Zeiger sisters make impact in the pool

first_imgZeiger sisters make impact in the poolBlake Zeiger is a senior, and her sister, Brooke, is a Gophers freshman. David NelsonOctober 29, 2014Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAfter being homeschooled in her home state of Rhode Island, Blake Zeiger made a huge transition with her decision to attend the University of Minnesota and join nearly 29,000 other students.A few years later, her sister, Brooke Zeiger, made the same decision.While the change of scenery might have frightened some students, the Zeiger sisters’ performances in the pool show that the women from the smallest state in the country have had no trouble making the switch.“They work extraordinarily hard,” head coach Kelly Kremer said. “They’re kind of what you want in a student-athlete. … They’re exactly what you’re looking for as a coach to build a program.”However, the Zeigers weren’t always swimmers.Senior Blake and freshman Brooke Zeiger traded their gymnastics leotards for swim caps and goggles when they were introduced to swimming about a decade ago.“We were gymnasts first, and then I got hurt,” Blake Zeiger said. “We started on a summer [swimming] team. We both really liked it, so we decided to try club.”Each of the sisters demonstrated the swim talent they inherited from their parents — both of whom raced for the University of Maine — early in their careers.“It just clicked,” Brooke Zeiger said.When the time came for Blake to make a college decision, Minnesota was in the back of her mind because she wanted to stay closer to home.A phone call with Kremer changed that.“It was really cool talking to Kelly on the phone,” Blake Zeiger said. “So I decided to give it a shot and go for a trip.”When Blake arrived on campus, Kremer said he could foresee there being trouble with her transition. “For Blake, that was a much tougher adjustment than she thought it might be her first year,” Kremer said. “But she got through first semester, and then she got her feet on the ground.”Since then, Blake Zeiger has been a standout for Minnesota, posting three top-13 times at last year’s Big Ten championships.“Her improvement curve is exactly what anybody would want,” Kremer said. “It’s literally been perfect.”Now, Gophers fans get the opportunity to watch both Zeigers produce when Brooke dives into the pool.“When you look at the scope of what Blake’s done here, it’s really incredible,” Kremer said. “And Brooke has all that in front of her still.”In three meets this season, Brooke owns victories in seven races.“[I’m] not surprised [by Brooke’s early success],” Kremer said. “We can put her in [any event], and she’ll just go right to it. I’m really happy that she’s done whatever we’ve asked her to do to this point.”Blake Zeiger owns one individual event victory this season, as well as two victories as a member of relay teams.While both Zeigers admitted they’re friendly with one another on dry land, they have a bit of a sibling rivalry in the pool.“I could see her a couple of lanes over last Saturday when we were racing,” Brooke Zeiger said. “I did not want her to beat me.”But a year from now, when her older sister graduates, Brooke won’t be able to keep as close of a watch on her pace.While Blake might be behind her little sister in the rivalry when it comes to event victories this season, she has a strong resume that she’s built over the past three years.“She’s been a multiple-time All-American and been in lots of finals at Big Tens,” Kremer said. “She’s so critical on the Gopher relays and [in] Gopher sprint relays that we’re sure going to miss her when she graduates.”last_img read more

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FLU NEWS SCAN: H5N1 mutation, novel H5N5, Vietnam stops H5N1 vaccination, flu vaccine protection, US flu finale, HIV and H1N1

