National Drug Take Back Day Saturday

first_imgThe drugs are transferred to the Alaska Drug Enforcement Unit in Anchorage for disposal. The drug take-back day is being hosted by the Soldotna Police Department, Change 4 the Kenai and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to prevent pill abuse and theft. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. Representatives from Change 4 the Kenai emphasize that the service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享This Saturday, April 27, Kenai Peninsula residents will be able to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Soldotna Police Department. Soldotna Police Sergeant Stace Escott has helped watch over the operation in years past: “You know, there are many great benefits, the ease of it, the protection for our children. So many times there’s misuse of those drugs that are just freely obtainable by children in medicine cabinets over at their friend’s house or something like that. There’s that and the safety of keeping it out of the sewer system and making our water clean and all kinds of benefits.” For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27, Take Back Day event, contact the Soldotna Police Department at 262-4455. Sergeant Escott said SPD will also dispose of unwanted drugs throughout the year: “For the convenience of the public, they can come in at any time, day or night. There’s a red phone out front if someone’s not there, they just call Dispatch and they’ll let them in and there’s a box out front, they can just drop them off any time.”last_img read more

In New England battling the opioid crisis with a mix of science

first_img peepsqueek says: Parker12 says: Spuddie says: Share This! peepsqueek says: Spuddie says: By: Amanda Greene Share This! February 23, 2019 at 6:39 am News February 22, 2019 at 12:12 pm Speaking from your perspective as a self-righteous anti-democratic process nosybody through a horse’s posterior, of course. Mark Connelly says: February 22, 2019 at 9:11 am Spuddie says: February 22, 2019 at 8:40 am #2 That attitude always irked me. It is also applied to condoms and birth control – providing them will only encourage bad behavior. They neglect the consequences of that useless advice. Where does tobacco and caffeine fit in amoung the most addictive drugs, and readily available to everyone?? February 22, 2019 at 7:02 am Amanda Greene Amanda Greene is the editor and community manager of Wilmington Faith & Values.,29 Comments Click here to post a comment Ignoring serious public hazards in an effort to sound self-righteous is a common theme with that crowd. Amanda Greene February 22, 2019 at 1:42 pm February 22, 2019 at 3:12 pm Share This! It was pretty clear from the prior post whom I was talking to, in the context of the conversation you decided to interject yourself into without reading closely. The people who discourage access to birth control because it allegedly encourages sexual activity use the same wrongheaded rationale to needle exchange programs. Much like bigots who attack one religion as being evil use the same rationale and tactics as bigots who attack other religions as being evil. Some light reading for youhttp://time.com/4699591/isis-far-right-islamophobia/https://warisboring.com/the-islamic-states-assault-on-the-gray-zone/ 1) regardless of what the medical marijuana crowd says, weed is a gateway drug for some. Some people have addictive personalities. When they get a taste of a drug, that’s it and Marijuana is often the starting drug. Many opioid addicts, however, started out legally taking them for pain but got addicted. I doubt that the legalization of marijuana will have any impact. Google and you will see that studies are coming out showing medical marijuana can actually help. February 21, 2019 at 10:44 pm By: Amanda Greene A sad story, but unfortunately one that could be told in all 50 states. While the church can play a role; both with good moral teaching and support for those addicted or in recovery – only an all hands aporoach will work.1) regardless of what the medical marijuana crowd says, weed is a gateway drug for some.2) needle programs only perpetuate the problem. In addition, they lead to additional issues as seen in San Francisco.3) the pharmaceutical companies and physicians need to own up to the over prescribing of opiates. A 35 year old soccer mom shouldn’t become an addict because she injured her back.3.5) both the public and private sector needs to work with addicts and those in recovery to get their lives straight.4) the flow of drugs from Mexico needs to stop. Build the wall and enforce movement across the border.5) America is at this very moment deciding whether to stop the opiate crisis or embrace it. Legalization initiatives are on ballots on a number of states under the auspices of “for medical purposes”. Everyone knows it’s a Trojan horse, but we are going to do it anyway. If you vote for it, then own it.6) addiction is real. Once you’re hooked; your done. A friend of mine that I was in the marine corps with OD’d in a parked car. Alone. With a needle hanging out of his arm. He started his addiction as a kid (weed); continued it at the VA (prescription drugs) and ended it in a parking lot (heroin). He was in rehab a lot through the VA and other places; but just couldn’t shake it.This issue reminds me a lot of the abortion issue – you are on one side or the other. And like the abortion issue, one side has horrendous consequences.Please pray for those who are addicted and for their families. They truly are lost souls who cannot help themselves. Mark Connelly says: Share This! Spuddie says: February 22, 2019 at 11:47 am February 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm February 21, 2019 at 9:46 pm Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 February 23, 2019 at 6:43 am 1) Jim Johnson has that one covered throughly2) Needle programs prevent turning addiction into a greater public health hazards by reducing the spread of diseases associated with shared needles. Diseases which frequently cross over into non-addicted populations3+3.5) I am surprised you are taking an anti-big corporate stance. Good for you. Agree there4) Silly response. The wall would never affect narcotics traffic. Mexico is a country the US is at peace with and has open trade. There are realistic limits there which will never be acknowledged by people who typically employ “brown peril” nonsense arguments 5) Silly response as well. Half the problem exists because of legally prescribed drugs which were under-regulated. For someone who frequently demonizes government regulations, this is a rather uncharacteristic stance on your part. 6) Cool story bro. See #1“This issue reminds me a lot of the abortion issue”Me too. There are a lot of self righteous nosybodies pretend to be concerned with life but just use the topic to act like a horse’s posterior. 🙂 February 22, 2019 at 8:03 am peepsqueek says: ‘Marijuana is often the starting drug.’That is a true statement. My last word. Spuddie says: peepsqueek says: Jim Johnson says: Vox? Be specific! What Crowd? Regardless of what the medical marijuana crowd says, marijuana is not medicine, anymore than alcohol or nicotine are medicines. Spuddie says: 🙂 February 21, 2019 at 9:10 pm Jim Johnson says: Parker12 says: February 22, 2019 at 7:01 am peepsqueek says: As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Weed is not a gateway for anything. Drugs and alcohol are not the problem. The problem is the need to self destruct, whether it is by drinking, smoking, over eating, bad relationships with the opposite sex, and even weed. I grew up in the sixties with lots of free sex, drugs, and alcohol. Those who felt worth it, deep down inside, had their fun and went on to live productive lives, and those did not feel worth it, no matter how much success and money they accumulated, they found a way to self destruct. Now that I am an old man, I can actually say that I have lost more friends to habits and degenerative diseases associated with over eating of bad foods and lack of exercise than from anything else. Good people who just did not feel worth it deep down inside. I was clear enough. If you read the preceding conversation you would have gotten the context. News • Photos of the Week Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Far more people die of self inflicted diabetes and heart disease every year, and that destroys lives as well. Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email No need to. 😀 peepsqueek says: February 22, 2019 at 7:57 am Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,A police officer speaks to people on New Haven Green on Aug. 15, 2018, in New Haven, Conn. Emergency personnel responded to dozens of overdoses at the park on Aug. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)NEW HAVEN, Conn. (RNS) — Doreen Abubakar arrived at Manjares Restaurant and Fine Pastries in New Haven, Conn., catching her breath and waiting for a miracle.Her 29-year-old daughter was in intensive care at a nearby hospital, unconscious and bleeding internally, symptoms that doctors said were connected to years of being addicted to opiates, heroin, cocaine and crack.Her daughter might need surgery, Abubakar said as she sat down, adding that she might have to leave at a moment’s notice.“As those children come to you and you go through life, as parents, we realize we can’t fix everything,” Abubakar said. “As a parent, we think all we gotta do is the same thing our parents did, and it will be OK.”But with her eldest daughter, Abubakar said, more intervention was needed.This has been her life over the past decade and a half.Abubakar said her daughter’s journey into drug abuse began in eighth grade, when she started smoking marijuana on the streets with her friends. From there, she began using harder drugs, her mom said.