Month: July 2019

Advocates Public Consider Medicare Cost Savings As Debate Continues

first_imgAdvocates, Public Consider Medicare Cost Savings As Debate Continues Medicare costs — and controlling them — are on the minds of the public, patient advocates, lawmakers and doctors as the debate spills off Capitol Hill and into American discourse.The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: Are People Getting $3 In Medicare Benefits For Every $1 In TaxesBack when the Fact Checker covered politics, “person in the street” interviews generally yielded a similar answer when people were asked about the government — and whether they got much in benefits for the taxes they pay. The common response: It’s a raw deal for me. So we were struck by Barrasso’s comment. Are folks really getting $3 in benefits for every $1 in taxes they have paid? And is this really the right way to look at this statistic? (Kessler, 3/20).The Hill: Patient Groups Criticize Dem Calls For Medicare Price NegotiationsPatient groups and conservative activists pushed back Tuesday against renewed calls for Medicare to negotiate the prices it pays for prescription drugs. More than 330 patient groups, most of them state-based, wrote to lawmakers to oppose price negotiations in Medicare’s drug benefit (Baker, 3/19).Medpage Today: Docs Need To Learn More About Billing, CodingBigger steps should be taken to make physicians more aware of the inefficiencies that cause billions in lost health care dollars every year, according to Medicare officials. Physicians receive little education in how to manage and limit program inefficiencies, inappropriate payments, and exploitation, they wrote in a Viewpoint published in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association. More work is needed to ensure doctors are aware of “program integrity” — a term payers use to refer to losses due to inappropriate payments or exploitation, Shantanu Agrawal, MD, medical director for the Center for Program Integrity at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Baltimore, and colleagues wrote (Pittman, 3/19). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Maines New CoOp Plan Wins 80 Percent Of Market Share

first_imgIn Maine, a new startup beats a well-known Blue Cross plan in the competition for enrollees, while enrollment in Oregon’s exchange continues despite the website’s troubles. The success of California’s exchange, meanwhile, is marred by slow progress in reaching Latinos and young people.Bloomberg/Bangor Daily News: Maine Company Among Insurance Startups Winning Share Of Obamacare Enrollees In Maine, the insurer that has enrolled the most Affordable Care Act customers isn’t the state’s well-established Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, owned by WellPoint Inc. It’s WellPoint’s only rival: Maine Community Health Options, a startup that didn’t exist three years ago. The newcomer, funded primarily by taxpayer money lent under the U.S. health care law, has won about 80 percent of the market so far in Maine’s new insurance exchange, exceeding its own expectations, said Kevin Lewis, the chief executive officer (Wayne, 3/16). The Oregonian: Small Businesses Can Bypass Troubled Cover Oregon Health Insurance Exchange To Get Tax Credits, Feds SayThe Obama administration announced Friday that small businesses can qualify for tax credits without going through the troubled Cover Oregon health insurance exchange . The move is good news for small businesses in Oregon since the exchange’s function for small businesses is on hold indefinitely. A similar change had already been made for the federal exchange used in most states, but now it applies to troubled state-based exchanges as well. There’s a catch: small businesses must sign up for coverage equivalent to policies that would be sold on the exchange, subject to Affordable Care Act requirements. Also, Oregon has to apply for permission (Budnick, 3/14).The Oregonian: Oregon Exchange’s Private-Plan Enrollment Holds At Middle- Of-The-Pack Despite Tech TroublesSo how is the Oregon exchange — with help from the Oregon Health Authority– doing at enrolling people overall? … In total private plan enrollment, Oregon ranked 7 of the 14 states and Washington. D.C. who set up their own exchanges, and 27 in the country (Budnick, 3/14).The Star Tribune: PreferredOne Takes Early Lead In MNsure Insurance SalesAmid the herky-jerky rollout of the MNsure exchange, one thing has become crystal clear: Price matters. PreferredOne, one of the state’s smallest insurance companies, is cleaning up against competitors in signing up new customers, mainly because it offers the lowest premium prices on MNsure — and in the nation. About six of every 10 Minnesotans shopping for private insurance on the new health exchange have enrolled in a PreferredOne health plan. That far outpaces longtime market leader Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which has signed up 24 percent of MNsure shoppers (Crosby, 3/15).The Star Tribune: Health Beat: MNsure Ad No Harry And LouiseMNsure, the state’s new health insurance website, has replaced its comical TV ads featuring an accident-prone Paul Bunyan with an everyman campaign in which real Minnesotans extol the virtues of expanded coverage. The campaign evokes memories of “Harry and Louise,” the plain-spoken TV couple who discussed their concerns about President Clinton’s universal health care plan — and turned public sentiment against it in the mid-1990s. Of course, Harry and Louise were fictional, whereas the people featured by MNsure are real and explain how expanded coverage really helps them (Crosby, 3/15).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: California Marketplace Still Lags In Signing Up Latinos And Young AdultsWith just a few weeks remaining before the March 31 enrollment deadline, California has signed up more than 923,000 people in its new insurance marketplace—more than a fifth of the national tally, officials announced Wednesday. But the state’s success story continues to be marred by slow progress in reaching Latinos and young people in general, both considered crucial to the success of Obamacare (Gorman, 3/14). Maine’s New Co-Op Plan Wins 80 Percent Of Market Share This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Viewpoints For Trump And Drug Prices Talk Is Cheap Executive Order On

