know more about biotech and seeing what companies we like in the space, then sign up for a risk-free trial of Casey Extraordinary Technology. Details here.last_img read more

admin

Dear Reader Coal plays an integral role in keep

first_imgDear Reader, Coal plays an integral role in keeping the lights on and buildings standing. Despite the green energy movement, more than 40% the world’s electricity still comes from coal-fired plants, and 70% of the world’s steel production requires metallurgical coal. This graphic from the World Coal Organization reviews the types of coal and what they’re used for. Japan continues to be the #2 global producer of steel. Annual production for 2013 accounted for approximately 7% of global supply, which means it’s a significant importer of metallurgical coal. Japan gets most of its thermal and met coal from Australia: 72% and 52%, respectively. Indonesia is its second-largest supplier at 13% and 27%. India ranks #3 in the world in differential between exports and imports for coal. With a population of over 1 billion, a population growth rate of over 1%, and a GDP growth rate of over 3%, its demand for power is relentless. Of measured, indicated, and inferred coal in India, 232 billion tons of its total 264 billion tons fall into the category of non-coking coal. While lignite may be used for power generation in areas with relaxed environmental policies, the ability to export coal will be limited, likely requiring India to remain a net importer. Like many of the Asia-Pacific countries, South Korea is and will continue to be heavily dependent upon energy imports. Of its total $150 billion in imports of oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and coal, oil represents about $110 billion and coal less than $20 billion. But thanks to the country’s growth rate, on a percentage basis coal demand has increased by 550% over the last 10 years. The latest South Korean energy policy is aimed at raising coal briquette prices, a move to slow demand that suggests a shift toward LNG as the country’s main long-term power source. The price difference between the two comes largely from proximity to final destination. The coal spot market in Asia has taken off tremendously over the past year, with 67.7 million tons traded over 2013. Major Players and Their Reserves Total global reserves are over 860 billion tons, with anthracite and bituminous coals accounting for 404 billion tons (47%). At current production rates, the world has 109 years of reserves left. Indonesia is the world’s #1 producer and exporter of thermal coal. Currently, it exports nearly 80% of its production. However, the government has put a cap on coal production for 2014, as it’s trying to put future domestic interests ahead of international trade. The current reserves-to-production ratio stands at approximately 79 years. A new Indonesian mining law introduced in 2014 banned the export of raw ore, which means all coal refining must be done domestically. The government has also stated plans to raise royalties from the 3-7% range (depending on type) to 13.5% for all coal types. Port congestion has become an issue for the exporters; wait times have increased by nearly 30% to 6.7 days, in contrast to the one- to two-day average in other Asian ports. It’s one symptom that shows how reinvestment in the country’s port infrastructure is crucial to further development of its export market. Just across the Timor Sea from Indonesia is Australia. The Land Down Under currently occupies the #2 spot of coal exporters, but it dominates the global forecast for coal production. Nearly 50% of coal reserves in Australia fall into the “hard coal” category, an advantage in coming years as environmental regulations get tougher. The Australian government has big plans over the next several years to expand infrastructure that will add 80 million tons of port capacity, as well as to ramp up 65 million tons of production capacity. In total numbers, the export forecast is 327 million tons (23%) of the world’s steam, or thermal, coal. Metallurgical coal production is expected to be 259 million tons, which will account for 54% of global met production. Russia holds the second-largest coal reserves in the world, with a reserves-to-production ratio of 443 years. Russian energy policy actually is going in the opposite direction of most of the West, by decreasing natural gas power generation and raising coal-fired generation. Additionally, the coal industry in Russia has been restructured, leading to the privatization of coal assets. All coal mining is now carried out by joint-stock companies with private ownership. There’s not a lot new to say about Colombia, the fourth-largest coal exporter in the world and the largest in South America by a considerable margin. Colombian reserves are 94% anthracite and bituminous coal and are the primary suppliers of coking coal for Brazil. In contrast, South Africa shows potential to be a hot new region for coal with the discovery of the Waterberg area play. In 2012, the state-owned rail company announced plans to build Swazilink, a railway from the Waterberg coalfield in northeastern South Africa and the port at Richards Bay that would increase export capacity along with several feeder lines. The United States, too, continues to be a major producer of coal; however, production has dropped off every year since 2007. Coal production for 2013 was down 27% to 744.8 million tons as tougher environmental regulations weakened domestic demand. Coal-fired power plants are subject to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), scheduled to take