Preferred partners members recognized at TDC Leadership Conference

first_img Posted by Preferred partners & members recognized at TDC Leadership Conference Travelweek Group Friday, May 26, 2017 Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Transat CANCUN — A delegation of 250 Transat Distribution (TDC) owners and managers made their way to Cancun recently for the company’s 2017 National Leadership Conference, a major undertaking that took more than a year to plan.Taking place from May 11-15 in Cancun, the conference was opened by keynote speaker Bruce Poon Tip, who addressed the issue of tourism sustainability, consumer trends and the impact of travel on the global economy. And closing out the conference was Nicolas Duvernois, President and Founder of PUR Vodka, who highlighted his journey to becoming a world-class entrepreneur.TDC also welcomed leaders from Atman and its Transat Human Resource Team who shared tools to recruit the right people for the job as well as consulted on HR managerial know-how. Also, Annick Guerard, President Transat Tours, was on hand to highlight the company’s plans and strategies, while Sam Patel, founder of AirNets and a TDC network member, shared his insights on the state of the airline industry, with special focus on how to make money selling airline tickets through TDC’s exclusive consolidator program.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJ“Our mission is the financial health of our network. This forum delved into products and strategies designed to meet the evolving consumer demands with a focus on agency profitability,” said Joe Adamo, President TDC. “To that end, we bring together leaders from our industry and external speakers who can add unique perspectives and insights. The members also shared best practices, one of our most appreciated sessions.”Over 40 experts from 27 travel partners joined this year’s conference, all of who Susan Bowman, Vice President Marketing and Industry Relations, referred to as “preferred” partners. “It’s not just a label,” she said, “we commit to having win-win relationships.”To recognize the ongoing commitment made by such partners, a celebration was held in their honour at the Dreams Playa Mujeres where they were presented with awards and prizes. TDC members with the highest support for the company’s preferred partners were also recognized.Here are this year’s winners:Distinguished Preferred Partner Support:More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionQUEBECMulti-Office: Club Voyages DumoulinIndividual Office: Club Voyages MarinairONTARIOMulti-Office: Goliger’s TravelPlus WaterlooIndividual Office: Marlin Travel BrantfordWESTMulti-Office: Marlin Travel VictoriaIndividual Office: Marlin Travel BurnabyThe Conference ended with a birthday party celebrating Transat’s 30th at the Paradisus La Perla Resort. Hosted by the Transat team, the party included trip giveaways and special recognition of TDC members.Transat 2016 High Achievement AwardsHighest Sales – National: Club Voyages DumoulinHighest Group Sales – National: Club Voyages OrfordHighest Sales Ontario: Goliger’s Travel Plus Waterloo, ONHighest Sales Increase Ontario: Marlin Travel, Bowmanville, ONHighest Sales Western Canada: Marlin Travel, Regina, SKHighest Sales Increase Western Canada: Transat Travel, Abbotsford, BCHighest Sales Quebec: Voyages Transat Carrefour LavalHighest Sales Increase Quebec: Voyages Mille et une nuit, Mascouche, QClast_img read more

APEX EXPO for the first time ever opens with an exclusive event

first_imgSource = Lufthansa Group APEX EXPO for the first time ever opens with an exclusive event above the cloudsAPEX EXPO for the first time ever opens with an exclusive event above the cloudsThe upcoming APEX EXPO, the world’s largest event on the passenger experience in the aviation industry, will be held from 24 to 27 September in Boston. This year, for the first time in the history of the event, the kick-off will take place above the clouds. On 22 September, Lufthansa will treat guests to the Lufthansa FlyingLab APEX EXPO on an Airbus A350, an exclusive pre-conference on board Flight LH424 from Munich to Boston. A special gate event in Munich will set the mood for the passengers. Lufthansa is organizing this FlyingLab in cooperation with APEX and Lufthansa Systems. The IT subsidiary of Lufthansa is a pioneer in aviation digitalization and is providing the technical basis for the conference, among other things.“What better place to present and test new trends for passengers than in a plane?” said Joe Leader, CEO of APEX. “We are delighted to kick off our conference this year with the Lufthansa FlyingLab. In addition to exclusive presentations by renowned industry experts, we will give APEX participants and all passengers the opportunity to try out innovative products on board and discuss new trends.”Expert presentations and innovative test gadgetsDuring the conference 10,000 meters over the Atlantic, passengers will enjoy six short presentations on the passenger experience of the future. The topics will range from innovative lighting concepts – which can already be experienced first-hand on Lufthansa flights – through modern cabin designs, to new seating and communication options. Videos of each 15-minute presentation on board will be streamed live via WiFi to the passengers’ own smartphones, tablets or laptops – regardless of where they are sitting in the plane. During the presentations, passengers can use their devices to send questions to the speakers, which will be answered live afterwards.To ensure that all of the technology runs smoothly, Lufthansa Systems has installed a WiFi network on board. This is based on the multi-award-winning BoardConnect digital platform, the new features of which Lufthansa Systems will unveil at the APEX EXPO in Boston.Along with presentations, the Lufthansa FlyingLab APEX EXPO will offer the opportunity to test new passenger experience products on the eight-hour flight to Boston. There will be innovative in-flight entertainment (IFE) with stylish VR glasses from Skylights as well as a smart temperature regulating blanket with an integrated neck pillow from feel.flight, among other things. Participation in the Lufthansa FlyingLab APEX EXPO is free. Passengers simply need a ticket for Flight LH424 on 22 September 2018, from Munich to Boston.More information about the speakers and the technical devices can be found at LH.com/FlyingLab-APEX2018Digitalization above the cloudsThe Lufthansa FlyingLab is a component of the Group’s digitalization strategy. With this unique in-flight conference, Lufthansa is once again positioning itself as a leader in the field of digitalization, where it is pursuing a strategy of what is called “fast prototyping”. Relevant digitalization topics are implemented in FlyingLabs in order to get direct feedback from the participants. Lufthansa FlyingLabs have already been held on the topics of virtual reality as well as fashion & technology.“We are pleased to be able to hold this special event together with APEX and other partners. The Lufthansa FlyingLab enables us to make efficient use of flying time and offer informative added value. The digital BoardConnect platform from Lufthansa Systems is the key technology for making an aircraft part of a digital journey, enabling us to create extraordinary experiences. BoardConnect is being used by many airlines inside and outside of the Lufthansa Group,” explained Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.last_img read more

Asters new owner UPC is increasing the Polish cab

first_imgAster’s new owner UPC is increasing the Polish cable operator’s broadband speeds.As part of the ongoing integration of Aster and UPC, the lowest broadband speed on Aster’s network will increase to 5Mbps from 0.5Mbps. The maximum speed will increase to 120Mbps from 60Mbps. The increases will be introduced gradually until the end of February. 
UPC completed the acquisition of Aster earlier this month. The deal will see UPC Poland increase its customer to 1.5 million customers, with a total of 2.5 million homes passed.last_img read more