“She tried to go to a Florida rehab. They even paid for it,” Abubakar said. “But she was still holding on to this attitude of ‘I don’t really need help, I can stop this. This is what I choose to do.’”But her daughter’s fragile frame started to buckle under the weight of the substances she was taking, and she regularly fainted and fell. Abubakar took her to the hospital in January after one fainting incident, and the doctors kept her daughter for 15 days, treating her for anemia and internal bleeding.Abubakar was thankful for her daughter’s hospitalization because it kept her away from the streets and the drugs. But after she was released, her daughter fainted again on Feb. 4, went into cardiac arrest on the floor of Abubakar’s bathroom and had to be rushed back to the hospital.Addiction stories like Abubaker’s are rapidly becoming more common in Connecticut, a state the National Institute on Drug Abuse counts among the top 10 states with the highest rates of opioid-related deaths. According to the agency, the state has seen a nearly fourfold increase in deaths from opioid overdoses since 2016.In a 2017 anti-opioid campaign, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Connecticut said there were 446 deaths from fentanyl overdoses in 2015, up 3,000 percent from 2012. On Aug. 15, 2018, New Haven ambulances responded to more than 70 overdoses in one city park, the New Haven Green near Yale University, stemming from the abuse of a tainted batch of synthetic marijuana called K2 and other drugs.The opioid epidemic has hit New England very hard. Photo courtesy of USDA/Creative CommonsThe crisis has left churches scrambling to respond.Last year, a man overdosed on the front porch of The Center Church, a First Church of Christ in Hartford. The police were called, but church officials never learned what subsequently happened to him, said the Rev. Shelly Stackhouse, the church’s transitional pastor.The incident made Stackhouse aware that the church, which already hosts weekly free community meals and runs an outreach center, needed guidance on how to respond to the opioid epidemic, especially how to minister to those with addictions.Stackhouse pursued training through Faith in Harm Reduction, a program offered by the Harm Reduction Coalition, a New York organization that educates faith leaders on how to deal with drug abuse in their communities. She is also pursuing training in how to administer Narcan, a drug that’s used to treat overdose victims.“Both our outreach director and I will be trained to use Narcan in the near future, and we will keep some on-site,” she said.The Rev. Erica Poellot, the coalition’s director of Faith and Community Partnerships, is seeing more faith leaders of all denominations across the country reaching out. She said the faith community needs to change the conversation about drug abuse, replacing stigma with compassion.“I heard from hundreds of people following a sermon on the spirit of harm reduction that they had never heard the drugs issue talked about with compassion,” she said, “that they had never heard their story reflected with love from inside a sacred space, that they have never heard themselves, their children, their lovers, called beloved.”As the pastor of Maranatha Life Changing Ministries Church of God in Christ, Roger Wilkins said he hopes more ministries in New Haven and across Connecticut will get involved in helping drug abusers in their communities.Families in his neighborhood, he said, are “spending their money on all these other things instead of the basics, so we are also feeding people and providing food for homes that need it,” he said.In Bridgeport, Pivot Ministries has seen a sharp increase in the need for its faith-based men’s residential treatment program.“I have witnessed the drug use demographic shift from predominantly cocaine use four or five years ago to predominantly opiate use via pills and heroin,” said the Rev. Richard Williams, executive director. “The local Bridgeport faith community is alert to the drug epidemic and makes referrals for those who are in need of help and treatment services.”Pivot also partners with 47 churches throughout Connecticut and New England, according to its website.After her daughter’s troubles began, Abubakar became a facilitator for Smart Recovery, a self-management program for people with addictions that also provides recovery training for people and organizations who work with addicted populations. Abubakar wants to get more New Haven churches involved in the program as a resource to help people like her daughter.Education is the key, she said, but churches can combine information with hope. “They can speak to both sides, giving biblical hope but understanding the specifics of what science says is the problem,” she said.At the café, a local pastor, Mary Ransome, came over to give Abubakar a hug and to ask about her daughter’s health. Ransome knows what it’s like to have a child who struggles with addictions.She said her 38-year-old daughter was arrested on a parole violation and placed in a court-ordered rehabilitation program in November 2018, after years of using the drug “Wet,” the street name for a combination of marijuana and PCP.“She’s got to stay clean for five years. I’m glad because she doesn’t want to go to jail,” Ransome said. “She called me this morning. She’s gaining weight. She said, ‘Mom, I feel healthy.’ This was prayer because God has given her people to look at her and work with her.”At the restaurant table, Abubakar’s phone lit up with text messages and then phone calls. It was time for her daughter’s surgery. She had to leave.A few days later, she reported that the surgery had stopped the bleeding in her daughter’s abdomen. “We give God praise,” she texted.But later that week, her daughter’s health had deteriorated. On Feb. 9, Abubakar texted again: “Saying our last goodbyes. All tests confirmed no brain activity (brain dead.) We thank God for giving hope and time.” Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Drug use + free needles = homelessness and poop in the streets; actually creating a public hazard while destroying lives:https://www.newsweek.com/san-francisco-needles-human-feces-1054010 peepsqueek says: February 22, 2019 at 7:54 am peepsqueek says: A well written and compassionate article that address one of the most compelling issues of our time. Jim Johnson says: February 22, 2019 at 12:21 pm peepsqueek says: February 22, 2019 at 7:57 am February 22, 2019 at 12:14 pm Nice dodge to a simple question. That was a wildly dishonest response. As usual. You have added another part of the equation which changed its nature. Needle exchanges have been proved to work against opioid addiction. They’re banned in 15 states.https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/22/17493030/needle-exchanges-ban-state-map“Needle exchange programs are an exhaustively studied, proven public health intervention in the fight against opioid addiction — making them a key component in efforts to halt the opioid epidemic.” Neither is it mine and neither do I. February 22, 2019 at 7:24 am Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 I hate repeating myself because someone has a reading problem.Marijuana is often the first substance (other thanalcohol) people try. I did as did most of my peers. I liked it and I continue to do so. My only substance. Some people went farther and ended up addicted because they have an addictive or destructive personalities. Addictive drugs are the problem. Catholicism Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Jim Johnson says: By: Amanda Greene February 22, 2019 at 5:48 pm February 22, 2019 at 1:34 pm Pope demands ‘concrete’ response to abuse crisis at Vatican summit February 21, 2019 at 8:29 pm Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Everything that tastes good or feels good is addictive. It is like saying food is the problem and the gateway to heart disease and obesity. Food can be your best friend or your worst enemy. We have to make relationships Isn”t it nice that no one cares. The easiest thing in the world is not to care. Great teaching moment,At sex abuse summit, Catholic bishops tangle with details It’s not my claim and I don’t care. peepsqueek says: Jim Johnson says: Mark Connelly says: February 21, 2019 at 7:37 pm Tagsfaith and public life homepage featured medical treatment New England opioid epidemic,You may also like When I mention the systematic teaching of “holy war” against the infidels by clerics and academics, causing the weekly acts of terrorism that we read about in international news, in multiple Countries, you say that I am offending 1.2 billion faithful. But when you say “that crowd”, whom specifically do you speak of at the risk of offending people?? Please do not dodge the question. Edmond Chibeau says: February 21, 2019 at 9:58 pm Spuddie says: Mark Connelly says: Marijuana is medicine! It is a mild sedative. A glass of wine with you dinner is medicine. But even even aspirin and good food can kill you or make you toxic if not used in moderation. People who want to self destruct will find a way to do it, even if their are no drugs around. Probably the biggest killer out there is consuming too much sugar and fried foods. Share This! February 22, 2019 at 1:36 pm Again, nice dodge! February 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm February 22, 2019 at 7:47 am last_img read more

