by, Dr. Bill ThomasTweetShareShareEmail0 Shares I am not a Catholic but I did read the Pope’s statement to the Cardinals with interest.He writes, “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”No matter what one thinks about this Pope’s tenure (and there are some very negative reviews in circulation), this statement is deeply insightful. A good old age is largely the product of setting and re-setting the boundaries and limits that best match one’s capacities to the requirements of daily life. It is likely that the daily grind of being Pope would overtax many younger people and it is aslo likely there are many older people who could handle them with aplomb.The point is that aging is a an exercise in individuation. What matters most is not what most older people could do or would want to do but rather what this man feels is right for him.There is another point worth making here. This man had the freedom to choose his path, to change his circumstances and re-imagine his life. Many millions of others do not live their old age surrounded by acolytes and dwelling in gilded palaces. For these people the ability to match one’s circumstances to a changing set of capacities is far more limited.The Pope’s decision will make headlines around the world but the real story here lies in the need to change aging for everyone. We all deserve to live our lives knowing that an elderhood free from the most pressing cares and gifted with the self-respect that accompanies autonomy can be ours someday.Related PostsAging in CommunityWe are all familiar with and likely share in the near universal dream of “aging in place.” Growing old in and spending our last years within the warm and comforting embrace of one’s own home is a sweet sweet dream. This is especially true when we look at and try…The Manifesto Against Ageism is HereAbout eight years ago, Ashton Applewhite began interviewing people over 80 for a project called “So when are you going to retire?” It didn’t take her long to realize that almost everything she thought she knew about aging was wrong. So she wrote a book to set the record straight.Weight man-age-mentIn my current capacity as a behaviorist at a weight loss medicine clinic, I work alongside patients to identify their weight loss goals and modify the behaviors sabotaging them. Far and away, these patients blame aging the most. Is this a convenient falsity, or inconvenient truth?TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: In the News retirement
EPOs neuroprotective effect in preemies may be mediated by epigenetic regulation of
Neurogenin 1, a transcription factor that governs the progression of neurogenesis FOS like 1, implicated in development of cognitive deficits after oxygen depravation (hypoxia) Mitogen-activated protein kinase 8 interacting protein 2, encodes a scaffolding protein broadly expressed in the brain. Experimental models that lack this protein display autistic tendencies. Resistance to inhibitors of cholinesterase 8 homolog A, an essential player in generating new brain cells Major histocompatibility complex, class II, DR alpha, a central player in proper immune system function. “These findings suggest that EPO’s neuroprotective effect may be mediated by epigenetic regulation of genes involved in the development of the nervous system and that play pivotal roles in how the body responds to inflammation and hypoxia,” Dr. Massaro says. Source:https://childrensnational.org/ May 7 2018Erythropoietin (EPO) helps to protect and repair vulnerable brains though it remains a mystery how the anemia drug does so. Genetic analyses conducted by a multi-institutional research team finds that EPO may work its neuroprotective magic by modifying genes essential for regulating growth and development of nervous tissue as well as genes that respond to inflammation and hypoxia. Findings from the pilot study will be presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2018 annual meeting.”During the last trimester of pregnancy, the fetal brain undergoes tremendous growth. When infants are born weeks before their due dates, these newborns’ developing brains are vulnerable to many potential insults as they are supported in the neonatal intensive care unit during this critical time,” says An Massaro, M.D., an attending neonatologist at Children’s National Health System and lead author of the research. “EPO, a cytokine that protects and repairs neurons, is a very promising therapeutic approach to support the developing brains of extremely low gestational age neonates.”The research team investigated whether micro-preemies treated with EPO had distinct DNA methylation profiles and related changes in expression of genes that regulate how the body responds to such environmental stressors as inflammation, hypoxia and oxidative stress. They also investigated changes in genes involved in glial differentiation and myelination, production of an insulating layer essential for a properly functioning nervous system. The genetic analyses are an offshoot of a large, randomized clinical trial of EPO to treat preterm infants born between 24 and 27 gestational weeks.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaThe DNA of 18 newborns enrolled in the clinical trial was isolated from specimens drawn within 24 hours of birth and at day 14 of life. Eleven newborns were treated with EPO; a seven-infant control group received placebo.DNA methylation and whole transcriptome analyses identified 240 candidate differentially methylated regions and more than 50 associated genes that were expressed differentially in infants treated with EPO compared with the control group. Gene ontology testing further narrowed the list to five candidate genes that are essential for normal neurodevelopment and for repairing brain injury:
Perspectives of patients and caregivers on care transitions
May 15 2018In the transition from hospital to home, patients and caregivers seek clear accountability, continuity, and caring attitudes across the care continuum.One-hundred and thirty-eight patients and 110 family caregivers participating in focus groups and interviews identified three desired outcomes of care transition services: feeling prepared and able to implement care plans, unambiguous accountability from the healthcare system, and feeling cared for and cared about by clinicians. Five services or clinician behaviors were linked to these outcomes: providing actionable information; collaborative discharge planning involving patient and caregiver; using empathic language and gestures; anticipating the patient’s need to support self-care at home; and providing uninterrupted care with minimal handoffs. When participants’ desired outcomes were realized, they characterized care as excellent and trustworthy. In addition, caregivers experienced less distress and reported adherence to discharge plans increased. When desired outcomes were not met, patients and caregivers felt deserted by the health care system and perceived medical care as transactional and unsafe. Poor and fragmented care transition experiences, the authors suggest, can have substantial consequences, including creating patient and caregiver mistrust, anxiety, and confusion; precipitating family conflict; and contributing to inefficient care delivery, avoidable health system use, and delayed recovery. To ensure that care transitions are safe and supportive of patients’ recovery, the authors state that health systems must better prepare patients and caregivers for self-care at home and design accessible means of ongoing care support when and where it is needed.Source: http://www.annfammed.org/
Survey Only half of health care practitioners ask for patients sexual orientation
Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/survey_of_sexual_medicine_society_members_reveals_only_half_ask_for_patients_sexual_orientation Aug 1 2018Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say their small survey of nearly 100 health care practitioners who are members of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America revealed that only half routinely ask their patients directly about their sexual orientation. In addition, the survey found, of those who do not ask, more than 40 percent say that sexual orientation is irrelevant to patients’ care, a position contrary to longstanding clinical evidence.A report of the findings, published in the July issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, suggests more professional and patient education is needed to successfully address the LGBT community’s often distinctive health care needs.”There’s apparently a great lack of awareness even among those with a special interest in sexual medicine of the many health considerations a provider must take into consideration when patients are members of the LGBT community,” says Amin Herati, M.D., assistant professor of urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s senior author. “For example, men who mostly have sex with men are at much higher risk of some sexually transmitted infections, and if providers don’t ask, patients may not provide important medical information pertinent to their lifestyle,” Herati adds, noting that gender disparities between men and women in clinical care have appropriately received attention in recent years, and “the next wave of disparities is among LGBT sexual minorities.”Previous studies, Herati says, show that men who have sex with men (or MSMs) have worse health outcomes overall and are at a greater risk for a range of medical and psychological conditions. Evidence also shows that patients experience improved mental health when they disclose their sexual orientation.With existing estimates indicating that fewer than 20 percent of clinicians provide medical information pertinent to LGBT patients, Herati and the research team set out to better understand how frequently health care providers ask patients about sexual orientation and their rationale for asking or not asking.To do this, they mailed an 18-question survey to 696 members of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America between August 2016 and November of that year. The questions asked for participants’ age, gender, sexual orientation, degree/qualifications, practice setting, etc.; how they assessed (if they did) patients’ sexual orientation; and how, if at all, they tailored care to address specific needs of MSM patients.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaScientists discover rare autoimmune disease triggered by testicular cancerOf the 92 Sexual Medicine Society members who completed the survey, 93.3 percent reported treating MSM patients, but only 51.7 percent said they routinely asked about sexual orientation. Of those that do not ask, 41.9 percent reported believing that sexual orientation is irrelevant to their patients’ care and 25.6 percent said patients would disclose this information if they thought it was important.Those who did ask about sexual orientation were more likely to practice in urban areas (36 members who asked practiced in urban areas versus 26 who did not ask and lived in urban areas), were more likely to inquire about a greater number of sexual behaviors (34 who inquired about sexual orientation used a sexual health questionnaire asking about number of partners, types of intercourse and use of protection versus 24 who did not ask about sexual orientation but used a questionnaire), were more likely to tailor their care to LGBT needs (17 who asked about sexual orientation offered staff training on communication toward the LGBT community versus 11 who did not ask about sexual orientation but provided training; 10 who asked about sexual orientation provided visual cues in waiting or exam rooms that signal LGBT health risks versus three that provided visual cues but did not ask about sexual orientation; and were more likely to endorse the idea that homosexual/bisexual patients have unique sexual dysfunction concerns.The investigators say that open communication with health care professionals may relieve stress and anxiety for patients, as well as assure better clinical care.Herati says a program to be implemented in the Johns Hopkins Health System later this year is an example of an effort to foster more open communication. It offers patients a sociodemographic ID card to voluntarily fill out, and which includes sexual orientation information. The card is designed to be shown or given to physicians and other health care providers during medical visits.”We hope that will take away some of the inertia or awkwardness among providers and help provide a segue into discussing their sometimes special health needs,” says Herati.
Researchers identify pathogenic Leptospira strains in Uruguay cattle
Sep 14 2018Leptospirosis infections, caused by Leptospira bacteria, occur in people and animals around the world, but different strains of the bacteria may vary in their ability to cause disease and to jump between species. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have for the first time described the characteristics of the Leptospira variants that infect cattle in Uruguay. Related StoriesNew methods to recognize antimicrobial resistant bacteria and how they workDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea decipheredLeptospirosis is most often transmitted to humans through contaminated water, and outbreaks are seen in tropical and subtropical areas after large amounts of rain or floods. Water can initially be contaminated through the urine of infected animals, including rats, cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and dogs. In Uruguay, beef and dairy exports are leading sources of national income.To determine the identity of the Leptospira variants that infect cattle in Uruguay, and whether they are a potential risk for humans, a multicentric consortium was created involving the Institut Pasteur of Montevideo, the Faculty of Medicine (Udelar), the Agricultural Research National Institute (INIA) and the Ministry of Livestock (MGAP). This multidisciplinary team sampled urine and blood from 963 cattle at 48 beef and dairy farms around Uruguay. Additionally, they collected the urine and kidneys from 577 animals from 22 slaughterhouses. Each sample was tested for the presence of Leptospira and, if present, for the exact strain.The researchers found that 20% of all cattle sampled were shedding pathogenic Leptospira in their urine, representing a large public health risk. 40 different strains of the bacteria were isolated, uncovering an unexpectedly large variation. The bacteria identified included three rare isolates undetected by normal tests, and two serotypes of the bacteria that matched exactly with those previously isolated from leptospirosis patients.“This report of local Leptospira strains shall improve diagnostic tools and the understanding of leptospirosis epidemiology in South America,” the researchers say. “These strains could also be used as new components within bacterin vaccines to protect against the pathogenic Leptospira strains that are actually circulating, a direct measure to reduce the risk of human leptospirosis.” “One of the veterinarians, co-author of the article, was photographed while obtaining urine and blood samples from cattle in a farm in Uruguay. Such samples allowed for serologic characterization of animals, and eventual isolation/typing of Leptospira spp. strains.” Credit: Buschiazzo, et al (CC BY 4.0, 2018) Source:https://www.plos.org
Top stories Cancers good fat predicting earthquakes and rapid climate change
Death of beloved polar bear Knut solved
In 2011, the Berlin Zoological Garden suffered a tragic loss when internationally adored polar bear Knut had an unexpected seizure and drowned. An autopsy found that swelling in Knut’s brain, known as encephalitis, caused the seizure. But the exact cause of the swelling has remained mysterious. Today in Scientific Reports, researchers announce the culprit: Knut suffered from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, an autoimmune disease thought to exist only in humans. In autoimmune disorders, the individual’s immune system falsely produces defensive agents, called antibodies, which attack its own tissues. In the case of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, the antibodies attack a particular protein (the NMDA receptors) located on cells in the brain and the misguided attacks lead to swelling, and for Knut, an unforeseen seizure. When a nearby neurologist in Berlin read Knut’s autopsy report, he found striking symptomatic parallels to his own patients who suffered from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. He teamed up with those who originally investigated Knut’s death, and after running a suite of tests on stored tissue samples from the bear’s brain, the team pegged the autoimmune diagnosis. The discovery suggests that anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is far more common in mammals than previously thought. Scientists hope that because the disease is treatable in humans, they’ll be able to diagnose and treat animals in captivity before it kills them.
