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first_imgMore From Less To Approve or Not Approve? United States Federal Communications Commission ChairmanAjit Pai this week gave the green light to a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, currently the third- and fourth-largest mobile carriersrespectively. The nation’s top telecom regulator agreed to the US$26billion merger, but with some conditions — the most notable being thatSprint would sell off its Boost Mobile prepaid cellphone brand.In addition, the combined firm would commit to deploying 5G network coverage to 97 percent of the country within three years, and to 99 percent of the country within six years.”The companies have also taken steps to respond to concerns that havebeen raised about this transaction,” Pai said.”Most importantly, in addition to their prior commitment not to raiseprices for three years, T-Mobile and Sprint have decided to divestBoost Mobile,” he added. “This sale is designed to address potentialcompetitive issues that have been identified in the prepaid wirelesssegment.” The fact that the FCC and DoJ aren’t in step isn’t entirelysurprising. Just a month ago it seemed that even the FCC had concerns,and so far the companies have sought to meet the conditions necessaryfor the FCC’s approval.”The word from regulators a few weeks ago said that the merger, as currently positioned, would not be approved,” said Kagan. “What that said to me was if T-Mobile and Sprint could learn what regulators needed and were willing to do that, then the merger could go through.”So far, the terms have included the divesting of Boost Mobile and thecommitment to building out the rural 5G network.”This will satisfy some, but not all. There is the FCC, the DoJ and the states,” Kagan noted. “We are entering the final stretch now, and now is when we will seeT-Mobile and Sprint do whatever they have to do in order to get thisdeal done. It will be done, but there are still a few hoops to jumpthrough first.” Opponents of the merger have suggested that it could limitcompetition and lead to higher prices for mobile phone services.However, in its FCC filing, Sprint maintained that the merger wasnecessary for the company’s survival.”This deal is needed by both T-Mobile and Sprint,” saidtelecommunications industry analyst Jeff Kagan.The two companies together not only could survive, but also could challenge the industry leaders, AT&T and Verizon. Sprint and T-Mobile will complement each other and could make for a strong third player in the American mobile phone market, he told TechNewsWorld.”T-Mobile is great at marketing, but has precious little spectrum;Sprint has lots of spectrum, but can’t market well,” Kagan pointed out.”Separately, they will be weak competitors as the industry moves to5G, but together they could be a strong third-place competitor afterVerizon and AT&T,” he added. The 5G Play Reducing the number of carriers may not increase costs, asopponents fear.”No one can be sure of the ‘right’ number of competitors in a market. There’s no objective answer, but most developed countries have two orthree dominant wireless carriers,” said Jessica Melugin, associatedirector for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Technology and Innovation.”In general, it’s wise to view the marketplace not as a stagnantsnapshot of what exists today, but in terms of a dynamic and fiercelycompetitive environment where if things don’t improve and innovate,they fail,” she told TechNewsWorld.”Specifically, Sprint has struggled in recent years with profits, andit’s fair to say that without the merger, its future as a majorcarrier is not assured,” Melugin added.”The real question is not between four major carriers and three; it’sbetween two internationally competitive 5G contenders or three, ifSprint and T-Mobile are allowed to combine spectrum and infrastructureresources,” she added. “Consumers will benefit from having a morestable and efficient competitor to Verizon and AT&T in the wirelessmarket, as well as a third internationally competitive 5G contender.”center_img Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and FoxNews.com.Email Peter. Fewer Carriers but Improved Competition T-Mobile and Sprint have pledged to roll out 5G service by utilizinga mid-band spectrum that could bring broadband to ruralcustomers who thus far have been unable to get high-speedInternet. 5G thus could address the last-mile issues in ruralcommunities where service over copper or fiber has been cost-prohibitive.5G also could be the main reason this merger might end up getting approval. The DoJ in 2011 rejected AT&T’s bid to purchase T-Mobile, arguing that it would be bad for consumers. This time around, however, the DoJ may see benefits for consumers.”If we were not moving into a new world of 5G, T-Mobile would be fineas they are. However, with 5G coming on strong, both T-Mobile andSprint need to get together so they can be a powerhouse in marketingand spectrum,” said Kagan.Still, there is a case to be made that the DoJ may fall back onits 2011 opinion, and the 5G commitment from a combined Sprint/T-Mobilemay not be enough to sway it.”The merger isn’t necessary for 5G; the rollout would be similarlyfast,” Recon Analytics’ Entner pointed out.”AT&T and Verizon would not sit on their hands, but they both arebuilding out as quickly as technically possible,” he added. “T-Mobile could do everything it offers to do in 5G without Sprint — however, Sprint on the other hand would struggle.”If this merger does go through, it is unlikely the telecommunicationsindustry will see any future consolidation, suggested Entner. “This would probably be the last wireless merger in the U.S.” DoJ May Oppose Merger Despite the FCC approval, the merger is not a done deal. The U.S. Department of Justice reportedly objects to the terms of the merger and may oppose it.The DoJ is far from satisfied with the concessions that were offered, according to a Bloomberg report, and is not convinced that enough has been done to resolveantitrust concerns.T-Mobile had agreed to include the build-out requirements that wouldbring 5G deployment to rural communities, and provide a wireless homebroadband solution that would be available as a wireline alternative.However, control of the wireless spectrum is at issue.Typically the FCC and DoJ need to be in full agreement for suchmergers to be approved, so some compromises likely will need tobe ironed out. It is possible, but unlikely, that the DoJ could suethe companies to stop the mergers.The DoJ sued AT&T to block its $85 billion bid to buyentertainment conglomerate Time Warner, but the department lost the case incourt, and the deal closed last year.”The DoJ and FCC have never disagreed on approving or denying amerger,” said Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics.”I would expect DoJ to approve with stronger conditions as the FCCconditions are extremely light,” he told TechNewsWorld.The divestiture of Boost and Virgin is a non-issue, as they likely would have been sold off anyway, added Entner. “There is no point in having three prepaid brands, with Boost and Virgin floundering.” last_img read more

