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The threat from superbugs

first_imgAs government and health officials voice growing alarm over the spread of drug-resistant bacteria around the world, a panel of experts on Wednesday recommended steps to address the problem in hospitals, in communities, and across businesses.Experts appearing at the Forum at Harvard School of Public Health recommended a mix of hospital-stewardship programs and community education to fight antibiotic misuse, as well as legal changes that allow pharmaceutical companies to profit longer from new antibiotics to provide economic incentives to develop new drugs.“We’re not coming to the end of the antibiotic era, but we’re in danger of not being able to save lives we should save. We should be able to cure bacterial infections and viruses,” said Stuart Levy, a physician at Tufts University School of Medicine and president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics.Levy took part in a forum discussion called “Battling Drug-Resistant Superbugs: Can We Win?” in the Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) leadership studio in Kresge Hall; it was webcast live. It also featured HSPH epidemiology Professor Marc Lipsitch, director of the HSPH Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics; Aaron Kesselheim, director of the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Beth Bell, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.The event, produced by the forum in collaboration with WGBH broadcasting and the Public Radio International program “The World,” was moderated by David Baron, health and science editor of “The World.”Since the first alarms were sounded over rising drug resistance in the 1970s, the problem has grown more deadly. Two million people are infected with drug-resistant bacteria each year, and 23,000 die, according to CDC statistics.The problem has a significant economic impact as well, with an estimated $20 billion in excess medical costs and perhaps $30 billion in lost productivity from ailments caused by drug-resistant bugs.It wasn’t always this way. Penicillin, the first antibiotic, revolutionized medical care when it was introduced in the early 1940s, giving physicians a powerful tool to fight infections and ailments caused by bacteria. Other antibiotics arrived, ushering in an era when infection control was seen as routine.But with reproduction times as short as 30 minutes, bacteria are resilient, Lipsitch said. Survivors from an antibiotic treatment rapidly reproduce, passing their resistant genetic makeup to future generations and spreading it in the population. Bacteria also can take up DNA from dead relatives and swap DNA with other living bacteria, giving them an ability to acquire resistance that they didn’t have before.“This is evolution in action,” Lipsitch said.As this process has taken place, economic considerations have caused several major drug companies to stop research into new antibiotics, panelists said. Compared with cancer drugs or health-maintenance drugs like statins, which either have high costs or are taken for long periods of time, antibiotics are inexpensive and typically used for just days or weeks. That means they don’t provide similar financial returns.“It was a rational business decision, but it left a lot of investment and innovation in antibiotic development to smaller companies and academics working in the field,” Kesselheim said.The result is today’s stagnant arsenal of antibiotic drugs, even as more organisms develop resistance to them. Organisms have emerged that are resistant to not just one drug but several, forcing physicians to resort to treatments that are toxic to the bug but also can hurt the patient.Last spring, the CDC sounded the alarm over drug resistance, highlighting three organisms whose threat was urgent: Clostridium difficile, which causes intestinal infections and kills 14,000 people annually; Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea, strains of which are resistant to any antibiotic; and carbapenem–resistant Enterobacteriaceae, which causes bloodstream infections and kills 600 annually. The CDC report also highlighted a dozen other resistant bugs that it termed serious, and others of concern.Resistant bacteria are often found in settings where both bacteria and the drugs to fight them are abundant, such as hospitals. But they are increasingly common in the community, with instances of heartbreaking cases of seemingly routine infections growing to life-threatening proportions.The panelists agreed that over-prescribing antibiotics has to stop. Antibiotics are often improperly prescribed, sometimes for infections caused by viruses, which don’t respond to antibiotics. This over-prescription exposes populations of bacteria to antibiotics unnecessarily, fostering drug resistance. Over-prescription occurs even in hospital settings, and Bell said that as much as 50 percent of antibiotic prescriptions in hospitals are unnecessary.Another problem is lack of adherence to prescriptions. When a patient doesn’t complete the entire course of antibiotics, it leaves a small population of hardier bacteria alive to reproduce, which also fosters drug resistance.Antibiotic overuse also extends to agriculture. The drugs are routinely given to livestock, even when healthy, so they grow more quickly. Some 65 percent of chickens and 44 percent of ground beef tested had bacteria resistant to tetracycline, Levy said.To fight problems in usage, panelists suggested establishing stewardship programs at hospitals to raise awareness and foster proper handling and prescribing of antibiotics. In the community, the panelists suggested enhanced monitoring for drug-resistant infections and more education so consumers are aware of the dangers from drug resistance, and also that the solutions are in their hands.Levy said he considers antibiotics “societal drugs” because one person’s improperly taken antibiotic can create another person’s drug-resistant bacterial infection.Consumers can help by not pestering physicians for unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, panelists said, by completing the drug regimens they do receive, and by taking simple steps, such as washing their hands, to stay healthy in the first place.The other half of the solution, panelists said, is to increase the supply of antibiotic drugs. Because financial incentives to develop antibiotics are poor, the pipeline of new medications to fight bacteria resistant to existing drugs is drying up. Kesselheim suggested extending the time that a pharmaceutical company has exclusive rights to profit from a discovery. This would let them make money on a new drug longer so they can recoup the research and development dollars that go into creating a new antibiotic.“This is a complicated problem, and we need to attack it at different levels,” Bell said. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMh9Y7gFR2I” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/IMh9Y7gFR2I/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>last_img read more