Maleah Davis Mother Speaks Out
Maleah Davis is the four-year-old girl whose stepfather claimed was abducted on his watch over the weekend. While there seemed to be many holes in his story, Maleah’s mother was speaking out for the first time as the little girl’s history of child abuse was revealed.See Also: A Disturbing Timeline Of Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger Killing Botham Jean In His Own HomeMaleah’s mother spoke through tears at a press conference Monday.“I love her so much. Maleah is a sweet girl, she loves to dance, she’s always happy,” Brittany Bowens said. “I just want to find Maleah… I just want to find my baby. I just want to find her. Help me find her! Please help me find her.” Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family One of the men allegedly said “Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet” before Vence alleged he was hit in the head, lost consciousness and woke up at 6 p.m. on Saturday. He said Maleah was missing but his son was still there. Vence supposedly walked to a hospital, received treatment and then reported Maleah as missing.“I realize there’s a lot blanks [sic] in the story,” Holbrook said. 2/2: Photo of assault victim, Mr. Darion Vence, who is Maleah’s stepfather, stated he was unconscious for almost 24 hrs. Detectives ask anyone who saw Darion or Maleah after 9 pm Friday (May 3) to 6 pm on Sat to contact HPD Homicide 713-308-3600 or @CrimeStopHOU at 713-222-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/nuZHA1EQPY— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) May 5, 2019The vehicle Vence was driving was also still missing as of Monday morning.Maleah was reportedly last seen wearing a pink bow in her hair with a light blue zip-up jacket, blue jeans and gray, white and pink sneakers. She has black hair and brown eyes and stands 3 feet tall, weighing 30 to 40 pounds. Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist BREAKING: A regional #AmberAlert has been issued for the Houston area for 5yo Maleah Davis. https://t.co/kCZ5UiQVyZ— Charly Edsitty (@CharlyABC13) May 5, 2019 The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said Maleah and her two brothers were removed from their home last year due reports of abuse, according to CNN.“In August 2018, Maleah and her brothers were placed with a relative following physical abuse allegations, stemming from a head injury she had, CPS said Monday night,” CNN wrote. “A judge ordered their return home in February and called for CPS to maintain temporary conservatorship and visit the home at least once a month to check on the family.”Maleah reportedly had multiple brain surgeries. According to ABC reporter Shelly Childers, the surgeries were due to physical abuse. Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Justice Now’ At EJ Bradford’s Moving Funeral Ceremony AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail SEE ALSO:All The Ways Cops Are Still Trying To Cover Up LaQuan McDonald’s ExecutionOutrageous! Figurines Of White Cherub Crushing Head Of Black Angel Removed From Dollar StoreMeet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s Clothes Houston , Maleah Davis , Police More By NewsOne Staff A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ BREAKING: missing 4YO Maleah Davis was removed from her home in August by CPS. They tell us it was due to allegations of physical abuse, related to Maleah’s head injury, which required several brain surgeries. She was returned home in Feb. @abc13houston pic.twitter.com/jiAq1E6XVU— Shelley Childers (@shelleyabc13) May 6, 2019Darion Vence, the child’s stepfather, told Sgt. Mark Holbrook of the Houston Police Department’s Homicide Division that he, Maleah and his two-year-old son were on their way to George Bush Intercontinental Airport Friday night to pick up Maleah’s mother, who was flying in from Massachusetts. Vence said he heard a “popping noise,” like a popped tire and pulled over. A blue pickup truck pulled up behind the vehicle and two Hispanic males got out, according to Vence.
