Los Angeles, CA, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States

The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university founded in 1880 with its main campus in the city area of Los Angeles, California. As California's oldest private research university, USC has historically educated a large number of the region's business leaders and professionals. In recent decades, the university has also leveraged its location in Los Angeles to establish relationships with research and cultural institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim. In 2011, USC was named among the Top 10 Dream Colleges in the nation. It holds a vast array of trademarks and wordmarks to the term "USC."For the 2012-2013 academic year, there were 18,316 students enrolled in four-year undergraduate programs. USC is also home to 21,642 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, social work, and medicine. The university has a "very high" level of research activity and received $560.9 million in sponsored research from 2009 to 2010. USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a member of the Pacific-12 Conference. Members of the sports teams, the Trojans, have won 100 NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the nation, and 378 NCAA individual championships, ranking them second in the nation. Trojan athletes have won 287 medals at the Olympic games , more than any other university in the world. If USC were a country, it would rank 12th in most Olympic gold medals. Wikipedia.


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Patent
California Institute of Technology, University of Southern California and Doheny Eye Institute | Date: 2016-09-09

An implantable medical device is described. The implantable medical device includes a small molecule generator, a small molecule diffusor, and a cannula that connects the two. The small molecule generator includes an electrolyte reservoir and a set of electrodes. A first portion of the electrolyte reservoir is impermeable to a predetermined class of small molecules. A second portion of the electrolyte reservoir is permeable to the small molecules. The set of electrodes is disposed inside the electrolyte reservoir and is configured to facilitate electrolysis of the small molecules based on an electric power application to the set of electrodes and on presence of electrolyte inside the electrolyte reservoir. At least a portion of the small molecule diffusor is permeable to the small molecules.


Patent
University of Southern California | Date: 2016-10-19

A method includes a step of identifying a subject in need of diet modification; and administering a first diet to the subject for a first time period. The first diet provides 4.5 to 7 kilocalories per pound of subject for a first day and 3 to 5 kilocalories per pound of subject per day for a second to fifth day of the first diet. The first diet includes less than 30 g of sugar on the first day; less than 20 g of sugar on the second to fifth days; less than 28 g of proteins on the first day; less than 18 g of proteins on days the second to fifth days; 20 to 30 grams of monounsaturated fats on the first day; 10 to 15 grams of monounsaturated fats on the second to fifth days; and between 6 and 10 grams of polyunsaturated fats on the first day.


Patent
University of Southern California | Date: 2016-10-20

A method of improving longevity and/or alleviating a symptom of aging or preventing age related diseases is provided. The method includes a step in which the subjects average and type of daily protein intake, IGF-I, and IGFBP1 levels, and risk factors for overall mortality, cancer and diabetes are determined. With respect to protein consumption, the relative amounts of protein calories from animal and plant sources are determined. A periodic normal calorie or low calorie but low protein fasting mimicking diet with frequencies of every 2 weeks to 2 months is provided to the subject if the subjects average daily protein intake level and type and/or IGF-I levels, and/or IGFBP1 levels is identified as being greater or lower than a predetermined cutoff intake/level and if the subject is younger than a predetermined age. The method is also shown to alleviate symptoms of chemotoxicity.


Patent
University of Southern California | Date: 2015-03-18

The invention describes immunotherapies for treating various cancers in nervous system, particularly brain cancer. In various embodiments, the method may comprise: obtaining a tumor tissue from the subject; preparing a tumor cell lysate from the tumor tissue; isolating an immune cell from the subject; priming the immune cell against the tumor cell lysate. In various embodiments, intraventricular delivery of dendritic cells for brain cancer immunotherapy is disclosed.


Patent
University of Southern California | Date: 2016-10-13

A pharmaceutical composition and method for treating brain cancer are provided. The method includes administering to a patient in need thereof an effective amount of one or more compounds that include moclobemide, clorgyline, clorgylines Near-infra-red dye Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (NMI), and MHI 148-clorgyline, and their salt thereof. The composition and method are particularly effective in reducing the size of glioblastomas that are temozolomide (TMZ) resistant.


Patent
University of Southern California | Date: 2016-08-10

A self-contained seed tender (20) includes a plurality of bins (48) as well as a conveyor system (30) with a lower conveyor (32) and a shiftable lift conveyor (34). The lift conveyor (34) is shiftable between a stowed, travel position astride the bins (48) and a central, rearwardly extending delivery position. A deployment assembly (38) serves to sequentially pivot the lift conveyor (34) about an upright axis, followed by lateral translation thereof to the central use position. The conveyor (34) can then be rotated and elevated as desired for off-loading of seeds. The tender (20) may also be used for delivery of other types of agricultural particulates.


Patent
University of Southern California | Date: 2016-08-02

A system and method for more accurately weighing a product on a continuous weigh belt. The system includes a processing element for determining a flow rate and a total weight of the product at a plurality of points on the weigh belt. A length of the weigh belt between product entrance and exit points is divided into discrete measurement units, or buckets. The weight of product in each bucket is determined. The total weight of product that has reached the entrance, exit, and one or more intermediate points on the weigh belt is determined by adding the weight of product attributed to all of the buckets that have reached each point. The flow rate of the product at these points is determined based on the weight of the product attributed to the particular bucket at each point and the speed of the weigh belt.


An all-optical fiber sensor apparatus includes a light source and an in-line fiber polarizer that polarizes light received from the light source. The in-line fiber polarizer outputs light in a first polarization state which is directed to a polarization-maintaining fiber. After receiving the light in a first polarization state, the polarization-maintaining fiber transmits the light such that the light exits as light in a second polarization state. During measurements, the polarization-maintaining fiber contacts a test sample. A compression device compresses the test sample. The compression device applies a time varying force to the test sample in which the force is sequentially increased. A polarimeter receives the light in a second polarization state and outputs polarization state data for the light in a second polarization state. Finally, a data processor is in communication with the polarimeter to receive and stores the polarization state data.


Patent
University of Southern California and University of Michigan | Date: 2016-10-03

A compound that can be used as a donor material in organic photovoltaic devices comprising a non-activated porphyrin fused with one or more non-activated polycyclic aromatic rings or one or more non-activated heterocyclic rings can be obtained by a thermal fusion process. By heating the reaction mixture of non-activated porphyrins with non-activated polycyclic aromatic rings or heterocyclic rings to a fusion temperature and holding for a predetermined time, fusion of one or more polycyclic rings or heterocyclic rings to the non-activated porphyrin core in meso, fashion is achieved resulting in hybrid structures containing a distorted porphyrin ring with annulated aromatic rings. The porphyrin core can be olygoporphyrins.


Buxbaum J.L.,University of Southern California
American Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2017

Objectives:Early aggressive intravenous hydration is recommended for acute pancreatitis treatment although randomized trials have not documented benefit. We performed a randomized trial of aggressive vs. standard hydration in the initial management of mild acute pancreatitis.Methods:Sixty patients with acute pancreatitis without systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) or organ failure were randomized within 4 h of diagnosis to aggressive (20 ml/kg bolus followed by 3 ml/kg/h) vs. standard (10 ml/kg bolus followed by 1.5 mg/kg/h) hydration with Lactated Ringer’s solution. Patients were assessed at 12-h intervals. At each interval, in both groups, if hematocrit, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), or creatinine was increased, a bolus of 20 ml/kg followed by 3 ml/kg/h was given; if labs were decreased and epigastric pain was decreased (measured on 0–10 visual analog scale), hydration was then given at 1.5 ml/kg/h and clear liquid diet was started. The primary endpoint, clinical improvement within 36 h, was defined as the combination of decreased hematocrit, BUN, and creatinine; improved pain; and tolerance of oral diet.Results:The mean age of the patients was 45 years and only 14 (23%) had comorbidities. A higher proportion of patients treated with aggressive vs. standard hydration showed clinical improvement at 36 h: 70 vs. 42% (P=0.03). The rate of clinical improvement was greater with aggressive vs. standard hydration by Cox regression analysis: adjusted hazard ratio=2.32, 95% confidence interval 1.21–4.45. Persistent SIRS occurred less commonly with aggressive hydration (7.4 vs. 21.1%; adjusted odds ratio (OR)=0.12, 0.02–0.94) as did hemoconcentration (11.1 vs. 36.4%, adjusted OR=0.08, 0.01–0.49). No patients developed signs of volume overload.Conclusions:Early aggressive intravenous hydration with Lactated Ringer’s solution hastens clinical improvement in patients with mild acute pancreatitis.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 7 March 2017; doi:10.1038/ajg.2017.40. © 2017 American College of Gastroenterology