first_img President Trump and other Republicans have talked about the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, Trump said (rightly) that Big Pharma is “getting away with murder.” But talk is cheap. The question is: Will Republicans really have the guts to join me and many of my colleagues in standing up to the drug companies to fight for American consumers and end the disgrace of having our country pay by far the highest prescription drug prices in the world? If Trump believes what he has said about the industry, he will rally his party to help save American lives. Here’s why. (Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 2/2) The New England Journal Of Medicine: Trump’s Executive Order On Immigration — Detrimental Effects On Medical Training And Health Care Although all medical specialties share the goal of preventing violence, including terrorist attacks, we — chairs of major academic departments of medicine — are concerned that the consequences of this approach for U.S. health care, and our field of internal medicine, are far reaching and damaging. (Katrina Armstrong, Mark E. Anderson, John M. Carethers, Joseph Loscalzo, Michael S. Parmacek, Robert M. Wachter, and Mark L. Zeidel, 2/1) The Washington Post: Will Trump Have The Guts To Stand Up To Drug Companies? It was a measure of the dysfunction in Virginia’s tattered services for mentally ill people that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), even while facing a projected budget deficit that prompted him to propose an array of spending cuts, singled out mental-health care as the one major area for which he is seeking new funding this year. (2/2) Drugs and medical devices must be rigorously tested before they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, health and wellness programs often include complementary and alternative treatments such as meditation, massage, acupuncture, reiki, and dietary supplements, which are not subject to similar testing and approval. (Ashwini Sehgal, 2/2) The Charlotte Observer: If You’re Pro-Life, Celebrate Past 8 Years Cleveland Plain Dealer: Guard Your Well-Being By Looking Under The Hood Of Alternative Health And Wellness Treatments President Trump said he wasn’t like other politicians. He wouldn’t sell voters out to lobbyists in Washington. He would “drain the swamp.” One piece of evidence for this argument was his promise to break with GOP orthodoxy and support the government — especially Medicare — negotiating drug prices directly with the pharmaceutical industry, saving billions. In typical Trump fashion, he overestimated those savings, but the stand against the industry was nevertheless an important symbol, particularly to older voters. Less than two weeks in, Trump is already waffling on that stand. (James Downie, 2/2) The New England Journal Of Medicine: International Exchange And American Medicine center_img Bloomberg: Trump Had One Good Idea. Then He Ditched It. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Washington Post: Trump Is Handing Democrats A Gift On Drug Prices It was Tuesday morning. The new president was about to go into a meeting with chief executives from Johnson & Johnson, Merck and a handful of other major pharma companies. During his campaign, he often said that if he were elected, the federal government would start negotiating with the drug companies over the prices Medicare and Medicaid had to pay for drugs — something it’s now prevented from doing by statute. This is an issue that resonated with most Americans, the majority of whom want the government to do something about high drug prices. … When [the doors] opened again, Trump had not only abandoned his promise to use the government’s bargaining power to bring down drug prices, he was now totally against it! (Joe Nocera, 2/2) Many conservative Christians said that despite his long list of improprieties and morally questionable behavior, Donald Trump was the right choice for president because a Republican would be the best option on “life.” The numbers on the ground don’t back up that belief, though. (2/2) The Washington Post: One Step Forward For The Mentally Ill In Virginia On January 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning nationals of seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — from entering the United States for at least 90 days, with the possibility of a wider “Muslim ban” in the works. Setting the broader ethical and political ramifications aside, this order will have a detrimental effect on graduate medical education (GME) and the U.S. health care system as a whole. (Ahmad Masri and Mourad H. Senussi, 2/1) Viewpoints: For Trump And Drug Prices, Talk Is Cheap; Executive Order On Immigration Could Hurt Medical Training, Health System A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.last_img read more

University Of California Workers Launch Massive 3Day Strike Impacting Medical Centers Health

first_img UC’s five medical centers hired contract workers to fill in during the strike and scrambled to reschedule exams and treatments. UC San Francisco rescheduled more than 12,000 appointments for surgeries and treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation. UC Davis rescheduled several hundred appointments, including more than 100 cancer surgeries and 150 radiology exams. But campus spokeswoman Kimberly Hale said 78% of UC Davis health workers showed up for work. UC San Diego directed emergency room patients to other hospitals. (Watanabe and Resmovits, 5/7) More than 300 hospital workers and members of AFSCME 3299, which represents workers at UC Davis and its medical center, formed a picket line as a three-day strike began at the medical center in Sacramento on Monday, protesting the stagnating contract negotiations with the University of California. They joined the more than 53,000 health care, service, technical and research workers who are striking across all 10 UC campuses. (Sullivan, 5/7) University Of California Workers Launch Massive 3-Day Strike Impacting Medical Centers, Health Professionals More than 20,000 members of the University of California’s largest employee union are joined by the California Nurses Association, whose members work at UC’s medical centers and student health clinics, and the University Professional & Technical Employees, which includes pharmacists, clinical social workers, physical therapists, physician assistants and researchers. Los Angeles Times: Massive UC Workers’ Strike Disrupts Dining, Classes And Medical Services The Associated Press: University Of California Workers Start 3-Day Strike Over Pay center_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Sacramento Bee: Three-Day Strike Kicks Off Across University Of California System Thousands of custodians, security guards, gardeners and other service workers at University of California campuses started a three-day strike Monday to address pay inequalities and demand higher wages. Strikers gathered at sunrise on the 10 campuses throughout the state, wearing green T-shirts and carrying signs that call for “equality, fairness, respect.” The strike was called last week by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, which represents 25,000 service workers, after the union and the university could not agree on a new contract and mediation efforts failed. Another 29,000 nurses, pharmacists, radiologists and other medical workers heeded the service workers’ call for a sympathy strike and will join the walkouts Tuesday and Wednesday, which is expected to disrupt thousands of surgeries and other appointments. (Rodriguez, 5/7) last_img read more

Gilead Delayed Development Of Safer HIV Drug To Profit Off Monopoly Lawsuit

first_img Los Angeles Times: Patients Sue Gilead, Saying Drug Company Intentionally Delayed Safer HIV Medicine The Hill: FDA Reports Shortage Of EpiPens, Citing Manufacturing Delays  Stat: West Virginia Senate Race Pits Two Candidates With Close Ties To Pharma Mylan NV’s EpiPen has been hard to find in some areas because of production problems, U.S. regulators said, as the drugmaker reported that declining sales of the lifesaving allergy-shot device weighed on its results. The Food and Drug Administration posted a notification on its website on Wednesday saying that while EpiPen remains available, there are “intermittent supply constraints” due to delays at Pfizer Inc.’s Meridian Medical Technologies, which manufactures the device for Mylan. (Ockerman and Edney 5/9) Gilead Delayed Development Of Safer HIV Drug To Profit Off Monopoly, Lawsuit Claims The lawsuit says that HIV patients suffered from as many as 10 years of “additional accumulated kidney and bone toxicity” while using the drug tenofovir as the company kept the less-toxic version on a shelf in its lab. The protester dressed as a gigantic, orange EpiPen injector was sent to Sen. Joe Manchin’s photo op last month as a reminder from Republicans: The vulnerable Democrat from West Virginia should expect his daughter’s company to be a campaign issue at every stop along his road to re-election. But Manchin — the father of Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, whose company is now infamous for its EpiPen price hikes — may have caught a break in Tuesday’s primary. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the GOP nominee to challenge him in November, is no less entangled in the pharmaceutical world. (Facher, 5/9) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday announced a shortage of EpiPens, the emergency treatment for severe allergic reactions, citing a manufacturing delay. “Based on the information provided by the manufacturer, the FDA anticipates the EpiPen shortage to be short-term,” said FDA spokeswoman Lauren Smith Dyer. (Sullivan, 5/9) Two Southern California men filed suit against Gilead Sciences on Tuesday, saying they were harmed when the drug company intentionally delayed development of a safer version of a crucial HIV medicine so that it could continue to profit from its lucrative monopoly. The lawsuit — and a similar case that seeks class-action status — says that Gilead executives knew as early as 2000 that the company’s scientists had developed a less toxic form of its HIV medicine tenofovir that was less harmful to patients’ kidneys and bones. (Petersen, 5/9) In other pharmaceutical news related to EpiPen-maker Mylan — Bloomberg: Mylan Faces EpiPen Shortage As Slowing Sales Trip Up Its Results This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Giving is like a drug Hamilton couple pledge bulk of their estate