Cleveland Jail Torture Video Shows Guards Abusing Inmate
#SayHerName: Black Women And Girls Killed By Police Morehouse Students Take To Social Media And Claim Sexual Harassment Complaints Were Ignored More By Megan Sims Unfortunately, Glass’ treatment was not an isolated incident. Nine inmates have died at the Cuyahoga County Jail in the past year. In addition, officials were investigating claims that inmates have been exposed to horrible conditions. Clark is one of 10 officers from the jail facing charges from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for various incidents, some of which caused injury or death to several inmates.SEE ALSO:Cops Whitesplain Their Delay To Arrest Woman Who Pulled A Gun On Black Couple PicnickingElizabeth Warren Explains Why She Will Never Go On Fox News Though the officers and Glass both agreed that she became angry when she was not allowed to make a phone call, that is where the similarities end with their statements. According to Cleveland.com, the officers wrote in their reports that Glass threatened officers from the time she was booked until the time Clark approached her cell. They also said that after she was pepper sprayed, they wheeled her to a medical unit for treatment.Glass, who said she suffers from asthma, told a different story.She said officers threatened to pepper spray her if she did not stop demanding a phone call and banging her head against her cell. She also claimed that after they wheeled her out of the room, she was taken to a small cell where water was thrown on her and she was left alone for hours.For months, the jail refused to release the video and Clark’s disciplinary records. Clark, who did not have his body camera turned on, said in the newly released documents that he was aware of a policy that stated that officers had to be at a minimum of three feet away from a person before pepper spraying them. Yet he claimed he sprayed her at six inches because she kept turning her head.Clark was suspended for 15 days following the incident, but he has been on unpaid leave since his indictment in April when he was charged with second-degree felonious assault, interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint. He pleaded not guilty. Cuyahoga County Jail , Police Brutality AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail The Cuyahoga County Jail in Cleveland recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons after its deplorable conditions led to several suspicious inmate deaths. Now, newly released video footage was shining a brighter light on the horrific brutality inside the jail that some have described as “torture.”A surveillance camera from the jail recorded the disturbing events that took place last July 2018. As the video begins, two jail workers are seen in a room alone. One unidentified officer was getting a wheelchair ready while the supervisor, Idris-Farid Clark, shook his pepper spray like he was prepared to use it. Shortly after the two leave, they reemerged with inmate Chantelle Glass, who was wearing a white gown. Glass had reportedly been brought to the jail after a heated argument with her sister, but was never charged. Instead, she was held in the jail for failure to appear in traffic court. Glass, who did not appear to be resisting, was strapped to the chair as several officers stood around her. As the unidentified officer from the beginning of the video began to strap in her left leg after strapping in her arms and upper body, Glass stretched her right leg. The officer, in turn, punches her in the face, prompting Glass began to kick. Then Clark, who had been holding the pepper spray the whole time, began spraying Glass from close range, even holding her head in place so he could continue to spray her. Clark sprayed Glass for six seconds at a distance of about six inches from her face.Almost one minute passed before Glass, whose face and chest was covered in orange, was wheeled out of the room.The disturbing video can be viewed below.In a statement to Cleveland.com, Glass’ attorney, Subodh Chandra, called the video a “torture scene.”“They wanted to hurt her,” Chandra said. “This appeared to be a ritual of torture, something the officers were accustomed to doing and had practiced many times.” White Tears! Former Meteorologist Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Fired Because Of Diversity Jamaican Republican Who Is Running Against AOC Supported Her A Year Ago
The Strange Stories Behind Weird Element Names
Chemical elements have been discovered by man since prehistory and as recently as the last 20 years. Their names reflect a variety of influences based on a mix of language, culture, and our understanding of chemistry, according to the BBC. Gold, iron, copper, and silver names all come from Anglo-Saxon roots, but were known to man long before those names came into use. Most of these can be found in nature in their pure states, but even iron, which usually requires smelting to extract it from ore, was used in artifacts dating from 3500 B.C.Meteoric iron was used by humans before smelting of iron ores was invented. Photo by H. Raab CC BY-SA 3.0Their atomic symbols, Au (gold) and Fe (iron), come from the Latin names for these elements, aurum and ferrum. The Romans were the first to begin using names for the elements ending with -um, a practice which still continues.Since 1947, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has had the responsibility for approving elements’ names, and determining one internationally recognized atomic symbol for each.Mendeleev’s periodic table from his book ‘An Attempt Towards a Chemical Conception of the Ether.’Prior to IUPAC taking on this role, there was occasional confusion or disagreement about what an element should be called, due to either uncertainty about a discovery, or simultaneous discoveries.For example, niobium was called columbium in the U.S., until IUPAC settled the issue in 1949. IUPAC’s process begins with the discoverer being invited to propose a name and symbol for the element, with a recommendation that it end in -ium for the sake of linguistic consistency.The proposed name gets checked to make sure it has never been associated with any other element, in any capacity. After examination and acceptance by the division, the name goes to the IUPAC Council for final approval, before it’s published in IUPAC’s journal.Humphry Davy discovered nine elements using electrolysis.Over a quarter of all element names are derived from a place, usually where they were discovered or were first synthesized. About a dozen element names come from myth and legend such as cobalt, titanium, and promethium.No discoverer has ever named an element after himself, but several have been named in honor of famous scientists, like fermium, curium, and einsteinium. Nine elements are named for the brightest color they emit, using spectroscopy, such as indium and rubidium. Others are identified based on smell.Aluminum was named by the English chemist, Sir Humphry Davy, and is derived from the mineral alum, according to World Wide Words. Sir Humphry was a little indecisive, though. First, he used the name alumium, in 1807. Then he shifted the name to aluminum, and finally, in 1812, settled on aluminium.Antoine Lavoisier established that alumina was an oxide of an unknown metal.The last version was the most popular with his colleagues, for its classical ring, and because of its linguistic consistency with other elements such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, all of which Davy had also named. Aluminum stayed in use for a little while in Britain, but aluminium quickly became the preferred name.In the U.S., it was a little more complex. Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary only listed aluminum, although aluminium was still the more common spelling among U.S. chemists throughout the 19th century.Bar of aluminium (Al) crystal growth raw material, with visible dendrites on the macroetched surface, from the collection of Ethan Currens.Aluminium was the preferred version in the Century Dictionary in 1889 and the only spelling given in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary in 1913. In the first decade of the 1900s, the version ending -um started to become more popular in the States, and by the decade following, -ium was very uncommon to see.The name was officially standardized internationally as aluminium, but in the United States, aluminum persists.Over the last 75 years, new elements have been discovered in laboratory settings by what amounts to spit-balling – hurling atomic nuclei at each other with great force, to see what sticks. This has been gradually adding to the sequence of super-heavy elements.According to the Oxford Dictionary’s blog, this is problematic, because most of them decay into other very rare elements, and the starting material becomes increasingly hard to produce. As a result, the International Union of Practical and Applied Chemistry has been assigning these elements temporary names, but in truth, most chemists just refer to them by their numbers.Read another story from us: Ancient Incas could Pay Taxes with a Bucket of Head LiceThere have been attempts to generate traction for giving these super-heavy elements more trendy names, such as octarine or severium, both of which are references to fantasy novels, but those attempts haven’t been particularly successful.
