Govt rules out rural Qld financial aid

first_imgWhile tourism operators report that recent flooding has caused a major slow down in visitors, Agriculture Minister Tim Mulherin said money is not available to them however the government can assist in other ways, ABC Rural News reported.”Under the arrangements for Natural Disaster and Relief Recovery arrangements, there is no provision for loss of income and I don’t think there’ll ever be a provision for loss of income,” Minister Mulherin said.”If the Progress Association or the Burke Shire want DEEDI officers to go in and work with small businesses around building the resilence capacity into businesses, we’re more than willing to do that.” The Queensland Government has said assistance is only available to people with physical property damage, ruling out financial aid for small companies in the Gulf of Carpentaria region suffering from business loss. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

NEW YORK NY — Private jet travelers wont see any

first_imgNEW YORK, NY — Private jet travelers won’t see any changes to security procedures in the wake of the attempted terrorist attack on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit last week, according to multiple officials with private jet operators who spoke to Elite Traveler. Heightened security for commercial flights from international destinations to the United States have resulted in delays ranging up to seven hours as well as some cancellations.“Nothing official has been received industry-wide from the government,” according to a spokesperson from Jet Aviation, an operator of private jet terminals (FBOs) and provider of private jet charters, jet cards and management of private jets owned by companies and individuals.While several executives of private jet companies believe the adverse publicity surrounding traveling on commercial airlines will help sales in 2010, “there were no marked increases in flight requests,” the Jet Aviation spokesperson added.Instead, Winter storms combined with late travel plans and increased marketing efforts have spurred a spike in private jet flights over the Christmas holiday.“We’ve had a very busy flying season for the holidays this year so it’s a bit hard to notice an increase due to just the Northwest flight issue, especially since weather has been driving last minute bookings pretty much everywhere,” Steve Hankin, CEO of private jet charter and jet card company Sentient Jet told Elite Traveler.Security directives from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) due to expire December 30 added new limitations on cabin service and extra security screening.Among the new policies being implemented is making passengers remain seated during the final hour of their flight and turning off inflight moving maps showing an aircraft’s location. The latter, according to various news reports has resulted in some flights operating without inflight entertainment, and combined with airport delays, making holiday family travel more difficult. Additional reports suggest some of the procedures may have been rescinded, however, consumers remained ill at ease about what to expect.“That incident (the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit) just reinforces the differences between private and commercial travel,” Woody Harford, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of CitationAir told Elite Traveler. However, he added, his company’s increase in business has been “a result of our relaunch more than any commercial incident.” In the Fall the operator changed its name from CitationShares to CitationAir by Cessna followed by a major marketing blitz.Ricky Sitomer, CEO of BlueStar Jets, a charter broker of private jet flights and a seller of jet cards, said his company had seen a “huge increase because of the snowstorm.”Delta AirElite Business Jets, a separate subsidiary of Delta Airlines, has seen demand climb. “We have seen an increase in holiday travel. We cannot directly attribute any of the increase to the commercial flight incident,” spokesperson Rebekah Biddle said.National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) spokesperson Dan Hubbard added, “If businesspeople need to travel from towns not served by the airlines; if they need to reach several destinations in a single day; or, if they need to transport items not easily delivered on the airlines, they may find that business aviation is the most prudent means of transport. These were the factors businesspeople took into account following the terrorist attacks of September 2001, and we believe the situation will remain the same in the months and years to come.”Private jet travel saw a significant increase in November with a 22 percent year over year jump in flights according to industry tracking company ARGUS.last_img read more

The stage is a maze of the most sophisticated elec

first_img The stage is a maze of the most sophisticated electronic boards and instruments, and a terrific group of musicians. [Photo & text: sa] October 9, 2004 For the second year, the Colly Soleri Music Center hosts DIFFERENT SKIES, a electronic space music festival, a workshop for artists in these and related experimental music genres. The intensive workshop is a week long with sessions and concerts by different combinations of the attending artists. This afternoon a group of young students from the neighboring Orme School attend a concert followed by an instructional session. [Photo & text: sa] During the instruction, Different Skies organizer Mike Metlay explains the individual instruments, while video artist David Tristran films the respective musician in action. The video is translated on to the big screen for all the students to see. >>right>> For the demonstration, Arcosanti resident Stephen Kelly performs one of his rap-songs. [Photo & text: sa] center_img After the concert and demonstration, the students are invited to the stage to talk with the artists. October 9., this Saturday evening at 7:30, will be a series of performances by Different Skies musicians at the Colly Soleri Music Center. This is preceded by one of the special concert gourmet dinners of chef Eleanor Gillis. You don’t want to miss this! [Photo & text: sa]last_img read more