first_img The couple didn’t have children. Making money came first. Their lucky strike would be Flamboro Downs, the harness racing track they owned for almost 30 years and that Magna Entertainment purchased from them for $70 million in 2003.“When you get this pile of money dumped on you, it was a no-brainer for us — charity came into it immediately,” Charlie says. “Nobody communicated with Margaret and I asking for money – nobody.“We invited them to a party at Flamboro Downs and started handing out cheques, and that time we covered McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s – the same organizations we are dealing with now.”Charlie has maintained his work ethic, and is a tireless investor/money manager, using a save-buy-and-hold strategy to build a portfolio heavy on bank stocks with the odd energy play mixed in.“I work my ass off on the market making more money so I can give it away,” he says, chuckling. “It’s like smoking to me.”Speaking of which: Charlie is toying with the idea of investing in marijuana, and touts Aurora Cannabis Inc., as a potentially good buy. As for the actual product, well, he has consumed weed in edible form once, but after doing so felt as though his brain had been transformed into a “block of butter.”“I said to Margaret, ‘Jesus, I don’t need this. I don’t want any part of it.’”He is more bullish on cannaboids or CBDs, however, which don’t have a psychoactive effect on the user. Charlie has been taking CBD capsules to help him deal with a nerve issue in his leg, a problem that was giving him cramps and playing havoc with his sleep.“I sleep now, and it’s beautiful,” he says.When you get this pile of money dumped on you, it was a no-brainer for us — charity came into it immediatelyCharlie Juravinski Email Featured Stories Joe O’Connor Comment Join the conversation → Twitter Reddit May 29, 20198:14 AM EDT Filed under News FP Street Charlie stretches out the syllables when he uses the word “philanthropist,” because, well, the word doesn’t fit the way he views himself, even if it is a match for his and Margaret’s actions. They are both Depression-era kids who grew up thousands of kilometres apart but knowing one thing in common: poverty. Charlie’s family was from Saskatchewan. His first pair of “skates” was two steel runners with a board on top. He shared a bed with his two brothers. He had one pair of shoes and one pair of britches and zero memory of his father ever actually having a job, since there were no jobs, really, for most folks in Prince Albert in the 1930s.Margaret lived a similar experience in East Hamilton.“I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich – and there is no comparison,” she says. “Poverty is terrible.”The couple met in Hamilton after the war. Margaret was a knockout working at the Woolworth’s counter making sandwiches. Charlie, in his own words, was a “dead-ender,” a dropout but a good dancer, with a car and a friend who introduced him to his future wife as “Charlie Jug-O-Liquour.”I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich – and there is no comparison. Poverty is terrible.Margaret Juravinski Share this story’Giving is like a drug’: Hamilton couple pledge bulk of their estate to create $100-million health research endowment Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Charlie and Margaret have weathered some storms over their six-plus decades together; both have had some health scares. Charlie suggests that the secret to their longevity as a couple is never going to bed angry. Margaret waves her hand dismissively upon hearing this particular wisdom, challenging its accuracy, before explaining how Charlie always goes to bed angry after they fight — and that her secret is to walk away from it, literally out of the bedroom and into another bedroom at the opposite end of their Texas ranch-style house.Come morning, though, they will be back together again at the kitchen table, with Charlie smoking, and with plans afoot to work on the things they do agree upon, like giving away a fortune to a community that has given them so much in return.“Every place we go now, and it doesn’t matter where we go – somebody will stick out their hand and say “thank you,” Charlie says. “How can you get a better feeling than that?”• Email: joconnor@nationalpost.com | Twitter: ‘Giving is like a drug’: Hamilton couple pledge bulk of their estate to create $100-million health research endowment With Charles and Margaret Juravinski, ‘it has been a lifetime of generosity’ advertisement GREENSVILLE, Ont. — Charlie Juravinski is, in the words of his physician, an “enigma,” an outlier at 89 years of age, who has no business (statistically speaking) being alive, but is alive just the same, and so the best medical advice doctors can offer to him is to keep doing exactly as he has been doing.For Charlie, that means lighting a cigarette with his purple lighter, and another after that, while he and his wife of almost 63 years, Margaret, sit at their kitchen table on the outskirts of Hamilton discussing another of Charlie’s habits, one which Margaret, who doesn’t smoke, shares in enthusiastically — giving away piles of money.Sixteen million dollars here, another few million there, a run of philanthropy that has totalled about $50-million over the past 18 years, and is identifiable around Hamilton by the names attached to several buildings, including the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre at Hamilton Health Sciences, the Margaret & Charles Juravinski Education, Research and Development Centre at McMaster University.“Giving is like a drug,” Charlie says. “Nothing feels better than helping others.” MacKenzie Bezos takes Warren Buffett’s pledge to give away more than half of her $37 billion windfall from divorce Payback for paying it forward: For companies, it’s not charity anymore, it’s community giving Where AI meets humanity: Gerald Schwartz, Heather Reisman announce $100M donation toward U of T innovation centre So now Charlie and Margaret are giving again, earmarking the bulk of their estate to create a $100-million endowment to fund the Juravinski Research Centre, in partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare. By Charlie’s math, the endowment will pay out about $5 million a year to its partners, in a gift that will give in perpetuity.“With Charles and Margaret, it has been a lifetime of generosity,” says Rob MacIsaac, president and chief executive of Hamilton Health Sciences. “They have been very effective at making a difference in Hamilton.” Recommended For YouNikkei slips to 3-week low as trade worries haunt earningsBOJ’s next move to be more easing, say majority of economistsU.S. Senator Schumer asks FBI, FTC to probe Russia’s FaceApp over security concernsBank of Korea statement on policy decisionDeveloping Asia set to meet growth outlook despite trade war – ADB Facebook More What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Sponsored By: 7 Comments Charlie and Margaret Juravinski: “Giving is like a drug. Nothing feels better than helping others.”Courtesy McMaster University ← Previous Next →last_img read more