first_img Source:http://newsstand.clemson.edu/mediarelations/clemson-researcher-warns-of-spread-of-homemade-steroids/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 4 2018A Clemson University researcher recently published insights into homemade steroids and steroid trafficking through a study of federal court cases. The research details why homemade steroids became popular and how online tools and cryptocurrency have allowed for their rapid spread.Bryan Denham, Campbell Professor of Sports Communication in Clemson’s communication department, recently published the research in Contemporary Drug Problems. Considering the impact of these homemade drugs has been felt nationwide, Denham said it is imperative that athletes at all levels in every sport realize what they can easily get online may still be putting their athletics careers — and their lives — in jeopardy.”From the standpoint of public health, purchasers of black-market steroids should understand that while homebrewers may produce actual steroids, the substances may contain unintended contaminants and inconsistent levels of active ingredients,” Denham said. “In that regard, purchasing steroids is no different than buying other illicit substances, especially on the Internet.”Denham’s research examined 63 cases involving 184 defendants in 41 U.S. District Courts across a five-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2013, and ending Dec. 31, 2017. In 27 of the 63 cases, defendants had obtained steroids or raw materials from the Far East to increase both volume and profit.Denham said that when the Internet became publicly accessible, underground sellers quickly capitalized on the technology to develop a new delivery system. This caused widespread counterfeiting and many sellers therefore began to purchase their own pill presses to manufacture steroids and other substances. Homebrewers currently use bodybuilding websites and chat rooms, as well as word of mouth, to sell their products.In one of the cases Denham examined, defendants sold steroids and other substances using the drug marketplaces Silk Road and Evolution Marketplace, ensuring anonymity in transactions through Bitcoin. The 2017 case involved 1,300 transactions and gross proceeds of $1.9 million, with substances including methamphetamine, hydrocodone, cocaine, marijuana and steroids.Denham also discussed Internet pharmacies, noting that on at least two occasions, the United States Government Accountability Office has investigated rogue pharmacies operating on the Internet. In 2014, the office estimated that 36,000 rogue pharmacies operated internationally, using sophisticated methods to ship FDA-unapproved drugs, controlled substances and counterfeit pharmaceuticals to the U.S.Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSys”When authorities succeed in shutting down one source of illicit drugs, others quickly emerge,” Denham said.Discussing geographic dispersion, Denham said the South Atlantic Division, one of nine divisions with district courts that heard steroid cases, accounted for approximately one in four cases. Defendants appeared in court at a time when law-enforcement agencies had cracked down on Florida “pill mills,” known for dispensing large amounts of prescription drugs in cash-only transactions.In fact, as part of his study, Denham came across the high-profile Biogenesis case in which an individual posing as a physician prescribed performance-enhancing drugs to high-school athletes and high-profile Major League Baseball players.Paradoxically, while law-enforcement agencies experienced some success in cracking down on pill mills, Denham said nearly one in five cases he studied involved former law-enforcement personnel as defendants. Denham said there is often an unstated assumption that those in management ranks will not ask questions, and if the problem is left unresolved, buyers of steroids can very quickly turn into future sellers.”The use of steroids in law enforcement does occur, which of course is a problem because obtaining steroids without a prescription from a licensed physician is illegal,” Denham said. “Additionally, someone who initially buys the drugs from that person may begin selling, and that may lead to selling other substances.”In the United States, anabolic steroids have been classified as Schedule III Controlled Substances since 1990. This means the substances have limited medicinal use and require a prescription from a licensed physician.Denham stressed the importance of keeping the findings of his study in appropriate perspective, as the cases he analyzed appeared in federal district courts across a five-year period. Cases are also prosecuted in courts at the state level, and most states have their own policies on illicit substances.last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 15 2018If patient engagement is the new ‘blockbuster drug,’ why are we not seeing spectacular effects? A team of researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Berkeley School of Public Health at UC Berkeley recently conducted a study designed to help answer that question and to better understand how patient engagement and activation (PAE) practices –like goal-setting, motivational interviewing, and shared decision making–are being integrated into clinical practice. What they found was a great deal of positive sentiment about PAE among the healthcare professionals surveyed, but much less understanding and implementation of patient engagement and activation tools and approaches.”Patient engagement has featured prominently in recent healthcare research and policy, probably most notably in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation. Yet, there hasn’t been much research to date on how patient engagement approaches are being integrated into new care delivery and payment models,” says lead author and Dartmouth Institute Assistant Professor Manish K. Mishra, MD, MPH.To address this gap, the research team assessed levels of patient engagement and activation at 71 primary care sites at two ACOs–the DaVita Healthcare Partners in Los Angeles and Advocate Healthcare in Chicago. They conducted 103 interviews with 68 healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, medical assistants, as well as, diabetic nurse educators, social workers, and site administrators. The researchers said they concentrated on particular aspects of PAE, such as, shared decision making, goal-setting, and motivational interviewing, due to The Dartmouth Institute’s extensive work in these areas. They chose to focus onACOs because of their reputation for undertaking patient engagement activities. The interviews designed to measure understanding of PAE and barriers to implementation were conducted in May of 2015 and May of 2016.In a report of their findings recently published in BMJ Open, the researchers say four dominant themes emerged during their analysis of the interviews: participants recognized and were well aware of PAE terminology; participants had positive appraisals of these PAE approaches; participants had limited understanding of specific PAE techniques including goal-setting, motivational interviewing, and shared decision making; participants reported or acknowledged partial implementation of PAE approaches.Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairWhile most interview participants expressed positive opinions about PAE and most (but not all) were comfortable answering questions about PAE concepts and skills, many had limited understanding of them–describing them in ways that didn’t align with accepted definitions. Some clinicians, for example, described “goal-setting” as the assigning (without collaboration) of clinical targets to their patients, such as, losing a certain amount of weight within a time period. Many participants also often failed to understand the difference between general patient education materials (patient information) and patient-facing tools designed to help patients understand trade-offs when comparing treatment options.Participants readily acknowledged that implementation of PAE was limited. However, they cited factors such as low levels of administrative support and lack of time as the primary barriers, as opposed to lack of understanding or training in PAE techniques. Researchers also described finding somewhat of a Dunning-Kruger effect, with health professionals and ACO leadership confident they are using PAE approaches, when, in reality, the in-depth, semi-structured interviews often revealed low levels of understanding and implementation.”When PAE is misinterpreted as pressing patients to meet incentivized targets, which we found evidence of in our analysis, that sets the stage for conflict, frustration, and professional burnout. And, just as importantly, these types of incentivized targets can lead patients to become disengaged,” Mishra says, adding that if healthcare organizations really want to achieve patient-centered care, they need to “move beyond a superficial understating of PAE.” Source:https://tdi.dartmouth.edu/news-events/patient-engagement-new-blockbuster-drug-not-quite-yetlast_img read more

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 21 2018MDMA or ecstasy pills can help individuals trust more and cooperate say a team of researchers who are looking at its properties that could help treat psychological disorders. The study was published this week in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.The team from King’s College London have found that MDMA can help raise the activity of several parts of the brain that are associated with social behaviour and empathy.This can thus help the user understand the intentions and beliefs of others and help them become more trusting and cooperative. At present MDMA is being tried in human volunteers for treatment of Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Researchers add that MDMA could help subjects undergo psychotherapy sessions more successfully when they are more receptive and cooperative.Professor Mitul Mehta from the King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) in a statement said, “Understanding the brain activity underlying social behaviour could help identify what goes wrong in psychiatric conditions. Given the social nature of psychotherapy, understanding how MDMA affects social interaction sheds light on why the drug could become a valuable tool in treating patients.”The team however noted that while MDMA could help the participant become more trusting and cooperative, it did not make them gullible. For example, the 20 participants were given a series of games with trustworthy people and cheaters. Half of them were put on MDMA while the other half was given placebo. They were then given tasks and games.Those on MDMA were more cooperative but did identify people who were cheaters and did not naively trust them said Mehta. The participants also underwent MRI scans so that the researchers could understand the changes made by the drug on the brain.One of the tasks was that a pair of participants was given a situation called the “prisoner’s dilemma”. Here two accomplices are supposedly arrested and are being interviewed separately. They are being persuaded to turn on the other against a chance to be released. If they remain silent both would serve a short sentence and if they both turn on each other they would both serve a long sentence.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaLight at last: why do more women develop Alzheimer’s disease?Research sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThe team of researchers found that those on MDMA were less likely to turn on their partners compared to those who were on placebo. However if the MDMA participants knew their partners to be selfish and untrustworthy, they tended to turn on them similar to those on placebo.This meant that MDMA did not make them naive or gullible. However, if the partners proved themselves to be cooperative again, those on MDMA did not rat out on them and re-established their trust quickly.Simultaneously their brain activity showed that MDMA could light up the superior temporal cortex and mid-cingulate cortex regions of their brains. These areas are important to interpret other people’s intentions and beliefs.The main decision making area of the brain was the right anterior insula. This area was stimulated on MDMA so that participants could appraise the risks involved in a better manner.But when faced with untrustworthy partners, this region showed a decreased activity said experts. Dr Anthony Gabay, the first author of the study said, “Using MRI scans, we were also able to see that MDMA had an impact on brain activity when processing the behaviour of others, rather than altering the decision-making process itself.”“This research is important to build our understanding of how drugs might alter social cognition,” said Mehta. He added, “It has applications in testing novel drug therapies for mood and anxiety disorders. It also tells us which parts of the task a drug may alter, so we can target parts of behavior people are having difficulty with.” MDMA is a Schedule I drug which means that it has a high abuse potential and has no acceptable medicinal use.Source: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/early/2018/11/16/JNEUROSCI.1276-18.2018last_img read more

