The Galaxy S10 lets you see a secret menu in some restaurants

first_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This is such a strange story that I had to double check the Samsung website to make sure it’s real, and yes… it is. And last time I checked, it was May 17, not April 1.Samsung has teamed up with a number of restaurants to offer exclusive dishes to Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners.As the company says on its website, it’s just a case of visiting a restaurant with Samsung secret items, and scanning codes with your supported handset to reveal the hidden items.“You’re probably here because we’ve got your taste buds tingling for something special,” the site reads, which is a strange reason to visit the website of a major electronics manufacturer, but there we are.Related: Best Samsung phone“All you need to do is pop in to your favourite restaurant (or all of them if you prefer), find a Secret Menu, and look for an AR code. Then it’s just a case of unlocking the exclusive dishes using a Samsung phone.”Unsurprisingly, the codes won’t work with non-Samsung handsets, so if you’re not in the Galaxy club, then you’ll be stuck with the regular menu.The regular menu where, though? Well, the Samsung site currently lists four restaurant chains that will have exclusive dishes: Bill’s, Pizza Pilgrims, The Breakfast Club and burger eatery Patty & Bun. Entering my postcode produced three within a 6km radius (two of them Bill’s), but your mileage may vary.Related: Best food processorWe don’t know what kind of culinary delights await on each menu, though the website claims that the Patty & Bun exclusive will make a trip there “more mouth-watering than ever before” which is a bold claim.Do let us know how you get on if you manage to find a secret menu item. Photos strongly encouraged.Will you be seeking out Samsung’s secret menu items? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.last_img read more

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WatchCanada wont ratify new NAFTA until steel and aluminum tariffs lifted warns

first_img “They believe, and I can understand their belief on this, that these steel and aluminum tariffs were put on to force Canada to the negotiating table,” Grassley said. “Canada went to the negotiating table, so you can understand why Canada and Mexico want the tariffs off before they will enter it before the Senate in Mexico and before Canada will take it up.”“Canada has been clear from the outset that the 232 tariffs imposed on Canada are illegal and unjustified,” John Babcock, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said in an email. “Now that we have concluded our NAFTA negotiation with the United States, we believe it is all the more reason for the U.S. Administration to lift its tariffs.”The new NAFTA agreement is facing an uphill climb in Congress with both Republicans and Democrats seeking changes on a range of provisions including environmental and labour enforcement and pharmaceutical patent rules. Business groups and politicians from both parties have also pressed for the tariffs to be removed before the deal is passed.“I didn’t really have a big problem using tariffs as a negotiating tactic to bring people to the table,” Senator Ron Johnson a Republican from Wisconsin said in a TV interview with WISN on Sunday. “But the president said, Wilbur Ross said, once we have the new NAFTA, the USMCA, signed, the tariffs will go away and they haven’t gone away.“So, I am concerned about that. People need to understand tariffs are a tax on American consumers. They’re not paid for by China or Mexico or Canada.”While some concerns about the revised NAFTA – called the United States Canada-Mexico Agreement by Trump — could be handled in side letters, neither Canada nor Mexico want to renegotiate the deal itself, Grassley said.“I can tell you visiting with the Ambassador from Mexico last week and the Foreign Minister from Canada last week, there isn’t going to be any reopening of renegotiations,” he said. “Mexico’s had their bellyful of these negotiations. They want to get something done.”• Email: npowell@nationalpost.com | Twitter: Canada won’t ratify new NAFTA until steel and aluminum tariffs lifted, warns key U.S. Senator ’It’s very, very important that the White House get on board of doing away with these tariffs, says head of U.S. finance committee 27 Comments Canada and Mexico won’t consider ratifying the revised North American Free Trade Agreement unless the United States lifts its tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said Tuesday.Grassley, who held meetings with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena Coquilast week, said the levies are now the “biggest impediment” to approving the deal.“The Senate in Mexico is not going to take it up until the tariffs are off,” Grassley said during a call with reporters. “The House of Commons in Canada’s not going to take it up if it’s not there soon after March 1 and it’s not going to be there unless the tariffs are off. And even Republicans and Democrats in the Congress of the United States say those tariffs have to go off.” What will it take to get the new NAFTA passed by the U.S. Congress? ‘It’s going to be a mess’: Confluence of challenges threaten new NAFTA vote William Watson: Trump risked losing his base by renegotiating NAFTA (and survived) Grassley, chair of the finance committee responsible for guiding the deal to approval in the U.S. Senate, said Canada’s upcoming federal election is adding to the urgency of lifting the tariffs in order to push the trade agreement through.“Canada isn’t going to be considering anything like this during their election season starting in June which ends in their October election,” he said. “So it’s very, very important that the White House get on board of doing away with these tariffs so we can get this thing not only before the Congress of the United States but before the Mexican Senate and the House of Commons in Canada.”Though March 1 is the earliest that implementing legislation for the deal can be put before Congress, the U.S. government shutdown delayed publication of several key reports related to the deal. Those delays are widely expected to create a lag in the process.U.S. President Donald Trump imposed blanket tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum imports last March, citing national security concerns. Though Canada and Mexico were initially exempted from the levies, Trump allowed those reprieves to expire on June 1 pending the outcome of the NAFTA talks.Both Canada and Mexico hit back with retaliatory tariffs on American steel, aluminum, agricultural products and a range of other goods.Though leaders from all three countries signed the revised agreement on Nov. 30, the White House has yet to lift the tariffs. Since then, Canada has been lobbying to get the tariffs scrapped, though it has not said whether ratification of the deal depended on their removal.Canada went to the negotiating table, so you can understand why Canada and Mexico want the tariffs off before they will enter it before the Senate in Mexico and before Canada will take it upRepublican Senator Chuck Grassley Naomi Powell Twitter Share this storyCanada won’t ratify new NAFTA until steel and aluminum tariffs lifted, warns key U.S. Senator Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn More February 13, 20197:31 PM ESTLast UpdatedFebruary 14, 201912:25 PM EST Filed under News Economy Facebook Reddit Join the conversation → Recommended For YouU.S. retail sales data dents stocks, lifts Treasury yieldsMexico’s markets weaken as Pemex plan underwhelmsU.S. stocks end lower on concerns about bank earnings, tradeBank of Canada to buy back up to C$500 mln of bondsJapan’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries jump to near two-year peak -Treasury data Email Commentlast_img read more

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Peugeot Hopes That France Revives Incentives For PHEVs