Hudsons Bay revenue slips as sales fall at all stores except Saks

first_img Comment Saks Off Fifth comparable sales declined 2.1 per cent.Bloomberg Twitter Reddit Hudson’s Bay revenue slips as sales fall at all stores except Saks Fifth Avenue Revenue falls 1.6% The Canadian Press Recommended For YouPet Heroes to Receive a Medal of HonourHealth Canada changes cannabis licensing process in bid to cut wait timesBoca’o Launches the First Spanish Tapas Food Truck in CanadaCanada’s two largest railways moved record grain tonnage in AprilWilliam Watson: Let’s face it. Canada is a nation of annoying humblebraggarts Facebook Share this storyHudson’s Bay revenue slips as sales fall at all stores except Saks Fifth Avenue Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn More 0 Commentscenter_img April 3, 20197:48 AM EDTLast UpdatedApril 3, 20198:30 AM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing TORONTO — Hudson’s Bay Co. reported its fourth-quarter revenue slipped to $2.89 billion, down from $3.05 billion a year earlier when the quarter included an extra week.Excluding the extra week, revenue in the quarter ended Feb. 2 was down $47 million or 1.6 per cent compared with a year ago.Overall comparable store sales for the quarter were down 1.4 per cent, while they increased 3.9 per at HBC’s Saks Fifth Avenue stores and fell 5.2 per cent at its Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters stores. Saks Off Fifth comparable sales declined 2.1 per cent.HBC reported a net profit of $286 million or $1.20 per share for the quarter, up from $84 million or 39 cents per share in the same quarter last year.However, the retailer said it lost $226 million or 95 cents per share from its continuing operations compared with a profit of $180 million or 84 cents per share a year ago.HBC announced in February it would shutter its Home Outfitters business and was eyeing the closure of up to 20 of its Saks Off Fifth locations in a bid to increase profitability.Related Stories:Walgreens third-quarter profit falls 23.6%Corona maker Constellation Brands beats quarterly sales estimatesCintas Corporation Announces Record Fiscal 2019 Results advertisement Join the conversation → Featured Stories What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation ← Previous Next → Sponsored By: Emaillast_img read more

WatchEvidence Canadian economy exiting soft patch as wholesalers post fastest 2month gain

first_img Erik Hertzberg June 25, 20199:21 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Canadian exporters in a sour mood as outlook drops to 7-year low: EDC Comment More Canadian wholesalers posted their strongest two-month gain in more than three years in March and April, adding to evidence the country’s economy is emerging from a soft patch.Wholesale sales rose 1.7 per cent in April, easily exceeding the highest forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. It was the largest increase since 2016 and the fifth consecutive gain.When combined with March’s 1.4 per cent increase, Canada’s wholesalers posted their strongest two months since the end of 2015. Excluding price increases, wholesales increased 1.6 per cent. Inflation surges to highest in seven years, giving Bank of Canada room to hold rates Drop in auto production leads surprise decline in Canada’s factory output Canadian exporters in a sour mood as outlook drops to 7-year low: EDC Strong motor vehicle sales and parts led the April increase, rising 3.2 per cent — a payback from 1.9 per cent decrease in March. Still, wholesale sales rose 1.4 per cent excluding the auto sector, signalling the broad nature of the increase.The inventory to sales ratio pulled back to 1.39 in April, from 1.40 previously.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting just 0.2 per cent growth on the month.Bloomberg.com Reddit Bloomberg News Email Twittercenter_img Facebook 3 Comments Unemployment is at record low, so why are Canadians so worried about job insecurity, recession and cost of living? Share this storyEvidence Canadian economy exiting soft patch as wholesalers post fastest 2-month gain since 2015 Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Inflation surges to highest in seven years, giving Bank of Canada room to hold rates Evidence Canadian economy exiting soft patch as wholesalers post fastest 2-month gain since 2015 Wholesale sales rose 1.7 per cent in April, easily exceeding the highest forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists Related Stories Join the conversation →last_img read more

Wildcat and TIES collaborate on electrolytes for high energydensity Liion batteries

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Wildcat Discovery Technologies is working with the Tianmu Lake Advanced Energy Storage Technology Institute (TIES) in a new multi-year project geared towards the development and optimization of high energy-density lithium-ion batteries.Wildcat will use its high-speed testing capabilities to provide TIES with as much data as possible. In turn, TIES’s team (headed by Professor Hong Li), will furnish the data analysis, material preparation and testing, and computational prowess needed for rapid research.“We are honored to collaborate with Professor Li and TIES, and look forward to expanding the cooperation as the teams get to know one another,” said Wildcat CEO Mark Gresser. “Our high-throughput experimentation platform coupled with Professor Li’s computational capabilities and pilot plant should prove very powerful for the development of new materials.” Source: Wildcat MORE: A closer look at electrolytes in advanced batteries read more

MercedesBenz is open to working with Tesla again says Daimler CEO

first_imgDaimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, was once very close to Tesla and Elon Musk even said that the German automaker “saved” the startup with its investment back in 2009.They have since grown apart as Tesla became a disruptor in the premium car space and Mercedes-Benz wants to go electric with its own EQ subbrand.But Daimler CEO now says that they are still open to working with Tesla again. more…The post Mercedes-Benz is open to working with Tesla again, says Daimler CEO appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

VW announces it will produce its own mobile fastcharging station with 360

first_imgAfter unveiling a concept for a mobile fast-charging station powered by a 360 kWh battery pack last month, Volkswagen announces today that it plans to bring the product to market and manufacture it itself at its Hanover components plant. more…The post VW announces it will produce its own mobile fast-charging station with 360 kWh battery pack appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