Motorcycle escort participants needed
Motorcycle escort participants needed March 20, 2018 By Diana Hutchison The special speaker for the annual Trapper Days Veterans Memorial Program on May 26 has been announced. This year Brad Click was able to arrange for former United States Marine Jeff KyleSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad Photo provided by J.B. ClickJeff Kyle, former Marine and brother of American Sniper Chris Kyle, is scheduled to speak at the Veterans Memorial Program during the Trapper Days festivities at 10 a.m. on May 26 at the LDS Stake Center in Taylor.
Do gut bacteria make a second home in our brains
New climate models predict a warming surge
Google May Have Pixel Chromebook Showcase Tiny Home in the Works
Sales may be a secondary consideration for Google in the Chromebook market, though. Like Microsoft with its Surface tablet and laptop products, Google likely wants to show other Chromebook makers the platform’s potential.”What they’re trying to do is establish a benchmark product that shows the market what the technology can do, and hope the other guys follow suit,” noted Jack E. Gold, principal analyst at J.Gold Associates.”I don’t think Google is going to play the low-end price game,” he told TechNewsWorld. “They’re going to try and show more capabilities and encourage OEMs to get more creative with their Chromebooks.”The impetus behind a new Pixel Chromebook is the same as always, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”It allows Google to demonstrate just how robust and great a Chromebook can be,” he told TechNewsWorld.A high-end Chromebook also could prove the value of the ChromeOS to Google’s partners by opening a premium market to them.”Its partners have been reluctant to push the price opportunity for Chromebooks above $400,” said Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Group.”To be a viable alternative to Windows, Google has to offer its device partners a path to better revenue and profits with Chromebook,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The Pixel Chromebook will be designed to help create a viable more premium market, which the partners want,” Baker said, but they “can’t take the financial risk that Google can in building it.” Benchmark for Others John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Google’s introduction of a “little brother” for its Home smart speaker is a much-expected move, said Brad Russell, a research analyst at Parks Associates.”They need a low-cost entry point for consumers that aren’t already in the space,” he told TechNewsWorld.One of the goals of these product lines is ubiquity in the home, Russell pointed out.”The reason Amazon’s Dot has been so successful is not just because it’s cheap — it’s because you can afford to put one in every room if you choose to,” he said.Offering a range of devices enhances a vendor’s prospects for appealing to a wider audience, noted Jonathan Collins, a research director at ABI Research.While the idea is to expand the number of devices in the home, vendors’ ambitions reach beyond the devices.”In the long term, each vendor wants to get their voice assistant platform in the smart home,” Collins told TechNewsWorld.”These speakers have become a Trojan horse for the digital assistants,” said Technalysis’ O’Donnell.”People are using these speakers to get access to personal assistants more than they’re even using them on their phones,” he said, “so if Google wants to have more people use Google Assistant, they have to sell more smart speakers.” Because the Pixel Chromebook likely will be a premium product, it won’t be stepping on the sales of existing Chromebook makers, said Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and notebook research at IHS Markit.”I don’t see this offering serious competition to their hardware partners,” she told TechNewsWorld. “It’s Google taking a leadership role, showing how things can be done, rather than a volume-hardware play.”Although details were sparse, it seems likely the new Pixel Chromebook will spring from Project Bison, a Google project veiled in secrecy and originally scheduled for release in this year’s third quarter, the Android Police report suggested.Bison was intended as a serious competitor to Apple’s MacBook and Microsoft’s Surface Pro, according to the report. It was to have a 12.3-inch screen, 32 or 128 gigabytes of storage, 8 or 16 gigabytes of RAM, and an optional Wacom stylus that would be sold separately.”The biggest rumor about the Pixel Chromebook concerns Google integrating support for Android apps, which would be a large, significant step forward,” Pund-IT’s King said.”It also seems possible that the company could add support for features tied to it’s Home devices or emerging technologies like Cardboard,” he added. Google appears to be planning a Pixel-branded Chromebook and a downsized version of its Home smart speaker, following in the steps of Microsoft and Amazon respectively.Along with two expected new Pixel phones, Google this fall will unveil a Pixel-branded Chromebook and smaller, lower-priced version of its Home smart speaker, Android Police reported Monday, citing a source familiar with the company’s plans.Chromebooks typically have been popular with budget-conscious schools and penny-pinching consumers, but the Pixel laptop may be setting it sights on a segment of the market that’s willing to spend more, the Android Police report suggests.If so, it won’t be Google’s first effort to sell a premium Chromebook. It first introduced a Pixel Chromebook in 2013, and it offered an upgrade with a base model price of US$999 in 2015. Neither captured much market share.If Google should decide to continue its Chromebook line, price could be a big factor in its success.”Chromebooks have never sold as high-end notebooks,” said Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.”For them to try to do something in the premium area would be challenging,” he told TechNewsWorld. “That has never been a product category where Chromebooks have sold well.” Home’s ‘Little Brother’ Bison Spinoff?