first_imgMay 27, 2011H5N1 strains in Egypt show increased ability to bind to human cellsH5N1 avian influenza viruses in Egypt have branched into new sublineages and have shown a mutation that helps them bind more readily to human cell receptors in the lower respiratory tract, which may indicate an increased pandemic potential, according to a study published yesterday. Researchers from Egypt, Japan, and Thailand conducted a phylogenetic analysis of H5N1 viruses isolated from 2006 to 2009 in Egypt. Using reverse genetics, they found that several new sublineages have acquired an enhanced receptor-binding affinity of the viral hemagglutinin to alpha-2,6-linked sialic acid (SA), which is a receptor-binding trait of human influenza strains. The mutation was associated with increased attachment to and infectivity in the lower respiratory tract but not the larynx of humans and also demonstrated increased virulence in mice. The authors conclude, “Our findings suggested that emergence of new H5 sublineages with alpha-2,6 SA specificity caused a subsequent increase in human H5N1 influenza virus infections in Egypt, and provided data for understanding the virus’s pandemic potential.”May 26 PLoS Pathog studyChinese scientists find two novel H5N5 viruses in ducksChinese researchers today said they have identified two novel highly pathogenic H5N5 avian influenza reassortants during routine surveillance in domestic ducks. Writing in the June issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, they said the two novel viruses were isolated from healthy mallard ducks at live poultry markets in eastern China in December 2008 and January 2009. During testing they were highly pathogenic in chickens and moderately pathogenic in mice. The investigators said the two new viruses are probably reassortants of Eurasian virus strains and that H5N1 subtypes could have provided their backbones. The group said the findings highlight the importance of ducks as vessels for creating new flu virus subtypes, and that, given free-range duck farming practices, the new strains could pose a threat to other poultry or to humans.June Emerg Infect Dis studyVietnam halts H5N1 poultry vaccination due to poor matchVietnam’s government announced yesterday that it has stopped its national program to immunize poultry against the H5N1 virus, because a new clade circulating in most of the country is ineffective against the vaccine, Reuters reported today. Vietnam’s animal health department said the vaccine supplies ordered from China do not work against the new clade, which is circulating in northern, coastal, central, and Central Highlands areas. The older clade is still circulating in southern provinces, it said. Vietnam is one of a handful of countries in which H5N1 virus is endemic in poultry. Some endemic countries use the vaccine to contain the virus, but its use is controversial, because asymptomatic infections can spread when vaccination programs aren’t adequately monitored.May 27 Reuters storyExperts say flu shot is best hedge over uncertainty of duration of immunityNext season’s flu vaccine will contain the same three strains as this season, which has influenza experts fielding questions about whether currently vaccinated people need to be immunized in the fall. Experts say vaccine production can drop off quickly for frail and older people, but the scientific data on how long the flu vaccine protects younger healthy populations are unclear, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. The last time two consecutive flu seasons had a vaccine with the same three strains was between 2002 and 2004. Nancy Cox, MD, who leads the flu division at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that some studies suggest immunity that wanes over time isn’t strong enough to protect against flu. CDC officials have suggested that yearly vaccination can provide a hedge against the efficacy of existing vaccines, which is only about 70%, even when the vaccine is a good match with circulating strains. John Treanor, MD, a virologist at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, told the AP that experts don’t have a clear picture of how long flu vaccine protection lasts. The CDC says yearly vaccination will offer the best protection. Flu vaccine manufacturers recently predicted that they will make a record number of doses for the upcoming season, between 166 million and 173 million.US flu activity fades in season’s final updateIn its last weekly flu report of the season, the CDC said that most activity indicators continued to tail off, except for the percentage of deaths from pneumonia and flu, which rose slightly above the epidemic threshold. The percentage of doctors visits for flu-like illnesses remained at a level typical for summer months, and the percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu continued to decline. No pediatric deaths were reported, holding the season’s total at 105. The overall percentage of deaths from flu and pneumonia increased slightly, from 7.3% to 7.4%, putting it slightly above the epidemic threshold. CDC officials have said that flu deaths can sometimes lag other indicators. No states reported widespread, regional, or local geographic spread. Sporadic activity was reported by Puerto Rico and 21 states, which is six fewer states than the previous week. The CDC said it will publish its first weekly report for the 2011-12 flu season on Oct 14.May 27 CDC weekly flu surveillance reportStudy: HIV does not raise risk of severe H1N1 illnessPeople with HIV fared no worse than others during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, according to a retrospective study in the June issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Researchers analyzed data from 23 patients at a Seattle medical center who had lab-confirmed 2009 H1N1, 8 of whom required hospitalization. The 8 patients received therapy for a median of 6 days (range, 1-22), and 2 of them (25%) died. “Our findings are similar to those reported by others, suggesting that HIV infection alone does not appear to be a risk factor for severe pandemic (H1N1) 2009, provided that patients are not severely immunocompromised, do not have other risk factors associated with poor outcomes, and are treated for influenza soon after signs and symptoms develop,” the authors write.June Emerg Infect Dis reportlast_img read more