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Nearly 40,000 apply to College Class of ’21

first_img Early action is ‘new normal’ for undergraduate admissions, Fitzsimmons says 938 admitted early to College Class of 2021 Countering a national trend, interest in the humanities has been rising at Harvard. This year, applicants with an interest in the field saw a 3 percent increase from last year’s applicant pool. In addition to the opening of the revitalized Harvard Art Museums, myriad programs sponsored by the Office of the Arts and the American Repertory Theater and the new theater, dance & media concentration have created excitement and interest.“I have been astounded by the number of secondary school students who have called, emailed, or visited me from all over the country, the world even, to inquire about TDM since we opened our doors,” said Deborah Foster, director of undergraduate studies in theater, dance & media. “These students tell me they are drawn to Harvard by the opportunity to pursue a top-notch liberal arts education along with strong, almost conservatory-like training in theater and dance. They are thrilled by the prospect of truly integrating the history and theory of theater and dance with the serious practice of these art forms.”The Harvard Paulson School and the computer science concentration also continue to drive student interest in Harvard. “We saw a 12.3 percent increase in the number of students intending to concentrate in computer science, reflecting the strength and breadth of our computer science faculty,” said Marlyn McGrath, director of admissions.“As a senior in computer science, it is easy to see the high level of excitement for CS and engineering as … membership in clubs, such as Women in Computer Science, has been growing. We are beyond excited to welcome the newly admitted class and hope they can find a home at Harvard and potentially within SEAS,” said Maria Stoica ’17.The number of women applying to the College this year increased by 2.5 percent, climbing to 49.9 percent of the total pool. In addition, the numbers increased for all minority groups. Geographical distribution and economic diversity were both similar to last year’s pattern.The admissions committee’s decisions will be released to applicants on March 30. Admitted students will be invited to visit Cambridge from April 22 to 24 for the Visitas program. Students have until the national reply date of May 1 to make their final college choices. Related Applications for admission to Harvard College rose to nearly 40,000 this year, with a record 39,494 students applying, up 1.2 percent from last year.“Interest in Harvard has remained strong even as the number of high school seniors has been leveling off in the U.S. in recent years, part of a long-term plateauing that will include declines in the Northeast and the Midwest,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “As most students — about 80 percent — go to college within 200 miles of their homes, outreach that redoubles our efforts close to home and continues our national and international recruitment will be necessary to maintain the excellence of our student body.”Fitzsimmons said, “Three factors stood out this year: Harvard’s innovative and comprehensive financial aid program, new developments in the humanities, such as the theater, dance and media concentration, and another surge in the number of students interested in computer science and the opportunities at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.”Prior to the start of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI), fewer than 20,000 students applied for admission. “The excellence and diversity of the student body have reached unprecedented levels since the start of HFAI,” said Sarah C. Donahue, Griffin Director of Financial Aid. “The majority of Harvard students receive need-based aid, and their families pay an average of only $12,000. Students are not required to take out loans.”Since launching HFAI in 2005, Harvard has awarded nearly $1.6 billion in grants to undergraduates. Over that time, Harvard’s annual financial aid award budget has increased more than 114 percent, from $80 million in 2005 to more than $172 million in 2016.The majority of undergraduates receiving financial aid pay just 10 percent of annual family income, and this standard holds for families earning up to $150,000 per year. Families with higher incomes can also receive need-based aid, depending on individual circumstances, including other children in college or unusual medical or other expenses.Today one in five Harvard undergraduates comes from a family earning less than $65,000 a year, and their families pay nothing toward the cost of their education. These students now also receive a $2,000 start-up grant that helps support move-in costs and other expenses incurred in making the transition to college.last_img read more