effect on April 16, 2015. Tough domestic regulations don’t necessarily spell doom for the American coal industry as long as other countries in the world still operate coal-fired power plants. Nearly half of its reserves are the desirable anthracite and bituminous coals. Future Supply The growth forecast for total steam- and met-coal exports is 39% by 2040. Here’s a summary of expected exports by kind and country. New developments can alter the standings, however—among those just mentioned here, there’s the proposed air-quality legislation in China and Indonesia’s protectionist trend. Exports (millions of tons) 258.82 82.01 36.98 27.33 47.91 24.74 Coal Cycle Once the downtrend in coal prices approaches the minimum level a company needs to make a profit, an unpleasant conundrum arises: Should it stop producing until prices pick up, or should it increase its production to try to maintain its revenue levels? Sometimes a company has to keep up production or go bankrupt—but if consumption doesn’t keep up with production, the excess supply can put even more downward pressure on prices. The coal sector is currently in this exact situation. Major producers such as BHP, Glencore Xstrata, and the like have suspended operations due to poor economic conditions. So let’s examine the demand in the coal market. Major Coal Consumers The international coal trade is forecast to grow by 65% from 24 quadrillion BTU in 2010 to 39.6 quadrillion BTU in 2040. To put those figures in perspective, one rail car holds about 120 tons of coal, which is approximately 2.3 billion BTUs. If you were to load the 2040 global trade for coal into rail cars, strung together the cars would circle the earth over 6 times. Supply-Side Economics Like other mainstream commodities, coal has a spot price; but many trades take place off-exchange. For trades that do take place on an exchange, the two most common benchmarks are Central Appalachian coal, produced in the eastern United States, and Australian thermal coal, produced mostly in eastern Australia. China is the 800-pound gorilla in the coal market, both in reserves and in consumption. There has been considerable outrage from the Western world over the air quality in China due to the lack of environmental regulations. I can confirm firsthand that air pollution there is bad. The good news is that Beijing looks ready to pass laws to improve its air quality. The centerpiece is expected to be an import ban on low-quality coals with a caloric content of less than 3,900 kilocalories per kilogram. Such coals, like lignite, are used in lower-tech power plants. China recently surpassed Japan as the largest importer of coal, even with Japan’s post-Fukushima scramble to replace the electricity that its nuclear power plants used to produce. Tokyo Gas, Japan’s largest municipal natural gas utility, said it has “strong interest” in building new coal-fired plants in order to diversify energy supply—a nice bump for coal demand in the country. Country Australia United States South Africa Eurasia Canada Indonesia The Long and Short of It When a company uses the abbreviation “t,” remember that this refers to the metric ton, also known as the long ton. Standard engineering reports designate these as tonnes, but all the terms mean 1,000 kilograms, or 2,204 pounds. It’s the short ton that equals 2,000 pounds. So when comparing production, for instance—most often between US and non-US companies—be sure your apples are lined up against apples, not oranges. We have the one company that is best positioned to return significant returns to shareholders. In fact, our existing subscribers are sitting on profits with this company, and we think it’s only going to get better, even when other coal companies are going bankrupt. If you want to read more details about this winner and get our ongoing guidance on this and many other blockbuster energy companies, consider trying my monthly newsletter, the Casey Energy Report risk-free for 3 months. You have nothing to lose: if you aren’t 100% satisfied—for whatever reason—simply cancel within those 3 months for a full and prompt refund. Even if you cancel any time after the 3 months are up, you’ll still receive a prorated refund on the rest of your subscription. I’m so confident that you’ll find the Casey Energy Report to be a great value for the price that I have no problem giving out a 3-month test drive. If for whatever reason you don’t like it, no worries: you get 100% of your money back. If you like it and make money, I know you’ll stay a happy subscriber. You deserve to be rich, and if you want to learn about energy, the Casey Energy Report is the best place to start. Click here to get started today. Region Australia United States South Africa Eurasia S. America Indonesia Exports (millions of tons) 327.2 95.5 122 137.8 224.7 531.2 Given a specific amount of resource, you might wonder how much of it is actually being produced. A common metric that reveals the number of years left at current production rates is the reserves-to-production ratio—a country’s total proven and probable reserves divided by its annual production. It’s not just the quantity, but the kind of coal that matters. Calories quantify the amount of heat produced by complete combustion of the material—in effect, the amount of energy the material contains. In the case of coal, caloric level represents its quality, ash and moisture content, and its hardness. A major reason why anthracite and bituminous coals are more valuable resources is their high caloric content. The following chart combines these two characteristics per country.last_img read more