Whats new in Vapor 3 the popular Swift based web framework

first_imgVapor, the popular web framework written in Swift has released its next major update. Vapor 3 is a complete rewrite of the existing versions and all of its related packages. The release is centered around three new features. Async: Vapor 3 is all ready to handle high levels of concurrency as it is completely non-blocking and runs on Apple’s SwiftNIO. Services: With Vapor’s new Dependency Injection framework Services, all JSON configuration files are replaced by Swift. Codable: Codable integration throughout all of Vapor brings type safety and better performance to Parsing and serializing content from HTTP messages, creating database models, and rendering views. The main focus of this release is on building a foundation for developers to work on based on the growth of Vapor and server-side Swift over the past two years. The release is updated across four major categories. Packages Vapor 3 offers a couple of new packages this release. Most notable are the MySQL and PostgreSQL packages which are now non-blocking and built on SwiftNIO. Some of these packages include: SQLite: SQLite 3 wrapper for Swift. PostgreSQL: Non-blocking, event-driven Swift client for PostgreSQL. MySQL: Pure Swift MySQL client built on non-blocking, event-driven sockets. Fluent: Swift ORM framework (queries, models, and relations) for building NoSQL and SQL database integrations. FluentSQLite: Swift ORM (queries, models, relations, etc) built on SQLite 3. Auth: Authentication and Authorization layer for Fluent. JWT: JSON Web Token signing and verification. Leaf: An expressive, performant, and extensible templating language built for Swift. A complete list of packages is available in the vapor documentation. Better updated Documentation A large part of the release focuses on better documentation. Subsequently, Vapor 3 improves API docs with 100% docblock coverage including: Helpful code samples where possible. Method parameter descriptions. MARK and code re-org to help make things readable in API doc form. Also, the main docs are moving more toward a guide / tutorial feel. These guide docs cover broad use cases and practices, in contrast to the API docs which heavily focus on particular methods and protocols. Moving to Discord and introducing Books Vapor’s official team chat is now moved to Discord. The team has also announced two books (Server Side Swift with Vapor and Server-side Swift (Vapor Edition)) written specifically for Vapor 3. Benchmarks Vapor 3 introduces certain benchmarks for this release available on GitHub. The benchmarks were run on two identical Digital Ocean droplets. One for hosting the frameworks and one for running the benchmark. The benchmarker program is a small script written in Swift that runs wrk and captures the results. It is capable of doing multiple runs and averaging the results. Vapor achieved state-of-the-art results on both the plaintext benchmarks. To know further updates and other minor changes, be sure to Check out the updated website. Read Next Your First Swift Program [tutorial] Swift for TensorFlow is now open source [news] RxSwift Part 1: Where to Start? Beginning with Hot and Cold Observables [tutorial]last_img read more

TransformerXL A Google architecture with 80 longer dependency than RNNs

first_imgA group of researchers from Google AI and Carnegie Mellon University announced the details regarding their newly proposed architecture, called, Transformer-XL (extra long), yesterday. It’s aimed at improving natural language understanding beyond a fixed-length context with higher self-attention. Fixed-length context is a long text sequence truncated into fixed-length segments of a few hundred characters. Researchers have used two methods to quantitatively study the effective lengths of Transformer-XL and the baselines, namely, segment-level recurrence mechanism and a relative positional encoding scheme. Let’s have a look at these key techniques in detail. Segment-level recurrence Recurrence mechanism helps address the limitations of using a fixed-length context. During the training process, the hidden state sequences computed in the previous segment are fixed and cached. These are then reused as an extended context once the model starts processing the next new segment. Segment level recurrence This connection then further increases the largest possible dependency length by N times (N  being the depth of the network) as contextual information can flow across segment boundaries. The recurrence mechanism also resolves the context fragmentation issue. Moreover, with the help of recurrence mechanism applied to every two consecutive segments of a corpus, a segment-level recurrence is created in the hidden states. This, in turn, helps with effective context being utilized beyond the two segments. Apart from being able to achieve extra long context and resolving the fragmentation issue, recurrence mechanism also helps with significantly faster evaluation. Relative Positional Encodings Although the segment-level recurrence technique is effective, there is a technical challenge that involves reusing the hidden states. The challenge is to keep the positional information coherent while reusing the states. Applying segment-level recurrence does not work in this case does not work as the positional encodings are not coherent when reusing the previous segments. This is where the relative positional encoding scheme comes into the picture to make the recurrence mechanism possible. The relative positional encodings make use of fixed embeddings with learnable transformations instead of learnable embeddings. This makes it more generalizable to longer sequences at test time. The core idea behind the technique is to only encode the relative positional information in the hidden states. “Our formulation uses fixed embeddings with learnable transformations instead of learnable embeddings and thus is more generalizable to longer sequences at test time”, state the researchers. With both the approaches combined, Transformer-XL has a much longer effective context and is able to process the elements in a new segment without any recomputation. Results Transformer-XL obtains new results on a variety of major language modeling (LM) benchmarks. It is the first self-attention model that is able to achieve better results than RNNs on both character-level and word-level language modeling. It is able to model longer-term dependency than RNNs and Transformer. Transformer-XL has the following three benefits: Transformer-XL dependency is about 80% longer than RNNs and 450% longer than vanilla Transformers. Transformer-XL is up to 1,800+ times faster than a vanilla Transformer during evaluation of language modeling tasks as no re-computation is needed. Transformer-XL has better performance in perplexity on long sequences due to long-term dependency modeling, and on short sequences by resolving the context fragmentation problem. For more information, check out the official Transformer XL research paper. Read Next Researchers build a deep neural network that can detect and classify arrhythmias with cardiologist-level accuracy Researchers introduce a machine learning model where the learning cannot be proved Researchers design ‘AnonPrint’ for safer QR-code mobile payment: ACSC 2018 Conferencelast_img read more

British Airways promises to save holiday flights despite strike

first_imgBritish Airways promises to save holiday flights despite strike << Previous PostNext Post >> LONDON — British Airways says it can run its full holiday schedule on Christmas and Boxing Day even if a planned cabin crew strike goes ahead.Chief Executive Alex Cruz said Monday that detailed contingency plans are in place so that flights can operate as normal.He urged the Unite union to call off the planned strike. The dispute involves pay for staff members who have joined the airline in the last six years, and negotiations continue.The United Kingdom faces a Christmas of discontent as labour unions threaten to disrupt airports, rail services and mail deliveries.The Unite union and aviation services company Swissport announced negotiation plans intended to avert a Dec. 23 walkout by 1,500 baggage handlers, check-in staff and other workers at 18 regional airports from Belfast to Bournemouth.At British Airways, a fourth of the airline’s cabin crew members are planning a two-day strike starting on Christmas, Dec. 25. British Airways condemned Unite’s timing and vowed to ensure that all customers reached their holiday destinations.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truck“This calculated and heartless action is completely unnecessary and we are determined that it will fail,” the airline said in a statement.McCluskey countered that the airline “needs to come to the table with a positive offer.”Rolling strikes by two unions at Southern Railway already have disrupted much of England’s train services this month, with worker protests over cutbacks in overtime scheduled to go on until Jan. 14. The Canadian Press Posted bycenter_img Monday, December 19, 2016 Share Tags: British Airways, London, Strikelast_img read more

Rep Hank Vaupel Weekly Column April 15 2019

first_img15Apr Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: April 15, 2019 Categories: Vaupel News This weekend was the 56th annual Livingston County Home Show at the Howell High School Fieldhouse. As always, it was a tremendous event showcasing many of the wonderful things Livingston has to offer, and of course, there was plenty of delicious food during the Taste of Livingston exhibition on Saturday! I had the privilege of volunteering as a greeter, which is a great way to enjoy conversations with the many people who visit. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the event!***On Wednesday, it was a sincere honor to receive the Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion Award for the second year in a row. I was presented the award during a ceremony held in the Capitol for my work on a bipartisan package of bills to modernize HIV reporting and testing requirements. As chair of the House Health Policy committee, I have pushed solutions supporting healthier lives and communities, and I remain committed to this goal going forward.***I enjoyed volunteering at the 15th annual Livingston Regional Job Fair at Crystal Gardens on Thursday. It was a fantastic chance for local residents to make connections and seize career opportunities. Thank you to all the volunteers and job providers who came together to give people better options for the future.***Don’t forget this Monday, April 15 is the deadline to submit state income tax returns! With the deadline quickly arriving, the Michigan Department of Treasury is encouraging residents to consider e-filing for greater accuracy, faster processing, and quicker refunds. Also, when filing, be sure to check your eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit or Homestead Property Tax Credit. For other tips and information, visit www.mifastfile.org or www.michigan.gov/incometax.***Thank you to everyone who attended last week’s office hours. Next month, we will return to the regularly scheduled third Friday of each month. My next office hours will be held Friday, May 17 at the following times and locations:2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Fowlerville Farms, 941 S. Grand Ave. in Fowlerville;4 to 5 p.m. at Biggby Coffee, 11325 W. Highland Road in Hartland; and5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at All Star Coney Island, 934 Michigan Ave. in Howell.***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. We are happy to hear from you!PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Hank Vaupel is presented the Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion Award at a National Public Health Week event in the Capitol.last_img read more