Thomas P.D.,University of Southern California
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2017

The Gene Ontology (GO) is a comprehensive resource of computable knowledge regarding the functions of genes and gene products. As such, it is extensively used by the biomedical research community for the analysis of-omics and related data. Our continued focus is on improving the quality and utility of the GO resources, and we welcome and encourage input from researchers in all areas of biology. In this update, we summarize the current contents of the GO knowledgebase, and present several new features and improvements that have been made to the ontology, the annotations and the tools. Among the highlights are 1) developments that facilitate access to, and application of, the GO knowledgebase, and 2) extensions to the resource as well as increasing support for descriptions of causal models of biological systems and network biology. To learn more, visit http://geneontology.org/. © 2016 The Author(s).


Lachica R.,University of Southern California
Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2017

BACKGROUND:: Bladder exstrophy is a rare congenital anomaly affecting the lower abdominal wall, pelvis, and genitourinary structures. Pregnant women with bladder exstrophy present a unique challenge to the obstetrician. CASE:: The patient is a 35-year old pregnant woman with bladder exstrophy, an extensive surgical history, and uterine prolapse with an abnormal, rubbery consistency to her cervix. Prenatally, she was counseled on the potential use of Dührssen incisions to facilitate vaginal delivery. Labor was induced at 36 4/7 weeks of gestation after her pregnancy was complicated by recurrent pyelonephritis. Vaginal delivery was achieved 8 minutes after the creation of Dührssen incisions. CONCLUSION:: The care of pregnant women with bladder exstrophy requires multidisciplinary management and careful delivery planning. Successful vaginal delivery can be attained in these patients. © 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Esqueda I.S.,University of Southern California
IEEE Electron Device Letters | Year: 2017

This letter demonstrates the impact of carrier confinement on the radiation response of Si-based SOI finFETS toward the scaling limit. A comparison between the semi-classical and quantum (i.e., self-consistent Schrödinger-Poisson) calculations establishes the significance of confinement effects in determining the experimentally observed radiation response as fin width is scaled to a few nanometers. This letter reveals that reduction in ionizing radiation sensitivity as a function of scaling is not only due to improved electrostatic control, but also due to reduced oxide fields resulting from size quantization and carrier confinement inside the channel of the device. © 1980-2012 IEEE.


RATIONALE:: Lymphatic vessels function to drain interstitial fluid from a variety of tissues. Although shear stress generated by fluid flow is known to trigger lymphatic expansion and remodeling, the molecular basis underlying flow-induced lymphatic growth is unknown. OBJECTIVE:: We aimed to gain a better understanding of the mechanism by which laminar shear stress activates lymphatic proliferation. METHODS AND RESULTS:: Primary endothelial cells from dermal blood and lymphatic vessels (BECs and LECs) were exposed to low-rate steady laminar flow. Shear stress-induced molecular and cellular responses were defined and verified using various mutant mouse models. Steady laminar flow induced the classic shear stress responses commonly in BECs and LECs. Surprisingly, however, only LECs showed enhanced cell proliferation by regulating the VEGF-A, VEGF-C, FGFR3, and p57/CDKN1C genes. As an early signal mediator, ORAI1, a pore subunit of the calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel, was identified to induce the shear stress phenotypes and cell proliferation in LECs responding to the fluid flow. Mechanistically, ORAI1 induced upregulation of KLF2 and KLF4 in the flow-activated LECs and the two KLF proteins cooperate to regulate VEGF-A, VEGF-C, FGFR3 and p57 by binding to the regulatory regions of the genes. Consistently, freshly isolated LECs from Orai1 knockout embryos displayed reduced expression of KLF2, KLF4, VEGF-A, VEGF-C, and FGFR3, and elevated expression of p57. Accordingly, mouse embryos deficient of Orai1, Klf2, or Klf4 showed a significantly reduced lymphatic density and impaired lymphatic development. CONCLUSIONS:: Our study identified a molecular mechanism for laminar flow-activated LEC proliferation. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A new study has found brain abnormalities in people with bipolar disorder. In the largest MRI study to date on patients with bipolar disorder, a global consortium published new research showing that people with the condition have differences in the brain regions that control inhibition and emotion. By revealing clear and consistent alterations in key brain regions, the findings published in Molecular Psychiatry on May 2 offer insight to the underlying mechanisms of bipolar disorder. "We created the first global map of bipolar disorder and how it affects the brain, resolving years of uncertainty on how people's brains differ when they have this severe illness," said Ole A. Andreassen, senior author of the study and a professor at the Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research at the University of Oslo. Bipolar disorder affects about 60 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It is a debilitating psychiatric disorder with serious implications for those affected and their families. However, scientists have struggled to pinpoint neurobiological mechanisms of the disorder, partly due to the lack of sufficient brain scans. The study was part of an international consortium led by the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC: ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics Through Meta Analysis) spans 76 centers and includes 26 different research groups around the world. The researchers measured the MRI scans of 6,503 individuals, including 2,447 adults with bipolar disorder and 4,056 healthy controls. They also examined the effects of commonly used prescription medications, age of illness onset, history of psychosis, mood state, age and sex differences on cortical regions. The study showed thinning of gray matter in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder when compared with healthy controls. The greatest deficits were found in parts of the brain that control inhibition and motivation -- the frontal and temporal regions. Some of the bipolar disorder patients with a history of psychosis showed greater deficits in the brain's gray matter. The findings also showed different brain signatures in patients who took lithium, anti-psychotics and anti-epileptic treatments. Lithium treatment was associated with less thinning of gray matter, which suggests a protective effect of this medication on the brain. "These are important clues as to where to look in the brain for therapeutic effects of these drugs," said Derrek Hibar, first author of the paper and a professor at the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute when the study was conducted. He was a former visiting researcher at the University of Oslo and is now a senior scientist at Janssen Research and Development, LLC. Future research will test how well different medications and treatments can shift or modify these brain measures as well as improve symptoms and clinical outcomes for patients. Mapping the affected brain regions is also important for early detection and prevention, said Paul Thompson, director of the ENIGMA consortium and co-author of the study. "This new map of the bipolar brain gives us a roadmap of where to look for treatment effects," said Thompson, an associate director of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute at the Keck School of Medicine. "By bringing together psychiatrists worldwide, we now have a new source of power to discover treatments that improve patients' lives." Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is among the nation's leaders in innovative patient care, scientific discovery, education, and community service. It is part of Keck Medicine of USC, the University of Southern California's medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area. This includes the Keck Medical Center of USC, composed of the Keck Hospital of USC and the USC Norris Cancer Hospital. The two world-class, USC-owned hospitals are staffed by more than 500 physicians who are faculty at the Keck School. The school today has approximately 1,650 full-time faculty members and voluntary faculty of more than 2,400 physicians. These faculty direct the education of approximately 700 medical students and 1,000 students pursuing graduate and post-graduate degrees. The school trains more than 900 resident physicians in more than 50 specialty or subspecialty programs and is the largest educator of physicians practicing in Southern California. Together, the school's faculty and residents serve more than 1.5 million patients each year at Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, as well as USC-affiliated hospitals Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Keck School faculty also conduct research and teach at several research centers and institutes, including the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at USC, the USC Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute, the USC Roski Eye Institute and the USC Institute of Urology. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck School of Medicine among the Top 40 medical schools in the country. For more information, go to keck.usc.edu.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