Source:https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2018/december/fitness-instructors-comments-shape-womens-body-satisfaction Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 14 2018Exercise has been called a double-edged sword for women when it comes to body image as some types of exercise seem to improve body esteem, whereas others have the potential to lower it.In other words, from a psychological perspective, not all fitness approaches are created equal.A new Northwestern University study found that while exercise, in this case, a 16-minute conditioning class, generally improved women’s mood and body satisfaction, women felt even better if the instructor made motivational comments that focused on strength and health instead of on losing weight or changing the appearance of one’s body.”Our goal was to determine whether the psychological outcomes of a fitness class might vary based on whether the instructor made motivational comments based on health verses appearance,” said Renee Engeln, lead author of the study and professor of instruction in psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.Related StoriesA short bout of exercise improves brain function, study revealsIt’s never too late to take up exercise, advise researchersLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsAfter taking the class, women reported more positive emotions and felt more satisfied with the shape of their body if the instructor said things like, “This exercise is crucial to developing strength in the legs; these are the muscles that truly help you run, jump, sprint like a super hero!” Those randomly assigned to the class in which the instructor made appearance-focused comments like, “This exercise blasts fat in the legs, no more thunder thighs for us! Get rid of that cellulite!” didn’t show those same improvements.”We also asked the women to list three words that described how they felt at the end of class,” said Engeln, author of “Beauty Sick” (HarperCollins, 2017). “Those who heard appearance-focused comments were much more likely to write things like ‘ashamed’ and ‘disgusted with myself.’ Those in the health-focused classes were more likely to write things like ‘accomplished’ and ‘strong.'”Engeln said the study is one more reminder that words really matter.”The women in this study all did the same exercises, in the same room, with the same music playing,” Engeln added. “Yet just modifying the script the fitness instructor used had a meaningful impact on the way they felt about themselves afterward.”If we want people to stick with exercise, we need to remove shame from the equation. This study points to an easy and cost-free step that fitness instructors can take to make their classrooms healthier, more inclusive and more inspiring.””Tone it Down: How Fitness Instructors’ Motivational Comments Shape Women’s Body Satisfaction” published online and will be in the December print issue of the Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology. In addition to Engeln, co-authors include Margaret Shavlik of Vanderbilt University and Colleen Daly of Northwestern. read more

Source:https://www.ubc.ca/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 18 2018Respectful, inclusive practices in primary care clinics can significantly improve the health of low-income, marginalized people who may have previously experienced trauma or discrimination, a new study from the University of British Columbia and Western University has found.”As health-care providers, we need to make everyone feel safe and comfortable when they walk into a clinic, and this is even more critical when the client is struggling with chronic health challenges or has experienced racism or prejudice, which may have stopped them from accessing health care in the past,” said the study’s lead researcher, Annette Browne, a professor of nursing at UBC.These practices and policies–which can be as simple as greeting patients warmly and being genuinely concerned about what’s important in their life–were the focus of a study on the impact of what the researchers call equity-oriented health care.”Equity-oriented care means paying particular attention to those at greatest risk of poor health, and that typically means people who have been or remain the most marginalized in our society,” said Browne.”In practical terms, this means care that promotes harm reduction and respects their cultures and any experiences of trauma or violence. It’s avoiding using judgmental language or making immediate assumptions about people. It means being interested in what else is going on and telling them they don’t need to limit their visit to one problem alone.”For the study, researchers worked with four primary care clinics–two located in B.C. and two in Ontario–that serve large numbers of low-income groups, including Indigenous communities and people with complex health conditions.They developed information and educational modules on providing equity-oriented care for the clinic staff. Each clinic then tailored the recommended practices and policies to fit their specific clinic and community needs. Afterwards, the team interviewed 395 individuals who had received care at the clinics.Related StoriesStudy: Stress experienced by premature infants can carry on throughout their adult lifeGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 years”We found that participants felt comfortable about the care they received, and this in turn gave them more confidence in their ability to prevent and manage health problems,” said Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, a professor in Western’s Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, who co-led the study. “As these things happened, clients started reporting less pain, fewer depression and trauma symptoms, and improved quality of life.”The study, described recently in the Milbank Quarterly, is the first to show that providing equity-oriented health care predicts improvements in client health over time, said study co-author Colleen Varcoe, a professor of nursing at UBC.”It’s important to spread these types of health-care policies and practices more widely,” said Varcoe, adding that primary care clinics are often people’s first experience of the health-care system, and in many cases their only experience of it. “We should provide care that is mindful of their complex needs and histories of abuse, discrimination or trauma.”Researchers acknowledged that such a culture shift will require serious commitment from everyone involved. These kinds of changes in organizational culture can be disruptive and require extra planning by staff and leaders, but one way to start is by empowering clinic staff, suggested study co-lead Nadine Wathen.”Clinic staff can be encouraged to take the initiative, even for things as basic as offering water or coffee in the waiting area,” said Wathen, a professor in the faculty of information and media studies and the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western. “By creating a culture that allows all staff members to advocate for the poorest and most marginalized individuals, we can start building a stronger health care system that ensures better health for all Canadians.” read more