See How One Guy Earned Two Tesla Roadsters in 2 Months

first_img…and maybe killed the Tesla referral program in the process.We’re jealous of Andy Slye. The popular tech YouTuber is destined to be the owner of not one, but two examples of the Tesla Roadster. He managed this by bending the Tesla referral program to his will, influencing over 300 buyers to use his referral code when they purchased their own vehicle from the California automaker. And, he managed to do it in a very short period of time: two months. In the video above, he reveals the secrets that paved his path to Roadsterdom.More about the Tesla referral program Unfortunately, even using his methods, there’s no time for anyone to similarly cash in on the program. It ends on Friday, February the 1st. Still, it’s a pretty great story and he tells it well. Basically, the key is making informative videos with a twist. Oh, and be sure to mention that you even have a referral code and include it.He also explains why he doesn’t believe it was the success of certain “TeslaTubers” that killed the program, but rather the prizes handed out to the referees.If you can’t watch at the moment, the video description (copied below) has the complete timeline of his Tesla adventure so far. From the time he first heard about the company, to reserving his own Model 3 to eventually winning his Roadsters. Enjoy!Video description:Tesla Referral Program is ending! I was fortunate enough to be the world’s top Tesla referrer with 300+ referrals, earning me $500,000 in Tesla Roadsters in just 2 months. Here’s how I did it. 2008: I first hear of Tesla Motors & the original Roadster. 2012: Tesla Model S starts shipping & making the news. I was fascinated by all the tech but it was way out of my price range.2014: Model S comic made me officially decide that my next car would be the affordable mass-market Tesla. https://theoatmeal.com/static/tesla_m… March 2016: Upload my first ever Tesla video when I traveled to Cincinnati to reserve my Model 3. That video got the most views within 24 hours than any of my videos up to that point. https://youtu.be/Gnp_nTIbjWoMay 2017: Created a video for the Tesla Project Loveday contest. Even though it got a lot of positive feedback I was heartbroken when I wasn’t one of the finalists. https://youtu.be/16yoUARpQCEFeb 28 2018: Uploaded my “First Impressions of the Model 3” video after traveling hundreds of miles & paying $300 to rent one. I immediately fell in love with the car. https://youtu.be/rin816IHnbQApr 22 2018: I release my Tesla rap video. https://youtu.be/ou_gXnE3VPkApr 30 2018: I take delivery of my Tesla Model 3. I did not have a referral code of my own at this time.May 11 2018: After Tesla starts enabling referral codes for Model 3 owners, I create my Genius link http://geni.us/t3sla but at the time the code only applied to Model S & X purchases.Jun 24 2018: I upload my full Model 3 review video which eventually becomes the #1 result on YouTube for “Tesla Model 3 Review”. However I never mentioned my referral code in the video. It was only in the description. https://youtu.be/47OFb8786ko Aug 1 2018: Tesla enables referral codes to be applied to Performance Model 3 orders along with Model S & X. Sep 6 2018: I upload my “True Cost of a Tesla Model 3” video which eventually becomes one of my most popular videos. https://youtu.be/x0MjZOR89FkOct 7 2018: I upload my “Tesla Model 3 Uber/Lyft” video which goes semi-viral after Elon liked it on Twitter & Tesla tweeted it: https://twitter.com/tesla/status/1050…. Around this time I notice that I’ve gotten a handful of referrals. https://youtu.be/0Z3ZjnwbA3sOct 19 2018: Tesla makes all vehicle orders eligible for referrals so I start mentioning my code in all my Model 3 videos from then on. Nov 11 2018: I upload my “Tesla Model 3 Buyers Guide” video. At that time the referral program was set to end on Dec 10 so I had less than a month to get over 30 referrals in order to reach 55 referrals which was the amount needed to win 100% discount on one future Tesla Roadster. This was also when Tesla was urging people to order their Model 3 by the end of November to lock in the full tax credit. This skyrocketed my referrals. https://youtu.be/gM_x5DKAfzkNov 15 2018: I upload a video about how my Model 3 handled cold weather conditions: https://youtu.be/UCUBRYusWnANov 16 2018: I hit 55 referrals to win my first Roadster. Nov 25 2018: I release my Model 3 Road Trip video. By this time, Tesla was strongly pushing Model 3 sales and this is when my referrals went crazy – multiple per day. I surpassed 105 referrals which was the amount needed to win a 2nd Roadster. https://youtu.be/_druzFXjZAc Dec 4 2018: I become the world’s top Tesla referrer with over 200 referrals: https://top.teslastats.no How did my small amount of Model 3 videos lead to roughly $15 million revenue for Tesla? Value & Unique Perspective: Producing high quality content for a specific audience it in a unique way. Passion & Timing: I’ve been passionate about Tesla for years even before I got my Model 3. My videos mixed with the increasing popularity & excitement of the Model 3 along with Tesla’s biggest sales push due to the federal tax credit ending – it all happened at the perfect time for me as a referrer. Experience & Strategy: The strategy I used to create my Tesla videos that led to 300 referrals is the same strategy I’ve used for years to create my other product review videos: provide value to a target audience and give them a call to action. My YouTube strategy course: http://geni.us/YTcourseWhy is Tesla ending the referral program? I personally think Tesla couldn’t afford to keep giving away free Supercharging to each referral. What do you think? Big thanks to Tesla for the referral program. I’m very fortunate to have participated & have the most Tesla referrals in the world. Thanks to all who used my code!Source: YouTube Tesla Referral Program To End As Base Model 3 Comes Online Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Model 3 Performance Added To Referral Program Who Killed The Tesla Referral Program? Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 1, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Electric pickup truck startup Rivian confirms 700 million round of funding led

first_imgAfter rumors earlier this week that GM and Amazon were interested in Rivian, an electric pickup and SUV maker, the company has now confirmed that they are closing a $700 million round of funding led by Amazon. more…The post Electric pickup truck startup Rivian confirms $700 million round of funding led by Amazon appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

The FCPA Guidance Turns 3

first_imgThree years ago, on November 14, 2012, the DOJ and SEC released the FCPA guidance. The guidance generated a substantial amount of buzz, but the festive coverage soon subsidized as the guidance turned 1, 2, and now 3 years old.Yet, on this third anniversary of the FCPA guidance, it is useful to take a look back, particularly because the DOJ is rumored to be considering additional FCPA guidance that no doubt, if released, will likewise generate a substantial amount of buzz and festive coverage.As highlighted in this post, the 2012 FCPA guidance was a long-time coming to say the least.For instance, in the 1988 FCPA amendments Congress encouraged the DOJ to issue FCPA guidance. The DOJ refused. In 2002, the OECD encouraged the DOJ to issue FCPA guidance. The DOJ refused. In 2010, the OECD again encouraged the DOJ to issue FCPA guidance. The DOJ again refused. In the aftermath of the November 2010 Senate FCPA hearing the DOJ was again encouraged to issue FCPA guidance.  The DOJ again refused.It was only after the FCPA reform movement gained steam in 2011 that the DOJ made the political move in announcing that FCPA guidance would be forthcoming. Tellingly as to the DOJ’s political motivations, actual issuance of the guidance took over one year and occurred a few days after the 2012 elections.  For more on the above chronology of events, see the article “Grading the FCPA Guidance.”As discussed in this November 2012 post, there was little new information in the guidance to those previously knowledgeable about the FCPA and its enforcement. Yet, to those persuaded by non-lawyer journalist coverage of FCPA topics and/or selling FCPA compliance services, the guidance was indeed “new.”Sure, the guidance was a useful document to the extent it captured in one document the DOJ and SEC’s views on the FCPA and related topics.But that is all the guidance did.Criticism of the guidance was widespread, including by former high-ranking DOJ officials. (See this prior post rounding up approximately 50 law firm client alerts, etc. regarding the guidance).  For instance, Steven Tyrrell, former chief of the DOJ fraud section stated that the guidance was “more of a scrapbook of past DOJ and SEC successes than a guide book for companies who care about playing by the rules.” (See also this prior post highlighting former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson’s views on the guidance.)Indeed, the guidance did not represent the “law,” but rather DOJ and SEC interpretations of the law and as highlighted in this article the guidance was not a well-balanced portrayal of the FCPA as it was replete with selective information, half-truths, and, worse information that was demonstratively false.Even so, in the guidance, and in connection with its release, the enforcement agencies made some sensible statements (see here for the prior post) such as:the enforcement agencies are “focused on bribes of consequence – ones that have a fundamentally corrosive effect on the way companies do business abroad.”enforcement efforts are focused on “payments of real and substantial value that clearly represent an unambiguous intent to bribe a foreign official to obtain or retain business”enforcement agencies are “interested in companies spending compliance dollars in the most sensible way” and that the guidance can help companies as to where they can “minimize investment and where they can maximize it.”As highlighted in this prior post, one of the more useful aspects of the guidance is that it could thus be used as a measuring stick for future enforcement activity.Since the guidance, there have been approximately 30 corporate FCPA enforcement actions.  Several of these enforcement actions such as Ralph Lauren, Phillips, Stryker, Allianz, Bruker, Layne Christensen, Smith & Wesson, BNY Mellon, Mead Johnson, BHP Billiton, FLIR Systems– raise the issue of whether the enforcement agencies are indeed acting consistent with their own guidance, let alone the FCPA statue itself.In short, three years has passed since the guidance and not much has changed.It would seem that the only thing that has changed is that the principal spokespersons / authors of the guidance are now part of FCPA Inc. making millions in the private sector advising companies against the FCPA enforcement climate they helped create.As far back as 1982 it was recognized in the FCPA context that the United States should be a nation of laws, not a nation of men and women issuing non-binding guidance.The 2012 FCPA guidance was just that – men and women issuing non-binding guidance.As FCPA Inc. anticipates a new round of rumored non-binding FCPA guidance by men and women, let’s remember this.Indeed, just as the men and women who authored the 2012 guidance soon left the government, the men and women who draft this next round of rumored FCPA guidance are likely to exit the government in the next two years.last_img read more