Governor signs legislation creating Breast Cancer Awareness license plate

first_img14Jan Governor signs legislation creating Breast Cancer Awareness license plate Rep. Amanda Price, Sen. Glenn Anderson and Gov. Rick Snyder hold Public Acts 207 and 208, which create a PINK RIBBON license plate in Michigan to raise money for breast and cervical cancer screening for low-income women and establish the fund within the Treasury Department for collecting the proceeds from the sale of the license plate. Categories: Newslast_img

Russian pay TV operator NTV has added kids channe

first_imgRussian pay TV operator NTV+ has added kids channel KidsCo to its programming line-up.The channel will be available in the operator’s Light West, Basic and Basic Plus packages. The channel will include a range of animated content as well as a SyFy Kids branded block.last_img

Qatarbased satellite operator EshailSat has orde

first_imgQatar-based satellite operator Es’hailSat has ordered its second satellite, which will be built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric (Melco).The satellite, Es’Hail 2, will be positioned at the Middle East hotspot of 26° East. It will have a Ku- and Ka-band payload and will provide TV distribution and government services as well as the first satellite capacity for Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation.The satellite is expected to launch at the end of 2016. Es’hail 1 was launched on December 18 last year and provides satellite capacity to Al Jazeera and BeIN Sports, among others.“With the success of our first satellite – Es’hail 1 – we are delighted to move forward with our satellite procurement programme with Melco. Es’hail 2 demonstrates both our commitment to providing premium satellite capacity for broadcasters in the MENA region and to building a sustainable satellite industry for the State of Qatar,” said Ali Al Kuwari, CEO of Es’hailSat.last_img read more

YouView the UK digital TV jointventure platform

first_imgYouView, the UK digital TV joint-venture platform used primarily by BT and TalkTalk TV customers, aims to tap artificial intelligence and voice-based navigation to identify who is watching and present content based on who is watching and factors such as the time of day, according to Sion Wynn Jones, product director, YouView.Speaking at the OTT TV World Summit in London, Wynn Jones said that for viewers who do not know what they want to watch, the key is to delivering engagement is to provide great content discovery, and YouView will bring AI technology to bear on this problem.“What we need to do is use technology to…infer who is in front of the TV”, he said.YouView has now completed “the instrumentation of data on the platform”. Historic consumption data can be used to surface content that users want to watch while AI can also be brought to bear by analysing the way individual users search for content in particular contexts.As part of this drive, YouView has been working with Amazon on the use of voice search. Wynn Jones said that analysing who is speaking, what is the time of day and who else is likely to be in the room will enable YouView to surface content that could appeal to whoever is watching at any given time.While a number of on-demand apps on the YouView service have their own log-ins and search mechanisms, Wynn Jones said that YouView was working to simplify multiple log-in processes together with public broadcast partners. He said multiple log-ins for apps would “not prevent us from playing a role and our partners do see value in this”.He said that YouView’s public service broadcaster partners were “comfortable that we will respect their position as PSBs”Wynn Jones said that YouView’s main objective is to make “complexity simple” for its users. For users who know what they want to watch, the goal is “to get that content to them as quickly as possible”, through things like watch lists. Identifying who is likely to be in the room at a given time will also facilitate this, he said.Wynn Jones said that 21% of YouView homes watch over nine and a half hours of TV a day, although the platform operator has yet to identify how actively the service is being used for all of that time within those homes.last_img read more

I sincerely hope you and all of yours have a fanta

first_img I sincerely hope you and all of yours have a fantastic holiday season. I’m very excited about 2015. If you haven’t seen my 25% guarantee, you’ll want to take a look at it. I’ve upped the ante here at Casey Research with this offer: if you don’t make at least 25% on this one stock by Thanksgiving of 2015 (November 26), you’ll get 100% of your money back—no questions asked. That’s a bold move, yes. I’ve personally put a lot of money on this one, and I think it’s a must-own stock for any serious speculator. Before I get started, on behalf of everyone at Casey Research, I’d like to wish all of you a happy holiday season. This is the last Casey Daily Dispatch of the year—it will return next Friday, January 2, with another thought-provoking subject from Paul Rosenberg. We thank you for reading and sharing these columns. Whenever some big news involving Russia or Putin hits the wires, I get media requests from around the world. This past week was exactly that, and one particular interview stood out in my mind. I was interviewed by someone I’ve never been interviewed by before—and David Knight did a fantastic job. He did his homework, hit me with some tough questions, and the end result is one of the best interviews I’ve done.last_img read more