House approves Rep Afendoulis plan to protect the lives of the unborn

first_img Measure bans dismemberment abortionThe state House today approved a plan introduced by Rep. Lynn Afendoulis to protect the dignity of life and unborn children by banning dismemberment abortions in Michigan.A dismemberment abortion is an abortion in which a health care worker intentionally dismembers a living fetus in the uterus in order for it to be extracted.  The legislation from Afendoulis is part of a plan to ban the procedure and create penalties for violators.“This is not about our rights as women. This is about our humanity. Where else, in any norm or more or practice or law, is it acceptable to torture and dismember a living thing?” said Afendoulis, of Grand Rapids Township. “This practice is gruesome. It is inhumane. And, outrageously, it is unnecessary. It must stop.”Twelve states already have had legislation signed into law that bans dismemberment abortions.According to data published by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,777 dismemberment abortions, also called dilation and evacuation abortions, in Michigan in 2017. That is nearly five per day.House Bill 4321 now moves to the Senate for consideration.### Categories: Lynn Afendoulis News 14May House approves Rep. Afendoulis plan to protect the lives of the unborn in Michiganlast_img read more

New Tax on Social Media and Mobile Money Transactions not welcome by

first_imgA user is pictured paying the OTT Tax to able in position of asking all the social media platforms | Photo by PC Tech Magazine/Olupot Nathan Ernest. Advertisement The proposed tax on social media use and mobile money transactions in Uganda came into effect on July 1st.The tax on social media use has been designed to check gossip online and raise billions of shillings in government revenue. This came about after president Yoweri Museveni complained that gossip on these social media platforms was costing the country much-needed time and income.Parliament of Uganda passed the new laws that introduced the tax on the use of Over The Top (OTT) services; communications platforms offered over the traditional telecom networks. These include popular social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Skype, and others. – Advertisement – A joint statement released by the top telecom firms in the country on Friday said that effective July 1, OTT services can only be accessed on payment of the OTT tax by the customer. The cost for these are as follows:UGX 200 per day.UGX 1,400 for a week.or UGX 6,000 for a month to access social media.Introduction of this tax at first prompted many tech-savvy Ugandans to turn to VPN services to get around paying the new tax. However, many found out that such consume more data and have opted to pay the tax.Godfrey Mutabazi, Uganda Communications Commission executive director, said the commission directed telecom operators to block access via VPN services.Industry experts came out to express their concerns that the new fee could impact usage of social media and mobile money in the country.Those saying 200/- is little money or that VPNs cost more forget that people are not protesting the amount being paid, but the principle behind taxing every little thing from an already suffering economy so a corrupt government can get even more money to steal.#SocialMediaTax— Solomon King (@solomonking) July 1, 2018If you decide to pay social media tax using mobile money, you’ll be charged Ugx 200 plus 1% tax on the transaction. Therefore, you’ll be charged tax on a tax. We are such a shithole country! #SocialMediaTax— Wilfred Businge (@MrBusinge) June 30, 2018On the new levy on mobile money transactions, telecom firms equally issued an announcement to charge a 1% tax of the transaction value for users.Public Notice:Notice of Mobile Money Transaction tax effective 1st July 2018. #MobileMoneyTax pic.twitter.com/T3GbB9emAC— Airtel Uganda (@Airtel_Ug) June 30, 2018last_img read more

Kristen Stewart CoWrote an Academic Paper About Artificial Intelligence

first_img Kristen Stewart — the actress best known for Twilight — has co-written a paper on machine learning.The paper outlines the use of neural style transfer in Stewart’s directorial debut, Come Swim, which is about to premiere at Sundance Film Festival. Neural style transfer turns normal images into impressionist art, and is used by popular photo app Prisma.The paper, first spotted by Quartz, is co-bylined with Adobe research engineer Bhautik J. Joshi and producer David Shapiro. It was published yesterday on ArXiv, a repository run by Cornell University for scientific papers that are not yet peer-reviewed.Come Swim describes itself as “half realist, half impressionist portraits” of one man’s day. A teaser video for the short film is shot in a surreal style.According to the paper, the project was based on an impressionistic painting of Stewart’s, which shows a man waking up.Image credit: Starlight Studios/Kristen StewartThe paper outlines the repetitive technical process of trying to replicate the feel of the painting on-screen. Here’s a sample:”The painting itself evokes the thoughts an individual has in the first moments of waking (fading in-between dreams and reality), and this theme is explored in the introductory and final scenes where this technique is applied. This directly drove the look of the shot, leading us to map the emotions we wanted to evoke to parameters in the algorithm as well as making use of more conventional techniques in the 2D compositing stage.”The response to the paper has been positive from the academic community, if slightly bemused.I used to tell Twilight jokes in my Intro to AI class. I take it all back.— Mark Riedl ? (@mark_riedl) January 19, 2017Kristen Stewart co authored a machine learning paper. Now we can calculate her Erdos number https://t.co/EhEKaJGWbD— Wil Chung (@iamwil) January 20, 2017 2 min read Artificial Intelligence January 20, 2017 –shares Add to Queue Shona Ghosh Kristen Stewart Co-Wrote an Academic Paper About Artificial Intelligence This story originally appeared on Business Insider Senior Reporter Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Next Article Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Kristen Stewart Image credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty via BI The paper outlines the use of neural style transfer in Stewart’s directorial debut, ‘Come Swim,’ which is about to premiere at Sundance Film Festival.last_img read more

Here Are the Origins of 10 Tech Terms You Use Every Day

first_img Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff March 30, 2018 –shares Image credit: Stanislaw Pytel | Getty Images Apply Now » Here Are the Origins of 10 Tech Terms You Use Every Day Nina Zipkin Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.center_img 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Did you know that Thomas Edison used the term ‘bug’? The funny thing about language is how words and phrases seep in everyday use without anyone realizing exactly where they came from. As ubiquitous as technological devices are in our daily lives, so is the vocabulary that is attached to the innovation that made them possible.But who invented the words that have become so commonplace? Read on to find out.BugIf you have referred to a tech problem as a bug, you can thank pioneers including Thomas Edison and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. Edison used the term in some correspondence about the development of the telephone in 1878, and Hopper, one of the inventors of the electronic computer in the 1940s, is believed to have coined the term when she discovered an actual moth trapped inside one of her prototypes.CrowdsourcingIf you’ve used a site such as Yelp or TripAdvisor to narrow down your choice of restaurant or lodging, you’ve taken advantage of crowdsourcing. But the term wasn’t invented until 2006, in an article in Wired by a writer and editor named Jeff Howe.Related: How Crowdsourcing Is Shaping the Future of EverythingMouse A Stanford engineer named Doug Engelbart invented the computer mouse as a prototype in 1961. But why it was called a mouse is a little bit of a mystery. According to the Computer History Museum, Engelbart couldn’t remember who was responsible for calling it a mouse. The name served as a shorthand to describe the device, which at the time had a long wire that made it look like a rodent with a tail.Open Source Open source software, which comes with code that anyone can access and improve or change, wasn’t always called “open source.” Scientist Christine Peterson came up with the term in 1998 at the Foresight Institute, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to nanotechnology and advances in AI. Today, companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft all use open source as a part of their business models.SpamWhile it’s hard to pin down the one person who decided that junk mail should be called spam, internet entrepreneur and author Brad Templeton says that the famous Monty Python viking spam sketch, which made the lunch meat synonymous with unrelenting repetition, was adopted by the users of very early chat rooms in the late 1980s to describe the process of overwhelming a computer with data to crash it.Blog In 1997, a writer named Jorn Barger created a site where he shared links with readers called Robot Wisdom WebLog, with WebLog short for logging the web. In 1999, a programmer named Peter Merholz shortened the phrase even further to blog, which started gaining traction by users of platforms such as LiveJournal and WordPress.Related: How to Make Over $1,000 a Month by BloggingBig Data While the definitive source of the term big data — which is used describe a collection of analytics that companies use to predict customer behavior — is a little fuzzy, according to some digging done by New York Times reporter Steve Lohr, the person responsible for its popularization is a man named John Mashey, a computer scientists who was VP and chief scientist at company called Silicon Graphics in the early 1990s and 2000s.Meme While we share memes every day, the word actually didn’t get its start online, but in a different field of science. It was coined by Richard Dawkins, the famous British evolutionary biologist who was a professor at the University of Oxford. He introduced the word in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, and used it as a way to describe how trends and societal practices catch on and become popularized.Internet of Things The phrase is used to describe a system of everyday items that are built to be equipped with wi-fi capabilities. Think of the setup of a smart home, with for example, a refrigerator that knows when to order new groceries. Kevin Ashton, a British author and scientist who is an expert in the field of sensing technology, coined the term in 1999 when he was working at Proctor & Gamble to help improve supply chain communication systems. He is also the founder of the Auto-ID Lab at MIT.Unicorn If you were wondering why crazy successful tech startups — ones that are valued at more than $1 billion — are called unicorns, you can thank Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist and the founder of the firm Cowboy Ventures. Why unicorn? Because of the mythic rarity of a startup reaching that milestone. Not something you see in the wild every day, if at all.   Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 4 min read Technologylast_img read more