BEIJING—Paleontologists have argued for years about the identity of the enigmatic curling shapes and embryolike spheres found in the 600-million-year-old rocks of the Doushantuo Formation in China. But some say those fossils, no bigger than a grain of salt, may be the remains of some of the world's first animals. Now researchers fear that the rock formation may be pulverized, along with its cargo of fossils, before scientists can identify the creatures and what they may reveal about the evolution of animals. A massive phosphate mining operation in southern China threatens the site, and scientists are urging the Chinese government to step in to protect it. The mining operations, which produce raw material for fertilizer, are already destroying unique fossil evidence at a distressing rate, says Zhu Maoyan, fossil expert and professor at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology in China. The site, with its mysterious Weng'an biota, is located in rural Guizhou, a Chinese province bordering Vietnam. Piecemeal phosphate mining has taken place there for years, but a large-scale project that began in 2015 could wipe out the entire site, including a wealth of as-yet-undiscovered fossils—a "disaster [to] all human beings," Zhu says. The mining project already has demolished one of the three key fossil sites, he says. "If you want to know about how animals evolved on Earth, this site is the most important one we know of," says David Bottjer, earth sciences professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who has been visiting the Weng'an site to collect fossils since 1999, a year after their discovery. "If this fossil deposit is lost, we will lose this unique window on evolution of life, which may never be replaced." Weng'an fossils—putative embryos and occasional adults—lived 30 million years before the oldest widely accepted animals: the Ediacaran biota found in Newfoundland, Canada, and other sites. Those sea creatures, which come in an array of bewildering shapes, represent a lost era of life on Earth: They were later replaced during the Cambrian Explosion, when animals with more familiar body plans burst onto the scene. As precursors to the Ediacara, the Doushantuo fossils "provide an unparalleled window into the early evolution of lineages leading to animals and possibly [the evolution of] animals themselves," says Douglas Erwin, a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The phosphate coveted by miners also helped preserve the ancient fossils. Bottjer explains that after the organisms died, phosphate replaced their tissues cell by cell, yielding exquisite soft-body preservation at tiny scales. "With a focus on the embryos, we have been able to learn a lot about the developmental process for early animals," he says. "We are just beginning to understand fossils of adult animals, which are also found but which are much rarer than the embryos." Some scientists still maintain that the spheres and other forms represent not animals but some kind of precursor, as a paper last month in the Journal of the Geological Society argued. But a 2015 study in the journal Evolution identified an unusually well-preserved fossil as most likely being the world's oldest known sponge. Regardless of the dispute, says Zhu, "the majority of the science community considers Weng'an's fossils invaluable" for deciphering the origins of animals. He led a group of concerned international scientists, including Erwin and Bottjer, to meet with government officials earlier this month to appeal for curbs on the mining. Officials at all levels of government, from local to national, listened to the scientists' concerns. The officials must balance that plea against local interests: The phosphate and fertilizer industry is the pillar of the local economy, supplying 60% of total revenue to the Weng'an county government, according to one account in Chinese media. But after the meeting, Zhu says, officials took incremental steps to protect the fossils, halting mining "in the parts of the site that are most likely to hold fossils and the most vulnerable to being dug out." He says he believes that the government is beginning to understand the global significance of the Weng'an biota and hopes that they will act to stop mining permanently.


News Article | April 9, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Potassium-rich food could be the key to lowering blood pressure. As hypertension becomes an increasing worldwide problem, scientists have turned to food rich in substances that can restore the balance. A review study carried out at the University of Southern California has found a link between dietary potassium and lower blood pressure. It was published in the April 2017 issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. Aside from being beneficial to the body, diets rich in potassium are also very trendy at the moment, which could increase the number of people who are willing to try them out. From sweet potatoes and beans to bananas, avocados, and the very popular coffee, many "trendy" foods can actually help our bodies, preventing health complications. "Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure, but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension," noted Alicia McDonough, lead author of the study and professor of cell and neurobiology at USC. For the review, the researchers analyzed data from prior research indicating that rodent models have supported the idea that potassium is highly beneficial to the body. "Together, the findings suggest that public health efforts directed toward increasing consumption of potassium-rich natural foods would reduce BP and, thus, cardiovascular and kidney disease," noted the researchers. McDonough analyzed the connection between dietary sodium, potassium, and the sodium-potassium ratio and their effects on blood pressure. The researcher and her team analyzed recent studies carried out among rodents to illustrate their hypotheses on the benefits of consuming potassium-rich food. The studies analyzed suggest that the body employs sodium in balancing the control of potassium levels in the blood, which is a crucial mechanism when it comes to normal heart, muscle, and nerve function. A typical Western diet is often rich in sodium and poor in potassium. This causes an increase in the risk of suffering from high blood pressure, McDonough explained. In the event that the body doesn't have enough dietary potassium, it uses sodium retention to keep the remaining potassium inside the body, which has the effects of a high-sodium diet. According to a 2004 Institute of Medicine report, the dietary recommendation from the Food and Nutrition Board is that adults should consume at least 4.7 grams (0.16 ounces) of potassium every day to lower blood pressure. Three-quarters of a cup of black beans should account for approximately half the daily potassium adults need to consume. Hypertension is a condition in which the blood vessels have a continuous high pressure. With every heartbeat, blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body. Blood pressure describes the force that blood exerts on the walls of blood vessels as it makes its way around the body. It is normal for blood pressure to increase at certain times - such as during a stressful or exciting activity - then return to normal. However, if the pressure is continuously above normal, it can lead to serious health complications, such as heart attack and kidney failure. Hypertension is a global health issue that affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 51 percent of deaths due to stroke and 45 percent of deaths due to heart disease can be attributed to hypertension. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

HUMAN language has long appeared miraculous. It has enabled us to accumulate knowledge, build cultures and conquer the planet, making us a creature seemingly apart from the rest of the animal world. During the 19th century, Alfred Russel Wallace doubted whether natural selection could explain such a unique power. In our century, Noam Chomsky, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology academic who has dominated linguistics for 60 years, has supported a hypothesis that language and thought arose suddenly within the past 100,000 years. In The Truth About Language, Michael Corballis rejects all such “miraculist” explanations. He lays out a plausible route by which spoken language might have evolved, not from the calls of our primate ancestors, but through stages in which a language of gesture and mime dominated. Corballis, now an emeritus professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, has spent a lifetime studying language and his book is a delight; it is confident, wise and witty. The idea of rooting language in gesture is not new. Its key exponents are two more Michaels: Michael Tomasello, a co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and Michael Arbib, a computer science professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. They have a good reason to consider that human speech didn’t evolve directly from primate vocalisations. Ape calls are spontaneous, involuntary expressions of emotion, made even when there is no one to hear. Hand movements are different. They are voluntary and can be finely controlled. It’s easy to shape fingers to represent objects or wiggle them to mimic movement. Each of the Michaels has their own story, with Corballis’s new account unique in stressing “mind wandering”, the subject of one of his earlier books, and storytelling as important parts of the long journey to language. “Our ‘mind wandering’ may be built on an ancient ability to map movements and plan journeys” When we have nothing much to do, our minds travel through past experiences, future plans and imaginary possibilities. The process of mind wandering, or daydreaming, is more remarkable than it seems. It shows our capacity to recall particular episodes from the past and project them freely into possible situations in the future, even though we are not using words, but thinking in images. Corballis quotes approvingly the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass: “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backward.” We have the good sort that allows us to travel forwards, too. Without that, we would live in an “eternal now” and language couldn’t have evolved. Where did mind wandering come from? Corballis explores the evidence that other animals share some of this power of thought. Birds that cache food may remember where they hid it and also its “use by” date so they won’t go to find it after it has gone off. Chimps and bonobos that have been shown King Kong-style movies demonstrate by where they look on screen that they anticipate what will happen next when they watch the films again. Crucially, recordings of the rat hippocampus – the part of the brain that lays down memories – show how the brain constructs maps of movement in space and time. Our mind wandering may be built on an ancient ability to map movements and plan journeys. Telling stories allows us to share those wanderings with others. Corballis quotes another researcher’s fictional account of our early ancestors returning from a hunt with a kill and acting out the day’s events, then miming plans for tomorrow. It is easy to picture and to see how the power of such stories could drive future cooperative activity. Corballis agrees with Aristotle that fiction is more important than history because it deals with possibility. If the gestures of mime become standardised and abstract – which happens naturally in modern sign languages – communication would grow ever more fluent. This is a move towards language. All this is just a part of the vista Corballis wants us to see. There is much more, including the ability of languages to refer to things that are not present, theory of mind and the emergence of grammar to make language more efficient. The trickiest section, however, is at the end when we reach the final step, as sound goes from an accompaniment of mime to a replacement, turning into speech. At this point, I have doubts and must admit, as Corballis does on his final page, that he too might be writing a just-so story, despite the breadth of his evidence. Still, I much prefer a speculative account of how language might have evolved to an invocation of miracles. And, right or wrong, Corballis will make you see your own mind differently. This article appeared in print under the headline “Talking with hands”