Rovi has signed two Chinese DivX deals that will s

first_imgRovi has signed two Chinese DivX deals that will see the video technology integrated into Changhong digital TVs and Philips-branded TVs set for distribution in the country.The deal with consumer electronics manufacturer Changhong means that Rovi has now signed DivX agreements with each of the top five digital TV manufacturers in China. Changhong TVs will have DivX HD video certification as well as offer support for DivX streaming.The Philips distribution will result from a new deal Rovi has reached with TVP Technology Limited, a display solutions provider that plans to add add DivX Plus HD certification into Philips-branded TVs in China.Rovi, which announced both deals today, hailed the Changhong deal as a “significant milestone” for the company as it continues to gain momentum in the country with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) – companies that design products that are then branded by another firm.The TVP Technology comes after Rovi in January announced a deal with Mei Ah Digital and China Mobile Hong Kong to use DivX Plus Streaming to deliver premium entertainment services to mobile users.“As a premier ODM, TVP’s support for DivX technology further reinforces Rovi’s momentum in this rapidly growing market and highlights the universal value and appeal of the DivX Certified Program,” Rovi senior VP, sales and marketing, Simon Adams.“Philips TVs will add to the already expansive DivX ecosystem and increase the number of options for consumers who want to access and enjoy a growing catalog of Hollywood entertainment available in the DivX format.”The DivX Certified Programme lets consumer electronics manufacturers differentiate their products and guarantee reliable DivX video playback across all devices that bear the DivX logo. The format can be read on devices including phones, tablets, televisions and other digital media players.DivX Plus Streaming is an end-to-end solution for secure adaptive streaming for over-the-top content service providers on multiple platforms.last_img read more

French media regulator the CSA has ordered public

first_imgFrench media regulator the CSA has ordered public broadcaster France Télévisions to make its channels available to internet TV provider Playmédia’s Play.tv service with minimum delay following a request by the latter to force the broadcaster to engage with it.The CSA said that Playmedia’s services were not incompatible with France Télévisions’ public service mission and that the fact that the broadcaster did not hold all the rights necessary for the distribution of its programmes on the open internet did not allow it to avoid its obligation to make its channels available to third-party service providers. It said it was up to France Télévisions to obtain the necessary rights to meet its obligations and called on the  broadcaster not to oppose the distribution of its services by Playmédia.The move is the latest development in a long-running dispute between Playmédia and France Télévisions, which has consistently refused to make its channels available to the service and has in the past denied that the CSA has any authority to intervene where this would violate its agreements with rightsholders. However France Télévisions’ services are available via other online platforms, such as that of Orange.last_img read more

Viacom has signed a multiyear deal with comScore

first_imgViacom has signed a multi-year deal with comScore that covers cross-platform audience measurement.Viacom says it will have access to comScore’s cross-platform measurement tools and advanced demographic capabilities – which span the linear TV, video-on-demand, digital, and over-the-top environments.Viacom said it will use the data for its proprietary advertising products, unlocking “maximum value to marketing partners” by delivering a complete view of the consumer.“This partnership with comScore marks a fundamental watershed moment in the business of television,” claimed Viacom’s senior vice-president of data strategy, Bryson Gordon.“This revolution in targeting, currency and measurement is the equivalent of shifting from black and white to colour. Viacom’s longstanding investment in data and innovation and our unique ability to merge creativity and science has positioned us far ahead in the marketplace by delivering what partners crave – the most comprehensive view of the consumer and the most effective way to reach them.”last_img read more

Youthfocused broadcaster The QYou has struck a de

first_imgYouth-focused broadcaster The QYou has struck a deal with T-Mobile’s Dutch over-the-top service, Knipppr.Under the deal, The QYou’s linear channel of curated web content will be available to subscribers of Knippr, which went live in June.The agreement marks The QYou’s latest expansion in the Netherlands, following its partnership with Ziggo Sport earlier this year.“As we have witnessed working with Ziggo and TV Vlaanderan, there is a huge video culture in the Netherlands, and we are thrilled to help Knippr by bringing our ‘best of the web’ short form content to its subscribers,” said The QYou CEO, Scott Ehrlich.Knippr vice-president, Johan Trouwborst, said: “Our goal is to build a service that delivers a broad selection of channels – both popular and niche – and to provide our viewers with the freedom to watch what they want, when they want, on whatever device they choose.“This type of flexible, a la carte model reflects what most consumers today want – not just younger viewers but everyone who is dissatisfied with the traditional cable offer.”Knippr costs €10.99 per-month and lets users stream channels and on-demand content to their smartphones, tablets and computers. Networks already available via the service include NPO 1, NPO 2, NPO 3, RTL 4, RTL 5, SBS6, RTL 7 and Disney XD.The QYou is a linear TV channel and video-on-demand offering around short-form video content sourced from the web.last_img read more

French service provider Free has added movies ond

first_imgFrench service provider Free has added movies on-demand service LaCinetek to its Freebox offering – the first time the service has been made available by an IPTV operator.The service, which features classic movies of the 20th century chosen by international directors, will be available from June on the Freebox Révolution and Freebox Mini 4K services.The idea behind LaCinetek is to allow 45 top international directors to present and comment on their top 50 movies of the last century, including the likes of Jacques Tourneur’s La griffe du passé, chosen by Bertrand Tavernier, the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple, chosen by Jacques Audiard and Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, chosen by Cédric Klapisch.The VOD service has a catalogue of about 600 titles in SD or HD quality, available from €2.99 each.LaCinetek was launched two years ago by a group of French and international film directors and Meilleurs du Cinéma, the group behind video-on-demand platform Univers Ciné.The service has been available via the LaCinetek website, but the group behind the project stated their ambition at the time to make it available on IPTV boxes.last_img read more