first_imgThere is a lot of interest in providing more options for long-acting contraceptives. Our goal is for women to be able to self-administer long-acting contraceptives with the microneedle patch that would be applied to the skin for five seconds just once a month.”Mark Prausnitz, co-author By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jan 14 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new skin patch that uses microneedle technology to deliver a long-acting contraceptive hormone and can be self-administered.Image Point Fr | ShutterstockOnce the patch has been applied for several seconds, microscopic needles break away and stay beneath the skin surface, where the contraceptive is slowly released by biodegradable polymers.While current long-acting contraceptives do provide a high level of effectiveness, they are available in formats such as patches that must be worn continuously, drugs that require hypodermic injection by a healthcare professional or intrauterine devices that require implantation.Short-acting contraceptives are also available, but require ongoing user compliance, which can mean effectiveness is often reduced.If the microneedle skin patch technology receives approval, it could become the first long-acting contraceptive that can be self-administered, without requiring supervision by a healthcare professional.As reported in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, an experimental microneedle contraceptive skin patch provided an effective level of contraceptive for over a month in an animal model, after just one single application that took several seconds.It is hoped that the patch will be used by women in developing nations where access to healthcare resources is limited, but may also offer an alternative form of contraception to women in developed nations. Prausnitz and team would like to develop a patch that could be applied on a six-monthly basis: “There is a lot of interest in minimizing the number of healthcare interventions that are needed,” he explains. “Therefore, a contraceptive patch lasting more than one month is desirable, particularly in countries where women have limited access to healthcare.”Although the cost of producing the patches on a large scale has not yet been determined, Prausnitz is hopeful that they will be cost-effective enough for application in developing countries.SourceLong-acting contraceptive designed to be self-administered via microneedle patch.last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 13 2019Stimulating the brain with implanted electrodes is a successful, but very drastic measure. Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, Kempenhaeghe, Philips and Gent University will therefore be working on a method to stimulate the brain using electrodes that are placed on the head rather than inside it. Their goal is to customize treatment for patients with severe epilepsy. Incidentally, they will also settle the scientific discussion about the efficacy of non-invasive electrical neurostimulation.Epilepsy affects approximately 120,000 people in the Netherlands, about thirty percent of whom do not respond to medication and remain prone to seizures. For this group, electrical brain stimulation can be a solution. DBS (deep brain stimulation), with electrodes deep in the brain, has already proven to be effective. The electrodes must be positioned accurately so that they stimulate exactly the right brain area. This accuracy issue is still a bottleneck for non-invasive neurostimulation, because it is not yet sufficiently known where exactly the stimulation needs to be targeted and it is even more difficult to reach the right place in the brain from the outside.Related StoriesResearchers report how a popular antidepressant drug could rewire the brainStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionPersonalizedThe researchers expect a new Philips medical instrument to provide the solution for focal seizures; seizures in a specific part of the brain. This is a system with 256 electrodes that not only measures brain activity (EEG), but can also apply very targeted current. Project leader and technical research leader Rob Mestrom of Eindhoven University of Technology: “This instrument therefore offers us the unique opportunity to see more accurately than before where exactly in the brain an epileptic seizure takes place. We can then stimulate precisely that point and measure the effect directly. This gives a personalized approach, because it is tailored to the readings of the individual patient.”The basic idea of the project, called PerStim, is simple, says Paul Boon, clinical research leader and professor at UGent and TU Eindhoven. “When we have located the source of the seizure, we target an electrical stimulus at that spot that is exactly the opposite of the measured activity. As a result, the seizure should be ‘extinguished’. We will investigate this with both direct and alternating currents.”Clinical testingThe first step in the research project is the development of a personalized calculation model to accurately reconstruct the epileptic focus. The researchers will then determine the stimulation parameters to achieve the desired focus of the stimulation. Then they will look at how they can best measure the effect of stimulation. The results will gradually be applied in clinical trials. Two PhD students and a postdoc will be appointed for the project. The research, with a budget of 1.9 million euros, is part of EindhovenMedTech Innovation Center (e/MTIC), a broad research collaboration between TU/e, Kempenhaeghe and Philips, among others. Source:https://www.tue.nl/en/news/news-overview/11-02-2019-epilepsie-heel-gericht-bestrijden-met-elektrodes-op-het-hoofd/last_img read more

first_img Source:https://newsroom.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases/2019/03/Cell-Therapy-Could-Replace-Need-for-Kidney-Transplants Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 15 2019Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists are working on a promising approach for treatment of chronic kidney disease – regeneration of damaged tissues using therapeutic cells.By harnessing the unique properties of human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells, WFIRM scientists have demonstrated that the cells could potentially help recover organ function in a pre-clinical model of kidney disease.”Our results indicate that this type of stem cell could be used as an off the shelf universal cell source and may provide an alternative therapeutic strategy for patients suffering from this chronic and debilitating disease,” said senior author James J. Yoo, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of regenerative medicine at WFIRM.Study results were recently published online ahead of print in the journal Tissue Engineering Part A. This paper is one in a series the research team has published regarding therapies for the treatment of kidney disease. Known worldwide for their pioneering research on 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs, WFIRM researchers have also been tackling kidney disease and the shortage of organs in a variety of ways.They were first in the world to identify and characterize stem cells derived from amniotic fluid in 2007 and have developed techniques for isolation and expansion of the cells. Amniotic fluid-derived stem cells can be used as a universal cell source because they have the ability to become different cell types as well as the ability to be anti-inflammatory, making them a potential source for regeneration. Unlike pluripotent and adult stem cells, amniotic fluid-derived stem cells are not as likely to provoke an immune system response. Additionally, their use does not lead to risks of tumors or ethical concerns, as with embryonic stem cells.Related StoriesMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsFor this study, researchers found that amniotic fluid stem cells injected into a diseased kidney in a pre-clinical model led to improvement of kidney function based on measured waste levels after 10 weeks. Biopsy findings showed reduced damage to the cluster of capillaries where waste products are filtered from the blood.”Our studies demonstrate that treatment with amniotic fluid stem cells had positive effects on functional improvement and structural recovery of the kidney,” said WFIRM Director Anthony Atala, M.D., and a co-author of the paper.Kidney disease is a worldwide public health problem and can manifest in acute and chronic symptoms. More than 30 million American adults are affected by the disease and millions more are at risk of developing it, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Transplantation is the only definitive treatment method that restores kidney function, but has its own challenges with rejection and life-long immunosuppression. There also are not enough donor organs to meet demand.Sunil George, Ph.D., a WFIRM research fellow and co-author who has been a part of the studies, said further research is being pursued. “It remains to be seen whether injecting more cells or more efficient engraftment of the infused cells enhances improvement of organ function,” he said.last_img read more