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VCE CEO Praveen Akkiraju on The Cube

first_imgDirect from EMC World 2013 in Las Vegas, Praveen Akkiraju, CEO of VCE, joins SiliconANGLE’s flagship program theCube.He talks with Dave Vellante and John Furrier to review his first year leading the company, VCE’s focus on the fundamental simplification of the data center, time to value for customers upon deployment, and more.View the full episode below.last_img

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Legislative leaders give Entergy November 1 deadline for new Vermont Yankee power contract

first_imgWe have established this firm deadline in order to allow sufficient time for an orderly and thorough review of any agreement by the Public Service Board and then by the Vermont General Assembly.   July 28, 2009Mr. Jay ThayerC/O MacLean, Meehan and Rice45 Court StMontpelier, Vt 05602 Dear Mr. Thayer: Speaker Smith and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin today sent a letter to Entergy Corporation to inform them that it will be very difficult for the Vermont General Assembly to act on the question of continued operation of the Vermont Yankee plant unless a power purchase agreement is reached between Entergy and Vermont utilities before November 1, 2009. The letter is pasted below.  Even if those reliability concerns are resolved in the plant s favor, the Vermont General Assembly cannot in good conscience approve continued operation of Vermont Yankee without a thorough analysis of the economic impact of continued operation compared with other current and emerging alternative power supplies.  The contract and its details are critical to the central issues of economic relative to the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant that the legislature must consider.  Sincerely, Vermont Yankee has provided significant benefits to the people of the State of Vermont. Unfortunately, these benefits have been overshadowed by recent examples of operational missteps that have given us, and many Vermonters, serious pause about continued operation of the plant from a reliability standpoint.  We are writing to inform you that it will be exceedingly difficult for the Vermont General Assembly to act in 2010 on the question of continued operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station unless a power purchase agreement between Vermont utilities and Entergy is filed with the Vermont Public Service Board before November 1, 2009.   Senator ShumlinPresident Pro TemRepresentative SmithSpeaker of the House We have established this deadline in a spirit of cooperation, not confrontation.  We know that you have a complex negotiation to complete in uncertain financial times.  The State of Vermont also faces many financial challenges that will drain our time and energy during the 2010 session. We are determined that all of our decisions in 2010 be based on good information that is well analyzed. To achieve that goal, we must insist on the schedule set out above for completion of your power purchase agreement with Vermont utilities. Source: Shumlin’s officelast_img read more

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What the Frack?