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Like drag car racers revving their engines at the starting line, stem cells respond more quickly to injury when they've been previously primed with one dose of a single protein, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Mice given the priming protein recover muscle function more quickly after damage, their skin heals more rapidly and even the shaved area around the injury regrows hair more quickly, the study found. Harnessing the power of this protein may one day help people recover more quickly from surgery or restore youthful vigor to aging stem cells. "We're trying to better understand wound healing in response to trauma and aging," said Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences. "We've shown that muscle and bone marrow stem cells enter a stage of alertness in response to distant injury that allows them to spring into action more quickly. Now we've pinpointed the protein responsible for priming them to do what they do better and faster." Rando, who also directs Stanford's Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging, is the senior author of the study, which is published in Cell Reports. Former postdoctoral scholar Joseph Rodgers, PhD, is the lead author. Rodgers is now an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the University of Southern California. "Our research shows that by priming the body before an injury you can speed the process of tissue repair and recovery, similar to how a vaccine prepares the body to a fight infection," Rodgers said. "We believe this could be a therapeutic approach to improve recovery in situations where injuries can be anticipated, such as surgery, combat or sports." Normally, adult, tissue-specific stem cells are held in a kind of cellular deep freeze called quiescence to avoid unnecessary cell division in the absence of injury. In a 2014 paper published in Nature, Rodgers and Rando showed in laboratory mice that an injury to the muscle of one leg caused a change in the muscle stem cells of the other leg. These cells entered what the researchers called an "alert" phase of the cell cycle that is distinct from either fully resting or fully active stem cells. The fact that muscle stem cells distant from the injury were alerted indicated that the damaged muscle must release a soluble factor that can travel throughout the body to wake up quiescent stem cells. Rodgers and his colleagues found that a protein called hepatocyte growth factor, which exists in a latent form in the spaces between muscle cells and tissue, can activate a critical signaling pathway in the cells by binding to their surfaces. This pathway stimulates the production of proteins important in alerting the stem cells. But it wasn't known how HGF itself became activated. In the new study, Rodgers and his colleagues identified the activating factor by injecting uninjured animals with blood serum isolated from animals with an induced muscle injury. (Mice were anesthetized prior to a local injection of muscle-damaging toxin; they were given pain relief and antibiotics during the recovery period.) After 2.5 days, the researchers found that muscle stem cells from the recipient animals were in an alert state and completed their first cell division much more quickly than occurred in animals that had received blood serum from uninjured mice. "Clearly, blood from the injured animal contains a factor that alerts the stem cells," said Rando. "We wanted to know, what is it in the blood that is doing this?" The researchers found that the serum from the injured animals had the same levels of HGF as the control serum. However, it did have increased levels of a protein called HGFA that activates HGF by snipping it into two pieces. Treating the serum with an antibody that blocked the activity of HGFA eliminated the recovery benefit of pretreatment, the researchers found. In a related experiment, exposing the animals to a single intravenous dose of HGFA alone two days prior to injury helped the mice recover more quickly. They scampered around on their wheels sooner and their skin healed more quickly than mice that received a control injection. They also regrew their hair around the shaved surgical site more completely than did the control animals. "Just like in the muscles, we saw the responses in the skin were dramatically improved when the stem cells were alerted," Rando said. In addition to pinpointing possible ways to prepare people for surgeries or other situations in which they might sustain wounds, the researchers are intrigued by the role HGF and HGFA might play in aging. It's known that the pathway activated by these proteins is less active in older people and animals. "Stem cell activity diminishes with advancing age, and older people heal more slowly and less effectively than younger people. Might it be possible to restore youthful healing by activating this pathway?" said Rando. "We'd love to find out." The work is an example of Stanford Medicine's focus on precision health, the goal of which is to anticipate and prevent disease in the healthy and precisely diagnose and treat disease in the ill. Article: HGFA Is an Injury-Regulated Systemic Factor that Induces the Transition of Stem Cells into GAlert, Joseph T. Rodgers, Matthew D. Schroeder, Chanthia Ma, Thomas A. Rando, Cell Reports, doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.03.066, published 18 April 2017.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

A new tsunami warning system could have saved many of the 22,000 people killed by the massive tsunami following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, had it been in place there at the time. That’s the message from simulations assessing how the system – now installed elsewhere in Japan – would have responded to the Tohoku quake itself. They show that the system, based on a network of cable-connected seismic and pressure sensors placed on the seabed along quake-prone faults, would have raised the alarm in 7 minutes or less. Following the quake, it actually took 30 minutes for alarms to be sounded. “It would have provided an extra 23 minutes,” says Yuichiro Tanioka of Hokkaido University, who presented the results last week at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria. The earlier warning would have given residents along the Sanriku coast of north-east Japan precious extra time to reach high buildings and other shelters before the tsunami swept over. “Thousands had already been evacuated because of heavy foreshocks, but many of those who remained might have escaped,” says Tanioka. The system he evaluated is already in operation off the south-eastern coast of Japan, monitoring the quake-prone Nankai trough parallel to the coastline. Japan’s National Institute of Disaster Prevention is now installing a network of 125 sensors 30 kilometres apart on the Japan trench that gave rise to the Tohoku quake, so Tanioka used data from the Nankai system to predict how the new one would have performed in 2011. By combining pressure and seismic readings from the sensors with existing data on typical tsunami waveforms, quake-induced sea floor deformations detected by satellites, and data from previous large quakes, Tanioka devised an algorithm to instantly work out the likely tsunami size, which sections of the coastline would be flooded, and how soon. First, he showed that within minutes, the algorithm very accurately predicted the pattern of flooding seen following tsunamis tracked by the Nankai system. Then, using input from that “test run”, he simulated how the new, 125-sensor “S-NET” system being installed on the Japan trench would have reacted to the Tohoku quake. He found that it accurately predicted, again within minutes, the scale and location of actual flooding. “The time to predict the tsunami inundation is about 2 to 4 minutes after the tsunami is generated,” he says. To issue swift, accurate warnings, “we wouldn’t need any information on the earthquake”, he says. Instead, the sensor system would simulate likely flooding based on its incoming seismic and pressure data, and activate the alarm automatically if a tsunami was imminent. Tanioka says that the accuracy of the system needs to be improved further still, but is confident it will provide a faster way to raise the alarm wherever it’s installed. “It could save thousands of lives in the future,” he told New Scientist. “When you evacuate, every minute counts, and even 5 minutes can be crucial,” says Costas Synolakis of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California, who heard Tanioka’s presentation. Synolakis says that the new sensor systems could work well in Japan where tsunamis strike rapidly because they often originate close to the coast. In the US, however, existing warning systems based on deep buoys already work well because most of the tsunamis that arrive there come from far away, such as Chile or Japan, giving much more time to react. Synolakis also questions whether earlier warnings would have saved many more lives after Tohoku, because evacuation centres had been built to cope with magnitude 7.5 incidents rather than the magnitude 8.9 quake. “Even if with a faster warning, if the planning is wrong, many will die,” he says.