first_img Source:https://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/articles/year-2019/two-hit-model.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 12 2019Nearly half of current hospital admissions for heart failure are caused by a type of disease with no treatment options. Cardiology researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are changing that reality with a fresh approach, recently published in Nature.”There are two types of heart failure. One is called HFrEF, for which we have a number of therapies, including medications, devices, and transplants. The other – HFpEF – has zero options,” explained UT Southwestern Chief of the Division of Cardiology and Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology Dr. Joseph Hill.”HFpEF is the single greatest unmet need in cardiology. Finding a new way to examine it represents a significant advance, as it provides a model necessary to develop and test therapies that could save lives worldwide,” said Dr. Hill, who holds the James T. Willerson, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Diseases and the Frank M. Ryburn, Jr. Chair in Heart Research.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 5.7 million people have heart failure in the U.S.Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is a lethal disorder for which there are no effective clinical therapies. The heart muscle becomes too stiff to pump blood efficiently. Most HFpEF patients are obese, have diabetes, and have metabolic syndrome.Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) functions differently. In HFrEF, also known as systolic HF, the heart muscle is not able to contract adequately and, therefore, expels less oxygen-rich blood into the body. Previous heart failure models of HFpEF focused on raising the levels of an enzyme called NO, or nitric oxide synthase.However, in HFpEF, there is actually too much of the NO enzyme. A strike on this target – with a medical inhibitor, for example – would solve the problem. According to Dr. Hill, there are already FDA-approved drugs that inhibit this NO-synthesize enzyme, which could facilitate developing new treatments rapidly.The two-hit modelRelated StoriesTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsDr. Hill’s team looked at current, ineffective models of HFpEF and concluded that none of them correctly mirrors the realities they see clinically in human patients. They found that combining a high-fat diet with a drug that raises blood pressure gave them a “two-hit” model, like a one-two punch to the disease.Next, the team examined results of their model at the cellular level and compared them with human cells. They found that they had replicated the human condition, thereby providing scientists an accurate biological picture that can greatly advance the development of new treatments.”A recognized research gap in the HFpEF field is the lack of relevant experimental models that adequately represent the progression of this complex disorder. This study is an example of how advances in HFpEF models can lead to a better understanding of the disease pathophysiology and new ideas for therapeutic strategies,” said Dr. Bishow Adhikari, a program officer for the study and a scientist with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, which helped fund the study.Millions of people worldwide have both obesity and diabetes. The research team believed that these two conditions would lead to HFpEF – a hypothesis they confirmed by duplicating the disease conditions and examining changes at the molecular level.”Heart failure is one of only two forms of cardiovascular disease that is increasing. It’s exploding around the world,” Dr. Hill said. “We dance around the edges of it, treating patients’ diabetes, blood pressure, and other conditions. With this model, we’ll be able to get to the underlying cause so we can get to the root of the problem.”The UT Southwestern researchers are currently taking steps toward moving into human clinical trials based on findings in their preclinical two-hit model. With time, they expect that all heart failure patients will have treatment options.last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 25 2019A federal district judge in Oregon blocked new rules for the federal family planning program issued by the Trump administration and due to take effect May 3. It’s one of several cases out to thwart the changes that would effectively evict Planned Parenthood from the Title X program.Meanwhile, hospitals are gearing up to fight the various “Medicare-for-all” proposals gaining popularity among Democrats. Hospitals are worried that losing the higher payments from private insurers could threaten their bottom lines.And, even with all the partisan fights over health care, new proposals from the Department of Health and Human Services to change how doctors are paid by Medicare are receiving praise from Democrats, Republicans and doctors themselves.This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of the Washington Examiner and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call.Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast: The Trump administration’s Title X rule is very similar to a rule set by the Reagan administration that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991. Supporters of Planned Parenthood argue that the situation has changed since the Reagan years because the Affordable Care Act has language that bars HHS from issuing any regulation that “interferes with communications regarding a full range of treatment options between the patient and the provider.” A handful of states are pressing new anti-abortion laws forward in the hopes of getting them to the Supreme Court, where they think the new justices will help overturn Roe v. Wade.  That could make abortion a key issue in the 2020 election. The hospital industry is gearing up for a major fight against progressives who tout a switch to a “Medicare-for-all” health care system.  About one-third of national health spending goes to hospitals, and they are worried that a change in health policy would cut that. The growing concern among hospitals about “Medicare-for-all” could be politically potent. Every congressional district has at least one hospital, which is often a major employer in the community. Seemingly gaining support are efforts by the Trump administration to move Medicare payments to doctors to a “value-based” system that provides higher compensation for keeping patients healthy, rather than just paying for each individualized treatment. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.center_img Related StoriesGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsFeeling safe and good sleep at night matter most to sick kids in hospitalMedicare going in ‘right direction’ on opioid epidemicPlus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “What Can the U.S. Health System Learn From Singapore?” by Aaron E. CarrollRebecca Adams: The Atlantic’s “Physicians Get Addicted Too,” by Sam QuinonesKimberly Leonard: The Texas Tribune’s “Texas Removes Thousands of Children From Medicaid Each Month Due to Red Tape, Records Show,” by Elizabeth ByrneAlice Miranda Ollstein: The Washington Post’s “Smoking and Depression Apps Are Selling Your Data to Google and Facebook, Study Finds,” by Rachel SiegelTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or Spotify.last_img read more

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019In the 25 years since she snorted her first line of meth at a club in San Francisco, Kim has redefined “normal” so many times. At first, she said, it seemed like meth brought her back to her true self — the person she was before her parents divorced, and before her stepfather moved in.”I felt normal when I first did it, like, ‘Oh! There I am,'” she said.Kim is 47 now, and she has been chasing normal her entire adult life. That chase has brought her to some dark places, so she asked us not to use her last name. For a long time, meth, also known as speed, was Kim’s drug of choice.Then she added heroin to the mix. She tried it for the first time while she was in treatment for meth.”That put me on a nine-year run of using heroin. And I thought, ‘Oh, heroin’s great. I don’t do speed anymore.’ To me, it saved me from the tweaker-ness,” Kim said, referring to the agitation and paranoia many meth users experience, and how heroin, an opiate, calmed that.Now, Kim has finished treatment for both drugs.Kim was part of the previous meth wave, in the ’90s, and now she’s part of a new meth epidemic that has been sweeping through parts of the United States, especially the West. Deaths involving methamphetamine are up. Hospitalizations are up.Seeking A ‘Synergistic High’Researchers who have tracked drug use for decades believe the new meth crisis got a kick-start from the opioid epidemic.”There is absolutely an association,” said Dr. Phillip Coffin, director of substance use research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.Across the country, more and more opioid users say they now use meth as well, up from 19% in 2011 to 34% in 2017, according to a study published last year in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The greatest increases were in the western United States.That research suggests efforts to get doctors to cut down on writing opioid prescriptions may have driven some users to buy meth on the street instead.”Methamphetamine served as an opioid substitute, provided a synergistic high, and balanced out the effects of opioids so one could function ‘normally,'” the researchers wrote.It’s kind of like having a cup of coffee in the morning to wake up, and a glass of wine in the evening to wind down: meth on Monday to get to work, heroin on Friday to ease into the weekend.Amelia said that’s how her drug use evolved to include meth — she also asked that we use only her first name because she has used illegal substances.At first, drugs were just a fun thing to do on weekends — ecstasy and cocaine with her friends. Then, on Monday, Amelia went about her workweek.”I’m a horse trainer, so I worked really hard, but I also partied really hard,” she said.Then one weekend, when Amelia was feeling kind of hung over from the night before, a friend passed her a pipe. She said it was opium.”I thought it was like smoking weed or hash, you know? I just thought it was like that,” Amelia said.She grew to like the opium stuff. Eventually, Amelia met up with her friend’s dealer.”The woman said, ‘How long have you been doing heroin for?’ and my jaw nearly hit the ground,” Amelia said. “I was just really, honestly shocked. I was like, ‘What? I’ve been doing heroin this whole time?’ I felt really naive, really stupid for not even putting the two together.”Pretty soon, Amelia started feeling sick around the same time every day. It was withdrawal symptoms, a clear sign she was becoming dependent on the drug. Her weekend smoke became her daily morning smoke. Then it was part of her lunch-break routine.”I just kind of surrendered to that and decided, ‘Screw it,'” she said. “‘I’ll just keep doing it. I’m obviously still working; I’m fine.'”Related StoriesCannabidiol reduces cue-induced craving and anxiety in individuals with history of heroin abuseOpioids are major cause of pregnancy-related deaths in UtahFlorida is the latest Republican-led state to adopt clean needle exchangesA heroin habit is expensive. Amelia was working six days a week to pay for it. Any horses that needed to be ridden, any lessons that needed to be taught, she said ‘yes,’ because she wanted the money.But bankrolling her heroin habit was exhausting. One day, one of the women she worked with at the horse barn offered her some meth as a pick-me-up.Meth is comparatively cheap. It became the thing that kept Amelia going so she could earn enough money to buy heroin.”The heroin was the most expensive part,” she said. “That was $200 a day at one point. And the meth was $150 a week.”This pattern lasted for three years, until Amelia discovered she was pregnant. As soon as her daughter was born, she entered a residential treatment program in San Francisco, called the Epiphany Center, that would accept her and her baby.”I was OK with being a drug addict. I was OK with that being my life,” she said. “But I wasn’t OK with having kids and letting that be part of my life.”Rehab Admissions On The Rise For Users Who Mix Meth, HeroinAdmissions to drug rehabilitation for heroin have remained steady in recent years in San Francisco. But the number of heroin addicts reporting methamphetamine as a secondary substance problem has been rising. In 2014, 14% of heroin users said meth was also a problem. Three years later, 22% said so.”That is very high,” said Dr. Dan Ciccarone, a physician and professor at the University of California-San Francisco who has been studying heroin for almost 20 years. “That’s alarming and new and intriguing and needs to be explored.”The speedball — heroin and cocaine — is a classic combination, he said.”It’s like peanut butter cups, right? Chocolate and peanut butter together,” he said. “Methamphetamine and heroin are an unusual combination.”The meth-and-heroin combo is referred to as a goofball, Ciccarone added, because it makes the user feel “a little bit silly and a little bit blissful.”For Kim, adding heroin to her methamphetamine habit compounded her use. “I ended up doing both, at the same time, every day, both of them,” she said.It was all about finding the recipe to what felt normal. Start with meth. Add some heroin. Touch up the speed.”You’re like a chemist with your own body,” she said. “You’re balancing, trying to figure out your own prescription to how to make you feel good.”Now Kim is trying to find balance without drugs. She’s been sober for a year. So has Amelia, the horse trainer. Her sobriety anniversary is her daughter’s birthday.This story is part of a partnership that includes KQED, NPR and Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