See Also Plug-In Electric Car Sales In France Exceed 32,000 In 2018 €2,000 for plug-in hybrids would be enough, according to Peugeot.Peugeot, which in the broader sense means PSA Group, urges on the French government to revive incentives for purchasing plug-in hybrid cars in France, its biggest market.Currently, there is only a €6,000 bonus to purchase all-electric models, while the €1,000 for PHEVs ended in 2017.It’s time to review the policy under a draft of 2019 budget proposals and PSA Group probably would like to strengthen its plug-in hybrid campaign with 8 new models planned for the next two years.Laurent Fabre, a governmental affairs executive for the maker of Peugeot, Citroen and Opel vehicles, said:“We’re asking for the reinstatement of incentives on plug-in hybrid vehicles,”“Plug-in hybrids, which avoid the range constraints of battery-only cars, offer the most reliable way to “kick-start the market” for electrified vehicles, Fabre said, adding the government was “attentive” to these considerations.” From 2019 On, Each New PSA Model Will Be Offered In Electrified Version Renault, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be interested in those incentives, as it only offers all-electric models.Assuming that sales of PHEVs in France will double to some 20,000 annually, at €2,000, taxpayers would need to spend €40 million on the incentives.Source: Reuters Source: Electric Vehicle News Sierra Club, Plug In America Publish Tool Kit To Accelerate EV Adoption Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 25, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

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Daimler says progress on electric trucks faster than expected

first_imgDaimler is one of several companies, including major OEMs and startups, working on electric trucks. At the American Trucking Association’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition, Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, told journalists that the company’s development of electric trucks is happening “at a greater speed than expected.”Just before the conference, Daimler met with some 30 customers who are testing the company’s electric trucks. In June, Daimler unveiled the all-electric Freightliner eCascadia heavy-duty and Freightliner eM2 medium-duty models. In September, Daimler led a $155 million investment in electric bus manufacturer Proterra. More recently, the two companies announced a collaboration on an electric school bus. Nielsen said he had recently tested the bus, nicknamed Jouley, and was impressed by its 0-60 acceleration.Responding to a question about competition from Tesla’s electric Semi, Nielsen said, “The best battery solution is going to win. It’s all about energy consumption.” He predicted Daimler would have the “highest number” of commercial EVs on the market in 2020.Nielsen said the recent meeting with customers convinced him that they want an electric vehicle that’s not too different from the legacy models their drivers are familiar with. Daimler’s Freightliner offers “a smooth transition from a diesel-powered truck to an electric-powered truck,” he said.Nielsen also said that a new research center devoted to automated driving is up and running, and the company is “hiring a lot of folks.” He believes Level 4 automation will offer a “positive business case,” but doesn’t see human drivers becoming obsolete any time soon. Source: FleetOwner Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more

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Research Study Where To Install Public EV Charging Stations

first_img There Are Now 23,000 Public Charging Points In France BMW To Install 80,000 Public Charging Points In China Above: Public chargers in a parking garage (Image: Built by Michigan)“The uniqueness of this study will put Michigan on the map when it comes to locating a public network of charging stations,” said Anne Armstrong Cusack, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, which oversees the MEO.===Written by: Charles Morris; This article originally appeared in Charged; Source: Michigan Agency for Energy Above: Electric vehicles getting charged (Image: Microgrod Knowledge)However, let’s not judge the well-meaning officials who approved these white elephants too harshly. At the time, nobody outside the industry knew much about EVs, and there were no studies to guide policymakers as to where installing chargers made the most sense (Tesla, on the other hand, understood from the beginning that enabling long-distance travel by installing fast chargers at highway locations was the top priority).Since those bad old days, a science of finding the best locations for chargers has developed, and there’s a growing body of research to support siting decisions. The Michigan Energy Office (MEO) recently commissioned a study that aims to determine the ideal locations and number of public chargers to facilitate highway travel for Michigan EV drivers.Conducted by researchers at Michigan State University, the soon-to-be-released study looks at the feasibility of a road trip, the distance between charging stations, charging speed, time needed for charging, wait time for chargers, and detour times added to a trip..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Above: A Tesla owner charges at a public charger (Youtube: Tesla)The study looked at three scenarios. A low-tech model would have 598 charging outlets with an investment of roughly $28 million. The high-tech model calls for 128 charging outlets with an investment of just over $14 million. A mixed scenario, which assumes a battery pack capacity of 70 kWh and charging power of 150 kW, while recognizing that vehicles with smaller batteries will also be on the road, foresees 193 charger outlets, with an investment of about $21.5 million.The MEO will use the results of the study to allocate $9.9 million over the next three years to create a public charging network across the state, said MEO Director Robert Jackson. Funding comes from the 2016 Volkswagen diesel settlement, and additional resources are expected to become available from other stakeholders, including utilities. Private entities are also expected to invest in EV chargers.The preliminary findings of the first phase of the study examine the optimal locations of EV chargers for cross-state highway driving. The second phase of the study will focus on the placement of urban EV chargers. Musk: Tesla Supercharger Network Will Expand Greatly In Europe In 2019center_img Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 7, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News RESEARCH STUDY: FINDING IDEAL LOCATIONS FOR PUBLIC EV CHARGING STATIONSIn the early days of EVs, much money was wasted by companies and local governments to install public charging stations in impractical locations – we’ve all driven by chargers at the local town hall or city park that never seem to be in use.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.Check Out These Stories:last_img read more

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Toyota Chief Again Knocks On Electric Cars