Researchers devise a simple way to boost efficacy of malarial TBVs
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 9 2018For decades, scientists have been trying to develop a vaccine that prevents mosquitoes from spreading malaria among humans.This unique approach — in which immunized humans transfer anti-malarial proteins to mosquitoes when bitten — is called a transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV). A few malarial TBVs have shown promise but they have not been widely tested due to unwanted side effects or limited effectiveness.That could change.A biotechnology advancement reported Monday, Oct. 8, in the journal Nature Nanotechnology describes how a University at Buffalo-led research team has devised a simple way to boost the efficacy of malarial TBVs.If successful, it could help reduce the spread of the disease, which kills more than 400,000 people annually, mostly small children in sub-Saharan Africa.”Malaria is a huge global problem. This approach — using a transmission-blocking vaccine — could be part of a suite of tools that we use to tackle the disease,” says the study’s lead author, Jonathan Lovell, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering, a joint program of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.Co-authors include researchers from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the National Institutes of Health, McGill University and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.How malaria is spreadUtilizing TBVs to fight malaria stems, in part, from how the disease is spread. Here is how it works: a mosquito carrying the disease bites a child and transmits the malaria parasite to her. Later, a non-infected mosquito bites the child, and this time it’s the girl who passes the parasite to the mosquito. That mosquito later bites a new victim and infects them with the parasite.The development of effective TBVs — combined with bug nets, insecticides, anti-parasitic drugs and others types of vaccines — could help break this vicious cycle, proponents say. While a TBV would not directly prevent an immunized person from getting infected, the vaccine would reduce the odds that people living in that community get malaria, hopefully to zero.Related StoriesResearchers discover new neurotoxin that selectively targets mosquitoesGM fungus kills 99% of mosquitoes in Malaria-endemic region of AfricaEngineers crack the code to quickly diagnose anti-malarial drug resistancePrior research in this area has focused on techniques like genetic engineering and chemical binding of toxin proteins to boost TBV responses. Each strategy has potential, but they’re also time- and resource-consuming. The biotechnology created by the UB-led research team differs in its relative ease of assemble and overall effectiveness, Lovell says.The malaria parasite’s life cycle includes numerous stages. Different malaria proteins represent the best vaccine target antigens, which are proteins that a vaccine mounts an immune response against. To purify these antigens for a vaccine, they are often modified with a small chain of amino acids called a polyhistidine-tag.The research team’s discoveryResearchers discovered that the antigens could be mixed with nanoparticles containing small amounts of cobalt-porphyrin and phospholipid. The cobalt-porphyrin, which is similar in structure to vitamin B12, is responsible for binding the nanoparticle to the antigens.The resulting structure is a next-generation adjuvant, which is an immunological agent that enhances the efficacy of vaccines. The vaccine works by inducing humans to make malaria-attacking antibodies, which are then transmitted to the mosquito as it bites the immunized human.In tests involving mice and rabbits, researchers showed that antibodies from a protein called Pfs25 effectively blocked the development of malaria-causing parasites inside the gut of mosquitoes. Additional tests paired the adjuvant with multiple malaria antigens, suggesting its promise for blocking the spread of malaria at numerous stages of the disease.The research team’s next step is to prepare additional experiments that will justify moving the technology into human trials. Source:https://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2018/10/020.html
UNH study offers insight into lasting impact of concussions on young adults
Source:https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/news/release/2018/12/19/unh-researchers-find-lasting-impact-concussions-young-adults Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 20 2018Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that young adults who experienced repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussions, can experience persistent cognitive changes as well as altered brain activity.”Multiple concussions, even after general symptoms have subsided, decrease an individual’s ability to flexibly shift their mode of thinking,” said Robert Ross, assistant professor of psychology. “We found that these decreases in performance are associated with changes in how the brain communicates information.”Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskIn their study, recently published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, researchers looked at young adults ranging in age from 18 to 24 who had sustained at least two concussions with the most recent one being at least a month before the testing. The participants were asked to switch between two tasks which included telling the difference between colors and shapes, like red and green and circle or square. Cognitive changes, like working memory and processing speed, were noted and oscillatory activity, or brainwaves, were monitored with an electroencephalogram (EEG), which tests for changes in the brainwaves.In both the concussion group and the control group, researchers looked for differences in three different types of brainwaves and their effects on executive function, which is the ability to control cognitive functions like attention, inhibition, performance, flexibility, stability, working memory, and planning. They found an overall lower performance rate from those in the concussion group during the task-switching exercise. They were less accurate and processing performance was low.”This is important because in the United States more than one and a half million people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year,” said Daniel Seichepine, assistant professor of psychology and neuropsychology and a co-author on the study. “Most concussion-related studies focus on older adults or professional athletes, but these findings offer insight into the cognitive changes many young adults may suffer even years after their injury.”The researchers hope these findings may help develop better targeted treatment strategies for this population as they age.