Acting Assistant AG Blanco On Foreign Law Enforcement Cooperation

first_imgActing Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco recently delivered this speech which focused largely on foreign law enforcement cooperation in bribery investigations. The bulk of the speech concerned U.S. – Brazil cooperation with portions also dedicated to the DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.In his speech, Blanco used much of the same rhetoric as prior DOJ officials have in talking about bribery and corruption and once again the notion that the U.S. will “push[] forward hard against corruption, wherever it is” is subject to interpretation.Blanco stated:“Whether uncovering a multinational bribery scheme or seeking to recover illegally derived assets associated with investment funds owned by a foreign government, or protecting the security of our financial system, our biggest investigations are increasingly transnational, often involving multiple foreign jurisdictions. As transnational crime continues to grow in scope and complexity, we increasingly find ourselves looking across the globe to collect evidence and identify witnesses necessary to build cases, requiring greater and closer collaboration with our foreign counterparts. As a result, we find ourselves relying more and more on the use of the various mechanisms of international cooperation with our foreign partners that permit for evidence exchange, fugitive apprehension, and asset recovery.”Specifically about U.S. – Brazil cooperation, Blanco stated:“It is hard to imagine a better cooperative relationship in recent history than that of the United States Department of Justice and the Brazilian prosecutors. We have cooperated and substantially assisted one another on a number of public matters that have now been resolved, and are continuing to do so on a number of ongoing investigations.Anti-corruption prosecutors everywhere are driven by similar principles: bribery of public officials is wrong, it has a devastating effect on our national security and civilized societies, and intentional violations of anti-corruption laws must be treated as serious crimes. Those who violate the law must be punished, and their illegally obtained assets must be taken from them. As we have seen across the globe time and again, corruption inhibits fair and free competition to the detriment of innocent citizens and honest businesses that do not pay bribes.The United States Department of Justice remains committed to enforcing the FCPA and to prosecuting fraud and corruption more generally. To succeed on this commitment, we will always seek, when appropriate, to further our investigations through cooperation with countries like Brazil – a country that shares our commitment to rooting out corruption at all levels.The cooperation between the Department and Brazil has led to extraordinary results. In just the last year alone, for example, the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the Brazilian Lava Jato task force have cooperated and coordinated resolutions in four FCPA cases: Embraer, Rolls Royce, Braskem, and Odebrecht. Odebrecht is particularly noteworthy due to its breadth and scope.Odebrecht, one of the world’s largest construction companies, paid an unparalleled amount of bribes to high-level officials in a dozen countries to secure billions of dollars’ worth of projects around the globe. Commensurate with the conduct, Brazil and the United States, together with Switzerland, were able to achieve the largest global fine ever imposed in a corruption case. The company pleaded guilty in the United States and is required to cooperate with the respective countries’ ongoing investigations of individuals, as well as to retain an independent compliance monitor for a period of three years. In Brazil, approximately 80 people have been charged in connection with the case. It is important to mention how the penalties were levied in these coordinated resolutions.By working together, Brazil and the Department not only assisted one another in gathering evidence and building the case, but made sure to credit the fines and penalties paid to each country, rather than imposing duplicative fines and penalties. This ensures fairness to the companies, and provides the right incentives for companies to cooperate fully with the relevant jurisdictions implicated in the case.In our prosecution of Rolls Royce, the United Kingdom-based company paid about $170 million in U.S. penalties as part of an $800 million global resolution to investigations in three countries – the United States, the UK and Brazil. As with Odebrecht, the Rolls Royce resolution, involving multiple countries, reflected the misconduct, which involved payments of $35 million in bribes to officials in half-a-dozen countries.At the core of the tremendous cooperation between our two countries is a strong relationship built on trust. This trust allows prosecutors and agents to have direct communications regarding evidence. Given the close relationship between the Department and the Brazilian prosecutors, we don’t need to rely solely on formal processes such as mutual legal assistance treaties, which often take significant time and resources to draft, translate, formally transmit, and respond to.At the beginning of an investigation, a prosecutor or agent from a country’s financial intelligence unit can call his or her foreign counterpart and ask for financial information that, for example, may identify bank accounts. Once the investigation has progressed to the point where prosecutors are ready to proceed to trial, the evidence may be requested through the mutual legal assistance channel so that it can be admissible at trial. This prosecutor-to-prosecutor or law-enforcement-to-law-enforcement cooperation has allowed both countries to more effectively pursue their cases.Let’s face it, the criminals we seek to identify and bring to justice move quickly, and it is imperative that we do the same. Our respective enforcement agencies continue to cooperate fully with one another and help achieve astonishing results.Brazilian prosecutors and law enforcement have been at the forefront of the anti-corruption fight in the past few years, and have exemplified what a prosecutor and law enforcement agent should be. Indeed, just this past week, the prosecutors in Brazil won a guilty verdict against former President Lula da Silva, who was charged with receiving bribes from the engineering firm OAS in return for his help in winning contracts with the state oil company Petrobas. It is cases like this that put Brazil at the forefront of countries that are working to fight corruption, both at home and abroad.”Regarding the DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, Blanco stated: “While the United States and Brazil are working together to investigate and bring criminal cases, particularly those involving corruption, the United States also stands ready to assist with the seizure of illegally obtained assets, even where a criminal case may not be brought in the United States. This is an important tool in fighting corruption, as well as all forms of organized crime. The Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, which is specifically designed to target and recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption that have been laundered into or through the United States, has proven to be an incredibly valuable tool to fight corruption. The results of this initiative have been outstanding.In 2016, the Department filed the largest single action ever brought under the Kleptocracy Initiative, involving multiple bond offerings through which 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) raised money to benefit the people of Malaysia, but was allegedly stolen by corrupt officials and their associates. Just this year, additional complaints were filed in that case, bringing the total amount that we are working to recover to well over $1.7 billion.I want to stress that in these kleptocracy cases, one of our goals is to return the assets to those harmed by the criminal conduct. Just last year, for example, the Department returned $1.5 million to Taiwan that constituted proceeds from the sale of a forfeited New York condominium and a Virginia residence that the United States alleged were purchased with bribe money paid to the family of Taiwan’s former President Chen Shui-Bian.”In conclusion, Blanco stated in pertinent part:“Something big is happening in the world today, you can feel it, it is everywhere; and so are we. The public, everyday people, are tired of having their money stolen by corrupt individuals in the public and private sector. They are tired of not having roads built to move their goods and get to places they need to be. They are tired of not having their schools built. They are tired of not having hospitals or medical care, or to have the infrastructure to be secure in their homes and neighborhoods because corrupt individuals have stolen the money out of greed and power for themselves. Money that is/was meant to improve society, the lives of everyday people, and the most vulnerable. Because of all this, people feel like they can’t advance. They have had enough.People are demanding action, they are no longer silent. We at the Department of Justice will continue, like we have for years, pushing forward hard against corruption, wherever it is, and we welcome our fellow counterparts around the world who are fighting this important fight against corruption.”Relevant to the above rhetoric, see here “The Uncomfortable Truths and Double Standards of [U.S] Bribery Enforcement.” FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. Learn More & Registerlast_img read more