admin

In a windowless classroom at the John J Moran med

first_imgIn a windowless classroom at the John J. Moran medium-security prison in Cranston, R.I., three men sit around a table to share how and when they began using opioids.For Josh, now 39, it was when he was just 13 years old. “I got grounded for a week in my house, so I grabbed a bundle of heroin and just sat inside and sniffed it all week.””I started using heroin at 19,” says Ray, now 23. “I was shooting it. It was with a group of friends that I was working with, doing roof work.””At 26 years old, I experimented with heroin,” says Kevin, 50. “I wasn’t the person that I wanted to be. Once I put that in my system, I felt like this is what I’m supposed to do and this is what I’m supposed to feel like.”This group therapy session is part of a $2 million program the Rhode Island Department of Corrections launched in 2016. These men are all serving prison sentences for crimes driven by their drug addiction — including robbery, shoplifting and possession of controlled substances. NPR agreed to only use their first names so they could speak frankly about illegal behavior.They are among the approximately 275 inmates and pretrial detainees getting medication-assisted treatment behind bars.The program is central to Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s strategy to reduce opioid overdose deaths in the state. Today, Rhode Island remains the only state to screen every individual who comes into the correctional system for opioid use disorder, and to offer, along with drug counseling, all three types of drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat addiction — methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.While prisons have long offered medication-assisted treatment to small subsets of inmates, such as pregnant women, many prisons in the U.S. do not offer it at all, despite the fact that it’s considered by physicians to be the most effective treatment for opioid addiction.The criminal justice reform bill currently before Congress would require the Federal Bureau of Prisons to assess its capacity to provide medication-assisted treatment to inmates who are dependent on opioids, and to draw up plans to expand access to medically aided treatment “where appropriate.” But the bill leaves open who would determine when and where the medication is appropriate.”It’s just ludicrous that we have a whole population of people who are by and large incarcerated because of their disease, and we have an effective medication treatment for the disease and we don’t give it to them,” says Dr. Josiah Rich, director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at the Miriam Hospital in Providence.Rich was one of the experts tapped by Raimondo to identify where best to direct resources to bring down the state’s overdose deaths. He made the case for a prison program, given the high death rate among people recently incarcerated.”This is a population of the most severely impacted, the most advanced stages of opioid use disorder — the people who have taken the greatest risks and gotten caught up in the system,” Rich says. While in prison, the inmates’ opioid use usually ends, and so does their ability to tolerate high doses of the drugs without overdosing.”Then you get released into a very stressful situation with a lot of triggers, and you typically relapse,” Rich says. “And if you relapse back to the same level you were using, you’re set up for overdose and death.”This is what drove the Rhode Island Department of Corrections to offer medication-assisted treatment not just to people coming into prison, but also to those who began serving their sentences before the program existed. Eight to 12 weeks before their release, inmates with histories of addiction are offered methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone to ease their transition back to society, beginning with very low doses.”Even if somebody has not used in many years, they may still have changes in their brain,” says Dr. Jennifer Clarke, the Department of Corrections medical programs director. “The cravings are always going to be there. So, if somebody’s going back to the same old neighborhood, chances are they’re going to be exposed to the same people as when they were using drugs.”So, providing the medication before someone gets out really helps to prevent a relapse,” Clarke says.The possibility of relapse is top of mind for the men in group therapy. They have friends who have overdosed and died after serving time.Kevin has just a few weeks left in his sentence, one of many that he’s served in his adult life. “It feels good, but I’m nervous. I always get nervous,” he says. “As soon as I walk out the gates — my feet, when they hit the pavement outside of here, I have to get busy immediately.””You worry about the drug aspect once you hit the street,” says Josh who has also served multiple sentences for drug-related crimes. “Many times, I’ve gone out of here and overdosed repeatedly. Not on purpose, just accidentally, trying to hide from the pain, hide from myself.”This time, Josh says, the treatment program has given him a way to focus on a different way out.”I still have to fight the other drugs,” he says. “But at least I have something to help with one of the ones that’s brought me closer to death than anything else.”The program inside the prison is run by CODAC, a behavioral healthcare organization that also runs substance abuse treatment programs outside the prison, with locations across Rhode Island. Prisoners who enter the program remain clients when they exit prison, with treatment outside typically paid for by Medicaid. Discharge planners from CODAC help the inmates get organized for that transition.”I already have counseling appointments lined up, doctors appointments lined up,” says Ray, who is scheduled to be released in December. In prison, he’s been taking buprenorphine, which he’ll continue the day he gets out. “I really don’t want to use heroin again.”Early reports from the program are promising. In a study published in JAMA Psychiatry last spring, researchers found that overdose deaths among people who had recently been imprisoned dropped sharply in the first six months of 2017 as compared to the same period the year before — nine deaths, compared to 26.Researchers continue to track outcomes and are interviewing inmates and correctional staff to learn more about how well the program is functioning.There have been hurdles to overcome, says Lauranne Howard, substance abuse coordinator for the Department of Corrections, starting with resistance from security staff about the use of buprenorphine in the program. Buprenorphine itself is an opioid, though less potent than street drugs in many of its effects, and sometimes ends up sold or given to people outside its intended use.”The reaction was, why are you going to bring in a medication that we’re working real hard to keep out? And that’s a legitimate concern,” Howard says.In response, the program has made some changes. CODAC’s Leslie Barber, who directs the prison program and runs the group therapy sessions, says they launched the program using buprenorphine pills, which take awhile to dissolve.”We compromised by switching to the films which, although more expensive, dissolve quicker,” she says. CODAC says the buprenorphine pills cost approximately $4 each, while the films cost approximately $8 each.A number of other states have taken notice and sent corrections officials to Rhode Island to learn from their experiences. Clarke points out that Rhode Island has the advantage of being a small state with a combined jail and prison system, so that everyone who is incarcerated comes to the same campus.”Places like Rikers Island [in New York City] have all three types of medication for opiate use disorder, but they can’t start people who might have a prison sentence, because they’re going to be sent to a different facility, and they don’t have the same opportunities to continue treatment that we have,” Clarke says.Patricia Coyne-Fague, acting director of corrections for Rhode Island, recognizes that even with this program, people will stumble and make mistakes — even end up reincarcerated. Still, she defends the $2 million annual expenditure with the argument that the program saves lives.”Sometimes there can be a negative attitude about whose lives we are saving,” she says. “But everybody belongs to somebody. And so, while they may have committed a crime and deserve to be incarcerated, they’re still human beings. And if we can keep people from dying, that’s a good thing.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