Why Nintendo is Playing Down Pokémon Gos Earnings Impact

first_img Autoplay: On | Off Summer is here and there are some great looks this season for women of all shapes and sizes. Check out the hottest styles for hourglass, rectangle and pear shaped women. Next Article A Petition Is Coming ? for a ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Do-Over Sophie Turner Talks Dark Phoenix, Co-Star Jessica Chastain and GoT Register Now » Heat Snapshot Up Next: Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Economy adds 75K jobs in May A Petition Is Coming ? for a ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Do-Over July 25, 2016 Summer Beauty Survival Must-Haves Summer Beauty Survival Must-Haves –shares North Carolina superintendent says new app can help reduce violence in schools Airbnb Wants to Take You on an All-Inclusive Adventure The requested video is no longer available Nintendo Sophie Turner Talks Dark Phoenix, Co-Star Jessica Chastain and GoT Airbnb Wants to Take You on an All-Inclusive Adventure 2020 Toyota Camry BACK 2 Delicious Summer Entertaining Ideas Swimwear Styles for All Shapes and Sizes Former world paragliding champion Rémy soars over Pyrenees Economy adds 75K jobs in May A Safe Way to Get Rid Of Bugs in Your Home DiCaprio, Pitt want to team up again after Tarantino hit Cannes: ticketless festival-goers seek seats for films Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Delicious Summer Entertaining Ideas Photo of solider placing flag at Tomb of Unknown Solider goes viral Justin Bieber Launches Plant-Based Deodorant Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records A Safe Way to Get Rid Of Bugs in Your Homecenter_img Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Albany Steps Closer to Releasing Trump’s State Tax Returns After Assembly Vote Why Nintendo is Playing Down Pokémon Go’s Earnings Impact 2 Musts for Tackling Allergy Season Congress Is Back as President Trump Heads to the UK IndyCar Beefing Up Business as Indy 500 Approaches Saint Laurent dazzles with men’s collection on Malibu beach Embed HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Phenomenon How Human Behavior is Hurting Animals and What We Can Do to Protect Them Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use A LifeMinute with Ryan Seacrest 2020 Ballots May Have a New Box to Check ? Vice President A LifeMinute with John Lithgow: The Actor Discusses His Latest Projects Sunlight Shines on Grand Canyon Turning Up the Heat in the Southeast for Holiday Weekend Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Add to Queue Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Guitarist Don ‘Fingers’ Felder Releases New Album 2 Musts for Tackling Allergy Season Beyond Meat Earnings Are Beyond Analyst Expectations US Navy: Russian destroyer almost collided with cruiser in the Philippine Sea Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Father’s Day is such a special moment for the whole family to come together and spend quality time with one another – and those are moments dad will cherish. What better way for dad to connect with his loved ones than learning about his family’s stor Lifeminute tv IHOP Sees Explosive Growth in To-Go Sales Reuters New York takes aim at skyscrapers’ sky-high energy usage Southern Charm’ Star Talks New Season This story originally appeared on Reuters Shares in Nintendo Co. tumbled as much as 18 percent on Monday after the company said Pokémon Go would have a limited impact on its earnings — their biggest setback so far after a huge run-up on the smash-hit game.The Kyoto-based gaming company, which is due to report first-quarter results this week, surprised markets with a statement on Friday that income garnered through its 32 percent stake in affiliate Pokémon Company, which owns the licensing rights, would be limited and that it did not plan to revise its earnings outlook for now.Recording its biggest decline since October 1990, the stock ended down 17.7 percent, or by 5,000 yen — the daily limit allowed.But some market players said Nintendo was being disingenuous, adding that there were few expectations of upward revisions to its profit targets so early after the game’s launch and that it was clear the game would be key to earnings.”The market has overreacted to the Nintendo statement,” said David Gibson, a senior analyst at Macquarie Securities Group, noting the game in Japan had broken records with 10 million downloads in one day.”I believe that Pokémon Go will be material in the company’s earnings given the current trends for the game.”Pokemon GO’s success has triggered massive buying in Nintendo shares and even with Monday’s decline, the shares are still up some 60 percent compared with levels prior to the game’s July 6 launch in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, adding nearly $12 billion in market value.Yasuo Sakuma, portfolio manager at Bayview Asset Management, said he still saw the company’s shares as cheap given the potential for Nintendo to reap rewards from other strong character franchises as it forays deeper into mobile gaming.”Nintendo is well-placed to boost its earnings with its other characters, such as Super Mario and Zelda and their potential is unknown,” he said.Pokémon Go is Nintendo’s first venture into mobile gaming as the company had until recently been keen to protect its console business from cannibalization.In addition to its stake in Pokémon Company, Nintendo has an undisclosed holding in Niantic Inc. — the game’s developer, which was spun off from Google.It is also expected to benefit from sales of Pokémon Go Plus — an accessory that alerts players to nearby Pokémon so that they don’t have to always be looking at their smartphones. Nintendo said, however, that sales of the device have already been factored into its earnings outlook.Nintendo, which reports earnings on Wednesday, has forecast a 37 percent rise in operating profit to 45 billion yen ($425 million) in the year to March. While it is expected to see upside from Pokémon Go it will also have to contend with a strong yen which eats into the value of earnings garnered abroad.Seven analysts’ estimates that have been revised since the game’s launch range from 36 billion yen to 60 billion yen.($1 = 106.2400 yen)(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa and Chang-Ran Kim in Tokyo and Anshuman Daga in Singapore; Editing by Edwina Gibbs) Cannes: ticketless festival-goers seek seats for films 3 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.last_img read more

UserIQ Names Tyler Winkler as CEO

first_img AcquisitionBIP CapitalMarketingMarketing TechnologyNewsTyler WinklerUserIQ Previous ArticleIntermap’s NEXTMap Elevation Data and Analytics Now Included on IgniteNet’s LinqPath Online Planning Tool for 5GNext ArticleDirectLync Shakes Up Small Business Marketing with New Digital Marketing Platform Former VP at SecureWorks Takes the Helm at Fast-Growth Startup Focused on Customer SuccessUserIQ, an innovative customer success platform helping businesses align around user needs, announced that its board of directors has appointed industry veteran Tyler Winkler as CEO. Winkler was formerly the VP of Global Sales & Marketing at SecureWorks, where he played a key role in the company’s rapid growth leading up to its 2011 acquisition by Dell for $650 million and 2016 IPO.UserIQ helps businesses realize the full value of customer success by equipping teams with the product analytics, customer insights, and user engagement tools to fight churn, grow the account, and align the entire business around users’ needs. The company recently raised $3.6 million in a funding round led by BIP Capital, which has participated in multiple funding rounds.With customer experience predicted to overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator by 2020, the customer success industry is primed for growth. A report by the Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $775 million within three years of investing in customer experience.Marketing Technology News: Philo Reveals Connected TV Ad Platform to Reach Latest Generation of TV Lovers“The next evolution of customer success will involve helping companies orient their entire business around their customers’ needs and goals,” said Winkler. “I’m excited to be part of an innovative company like UserIQ with solutions that can help businesses truly adopt a customer success mindset so they in turn can be successful.”“There are similarities between the early years of SecureWorks and UserIQ in terms of company size and sheer market potential, so we’re very pleased that Tyler is taking on the CEO role,” said Mark Buffington, BIP Capital CEO and a member of UserIQ’s board of directors. “Tyler’s executive leadership and proven track record of rapidly scaling technology companies will be a huge asset as UserIQ begins its next phase of growth.”Marketing Technology News: Data Privacy: Balancing Personalization and Security in the Age of TransparencyDuring his 15-year tenure at SecureWorks, Winkler was highly instrumental in growing the company from $800,000 in revenue to become the leader in global managed security services with revenue of $450 million in 2016. Winkler also led SecureWorks’ global expansion and large-scale restructuring following its acquisition by Dell, including the simultaneous enlargement of its sales operations, marketing, channel, and business development functions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Management, from Towson University.Marketing Technology News: HipChat Founders Launch Swoot, a Social Podcast App UserIQ Names Tyler Winkler as CEO PRNewswireApril 24, 2019, 4:02 pmApril 24, 2019 last_img read more