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News Scan for Jan 31, 2020

first_imgFlu levels rising again in US as 14 more pediatric deaths reportedAfter US flu activity peaked at the end of 2019 and fell for 2 straight weeks, it has now increased measurably for the second straight week, while the number of flu-related deaths in children rose by 14, to 68, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its weekly FluView report today.The CDC estimated that so far this season flu has sickened 19 million people, hospitalized 180,000, and killed 10,000.Clinic visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) rose from 5.1% the week before to 5.7% last week, the CDC said. The national baseline is 2.4%. And the number of states reporting high ILI activity jumped from 35 to 41. In addition, every state but Hawaii reported widespread flu, compared with 48 states the week before.Eight of the 14 new pediatric deaths were caused by influenza B, the season’s predominant strain, and 6 were caused by influenza A. Three “A” strains were subtyped, and all were 2009 H1N1 strains. The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu was 6.7%, the same as the week before and below the epidemic threshold of 7.2%.For the season, influenza B viruses have accounted for 54.0% of flu-positive respiratory specimens analyzed at public health labs, compared with 46.0% for influenza A. For the most recent week, however, A strains outpaced B strains 55.7% to 44.3%. Among specimens from clinical labs, however, influenza B made up 50.2% of flu viruses last week and 62.6% for the season. Public health labs assess circulating strains, while clinical labs assess those infecting patients.The overall hospitalization rate was 29.7 per 100,000 population last week, compared with 24.1 the week before, which the CDC said is at expected levels. As is typical, people 65 and older are the hardest-hit group, with a flu hospitalization rate of 71.3 per 100,000, up from 58.1 per 100,000 the week before.Jan 31 CDC FluView update WHO links recent Ebola cases to earlier transmission chainIn its weekly snapshot of the Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that five new cases were reported from Beni health zone in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Jan 22 to Jan 28. The cases had epidemiologic links to a transmission chain that originated in Mabalako health zone, and most likely occurred through exposure to a traditional healer.In addition, the WHO said that one case-patient confirmed on Jan 20 stayed in the community for 4 days before going to an Ebola treatment center and infected two additional people in the community. Because those two patients, and another confirmed patient, stayed in the community for several days prior to isolation, the WHO warned that further cases can be expected in the coming 2 weeks in Bundji and Kanzulinzuli health areas and neighboring health areas in Beni Health Zone.The WHO said 28 cases were confirmed from Jan 8 to Jan 28, and that Beni health zone remains the current hot spot of the outbreak, having confirmed 64% of confirmed cases over the past 21 days. But the agency noted that encouraging trends have been observed in the past 21 days, as well, with the most recent epidemiologic week (Jan 20 to Jan 26) seeing the fewest cases since the beginning of the response. Contact tracing has also improved, the WHO said.Meanwhile, the WHO online Ebola dashboard reported no new cases today, keeping the total at 3,427 cases, of which 2,245 were fatal. Yesterday’s daily update from the DRC’s Ebola technical committee (CMRE) said a recently confirmed new case in North Kivu was in Mabalako. CMRE also updated its vaccination numbers, reporting that 8,828 people have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola vaccine, and 280,426 have received Merck’s rVSV-ZEBOV. Jan 30 WHO situation report WHO Ebola dashboard Jan 30 CMRE update Study: Toilet flushing could aid spread of pathogens in hospitalsA pilot study by researchers with the University of Iowa has found that bioaerosols from flushed