admin

How to Watch the Rio 2016 Olympics Online

first_img August 5, 2016 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. Enroll Now for $5 This story originally appeared on PCMag The 2016 Rio Olympics are going to be something to watch, from the unfolding controversies to the uplifting stories of athletes making their way to Brazil.There are 19 days of Olympics viewing, from women’s soccer on Aug. 3, two days before the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony on Aug. 21. Daytime programming will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., primetime 8 p.m. to midnight, late-night from 12:35 a.m. to 1:35 a.m., and replays from 1:35 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Despite the games bringing together competitors from around the world, coverage is not so universal. The International Olympic Committee will not show the games on its YouTube channel until they are over, but there are other options.NBCOlympics.com has live streams, replays, and all sorts of extras, but you have to be a cable TV subscriber to access it all. NBC will again allow viewers to watch 30 minutes of video before signing in, though.Other countries will have coverage that you won’t see on NBC in the US. If you want to watch any of the over 100 broadcasters worldwide, you can use a VPN service, like Hola, but proceed at your own risk.NBC SportsThe NBC Sports app contains coverage from NBC, NBC Sports Network, and the Golf Channel. The app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows.Telemundo DeportesThe Telemundo Deportes app has Telemundo’s coverage to go. It’s available for iOS and Android.StreamingFor watching the games from the comfort of the couch, you can use a set-top box or gaming console. The NBC Sports app works on Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and Xbox. There is no app for Chromecast, but you can cast your browser to your TV. For PlayStation users, you have to subscribe to PlayStation Vue.SlingIf you’re a Sling Blue customer, then you get live coverage from NBC (if it’s available on Sling in your area) NBCSN, Bravo and USA. As with all Sling services, you can watch on your computer, mobile device, set-top box and gaming console. Image credit: PC Mag Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Chandra Steele 32shares Next Article Olympics How to Watch the Rio 2016 Olympics Online Senior Features Writer, PCMag Add to Queue 2 min readlast_img read more