Last month a group of Australian scientists publi

first_imgLast month, a group of Australian scientists published a warning to the citizens of the country and of the world who collectively gobble up some $34 billion annually of its agricultural exports. The warning concerned the safety of a new type of wheat. As Australia’s number-one export, a $6-billion annual industry, and the most-consumed grain locally, wheat is of the utmost importance to the country. A serious safety risk from wheat – a mad wheat disease of sorts – would have disastrous effects for the country and for its customers. Which is why the alarm bells are being rung over a new variety of wheat being ushered toward production by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia. In a sense, the crop is little different than the wide variety of modern genetically modified foods. A sequence of the plant’s genes has been turned off to change the wheat’s natural behavior a bit, to make it more commercially viable (hardier, higher yielding, slower decaying, etc.). Franken-Wheat? What’s really different this time – and what has Professor Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury, NZ, and Associate Professor Judy Carman, a biochemist at Flinders University in Australia, holding press conferences to garner attention to the subject – is the technique employed to effectuate the genetic change. It doesn’t modify the genes of the wheat plants in question; instead, a specialized gene blocker interferes with the natural action of the genes. The process at issue, dubbed RNA interference or RNAi for short, has been a hotbed of research activity ever since the Nobel Prize-winning 1997 research paper that described the process. It is one of a number of so-called “antisense” technologies that help suppress natural genetic expression and provide a mechanism for suppressing undesirable genetic behaviors. RNAi’s appeal is simple: it can potentially provide a temporary, reversible off switch for genes. Unlike most other genetic modification techniques, it doesn’t require making permanent changes to the underlying genome of the target. Instead, specialized siRNAs – chemical DNA blockers based on the same mechanism our own bodies use to temporarily turn genes on and off as needed – are delivered into the target organism and act to block the messages cells use to express a particular gene. When those messages meet with their chemical opposites, they turn inert. And when all of the siRNA is used up, the effect wears off. The new wheat is in early-stage field trials (i.e., it’s been planted to grow somewhere, but has not yet been tested for human consumption), part of a multi-year process on its way to potential approval and not unlike the rigorous process many drugs go through. The researchers responsible are using RNAi to turn down the production of glycogen. They are targeting the production of the wheat branching enzyme which, if suppressed, would result in a much lower starch level for the wheat. The result would be a grain with a lower glycemic index – i.e., healthier wheat. This is a noble goal. However, Professors Heinemann and Carman warn, there’s a risk that the gene silencing done to these plants might make its way into humans and wreak havoc on our bodies. In their press conference and subsequent papers, they describe the possibility that the siRNA molecules – which are pretty hardy little chemicals and not easily gotten rid of – could wind up interacting with our RNA. If their theories prove true, the results might be as bad as mimicking glycogen storage disease IV, a super-rare genetic disorder which almost always leads to early childhood death. “Franken-Wheat Causes Massive Deaths from Liver Failure!” Now that is potentially headline-grabbing stuff. Unfortunately, much of it is mere speculation at this point, albeit rooted in scientific expertise on the subject. What they’ve produced is a series of opinion papers – not scientific research nor empirical data to prove that what they suspect might happen, actually does. They point to the possibilities that could happen if a number of criteria are met: If the siRNAs remain in the wheat in transferrable form, in large quantities, when the grain makes it to your plate. And… If the siRNA molecules interfere with the somewhat different but largely similar human branching enzyme as well. Then the result might be symptoms similar to such a condition, on some scale or another, anywhere from completely unnoticeable to highly impactful. They further postulate that if the same effect is seen in animals, it could result in devastating ecological impact. Dead bugs and dead wild animals. Luckily for us, as potential consumers of these foods, all of these are easily testable theories. And this is precisely the type of data the lengthy approval process is meant to look at. Opinion papers like this – while not to be confused with conclusions resulting from solid research – are a critically important part of the scientific process, challenging researchers to provide hard data on areas that other experts suspect could be overlooked. Professors Carman and Heinemann provide a very important public good in challenging the strength of the due-diligence process for RNAi’s use in agriculture, an incomplete subject we continue to discover more about every day. However, we’ll have to wait until the data come back on this particular experiment – among thousands of similar ones being conducted at government labs, universities, and in the research facilities of commercial agribusinesses like Monsanto and Cargill – to know if this wheat variety would in fact result in a dietary apocalypse. That’s a notion many anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) pundits seem to have latched onto following the press conference the professors held. But if the history of modern agriculture can teach us anything, it’s that far more aggressive forms of GMO foods appear to have had a huge net positive effect on the global economy and our lives. Not only have they not killed us, in many ways GMO foods have been responsible for the massive increases in public health and quality of life around the world. The Roots of the GMO Food Debate The debate over genetically modified (GM) food is a heated one. Few contest that we are working in somewhat murky waters when it comes to genetically modified anything, human or plant alike. At issue, really, is the question of whether we are prepared to use the technologies we’ve discovered. In other words, are we the equivalent of a herd of monkeys armed with bazookas, unable to comprehend the sheer destructive power we possess yet perfectly capable of pulling the trigger? Or do we simply face the same type of daunting intellectual challenge as those who discovered fire, electricity, or even penicillin, at a time when the tools to fully understand how they worked had not yet been conceived of? In all of those cases, we were able to probe, study, and learn the mysteries of these incredible discoveries over time. Sure, there were certainly costly mistakes along the way. But we were also able to make great use of them to advance civilization long before we fully understood how they worked at a scientific level. Much is the same in the study and practical use of GM foods. While the fundamentals of DNA have been well understood for decades, we are still in the process of uncovering many of the inner workings of what is arguably the single most advanced form of programming humans have ever encountered. It is still very much a rapidly evolving science to this day. For example, in the 1990s, an idea known simply as “gene therapy” – really a generalized term for a host of new-at-the-time experimental techniques that share the simple characteristic of permanently modifying the genetic make-up of an organism – was all the rage in medical study. Two decades on, it’s hardly ever spoken of. That’s because the great majority of attempted disease therapies from genetic modification failed, with many resulting in terrible side effects and even death for the patients who underwent the treatments. Its use in the early days, of course, was limited almost exclusively to some of the world’s most debilitating, genetically rooted diseases. Still – whether in their zeal to use a fledgling tool to cure a dreadful malady or in selfish, hurried desire to be recognized among the pioneers of what they thought would be the very future of medicine – doctors chose to move forward at a dangerous pace with gene therapy. In one famous case, and somewhat typical of the times, University of Pennsylvania physicians enrolled a sick 18-year-old boy with a liver mutation into a trial for a gene therapy that was known to have resulted in the deaths of some of the monkeys it had just been tested on. The treatment resulted in the young man’s death a few days later, and the lengthy investigation that followed resulted in serious accusations of what can only be called “cowboy medicine.” Not one of science’s prouder moments, to be sure. But could GM foods be following the same dangerous path? After all, the first GM foods made their way to market during the same time period. The 1980s saw large-scale genetic-science research and experimentation from agricultural companies, producing everything from antibiotic-resistant tobacco to pesticide-hardy corn. After much debate and study, in 1994 the FDA gave approval to the first GM food to be sold in the United States: the ironically named Flavr Savr tomato, with its delayed ripening genes which made it an ideal candidate for sitting for days or weeks on grocery store shelves. Ever since, there has been a seeming rush of modified foods into the marketplace. Modern GM foods include soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, and a number of squash and greens varieties, as well as products made from them. One of the most prevalent modifications is to make plants glyphosate-resistant, or in common terms, “Roundup Ready.” This yields varieties that are able to stand up to much heavier doses of the herbicide Roundup, which is used to keep weeds and other pest plants from damaging large monoculture fields, thereby reducing costs and lowering risks. In total it is estimated that modern GM crops have grown to become a $12 billion annual business since their commercialization in 1994, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Over 15 million farms around the world are reported to have grown GM crops, and their popularity increases every year. They’ve brought huge improvements in shelf life, pathogen and other stress resistance, and even added nutritional benefits. For instance, yellow rice – which was the first approved crop with an entirely new genetic pathway added artificially – provides beta-carotene to a large population of people around the world who otherwise struggle to find enough in their diets. However, the race for horticulturalists to the genetic table in the past few decades – what could be described accurately as the transgenic generation of research – has by no means been our first experiment with the genetic manipulation of food. In fact, if anything, it is a more deliberate, well studied, and careful advance than those that came before it. A VERY Brief History of Genetically Modified Food Some proponents of GMO foods are quick to point out that humans have been modifying foods at the genetic level since the dawn of agriculture itself. We crossbreed plants with each other to produce hybrids (can I interest you in a boysenberry?). And of course, we select our crops for breeding from those with the most desirable traits, effectively encouraging genetic mutations that would have otherwise resulted in natural failure, if not helped along by human hands. Corn as we know it, for example, would never have survived in nature without our help in breeding it. Using that as a justification for genetic meddling, however, is like saying we know that NASCAR drivers don’t need seatbelts because kids have been building soapbox racers without them for years. Nature, had the mix not been near ideal to begin