Citation: Facebook fined in South Korea for limiting user access (2018, March 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-facebook-fined-south-korea-limiting.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. South Korea’s telecoms regulator has fined Facebook for illegally limiting user access to its services from late 2016 to 2017. The Korea Communications Commission said Wednesday that Facebook should pay 396 million won ($369,400) as a penalty for violating a law against hurting the interests of users. The regulator also recommended that the company fix its terms of use stipulating it cannot guarantee the quality of its services.The complaint arose after Facebook rerouted some users’ access to its services to networks in Hong Kong or the United States, instead of using domestic networks, without notifying them, the regulator said. That slowed connections for some local users of Facebook. Some complained they were unable to play videos on Facebook. The KCC said connections were as much as 4.5 times slower than before for some users during evening hours.SK Broadband, a local fixed-line internet provider, received about 10 complaints per day for slow connections while LG UPlus, another internet service provider, received an average of 34 complaints a day.”Facebook did not actively look into the complaints from local telecoms service providers that users are complaining about slower connections and as a result its service quality was not maintained at an appropriate level,” the KCC said in a statement. “When controversies erupted in South Korea about Facebook’s rerouting, the company restored the connections to their original state around October and November of 2017.”The KCC said the U.S. social media giant violated a law against limiting access or subscriptions to its services without convincing reasons.”We are disappointed with the KCC’s decision. We strive to deliver optimal performance for all our users and will continue working with Korean internet service providers toward this goal,” Facebook said in a statement.The probe was launched in May last year after reports it had interfered with some local users’ access to Facebook and Instagram.The KCC probed claims that Facebook intentionally slowed access while it negotiated network usage fees with internet service providers.Facebook has gained traction in South Korea in recent years and politicians and celebrities often use it to interact with fans. More than 12 million users visit Facebook per day in South Korea, according to the KCC.Facebook said it did not violate the law in part because its terms of use say it cannot guarantee its services will operate without delays or interference. KCC officials rejected that argument, saying the terms were unfair. It recommended the company amend its terms of use. 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. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Facebook beefs up food delivery options from its app read more

first_img German cabin crew join Ryanair strike, nearly 250 flights cut Citation: Pilots sue Ryanair over Dutch airport pullout (2018, October 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-sue-ryanair-dutch-airport-pullout.html Pilots are suing Ryanair over the closure of its base in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, unions said Friday, accusing the carrier of trying to break strikes with the move. The Irish airline announced on October 1 it would take all four aircraft from Eindhoven, and would try to minimise job losses and offer pilots other places in Europe.Ryanair made the announcement after warning profits would be hit by walkouts in The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain that forced it to cancel hundreds of flights in the summer season.The lawsuit by 17 pilots is against Ryanair “forcing to transfer the employees abroad without a good reason” but the “final goal” was to keep the base open, said Joost van Doesburg, spokesman for the VNV Dutch pilots union. “We very clearly see that Ryanair is choosing this base transfer just to break the strikes in the Netherlands,” he said.”They are giving a very clear example to the rest of their network in the rest of Europe: ‘if you go on strike, we will retaliate’. And we want to stop this of course.”He said Ryanair was informed of the decision on Thursday and the court hearing was expected on October 18.A total of 49 Ryanair pilots would be affected by the move, the union said.Ryanair said Eindhoven would close on November 6 “and our pilots have been offered jobs elsewhere in the network. “If they choose not to transfer, then we will respect their wishes but there will be no jobs remaining at Eindhoven,” it said in a statement.The airline cut its annual net profits forecast by 12 percent owing to the recent walkouts.Ryanair has said it will also remove the only two planes based in Bremen, Germany, while two out of five aircraft stationed in Niederrhein, Germany, will also be grounded.Ryanair staff have been seeking higher wages and an end to the practice whereby many have been working as independent contractors without the benefits of staff employees. Pilots are suing Irish carrier Ryanair over its plans to close a base in the Dutch city of Eindhovencenter_img Explore further © 2018 AFP 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

first_imgBritain’s first 5G phone network went live on Thursday, but customers won’t be able to buy a Huawei 5G phone Explore further British mobile phone operator EE on Thursday became the first in the country to launch a high-speed 5G service, but without smartphones from controversial Chinese technology giant Huawei. Panasonic joins firms stepping away from Huawei after US ban EE, which is a division of British telecoms giant BT, has launched 5G in six major cities comprising Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester—and more hubs will follow.”From today, the UK will be able to discover 5G for the first time thanks to EE,” it announced in a statement, after an official launch featuring a performance from chart-topping grime act Stormzy on a boat on London’s River Thames. Next-generation 5G mobile networks offer almost instantaneous data transfer that will become the nervous system of Europe’s economy in strategic sectors like energy, transport, banking and health care.EE had announced last week that it would make its 5G network available to the public—but would not sell Huawei’s first 5G phone, the Mate 20 X 5G.However, the Chinese company still provides 5G network infrastructure equipment to EE.”We are very pleased to be one of the partners supporting EE with a new era of faster and more reliable mobile connectivity over 5G in the UK,” a Huawei spokesperson told AFP on Thursday.Rival British mobile phone giant Vodafone will launch its own 5G services on July 3 in seven UK cities—but it has also paused the sale of the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G smartphone.Vodafone does not use Huawei in its core UK network but uses a mixture of Ericsson and Huawei technology in its radio access network or masts, according to a company spokesman. He added that there are “multiple” layers of security between the masts and the core network.Huawei faces pushback in some Western markets over fears that Beijing could spy on communications and gain access to critical infrastructure if allowed to develop foreign 5G networks.The Chinese company flatly denies what it describes as “unsubstantiated claims” about being a security threat.US internet titan Google has meanwhile started to cut ties between its Android operating system and Huawei, a move that affects hundreds of millions of smartphone users, after the US government announced what amounts to a ban on selling or transferring technology to the company.Earlier this week, Huawei asked a US court to throw out US legislation that bars federal agencies from buying its products.The US moves against Huawei come as the Washington and Beijing are embroiled in a wider trade war.center_img 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. © 2019 AFP Citation: Telecoms giant EE launches Britain’s first 5G services (2019, May 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-telecoms-giant-ee-britain-5g.htmllast_img read more