admin

Could we prevent Alzheimers disease by treating herpes

first_imgHow does this work? Itzhaki and her colleagues already demonstrated that HSV1 infection led to the characteristic neuronal plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer’s disease, which supports the epidemiological findings.This was proven by the presence of viral DNA within amyloid plaques in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease at postmortem.In addition, in cell cultures infected with HSV1, both amyloid plaques and tau tangles accumulate, but this can be inhibited by the use of antivirals.Preventing Alzheimer’s diseaseDr. Itzhaki stresses that the Taiwanese data apply only to severe infections with HSV1 or VZV, which are atypical.To strengthen their findings, detailed epidemiological data on dementia would need to be drawn from people with mild HSV1 infection (both cold sores and genital herpes). This data is difficult to find, however, with barely any records.The focus of future research will be to verify the observation that HSV1 infection is causally related to Alzheimer’s disease and to define the nature of this link.However, Itzhaki is already looking forward to the exciting prospect of being able to treat this widespread and often disabling condition with antiviral drugs directed against HSV1.Taking inspiration from the global use of human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization to protect against cervical cancer, the research team is hopeful that uncovering this virus-disease link will lead to the effective treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, by a vaccine against HSV1, for instance. Source:This news story is based on a press release by the journal, Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience, and the review itself, entitled “Corroboration of a Major Role for Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Alzheimer’s Disease” which was published today. By Dr. Liji Thomas, MDOct 19 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)An exciting new review paper by Professor Ruth Frances Itzhaki suggests that over half of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be traced back to Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1) ; the virus responsible for cold sores and genital herpes.Image Credit: Lightspring / ShutterstockImportantly, the research suggests that the use of antivirals to treat severe herpes virus infection could reduce the risk of senile dementia.The review, which traces Dr. Itzhaki’s lifetime of work on the causation of Alzheimer’s disease, was recently published in the journal, Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience.If confirmed, this groundbreaking work points to an inexpensive and effective means of preventing Alzheimer’s disease, which is one of the most costly medical conditions in the world.HSV1 underlies Alzheimer’s diseaseHerpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) is notorious for its tendency to remain dormant in a patient’s neurons and immune system.The infection is reactivated under conditions of weakened immunity or stress. This results in the reappearance of cold sores. Most older adults show the presence of antibodies against HSV1.In older studies, Itzhaki had shown that cold sores are more common in patients who carry the gene variant APOE-ε4, which is also associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.She theorizes that Apolipoprotein E-ε4 (ApoE-ε4), which has been strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease, predisposes the patient to more frequent or damaging reactivations of HSV1 in the neurons of the brain. This causes harmful changes within the neurons to accumulate, resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.Proving the linkIn most countries there simply isn’t enough population data to put the HSV1 theory to the test, since information on the reduction of dementia risk in individuals treated with antivirals, for instance, is not typically collected.Taiwanese scientists have succeeded in accumulating this type of data, however.The National Health Insurance Research Database has over 99.9% of the population on its rolls, and data mining of this vast repository is underway in multiple areas to explore contagious diseases and other conditions.As a result, 2017-18 witnessed the publication of three separate reports on the Taiwanese data relating to the occurrence of senile dementia, caused mainly by Alzheimer’s disease, as well as on the treatment of patients who have frank HSV or VZV (varicella-zoster virus, chickenpox virus) infection. Considering that over 150 publications strongly support an HSV1 role in Alzheimer’s, these Taiwan fndings greatly justify usage of antiherpes antivirals – which are safe and well-tolerated – to treat Alzheimer’s disease. They also incentivize development of an HSV1 vaccine, which would likely be the most effective treatment.” The striking results include evidence that the risk of senile dementia is much greater in those who are infected with HSV, and that anti-herpes antiviral treatment causes a dramatic decrease in the number of those subjects severely affected by HSV1 who later develop dementia.”last_img read more