with, would have prevented such crossbreeding. Despite Hollywood’s desires, one can’t simply crossbreed a human and a fly, or even a bee and a mosquito, for that matter – their genetics are too different to naturally mix. And even if it did somehow occur, if it did not make for a hardier result, then natural selection would have quickly kicked in. No, I am talking about real, scientific genetic mucking – the kind we imagined would result in the destruction of the world from giant killer tomatoes or man-eating cockroaches in our B-grade science-fiction films. Radiation mutants. Enterprising agrarians have been blasting plants with radiation of all sorts ever since we started messing around with atomic science at the dawn of the 20th century. In the 1920s, just when Einstein and Fermi were getting in their grooves, Dr. Lewis Stadler at the University of Missouri was busy blasting barley seeds with X-rays – research that would usher in a frenzy of mutation breeding to follow. With the advent of nuclear technology from the war effort, X-rays expanded into atomic radiation, with the use of gamma rays leading the pack. The United States even actively encouraged the practice for decades, through a program dubbed “Atoms for Peace” that proliferated nuclear technology throughout various parts of the private sector in a hope that it would improve the lives of many. And it did. Today, thousands of agricultural varieties we take for granted – including, according to a 2007 New York Times feature on the practice, “rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum” – are a direct result of mutation breeding. They would not be classified as GM foods, in the sense that we did not use modern transgenic techniques to make them, but they are genetically altered nonetheless, to the same or greater degree than most modern GMO strains. Unlike modern GM foods – which are often closely protected by patents and armies of lawyers to ensure the inventing companies reap maximum profits from their use – the overwhelming majority of the original generations of radiation-mutated plant varieties came out of academic and government sponsored research, and thus were provided free and clear for farmers to use without restriction. With the chemical revolution of the mid-20th century, radiation-based mutations were followed by the use of chemical agents like the methyl sulfate family of mutagens. And after that, the crudest forms of organic genetic manipulation came into use, such as the uses of transposons, highly repetitive strands of DNA discovered in 1948 that can be used like biological duct tape to cover whole sections the genome. These modified crops stood up better to pests, lessened famines, reduced reliance on pesticides, and most of all enabled farmers to increase their effective yields. Coupled with the development of commercial machinery like tractors and harvesters, the rise of mutagenic breeding resulted in an agricultural revolution of a magnitude few truly appreciate. In the late 1800s, the overwhelming majority of global populations lived in rural areas, and most people spent their lives in agrarian pursuits. From subsistence farmers to small commercial operations, the majority of the population of every country, the US included, was employed in agriculture. Today, less than 2% of the American population (legal and illegal combined) works in farming of any kind. Yet we have more than enough food to feed all of our people, and a surplus to export to more densely populated nations like China and India. The result is that a sizable percentage of the world’s plant crops today – the ones on top of which much of the modern-era GMO experiments are done – are already genetic mutants. Hence the slippery slope that serves as the foundation of the resistance from regulators over the labeling of GM food products. Where do you draw the line on what to label? And frankly, how do you even know for sure, following the Wild-West days of blasting everything that could grow with some form or another of radiation, what plants are truly virgin DNA? The world’s public is largely unaware that many of the foods they eat today – far more than those targeted by anti-GMO protestors and labeling advocates – are genetically modified. Yet we don’t seem to be dying off in large numbers, like the anti-RNAi researchers project will happen. In fact, global lifespans have increased dramatically across the board in the last century. The Rise of Careful The science of GM food has advanced considerably since the dark ages of the 1920s. Previous versions of mutation breeding were akin to trying to fix a pair of eyeglasses with a sledgehammer – messy and imprecise, with rare positive results. And the outputs of those experiments were often foisted upon a public without any knowledge or understanding of what they were consuming. Modern-day GM foods are produced with a much more precise toolset, which means less unintended collateral damage. Of course it also opens up a veritable Pandora’s box of new possibilities (glow-in-the-dark corn, anyone?) and with it a whole host of potential new risks. Like any sufficiently powerful technology, such as the radiation and harsh chemicals used in prior generations of mutation breeding, without careful control over its use, the results can be devastating. This fact is only outweighed by the massive improvements over the prior, messier generation of techniques. And thus, regulatory regimes from the FDA to CSIRO to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are taking increasing steps to ensure that GM foods are thoroughly tested long before they come to market. In many ways, the tests are far more rigorous than those that prescription drugs undergo, as the target population is not sick and in need of urgent care, and for which side effects can be tolerated. This is why a great many of the proposed GM foods of the last 20 years, including the controversial “suicide seeds” meant to protect the intellectual property of the large GM seed producers like Monsanto (which bought out Calgene, the inventor of that Flavr Savr tomato, and is now the 800-lb. gorilla of the GM food business), were never allowed to market. Still, with the 15 years from 1996 to 2011 seeing a 96-fold increase in the amount of land dedicated to growing GM crops and the incalculable success of the generations of pre-transgenic mutants before them, scientists and corporations are still in a mad sprint to find the next billion-dollar GM blockbuster. In doing so they are seeking tools that make the discovery of such breakthroughs faster and more reliable. With RNAi, they may just have found one such tool. If it holds true to its laboratory promises, its benefits will be obvious from all sides. Unlike previous generations of GMO, RNAi-treated crops do not need to be permanently modified. This means that mutations which outlive their usefulness, like resistance to a plague which is eradicated, do not need to live on forever. This allows companies to be more responsive, and potentially provides a big relief to consumers concerned about the implications of eating foods with permanent genetic modifications. The simple science of creating RNAi molecules is also attractive to people who develop these new agricultural products, as once a messenger RNA is identified, there is a precise formula to tell you exactly how to shut it off, potentially saving millions or even billions of dollars that would be spent in the research lab trying to figure out exactly how to affect a particular genetic process. And with the temporary nature of the technique, both the farmers and the Monsantos of the world can breathe easily over the huge intellectual-property questions of how to deal with genetically altered seeds. Not to mention the questions of natural spread of strains between farms who might not want GMO crops in their midst. Instead of needing to engineer in complex genetic functions to ensure progeny don’t pass down enhancements for free and that black markets in GMO seeds don’t flourish, the economic equation becomes as simple as fertilizer: use it or don’t. While RNAi is not a panacea for GMO scientists – it serves as an off switch, but cannot add new traits nor even turn on dormant ones – the dawn of antisense techniques is likely to mean an even further acceleration of the science of genetic meddling in agriculture. Its tools are more precise even than many of the most recent permanent genetic-modification methods. And the temporary nature of the technique – the ability to apply it selectively as needed versus breeding it directly into plants which may not benefit from the change decades on – is sure to please farmers, and maybe even consumers as well. That is, unless the scientists in Australia are proven correct, and the siRNAs used in experiments today make their way into humans and affect the same genetic functions in us as they do in the plants. The science behind their assertions still needs a great deal of testing. Much of their assertion defies the basic understanding of how siRNA molecules are delivered – an incredibly difficult and delicate process that has been the subject of hundreds of millions of dollars of research thus far, and still remains, thanks to our incredible immune systems, a daunting challenge in front of one of the most promising forms of medicine (and now of farming too). Still, their perspective is important food for thought… and likely fuel for much more debate to come. After all, even if you must label your products as containing GMO-derived ingredients, does that apply if you just treated an otherwise normal plant with a temporary, consumable, genetic on or off switch? In theory, the plant which ends up on your plate is once again genetically no different than the one which would have been on your plate had no siRNAs been used during its formative stages. One thing is sure: the GMO food train left the station nearly a century ago and is now a very big business that will continue to grow and to innovate, using RNAi and other techniques to come. The Casey Extraordinary Technology team has been tracking the leading lights of the RNAi medical industry for some time. Recently, one of our small biotech upstarts struck a potentially massive, exclusive deal with an agricultural giant to seed its own RNAi research program. Success could mean billions for both firms. If you’d like to know what company we believe will profit most from the next generation of GM food development, subscribe to CET. Bits & Bytes Last Chance for RIM? (CNN Money) Few companies have been written off as frequently as Research in Motion, whose Blackberry was once state of the art and which now finds itself fighting for its life. Its stock just soared 9% merely because it said release of the new Blackberry 10 is still on schedule for early next year. Whether the 10 will be able to put a dent into the Apple/Android monolith remains to be seen, but for RIM it could be the last, best hope. Giant Media Merger (LA Times) What do you get when you mate Han Solo with Minnie Mouse? We’re about to find out – fiscally, if not physically – with Tuesday’s announcement that Disney is acquiring Lucasfilm for a cool $4 billion. Disney is projecting it’ll get its money back within three years, while George is, well, retiring – as he is now well able to do. Google Settles Final AdWords Dispute (Ars Technica) Several companies have taken Google to court over AdWords, saying Google shouldn’t be allowed to key advertisements to their names, which are protected trademarks. The last and one of the most persistent has been Rosetta Stone, a language-software maker that sued Google in 2009, but lost in federal court. However, its case was revived on appeal, and yesterday it finally was settled on confidential terms. How Easy Is a Tablet to Use? (TechCrunch) Pretty damn easy, as it turns out. In a remarkable experiment, OLPC (One Laptop per Child) researchers in Ethiopia handed a Motorola Xoom tablet to each of a group of illiterate village children aged four to eight. Click the link to learn the amazing results.last_img read more