first_imgA plume of methane flares at a natural gas hydrofracturing site in Wetzel County, W.Va. Photo: Ray RenaudRose Baker can no longer drink the water from her well. About four years ago, natural gas drilling companies came into Wetzel County, a rural area in West Virginia near its border with Pennsylvania. Now, Baker and her neighbors have to keep their taps turned off, as their wells are full of methane and a long list of hazardous chemicals.“We didn’t have a problem until they started drilling here,” Baker says.Natural gas development has increased exponentially in the past decade in the United States, fueled, in part, by the search for a cleaner-burning domestic fuel source. But does the environmental harm inflicted by extracting the gas outweigh its benefits?Wetzel County sits atop the second largest natural gas deposit in the world. The Marcellus Shale stretches from New York through Pennsylvania and West Virginia and into parts of Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. Contained within this formation could be as much as 516 trillion cubic feet of gas — enough to meet the country’s needs for roughly twenty0 years based on current usage levels (however, only 50 trillion cubic feet, or two years worth, is recoverable using current drilling techniques).Until recently, shale gas, which is contained in small pockets within this rock thousands of feet beneath earth’s surface, had been too costly to tap. Technological advances in a process called hydraulic fracturing — hydrofracking, for short — have changed that. The process involves pumping millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals at extremely high pressure into a well to cause cracks in the rock so the trapped gas can escape. Of the 750 different chemicals used in fracking fluid, 29 are known or possible carcinogens. Most of the others have not been tested or researched for their toxicity.In November 2008, Baker’s neighbor and sister-in-law, Bonnie Hall, noticed her water had turned gray and started to smell bad after a second gas well was drilled near her home. A water test came back positive for methane and the toxic chemicals benzene and toluene. Chesapeake Energy and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection both said the cause was spilled gasoline from her neighbor’s property — a mile away. Hall blames the pollution on the gas well being drilled through her aquifer.“That’s kind of scary, because that’s our drinking water supply they’re going through to get to this natural gas,” Hall says.The gas industry disputes the claims of Baker, Hall, and others.“We have multiple layers of steel casing and cement that, if done properly, ensure that the hydrocarbons and fracturing fluids cannot, in any way, shape or form, communicate with freshwater aquifers,” says Travis Windle, a spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a natural gas industry group. 1 2 3last_img read more

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Here’s a financial literacy test you need to pass

first_img 64SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr It’s generally useful to be literate in at least one spoken and written language. But that’s not the only kind of literacy that matters. We need to be savvy about managing (and growing!) our money, too. Here’s a financial literacy test that will help you figure out where you are on the road to financial success.Answer the following questions without reading below them until you’re done:1. What is your net worth?2. Is it more important to pay off high-interest rate debt or save for retirement first?3. When should you start saving for retirement?4. How much money will you need to have accumulated for retirement?5. Do stocks, bonds, or real estate grow fastest over long periods?Now let’s review each question and what your answer reveals.What is your net worth?There isn’t exactly a right or wrong answer to this question, though an answer of $0 or negative $100,000 would clearly be undesirable. Instead, the way to get this question right is to know what your net worth is, roughly. continue reading »last_img read more

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PREMIUMIndonesia raises spending for COVID-19 as G20 pledges coordinated response

first_imgForgot Password ? Topics : Google Linkedin Indonesia is preparing new measures that include cash transfers for underprivileged families and laid-off employees affected by COVID-19 and fundraising for health care, as the G20 nations pledge a coordinated response to the coronavirus to prevent spillover effects on the economy.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government was considering raising the amount of social funds for more than 15 million underprivileged families, adding the government would also roll out a training program and provide Rp 1 million (US$ 61.24) for laid-off employees for three months.“We will help our communities to survive and receive essential goods while also obeying the government’s policy to reduce activities to contain the spread of the virus,” Sri Mulyani told reporters in a teleconferenced briefing on Tuesday following a meeting with finance ministers and central … LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Log in with your social account Facebook Indonesia finance-ministry COVID-19 budget-reallocation stimulus-package health regional-government budget-deficitlast_img read more