first_imgOmer Tanovic, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, joined the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) because he loves studying theory and turning research questions into solvable math problems. But Omer says that his engineering background—before coming to MIT he received undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina—has taught him never to lose sight of the intended applications of his work, or the practical parameters for implementation. 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. The Maximization of Vaccinations “Every cell tower has to have some kind of PAPR reduction algorithm in place in order to operate. But the algorithms they use are developed with little or no guaranties on improving system performance,” Omer says. “A common conception is that optimal algorithms, which would certainly improve system performance, are either too expensive to implement—in terms of power or computational capacity—or cannot be implemented at all.”Omer, who is supervised by LIDS Professor Alexandre Megretski, designed an algorithm that can decrease the PAPR of a modern communication signal, which would allow the power amplifier to operate closer to its maximum efficiency, thus reducing the amount of energy lost in the process. To create this system he first considered it as an optimization problem, the conditions of which meant that any solution would not be implementable, as it would require infinite latency, meaning an infinite delay before transmitting the signal. However, Omer showed that the underlying optimal system, even though of infinite latency, has a desirable fading-memory property, and so he could create an approximation with finite latency—an acceptable lag time. From this, he developed a way to best approximate the optimal system. The approximation, which is implementable, allows tradeoffs between precision and latency, so that real-time realizations of the algorithm can improve power efficiency without adding too much transmission delay or too much distortion to the signal. Omer applied this system using standardized test signals for 4G communication and found that, on average, he could get around 50 percent reduction in the peak-to-average power ratio while satisfying standard measures of quality of digital communication signals.Omer’s algorithm, along with improving power efficiency, is also computationally efficient. “This is important in order to ensure that the algorithm is not just theoretically implementable, but also practically implementable,” Omer says, once again stressing that abstract mathematical solutions are only valuable if they cohere to real-world parameters. Microchip real estate in communications is a limited commodity, so the algorithm cannot take up much space, and its mathematical operations have to be executed quickly, as latency is a critical factor in wireless communications. Omer believes that the algorithm could be adapted to solve other engineering problems with similar frameworks, including envelope tracking and model predictive control.While he has been working on this project, Omer has made a home for himself at MIT. Two of his three sons were born here in Cambridge—in fact, the youngest was born on campus, in the stairwell of Omer and his wife’s graduate housing building. “The neighbors slept right through it,” Omer says with a laugh.Omer quickly became an active member of the LIDS community when he arrived at MIT. Most notably, he was part of the LIDS student conference and student social committees, where, in addition to helping run the annual LIDS Student Conference, a signature lab event now in its 25th year, he also helped to organize monthly lunches, gatherings, and gaming competitions, including a semester-long challenge dubbed the OLIDSpics (an homage to the Olympic Games). He says that being on the committees was a great way to engage with and contribute to the LIDS community, a group for which he is grateful.”At MIT, and especially at LIDS, you can learn something new from everyone you speak to. I’ve been in many places, and this is the only place where I’ve experienced a community like that,” Omer says.As Omer’s time at LIDS draws to an end, he is still debating what to do next. On one hand, his love of solving real-world problems is drawing him toward industry. He spent four summers during his Ph.D. interning at companies including the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab. He enjoyed the fast pace of industry, being able to see his solutions implemented relatively quickly.On the other hand, Omer is not sure he could ever leave academia for long; he loves research and is also truly passionate about teaching. Omer, who grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina, began teaching in his first year of high school, at a math camp for younger children. He has been teaching in one form or another ever since.At MIT, Omer has taught both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses, including as an instructor-G, an appointment only given to advanced students who have demonstrated teaching expertise. He has won two teaching awards, the MIT School of Engineering Graduate Student Extraordinary Teaching and Mentoring Award in 2018 and the MIT EECS Carlton E. Tucker Teaching Award in 2017.The magnitude of Omer’s love for teaching is clear when he speaks about working with students: “That moment when you explain something to a student and you see them really understand the concept is priceless. No matter how much energy you have to spend to make that happen, it’s worth it,” Omer says. Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Omer Tanovic says that his engineering background has taught him never to lose sight of the intended applications of his work, or the practical parameters for implementation. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technologycenter_img Explore further This story is republished courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching. “I love thinking about things on the abstract math level, but it’s also important to me that the work we are doing will help to solve real-world problems,” Omer says. “Instead of building circuits, I am creating algorithms that will help make better circuits.”One real-world problem that captured Omer’s attention during his Ph.D. is power efficiency in wireless operations. The success of wireless communications has led to massive infrastructure expansion in the United States and around the world. This has included many new cell towers and base stations. As these networks and the volume of information they handle grow, they consume an increasingly hefty amount of power, some of which goes to powering the system as it’s supposed to, but much of which is lost as heat due to energy inefficiency. This is a problem both for companies such as mobile network operators, which have to pay large utility bills to cover their operational costs, and for society at large, as the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions rise.These concerns are what motivate Omer in his research. Most of the projects that he has worked on at MIT seek to design signal processing systems, optimized to different measures, that will increase power efficiency while ensuring that the output signal (what you hear when talking to someone on the phone, for instance) is true to the original input (what was said by the person on the other end of the call).His latest project seeks to address the power efficiency problem by decreasing the peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) of wireless communication signals. In the broadest sense, PAPR is an indirect indicator of how much power is required to send and receive a clear signal across a network. The lower this ratio is, the more energy-efficient the transmission. Namely, much of the power consumed in cellular networks is dedicated to power amplifiers, which collect low-power electronic input and convert it to a higher-power output, such as picking up a weak radio signal generated inside a cell phone and amplifying it so that, when emitted by an antenna it is strong enough to reach a cell tower. This ensures that the signal is robust enough to maintain adequate signal-to-noise ratio over the communication link. Power amplifiers are at their most efficient when operating near their saturation level, at maximum output power. However, because cellular network technology has evolved in a way that accommodates a huge volume and variety of information across the network—resulting in far less uniform signals than in the past—modern communication standards require signals with big peak-to-average power ratios. This means that a radio frequency transmitter must be designed such that the underlying power amplifier can handle peaks much higher than the average power being transmitted, and therefore, most of the time, the power amplifier is working inefficiently—far from its saturation level. Citation: Making wireless communication more energy efficient (2019, July 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-wireless-energy-efficient.htmllast_img read more