first_imgSounds squishy on hydrogen carsThe 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is in full swing in Detroit. Pretty much every automaker has an electric vehicle or two on its stand, of course. Infiniti is showing off its QX Inspiration crossover, Nissan has the IMs high-riding sedan, and even Chinese outfit GAC Motors is showing a fantastical Entranze concept. Meanwhile, at the Toyota display, the emphasis is solidly on its new Supra: a sportscar built on the bones of the BMW Z4. It is powered by gasoline, which appears to be just fine with North America president Jim Lentz, who believes the EV revolution is not really upon us.More about Toyota’s future view Source: Electric Vehicle News Toyota Exec Says Internal Combustion Engine Will Be Dead In 2050 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 17, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News According to The Detroit News, the executive said of battery-powered vehicles becoming a significant portion of the market,  “With EVs, I think it’s going to be a while. I think we’ve overstated our belief EVs will take over the world.” As the kids say, this should age well.He is aware, of course, of the success of Tesla in the space but thinks it’s an exception. He pointed out that its Model 3 is the only offering ringing up over 10,000 sales per month. Meanwhile, of the other 94 “electrified” vehicles available, only half a dozen of those enjoy more than 2,000 units per month. The Toyota Prius Prime, second only to the Model 3 in sales, is one of those.For electric vehicle advocates and potential customers, the seeming lack of awareness of the situation is frustrating. At the same time in history as Ford declares it will have an all-electric pickup truck, Porsche has sold out its first year of Taycan production long before the first one rolls from the factory, and Volkswagen has invested many billions in batteries and EV factories, Toyota seems blissfully unaware and unprepared.In the past, Toyota officials have countered inquiries about its outlook on EVs with discussions of the hydrogen fuel cell future, but even there Lentz now seems kind of squishy. Complaining that the Japanese automaker hadn’t racked up many sales of the Mirai (it’s cumulatively sold about 4,804 units over four years) and infrastructure remains thin on the ground, he suggested the company was shifting its focus from H2 passenger cars to commercial trucking. Said he,“Maybe the best place to get hydrogen into the market is in commercial vehicles. Then, when we build an infrastructure, we bring on passenger cars.”As electric vehicle technology continues to get cheaper and improves — think much faster charging times — and cities continue to set limits on internal combustion, Toyota may find itself the loser in a multi-billion dollar game of musical chairs. Perhaps sooner than later.Source: The Detroit News Toyota Says Solid-State Batteries Still More Than Decade Away Toyota To Select Dealers: Stop Delivering The Mirai, There Is Nowhere To Refuellast_img read more

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EBUSCO Celebrates Order For 60 Electric Buses

first_img Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Scania And Nobina Announce Autonomous EV Bus Trials In Sweden Brussels Airport Switches To Electric Buses With BYD EV bus news More about the ordered buses:Comfortable”Travelers will really experience a new travel experience” says Steven van der Burg, who supervises the project from EBUSCO. “There are USB ports for telephone charging and comfortable seats are installed for the long distance. There is also a lot of daylight in the bus and no engine noise.” For safety the buses have a tram bell sound, which can be used at low speeds. Especially at stations and in densely populated areas, this will become the new characteristic sound.400 kilometers rangeThe introduction of the comfortable electric regional bus is relatively new. To date, electric buses have often been used in the city, not outside of the cities. “This mainly has to do with the range of an electric bus,” says Peter Bijvelds, director of EBUSCO. “The last generation regional buses from EBUSCO have a range of up to 400 kilometers. This allows the buses to be charged via a plug, so there is no need of a fast charging infrastructure to be set up in the region. As a result, Qbuzz has been able to purchase more new electric buses and reduces more emissions.”Largest electric bus fleetThe introduction of the new bus fleet in December of this year is unique. Never before in Europe, so many electric buses are going to be introduced at the same time. The northern part of the Netherlands is a true leader in this and an example for the rest of Europe.Clean and quiet citiesQbuzz and EBUSCO have been working together for a long time to enable a quick transformation to quiet and clean cities. In Utrecht, there are already about ten buses on the bus line 1. In addition, in the city of Dordrecht from April 1st, all 37 electric buses are from EBUSCO. The introduction of another 60 electric buses in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe underlines the initiative and success of both companies for a fast transition to clean, quiet and high-quality bus transport.center_img Source: Electric Vehicle News VDL Receives Order For 43 Electric Buses In The Netherlands Dutch provinces of Groningen and Drenthe are to be flooded with EV busesEBUSCO, a Dutch bus manufacturer, also caught on the huge order of electric buses placed by Qbuzz in the Netherlands. In total, 159 vehicles will be delivered by VDL Bus & Coach, Heuliez Bus and EBUSCO.The EBUSCO part is significant – 60 12m electric buses with a range of up to 400 km (250 miles).Thanks to Qbuzz, it seems that the Netherlands becomes the biggest electric bus market in Europe.“Today the OV-Bureau has presented the largest electric bus fleet in Europe. No less than 159 brand-new electric buses in total, of which EBUSCO provides no less than 60 electric 12-meter intercity buses. It is about the largest introduction of electric 12 meter buses in Europe. At the end of the year, the residents of the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe will be able to get acquainted with the EBUSCO buses, which are not only quiet but also extremely comfortable.”last_img read more

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The Eden Alternative Using Community Involvement to Reframe Aging