Opera Opens Early Access to the Worlds First Gaming Browser Opera GX

first_img BAFTA Games AwardsKrystian KolondraMarketing Technology NewsNewsOpera browsersOpera GXPC gamers Previous ArticleAtari Brings the New Atari VCS Video Computer System to Life During E3 2019 — Launching Official Presale in Partnership With GameStop and WalmartNext ArticleCapgemini Announces Rapid Marketing Launch Program to Accelerate Digital Marketing Capabilities for Retailers and Brands Opera Opens Early Access to the World’s First Gaming Browser, Opera GX Globe NewswireJune 12, 2019, 7:02 pmJune 12, 2019 The New PC Browser From Opera Lets Gamers Control Their Computer’s CPU and Memory Usage to Make Their Gaming and Streaming Smoother. It Also Features Twitch Integration and Numerous Customization OptionsThere are currently more than 1.2 billion PC gamers. Opera unveils the world’s first web browser tailored to their specific needs. The early access program to the Opera GX browser (for Windows) starts right now with an official launch planned later this year.“Opera GX is built for people who love games and spend a lot of time building their setups. We want to give them a browser to perfectly match their beautiful machines. I have a strong feeling this browser will resonate with the gaming world,” said Krystian Kolondra, EVP at Opera browsers.Opera GX features a new, gaming-inspired design and an array of features that let people not only customize the look of their browser but also limit their computer’s CPU and memory usage.GX Control lets you control the CPU and RAM usage by the browserThe GX Control panel is a brand new feature which lets users define how much of their computer’s CPU or RAM they are willing to let their browser use. By toggling on the circle, one can choose to devote a certain percentage of the computer’s resources to the browser. Opera GX will stay within these limits. This means that, unlike other memory-hungry browsers, Opera GX puts gamers in full control of their gaming and browsing experiences.“Running a game might require a lot of effort from your machine. Even more so if you are streaming while you play. Before Opera GX, gamers often shut down their browsers in order to not slow down their gaming experience. We came up with the GX Control feature to make people’s games run more smoothly without requiring them to compromise on what they do on the Web,” said Maciej Kocemba, product director of Opera GX.Gaming ready with Twitch integration Another handy feature for gamers is Opera GX’s Twitch integration. The browser lets users log into their Twitch accounts directly from the sidebar and will notify them when a streamer they follow goes live.The browser’s speed dial screen also features shortcuts to sites popular among gamers including Discord, YouTube and Reddit.Marketing Technology News: Freshworks Joins Hands With OrangeOne Corporation, to Aid Digital Transformation of Businesses in JapanGX Corner for latest gaming news and dealsOpera didn’t stop at designing a browser for gamers. It also created the GX Corner, a place where gaming news from the Web will be presented along with curated gaming deals and information about new and interesting releases.Gaming design, sound effects and gaming hardware integrationWhen you first start or upgrade Opera GX you will be welcomed by sounds and an animation sequence inspired by gaming consoles. The sound effects and musical logo creation in GX are a result of Opera’s collaboration with the sound designer Rubén Rincón and the band Berlinist, who recently received a nomination in the BAFTA Games Awards for the original soundtrack to the GRIS game. The sound effects, as well as most browser features can be adjusted or switched off in the settings panel.Opera GX comes out of the box with a sleek gaming-inspired design with dark and red elements. Users can also choose a different highlight color from 10 suggested colors or go deeper and choose from 16 million possibilities using the extended color picker feature.“From the startup sounds to the look of the browser’s speed dial, Opera GX was designed to feel at home on any gaming setup,” added Maciej Kocemba.Opera GX comes with an exclusive set of wallpapers designed to match the browser and the large displays of gaming setups. It also includes Razer Chroma integration, which means that the keyboard, mouse and other Razer Chroma elements will adjust their colors to the chosen highlight colors in the browser.Marketing Technology News: SentinelOne Announces $120 Million Series DOpera’s powerful features are thereOpera GX includes all the features present in the popular Opera desktop browser currently used by 65 million users. This means that, apart from the Twitch integration, users can also activate the Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook  or Vkontakte messengers in the sidebar to stay in touch with friends without the need to open separate tabs.Opera GX also retains the popular Video Pop Out function which makes it easy to “pop out” a video from the website it is being streamed on and watch it on top of other websites.Opera’s built-in ad blocker will safeguard that websites load fast and distraction free while the free, no-log browser VPN will let gamers safely browse the Web when using public WiFi.“At Opera, we want to set a new standard in browsing,” said Krystian Kolondra. “Today, no other browser is even close to having the kind of feature set you will find in Opera, and we hope people will enjoy the new additions coming with Opera GX”. Early access at Level 1 starts todayThe early access to Opera GX for Windows starts today at Level 1, during E3 in Los Angeles. Instead of the usual versions, the browser’s development will progress in levels. The initial early access version is designed for people who love games. They will also have the opportunity to shape the next versions, as Opera’s developers have added special “feedback” boxes throughout the browser, where particular features can be rated with one to five hearts. Opera also encourages people to provide feedback and wish lists via the Opera GX forums.Marketing Technology News: New Global Report Reveals 9 in 10 Companies See ‘Self-Service’ as the Future for Customerslast_img read more