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Like drag car racers revving their engines at the starting line, stem cells respond more quickly to injury when they've been previously primed with one dose of a single protein, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Mice given the priming protein recover muscle function more quickly after damage, their skin heals more rapidly and even the shaved area around the injury regrows hair more quickly, the study found. Harnessing the power of this protein may one day help people recover more quickly from surgery or restore youthful vigor to aging stem cells. "We're trying to better understand wound healing in response to trauma and aging," said Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences. "We've shown that muscle and bone marrow stem cells enter a stage of alertness in response to distant injury that allows them to spring into action more quickly. Now we've pinpointed the protein responsible for priming them to do what they do better and faster." Rando, who also directs Stanford's Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging, is the senior author of the study, which will be published April 18 in Cell Reports. Former postdoctoral scholar Joseph Rodgers, PhD, is the lead author. Rodgers is now an assistant professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the University of Southern California. "Our research shows that by priming the body before an injury you can speed the process of tissue repair and recovery, similar to how a vaccine prepares the body to a fight infection," Rodgers said. "We believe this could be a therapeutic approach to improve recovery in situations where injuries can be anticipated, such as surgery, combat or sports." Normally, adult, tissue-specific stem cells are held in a kind of cellular deep freeze called quiescence to avoid unnecessary cell division in the absence of injury. In a 2014 paper published in Nature, Rodgers and Rando showed in laboratory mice that an injury to the muscle of one leg caused a change in the muscle stem cells of the other leg. These cells entered what the researchers called an "alert" phase of the cell cycle that is distinct from either fully resting or fully active stem cells. The fact that muscle stem cells distant from the injury were alerted indicated that the damaged muscle must release a soluble factor that can travel throughout the body to wake up quiescent stem cells. Rodgers and his colleagues found that a protein called hepatocyte growth factor, which exists in a latent form in the spaces between muscle cells and tissue, can activate a critical signaling pathway in the cells by binding to their surfaces. This pathway stimulates the production of proteins important in alerting the stem cells. But it wasn't known how HGF itself became activated. In the new study, Rodgers and his colleagues identified the activating factor by injecting uninjured animals with blood serum isolated from animals with an induced muscle injury. (Mice were anesthetized prior to a local injection of muscle-damaging toxin; they were given pain relief and antibiotics during the recovery period.) After 2.5 days, the researchers found that muscle stem cells from the recipient animals were in an alert state and completed their first cell division much more quickly than occurred in animals that had received blood serum from uninjured mice. "Clearly, blood from the injured animal contains a factor that alerts the stem cells," said Rando. "We wanted to know, what is it in the blood that is doing this?" The researchers found that the serum from the injured animals had the same levels of HGF as the control serum. However, it did have increased levels of a protein called HGFA that activates HGF by snipping it into two pieces. Treating the serum with an antibody that blocked the activity of HGFA eliminated the recovery benefit of pretreatment, the researchers found. In a related experiment, exposing the animals to a single intravenous dose of HGFA alone two days prior to injury helped the mice recover more quickly. They scampered around on their wheels sooner and their skin healed more quickly than mice that received a control injection. They also regrew their hair around the shaved surgical site more completely than did the control animals. "Just like in the muscles, we saw the responses in the skin were dramatically improved when the stem cells were alerted," Rando said. In addition to pinpointing possible ways to prepare people for surgeries or other situations in which they might sustain wounds, the researchers are intrigued by the role HGF and HGFA might play in aging. It's known that the pathway activated by these proteins is less active in older people and animals. "Stem cell activity diminishes with advancing age, and older people heal more slowly and less effectively than younger people. Might it be possible to restore youthful healing by activating this pathway?" said Rando. "We'd love to find out." The work is an example of Stanford Medicine's focus on precision health, the goal of which is to anticipate and prevent disease in the healthy and precisely diagnose and treat disease in the ill. Rando is a member of Stanford's Bio-X, Neurovascular Institute and Cardiovascular Institute. Other Stanford co-authors are former research assistants Matthew Schroeder and Chanthia Ma. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants AG041764, AG036695 and AR062185), the Department of Veterans Affairs, The Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research. Stanford's Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences also supported the work. The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation's top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://med. . The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health. For information about all three, please visit http://med. .


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.techrepublic.com

Box is a cloud service with more to offer than just storage. With the inclusion of collaboration tools, solid SSL encryption, tools that work with your installed office suites, and admin controls, Box enables the secure and reliable synchronization of your files and folders, as well as easy file sharing and team collaboration. This smart person's guide is a quick way to get up to speed on Box. We'll update this guide periodically when news and updates about Box are released. SEE: All of TechRepublic's smart person's guides On the surface, Box works in a similar fashion to most other cloud solutions. You create an account, install the software, log in to your account, and you can start working with your files. There are Box Sync clients available for Mac and Windows; Box Notes clients for Mac and Windows; Box Edit clients for Mac and Windows; Box for iPhone/iPad; Box Capture for iPhone/iPad; Box for Android; Box for Windows Phone; and Box for BlackBerry. If you don't want to install the client software, Box can be used via any web browser. One caveat to using Box (in any form): Even though Box is a collaborative tool and offers an application called Box Edit, you cannot edit documents within Box—you have to use a third-party application such as Microsoft Office, LibreOffice (for Microsoft Office-type files), or Google Docs to create or edit files (the app used will depend upon the file type you're editing). Box offers three pricing tiers: Individual, Business, and Platform. For more details on the plans and their features, look at Box's pricing matrix. * The Starter, Business, and Enterprise plans require a minimum of 3 users. Box takes security seriously. All Box data is encrypted using high-strength TLS encryption. Your data is encrypted at rest using 256-bit AES encryption and is further encrypted using an encryption key-wrapping strategy (again, using 256-bit AES encryption). Upgrade to a Business account and enjoy these additional security features: Box employs multiple data centers with reliable power sources and backup systems to ensure 99.9% uptime and redundancy. The idea that the cloud is just a means to store and sync files is outdated. Users need more than just a place to house files...they need to work. Box rises above the sync-only crowd by making it easy to create teams for collaboration and employ local default file editors. In addition, Box understands that more companies are depending upon cloud technology, which is why its Business plans offers plenty of features, including custom branding, mobile security controls, integration with enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers, data loss prevention, workflow automation, customized admin roles, enhanced session and account management, and device trust. Box gets business. If you work in an industry that requires HIPAA compliance, Box makes it easy to comply with regulatory mandates and supports defensible e-discovery and data-retention policies. Box supports global customers with ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SOC 1 (SSAE 16), PCI DSS, and FedRAMP, as well as in-region data storage in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Canada. Box allows integration with developer APIs, as well as SDKs for web and mobile development. This means businesses aren't limited to the current menu of features and can roll their own, so Box can be made to do exactly what the business needs—as long as your company has the necessary DevOps resources. Box was originally developed as a pet project of Aaron Levie while he was studying at the University of Southern California in 2004. It became clear Levie was onto something special, so he left school and formed Box with his childhood friend, Dylan Smith, who became the company's CFO. In 2005, Box announced its initial release. SEE: Download: The inside story of how Aaron Levie and his childhood friends built Box into a $2 billion business (TechRepublic) Box made its first acquisition in 2009 when it purchased Increo Solutions. This addition made Box's document collaboration and preview technology possible. In July 2012 Box secured $12 million in funding from General Atlantic and was joined by investors Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ Growth, New Enterprise Associates, SAP Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and Social + Capital Partnership. On January 23, 2015 Box held its initial public offering on the NYSE. The IPO was $14.00, and Box opened at $20.20; its closing price that day was $23.23. Box's IPO raised $175 million and raised approximately $1.6 billion in capital. Box is not alone in the cloud storage/sync world; in fact, there are plenty of competitors in the market. This is a list of some of Box's competitors. Each of these services offer cloud sync capabilities, but not all of them include the ability to edit documents or add teams, so your mileage may vary. Once you create an account with Box, you can immediately start working with the service. In order to edit documents, you will need to have a default document editor installed or have a subscription to a cloud-based office suite, such as Office 365 or Google Docs. To ensure your data is sync'd to your mobile device, install one of the Box mobile apps: Box for iPhone/iPad, Box Capture for iPhone/iPad, Box for Android, Box for Windows Phone, or Box for BlackBerry.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.npr.org