We Need an Age Friendly Revolution

first_imgby, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweet28Share69Share32Email129 SharesA powerful antidote to the seemingly relentless trauma and divisiveness gripping our country is to do something unexpected — start an Age Friendly revolution.The global Age-Friendly City movement overseen by the World Health Organization and AARP has the potential to counter the increasing viciousness of our political discourse and heal the trauma of recent events by transcending ideology and rallying humanity around the universal experience we all hold in common — aging.As John F. Kennedy said, “We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”Of all the toxic -isms that needlessly divide our communities — racism, sexism, jingoism, ableism — AGEISM stands out because it amplifies all the other -isms and, eventually, every single one of us will feel its sting. But I strongly believe that Disrupting Ageism head on, bringing together people of different ages and knocking down ageist stereotypes, has the power to expose, combat and heal prejudices of all stripes and kinds.Whatever condition a community currently finds itself in, the AARP Age-Friendly framework provides a roadmap for improving livability that benefits everyone. It challenges cities to address affordable housing, expand low-cost public transportation, and provide opportunities for older adults to be active and engaged in the community, as well as improving healthcare. Communities can move at their own pace while holding elected officials and other leaders accountable for progress, and the -isms could slowly begin to dissipate.Over the past four years as director of Dr. Bill Thomas’ ChangingAging Tour I’ve had the privilege to visit 120 communities in North America in partnership with AARP’s bold #DisruptAging initiative. At every one of these Tour stops we’ve sat down with community stakeholders to discuss the most pressing  concerns and most exciting opportunities to disrupt aging in their communities.Indeed, ageism is universally the most common topic of discussion in these meetings. The good news is that nearly every one of these communities has made combating ageism through development of age friendly communities a top priority.Earlier this year we performed to robust Age Friendly communities in the Pacific Northwest and New England. We also celebrated with Santa Clara County in April becoming the nation’s first county to have all of its cities adopt an Age-Friendly status. Nearly 180 towns, cities and counties across the U.S. have joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and more sign up every day. Last week on Tour we championed Western New York’s Age Friendly Erie County movement with a show in Amherst. Then we barnstormed Indiana to plant the seeds for Age Friendly communities in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Evansville, with support from AARP Indiana.One of the most exciting days I’ve ever had on tour came in Evansville. We were hosted by the University of Southern Indiana (USI), who convened a group of 60 students, faculty and older adults from the community. We conducted a participatory design exercise called 25/10 Crowd Sourcing to tap the group and generate a series of “Ten Times Bolder” ideas to disrupt aging in their community. We then crowdsourced the ideas and ranked them to identify the top five. Here are the results:Make building a multi-generational housing complex part of the University of Southern Indiana’s Master Plan.Create 55+ living in proximity to students, open and welcoming to all sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds – with a purpose of helping each other with daily life and future planning.Incorporate preschools, colleges, housing and senior homes together. Where the college students have free housing in exchange for volunteer hours.What about creating a college-like community for elders to improve social, intellectual and spiritual growth?Use the campus day care to team up with adult day care. ChangingAging coach Kyrié Carpenter helps facilitate 25/10 Crowd Sourcing activity at USI Sept. 22, 2017It was incredible to see a multigenerational group of 60 people nearly spontaneously reach a consensus on a vision for an age friendly future in their community. It demonstrated the power of bringing people together of different ages to break down barriers and tackle a shared problem. We had so much fun that USI has invited the ChangingAging Tour to perform on campus November 6, 2017 and explore a potential partnership to tackle one of their Ten Times Bolder ideas.I believe the Age Friendly revolution is already here and it proves that we have more in common than we do dividing us. I hope you’ll join. Related PostsThe 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.People PowerFor the 2017 ChangingAging Tour, we are taking a page from grassroots movements to break down boundaries and inspire genuine multi-generational engagement.Disrupting the Stale Youth/Age DualityHow do we challenge a Youth/Age orthodoxy that is so entrenched and so powerful and which remains, for all practical purposes, invisible?Tweet28Share69Share32Email129 SharesTags: Age-Friendly Ageism Intergenerational USIlast_img read more