Leaders can have many different styles — just comp

first_imgLeaders can have many different styles — just compare President Donald Trump to Malala Yousafzai to your boss or the coach of your kid’s soccer team.But a study published Thursday suggests that people who end up in leadership roles of various sorts all share one key trait: Leaders make decisions for a group in the same way that they make decisions for themselves. They don’t change their decision-making behavior, even when other people’s welfare is at stake.That may come as a bit of surprise, given that most lists of key leadership qualities focus on things like charisma and communication skills.”Previous research has mostly focused on these kinds of either personality characteristics of a leader, or situations where individuals are likely to lead,” says Micah Edelson, a neuroscientist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. “But we don’t know much about the cognitive or neurobiological process that is happening when you are choosing to lead or follow — when you’re faced with this choice to lead or follow.”He notes that the decisions of leaders can affect the lives of many others. “It’s not always that easy to make such a choice, and it’s something that could be even a little bit aversive to you, to make a choice that impacts other people,” says Edelson. “And there are some people that seem to be able to do it; some people don’t. So we were interested in looking at that.”He and his colleagues had volunteers come to the lab, and gave them questionnaires that are widely used to predict whether someone is likely to be in a position of leadership. They also collected information about people’s real-world leadership experience, such as what rank they’d achieved in the military (which is compulsory for men in Switzerland) or in the popular Swiss Scouts organization.Then they put the participants into small groups and had them play a series of games in which individuals had to make choices about whether to take a risky action to get a reward.”These are choices about uncertain gambles that have some probability of success and potential gains and losses,” Edelson explains.The player could choose to either make the choice alone, or defer the decision to a majority vote.The games were played under two conditions: Sometimes the decision affected only the individual player’s winnings and other times the decision affected what the entire group received.What the researchers found is that people in general tended to avoid taking responsibility for what happens to others; deferral rates were the highest when decisions affected other people’s pocketbooks.But the people who changed their decision-making behavior the least were the ones who generally served as leaders in the real-world and scored high on leadership questionnaires. Unlike others, they did not require more certainty before being ready to personally make a decision that would affect the whole group.”On average, people tend to increase the certainty threshold when the choices affect the entire group. But higher-scoring leaders just keep their thresholds almost constant,” says Edelson, who says preliminary work using MRI brain scanning supports the idea that leaders and followers differ in how their brains process information about gains, losses, and risk in the context of thinking about others.Other neuroscientists say the work, published in the journal Science, is fascinating.”It seems a very reasonable finding,” says Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London. “It works with our intuition, but in the same way it’s not something that you’d necessarily think about that distinguishes leadership.”Sharot cautions that it’s not clear whether this decision-making behavior is what led people to their leadership position, or if they’ve developed it as a result of real-world leadership experience.And this study doesn’t say anything about who ends up being a “good” leader, either.But Sharot says the researchers have identified something about leadership that can hold true regardless of a leader’s style.”You can have authoritarian leaders who like to have the ultimate control,” she says. “You can have democratic leaders who want to lead according to the will of the people. You have leaders who are risk-takers, leaders who are risk-adverse and conservative and so on.”But what’s really interesting about this work, she says, is that these different types of leaders’ decision-making behavior stays the same regardless of whether the outcome affects only themselves or other people. “What this paper shows is that all these types of individuals, all these types of leaders, have something in common.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a plea in A

first_imgU.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a plea in April for more Americans to be prepared to administer naloxone, an opioid antidote, in case they or people close to them suffer an overdose.”The call to action is to recognize if you’re at risk,” Adams told NPR’s Rachel Martin. “And if you or a loved one are at risk, keep within reach, know how to use naloxone.”Nearly every state has made it easier for people to get naloxone by allowing pharmacists to dispense the drug without an individual prescription. Public health officials are able to write what are called standing orders, essentially prescriptions that cover everyone in their jurisdiction.Some states require training in how to use naloxone, typically given as a nasal spray called Narcan or with an EpiPen-like automatic injection, in order for someone to pick up naloxone. But the medicine is simple to use either way.After the surgeon general called for more people to be prepared with naloxone, we decided to ask Americans about their knowledge about the opioid antidote’s availability, attitudes toward using it and experience with the medicine in the latest NPR-IBM Watson Health Health Poll. The survey queried more than 3,000 households nationwide in May.We wondered how many people know about naloxone and the fact that someone doesn’t have to be a medical professional to administer it. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they were aware of the antidote and that it could be given by laypeople; 41 percent said they weren’t.We then asked people who knew about naloxone if they would need a prescription to get it. The answers were pretty evenly divided among three options: yes, no and not sure/no response.”Why, with all the attention we’ve had in the media, why don’t more Americans know about naloxone?” asks Dr. Anil Jain, vice president and chief health information officer for IBM Watson Health. “When people did know, why did people think they needed a prescription?” While the survey doesn’t get at the causes, Jain says, the findings underscore the need for greater public awareness.Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen says the lack of knowledge among Americans at large isn’t all that surprising. “Policy alone is necessary but not sufficient,” she says. “People still don’t know to go to the pharmacy to get access to naloxone, especially individuals at the highest risk.”To change that, she says, “you have to have continued education and the delivery of services” where people need them.In Baltimore, the health department maps where overdoses are happening and sends outreach workers to the areas. But money is an issue, even at a negotiated cost of $75 per naloxone kit, Wen says. There isn’t enough naloxone to go around. “Every week we take stock of how many naloxone kits we have for the rest of fiscal year,” she says. “Who’s at most risk? Those are who we give the naloxone to.”The NPR-IBM Watson Health Poll asked people if they would be willing to use Narcan, the nasal spray form of naloxone, to help a person who had overdosed. Fifty-eight percent said they would and 29 percent said no. Thirteen precent weren’t sure or didn’t respond. Only 47 percent of people 65 and older said they would be willing to do it.When asked about the auto-injector option, 68 percent of respondents said they would be willing to administer naloxone that way and 22 percent of people said they wouldn’t be.Finally, we asked whether people had obtained naloxone, and 10 percent said they or someone in their household had. Among those people, 81 percent said the naloxone had been used, but the sample size for this question was small, making interpretation difficult.The nationwide poll has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points. You can find the questions and full results here. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Picture by DPAC