Study Targeting specific genomic mutation in breast cancer improves survival

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 22 2018Targeting a common mutation in patients with hormone receptor positive (HR+) HER2 negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer with the alpha-specific phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor alpelisib significantly improves progression-free survival, according to late-breaking results reported at ESMO 2018.”Alpelisib is the first drug to show a benefit in a genomic subgroup of breast cancer patients,” said lead author Fabrice André, oncologist and Professor of Medical Oncology at the Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. He explained: “We have had HER2-targeted drugs – targeting the HER2 protein – but, until now, the use of tumor genomics has not really entered the practical care of breast cancer, unlike melanoma or lung cancer.”About 40% of patients with HR+ breast cancer have PIK3CA mutations, activating the PI3 kinase pathway leading to cancer progression and resistance to endocrine therapy. Alpelisib (BYL719) is an oral PI3K inhibitor that is alpha specific. “The alpha isoform of PI3-kinase is the one that is mutated in breast cancer. Previous PI3K inhibitors targeted all four isoforms so there were a lot of toxicities,” noted André. A previous phase 1 trial with alpelisib showed promising preliminary efficacy and manageable safety profile.The SOLAR-1 trial randomized 572 postmenopausal women or men with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer; 341 had PIK3CA mutations when tumor tissue was tested. The patients had good performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status of ?1) and had received one or more prior lines of hormonal therapy but no chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer. They had not previously received fulvestrant, or any PI3K, Akt or mTOR inhibitor, and were not on concurrent anticancer therapy.Patients were randomized to oral alpelisib (300 mg/day) or placebo plus intramuscular fulvestrant (500 mg every 28 days and on days 1 and 15 of treatment cycle 1). The primary endpoint was locally assessed progression free survival (PFS) in patients with PIK3CA mutations, detected in tumor tissue.Results showed the PFS was nearly twice as long in patients with PIK3CA mutations randomized to alpelisib compared to the placebo group. The median PFS was 11.0 months in the alpelisib arm compared to 5.7 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.50 to 1.25, p=0.00065) at a median follow-up of 20.0 months.Just over one-third (36%) of patients with measurable PI3KCA-mutated advanced breast cancer (n=262) responded to alpelisib plus fulvestrant, while the overall response rate in the placebo/fulvestrant group was 16% (p=0.0002). The secondary endpoint of locally assessed PFS in patients without PI3KCA mutations did not meet the predefined proof of concept endpoint (HR0.85, 95% CI 0.58-1.25, median 7.4-5.6mo).Related StoriesNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedAndré said: “Alpelisib offers the potential for increased life expectancy in patients with HR+ HER2- advanced breast cancer with PI3KCA mutations.” But he cautioned: “For now, the follow-up is short so we cannot say whether there is a long-term survival benefit. But alpelisib increased progression-free survival and that will hopefully translate to improvement in outcome.”Commenting on the study for ESMO, Prof. Angelo Di Leo, Head of the Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital of Prato, Italy, said: “This is the first trial to show a clinically relevant benefit with a PI3K inhibitor combined with endocrine therapy in patients with HR+ HER2- advanced breast cancer with PIK3CA mutations.”Di Leo added: “The next critical step will be to understand when, and how, this compound should be incorporated into the current treatment algorithm – upfront, in combination with endocrine therapy and a CDK4/6 inhibitor, or sequentially, after disease progression on the combination of endocrine therapy and a CDK4/6 inhibitor.” He cautioned that a limitation of the study was that only a modest number of patients were pre-treated with CDK4/6 inhibitors, which have become a new standard of care in this setting.The most frequent side-effects with alpelisib were hyperglycaemia, which André said could be managed with metformin, nausea, decreased appetite and rash. He said: “There is no life-threatening toxicity or major toxicity that would be expected to affect quality of life. This is good because alpelisib is a drug that is supposed to be given before chemotherapy.”Considering the wider implications, André said: “This study opens the door for clinical genomics for breast cancer as the first study to show that treatment based on a patient’s tumor genomic profile – specifically PI3KCA mutation – can improve the outcome.” He predicted: “These results will have a major impact for practice because we have to implement genomic testing for breast cancer.”Di Leo agreed: “If PI3K inhibitors become a treatment option for patients with advanced breast cancer, assessing PIK3CA mutations using plasma samples (liquid biopsies) will become standard of care, with the considerable advantage of this being a non-invasive procedure.” Source:https://www.esmo.org/Press-Office/Press-Releases/SOLAR-aplelisib-fulvestrant-breast-cancer-Andrelast_img read more

Russian researchers develop novel combined action drug for cancer diagnostics and treatment

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 4 2018Russian researchers announced the development of a combined action drug based on ionizing radiation and bacterial toxin. Their total effect appeared to be 2,200 times stronger compared to that exerted by the radiation and toxin, separately. The drug affects tumor cells selectively providing better diagnostics and treatment of malignant tumors. These advances were reported in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Chemotherapy is widely used for treatment of cancerous diseases. However, it is associated with severe side effects (hair loss, nausea, loss of appetite, oedema, anemia, memory disorders, and so on) as the drugs affect the body in total and are accumulated throughout normal tissues. Moreover, the chemotherapy often requires repeated drug administration to overcome tumor propensity to relapse. A perfect anti-cancer drug should provide a powerful impact to all tumor cells at once to prevent their recovery.The combined therapy proposed and realized by the Russian scientists appeared to be successful. “Just like modern armies deploy tanks, foot troops, and artillery, we also fight tumors using several mechanisms at once: ionizing radiation and a strong toxin of bacterial origin,” says Andrey Zvyagin, head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Sechenov University.The drug developed by the scientists consists of a nanoparticles, as the core, with embedded radiopharmaceutical agent (a source of ionizing beta-radiation), and a highly toxic toxin derived from bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The nanosized drug core is decorated with polymer to render the nanocomplex water miscible and biologically amiable and coupled with biological molecules, which represent the toxin fused with a targeting biomolecule by genetic engineering methods. The radiopharmaceutical agent is well secluded inside the nanoparticle and guarantees its side-effect-free targeted action to tumor cells. Blood vessels that feed the tumor have pores through which the drug enters the tumor from the blood flow. The targeting biomolecule binds itself with cancer cells causing them to accumulate in the primary and metastatic tumors. The radiopharmaceutical agent is able to affect the cells both in immediate proximity to the nanoparticles and up to 1 cm from them, providing for efficient therapy of considerable tumor masses. The toxin blocks the synthesis of proteins in the cells preventing them from restoration and dissemination.The new drug was tested both on cells and laboratory animals: breast cancer (the most widely spread type of cancer in women) was grafted on a laboratory mouse, and after that the tested drug was administered to it. In experiments on cells, the effect of the combination was 2,200 times stronger than the effect from the separate use of its components. The efficiency of combined therapy was confirmed by experiments on laboratory mice. The drug not only treats, but also facilitates visualization of the tumors, which makes it a diagnostical tool. The area of medicine that combines diagnostics and treatment is called theranostics. Source:https://www.sechenov.ru/last_img read more

FDA authorizes marketing of new tool to aid in nutritional management of

first_img Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm629089.htm Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 24 2018Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the Miris Human Milk Analyzer, a new diagnostic test to aid healthcare professionals in measuring nutrients in breast milk, including the concentration of fat, carbohydrate, protein, total solids and energy. The test provides healthcare professionals with a new tool to aid in the nutritional management of newborns and young infants at risk for growth failure due to prematurity or other medical conditions.”Breast milk provides many health benefits to infants, and for many babies it can meet their early nutritional needs. But some infants -; including those who may be born preterm or have certain health conditions -; may need additional nutrients in order to support their optimal growth,” said Courtney Lias, Ph.D. director of the Division of Chemistry and Toxicology Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “For the first time, doctors have access to a test to help analyze the nutrients in breast milk. While this test is not for everyone, it has the potential to aid parents and healthcare providers, mainly in a hospital setting, in better assessing the nutrient needs of certain babies who are not growing as expected.”Some infants who are born prematurely or with health conditions may have special nutritional needs. Breast milk composition can vary in individuals, and, in certain cases, breast milk may not contain sufficient protein and energy levels for these infants with increased nutrient needs. In those instances, healthcare professionals may want to test the nutrient content of the milk to help guide nutritional care. Knowing the macronutrient content of the breast milk may help the health care team and parents make informed decisions on how to fortify the breast milk based on the individual needs of the infant.The Miris Human Milk Analyzer uses an infrared spectroscopy system to analyze samples of human milk and provide a quantitative measurement of fat, protein and total carbohydrate content as well as calculations of the total solids and energy content contained in the milk. This is a prescription device intended for use by trained health care personnel at clinical laboratories.Related StoriesPoor sleep linked to a lack of essential vitamins and mineralsGoat’s milk-based formula good for infant’s gut healthAre DNA-based diets and personalized ‘medical foods’ the future for weight loss?The FDA reviewed data submitted by the sponsor of 112 samples of human milk to analyze the performance of the device. For the study, the sponsor tested the same 112 samples in the machine and compared them to the expected true values obtained by independent methods; both systems provided similar results for each test. The data showed that the Miris Human Milk Analyzer test was effective at determining levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate in the milk. There may be conditions that limit the information available from the Miris Human Milk Analyzer. For example, certain medications that a nursing mother may be taking could interfere with the test’s ability to accurately measure nutrient levels in breast milk.Health care professionals should carefully evaluate the Miris Human Milk Analyzer test results in conjunction with clinical assessments (such as weight and growth) to inform their discussions with parents in creating a nutritional management plan for an infant or newborn.The FDA reviewed the Miris Human Milk Analyzer test through the De Novo premarket review pathway, a regulatory pathway for low-to-moderate-risk devices of a new type. Along with this authorization, the FDA is establishing criteria, called special controls, to provide for the accuracy and reliability of tests intended to measure the nutritional content of human milk to aid in the nutritional management of certain infants. These special controls, when met along with general controls, provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for tests of this type. This action also creates a new regulatory classification, which means that subsequent devices of the same type, including the same intended use, may go through the FDA’s 510(k) process, whereby devices can obtain marketing authorization by demonstrating substantial equivalence to a predicate device.The FDA granted marketing authorization of the Miris Human Milk Analyzer test to Miris AB.last_img read more