toilets in the rooms of patients with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) may contribute to the spread of healthcare-associated bacteria in hospitals. The research was published today in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.In the study, which was conducted at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, researchers collected bioaerosols on plates placed 0.15 meters (m), 0.5 m, and 1.0 m from the rims of toilets in 24 rooms of patients hospitalized with CDI and collected bathroom air continuously with a bioaerosol sampler before and after toilet flushing. They then cultured and identified bacteria on the plates (focusing on C difficile), measured bacterial density, and calculated the difference in bioaerosol production before and after flushing.Bacteria were positively cultured from 8 of 24 rooms (33%). In total, 72 preflush and 72 postflush samples were collected, with healthcare-associated bacteria found in 9 of the preflush samples (12.5%) and 19 of the postflush samples (26.4%); postflush plates had a significantly higher probability of culturing positive than preflush plates (P = .0309). The predominant species cultured were Enterococcus faecalis, E faecium, and C difficile. Compared with the preflush air samples, the postflush samples showed significant increases in the concentrations of the two large particle-size categories: 5.0 micrometers (P = .0095) and 10.0 micrometers (P = .0082).The authors conclude, “This study potentially supports the hypothesis that toilet flushing may lead to the spread of clinically significant pathogens in healthcare settings. More information is needed to determine the risk factors associated with toilet flushing and environmental contamination by pathogens.”Jan 31 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol abstract UAE reports 2 MERS cases involving camel contactThe WHO today said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reported two more MERS-CoV cases, both in men who had contact with camels.Both of the men are from Abu Dhabi. One is a 51-year-old man whose symptoms began on Dec 26 and the other is a 53-year-old man with underlying health conditions whose symptoms began on Dec 18. Both were hospitalized on Dec 31 and survived their Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections.The WHO said the UAE has now reported 91 cases, 12 of them fatal. It said as of Jan 15, the global total of MERS-CoV cases reported since the virus was first detected in humans in 2012 is 2,506, at least 862 of them fatal. Saudi Arabia has been the hardest hit country.Jan 31 WHO statement Four countries report more polio cases, including 6 in PakistanThe Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in its latest weekly update said four countries have reported new cases: Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, and the Philippines.Pakistan reported six wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases, including four from Sindh province and one each from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Some had 2019 illness onsets, raising that annual total to 139, a steep increase from previous years. The new cases with January paralysis onsets lift the 2020 total so far to 4 cases.Earlier this week, two polio workers were killed in an attack on a team in Swabi district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to a Jan 29 report from Dawn, an English-language newspaper based in Pakistan.Two African countries reported more circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases, including two from the DRC (from Sankuru and Kwilu provinces) that lift the total for 2019 to 75. The other is Angola, which reported 15 cases from eight different provinces, putting the total for 2019 at 103 cases from seven different outbreaks.Elsewhere, the Philippines reported a second cVDPV1 case for 2019, which involves a patient from Southern Mindanao province. The country is also experiencing a cVDPV2 outbreak that totaled 13 cases for 2019.Jan 31 GPEI report Jan 29 Dawn storylast_img read more