The government has accepted just three of 23 recom

first_imgThe government has accepted just three of 23 recommendations made by a committee of MPs that were aimed at improving disabled people’s access to the built environment.The women and equalities committee concluded in its report last April that disabled people were too often finding their lives “needlessly restricted by features of the built environment”.It had heard evidence from disabled witnesses of a catalogue of barriers, including the shortage of accessible homes; public and commercial buildings without step-free access or with poor signage; and inaccessible workplaces.The Building for Equality report said the burden of ensuring an accessible environment “falls too heavily at present on individual disabled people” and that the government should “act to more visibly lead the charge in improving access and inclusion in the built environment”.It also called for “more ambition” in the standards of accessibility the government sets for new homes and said that “much more” could be done to “make the public realm and public buildings more accessible”.But the government’s response, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), has dismissed nearly all the report’s recommendations for improving the accessibility of new homes, and access to public buildings and public spaces.Among the recommendations the government has rejected are: to ensure that all new public buildings meet strict inclusive design and access standards; to consider granting VAT exemptions for building work that improves access; and to force public bodies to publish access information about their buildings.The government also rejected the suggestion that planning permission for a development should only be given by a local authority if there was evidence that it made “sufficient provision for accessibility and inclusion”; and that the government should put pressure on councils that do not do enough to improve the supply of accessible housing in their local plans.It also dismissed a recommendation to remove the controversial requirement that local authorities must prove there is an immediate need for accessible housing if they want to apply optional access standards to new housing developments.And it rejected the latest attempt to persuade it to use licensing laws to ensure basic levels of access to licensed premises such as pubs and restaurants.Another recommendation rejected was to require local authorities to halt all controversial shared space street developments.MHCLG agreed just three recommendations.It says it will issue new planning guidance, which has drawn on “stakeholder engagement”, particularly with “disabled people and the groups that represent them”.It has also agreed to look again at building regulations on disability access; and to fund and support training and development activities by the built environment industry.Ellen Clifford, campaigns and policy manager for Inclusion London, which gave evidence to the committee’s inquiry, said the government’s response was “overwhelmingly disappointing”.She said: “The intention of the committee’s inquiry was to find solutions to urgent situations such as the lack of accessible housing supply or barriers to disabled people’s participation in the community, based on a social model approach to removing the burden of enforcement away from individual disabled people.“The government’s response shows an unwillingness to hold local authorities, developers and licensees to account on accessibility, despite all evidence that without this there will be no improvement and disabled people’s exclusion will continue.”One leading disabled access consultant, Tracey Proudlock, of Proudlock Associates, said she was “shocked and disappointed” that the government had accepted only three of the committee’s recommendations.She also criticised the government’s references to inclusive design being “best practice” rather than a statutory requirement, and to the need to have “consultation with” disabled people rather than “having disabled people involved at the heart of the processes that ultimately create inclusive design”.She said: “We are currently working on a development based on the principles of co-production – with local disabled people as part of the design team – and we know from our experience how important a step this is to take on the road to equality. “The government should be far more on-board with this.“Indeed, more should be done to improve inclusive design at every opportunity, both in regulations and in legislation and licensing. “Laws prohibiting development without improvement are currently full of gaps and at best unclear, especially where smaller commercial buildings are concerned.“What can’t be achieved by licensing must be met another way and it should be up to the government to find that means, not to turn down suggestions.”She added: “It is a continuing failure that so many people still do not have adequate access to buildings, in particular homes, work places and to heritage buildings.  “In particular, we do not feel that housing standards should require research into local need before being applied, as good inclusive design enshrined in the right national standards should meet everyone’s needs and desires.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “The government response is very disappointing.”She said there was “little to cheer about”, except the government’s decision [although this was not in response to a recommendation of the committee] to commence long-awaited measures in the Equality Act 2010 that will impose a duty on landlords to allow reasonable access improvements to be made to the common parts of blocks of flats, such as entrances and stairs (see separate story).  She added: “There’s much ‘we are committed’, ‘we share the committee’s view’, etc, but very little tangible action.  “It seems that access to the built environment is anyone and everyone’s responsibility except the government’s.”The women and equalities committee said it was too early to comment on the government’s response.Asked why the government had rejected so many recommendations, an MHCLG spokesman agreed that the government had accepted just three of the report’s recommendations.But he said: “We fully recognise the importance of accessibility and inclusion when making decisions relating to the built environment.“We expect councils to consider this when making planning decisions, and we are taking action on a number of areas identified by the committee.”Picture: Zara Todd giving evidence on behalf of Inclusion London during the committee’s inquirylast_img read more