first_imgFRANKFURT (Reuters) – SAP (SAPG.DE) told investors not to expect a major improvement in margins before next year as the German business software group reported a 21% decline in second-quarter operating profit on Thursday, sending its shares sharply lower. FILE PHOTO: The logo of German software group SAP is pictured at its headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph OrlowskiEurope’s most valuable tech firm reiterated its forward guidance and CEO Bill McDermott expressed his “absolute commitment” to meeting a strategic goal of expanding margins by 5 percentage points through 2023. Shares fell 10% at the open as revenue and operating profit came in below expectations, weighed down by one-off costs and weakness in Asian markets. That hurt broader sentiment after weak results overnight from streaming service Netflix (NFLX.O). Knut Woller at brokerage Baader Helvea said growth momentum had cooled after a strong start to the year. But, in a flash note, he said he still saw SAP on track to meet its yearly targets – as long as economic conditions don’t deteriorate further. Investors, including U.S. activist fund Elliott, had driven SAP’s shares to all-time highs after management launched an efficiency drive in April, and are keen to see evidence that it is starting to pay off. They also anticipate major share buybacks, to be announced at a capital markets day in November, with JPMorgan seeing potential to return between 11 billion and 20 billion euros (10-18 billion pounds) to shareholders over four years. LICENCE REVENUE SLOWS The spring quarter was, however, marked by a 5% decline in licence revenue, the result of trade tensions that took their toll on Asian markets in particular. Until now, software companies have suffered less from the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China than companies in the semiconductor and auto industries that have issued a slew of profit warnings. Software licences and support, SAP’s legacy business, still account for more than half of its revenue and the bulk of its profit. But because most revenue on new deals is recognised up front, it is more volatile than the company’s smaller, but faster-growing cloud business. In the cloud, a 4-point expansion in gross margins and a fourth consecutive quarter of 40% growth, showed that SAP’s operational performance was on track, McDermott said in an interview: “We’re very happy with the direction this is moving.” That trend is being supported by SAP’s growing partnerships with ‘hyperscale’ cloud computing giants Amazon (AMZN.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Google (GOOGL.O). Such remotely hosted services are subscription based, making them easier to forecast than “lumpier” software licences. That, in turn, helped SAP lift its share of predictable revenue by 3 percentage points to 69% in the quarter. It targets a 71% share next year and 75% in 2023, part of a drive to make the business, based in the Rhineland town of Walldorf, a safer long-term bet for investors. McDermott, 57, said he was not unduly concerned by the dip in licence fees. Experience showed that clients in wait-and-see mode often come back with bigger orders later as they reconfigure supply chains in response to changing conditions. “As people see the need to reorient supply chains, or think differently about the regulatory environment, they tend to broaden the spectrum of what they buy from us,” he said, adding that such deals “tend to get bigger”. ONE-OFFS WEIGH Operating profit of 827 million euros(745.05 million pounds) was hit by charges from a restructuring that will see more than 4,000 staff leave SAP, the $8 billion acquisition of customer sentiment tracking firm Qualtrics and cash-settled staff bonuses. Year-on-year comparisons would become more favourable in the second half of the year, CFO Luka Mucic said, adding that he expected a “very meaningful step upwards” in profitability from next year. SAP competes in areas such as finance and logistics, known as Enterprise Resource Management, with Oracle (ORCL.N), which recently reported stronger-than-expected earnings. It competes with Salesforce (CRM.N) in Customer Relationship Management. After adjusting for one-offs, SAP’s operating profit at constant currencies rose 8% in the second quarter – in line with revenue growth but below Eikon Refinitiv estimates. Adjusted operating margins were flat at 27.3 percent. SAP reiterated its guidance for adjusted operating profit to grow by between 9.5% and 12.5% this year. Reporting by Douglas Busvine; editing by Michelle Martin and Jason NeelyOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

first_img Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryMeal Kit Wars: 10 Tested & Ranked. See Who WonTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndo Image Gallery: Invasive Species A monstrously huge goldfish was recently captured in the Niagara River in New York. The goldfish was presumably a discarded house pet that may have been illegally released or survived a traumatic flush down a toilet. Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (BNW), a nonprofit working to protect and restore the Niagara River and Lake Erie watershed, caught and photographed the giant goldfish in the river’s Black Rock Canal, sharing an image in a Facebook post on June 14. [In Photos: Thousands of Goldfish Swarm in Colorado Lake] In the photo, Marcus Rosten, an employee of the nonprofit, cradles the fish in two hands; the orange leviathan measured a whopping 14 inches (36 centimeters) long, according to the post.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65770-giant-goldfish-in-river.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  An even more supersized goldfish was nabbed in California’s Lake Tahoe in 2013; it weighed in at just over 4 lbs. (2 kilograms) and measured nearly 2 feet (61 cm) long. Goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) are native to eastern Asia and belong to the carp family. They usually reach about 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm) in length when they live in aquariums or small fish tanks; at most, they grow to about 6 inches (15 cm) in captivity, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). But when goldfish are released into streams and rivers, they often grow to be 12 to 14 inches (31 to 36 cm) long. The first sightings of goldfish in New York waterways date to 1842; more than a dozen other states also noted the appearance of goldfish in rivers and streams by the end of the 19th century, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Today, goldfish can be found in waterways across New York State, “the result of illegally released pets or escapees from bait buckets,” the DEC reported. The fish can survive year-round in the Lake Erie watershed, and goldfish reproduce very quickly; a handful of goldfish released into a Colorado lake in 2012 multiplied to number in the thousands just three years later. Invasive goldfish directly compete with native fish, and in large numbers, they upset the natural biodiversity of vulnerable freshwater environments, a BNW representative told Live Science in an email. “Aquatic invasive species that don’t naturally belong in the Great Lakes, like this goldfish, are a constant threat to the health of native wildlife populations and their habitats,” the representative said. Across all of the Great Lakes, goldfish populations are estimated to run into the tens of millions, the BNW posted on Facebook. Photos: Giant Goldfish & Other Freaky Fish Alien Invaders: Destructive Invasive Specieslast_img read more

first_imgglobal expansion Ireland has started wooing Kerala-based companies to set up units there by using that country as a base to access European markets. Tanaz Buhariwalla, Country Director – India at IDA Ireland, who was here for a road-show, told presspersons that there has been increased interest from Indian companies to use Ireland as their base for growth in Europe. This interest has spiked since Brexit, as companies were concerned about how they would service the European markets from the UK. Over 40 Indian companies from the IT, services, medical devices, engineering and pharmaceuticals sectors have set up shop in Ireland. “We are excited at the response received from Kochi-based companies that we are in discussion with. We are looking at companies engaged in food processing, agri, IT, life sciences and healthcare workers,” she said. IDA Ireland, the nodal agency to attract investments, is engaging with organisations in IT services, fintech, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, among others. Currently, six of the top 10 Indian IT services companies operate out of Ireland, including TCS, HCL, Wipro, Infosys and Mindtree.Indian and Irish companies are increasingly looking for opportunities to collaborate in key knowledge sectors, and it is encouraging to note the increase in conversations between companies of the two countries. Indian companies are turning to Ireland to benefit from the well-developed sectoral clusters there, and to gain access to valuable European markets, she added. SHARE SHARE EMAIL Brexit Published on August 03, 2018 Kerala companies Tanaz Buhariwalla, Country Director – India at IDA Ireland Ireland COMMENT SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more