Noninvasive optical imaging detects early molecular signatures of disease

first_img Source:https://www.nibib.nih.gov/news-events/newsroom/metabolic-imaging-targets-early-signs-disease-development Jun 13 2018Chronic conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer often begin with early, subtle changes in cellular metabolism. Now researchers at Tufts University have developed a non-invasive optical imaging technique that detects these changes, providing an early window of opportunity for new research and potential therapeutic development.”Before visible disease symptoms and damage occur, disease begins with changes in molecules involved in metabolism that hamper the ability of tissues and cells to function properly,” explained Behrouz Shabestari, Ph.D., director of the program in Optical Imaging at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. “This work from Tufts is an innovative and highly significant approach for detecting early molecular signatures of disease.”The laboratory of Irene Georgakoudi, Ph.D., professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts and lead researcher on the study, specializes in using light to interact with the key molecules that run cellular metabolism. Their methods allow imaging of changes in these key molecules over time without disturbing or damaging the cells.The group used a technique called two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) microscopy to monitor the activity of two molecules involved in numerous metabolic functions in all cells: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Both NADH and FAD are key components of the cell’s continuous chemical reactions that store energy and then release that energy when needed to keep the cell alive and functioning.TPEF imaging excites these molecules with a near infrared laser beam. The resultant fluorescent signal provides an optical tool to monitor physiologic and biochemical events within the cells, which could indicate dysfunction and disease onset.To test whether the imaging system could identify irregularities in cell metabolism, the researchers used TPEF to image cultured cells in which they altered major metabolic processes where NADH and FAD have critical roles. Live cells that were used included heart cells, epithelial cells, stem cells, and brown adipose (fat) cells. By changing metabolic function while imaging NADH and FAD, they determined whether changes in the specific fluorescent patterns of these two molecules were good indicators of the health or function of the cell.Related StoriesPorvair Sciences’ ultra-flat Krystal glass bottom microplates for imaging applicationsCUIMC selects MILabs for upgrades to its molecular imaging capabilitiesBioTek introduces new wide FOV camera for Cytation 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode ReaderCells were imaged under varying experimental conditions that alter normal metabolic processes involved in producing energy. Examples of the conditions tested include starving cells of glucose, growing cells in low oxygen levels (so energy production is inefficient), and exposing cells to cold temperature (affecting energy storage).Under each of the experimental conditions, TPEF imaging revealed unique patterns and intensity profiles of fluorescence that indicated that NADH and FAD were in certain chemical forms or locations that could serve as a map to understand why a cell is not functioning properly.”These results demonstrate the utility of this non-invasive imaging technique for identifying unhealthy cells that could be early indications of disease development,” said Georgakoudi. “By simultaneously combining the imaging and analysis of cells under multiple conditions we were able to see the presence of metabolic changes as well as their chemical nature at the single-cell level.”The metabolic changes created in the cells are similar to changes that occur in diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. “We believe the technique will ultimately become an important new platform used to understand and detect such diseases early in the process,” said Georgakoudi. “TPEF will also be an invaluable tool to monitor metabolic changes in response to new treatments designed to slow or stop disease before the onset of tissue degeneration or damage.”last_img read more

High levels of physical activity reduce chronic disease risk in older adults

first_imgJul 23 2018New research has shown that older adults who exercise above current recommended levels have a reduced risk of developing chronic disease compared with those who do not exercise.Researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research interviewed more than 1,500 Australian adults aged over 50 and followed them over a 10-year period.People who engaged in the highest levels of total physical activity were twice as lively to avoid stroke, heart disease, angina, cancer and diabetes, and be in optimal physical and mental shape 10 years later, experts found.Lead Researcher Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney said the data showed that adults who did more than 5000 metabolic equivalent minutes (MET minutes) each week saw the greatest reduction in the risk of chronic disease.Related StoriesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsExercise during pregnancy can promote bone health of both mother and childIt’s never too late to take up exercise, advise researchers”Essentially we found that older adults who did the most exercise were twice as likely to be disease-free and fully functional,” she said.”Our study showed that high levels of physical activity increase the likelihood of surviving an extra 10 years free from chronic diseases, mental impairment and disability.”Currently, the World Health Organization recommends at least 600 MET minutes of physical activity each week. That is equivalent to 150 minutes of brisk walking or 75 minutes of running.”With aging demographics in most countries, a major challenge is how to increase the quality and years of healthy life,” Associate Professor Gopinath said.”Our findings suggest that physical activity levels need to be several times higher than what the World Health Organization currently recommends to significantly reduce the risk of chronic disease.”Some older adults may not be able to engage in vigorous activity or high levels of physical activity.”But we encourage older adults who are inactive to do some physical activity, and those who currently only engage in moderate exercise to incorporate more vigorous activity where possible,” she concluded.The research compiled data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a benchmark population-based study that started in 1992.It is one of the world’s largest epidemiology studies, measuring diet and lifestyle factors against health outcomes and a range of chronic diseases.Source: https://www.westmeadinstitute.org.au/news-and-events/2018/exercise-cuts-risk-of-chronic-disease-in-older-adulast_img read more

US BRAIN Initiative Gets Ethical Advice

Email Parsing hope from hype is key to ethical neuroscience research and its application, Gutmann notes. Citing the troubled ethical history of psychosurgery in the United States, in which more than 40,000 people were lobotomized based on shaky evidence that the procedure could treat psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, Gutmann cautions that a similar ethical derailment is possible in contemporary neuroscience research. A misstep with invasive experimental treatments such as deep brain stimulation surgery would not only be tragic for patients, but have “devastating consequences” for scientific progress, she says.To avoid such disastrous mistakes, the report suggests funding research into both innovative and successful efforts to integrate ethics into neuroscience research and education, including grants similar to the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) research program grants issued for the Human Genome Project. It also calls for all advisory groups and funding review panels for neuroscience research to include a trained bioethicist—a detail that is often overlooked, Gutmann says. The first scientific advisory group to the BRAIN Initiative “notably identified no bioethicists on its panel,” she says. The report makes no mention of ethical concerns surrounding future animal research, but Gutmann says the commission may address that topic in its next two meetings, scheduled for June and August.*Correction, 14 May, 12:15 p.m.: Judy Illes is a neuroethicist at the University of British Columbia, not at the University of Montreal, as previously reported. This has been corrected. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues today released its first set of recommendations for integrating ethics into neuroscience research in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Last July, President Barack Obama charged the commission with identifying key ethical questions that may arise through the BRAIN Initiative and wider neuroscience research.The report is “a dream come true,” says Judy Illes, a neuroethicist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who was a guest presenter to the commission. Brain research raises unique ethical issues because it “strikes at the very core of who we are,” said political scientist and philosopher Amy Gutmann of the University of Pennsylvania, who chairs the commission, in a call with reporters yesterday.Specific areas of concern identified in the report include questions of brain privacy raised by advances in neuroimaging research; whether research participants and patients with dementia can give informed consent to participate in experimental trials; and research into cognitive enhancement, which raises “issues of distributive justice and fairness,” Gutmann says. read more

Tropical fish fiend for opioids too

first_img It doesn’t take long for tropical zebrafish to get hooked on hydrocodone. Within a week, they will risk their lives thousands of times per hour to get a dose of the opioid, shows the first study that let the fish themselves choose when to take a hit. To train them, researchers released 1.5 milligrams of hydrocodone per liter of water every time they swam over a shallow platform. The drug quickly filtered out of the tank, so they had to keep going back if they wanted to maintain their high. After just 5 days, the trained fish were visiting the opioid-delivering platform almost 2000 times every 50 minutes, the team reports online today in Behavioral Brain Research. When no drug was present, they visited the platform only about 200 times. Fish normally avoid shallow water, where they’re more likely to be spotted by predators. But over and over again, the jonesing zebrafish left the safety of deep water for the shallow platform. When the team rigged the tank so it took several visits to get a hit, the fish ramped up their efforts, returning as many as 20 times for one dose. Previous studies have shown that zebrafish exposed to opioids become stressed and anxious when the drug is taken away, displaying symptoms of withdrawal. But this is the first time scientists have shown that zebrafish will expend effort—and even court danger—to get a dose. Because zebrafish and humans share the same opioid receptor in their brains, as well as neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that signal pleasure and reward, the team hopes to use them to screen for new treatments for opioid addiction. By Emily UnderwoodAug. 25, 2017 , 2:00 PM Tropical fish fiend for opioids, toolast_img read more