first_imgPicture by DPAC Disabled activists were locked inside the Department for Work and Pensions’ headquarters by security guards as they delivered thousands of copies of a newspaper that feature “deliberately misleading” DWP adverts which “whitewash” the truth about universal credit.Protesters from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were unable to leave Caxton House in Westminster for several minutes yesterday (Wednesday) when security guards locked the building’s front doors behind them after they entered the main lobby.They had entered the building to deliver a letter to work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd, in which they asked her to explain why she had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on an advertising campaign in the free Metro newspaper that features “one-sided adverts whitewashing the disastrous Universal Credit policy”.They also delivered about 10 boxes of copies of yesterday’s Metro (pictured), which features the latest Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) advertising feature on universal credit (UC), and which activists had removed from distribution points at train stations and on buses across the capital.Soon after their arrival, DWP security guards locked the front entrance and threatened to call the police, even though the action had been peaceful and focused only on delivering the newspapers and the letter to Rudd.The doors were eventually unlocked several minutes later after one of the activists had a panic attack.The letter to Rudd was finally accepted, and although DWP initially refused to accept the boxes of newspapers, they were later taken inside after being left outside the department’s front entrance.In the letter, DPAC and allies from Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group asked Rudd “why, when Universal Credit is causing so much suffering and distress, your department chose to throw money at this shameless exercise”.They added: “We hope that the enclosed materials will provide food for thought as you prepare your response to claimants staring into empty cupboards trying to work out how they can feed themselves and their children, and all those who are wondering why the taxes we pay for collective provision of services are being used in such an inappropriate attempt to rewrite the story of this disastrous policy.”Paula Peters, a member of DPAC’s national steering group, who took part in the action, said: “They are discrediting people’s real testimonies of going through universal credit.“I have been outside jobcentres and have spoken to claimants who have been driven to prostitution, destitution and homelessness by universal credit.”She added: “We will continue to expose their lies and total fabrications and we have to get the truth out there with thorough research and with people’s personal testimonies.”Yesterday’s action, including the hire of a van to deliver the newspapers, was paid for through a crowdfunding effort launched by Sheffield DPAC, which is set to pay for further such actions.As DPAC was delivering its copies of the Metro to DWP in London, disabled activists and allies in other parts of the country, including Sheffield and Bristol, posted photographs of copies of the Metro being removed from their distribution points, as part of the ongoing #DumpMetroDWPLies campaign.A spokesperson for Sheffield DPAC – which has played a significant role in the national campaign – said anger about the Metro adverts was growing, and she thanked those who had donated to the fund.She said the Metro adverts were “propaganda” and “a deliberate attempt to manipulate public perception” of universal credit.She said: “I implore people, whether they are claimants or not, to support the #DumpMetroDWPLies campaign against the DWP advertorials.“People have to be aware that once the government have done targeting us that they will move on to someone else.“We need to act, we need to stand up, we need to stop this, and we absolutely must do it together.”Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has confirmed that it is investigating the way the DWP advertising features have been published by the Metro.Disability News Service (DNS) confirmed last month that DWP breached Civil Service guidelines when it decided to launch the nine-week series of “unethical and misleading” Metro advertorials without including a government logo.And this week DNS passed a screen shot to ASA showing the home page of the Metro’s website, which featured several UC adverts designed to look like a newspaper investigation and which disguise their DWP origin.None of the adverts on the website mentioned they were designed and paid for by DWP, which appears to be a breach of ASA rules.Leaked DWP documents have revealed that the adverts were always designed to be misleading and not to “look or feel like DWP or UC”.An ASA spokesperson said: “We’re currently assessing a number of complaints relating to these ads, including complaints that challenge whether the ads are obviously identifiable as marketing communications.“We will establish whether there are grounds for further action in due course.”Meanwhile, the Disability Benefits Consortium of charities has written to ASA to complain about the “deliberately misleading” advertising features.The letter dismantles several of the claims made in the adverts, including the claim that it is a “myth” that “Universal Credit doesn’t work”, telling ASA: “These statements omit the thousands of claimants universal credit does not ‘work for’ but instead has driven them into debt, rent arrears, foodbanks, and homelessness.”A DWP spokesperson told DNS: “Our position is that all our advertising is factual and designed to increase understanding of Universal Credit.“We consulted the Advertising Standards Authority prior to launching the partnership and have reflected their advice.“We’ve not got anything further to add.”On the DPAC action at Caxton House, she said: “You can understand that we’re in a government building, so a group of non-staff members quickly entering the building with large parcels is an obvious security concern.“Security dealt with the incident quickly and the activists were able to leave the parcels outside the front door, without the need for further action.”She had already declined to comment when asked what DWP planned to do with the thousands of Metros delivered to Rudd. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

3 Things To Know

New Report US Cannabis Market Could Hit 227B by 2023

first_img cannabis, biotech and entrepreneurship reporter Add to Queue 3 min read Image credit: HighGradeRoots | Getty Images New Report: US Cannabis Market Could Hit $22.7B by 2023 Green Entrepreneur provides how-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business. Get 1 Year of Green Entrepreneur for $19.99 A new report projects the cannabis market in the United States will reach $22.7 billion in sales by 2023. The estimates in the Brightfield Group report imply a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent over the next four years.The recreational market is expected to lead the charge, at least in 2019, delivering 33 percent growth, driven by a variety of factors including the stabilization of the market in California and new adult-use markets coming online. The Brightfield Group, a predictive market intelligence services provider for the CBD and cannabis industry, last year predicted the hemp-derived CBD market would hit sales of $22 billion by 2022.Related: Report: CBD Market To Hit $22 Billion By 2022New states, new leaders.Brightfield Group’s estimates assume the number of active adult-use states (meaning those currently selling products, versus those with laws in place but no real sales) will surge from seven in 2019 to 16 by 2023. The number of active medical markets is also anticipated to rise from 28 to 35. The report explains that as more states move to legalize adult-use cannabis through ballot initiatives, momentum for legalization should increase as well.“Major shifts in socio-political support for legalization have spurred momentum as progressive proposals have been put forth in states like Illinois, and other midwestern states, such as Ohio, open to medicinal usage.”According to the research firm, West Coast states which currently dominate the market in terms of sales, will soon lose their preeminence to East Coast and Midwestern states. Only California will remain a leader, followed by New York and Massachusetts, which will command 10 percent of the total market share each, Brightfield Group expects. The firm also envisions Midwestern states such as Illinois and Michigan will deliver stronger sales numbers than states with more established adult-use programs, like Colorado and Nevada.”Some of the country’s largest states have been bitten by the cannabis bug,” said Bethany Gomez, director of research for Brightfield Group. “With states like Michigan, Illinois, New York and New Jersey expected to open recreational markets over the next five years, the landscape of the cannabis market will shift entirely from West to East. The first movers of four or five years ago —  Colorado, Oregon, Washington — are slowing to single-digit growth rates, while these more populous markets will rapidly take their place.”Related: A University in Michigan Is Offering a Bachelor Degree for Marijuana EntrepreneursWhile sentiment toward the medical uses of cannabis changes nationwide, driving policy change as well, a convoluted picture on the federal level calls for more clarity in standardized legislation. This would provide “needed consistency, helping states model and craft legislation to fit their constituents and markets with proven models and in-market clarity.”Beyond the evolution of the market size and distribution of the pie, Brightfield Group’s report looks into the positive effects of the Farm Bill, as well as the potential passage of the STATES Act and the SAFE Banking Act on the future of the cannabis industry. They also predict a move toward market standardization, an explosion of multi-state operators, ongoing corporate consolidation and continued expansion of the CBD market. Subscribe Now Next Article Javier Hasse –shares Brought to you by Benzinga May 22, 2019 cannabis industry Legal marijuana will no longer be an exclusively West Coast phenomena as East Coast and Midwestern states legalize huge new markets. VIP Contributorlast_img read more