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ITW Automotive Aftermarket Names Steven Levine As Vice President And General Manager Of ITW EVERCOAT

first_imgLSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. ITW EVERCOAT, a leading provider of body repair solutions and appearance chemicals for automotive professionals, has named Steven Levine as the new vice president and general manager. In this role, Levine will have global responsibilities for ITW EVERCOAT that include the Evercoat and Auto Magic businesses.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement“Steve is an experienced and well-rounded leader who brings a diverse background and a solid track record to the organization,” said Mark Severin, ITW Automotive Aftermarket Group president. “Steve will be instrumental in leveraging EVERCOAT’s solid brand, market position and innovative solutions to grow the business. We are pleased to welcome Steve to the ITW team.”Most recently, Levine was a vice president at The Chamberlain Group. He also held senior leadership roles at Newell Rubbermaid and The Stanley Works. He attained a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementlast_img read more

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The Art Of Forgery

first_imgIt should be no surprise — given continuing news about art forgeries that keep deceiving those in the business, and the publication of memoirs written by proud felons, some of whom now work in validating, or not, ostensible masterpieces — that in 2005 a Museum of Art Fakes opened in Vienna, featuring not only forged paintings but some manuscripts, the rationale being to educate the public.The public, however, would seem to be more interested in being entertained than educated, to judge from the popularity of such copycat exhibitions and literature on art forgery.When visitors step into the gallery at the Louvre housing the “Mona Lisa,” for example, they see from a marked-off distance not only the iconic Leonardo da Vinci work, protected in a sealed box and behind bullet-proof glass, but artists clustered near the painting, working with skilled precision to render an exact imitation. The irony is that some of the copies provide a better sense of the original than what visitors can see through the madding crowd. Many of the copyists are good at what they do.In “False Light,” the second in her three-book Art History Mystery Series, Claudia Riess taps into our fascination with art forgery. Her resumé notes Vassar, editorial positions at various publishing houses, and editing art history monographs. An end note testifies to her appreciation of “historical accuracy,” but she also admits to being an “incurable romantic,” with a love of exploring the “might have been.”She’s a careful researcher, in particular citing her reliance here on Eric Hebborn’s memoir, “Drawn to Trouble: Confessions of a Master Forger.” Hebborn (1934-1996), a British painter and art forger, was murdered in Rome, allegedly by the Mafia, for whom he was working at the time. When real life produces such dramatic material and when docudramas are all the rage (a television series on Hebborn is in the works), it’s challenging for a fiction writer to compete.In a recent online interview, “Art as Impetus in Fiction,” Riess writes: “The world of art knows no geographical boundaries and is where the most sublime of human instincts clash with the basest. For me, it has become the perfect amalgam from which to draw inspiration for fiction.”She obviously has been inspired, creating a husband-and-wife detective team, Erika Shawn, an art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, a professor of art history. With nods to her first book in the series, Riess now engages her attractive sleuths in trying to break a code Hebborn inserted into his memoir about where famous art forgeries may be found. But the hunt for the code turns into a hunt for a killer.A prologue introduces a well-known art scholar who has one copy of Hebborn’s memoir, though a second copy, missing for years, is needed to break the code. The scholar is thrilled when he hears that the second copy has turned up, but his plans to meet with the finder are foiled when he’s murdered. His death will not be the first and, for sure, our heroine will find herself in mortal danger.Though the prologue is only two pages, the reader senses what is about to happen here, and elsewhere in the narrative. It also strains credulity when Erika, partly to ward off depression over a miscarriage (gone into, inexplicably, too long), devises a sting operation, over what she’s sure would be her loving husband’s objections.For the art-minded East End, where art forgeries are a familiar topic, “False Light” will strike a timely note. The question is whether Erika and Harrison’s growing marital tension, and the trials of minor characters, advance the plot or simply try to enrich characterization. Dialogue at times sounds oddly polite and stilted, carefully constructed subject-predicate sentences that belie the exigency of various situations. There’s a lot of lore here, though, on various methods used to prove the authenticity of art works, even if these sections seem detached from the main narrative, as do the too-extended passages of Erika and Harrison in bed. The novel does, however, show off the author’s admirable research, sympathy for professional women wanting a family, the plight of LGBT couples, and an overall good heart for those who still believe in love in a cynical world. Sharelast_img read more

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McCrometer sponsors first FPSO Congress Brazil

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

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Nationwide springs pleasant surprise for house sellers and builders

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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TRANSY moves space equipment

first_imgThe dangerous cargo (IMO class 1) consisted of 21 specialised oversized containers and 30 standard containers, flat racks, tank containers. Additional equipment and rocket fuel was transported from Moscow and Samara to the port of St Petersburg by rail and truck, and then installed and mounted by Transy specialists. Specially-designed trailers and cradles were used prior to loading onboard a ro-ro vessel with the assistance of two shoreside cranes.last_img