first_imgby, Patricia Roe, Sherbrooke Community CentreTweet2ShareShareEmail2 SharesEngagement with the broader community helps bring meaning and joy to elders living in The Eden Alternative-registered Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon, Canada. Community involvement has been an ongoing and important Sherbrooke value since its inception and commitment to community is a core objective of our organization.  We do this, not only because it is an essential tool for gaining community respect, garnering support  and being a good corporate citizen but also because it helps the public reframe their views of long term care as a place where “old folks” spend their declining years.In Canada approximately 5-7% of the population lives in a long term care home. For those that need this level of support we have the important job and privilege of bringing the world to them.  Leadership in the community and a genuine desire to engage with the community makes our elders proud and surely pride in our work, our home, our community is one of the things that contribute to a life worth living.  We encourage you to find in your community those institutions, organizations, groups, schools, clubs and people who can enrich the lives of elders. Click here to read about Sherbrook’s innovative arts program.Like everything that makes a difference these opportunities take work.  So how do we make it happen?  It is pretty simple, everyone in Sherbrooke plays a role.  A spark of an idea can come from anywhere in the organization.  If it is seen as a feasible idea based on available resources then we move forward.  It is important to note that we can’t do everything and people in the community often ask us to get involved in something like a walk-a-thon and sometimes we have to say no.  However, if elders are interested and we have the human resources to pull it off we will.Usually one person takes the lead or coordinates a particular project or event. The facilitator could be from any area of the building including housekeeping, maintenance, food services or human resources. The facilitator makes sure that everyone completes their tasks and that the event is ready to proceed on time and on budget.  Global events, those that involve the whole community are often led by the Manager of Global Events and Volunteers.One example is our 40th Anniversary Celebrations.  One of our goals was to plant 40 dozen tulips with elders.  We wanted to make it a community event so we called one of our partnership schools and they organized a class of 6th graders who assisted elders to plant the tulips.  The teacher talked about the value of community involvement and helping others and being a part of their neighbourhood.  And then they went to work.  Previously our master gardener and maintenance staff dug up the flower beds.  The master gardener educated the class about how to ready the soil, using compost collected by elders, and helped them stake out the pattern for the plants.The team set up chairs around the area for viewing and planting. Staff, families and volunteers assisted elders to the site on the edge of our property.  Because the school was in the neighbourhood no transportation costs were incurred.  In our experience, people in the community are looking for opportunities to engage. It is important to build on the resources we have cultivated in the community and engage them in our events, creating a more interesting and diverse community experience. Everyone had a wonderful time and this spring we will enjoy the fruits of our labour; a new bed of vibrant, multi-coloured tulips. Below we have included a list of some of the partnerships we have built and continue to nurture.Where our residents volunteer, mentor and participate:Wounded Warriors, Veterans Groups, Remembrance Day EventsSchools at all levels and community associationsLocal community garden, Berry Patch, they compost, recycle, garden and thereby reduce our environmental foot printElders participate in Sherbrooke Secret Santa and Free the Children, adopting a village in Sierra Leon through the Me to We Program with our partnership schoolsElders volunteer with:   Saskatchewan Jazz and Blues FestivalsSherbrooke Creative energy –  Open Mike NightMentoring at local schoolsFund raisersSherbrooke gives back to the community that supports us:Exchange Program with Canada world Youth.  We invite students from Nicaragua to Sherbrooke to participate in a cultural and volunteer exchangeKatimivik another student volunteer and exchange program with youth from across CanadaPracticum and internship opportunities for students (U of S, Technical schools)Art experiences for children using wheelchairs, canes and other mobility aids to paint and drawBuilding an accessible playground on our property for neighbourhood childrenNature opportunities with ACTEL Students from a neighbourhood schoolProvide an enriched environment for the 36 space Oak Trees and Acorns Childcare Centre at SherbrookeSherbrooke Adult community Day ProgramMoving On Program for younger disabled people who live in the communityThe Mindful Café for family members living with a spouse with Alzheimer’s Disease or DementiaTumbleweed Gift and Thrift Shop for Elders, staff and the communityAnnual Home Fires Newsletter delivered to 1400 Saskatoon HomesEncourage families to bring their children to Sherbrooke and staff to involve children in our community ( Bring your kid to work Day)Encourage staff to bring their pets to work.Create a welcoming and fun environment that invites the community to be part of our worldArt and Music eventsPet Rescue events for the community an environment that outsiders want to be inRelated PostsBaltimore Book Reading Features Post-Apocalyptic Novel With New Vision For Old AgeWilliam H. Thomas, a Harvard-trained physician, award-winning social activist, visionary eldercare reformer, mixed-power farmer, musician, playwright and author, brings his vision for a new old age to Baltimore with a public reading of his new novel Tribes of Eden, hosted by GEDCO at Stadium Place Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m.Eden at Home: Culture Change For Home CareWith more than 12 million people receiving home care services — compared to 1.5 million in nursing homes — home care is in need of culture change just as much as traditional long term care, said Dr. Bill Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative, which has recently branched out to…Green House RevolutionTweet2ShareShareEmail2 SharesTags: Canada Care Partner community The Eden Alternativelast_img read more

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NUS researchers find novel pathway to regulate blood pressure

first_imgMay 30 2018New and better ways to fight hypertension and low blood pressure may be in the offing, thanks to the National University of Singapore scientists’ discovery of how our blood pressure is controlled.The finding by the multidisciplinary team from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine) was published online in the April 2018 issue of Circulation, a leading journal in the cardiovascular field. The team showed that Galectin-1, a protein in our body, influences the function of another protein known as L-type (CaV1.2) calcium channel found on the arteries that normally acts to contract the blood vessels. By reducing the activity of these calcium channels, Galectin-1 is able to lower blood pressure.This project was led by Professor Soong Tuck Wah from the Department of Physiology together with Dr Hu Zhenyu, the lead author of the study. It takes medical science a step closer toward fighting cardiovascular disorders, which are serious global healthcare issues.Hypertension – a silent killerHypertension is a common problem in Singapore and worldwide. About one in four Singapore residents aged 30 to 69 years have hypertension. Importantly, age is a major risk factor for the development of hypertension. Notably, in the 60 to 69 years age group, more than one in two persons in Singapore have hypertension.According to the World Health Organization, elevated blood pressure is estimated to cause 7.5 million deaths globally, which represents more than 12 percent of all deaths. This is because hypertension is associated with major killers like coronary heart diseases and stroke. In addition, hypertension can also cause renal impairment, retinal hemorrhage and visual impairment.Fighting hypertension – the next wave As hypertension is a common denominator to many serious conditions described above, nipping the problem at its bud will significantly improve our health.Although patients with Stage I hypertension are mostly recommended to make lifestyle changes to reduce the risks of suffering other cardiovascular diseases, those with Stage 2 hypertension or above have to take anti-hypertensive medicines to control blood pressure.Calcium channel blockers (CCB) are traditionally used in the clinics to lower blood pressure, but the use of such medications has been associated with increased risk for heart failure in hypertensive patients, particularly those with heart problems, due to their bad side effects.1 Therefore, the development of drugs that could adjust the activity of the L-type (CaV1.2) calcium channel, rather than blocking its normal function altogether, has emerged as a novel research direction for anti-hypertensive therapeutics. The discovery that Galectin-1 can perform such a desired function represents a pathway to control blood pressure.Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineStudy reveals how habitual smoking may contribute to development of hypertensionGalectin-1 reduces the activity of L-type (CaV1.2) calcium channels by blocking their insertion in the cell membrane. The good news is that Galectin-1 only targets this specific type of calcium channel in the blood vessels. It spares other types of calcium channels that are important for the general functions of our body.”Because Galectin-1 is predominantly found in our blood vessels and because of its selectivity for the Cav1.2 channels, Galectin-1-specific drugs designed to lower our blood pressure are predicted to have minimal side effects,” explained Prof Soong, the lead investigator of the study.”Currently, calcium channel blockers (CCB) are the most popular class of drugs used to treat high blood pressure because of their good side effect profile and their efficacy. However, many patients are troubled by side effects like leg swelling. Galectin-1-specific drugs have the potential for improved control with less side effects,” said A/Prof James Yip, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology at the National University Heart Centre, Singapore.Added Professor Vernon Oh, Department of Medicine, NUS Medicine, “The reported effects of Galectin-1 protein, and of its analogs, on the blood pressure in various models of human arteries and the circulatory system are encouraging. The results suggest that there is a reasonable likelihood of fabricating an antihypertensive treatment-molecule, based on Galectin-1, which will consistently suppress, without negating, the v1.2 calcium channel in human impedance (resistance) arteries, so lowering the blood pressure in persons with pulmonary hypertension. The results from human pulmonary arteries suggest that the candidate treatment-molecule might also be useful in the condition known as pulmonary arterial hypertension, for which highly cost-effective drugs are lacking.” Prof Oh is also a senior consultant at the Division of Advanced Internal Medicine, National University Health System (NUHS).Conversely, the team also found that interrupting the interaction of Galectin-1 and the L-type calcium channels could raise blood pressure. This finding could lead to new treatments for conditions in which blood pressure is too low, such as sepsis. Source:http://nusmedicine.nus.edu.sg/medias/news-info/1810-nus-scientists-discover-a-new-way-to-control-blood-pressurelast_img read more