The Web is the New PC

first_img Mike Hogan November 1, 2007 Next Article Interesting new PC shapes and concepts promise to accelerate our drive toward virtual computing. They’re desktops, portables, even memory sticks with names like FlipStart, iMac, MojoPac and Zonbu. Invariably thin and light, they’re not meant to operate as lone computing devices. Rather, they rely on the web for much of their functionality.Meet your new PC–the endpoint. The net has finally become the PC, an idea some superrich somebodies had a decade ago and lost a bunch of money on. So? PC users didn’t live with one foot in the virtual world then, and web infrastructure and computer subsystems weren’t anything like they are today.Component miniaturization, free open source software and logarithmic growth in web services combine in new PCs like the paperback-size Zonbu. Relying on the web for its hard drive, the 5-pound brick fits in the palm of your hand. But mobility isn’t its primary goal; Zonbu’s creators wanted to build a PC that was both cheap and green. Add your own keyboard, display and mouse to the CPU-only Zonbu, which costs as little as $99 with a two-year online storage contract (as low as $13 a month for 25GB). Zonbu’s Linux OS is housed on a 4GB CompactFlash card, along with 20 open source applications like the OpenOffice.org productivity suite and a Firefox browser.Instead of the standard 200-watt gulps, Zonbu takes 9-watt sips of electricity and is religiously carbon-emission neutral. Ohhhhm. But even we major carbon consumers can appreciate Zonbu’s complete silence (no hard drive or fan) and reduced levels of Windows’ hassle emissions. There’s no system configuration, license management, drive defragmentation or constant updating of multiple layers of malware protection–no Windows Mega-Patch Tuesdays!Only Skin-DeepBut Zonbu is a squat little box. If it’s style you’re looking for–and you have $1,200 to spend–where else to turn but Apple Inc.? Its newest line of iMacs are the sleekest desktops ever and will run Windows software. A CPU, hard drive and more are somehow poured into a 20- or 24-inch display balanced on a wire-thin L stand. Add Apple’s new wireless keyboard and mouse, and you have a computer that barely casts a shadow on your desk.Want web access to go? New feather-weights like the OQO model 02 and FlipStart can keep you connected wherever you roam at speeds of up to 1.4Mbps and 3.1Mbps, respectively. Weighing in at a pound and some change, each squeezes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and even wide-area EV-DO into handhelds that measure less than 6 by 5 inches. They slide easily into a pocket or purse but include displays large enough for a full-size web browser. The heaviest part of either is the price tag: $1,299 and up.Still too much PC to carry? How about a USB 2.0 memory stick packing the new MojoPac virtual PC environment and a copy of your entire Windows desktop? Plug the MojoPac stick into any PC and compute from MojoPac’s secure environment without changing a single setting on the host. It’s very similar to the U3 environment with one critical difference: MojoPac works with the Microsoft Office Suite.Still too heavy for you? If you can lift a user ID and password, you can keep all your files on a virtual application site like Zoho. Log into its Microsoft Office-compatible suite from any broadband PC you can find.Traditional PCs aren’t going away– they’re just becoming terminals into that ultimate virtual PC in the sky: the web.Mike Hogan is Entrepreneur’s technology editor. Magazine Contributor This story appears in the November 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » PC functions are moving onto the web. Here are the tools you need to make the leap. Add to Queue The Web is the New PC Technology 3 min read –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

AstraZeneca to present Phase III CVOT DECLARETIMI 58 results at AHA Scientific

first_imgData will also be presented on potential risk factors for repeated or persistent hyperkalemia (Poster # SuMDP65). Source:https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2018/the-landmark-declare-timi-58-cardiovascular-outcomes-trial-of-farxiga-in-patients-with-type-2-diabetes-to-be-featured-at-aha-01112018.html Whether clinical characteristics predicting bleeding and ischemic risk identify subgroups of patients who may derive benefit from long-term treatment with BRILINTA, with a lower risk of major bleeding (Poster #Sa2100) The effects of long-term use of BRILINTA in patients who have had a heart attack and who did not receive a coronary stent vs. those who did receive a coronary stent placement (Oral Presentation #102) The use of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin to identify patients who are at a higher-risk of major CV events (Oral Presentation #100)center_img Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 1 2018AstraZeneca will present 20 abstracts including a late-breaking oral presentation on the full results from the Phase III cardiovascular (CV) outcomes trial (CVOT) DECLARE (Dapagliflozin Effect on Cardiovascular Events)-TIMI 58, the broadest SGLT2 inhibitor CVOT conducted to date, as well as new research from the Company’s Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism (CVMD) therapy area at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions, November 10-12, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois, USA.New evidence will build on broad clinical research from AstraZeneca that aims to help redefine the management of CVMD diseases and address the need for a more proactive and holistic approach to patient care. Presentations will include findings from some of the largest trials in broad patient populations with FARXIGA (dapagliflozin) in type 2 diabetes (T2D), BRILINTA (ticagrelor) in patients with a history of heart attack, and in hyperkalemia.Danilo Verge, Vice President, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, Global Medical Affairs, said: “An estimated 20 million people each year die from cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases, yet shared risk factors are frequently not diagnosed or addressed holistically. Our data at AHA reflect an integrated approach to managing the needs of patients living with type 2 diabetes and risk of cardiovascular or renal disease, and those with a history of cardiovascular disease at acute and long-term risk of recurrence. We stand firmly behind our mission to provide new solutions earlier in disease management to these patients at risk for multiple complications.”DECLARE-TIMI 58: a landmark CVOT evaluating CV risk in patients with T2DClinical trial results showing the safety and efficacy of FARXIGA vs. placebo on primary CV and secondary renal efficacy outcomes in adults with T2D who have multiple CV risk factors or established CV disease, will be presented in a late-breaking oral presentation (Late Breaking Abstract #19485). DECLARE-TIMI 58 evaluated the CV outcomes of FARXIGA vs. placebo over a period of up to five years, across 33 countries and in more than 17,000 adults with T2D with multiple CV risk factors or established CV disease.Related StoriesMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantIn September 2018, AstraZeneca announced that FARXIGA met its primary safety endpoint of non-inferiority for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and achieved a statistically-significant reduction in the composite endpoint of hospitalization for heart failure (hHF) or CV death, one of the two primary efficacy endpoints. Additionally, fewer MACE events were observed with FARXIGA for the other primary efficacy endpoint, however, this did not reach statistical significance. Clinical trial results presented at AHA Scientific Sessions 2018 will include additional details on the primary CV safety and efficacy, as well as secondary renal efficacy outcomes from DECLARE-TIMI 58. FARXIGA is not indicated to reduce the risk of CV events, hHF or renal outcomes.Three new sub-analyses from the PEGASUS-TIMI 54 trial will also be presented. The trial compared BRILINTA (90mg or 60mg twice daily) plus aspirin vs. aspirin alone in 21,162 patients with prior (1 to 3 years) heart attack. The sub-analyses evaluate:last_img read more