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Bill Gates’ newest mission: Curing Alzheimer’s

first_img Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway’s boards Bill Gates’ newest mission: Curing Alzheimer’s Published: November 13, 2017 8:28 AM EST SHARE NEW YORK (CNN) It’s one of the holy grails of science: a cure for Alzheimer’s. Currently, there is no treatment to stop the disease, let alone slow its progression. And billionaire Bill Gates thinks he will change that.“I believe there is a solution,” he told me without hesitation.“Any type of treatment would be a huge advance from where we are today,” he said, but “the long-term goal has got to be cure.”I had the chance to sit down with Gates recently to talk about his newest initiative. He sat in front of our cameras exclusively to tell me how he hopes to find a cure to a disease that now steals the memories and other cognitive functions of 47 million people around the world.For Gates, the fight is personal. He is investing $50 million of his own money into the Dementia Discovery Fund, a private-public research partnership focused on some of the more novel ideas about what drives the brain disease, such as looking at a brain cell’s immune system. It’s the first time Gates has made a commitment to a noncommunicable disease. The work done through his foundation has focused primarily on infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and polio.I have interviewed Gates many times over the years, in countries around the world. He was more engaged on this topic of Alzheimer’s than I’ve ever seen before.Today, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, where a new case is diagnosed every 66 seconds. More than 5 million Americans live with the disease, at a cost of $259 billion a year. Without any treatment, those numbers are projected to explode to 16 million Americans with the disease, at a cost of over $1 trillion a year, by 2050.“The growing burden is pretty unbelievable,” the tech guru-turned-philanthropist told me. It’s something he knows personally. “Several of the men in my family have this disease. And so, you know, I’ve seen how tough it is. That’s not my sole motivation, but it certainly drew me in.”When he said, “I’m a huge believer in that science and innovation are going to solve most of the tough problems over time,” I could feel his optimism.He told me he has spent the past year investigating and talking to scientists, trying to determine how best to help move the needle toward treatment of the disease itself rather than just the symptoms.A disease turns 100It has been more than a century since the disease was identified by German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer. He first wrote about it in 1906, describing the case of a woman named “Auguste D.” Alzheimer called it “a peculiar disease,” marked by significant memory loss, severe paranoia and other psychological changes.But it wasn’t until Alzheimer performed an autopsy on her brain that the case became even more striking. He found that her brain had shrunk significantly, and there were unusual deposits in and around the nerve cells.It would take another 80 years for scientists to identify what those deposits were: plaques and tangles of proteins called amyloid and tau. They have become hallmarks of the disease.Both amyloid and tau are naturally occurring proteins that can be found in healthy brain cells. But in a brain with Alzheimer’s, something goes haywire, causing parts of amyloid proteins to clump together and block the cell’s messaging pathways. Eventually, tau proteins begin to tangle up inside the neurons.All of this contributes to a breakdown of the neural highway that helps our brain cells communicate. These changes in the brain can begin years before anyone starts actually exhibiting any symptoms of memory loss or personality changes.Until recently, it’s been a challenge to understand the disease, let alone identify who has it. The only way to definitively diagnose Alzheimer’s is still after someone has died and their brain can be examined under the microscope, looking for the telltale amyloid plaques and tau tangles.A new hope“It’s gone slower than we all would have hoped. A lot of failed drug trials,” Gates told me. And he’s right. Since 2002, there have been more than 400 Alzheimer drug trials run and yet no treatments. There are some drugs prescribed to help with cognitive symptoms such as memory loss or confusion but nothing that actually targets Alzheimer’s.In the past five years, advanced imaging technology has allowed us to see tau and amyloid in living people.Dr. James Hendrix, who heads up the Alzheimer Association’s Global Science Innovation team, believes that this development is a game-changer. “You need good tools to find the right therapeutics,” he said.By identifying these biomarkers earlier, Hendrix told me, scientists can work on finding ways to prevent the brain from deteriorating.“If we can catch the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s, then we’re treating a mostly healthy brain, and keeping it mostly healthy. … It’s very difficult to repair the damage once it’s done,” he explained.Dr. Rudy Tanzi agrees that imaging has been essential in understanding the pathology of Alzheimer’s and potential treatments. Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard, has been at the helm of Alzheimer’s research, discovering several of the genes associated with the disease.He points out that one of the greatest faults with some of the trials has not been in the treatment itself but in the application: too late in the disease’s progression, when symptoms are already occurring. “It’s like trying to give someone Lipitor when they have a heart attack,” he explained. “You had to do it earlier.”Tanzi said we need to think about Alzheimer’s like cancer or heart disease. “That’s how we’re going to beat the disease: early detection and early intervention.”Think differentMost of the focus in Alzheimer’s research has been on tau and amyloid, what Gates likes to call “the mainstream.” With his donation, Gates hopes to spur research into more novel ideas about the disease, like investigating the role of the glial cells that activate the immune system of the brain or how the energy lifespan of a cell may contribute to the disease.“There’s a sense that this decade will be the one that we make a lot of progress,” Gates told me.Gates believes that it will be a combination of mainstream and out-of-the-box thinking that will lead to potential treatments in the near future.“Ideally, some of these mainstream drugs that report out in the next two or three years will start us down the path of reducing the problem. But I do think these newer approaches will eventually be part of that drug regimen that people take,” he said.Has looking into Alzheimer’s research caused Gates to worry about his own health?“Anything where my mind would deteriorate” is, he said, one of his greatest fears. He’s seen the hardship it has caused in his own family. “I hope I can live a long time without those limitations.”So Gates is now focused on prevention, by exercising and staying mentally engaged. “My job’s perfect, because I’m always trying to learn new things and meeting with people who are explaining things to me. You know, I have the most fun job in the world,” he said with a smile. Author: CNN Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Recommended Bill Gates explains how the US can safely ease coronavirus restrictions last_img read more