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New nuclear medicine method appears to effectively detect neuroendocrine tumors

first_imgJun 7 2018Researchers have shown that a new nuclear medicine procedure could safely and more effectively detect cancerous gastrointestinal and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors than current methods. The study is featured in the June issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) can occur in almost any organ, but they are most commonly observed in the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract. The average time until diagnosis is 3 to 10 years. An estimated 40 to 95 percent of cancerous gastroenteropancreatic NETs (GEP-NETs) have spread to other parts of the body (metastasized) by the time of diagnosis.Most GEP-NETs express a high density of somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst2). These receptors have, therefore, become a prime target for imaging and treating these tumors. Currently, gallium-68 (68Ga)-DOTATOC/-TATE for diagnostic imaging and lutetium-177 (177Lu)-DOTATOC/-TATE for therapy are paired for “theranostic” identification and treatment of NETs.Preclinical and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the novel radiolabeled tracer 68Ga-OPS202, an sst antagonist with a high affinity for sst2, has the potential to perform better than an sst agonist such as 68Ga-DOTATOC because 68Ga-OPS202 binds to more sst receptor binding sites than sst agonists.This first-in-human Phase 1/2 study, included 12 patients with well differentiated GEP-NETs. Based on total numbers of detected malignant lesions, the optimal time window for the scan was determined to be between 1 and 2 hours. The study shows that 68Ga-OPS202 is rapidly cleared from the blood, resulting in low background activity, especially in the liver and gastrointestinal tract.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerThioredoxin antioxidant could soon be used to improve cancer treatmentGut-boosting food may put an end to childhood malnutrition worldwide”Even though the effective dose of 68Ga-OPS202 is comparable to other 68Ga-labeled somatostatin analogs, there are striking differences concerning its biodistribution and organ doses such as liver, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, lung and spleen,” explains Damian Wild, MD, PhD, University Hospital Basel in Basel, Switzerland.He points out, “The lower organ doses and tracer uptake of 68Ga-OPS202, especially in the gastrointestinal tract and the liver, is clinically relevant, as it allows improvement of the imaging contrast (tumor-to-background ratios) and sensitivity for detecting primary tumor or liver metastases of GEP-NETs (as shown in comparison to 68Ga-DOTATOC in Phase 2 of the study, also published in the June JNM). Important for patients is that 68Ga-OPS202 was well tolerated and did not raise any safety concerns.”Wild states, “68Ga-OPS202 could be a favorable alternative to the current radiolabeled somatostatin agonists in use in the clinic for PET/CT imaging of neuroendocrine tumor patients. In addition, due to their enhanced binding properties, radiolabeled sst antagonists may open a new avenue for PET imaging and targeted radionuclide therapy in non-neuroendocrine tumor indications. In that sense 68Ga-OPS202 is the ideal theranostic companion for 177Lu-OPS201 targeted radionuclide therapy.”Source: http://www.snmmi.org/NewsPublications/NewsDetail.aspx?ItemNumber=29218last_img read more

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Study shows absence of zoonotic parasitic worms in European farmed fish

first_imgJun 8 2018A recent study conducted by the EU Horizon 2020-funded ParaFishControl project aimed to demonstrate the absence of zoonotic parasitic worms in European farmed fish, specifically in gilthead sea bream, European sea bass, turbot, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and common carp. Zoonotic parasites are transmitted from animals to humans; zoonotic worms (helminths) can spread to humans when infected fish is consumed raw or partially cooked. From spring 2016 to winter 2017, more than 7,000 fish were analyzed from commercial aquaculture farms throughout Europe, including Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Turkey. No zoonotic parasitic helminths, such as Anisakis, were found in any of the examined fish, at a confidence level of 95-99%.Related StoriesFish slime could be a potential source of antibiotics finds studyEating fatty fish free of environmental pollutants could reduce type 2 diabetes riskResearchers discover good news for fish populations living on bleached coral reefsThis is the largest study ever conducted in Europe and the results have been even better than expected. “This is great news for European aquaculture” said Dr Miguel ángel Pardo from AZTI Tecnalia, ParaFishControl project partner, “results indicate that consuming fish from European farms presents negligible risk for human health when it comes to zoonotic parasitic worms.”These results are part of a larger survey of marine and freshwater farmed fish undertaken by ParaFishControl, which aims to improve our understanding of fish-parasite interactions and develop innovative solutions and tools to prevent, control and mitigate harmful parasites which affect the main fish species farmed in Europe. This effort was part of the “Fish Product Safety” work package, led by AZTI in collaboration with six other consortium members from across Europe (Spanish National Research Council, University of Bologna, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, and University of Bergen).Dr Miguel ángel Pardo explained the importance of these positive results, which “have led us to design more specific research to be carried out on runts as a potential parasite carrier and the feed as possible transmission vector. This will allow us to assess all the crucial aspects in the infection of fish by zoonotic parasites”.The study itself will be published in peer-review journals and will be accessible through the ParaFishControl project website. These results are a significant indicator of the overall success of the project thus far, with the overlying goal of safe and sustainable European seafood clearly being met. The final outputs of ParaFishControl will allow European farmers to manage their risk at very low levels, which will differentiate high quality European aquaculture products from others worldwide. Source:http://www.parafishcontrol.eu/parafishcontrol-news/1883-european-wide-study-reveals-negligible-risk-for-human-health-of-zoonotic-parasitic-worms-in-farmed-fishlast_img read more