For Some, Pre-Hospice Care Can Be A Good Alternative To Hospitals Gerald Chinchar, a Navy veteran who loves TV Westerns, isn't quite at the end of his life, but the end is probably not far away. The 77-year-old's medications fill a dresser drawer, and congestive heart failure puts him at high risk of emergency room visits and long hospital stays. He fell twice last year, shattering his hip and femur, and now gets around his San Diego home in a wheelchair. Above all, Chinchar hopes to avoid another long stint in the hospital. He still likes to go watch his grandchildren's sporting events and play blackjack at the casino. "If they told me I had six months to live, or [could instead] go to the hospital and last two years, I'd say leave me home," he said. "That ain't no trade for me." Most aging people would choose to stay home in their last years of life. But for many, it doesn't work out: They go in and out of hospitals, getting treated for flare-ups of various chronic illnesses. It's a massive problem that costs the health care system billions of dollars and has galvanized health providers, hospital administrators and policymakers to search for solutions. Sharp HealthCare, the San Diego health system where Chinchar receives care, has devised a way to fulfill his wishes and reduce costs at the same time. It's a pre-hospice program called Transitions, designed to give elderly patients the care they want at home and keep them out of the hospital. Social workers and nurses from Sharp regularly visit patients in their homes to explain what they can expect in their final years, help them make end-of-life plans and teach them how to better manage their diseases. Physicians track their health and scrap unnecessary medications. Unlike hospice care, patients in this program don't need to have a prognosis of six months or less to live, and they can continue getting treatment that is aimed at curing their illnesses, not just treating symptoms. Before the Transitions program started, the only option for many patients in a health crisis was to call 911 and be rushed to the emergency room. Now, they can get round-the-clock access to nurses, one phone call away. "Transitions is for just that point where people are starting to realize they can see the end of the road," said Dr. Dan Hoefer, a San Diego palliative care and family practice physician, and one of the creators of the program. "We are trying to help them through that process," he said, "so it's not filled with chaos." The importance of programs like Transitions is likely to grow in coming years as 10,000 baby boomers — many with multiple chronic diseases — turn 65 every day. Transitions was among the first of its kind, but several such programs, formally known as home-based palliative care, have since opened around the country. They are part of a broader push to improve people's health and reduce spending through better coordination of care and more treatment outside hospital walls. But a huge barrier stands in the way of pre-hospice programs: There is no clear way to pay for them. Health providers typically get paid for office visits and procedures, and hospitals still get reimbursed for patients in their beds. The services provided by home-based palliative care don't fit that model. In recent years, however, pressure has mounted to continue moving away from traditional payment systems. The Affordable Care Act has established new rules and pilot programs that reward the quality of care, rather than the quantity. Those changes are helping to make home-based palliative care a more viable option. In San Diego, Sharp's palliative care program has a strong incentive to reduce the cost of caring for its patients, who are all in Medicare managed care. The nonprofit health organization receives a fixed amount of money per member each month, so it can pocket what it doesn't spend on hospital stays and other costly medical interventions. Palliative care focuses on relieving patients' stress, pain and other symptoms as their health declines, and it helps them maintain their quality of life. It's for people with serious illnesses, such as cancer, dementia and heart failure. The idea is for patients to get palliative care and then move into hospice care, but they don't always make that transition. The 2014 report "Dying in America," by the Institute of Medicine, recommended that all people with serious advanced illness have access to palliative care. Many hospitals now have palliative care programs, delivered by teams of social workers, chaplains, doctors and nurses, for patients who aren't yet ready for hospice. But until recently, few such efforts had opened beyond the confines of hospitals. Kaiser Permanente set out to address this gap nearly 20 years ago, creating a home-based palliative care program that it tested in California and later in Hawaii and Colorado. Two studies by Kaiser and others found that participants were far more likely to be satisfied with their care and more likely to die at home than those not in the program. (Kaiser Health News is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.) One of the studies, published in 2007, found that 36 percent of people receiving palliative care at home were hospitalized in their final months, compared with 59 percent of those getting standard care. The overall cost of care for those who participated in the program was a third less than for those who didn't. "We thought, 'Wow. We have something that works,'" said Susan Enguidanos, an associate professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California's Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, who worked on both studies. "Immediately we wanted to go and change the world." But Enguidanos knew that Kaiser Permanente was unlike most health organizations. It was responsible for both insuring and treating its patients, so it had a clear financial motivation to improve care and control costs. Enguidanos said she talked to medical providers around the nation about this type of palliative care, but the concept didn't take off at the time. Providers kept asking the same question: How do you pay for it without charging patients or insurers? "I liken it to paddling out too soon for the wave," she said. "We were out there too soon. ... But we didn't have the right environment, the right incentive." Hoefer is a former hospice and home health medical director and has spent years treating elderly patients. He learned an important lesson when seeing patients in his office: Despite the medical care they received, "they were far more likely to be admitted to the hospital than make it back to see me." When his patients were hospitalized, many would decline quickly. Even if their immediate symptoms were treated successfully, they would sometimes leave the hospital less able to take care of themselves. They would get infections or suffer from delirium. Some would fall. Hoefer's colleague, Suzi Johnson, a nurse and administrator in Sharp's hospice program, saw the opposite side of the equation. Patients admitted into hospice care would make surprising turnarounds once they stopped going to the hospital and started getting medical and social support at home, instead. Some lived longer than doctors had expected. In 2005, the pair hatched a bold idea: What if they could design a home-based program for patients before they were eligible for hospice? Thus, Transitions was born. They modeled their new program in part on the Kaiser experiment, then set out to persuade doctors, medical directors and financial officers to try it. But they met resistance from physicians and hospital administrators who were used to getting paid for seeing patients. "We were doing something that was really revolutionary, that really went against the culture of health care at the time," Johnson said. "We were inspired by the broken system and the opportunity we saw to fix something." Despite the concerns, Sharp's foundation board gave the pair a $180,000 grant to test out Transitions. And in 2007, they started with heart failure patients and later expanded the program to those with advanced cancer, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other progressive illnesses. They started to win over some doctors who appreciated having additional eyes on their patients, but they still encountered "some skepticism about whether it was really going to do any good for our patients," said Dr. Jeremy Hogan, a neurologist with Sharp. "It wasn't really clear to the group ... what the purpose of providing a service like this was." Nevertheless, Hogan referred some of his dementia patients to the program and quickly realized that the extra support for them and their families meant fewer panicked calls and emergency room trips. Hoefer said doctors started realizing home-based care made sense for these patients — many of whom were too frail to get to a doctor's office regularly. "At this point in the patient's life, we should be bringing health care to the patient, not the other way around," he said. Across the country, more doctors, hospitals and insurers are starting to see the value of home-based palliative care, said Kathleen Kerr, a health care consultant who researches palliative care. "It is picking up steam," she said. "You know you are going to take better care of this population, and you are absolutely going to have lower health care costs." Providers are motivated in part by a growing body of research. Two studies of Transitions in 2013 and 2016 reaffirmed that such programs save money. The second study, led by outside evaluators, showed it saved more than $4,200 per month on cancer patients and nearly $3,500 on those with heart failure. The biggest differences occurred in the final two months of life, said one of the researchers, Brian Cassel, who is palliative care research director at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond. Nurse Sheri Juan and social worker Mike Velasco, who both work for Sharp, walked up a wooden ramp to the Chinchars' front door one recent January morning. Juan rolled a small suitcase behind her containing a blood pressure cuff, a stethoscope, books, a laptop computer and a printer. Late last year, Gerald Chinchar's doctor recommended he enroll in Transitions, explaining that his health was in a "tenuous position." Chinchar has nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He has had breathing problems much of his life, suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — ailments he partly attributes to the four decades he spent painting and sandblasting fuel tanks for work. Chinchar also recently learned he had heart failure. "I never knew I had any heart trouble," he said. "That was the only good thing I had going for me." Now he's trying to figure out how to keep it from getting worse: How much should he drink? What is he supposed to eat? That's where Juan comes in. Her job is to make sure the Chinchars understand Gerald's disease so he doesn't have a flare-up that could send him to the emergency room. She sat beside the couple in their living room and asked a series of questions: Any pain today? How is your breathing? Juan checked his blood pressure and examined his feet and legs for signs of more swelling. She looked through his medications and told him which ones the doctor wanted him to stop taking. "What we like to do as a palliative care program is streamline your medication list," she told him. "They may be doing more harm than good." His wife, Mary Jo Chinchar, said she appreciates the visits, especially the advice about what Gerald should eat and drink. Her husband doesn't always listen to her, she said. "It's better to come from somebody else." Outpatient palliative care programs are cropping up in various forms. Some new ones are run by insurers, others by health systems or hospice organizations. Others are for-profit, including Aspire Health, which was started by former senator Bill Frist in 2013. Sutter Health operates a project called Advanced Illness Management to help patients manage symptoms and medications and plan for the future. The University of Southern California and Blue Shield of California recently received a $5 million grant to provide and study outpatient care. "The climate has changed for palliative care," said Enguidanos, the lead investigator on the USC-Blue Shield project. Ritchie said she expects even more home-based programs in the years to come. "My expectation is that much of what is being done in the hospital won't need to be done in the hospital anymore and it can be done in people's homes," she said. Challenges remain, however. Some doctors are unfamiliar with the approach, and patients may be reluctant, especially those who haven't clearly been told they have a terminal diagnosis. Now, some palliative care providers and researchers worry about the impact of President Donald Trump's plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and revamp Medicare — efforts that seem to be back in play. Gerald Chinchar, who grew up in Connecticut, said he never expected to live into old age. In his family, Chinchar said, "you're an old-timer if you make 60." Chinchar said he gave up drinking and is trying to eat less of his favorite foods — steak sandwiches and fish and chips. He just turned 77, a milestone he credits partly to the pre-hospice program. "If I make 80, I figured I did pretty good," he said. "And if I make 80, I'll shoot for 85." This story is part of NPR's partnership with Kaiser Health News. KHN is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. You can follow Anna Gorman on Twitter: @annagorman.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS) has selected a paper co-authored by Dr. Lewis Johnson of Alelo Inc., Prof. James Lester of North Carolina State University and the late Dr. Jeff Rickel of the University of Southern California to receive the 2017 Influential Paper Award. Entitled “Animated pedagogical agents: Face-to-face interaction in interactive learning environments,” the paper published in the year 2000 laid the groundwork for a wide range of educational products that incorporate animated agent technology. The IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award recognizes publications that have made influential and long-lasting contributions to the field. Candidate award publications must have been published at least a decade prior to the year of award, and the judging panel seeks nominations from the community. The award will be formally presented at this year’s Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems conference in São Paulo, Brazil. The paper introduced and surveyed a new paradigm for interactive learning environments by using animated pedagogical agents. It argued for combining animated interface agent technologies with intelligent learning environments, yielding intelligent systems that can interact with learners in natural, human-like ways to achieve better learning outcomes. The concept has become an essential element for engaging, effective learning experiences. For example, the first Marine battalion that returned from Iraq without any combat fatalities learned Arabic language and culture in an immersive Alelo learning game that was populated with pedagogical agents. Dr. Johnson, Alelo’s CEO, said: “We are humbled and grateful to receive this prestigious award. Some of the ideas in the paper have become well established, especially in game-based learning environments. Others are only now being realized thanks to advances in immersive interfaces that enable rich face-to-face interaction between learners and technology." Prof. Lester added: “We deeply appreciate IFAAMAS’ recognition of this research. Since the paper’s publication almost two decades ago, it has been enormously gratifying to see pedagogical agents evolve into a mature technology that is finding broad application in education and training.” The paper appeared in the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, and is one of the journal's most frequently cited papers. Prof. Judy Kay, the journal’s co-editor-in-chief, said, “This work by pioneers and leaders of our field has provided the foundation for a whole new way to frame innovative educational software.” (Full citation: W.L. Johnson, J.W. Rickel, J.C. Lester, "Animated pedagogical agents: Face-to-face interaction in interactive learning environments." International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education 11, 47-78. 2000.) The paper was one of two recognized by IFAAMAS in 2017. The other was by Prof. Justine Cassell of Carnegie Mellon University and colleagues, entitled “Animated conversation: Rule-based generation of facial expression, gesture and spoken intonation for multiple conversational agents,” published by SIGGRAPH in 1994. Animated agents play a prominent role in Alelo’s products and solutions. Virtual role-players give learners opportunities to develop and practice their communication skills, and assess their performance and level of mastery. Virtual coaches provide feedback with a human-like touch, to encourage and show empathy. Alelo’s new Enskill platform now provides learning solutions incorporating animated agents to learners around the world. Dr. Lewis Johnson, CEO of Alelo, adds, “Enskill is the foundation of our ambitious expansion into educational markets.” Alelo creates learning solutions that help people acquire new skills and apply them when it counts, changing the way people communicate. The company has been delivering learning solutions based on virtual role-play simulations since 2003 when it spun out as a DARPA-funded research project from the University of Southern California. The U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program funded Alelo to develop Web-based learning technology for cultural awareness, which was distinguished as a success story. Alelo’s new Enskill platform is being used by learners around the world to develop better communication skills. Website IFAAMAS is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote science and technology in the areas of artificial intelligence, autonomous agents and multiagent systems. Website