Creative solutions to enhance patients point of view in neuromuscular research
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 7 2019The old-fashioned paternalistic relationship between doctors and patients has gradually evolved into a more collaborative one in the era of patient-centered medicine. Shared decision-making (SDM), in which doctors and patients jointly decide on treatment or care, has emerged as a gold standard model of healthcare. Yet considerably less attention has been given to obtaining the patient’s perspective on neuromuscular research on such matters as research objectives, study design, or even consent. A position paper in the Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases describes conclusions reached at an international workshop that focused on finding creative solutions to integrate and enhance the patient’s point of view in neuromuscular research.”I need to revise my grant application to include patient perspective in my research project!” commented attendee Valeria Sansone, MD, Director of the NEMO Centre, Milan (Italy). Dr. Sansone was one of 45 clinicians, healthcare professionals, researchers, patients, caregivers, and representatives from regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies from 15 countries who attended this international workshop. The gathering was convened by the European Neuromuscular Centre (ENMC) upon its 25th anniversary and was held in Milan, Italy from January 19-20, 2018.”The ENMC, a group of patient organizations for neuromuscular disorders, convened this workshop to familiarize itself with the concept of SDM, which is new for most patients and researchers in the neuromuscular field,” noted Ellen Sterrenburg, PhD, Chair of the ENMC Executive Committee.The Workshop recommendations include higher patient involvement in research activities related to neuromuscular diseases: clinical trials, sample biobanks/patient registries, and regulatory processes. Educational, structural, and cultural changes need to be implemented by all stakeholders: patients and patient organizations, healthcare professionals, and regulatory bodies.In an introductory talk, Ingeborg Meijer, PhD, of the Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of the University of Leiden and Spierziekten Nederland, Baarn (The Netherlands) set the tone of the Workshop by presenting a graphic conceptualizing the levels of patient involvement in decision processes related to health called the “ladder of participation.””There is a need for a change in culture in many medical research disciplines in order to succeed in the empowerment of patients, their families, and advocates, but this change should be adopted also by researchers, doctors, and all other professionals,” explained Dr. Meijer.During the session on biobanks and registries, Hanns Lochm?ller of the CHEO Research Institute in Ontario (Canada) said, “Rare disease research centers offer an ideal setup to implement and integrate patient involvement at all levels.” He pointed to several examples of patient co-creation in research programs such as the UK myotonic dystrophy registry, which is patient driven but professionally supported. In this registry, the patient initiates the registration and names a doctor to enter the patient’s clinical data, eliminating possible biases of past registries. Patients have also played a significant role in the TREAT-NMD global registries and developing the International Charter of principles for sharing bio-specimens and data. “Patient commitment is facilitated when registries and researchers commit to reporting research results back to the data providers, the patients, and families. A challenge is educating scientists to be flexible and change their research protocols according to the priorities of the research participants,” explained Dr. Lochm?ller, co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchPatient participation in biobanks would also benefit from SDM. To accomplish this, the ENMC Workshop provided specific educational (e.g., “the consent form should be updated to accommodate modern techniques applied to cell lines and biopsies and written together with patient organizations to ensure understanding”), cultural (e.g., “patients who donate data or samples are to be seen as partners in research and should be aware of this role”), and structural recommendations (e.g., “research information should go back to patients in the form of regular newsletters and updates”).In a session on clinical trials, participants agreed that involvement of persons with NMD (or patient organizations) in clinical trials, as experts of their own disease, should happen in a proactive way from the beginning and through discussion of trial design options. As an illustration, Baziel van Engelen, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuromuscular Diseases at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and former ENMC Research Director, presented his experience with patient participation in the OPTIMISTIC clinical trial for myotonic dystrophy type 1. A unique feature of the trial design was asking each patient which determinant of health status the individual wanted to change. “The concept of promoting health (vs. decreasing the disease) and treating the patient (vs. treating the disease) led in this case to an impressive retention level throughout the study and to very high satisfaction of the patients involved,” said Prof. Dr. van Engelen.Patient input may come from individual patients or patient organizations, such as EURORDIS and those that are condition-specific. Several initiatives are in place to help patients achieve relevant competencies and encourage those who want to take on the responsibilities of being knowledgeable patient representatives. “Having the patient voice in a clinical trial is not only feasible, it should be a logical and natural thing,” commented Dr. Lochm?ller. Source:https://www.iospress.nl/ios_news/expand-the-role-of-patients-the-true-experts-in-neuromuscular-disease-research-concludes-international-workshop/
Prenatal exposure to forest fires causes stunted growth in children
Source:https://sanford.duke.edu/articles/forest-fires-stunt-growth-cause-permanent-loss-human-potential Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 19 2019Forest fires are more harmful than previously imagined, causing stunted growth in children who were exposed to smoke while in the womb, according to new research from Duke University and the National University of Singapore.The authors found pre-natal exposure to haze from forest fires led to a statistically significant 1.3-inch decrease in expected height at age 17.”Because adult height is associated with income, this implies a loss of about 3 percent of average monthly wages for approximately one million Indonesian workers born during this period,” the authors write.”While previous research has drawn attention to the deaths caused by the forest fires, we show that survivors also suffer large and irreversible losses,” they wrote. “Human capital is lost along with natural capital because of haze exposure.””This disadvantage is impossible to reverse,” said co-author Subhrendu Pattanayak of the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy.After conducting cost-benefit analyses, the authors concluded the long-term human capital losses exceed the short-term financial benefits associated with using fire to clear land for the oil palm industry.”There are ways to eliminate these fires that are not that expensive, so this seems a very shortsighted way to develop and grow an economy,” Pattanayak said.The study, “Seeking natural capital projects: Forest fires, haze, and early-life exposure in Indonesia,” by Pattanayak and Jie-Sheng Tan-Soo of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The study combined data on mothers’ exposure to widespread Indonesian forest fires in 1997 with longitudinal data on nutritional outcomes, genetic inheritance, climatic factors and various sociodemographic factors.Related StoriesNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionIn 1997, which was an abnormally dry year, fires set to clear land primarily for oil palm plantations spread and burned out of control. Between August and October, when the fires were most intense, they engulfed 11 million hectares (27.2 million acres), causing massive exposure to unhealthy levels of air pollution. That year, about 25 percent of global carbon emissions were generated by this single event.The study examined data for 560 affected children who were in utero or in the first six months of life at the time of the fires. Their health outcomes and household characteristics were drawn from the 1997, 2000, 2007, and 2014 rounds of the Indonesian Family Life Survey.The authors conducted a series of robustness checks and confirmed their findings were not driven by high levels of pollution in later years, geographic factors, an indirect effect of severe air pollution on a family’s ability to work and to earn income, or overall reductions in food consumption during the months of the forest fires.After documenting the negative effects of the fires on health and well-being, the authors went on to conduct a series of cost-benefit analyses to determine whether spending to avoid such outcomes would be fiscally justifiable.Collectively, these analyses showed that the social net benefits from using fire to clear for oil palm are lower than the social net benefits of mechanical clearing, stronger enforcement of fire bans and better fire suppression efforts.Because oil palm growers would be unwilling to bear the higher costs of mechanical clearing, the authors recommend Indonesia pursue more effective fire bans, fire suppression and moratoriums on oil palm to protect natural and human capital.