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Oxygenstarved tumors have an Achilles heel that could be targeted with drugs

first_imgJun 25 2018A tumor’s goal is simple: to grow, grow, grow, by making more cancer cells. But that often means growing so fast that the oxygen supply gets scarce, at which point cells within the tumor start to suffocate. Without oxygen, these ever-dividing cells struggle to make enough aspartate, a crucial ingredient in many cellular processes.That’s the scenario worked out by the research group of Kivanç Birsoy, head of the Laboratory of Metabolic Regulation and Genetics at The Rockefeller University. It suggests that tumors in oxygen-starved tissues have an Achilles’ heel–their already-undercut production of aspartate–that doctors could target with drugs. The researchers report their work in Nature Cell Biology this week.Suffocation in a Petri dishScientists already knew that when certain tumors have outgrown their blood supply, they grow slowly under low-oxygen conditions. But it wasn’t understood exactly why this happens. The oxygen molecule participates in a vast number of a cell’s chemical reactions, any of which could be limiting its growth.To zero in on the most important reactions, Javier Garcia-Bermudez, a postdoctoral associate in Birsoy’s group, mimicked oxygen deprivation in cancer cells harvested from 28 patients–including cancers from blood, stomach, breast, colon and lung–that he cultured in the lab. Many of these cells exhibited stunted growth under low-oxygen-like conditions, but others were less sensitive, and some weren’t bothered at all by the treatment.In comparing these cells’ production of chemicals, or metabolites, Garcia-Bermudez noticed that the most sensitive ones lost the amino acid aspartate under oxygen deprivation. Cells can’t make aspartate without oxygen, but it seemed as if the resistant cells were able to obtain it from their environment.In the sensitive cells, a lack of aspartate would affect not only the production of new proteins, but also several other processes that rely on aspartate, such as the synthesis of genetic material.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’Birsoy says he was surprised to see that so much of the oxygen-deprivation problem came down to this one amino acid. He had expected many more metabolites would depend on oxygen supply.Hitting tumors where it hurtsThe researchers found there was something special about many of the cancers that resisted oxygen deprivation: they turned on a gene called SLC1A3 to suck up aspartate from their surroundings.When Garcia-Bermudez turned on this gene in the lab-grown cancers that were normally sensitive to low oxygen, they grew faster.The same was true when he transplanted the tumors into mice, providing further support for the idea that aspartate can be a limiting factor for tumor growth when oxygen is scarce. “This is something they’re really starving for,” says Birsoy.The discovery might offer opportunities for creating drugs to stab cancers in this particular Achilles’ heel, making them even hungrier for aspartate. There might be several ways to prevent cancer cells from getting aspartate, Birsoy suspects, by blocking their methods to make the amino acid or take it up from their surroundings.If he is right, an anti-aspartate treatment might one day provide a supplement to typical chemotherapy and radiation, and it could potentially be effective for any type of tumor containing oxygen-starved areas. Those parts of tumors tend to resist typical chemo and radiation, Birsoy adds.He envisions a sort of one-two punch: One treatment for the parts of a tumor that are well-supplied with oxygen, and an aspartate blocker for the rest.That sort of drug combo is a long ways off, however. For starters, Birsoy now plans to investigate possible drugs that would interfere with aspartate production in the lab. Source:https://www.rockefeller.edu/news/23037-new-tactic-starving-tumors/last_img read more

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Researchers discover way to reverse drug resistance in some skin and mouth

first_imgJun 29 2018University of Queensland researchers have discovered how to reverse drug resistance in skin and mouth squamous cell carcinomas. Source:https://www.uq.edu.au/news/node/122028 Green color shows E2F7 that has leaked out of the nucleus in drug resistant cancer cells.center_img UQ Diamantina Institute Associate Professor Nicholas Saunders said squamous cell carcinomas was curable when diagnosed early but difficult to eradicate once the cancer spread.Related StoriesCannabis ingredient shows promise as potential antibiotic for superbugsHair loss could soon be a thing of the past, say researchersNew e-tattoo beats conventional methods at monitoring heart health“This cancer of the skin and mouth kills approximately 1,400 Australians each year,” Dr Saunders said.“The drugs used to treat squamous cell carcinomas that have spread to other parts of the body only work for a small fraction of patients.“In our study, we successfully added a new drug to an existing treatment to make squamous cell carcinomas responsive to treatment.”Researchers found that a protein called E2F7 was controlling drug resistance in the affected cells.“More than 80 per cent of squamous cell carcinomas we examined had a unique defect in the protein,” Dr Saunders said.“In normal cells, E2F7 stays within the nucleus of a cell and blocks drug resistance.“We discovered that in most squamous carcinomas E2F7 is pumped out of the nucleus, meaning it can no longer stop drug resistance occurring.“By administering a drug that helps to keep E2F7 in the nucleus, the cancer cells become sensitive to existing chemotherapeutics.”Dr Saunders said finding new ways to prevent drug resistance was vital for improving patient outcomes.The study is published in Science Translational Medicine (DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar7223)last_img read more

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Machinelearning model automates design of new molecules to accelerate drug development