Here Are the Best Black Friday Tech Deals

first_img Once you’ve had your fill of food, retailers are ready and waiting for you to do some turkey-fueled shopping. Take a look at some of the tech deals that you can jump on next weekend.Related: Holiday 2018 Spending Could Reach $1 TrillionAmazonAn Echo Spot for $89.99The new Echo Show for $179.99A Sony RX100 V camera for $892A Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB phone for $644.35WalmartA PS4 console with the new Spiderman game included for $199A Samsung 11.6-inch Chromebook 3 for $99.99A Samsung 50 inch Class 4K (2160P) UHD Smart LED TV for $327.99A Google Home Hub for $149Best BuyAn LG 60 inch Class LED UK6090 Series 2160p Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR for $549.99A Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 13.3 inch Touch-Screen Laptop for $699.99A 64GB Apple 10.5-Inch iPad Pro with Wi-Fi for $649.99AppleA refurbished HomePod for $299Office DepotAn HP 15-db0051od Laptop for $399An Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4740 Wireless All-In-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax for $199.99A Dell 27 inch HD LCD Monitor for $119.99Logitech Z150 2-Piece Speakers for $14.99StaplesA VARO Portable WiFi + Bluetooth Multi-Room Speaker for $19.99A Seagate STDR5000102 5TB USB 3.0 Back Up Plus Portable Drive for $199.99A NETGEAR Arlo Smart Home Security Camera System for $119.99 1 min read Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Add to Queue Stock up on some new gadgets at a discount. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals November 15, 2018 Entrepreneur Staffcenter_img Black Friday –shares Here Are the Best Black Friday Tech Deals Image credit: mar1koff | Getty Images Next Article Nina Zipkin Register Now »last_img read more

Google Faces Lawsuit Over Kids InApp Purchases

first_img Next Article Register Now » Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. –shares Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Entrepreneur Staff Google Faces Lawsuit Over Kids’ In-App Purchases center_img Google Nina Zipkin A class-action suit was filed against Google last week by parents of children who downloaded free or low-cost apps and games in the Google Play store and proceeded to rack up some sizable in-app fees. A New York woman’s 5-year-old son downloaded a 99-cent offering from Marvel Games called Marvel Run Jump Smash! to a Samsung Galaxy tablet and bought $65.95 worth of in-app purchases, according to a GigaOm report.Per a recent change to the Google Play store in February, app descriptions (including the game in question) now include a line letting users know whether or not they include in-app purchases. However, as it stands now, while you have to enter your password to buy apps, Google allows users to make further purchases for up to 30 minutes afterwards.   Related: French Courts Force Google to Air Indiscretion on Homepage The attorneys behind the suit allege that many apps in the Google Play store are geared toward young consumers, and that they are “engineered to be highly addictive and require the purchase of in-game currency at times to continue playing. The games frequently permit the purchase of in-game currency in large amounts – as much as $100 per purchase or more.”Apple has also been the subject of similar complaints. Last year, the company paid $5 million to settle a comparable private class-action lawsuit, and also reached a $32.5 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in January. Apple now requires users to provide their passwords before making any in-app purchase. The Google case was also filed with the court where the Apple case was settled, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Related: Life Coaches, Gamification and Augmented Reality: What to Expect in Mobile This Year 2 min read Add to Queue March 11, 2014last_img read more