admin

Antiparasite drug may improve longterm prognosis of Chagas patients

first_imgNov 2 2018Benznidazole associated with lower mortality rates and better clinical outcomes when administered in early stages of diseaseResearchers have found that the anti-parasite drug benznidazole may improve the long-term prognoses of patients with chronic Chagas disease, according to a study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, by Clareci Silva Cardoso at the Federal University of São João del-Rei, Divinópolis, Brazil, and colleagues from the SaMi-Trop study, a project funded by NIAID/NIH. Related StoriesCancer mortality at an all time low finds reportAlmost 3 million deaths linked to low fruit and vegetable intake, warns studyReplacing a small amount of red meat with healthier foods may improve life expectancyCaused by exposure to the protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi, Chagas disease is a leading cause of cardiopathy and death in Latin America. An estimated 5.7 million people in Latin America are infected with Chagas, yet few treatments exists, and among known treatment options, specific therapeutic benefits are not well understood. Researchers in Brazil observed 1,813 patients who had tested positive for T. cruzi infection for two years, comparing clinical outcomes of those who had previously received benznidazole treatments with those who had not taken benznidazole.The authors found that Chagas patients treated with benznidazole while still in the early stages of disease, had improved clinical and parasitological outcomes after a two-year follow-up period. Compared to the untreated group, researchers observed lowered mortality rates, lower parasite counts, and a lower risk of Chagas-related heart disease.This is one of the most comprehensive studies of this kind demonstrating a marked clinical benefit from benznidazole. According to the authors, further research is necessary to learn more about the appropriate dose and duration of treatment. However, despite the study’s limitations, the researchers recommend using benznidazole to treat early-stage Chagas disease. “Because there are millions of untreated ChD patients in the world and no new treatments are available for the foreseeable future, it is reasonable to consider treating all Chagas disease patients without advanced cardiopathy with benznidazole, especially those who are less than 50 years of age.” Source:https://www.plos.orgcenter_img Unilateral painless periorbital swelling: “Romaña’s Sign,” associated with acute stage of Chagas disease. Credit: Schmunis, CDC, 2007 (Public Domain)last_img read more

admin

Researchers develop new molecule that halts progression of heart failure

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 13 2019A group of researchers based in Brazil and the United States have developed a molecule that halts the progression of heart failure and improves the heart’s capacity to pump blood.Rats with heart failure were treated for six weeks with the molecule, called “SAMβA.” The disease not only stabilized, as it usually does in response to conventional drug therapy, but actually regressed, thanks to an improvement in the contractile capacity of the cardiac muscle.Heart failure may result from myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, when a blocked coronary artery prevents blood from reaching a section of the heart. The rest of the cardiac tissue is overloaded, and the heart’s capacity to pump blood throughout the body gradually declines over time.The researchers have applied for a patent on SAMβA and its use in the United States. The molecule may come to supplement or even replace the medications currently used to treat heart failure, most of which were developed back in the 1980s.An article describing SAMβA has been published in Nature Communications. The name SAMβA stands for “selective antagonist of mitofusin 1-β2PKC association,” referring to the molecule’s capacity to inhibit the interaction between protein kinase C beta 2 (β2PKC), a common protein in heart cells, and mitofusin 1 (Mfn1), a key element of mitochondria, which are the organelles that produce energy for cells.In this interaction, β2PKC inhibits Mfn1, preventing the mitochondria from producing energy and hence weakening the heart’s blood-pumping action.”This interaction was one of our main findings in this study. Its critical role in the progression of heart failure was previously unknown,” said Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Science Institute (ICB-USP) in Brazil and principal investigator for