first_imgJul 9 2018Designing new molecules for pharmaceuticals is primarily a manual, time-consuming process that’s prone to error. But MIT researchers have now taken a step toward fully automating the design process, which could drastically speed things up — and produce better results.Drug discovery relies on lead optimization. In this process, chemists select a target (“lead”) molecule with known potential to combat a specific disease, then tweak its chemical properties for higher potency and other factors.Often, chemists use expert knowledge and conduct manual tweaking of molecules, adding and subtracting functional groups — atoms and bonds responsible for specific chemical reactions — one by one. Even if they use systems that predict optimal chemical properties, chemists still need to do each modification step themselves. This can take hours for each iteration and may still not produce a valid drug candidate.Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) have developed a model that better selects lead molecule candidates based on desired properties. It also modifies the molecular structure needed to achieve a higher potency, while ensuring the molecule is still chemically valid.The model basically takes as input molecular structure data and directly creates molecular graphs — detailed representations of a molecular structure, with nodes representing atoms and edges representing bonds. It breaks those graphs down into smaller clusters of valid functional groups that it uses as “building blocks” that help it more accurately reconstruct and better modify molecules.”The motivation behind this was to replace the inefficient human modification process of designing molecules with automated iteration and assure the validity of the molecules we generate,” says Wengong Jin, a PhD student in CSAIL and lead author of a paper describing the model that’s being presented at the 2018 International Conference on Machine Learning in July.Joining Jin on the paper are Regina Barzilay, the Delta Electronics Professor at CSAIL and EECS and Tommi S. Jaakkola, the Thomas Siebel Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in CSAIL, EECS, and at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.The research was conducted as part of the Machine Learning for Pharmaceutical Discovery and Synthesis Consortium between MIT and eight pharmaceutical companies, announced in May. The consortium identified lead optimization as one key challenge in drug discovery.”Today, it’s really a craft, which requires a lot of skilled chemists to succeed, and that’s what we want to improve,” Barzilay says. “The next step is to take this technology from academia to use on real pharmaceutical design cases, and demonstrate that it can assist human chemists in doing their work, which can be challenging.””Automating the process also presents new machine-learning challenges,” Jaakkola says. “Learning to relate, modify, and generate molecular graphs drives new technical ideas and methods.”Generating molecular graphs Systems that attempt to automate molecule design have cropped up in recent years, but their problem is validity. Those systems, Jin says, often generate molecules that are invalid under chemical rules, and they fails to produce molecules with optimal properties. This essentially makes full automation of molecule design infeasible.These systems run on linear notations of molecules, called “simplified molecular-input line-entry systems,” or SMILES, where long strings of letters, numbers, and symbols represent individual atoms or bonds that can be interpreted by computer software. As the system modifies a lead molecule, it expands its string representation symbol by symbol — atom by atom, and bond by bond — until it generates a final SMILES string with higher potency of a desired property. In the end, the system may produce a final SMILES string that seems valid under SMILES grammar, but is actually invalid.Related StoriesUCSF scientists develop new strategy for targeting key Parkinson’s moleculeAntioxidant precursor molecule could improve dopamine levels in Parkinson’s patientsDiscovery could lead to new drugs for pain conditionsThe researchers solve this issue by building a model that runs directly on molecular graphs, instead of SMILES strings, which can be modified more efficiently and accurately.Powering the model is a custom variational autoencoder — a neural network that “encodes” an input molecule into a vector, which is basically a storage space for the molecule’s structural data, and then “decodes” that vector to a graph that matches the input molecule.At encoding phase, the model breaks down each molecular graph into clusters, or “subgraphs,” each of which represents a specific building block. Such clusters are automatically constructed by a common machine-learning concept, called tree decomposition, where a complex graph is mapped into a tree structure of clusters — “which gives a scaffold of the original graph,” Jin says.Both scaffold tree structure and molecular graph structure are encoded into their own vectors, where molecules are group together by similarity. This makes finding and modifying molecules an easier task.At decoding phase, the model reconstructs the molecular graph in a “coarse-to-fine” manner –gradually increasing resolution of a low-resolution image to create a more refined version. It first generates the tree-structured scaffold, and then assembles the associated clusters (nodes in the tree) together into a coherent molecular graph. This ensures the reconstructed molecular graph is an exact replication of the original structure.For lead optimization, the model can then modify lead molecules based on a desired property. It does so with aid of a prediction algorithm that scores each molecule with a potency value of that property. In the paper, for instance, the researchers sought molecules with a combination of two properties — high solubility and synthetic accessibility.Given a desired property, the model optimizes a lead molecule by using the prediction algorithm to modify its vector — and, therefore, structure — by editing the molecule’s functional groups to achieve a higher potency score. It repeats this step for multiple iterations, until it finds the highest predicted potency score. Then, the model finally decodes a new molecule from the updated vector, with modified structure, by compiling all the corresponding clusters.Valid and more potentThe researchers trained their model on 250,000 molecular graphs from the ZINC database, a collection of 3-D molecular structures available for public use. They tested the model on tasks to generate valid molecules, find the best lead molecules, and design novel molecules with increase potencies.In the first test, the researchers’ model generated 100 percent chemically valid molecules from a sample distribution, compared to SMILES models that generated 43 percent valid molecules from the same distribution.The second test involved two tasks. First, the model searched the entire collection of molecules to find the best lead molecule for the desired properties — solubility and synthetic accessibility. In that task, the model found a lead molecule with a 30 percent higher potency than traditional systems. The second task involved modifying 800 molecules for higher potency, but are structurally similar to the lead molecule. In doing so, the model created new molecules, closely resembling the lead’s structure, averaging a more than 80 percent improvement in potency.The researchers next aim to test the model on more properties, beyond solubility, which are more therapeutically relevant. That, however, requires more data. “Pharmaceutical companies are more interested in properties that fight against biological targets, but they have less data on those. A challenge is developing a model that can work with a limited amount of training data,” Jin says.Source: http://news.mit.edu/2018/automating-molecule-design-speed-drug-development-0706last_img read more

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University of Illinois buys 3DBioplotter for regenerative biology tissue engineering research

first_imgJul 16 2018The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has purchased an EnvisionTEC 3D-Bioplotter to conduct regenerative biology and tissue engineering research.The 3D-Bioplotter is a world-leading bioprinter, used for research in more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific and medical papers. The 3D printer, which delivers best-in-class build volume and XYZ accuracy, is being purchased with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).”This platform is going to enable some exciting new research efforts,” said Brendan Harley, Associate Professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and the Leader of the IGB’s Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering (RBTE) Theme. “This bioplotter will facilitate work seeking to regenerate musculoskeletal tissues such as bone and tendon as well as to identify new ways to treat cancer,” he added.Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchThe new 3D-Bioplotter will be housed in a shared-use facility that will be accessible to researchers across the campus.The IGB has selected a Manufacturer Series of the 3D-Bioplotter, the premium model of the bioprinter that includes an Automated Head Exchanger (AHX) with five print heads, a temperature-controlled platform to boost survival of biologic materials and a Multi-Function HD Camera that documents each layer of a build project for pre-clinical and clinical research, among other unique features.EnvisionTEC also offers a Starter and Developer model of the 3D-Bioplotter for users who may not require all of the control and functionality of the premium Manufacturer model.All 3D-Bioplotter models are built on a vibration-free cast iron base that ensures accurate and reliable 3D printing of fine cellular matter and share key features: “We’re proud to have developed a bioprinter that can be used to provide tissue engineering researchers with all of the controls and tools necessary to develop solutions for a range of healthcare and other issues,” said Jay Murray, Director of MCAD Sales, North America. Processes STL and 3MF files Automatically calibrates needle tip position Offers an automated needle tip cleaning station Uses a filtering system to protect the quality of air used to dispense material Designed for use in a sterile biosafety cabinetcenter_img Source:http://illinois.edu/last_img read more

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Women with undiagnosed STIs may be at greater risk of negative premenstrual