Verizon Readies Bid for Yahoos Web Business While Google Also Looking for

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on Reuters Register Now » –shares Verizon Communications Inc. is ready to make a bid for Yahoo’s web business, and hopes to make a merger more successful by also making an offer for a stake in Yahoo’s Japan subsidiary, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter.The telecom giant is planning to make a first-round bid for Yahoo’s web business next week, the news organization said.Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit is also mulling a bid for Yahoo’s core business, Bloomberg reported, citing a source. However, Bloomberg said many companies that had been seen as likely investors in Yahoo were not planning a bid, including AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp. and Microsoft Corp.Shares of Yahoo fell just over 1 percent to $36.17.Verizon, Yahoo and Google declined to comment for this story. AT&T, Comcast and Microsoft could not be reached immediately for comments.Verizon showed interest in Yahoo’s core business as early as December, when Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the company would “see if there is a strategic fit” for its holdings, which include mail, news, sports and advertising technology.Yahoo launched an auction of its core business in February after it shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.The offer to purchase Yahoo’s 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan could put Verizon one step ahead of any rival bidders.The offer will also likely leave Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer out of the mix, since Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a recent television appearance that merging Yahoo’s assets with AOL assets under the leadership of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong “would be a good thing for investors.”The New York Post reported last month that Mayer has been working to team up with private equity firms to create a “package deal” that sells the company and keeps her at the helm.Verizon shares were down 2.84 percent.(By Deborah M. Todd; Additional reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio) Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue Yahoo!center_img Image credit: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock Verizon Readies Bid for Yahoo’s Web Business, While Google Also Looking for a Piece April 7, 2016 Reuters 2 min read Next Article last_img read more

Arvind Fashions Partners With Nucleus Vision to Create a More Seamless and

first_imgArvind Fashions Partners With Nucleus Vision to Create a More Seamless and Personalized Shopping Experience PRNewswireMay 10, 2019, 6:55 pmMay 10, 2019 Deploys Nucleus Vision’s Proprietary Sensor Technology in Gap, Nautica & U.S. Polo Assn. Stores to Offer a Personalized Shopping Experience to Consumers As modern-day shoppers are inclining more towards personalization, Indian clothing retail chain Arvind Fashions Limited is exploring new ways to understand their customers better. Arvind, a licensee of numerous international fashion brands, has signed an MoU with Nucleus Vision, an IoT & Blockchain company, to initiate a pilot project aiming to offer a personalized experience to their shoppers.Following the partnership, Arvind will implement Nucleus Vision’s proprietary sensor technology in their Gap, Unlimited and US Polo. Assn. stores to strengthen customer analytics.“We see tremendous interest from the customers for a more evolved and personalized shopping experience. Nucleus Vision’s revolutionary technology will give us valuable insights into our customer behavior, which will help us improve customer satisfaction and increase revisits,” said Rukaiya Rangwala, COO, Digital Centre of Excellence, Arvind Fashions Limited.Marketing Technology News: Brainshark Wins in The American Business Awards for 8th Year in a Row“We look forward to expanding the scope of our relationship with Arvind Fashions Limited. This is a big step towards our goal to associate with the leading players in the Indian retail market to help them create better shopper experience,” said Abhishek Pitti, Founder & CEO of Nucleus Vision.The current Indian retail market amounts to an approximate of USD 800 billion and is estimated to reach USD 1.1 trillion by 2020. Personalization plays a major role in the gigantic market as 63% of Indian consumers prefer personalized experience, according to a report by Forrester-Epsilon. Through this association with Nucleus Vision, Arvind Fashions Limited intends to offer its consumers a more personalized retail shopping experience and therefore tap into new opportunities.Marketing Technology News: Pureport Announces Feature Enhancements to Its On-Demand Cloud Connectivity PlatformArvind Fashions Limited is India’s largest fashion and retail company, home to over 20 national and international brands. With 1500 stand-alone stores and 5000 departmental and multi-brand stores across India, Arvind Fashions Limited is a pioneer in introducing global brands into India.The company has successfully introduced ARROW, the first international menswear brand in India in 1993 and today licenses several brands like GAP, GANT, Nautica, Aeropostale, U.S Polo Association, The Children’s Place, Ed Hardy, Sephora among others.  Arvind Fashions was responsible for establishing Flying Machine, India’s first iconic, home-grown youth apparel brand in 1980.The company also houses its own leading brands like Unlimited, True Blue, The Arvind Store, among others. With unique capabilities in sourcing, design, product development, strong distribution footprint, retail capabilities, channel linkages and management teams, Arvind Fashions is a trendsetter across segments- casualization, tweens, kids, beauty and athleisure.Marketing Technology News: New Research Reveals More Than Half of Marketers Are Not Delivering the Right Content Abhishek PittiArvindchain Arvind FashionsMarketing TechnologyNewsNucleus Visionpersonalization Previous ArticleCaptify and Publicis Media Release New Research Revealing Global Beauty Trends That Will Transform The Larger FMCG EcosystemNext Articleo9 Solutions Continues to Deliver Value with its Premier AI-powered Platform for Integrated Planning and Digital Operationslast_img read more