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Buyers building at The Orchard

first_imgFirst homebuyer Denni-Elle White. Picture: Shae Beplate.THE first homes are under construction at large-lot estate The Orchard in Jensen.Townsville couple Denni-Elle White and Daniel Baker, along with their three children, are one of the first buyers to start building.Ms White said after much searching they had found their perfect place to call home.“We were searching for a large block where we could build our dream home and not leave the area,” she said.“The most important thing to us was to find a place that had a real community feel, where the kids could play outside and safely ride their bikes in the street.”“From the moment we entered The Orchard, we got an immediate sense of quality with beautiful entry statements and landscaping giving it a real feel of privacy.“We can’t wait to finish our new home and move in.”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020The popular estate is close to St Anthony’s school, shops and the new Ring Rd extension.It has large, fully-serviced lots designed for family living with room for a pool, shed or topark a boat.Ms White and her family are building with Townsville builder GJ Gardner Homes.Their home will have four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a media room and study.The open-plan design includes a large outdoor entertaining space and the family have plans to put in a pool and shed.The Orchard is a $43 million large-lot residential development by longstanding local developer Elements NQ in the heart of Townsville’s northern growth corridor.For more information visit www.theorchardnq.com.au or call Penelope Slogrove on 0439 749 700.last_img read more

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Riyadh to host 2020 FIBA 3×3 World Tour final

first_img Loading… Chinese city Chengdu will host from May 30 to 31 and Mexico City will be the stop on June 20 and 21. Utsunomiya in Japan will take centre stage between July 11 and 12, the last event before Tokyo 2020. The circuit will then move to Czech capital Prague on August 1 and 2, Swiss Olympic capital Lausanne on August 21 and 22 and Hungarian city Debrecen on August 29 and30. Montreal in Canada will be the venue on September 5 and 6, Los Angeles will host on September 19 and 20 and a yet to be decided Chinese city will welcome action onOctober 17 and 18. A Middle Eastern end to the season will see competition in Saudi city Jeddah on October 23 and 24, Abu Dhabi on October 30 and 31 and then the final in Riyadh. “For the fans, the FIBA 3×3 World Tour will be the best preview of our urban discipline at the Games,” Sanchez added. “It will also be the ultimate preparation for the best 3×3 players in the world before the Olympics. “In fact, we will arrive in Japan two weeks early, with the fifth Masters of the season in Utsunomiya, followed by a Pre-Olympic Acclimatisation Camp for our bestathletes to get used to the Japanese climate and deliver the best show possible to the fans.” Read Also:Egypt triumphs at FIBA 3×3 Africa Cup 2019 Serbia’s Novi Sad won their fourth title on last year’s World Tour, winning the final in Utsunomiya. A dunk contest and shoot-out competition take place at each World Tour event. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Riyadh will host the final of the 2020 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) 3×3 World Tour. The announcement means yet another event will take place in Saudi Arabia as the country makes a huge push to increase its sporting portfolio. FIBA have also confirmed that the regular season will feature 13 events, or Masters, the highest number ever. The season-opener in Doha on April 2 and 3 will be the earliest World Tour action ever, while the final in Riyadh on dates to be confirmed in November will be thelatest. Total prize money has also been increased from $2.1 million (£1.6 millon/€1.8 million) to $2.8 million (£2.1 million/€2.5 million), for what will be the ninth editionof the circuit. The expanded Tour comes with 3×3 basketball set to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 this year. “It is a big year for 3×3 and we’re excited to see our number one competition – the FIBA 3×3 World Tour – continue to expand so quickly,” said FIBA 3×3 managingdirector Alex Sanchez. “We’re proud to attract new amazing cities like Riyadh for the Final and – at the same time – to return after many years to exceptional cities where World Tour historywas made.” The World Tour was launched in 2012 and features teams representing cities. They qualify for the Masters through worldwide tournaments and the FIBA 3×3 team ranking. After the 2020 opening in Doha, the new season will move from Qatar’s capital to Manila in the Philippines between May 2 and 3. Promoted ContentWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More8 Fascinating Facts About Coffee7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Penny2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearPortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D Graffiti6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A Drone7 Thailand’s Most Exquisite Architectural WondersBest Car Manufacturers In The World7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black Holeslast_img read more

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Pence visits Franklin County High School

first_imgBrookville, In. — Freshman U.S. Congressman Greg Pence recently visited students at the Franklin County Community High School. Superintendent Dr. Debbie Howell and Principal Keith Isaacs provided Pence with a tour of the school and Congressman Pence addressed Mr. Ebren’s Economics class and Mr. Stacy’s U.S. History class.last_img

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