Study Micronutrient deficiencies are common in adults at the time of celiac

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019Micronutrient deficiencies, including vitamins B12 and D, as well as folate, iron, zinc and copper, are common in adults at the time of diagnosis with celiac disease. These deficiencies should be addressed at that time, according to a study by Mayo Clinic researchers.The retrospective study of 309 adults newly diagnosed with celiac disease at Mayo Clinic from 2000 to 2014 also found that low body weight and weight loss, which are commonly associated with celiac disease, were less common. Weight loss was seen in only 25.2% of patients, and the average body mass index was categorized as overweight. The study will appear in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTSwimming pools could be breeding grounds for diarrhea-causing germsOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchCeliac disease is an immune reaction to consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Eating gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine that over time damages the intestine’s lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients, leading to diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, weight loss and other complications.Based on recent data, the prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S. is 1 in 141 people, and its prevalence has increased over the past 50 years.”Our study suggests that the presentation of celiac disease has changed from the classic weight loss, anemia and diarrhea, with increasing numbers of patients diagnosed with nonclassical symptoms,” says Dr. Bledsoe, the study’s primary author. “Micronutrient deficiencies remain common in adults, however, and should be assessed.” Assessment should include vitamin D, iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, zinc and copper.Zinc deficiency was observed most frequently at diagnosis, the study says, with 59.4% of patients having a deficiency. Other deficiencies included iron, vitamin D, copper, vitamin B12 and folate.The nutritional deficiencies have potential health ramifications, though in this retrospective study the clinical implications remain unknown. “Further studies are needed to better define the implications of the deficiencies, optimal replacement strategies and follow-up,” says Dr. Bledsoe. Source:Mayo Clinic It was somewhat surprising to see the frequency of micronutrient deficiencies in this group of newly diagnosed patients, given that they were presenting fewer symptoms of malabsorption.”Adam Bledsoe, M.D., a gastroenterology fellow at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campuslast_img read more

Cloud firm Dropbox surges in Wall Street debut Update

Dropbox shares surged Friday as the cloud data storage firm made its Wall street debut following a public offering raising some $750 million. Citation: Cloud firm Dropbox surges in Wall Street debut (Update) (2018, March 23) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-cloud-firm-dropbox-surges-wall.html Dropbox raises price range ahead of stock debut Explore further Shares trading under the symbol DBX rallied 35.6 percent to close at $28.48, with intraday gains as much as 50 percent, following the offering price of $21.The initial public offering was the biggest in the technology sector since Snapchat’s in 2017 and is among the few “unicorns”—venture-funded startups worth more than $1 billion—to go public.The strong demand suggested not all tech companies have been hit by the events of this week, when big players, especially in social media, have seen their shares dive following reports that a data analysis firm hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign misused personal information of some 50 million Facebook users.Created in 2007, Dropbox is one of a number of tech firms centered around the internet “cloud,” allowing users to store data for remote access by any internet-linked devices.Storing digital data from music and films to documents, presentations and images has become big business with the lifestyle shift to accessing content and services online.Its market value for the initial public offering was some $8 billion. © 2018 AFP 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

Nintendo annual profits soar 36 percent to 127bn on Switch sales

Nintendo has been on a winning streak, with its Switch console flying off the shelves since its launch last year © 2018 AFP Explore further Citation: Nintendo annual profits soar 36 percent to $1.27bn on Switch sales (2018, April 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-nintendo-annual-profits-soar-percent.html Nintendo on Thursday said its annual net profit soared 36.1 percent, thanks to the immense popularity of its Switch console, and announced it was appointing a new president. Nintendo ups profit forecast on strong Switch sales 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. Shuntaro Furukawa, 46, who currently oversees marketing and other divisions at the Kyoto-based video game giant, will succeed 68-old-year Tatsumi Kimishima, who has headed up the firm since 2015.Nintendo has been on a winning streak, with its Switch console flying off the shelves since its launch last year.The company said its net profit for the year to March reached 139.6 billion yen ($1.27 billion), beating its own expectations despite repeatedly raised annual targets.Its operating profit saw a six-fold increase to 177.6 billion yen, and its sales more than doubled from the previous year, to 1.056 trillion yen.Nintendo projected further improvements during the ongoing year to March 2019, forecasting annual net profit would improve 18.2 percent to 165 billion yen and operating profit would reach 225 billion yen, a 26.7 percent rise. Annual sales are expected to reach 1.2 trillion yen, up 13.7 percent.”The results for this fiscal year show a very positive trend in global hardware sales for Nintendo Switch, which sold a total of 15.05 million units during this fiscal year,” the company said in a statement.”On the software end, Super Mario Odyssey has been a major hit with audiences worldwide, and sold 10.41 million units,” it said, adding that Switch software sales reached 63.51 million units this fiscal year.Nintendo 3DS hardware sales remained solid even after the launch of Nintendo Switch, with sales during this fiscal year reaching 6.40 million units, the company said. read more

Dolphin algorithm could lead to better medical ultrasounds

first_img Citation: Dolphin algorithm could lead to better medical ultrasounds (2018, June 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-dolphin-algorithm-medical-ultrasounds.html This new knowledge brings us one step closer to solving the puzzle. A few years ago, Josefin Starkhammar, a researcher in biomedical engineering at Lund University, discovered that the ultrasounds that dolphins emit for echolocation do not consist of one signal, but rather of two intertwined beam components.Her most recent calculations now show that the two signals are not emitted at exactly the same time, although they follow one another very closely. Likewise, she has discovered that the sound frequency is higher further up in the beam, producing a lighter echo within that area.”High and low frequencies are useful for different things. Sounds with low frequencies spread further under water, whereas sounds with high frequencies can provide more detailed information on the shape of the object,” explains Starkhammar.Starkhammar suggests there could be multiple benefits for the dolphin: The time-separated signal components may enable the animal to quickly gauge the speed of approaching or fleeing prey, as the variations in frequency provide more precise information on the position of an object. However, the researchers do not yet know whether this is, in fact, the case.Josefin Starkhammar worked with Maria Sandsten and Isabella Reinhold, professor and doctoral student respectively, in mathematical statistics. Together, they developed a mathematical algorithm, which was used to successfully disentangle and read the overlapping signals.”It works almost like a magic formula! Suddenly we can see things that remained hidden with traditional methods,” says Josefin Starkhammar.Not only does the algorithm increase our understanding of dolphin communication, it could also pave the way for sharper image quality on ultrasound technology built by humans, such as medical ultrasound. It could potentially be used to measure the thickness of organ membranes deeper inside the body, for which current methods are insufficient.Another possible area of improvement is sonars and echosounders, i.e. the equipment used for orientation at sea to read the undersea environment and track shoals of fish.”Here we could copy the principle of using sound beams whose frequency content changes over the cross-section. As a first step, we will rebuild our own equipment which is based on the pulse-echo principle,” says Josefin Starkhammar.Together with researchers in engineering geology, Josefin Starkhammar also has plans to trial the technology as a replacement for destructive testing of roads, for example by rapidly obtaining an image of what a newly-built road looks like under the surface without needing to drill for samples.Even the dolphins themselves are helped by humans better understanding their echolocation capabilities.”With greater understanding, we can protect them from human activity which could damage, disrupt or disable this ability, such as noise from shipping, pile driving in the water, underwater blasting, powerful boat sonars and searching for oil under the sea bed using acoustic methods,” says Josefin Starkhammar.The researchers don’t yet know how the dolphin actually sends out its two almost simultaneous beam components.”In fact, it is quite strange that the dolphin emits two different beam components, as they come from the same organ. We would very much like to find out how this particular event comes about,” she concludes.In order to gather data, Josefin Starkhammar built a measuring instrument with 47 hydrophones (microphones for underwater use) which capture sounds in water in many different frequencies over a whole surface, for example over the whole cross-section of dolphin sonar beams. The dolphin sounds were recorded in Kolmården Wildlife Park in Sweden and in wildlife parks in the Bahamas, Honduras and California. Explore further Dolphins use double sonar More information: Isabella Reinhold et al. Objective detection and time-frequency localization of components within transient signals, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (2018). DOI: 10.1121/1.5032215 Journal information: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Millions of years of evolutionary fine-tuning have made dolphins phenomenally good at using echolocation to orient themselves, find food and communicate with one another. But how do they actually do it? New research from Lund University in Sweden shows that they emit two intertwined ultrasound beam components at different frequencies—and with slightly different timing. Provided by Lund University This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more