Estrogen can affect surrounding brain cells to promote triplenegative breast cancer metastasis
Source:https://coloradocancerblogs.org/the-sneaky-way-estrogen-drives-brain-metastasis-in-non-estrogen-dependent-breast-cancers/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 2 2019Triple-negative breast cancers are more likely than other breast cancer types to metastasize and are especially likely to go the brain in younger women. Researchers have tested various hypotheses to explain this danger. One idea that has gotten little attention is the thought that estrogen might be to blame. After all, triple negative breast cancers lack estrogen receptors (along with progesterone receptors and HER2, thus the name triple negative), and so these cancers can’t possibly be influenced by estrogen. Right?Now a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Oncogene shows that while estrogen doesn’t directly affect triple-negative breast cancer cells, it can affect surrounding brain cells in ways that promote cancer cell migration and invasiveness. Importantly, the study also suggests ways to stop the activity of estrogen in the brain that fertilizes triple-negative breast cancer metastasis.”The cancer cells aren’t responsive to estrogen, but estrogen influences the microenvironment. We found that astrocytes – one of the main components of the microenvironment in the brain – are estrogen-responsive. When they are stimulated with estrogen, they produce chemokines, growth factors, and other things that promote brain metastasis,” says Diana Cittelly, PhD, investigator at CU Cancer Center and assistant professor in the CU School of Medicine Department of Pathology.Technically, Cittelly and colleagues including postdoctoral researcher, Maria Contreras-Zarate, PhD, found that estrogen induces astrocytes (brain cells) to produce growth factors called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), and that these factors turns on two genetic migration/invasion switches in cancer cells, namely TRKB and EGFR.”This may explain why breast cancers diagnosed in younger women are more likely to metastasize to the brain – pre-menopausal women have more estrogen, and it may be influencing the microenvironment of the brain in ways that aid cancer,” Cittelly says.Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenTraditionally, estrogen-positive cancers have been treated with anti-estrogen receptor therapies including tamoxifen. However, it has always seemed obvious that cancers without estrogen receptors would not respond to anti-estrogen receptor therapy. And, unfortunately, there has been little opportunity to accidentally notice the effects of anti-estrogen therapy on brain metastases resulting from breast cancer.”Historically, women with brain mets have been excluded from clinical trials due to overall poor prognosis,” says Cittelly, pointing out that earning approval for a new drug requires showing its effectiveness, and even a promising drug may seem ineffective in patients whose cancer has already metastasized to the brain. “So we have never explored whether anti-estrogens will have benefit for these women. Our work shows there might be a benefit in anti-estrogen therapies in preventing brain metastasis in women with triple-negative breast cancer.”Additionally, Cittelly and colleagues recently received funding to explore interceding elsewhere in this chain of action that starts with estrogen and ends with brain metastasis. Basically, if estrogen works through EGFR or TRKB, it may be useful to inhibit EGFR and/or TRKB, alone or together, in these patients. Fortunately, like estrogen-receptor inhibitors, EGFR and TRK inhibitors already exist and are in use with other cancers, making testing these strategies dramatically more feasible.”We are finally beginning to recognize the unique role of the microenvironment in the brain,” Cittelly says. “Cancer metastasis may not depend on cancer cells alone. Stopping metastasis in these patients may require looking at the conditions of tissues that surround and support cancers.”
FDA chief calls for release of all data tracking problems with medical
This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. This is an old database where historical information wasn’t easily accessible electronically owing to the system’s age. But it’s imperative that all safety information be available to the public. We’re now prioritizing making ALL of this data available. https://t.co/T1c3qQQQ3E-; Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) March 27, 2019 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 27 2019FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced in a tweet Wednesday that the agency plans to release hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of previously unpublished injury and malfunction reports tied to about 100 medical devices.”We’re now prioritizing making ALL of this data available,” Gottlieb tweeted. A recent Kaiser Health News investigation revealed the scope of a hidden reporting pathway for device makers, with the agency accepting more than 1.1 million such reports since the start of 2016.Device makers for nearly 20 years were able to quietly seek an “exemption” from standard, public harm-reporting rules. Devices with such exemptions have included surgical staplers and balloon pumps used in the vessels of heart-surgery patients.Gottlieb’s tweet also referenced the challenge in opening the database, saying it “wasn’t easily accessible electronically owing to the system’s age. But it’s imperative that all safety information be available to the public.”The agency made changes to the “alternative summary reporting” program in mid-2017 to require a public report summarizing data filed within the FDA. But nearly two decades of data remained cordoned off from doctors, patients and device-safety researchers who say they could use it to detect problems.Gottlieb’s announcement was welcomed by Madris Tomes, who has testified to FDA device-review panels about the importance of making summary data on patient harm open to the public.”That’s the best news I’ve heard in years,” said Tomes, president of Device Events, which makes the FDA device-harm data more user-friendly. “I’m really happy that they’re taking notice and realizing that physicians who couldn’t see this data before were using devices that they wouldn’t have used if they had this data in front of them.”Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustrySince September, KHN has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for parts or all of the “alternative summary reporting” database and for other special “exemption” reports, to little effect. A request to expedite delivery of those records was denied, and the FDA cited the lack of “compelling need” for the public to have the information. Officials noted that it might take up to two years to get such records through the FOIA process.As recently as Friday, though, the agency began publishing previously undisclosed reports of harm, suddenly updating the numbers of breast implant malfunctions or injuries submitted over the years. The new data was presented to an FDA advisory panel, which is reviewing the safety of such devices. The panel, which met Monday and Tuesday, saw a chart showing hundreds of thousands more accounts of harm or malfunctions than had previously been acknowledged.Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s health research group, said his initial reaction to the news is “better late than never.””If [Gottlieb] follows through with his pledge to make all this data public, then that’s certainly a positive development,” he said. “But this is safety information that should have been made available years ago.”