New study explores stem cells to gain insight into rotator cuff disease

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 27 2019Rotator cuff tears are common injuries, and proper healing of the shoulder muscle is often difficult.”Chronic tears often result in fat accumulation within the rotator cuff muscles, resulting in negative clinical outcomes, including weakening and atrophy of the muscles,” says Manuel Schubert, M.D., resident in orthopedic surgery at Michigan Medicine. “It’s believed that this process of fat infiltration makes rotator cuff muscle damage one of the most difficult to rehabilitate after injury.”Schubert explains that the process of fat accumulation following a tear appears to occur more frequently in rotator cuff muscles than other muscle groups.But why this particular muscle set?”We wanted to determine if there are cellular, molecular and genetic reasons for why rotator cuff muscles tend to develop this fat accumulation after injury,” he says.In a new study, published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Schubert and team used a mouse model to isolate specific stem cells, called satellite cells, in rotator cuff muscles, as well as calf muscles for comparison, to determine the extent of muscle and fat cells that develop from these satellite cells.They then performed DNA-level studies to understand how the gene pathways of the muscles may differ.”Even though the stem cells obtained from the rotator cuff muscles and the calf are thought to be the same kind of muscle stem cells, we wanted to determine if these cells are different in how their development is controlled,” Schubert says, “Which may provide insight for why fat tends to accumulate more in rotator cuff muscles.”Key findingsThe research team first obtained and isolated stem cells in each muscle to identify which cells develop into muscle cells and which develop into fat cells.”The muscle stem cells from the rotator cuff developed into 23 percent fewer muscle cells and they showed an 87 percent decrease in a marker for muscle formation compared to the calf muscle stem cells,” Schubert says. “The rotator cuff stem cells also had a four- to 65-fold increase in markers of genes involved in fat cell generation.”Next, the research team performed DNA-level studies in the stem cells from each muscle to examine gene activation.”These studies identified 355 different regions of DNA between the stem cells from the rotator cuff and the calf muscle,” Schubert says. “Using a pathway enrichment analysis we found that the genes activated in the rotator cuff muscle were in regions related to fat metabolism and adipogenesis, or the formation of fat or fatty tissue.”Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationThe research team notes that the activation of these regions suggests that the muscle stem cells from the rotator cuff have DNA that is programmed to more easily become fat cells.”This study was the first of its kind to study DNA modification in the context of rotator cuff disease,” says Christopher Mendias, Ph.D., A.T.C., adjunct associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Michigan Medicine. “It allowed us to gain insight into studying the nature of this common and debilitating condition, and it will set the stage for many additional studies.”Future researchWhile further research is needed, this study provides insights into how future research in the rotator cuff could potentially lead to new therapeutic and clinical treatments.”On the therapeutic side, for example, it may be possible in the future to take a patient’s own muscle stem cells from a muscle that heals better and with less fat formation than the rotator cuff muscles,” Schubert says. “During surgery, we could then transplant these stem cells from a muscle, such as the calf, to rotator cuff muscles and perhaps they could help the muscle heal with less fatty infiltration.”Asheesh Bedi, M.D., professor and chief of sports medicine and the Michigan Center for Human Athletic Medicine and Performance (MCHAMP) at Michigan Medicine and one of the co-authors of the study, explains how the study could benefit patients he sees in clinic.”This work provides the fundamental mechanistic explanation to what we see clinically,” he says. “When the muscle has changed, it can limit the outcome and return of strength even when we successfully repair the tear. Understanding this pathway gives us potential therapeutic pathways to augment our surgeries to help the muscle recover along with the healing tendon.”The research team plans to continue its work into examining the rotator cuff. They currently have research underway to further study the nature of fat accumulation in patients with rotator cuff tears and understand how stem cells and immune cells work together to modify the muscle after injury. Source:https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/lab-report/stem-cells-provide-greater-insight-into-rotator-cuff-diseaselast_img read more

Arsenic in drinking water may lead to thickening of the hearts main

first_img“The stronger association in subjects with elevated blood pressure suggests that individuals with pre-clinical heart disease might be more prone to the toxic effects of arsenic on the heart,” said Gernot Pichler, MD, PhD, and medical specialist for Internal Medicine, Department of Cardiology at Hospital Hietzing/Heart Center Clinic Floridsdorf in Vienna, Austria, and a visiting scholar in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.Although this study was performed in tribal populations in the north, central and southwestern United States, the results are likely to be generalizable to millions of people in other rural locations exposed to low or moderate levels of arsenic in their water. The study also had only one measure of arsenic exposure and did not include long-term follow-up of the participants.”The study raises the question of whether the changes in heart structure are reversible if exposure is reduced. Some changes have occurred in water sources in the study communities, and it will be important to check the potential health impact of reducing arsenic exposure,” Pichler said.”Observational studies like this one are critical since cardiovascular disease remains the single leading cause of adult premature death worldwide and millions of individuals globally are exposed to arsenic and other metal contaminants,” noted Navas-Acien. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 8 2019Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart’s main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. This structural change increases the risk for future heart problems. The findings are published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, an American Heart Association journal.The researchers reviewed data from the Strong Heart Family Study, a study evaluating cardiovascular risk factors among young American Indian adults from Oklahoma, Arizona and North and South Dakota. Arsenic exposure was measured in urine samples from 1,337 adults (average age 30.7 years, 61 percent female) and the size, shape and function of their hearts were assessed using ultrasound (echocardiography). None of the participants had diabetes or heart disease at the start of the five-year study.”People drinking water from private wells, which are not regulated, need to be aware that arsenic may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Testing those wells is a critical first step to take action and prevent exposure,” said Ana Navas-Acien, PhD, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia Mailman School, and senior author.People are most frequently exposed to arsenic, a toxic metal, through drinking water in areas where groundwater is contaminated, including many American Indian tribal communities and other rural and suburban communities in the United States. Previously, several studies have shown that arsenic exposure raises the risk of heart disease and its risk factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes. This is the first study to review the question in young adults.Overall, arsenic exposure was higher than in the general United States population, but lower than that found in other studies conducted in Mexico and Bangladesh. With a two-fold increase in arsenic in the urine, the researchers found:Related StoriesRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymoma 47 percent greater chance of thickening of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) in the group as a whole; and 58 percent greater chance of thickening of the left ventricle in participants with increased or high blood pressure (blood pressure at least 120/80 mm Hg or using pressure-lowering medication) Source:https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/last_img read more

Sabarimala campaign aims to oust Vijayan Govt says LDF

first_imgCOMMENTS political candidates COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on state politics Vellappally threatens counter agitationagainst protests over Sabarimala verdict  The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala said that the Opposition, the Congress party has only hurt its own cause by siding with the protests spearheaded by the BJP-NDP over the Sabarimala issue. A Vijayaraghavan, LDF convenor, said here that the single-point agenda of this ‘unholy alliance’ is the ouster of the government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.Congress BeelineHe ridiculed the Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala for exhorting Congress workers to desert the party and make a beeline to the rival BJP and RSS camps. He also said that Chennaithala is trying to mislead devotees of Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala. The LDF convenor also warned the latter against hatching any plot to ‘encore on the Vimochana Samaram’ (liberation struggle) against the first elected State government in 1958-59.The reference was to the anti-Communist agitation against the government led by the Marxist supremo EMS Namboodiripad by the Catholic Church, the Nair Service Society, and the Indian Union Muslim League.It was also backed by the Indian National Congress, who would eventually join under the banner to launch the United Democratic Front (UDF), who, along with LDF, has since ruled the State by turn.BJP State president and NDA Chairman PS Sreedharan Pillai is leading the ‘long march’ of devotees and activists from Pandalam in central Kerala, birth place of Lord Ayyappa, to the State capital. The march entered the second day on Thursday. The five-day march received a major boost after prominent NDA partner, the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) of the Ezhava community affirmed its unstinted support. October 11, 2018center_img File Photo – Pilgrims bound for Sabarimala   –  THE HIDNU politics RELATED Temples political development SHARE Kerala BJP hardens stand on Sabarimala issue last_img read more