Blood based test using AI and nanotechnology devised for chronic fatigue syndrome

first_img A nanoelectronics-blood-based diagnostic biomarker for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) R. Esfandyarpour, A. Kashi, M. Nemat-Gorgani, J. Wilhelmy, R. W. Davis Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Apr 2019, 201901274; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1901274116 https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/04/24/1901274116 Bottom-up proteomics suggests an association between differential expression of mitochondrial proteins and chronic fatigue syndrome F Ciregia, L Kollipara, L Giusti, R P Zahedi, C Giacomelli, M R Mazzoni, G Giannaccini, P Scarpellini, A Urbani, A Sickmann, A Lucacchini & L Bazzichi Translational Psychiatry volume 6, page e904 (2016) https://www.nature.com/articles/tp2016184 Insights into myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome phenotypes through comprehensive metabolomics Dorottya Nagy-Szakal, Dinesh K. Barupal, Bohyun Lee, Xiaoyu Che, Brent L. Williams, Ellie J. R. Kahn, Joy E. Ukaigwe, Lucinda Bateman, Nancy G. Klimas, Anthony L. Komaroff, Susan Levine, Jose G. Montoya, Daniel L. Peterson, Bruce Levin, Mady Hornig, Oliver Fiehn & W. Ian Lipkin Scientific Reportsvolume 8, Article number: 10056 (2018) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28477-9 Ron Davis is the senior author of a paper that describes a blood test that may be able to identify chronic fatigue syndrome. Image Credit: Steve Fisch By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDApr 29 2019People suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have been up until now treated with scepticism at best. Their symptoms have been negated as vague and their debilitating condition has not received the status of being proven in a test. No more now!Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have devised a blood based test that can accurately identify blood biomarkers that determine that a person is suffering from this condition. This provides a scientific proof that the disease does exist.Lead author and researcher Ron Davis, a professor of biochemistry and of genetics said in a statement, “Too often, this disease is categorized as imaginary.” On visits to the doctor the patient is usually prescribed a battery of tests for the liver, kidney and heart, blood and immune cells. He explained, “All these different tests would normally guide the doctor toward one illness or another, but for chronic fatigue syndrome patients, the results all come back normal.”center_img In their endeavours, Davis and Rahim Esfandyarpour, a former Stanford research associate and now faculty at University of California-Irvine, along with others have devised a blood based test to detect CFS. The test basically looks at the response of the immune cells to stress. The team in their pilot study took blood samples of 40 people. Of these 20 were diagnosed to be suffering from CFS based on their symptoms. The tests results could accurately pinpoint all the cases of CFS and did not make a diagnosis in any of the healthy persons.The researchers hope that this test could soon be modified and studied in depth to develop drugs to treat the condition as well. The team is using similar principles to look for drugs that could potentially help people with this condition. The study titled “A nanoelectronics-blood-based diagnostic biomarker for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS),” described the study findings and the results were published in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.DiagnosisTypically CFS is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms. There is extreme exhaustion, unexplained pain, sensitivity to light, fever, irritable bowel syndrome, lymph node swelling, sleep problems, problems of cognition etc. the problems are seen in the gastrointestinal system, immune system, hormone system, heart and the brain. All other disease conditions need to be ruled out before CFS is formally diagnosed. CFS is also called myalgic encephalomyelitis and can be called ME/CFS. In the United States alone there are over 2 million people who are diagnosed with CFS says Davis. Davis says that his own son suffers from the condition for over a decade and their study was an effort to help people like his son.For their test the team used a “nanoelectronic assay.” When the healthy plasma cells and immune cells are subjected to stress, there are minimal changes in energy. The devise sends in thousands of tiny currents into the plasma samples causing the immune cells to respond and