the study. Ferreira began research in the field in 2009 when he was a postdoctoral fellow at the same university’s School of Physical Education and Sports (EEFE-USP) with a scholarship from FAPESP – São Paulo Research Foundation.Once the patent has been granted, Ferreira added, the molecule can be tested in connection with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.”We suspect the interaction between these two proteins may be a factor in other degenerative diseases involving mitochondrial dysfunction,” Ferreira told Office.Clerk and managersPrevious research by Ferreira’s group at ICB-USP showed that the inhibition of β2PKC, which is overproduced in the cells of failing hearts, improved cardiac function in these patients. However, the intervention prevented the protein from acting in other ways that benefit the heart.The novelty of SAMβA is its selectivity: it inhibits only β2PKC’s interaction with Mfn1 in mitochondria and does not affect the protein’s other actions.Ferreira offers an analogy to explain this selectivity, comparing a heart cell to a company office with several rooms. β2PKC is an office clerk who moves along the corridors and goes into the different rooms, interacting with the managers of the respective sectors to perform his/her duties. When he/she enters one particular room (the mitochondrion), however, the office clerk (β2PKC) prevents a particular manager (Mfn1) from doing his/her job.Related StoriesTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockAntioxidant precursor molecule could improve dopamine levels in Parkinson’s patientsResearchers discover novel cancer-promoting molecular mechanismWith the first molecule developed by the group, it was as if the doors of all the rooms were closed. The office clerk no longer hampered the mitochondrial manager and did not enter any other rooms; the company (heart cell) did not function harmoniously.However, all SAMβA does is prevent β2PKC from interacting with Mfn1 in mitochondria. “It’s as if we only closed the door to the room the clerk isn’t allowed to enter while leaving him free to go into all the others, so the company can continue functioning properly,” Ferreira said.Infarcted ratsTo arrive at SAMβA, the researchers performed tests with recombinant proteins, cells, animals, and samples of cardiac tissue from patients with heart failure.Ferreira’s group first conducted different in vitro experiments to test the interaction between β2PKC and Mfn1. They found six molecules that inhibited the interaction, but only SAMβA did so selectively without influencing other interactions.Next, SAMβA was tested in human heart cells. In addition to halting the progression of the disease, which is already achieved by the drugs currently in use, the molecule boosted the cells’ capacity to contract – an essential part of the job done by the heart in pumping blood throughout the body.SAMβA also reduced the amount of hydrogen peroxide in heart cell mitochondria. The presence of this peroxide characterizes oxidative stress, which is a trigger of cardiac cell degeneration.Finally, the researchers induced myocardial infarction in rats. One month later, the rats developed heart failure, and an osmotic pump was implanted under the skin of each rat to release small amounts of SAMβA or an innocuous substance (in the case of the control group) for six weeks.Unlike the control rats, those that were treated with SAMβA stopped exhibiting heart failure, and their cardiac function improved.”The drugs in current use halt progression of the disease but never make it regress. We showed that by regulating this specific interaction, we could both halt progression and make the disease regress to a less severe stage,” Ferreira said.The next step is to make SAMβA available to other research groups for testing against other diseases in different experimental models. It will also be necessary to test the molecule’s interaction with the drugs now used to treat heart failure.”Validation and reproduction of our findings by other groups are critical to the process of developing SAMβA for use in treating heart failure. We will be seeking partners in the private and public sectors for this purpose,” Ferreira said.Cardiovascular diseases kill 17.9 million people annually, causing 31% of all global deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Acute myocardial infarction with subsequent heart failure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.Source: http://agencia.fapesp.br/researchers-create-a-new-molecule-to-treat-heart-failure/29842/last_img read more