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Rio declares “state of calamity” over floundering finances on eve of Olympics

first_img Share 43 Views   no discussions MoneyNewsRegionalSports Rio declares “state of calamity” over floundering finances on eve of Olympics by: Caribbean 360 – June 20, 2016 Share Tweetcenter_img The decree authorizes the state to adopt all necessary emergency measures to ration essential public services in order for the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games to take place.RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Monday June 20, 2016 (Caribbean 360)– Rio state authorities have declared “a state of public calamity,” warning that extreme economic measures would need to be implemented to successfully host the Olympic Games due to begin in August.The decree authorizes the state to “adopt all necessary emergency measures to ration essential public services in order for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to take place.”The statement, published late Friday on the state government’s web site, said that emergency actions are necessary to avoid a “total collapse in public safety, health, education, transport and environmental management.”“Any institutional instability would hurt the country’s image,” said the decree, signed by acting governor Francisco Dornelles.Rio de Janeiro state is in financial difficulties due to the fall in global oil prices, while Brazil overall is floundering through a deep recession.Civil servants in Rio state have suffered pay cheque delays because of the cash crunch, while retirees are grappling with the hardships posed by unpaid pensions.Brazil has been mired in recession for the past two years, making it hard to fund the estimated US$10 billion the country is spending on Olympic venues and infrastructure projects to support the Games.Those costs have contributed to widespread protests throughout Brazil, as citizens complain that the money should be spent on hospitals, schools and emergency services instead.While Friday’s statement did not specify what emergency actions were necessary, it made it clear that without them the event would be jeopardized.According to the statement: “It is for the competent authorities to adopt exceptional necessary measures to rationalize all public services, with the aim of realizing the Games.”Brazil has suffered economic and political chaos, not to mention the ravages of the Zika virus, leading up to the Games, which were awarded to Rio when the country was enjoying boom times.As a leading world supplier of natural resources, Brazil has been severely impacted by the global economic slowdown, which has seen commodity prices plummet.Adding to the economic woes is leadership upheaval. President Dilma Rousseff was suspended last month by the Brazilian Senate, which will hold an impeachment trial on charges that she violated spending accounting rules.In the meantime, many of the country’s top politicians have been ensnared in a bribery corruption scandal involving the state-run oil company Petrobras.Corruption charges also have swirled around interim President Michel Temer, who had been vice president prior to Rousseff’s suspension, and there has been a steady shuffling of top government officials.The economic and political problems have sparked mass protests by supporters and opponents of Rousseff, and there is concern that new demonstrations could cause disruption for visitors attending the games.The August 5-21 Olympics and September 7-18 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro are the first to be held in South America. Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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