react. The reactions of cells from CFS patients are different from those of healthy persons. The device is accurate enough to pick up these nano-signals and correlate it with the health of the sample. The bigger the electrical signals sent out from the cells – more is the change at a cellular level explain the researchers. They add that this means that the cells are “flailing” under stress and are not able to process the stress adequately. The spikes were clearly seen in the results of the samples from CFS patients compared to those from healthy controls. The team used “supervised machine learning algorithms” or artificial intelligence technology to rapidly detect these spikes. This made the test reliable as well as accurate.Related StoriesIntermittent fasting shown to improve blood glucose levelsNovel technique that uses nanotechnology and photonics prevents bacterial infections on surgical implantsRadiometer’s ABL9 blood gas analyzer awarded Red Dot Design AwardDavis said, “We don’t know exactly why the cells and plasma are acting this way, or even what they’re doing. But there is scientific evidence that this disease is not a fabrication of a patient’s mind. We clearly see a difference in the way healthy and chronic fatigue syndrome immune cells process stress.” The team is now recruiting more number of patients to expand their pilot study and to see if it works in large populations accurately.Esfandyarpour said, “Using the nanoelectronics assay, we can add controlled doses of many different potentially therapeutic drugs to the patient’s blood samples and run the diagnostic test again.” Thus he explained how they could use their nanotechnology based test to also screen for potential drugs to treat CFS. If the drugs worked, then they probably would reduce the spikes on the test he said. At present they have found a drug that could help restore healthy functions of the immune cells and the plasma. They hope that soon the drug could be tried on human patients in clinical trials wherein its benefits could be proved. The drug in question currently is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they add.The study received funds from the Open Medicine Foundation.Bottom-up proteomicsA few years back researchers F. Ciregia and colleagues from University of Pisa, Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften, Germany, Università Cattolica, Rome, University of Aberdeen, IRCCS-Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome and more collaborated to find mitochondrial changes that could help detect CFS.Their study titled, “Bottom-up proteomics suggests an association between differential expression of mitochondrial proteins and chronic fatigue syndrome,” was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry back in 2016.The team looked at the cellular structures of a pair of twins’ saliva samples. They studied their mitochondrial proteins. Using “Nano-liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS)” they studied the mitochondria that came from the platelets of the blood samples of the twins. They selected 3 proteins from the samples and correlated it with saliva samples from 45 healthy controls and 45 patients with CFS. The three proteins were “aconitate hydratase (ACON), ATP synthase subunit beta (ATPB) and malate dehydrogenase (MDHM)”.Results revealed that there was a rise in the ATPB and ACON proteins in patients with CFS. Authors conclude, “these results suggest that our potential markers could be one of the criteria to be taken into account for helping in diagnosis.” They also hoped that this test would help develop tailored treatments for patients with CFS.Metabolomic biomarkersIn a more recent study by Dorottya Nagy-Szakal from Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York and colleagues studied markers for CFS. Their study titled “Insights into myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome phenotypes through comprehensive metabolomics,” was published in July 2018 in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.The team discovered biomarkers from plasma as well as stool that could help detect CFS. They included 50 CFS patients and 50 healthy controls in their study. Their study showed that there was altered levels of “choline, carnitine and complex lipid metabolites.” Patients with CFS tended to have raised levels of plasma ceramide, they wrote.The authors hoped that from their study diagnostic tests could be devised for patients with CFS by detection of these biomarkers from stool and plasma samples and in future treatments could be strategized as well.Referenceslast_img read more