admin

Cybersecurity firm US Senate in Russian hackers crosshairs

In this Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 file photo, the U.S. Capitol Building is illuminated during sunrise in Washington. The same Russian government-aligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against the U.S. Senate, the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro said Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) On the other hand, the group has previously dumped at least one U.S. legislator’s correspondence onto the web.One of the targets on Secureworks’ list was Colorado State Senator Andy Kerr, who said thousands of his emails were posted to an obscure section of the website DCLeaks—a web portal better known for publishing emails belonging to retired Gen. Colin Powell and various members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign—in late 2016.Kerr said he was still bewildered as to why he was targeted. He said that while he supported transparency, “there should be some process and some system to it.”It shouldn’t be up to a foreign government or some hacker to say what gets released and what shouldn’t.” The revelation suggests the group often nicknamed Fancy Bear, whose hacking campaign scrambled the 2016 U.S. electoral contest, is still busy trying to gather the emails of America’s political elite.”They’re still very active—in making preparations at least—to influence public opinion again,” said Feike Hacquebord, a security researcher at Trend Micro Inc., which published the report . “They are looking for information they might leak later.”The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, which is responsible for the upper house’s security, declined to comment.Hacquebord said he based his report on the discovery of a clutch of suspicious-looking websites dressed up to look like the U.S. Senate’s internal email system. He then cross-referenced digital fingerprints associated with those sites to ones used almost exclusively by Fancy Bear, which his Tokyo-based firm dubs “Pawn Storm.”Trend Micro previously drew international attention when it used an identical technique to uncover a set of decoy websites apparently set up to harvest emails from the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in April 2017. The sites’ discovery was followed two months later by a still-unexplained publication of private emails from several Macron staffers in the final days of the race.Hacquebord said the rogue Senate sites—which were set up in June and September of 2017—matched their French counterparts.”That is exactly the way they attacked the Macron campaign in France,” he said.Attribution is extremely tricky in the world of cybersecurity, where hackers routinely use misdirection and red herrings to fool their adversaries. But Tend Micro, which has followed Fancy Bear for years, said there could be no doubt. “We are 100 percent sure that it can attributed to the Pawn Storm group,” said Rik Ferguson, one of the Hacquebord’s colleagues.Like many cybersecurity companies, Trend Micro refuses to speculate publicly on who is behind such groups, referring to Pawn Storm only as having “Russia-related interests.” But the U.S. intelligence community alleges that Russia’s military intelligence service pulls the hackers’ strings and a months-long Associated Press investigation into the group, drawing on a vast database of targets supplied by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks, has determined that the group is closely attuned to the Kremlin’s objectives. Explore further In this Wednesday, May 11, 2011 file photo, Colorado State Rep. Andy Kerr, left, speaks on the last day of the legislative session at the Capitol in Denver. According to data supplied by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks, Kerr – who is now a state senator – was one of the targets of the hacking group Fancy Bear. Kerr says thousands of his emails were posted to an obscure section of the website DCLeaks before the site fell offline in 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) Hackers already targeting Pyeongchang Olympics: researchers The same Russian government-aligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against the U.S. Senate, a cybersecurity firm said Friday. Citation: Cybersecurity firm: US Senate in Russian hackers’ crosshairs (2018, January 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-cybersecurity-firm-senate-russian-hackers.html If Fancy Bear has targeted the Senate over the past few months, it wouldn’t be the first time. An AP analysis of Secureworks’ list shows that several staffers there were targeted between 2015 and 2016.Among them: Robert Zarate, now the foreign policy adviser to Florida Senator Marco Rubio; Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who now runs a Washington consultancy; and Jason Thielman, the chief of staff to Montana Senator Steve Daines. A Congressional researcher specializing in national security issues was also targeted.Fancy Bear’s interests aren’t limited to U.S. politics; the group also appears to have the Olympics in mind.Trend Micro’s report said the group had set up infrastructure aimed at collecting emails from a series of Olympic winter sports federations, including the International Ski Federation, the International Ice Hockey Federation, the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation, the International Luge Federation and the International Biathlon Union.The targeting of Olympic groups comes as relations between Russia and the International Olympic Committee are particularly fraught. Russian athletes are being forced to compete under a neutral flag in the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics following an extraordinary doping scandal that has seen 43 athletes and several Russian officials banned for life. Amid speculation that Russia could retaliate by orchestrating the leak of prominent Olympic officials’ emails, cybersecurity firms including McAfee and ThreatConnect have picked up on signs that state-backed hackers are making moves against winter sports staff and anti-doping officials.On Wednesday, a group that has brazenly adopted the Fancy Bear nickname began publishing what appeared to be Olympics and doping-related emails from between September 2016 and March 2017. The contents were largely unremarkable but their publication was covered extensively by Russian state media and some read the leak as a warning to Olympic officials not to press Moscow too hard over the doping scandal.Whether any Senate emails could be published in such a way isn’t clear. Previous warnings that German lawmakers’ correspondence might be leaked by Fancy Bear ahead of last year’s election there appear to have come to nothing. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this Jan. 3, 2018 photo, the Capitol is seen in Washington. Newly published research shows that the same Russian government-aligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party have spent the past six months laying the groundwork for an espionage campaign against an unknown number of U.S. Senate staffers, including Republicans. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

admin

Giles uninterested by Cricket World Cup final extra run claims

first_imgEngland director of cricket Ashley Giles is uninterested in claims they were erroneously given an extra run in their incredible World Cup final win over New Zealand. That is of no concern to Giles, who when asked whether the extra run mattered to him replied: “Not really.”You could argue the last ball that [Trent] Boult bowled was a full toss on leg stump and if Stokes’ hadn’t just been looking for two he probably would’ve banged it out of the ground anyway.”We are world champions; we have got the trophy and we intend to keep it.” The tournament hosts lifted the trophy for the first time courtesy of having struck more boundaries than the Black Caps after the scores were tied at the end of 50 overs and then a Super Over.center_img However, arguably the pivotal moment in a bewitching contest came with the fourth ball of England’s final over as, after hitting a full toss to deep midwicket, Ben Stokes inadvertently deflected Martin Guptill’s throw to the fence as he ran back for two.England were awarded six runs to take them within three of victory, falling one short but eventually prevailing on boundaries after both teams scored 15 in the Super Over.MORE: Umpires made crucial errors in CWC FinalBut MCC rule 19:8 states that additional runs to a boundary from an overthrow or wilful act of fielder can only be awarded if the two batsmen have crossed at the time of the throw.Stokes and Adil Rashid had not crossed when Guptill released the ball, and five-time ICC umpire of the year Simon Taufel said England should have only been awarded five runs, describing the six as a “clear mistake” and an “error of judgment”, though he conceded the difficulty of officiating such a freak turn of events in the heat of the moment.last_img read more

admin