Bret Butler, lead REALTOR® with his family practice, Butler & Butler, has joined The Expert Network©, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Mr. Butler has been chosen as a Distinguished Real Estate Professional™ based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout his career. Mr. Butler outshines others in his field due to his excellent education, numerous awards and recognitions, and outstanding customer service. Mr. Butler received a scholarship to the University of Southern California where he earned his B.A. with honors in 2004. He then briefly worked as a wholesale account executive with Countrywide and IndyMac, where in his first year he became one of the top sales executives in the Western United States. Then, in 2009, Mr. Butler brought his innovative marketing and competitive sales approach to his family's real estate company, Butler & Butler. In his first year in real estate, Mr. Butler was awarded the National Association of Realtors' “30 Under 30” award. Today, Mr. Butler is a Five Star Award Winner for Customer Satisfaction. Exposed to the world of real estate from a very young age, Mr. Butler learned the business from his parents. With less 10 years of experience in real estate, Mr. Butler already brings a wealth of knowledge to his industry and, in particular, to his area of expertise, the integration of innovative technology-based marketing with an unparalleled dedication to customer service. When asked why he decided to pursue a career in real estate, Mr. Butler said: "Real Estate has been in my blood since I was a very young boy and it was natural that I go into the business that my family has dedicated their lives to. I want to continue with the family tradition of real estate excellence." After joining the family business, Mr. Butler quickly helped to elevate Butler & Butler to its current position as the area’s top producing team with an emphasis on personal and professional client representation. Through his integration of websites, social media, and personal technology, Mr. Butler has propelled the business by tripling the company's sales volume in his first year. Mr. Bulter and his team at Butler & Butler have earned a reputation for excellence throughout the community, and are referred to as the “Greater Woodinville Experts” while continuing to aggressively expand their service level to all of the Seattle Eastside. As a thought-leader in his industry, Mr. Butler continues to implement an aggressive and multifaceted marketing campaign in order to maintain a high quality of service for his clients. He notes the importance of ethical, honest and devoted representation throughout the entire transaction resulting in the development of lifelong clients: "We understand the need to continually innovate and push our industry forward. As our industry continues to change and grow, we want to make sure we continue to bring a level of consistent professionalism, experience, and knowledge unsurpassed in the industry." The Expert Network© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from Bret Butler. The Expert Network© is an invitation-only reputation management service that is dedicated to helping professionals stand out, network, and gain a competitive edge. The Expert Network selects a limited number of professionals based on their individual recognitions and history of personal excellence.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