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 17 2018Women that have undiagnosed sexually transmitted infections may be at greater risk of experiencing negative premenstrual symptoms (PMS), according to new Oxford University research.The study was conducted as part of a long term partnership with the female health, fertility and period-tracking app, CLUE. The findings, published in Evolution Medicine & Public Health, suggest that the presence of an undiagnosed STI might aggravate the negative premenstrual experience.Despite being known to have an anti-social effect on women’s lives, altering their moods, energy levels, eating habits and even sex drive, periods are not recognised as a scientific factor in the study of female health. However, since some STI infections are asymptomatic, for instance 70% of people diagnosed with Chlamydia are unware of it, and can lead to fertility issues, the study authors caution that these results are significant, and that reproductive health needs to be taken more seriously by both the scientific community and women in general.Dr Alexandra Alvergne, lead-author and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Oxford University, said: ‘Even now, when I write a research application on PMS, I still think ‘will this be taken seriously?’ that needs to change. Not understanding or even acknowledging that PMS is more than “women’s raging hormones” but rather, the by-product of cyclical immunity makes it harder to identify diseases and can even delay diagnosis of infections such as STIs, which can affect women’s fertility.’The digital health study used data from 865 CLUE app users, who were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with an STI, and if they answered yes, when they were first diagnosed and given treatment. This information was combined with data that they had logged on their menstrual bleeding patterns, experience of pain and emotional impacts and whether or not they used hormonal contraceptives.Before diagnosis, the presence of an infection such as Chlamydia, Herpes or HPV doubled the likelihood of the woman reporting negative PMS effects including headaches, cramps and sadness towards the end of their cycle, and generally feeling highly sensitive throughout.The findings from this work will also be used to improve the CLUE app, and shape additional questions that would make the overall data captured more robust and useful.Related StoriesCaregiver depression linked to increased emergency department visits for patients with dementiaOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearchers evaluate usefulness of fertility appsDr Alvergne said: ‘Our research shows that by better understanding their period and menstrual cycle, women could potentially improve their health. If you know that severe PMS could be an indicator of an underlying STI, you are more likely to listen to your body.’In addition to better understanding the relationship between women’s sexual and menstrual health, the team’s review of academic research published to date on PMS has revealed a direct link between menstrual cycling and women’s overall physical health and wellbeing.The accumulative review, published in Trends & Ecology & Evolution, reveals that the severity of chronic inflammatory diseases or the risk of infection depends on the phase of the menstrual cycle women are experiencing.It asserts that the menstrual cycle modulates the immune system so that to select viable embryos, so is itself a cycle of immunity.Dr Alvergne said: ‘The whole function of the menstrual cycle is to produce cyclical patterns of immunity, so actually we would be better to think of female health as cyclical. To truly understand women’s health we need to better understand reproductive health, as the two go hand in hand.’Previous studies have suggested a link between inflammation and depression and the Oxford research reinforces this view.’Inflammation has a physiological cost on your body, and uses up a lot of energy that would otherwise support other functions. If a woman is experiencing a particularly strong inflammatory state as her periods approaches (menstruation is understood as an acute inflammatory event), it is likely that she will have less energy to produce serotonin – an emotional leveller. So understandably, she could well be feeling in quite a negative mind-set, and more prone to depression than at other times,’ says Dr Alvergne.She is keen to build on the STI study by looking at the impact of additional factors, such as social status and living environment on menstruation, and whether non-sexually transmitted infections have a similar impact on reproductive health. Source:http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2018-09-17-undiagnosed-stis-can-increase-negative-pms-symptomslast_img read more

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Surprise surprise Americans hold on to their paychecks

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Country However, this spending surge could simply mean that the users had timed regular payments like rent and tuition to their paychecks. When the team removed recurring identical payments from the analysis, it found a much lower, but still significant, postpayment peak, with people spending about 40% more after income arrived. The researchers say that even this amount could have been an overestimate, as they might have missed some recurring payments like metered utility bills that can vary from month to month.So Shapiro and colleagues picked out a single type of spending that’s easily influenced by the perception of disposable income: cash shelled out for fast food and coffee. Here, most people’s spending barely increased after a payment, the team reports online today in Science.Still, not everyone followed this pattern. Individuals with less cash in their bank accounts increased their spending more after receiving a payment than did folks with more money in the bank. Sometimes, these people simply received less money, leaving them less able to build up reserves. Other people were simply more carefree with their money and therefore tended to spend it as soon as they got it. “Surprisingly, there are a lot of well-to-do individuals who run their credit balances up to the limit and live paycheck to paycheck—even if it’s a large paycheck,” Shapiro says.The finding could help governments better stimulate the economy. If they could find ways to target tax rebates to people who have little cash in reserve, for example, the payments might stimulate spending more effectively, Shapiro says.Jonathan Parker, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, is impressed by the researchers’ innovative use of a novel data source. “By using administrative data,” he says, “they’re able to get much more precise measurements than surveys generally provide, and a much larger sample of individuals.” Still, the volunteers are not perfectly representative of the U.S. population, he notes. For example, the researchers openly acknowledge that men use Check more than women do and are thus presumably overrepresented in their sample. The effects of this disparity are unclear, but if women were better, on average, at managing their finances than men are, it would distort the findings. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Money, it turns out, doesn’t necessarily burn a hole in our pockets. Researchers have found that, on the day Americans get paid, they’re little more likely to spend that cash than on any other day of the week—at least if it’s on items like food and coffee. The finding suggests that tax rebates and other cash infusions may not boost the economy, as most people would probably save the windfall for a rainy day.Researchers disagree about what people do with extra cash, says economist Matthew Shapiro of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “If the standard economic theory is right,” he says, “most individuals will save almost all of a payment.” Some studies suggest, however, that people are not this rational, but obtaining data is not easy.So Shapiro and colleagues turned to a computer and cellphone program called Check that lets users record all the money they spend. For 300 days, the researchers tracked a random sample of about 23,000 anonymous U.S.-based users who received regular payroll or Social Security payments. At first glance, the data suggested that people spend money as soon as they get it. Individuals shelled out about 70% more than average on the day a payment arrived, and they continued to spend significantly elevated amounts for the next few days. read more

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This yarn conducts electricity

first_imgRight now, wearable fitness trackers and bionic devices like electronic skin look cool, but they’re a bit clunky. One reason is that rigid wires tend to lose their conductivity after being bent, limiting the range of flexibility for wearables. Now, researchers report the creation of an ultrathin, fabric circuit that keeps high conductivity even while bending and stretching as much as yoga pants. The fiber’s core mimics spandex, consisting of an elastic synthetic thread—polyurethane—twinned by two cotton yarns. These stretchy strings were then dipped in silver nanoparticles to instill conductivity and then liquid silicone to encase everything. This silver nanoyarn could stretch as much as spandex—500% of its original length—and retain a high conductivity (688 siemens per centimeter), the team reports online this month in ACS Nano. That’s 34 times the conductivity and five times the flexibility seen with prior attempts at nanowires made from graphene. The fibers kept high conductivity after being bent 1000 times or wrapped around fingers. The team used their yarn to link light-emitting diodes within foldable plastic (shown above), meaning the fibers might serve as flexible wiring in new-age curved TVs, stretchable digital screens, or electronic clothing. The team tested the biocompatibility of these nanowires by surgically embedding them in the skin of mice for 8 weeks. No inflammation surfaced, suggesting that this silver yarn could be used to wire bionic implants in the future.(Linked video credit: Cheng et al., ACS Nano. 2015)last_img read more

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