Timing of primary care visits associated with likelihood of physician ordering cancer

first_imgJournal Reference:Hsiang EY, Mehta SJ, Small DS, et al. Association of Primary Care Clinic Appointment Time With Clinician Ordering and Patient Completion of Breast and Colorectal Cancer Screening. JAMA Netw Open.2019;2(5):e193403. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.3403 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 13 2019The time of day of a primary care appointment was associated with the likelihood of a physician ordering cancer screenings and of patients completing those screenings in this study of 33 practices with patients eligible for breast or colorectal cancer screening.The likelihood of physicians ordering cancer screenings decreased as the clinic day progressed and so did the likelihood of patients completing those screenings within one year of the office visit.Related StoriesSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsLiving with advanced breast cancerNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerThis observational study cannot explain the cause behind these associations but clinician and patient factors may explain it, such as shorter interactions with patients if physicians fall behind and cancer screenings not being discussed. Screening test order rates were highest at 8 a.m. and lowest at 5 p.m.The results of this study may not be generalizable because it was conducted at a single health system and variation in screening orders and patient completion may be related to factors unaccounted for in this study.Future interventions that aim to increase cancer screenings should consider how the timing of primary care visits might influence physician and patient behavior.last_img read more

Facebook to label electionrelated issue ads in US

first_img In this Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process are displayed as Google’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker, Facebook’s General Counsel Colin Stretch, and Twitter’s Acting General Counsel Sean Edgett, testify during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Facebook says it will require political advertisers in the U.S. to label “issue ads” that disclose who paid for them, part of its ongoing efforts to prevent elections-related misuse of its platform. Such ads played prominently in Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) Twitter to add special labels to political candidates in US Citation: Facebook to label election-related ‘issue ads’ in US (2018, May 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-facebook-election-related-issue-ads.html This Nov. 1, 2017, file photo shows some of the Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee, are photographed in Washington. Facebook says it will require political advertisers in the U.S. to label “issue ads” that disclose who paid for them, part of its ongoing efforts to prevent elections-related misuse of its platform. Such ads played prominently in Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File) Ads coming from specific candidates have already included a disclosure label since October. Facebook has said it would require that of issue ads from outside parties, too, but it didn’t provide details until Thursday, when the expanded requirements took effect.Such issue ads played prominently in Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. Twitter and Google also have been working to prevent elections interference, including by labeling political ads as such and requiring advertisers to disclose their funders.Facebook says that when users click on the label on such an ad, they will be taken to a page with more information, including who paid for it and how many people saw it.Defining what counts as an issue ad won’t be easy. While both education and immigration can be political issues, for example, ads for a university or an immigration lawyer would not be considered political. Facebook says it’s starting with a list of 20 issues, including immigration and foreign policy, and will target ads “with the goal of either influencing public debate, promoting a ballot measure or electing a candidate.”Facebook has already said it would require anyone who wants to buy issue ads in the U.S. to confirm their identity and location. Facebook said it is investing in more workers and technology to identify potential abuse. The company is urging users to report ads that have political content but are not labeled. Violators will be banned from running political ads, the company says. This Nov. 1, 2017, file photo shows some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee, are photographed in Washington. Facebook says it will require political advertisers in the U.S. to label “issue ads” that disclose who paid for them, part of its ongoing efforts to prevent elections-related misuse of its platform. Such ads played prominently in Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File) In this Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process are displayed as Google’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel Kent Walker, Facebook’s General Counsel Colin Stretch, and Twitter’s Acting General Counsel Sean Edgett, testify during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Facebook says it will require political advertisers in the U.S. to label “issue ads” that disclose who paid for them, part of its ongoing efforts to prevent elections-related misuse of its platform. Such ads played prominently in Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)center_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This Nov. 1, 2017, file photo shows some of the Facebook and Instagram ads linked to a Russian effort to disrupt the American political process and stir up tensions around divisive social issues, released by members of the U.S. House Intelligence committee, are photographed in Washington. Facebook says it will require political advertisers in the U.S. to label “issue ads” that disclose who paid for them, part of its ongoing efforts to prevent elections-related misuse of its platform. Such ads played prominently in Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File) Facebook is expanding its advertising disclosure requirements to cover all U.S. ads on polarized issues such as gun control and abortion rights, even if they don’t endorse a particular candidate.last_img read more

Airline technology supplier says outage has been fixed

first_img Explore further Citation: Airline technology supplier says outage has been fixed (2019, May 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-airline-technology-supplier-outage.html Travel-technology provider Sabre says the problem that prevented some airline travelers from checking in for flights has been fixed. A Sabre spokeswoman said Tuesday that the problem originated with one of the company’s network suppliers, CenturyLink.Cassidy Smith of Sabre says the glitch affected airlines that connect with Sabre through CenturyLink’s network.Smith declined to identify the affected airlines. Some JetBlue customers complained they were unable to check in for flights.CenturyLink did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.FlightStats says about 1,900 U.S. flights were delayed by early afternoon on the East Coast, although it’s unclear how many are related to the Sabre failure.Sabre suffered a similar outage that affected several U.S. airlines on April 29. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Several US airlines hit by brief computer-related outage This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more