A team at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, has demonstrated a novel hydrogen storage system based on the release of hydrogen from catalytic dehydrogenative coupling of methanol and 1,2-diamine. The hydrogen-generating step of this process can be termed as “amine reforming of methanol”—in analogy to traditional steam methane reforming, but without the concurrent production of CO (unlike steam reforming) or CO (by complete methanol dehydrogenation). A paper on the team’s work, which is part of their long-term development of aspects of the “Methanol Economy” (earlier post), is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The products of the dehydrogenation reaction—N-formamide and N,N′- diformamide—are hydrogenated back to the free amine and methanol by a simple hydrogen pressure swing. Both H “loading” and “unloading” are performed in the presence of the same Ru-pincer catalysts. As a hydrogen carrier, liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) have gained significant attention recently as they are safe to store and transport, have high wt % H storage capacities and can offer fully reversible H loading and unloading. They can also enable a relatively easy transition by allowing the utilization of existing fuel infrastructures. Formic acid (HCO H), over the years, has been explored thoroughly as a potential LOHC, and highly efficient catalysts for both H loading and unloading have been designed by us and others. However, a maximum H storage of only 4.4 wt % is feasible in HCO H with the emission of stoichiometric amount of CO for each H . Methanol (CH OH) is a good alternative because of its 12.6 wt % H content, ease of handling and convenient production. Steam reforming of CH OH is generally the preferred method to obtain H and is performed at high temperatures (240−260 °C) and high pressures over heterogeneous catalysts. Recently, it was discovered that the use of homogeneous catalysts, mainly Ru13 and Fe14 pincer complexes, could also enable aqueous CH OH dehydrogenation at much lower temperatures (2 reduction to CH OH has also been reported using similar pincer catalysts. However, to the best of our knowledge, aqueous reforming of CH OH and the reverse reaction (CO hydrogenation to CH OH) in the presence of same homogeneous catalytic system has not yet been demonstrated. The authors said that their process has three main advantages over traditional methanol steam reforming in the context of sustainable H storage and transportation: The USC process is essentially a carbon-neutral cycle—the carbon is trapped in the form of formamide (or urea in the case of primary amine). In theory, the team said, a hydrogen storage capacity as high as 6.6 wt % is achievable. Dehydrogenative coupling and the subsequent amide hydrogenation proceed with good yields (90% and >95% respectively, with methanol and N,N′-dimethylethylenedi- amine as dehydrogenative coupling partners). The paper describing the method was the the last major paper co-authored by USC’s first Nobel laureate, the late George Olah. “The Methanol Economy” is a concept that the Olah-Prakash team first began refining in the mid-1990s, right after Olah was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1194 for his contributions to carbocations—the name that Olah himself coined for ions that have a positively charged carbon atom. According to Olah and Prakash, the goal of a methanol-based economy would be to develop renewable sources of energy, led by methanol, that could mitigate the problem of climate change caused by carbon emissions, as well as the US dependence on other countries for energy, particularly oil. Prakash, Olah and their team have been focused on finding a way to extract hydrogen fuel from methanol in ways that are not only carbon-neutral, but can even be carbon-positive. The research was supported by the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

Palaeontologists are fighting to save a site in China that contains fossils of some of the earliest animals on record. This month they gained a temporary halt to the phosphate mining that has already destroyed some fossil beds. The threatened site is part of the Doushantuo geological formation in the Weng’an region of Guizhou province in southern China. It is rich in minerals that preserve soft tissues and cellular structures and became famous in the late 1990s, after scientists began finding well-preserved fossils of sponges and embryos of other unusual animals, dating to around 600 million years ago. These discoveries challenged the theory that virtually all major animal lineages emerged during the ‘Cambrian explosion’ some 540 million years ago1, 2. Microscopic fossils assumed to be embryos that were excavated from Doushantuo have, more recently, sparked debates over the origins of bilateral symmetry in animals. “We may never find a comparable site and may lose the chance to truly understand early animal evolution on Earth,” says Dave Bottjer, a palaeobiologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, who estimates that just 5% of the site’s fossils have been recovered. “If nothing is done, it will be a great loss,” he says. On a visit to Doushantuo this month, palaeontologist Zhu Maoyan of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology was stunned to find a newer fossil site, opened in 2015, completely stripped of fossil-bearing sediment by phosphate mining. The locale that produced the area’s first fossils had been destroyed years ago. And a third key fossil-hunting area, which produced most of the new fossils found in the formation in the past 15 years, was buried by a landslide that had been triggered by mining in 2014.  “It is really a disaster,” says Zhu. Phosphate miners operated in Doushantuo before the palaeontologists got there and, to some extent, enabled discoveries by churning up fresh rocks, says Andrew Knoll, a palaeontologist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who worked there in the 1990s. “But if mining has accelerated to the point that the Weng’an beds will soon be completely mined out, the benefits of fresh exposure are moot.” The pace of mining has increased dramatically over the past two years, says Zhu. Over the past two decades, he and others had tried to convince the local government that the sites needed protection. But Zhu says he now realizes that these efforts, often hampered by miscommunication and high turnover of local-government officials, were not enough. Zhu and his colleagues turned to more forceful action. He organized a workshop, held on 2–3 April in Weng’an, and invited scientists, including Bottjer, to make a case for preserving the site. The coalition scored an early victory. Several days after the workshop, local-government officials ordered a halt to mining in the area, while they work out a strategy. Zhu says that measures are likely to include finding other sites for mining. He hopes eventually to get a central fossil-hunting zone, 1.2 square kilometres in area, closed to mining and designated a national geological park. A solution that has been successful elsewhere is to have miners work in tandem with scientists, says Knoll. “It wouldn’t be difficult to employ a geologist to mine the main fossiliferous beds, which are not very thick, and store samples, possibly tons of them, for future research.” But the hullaballoo might have created another problem, says Shuhai Xiao, a geobiologist at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, who worked at Doushantuo in the 1990s. Zhu's appeals have drawn attention from Chinese media, raising the site's profile among black market dealers. “So far, this site has not been on the radar of fossil dealers,” he says. “But this may change if there is a public demand for specimens from this site.”


As the Trump administration considers a rollback of strict Obama-era fuel standards, which aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, a recent study has provided a new argument in their favor: They might actually save lives. One common way automakers improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles — that is, how much gasoline they consume per mile — is to reduce the weight of the automobile. And the new study, a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in April, suggests that a reduction in the overall average weight of vehicles on the road may actually result in fewer fatalities as a result of car crashes. This means that, even for critics who are not interested in reducing greenhouse gases from cars, there’s still an argument to be made for keeping vehicle fuel standards, said Antonio Bento, an environmental economics expert at the University of Southern California and one of the study’s co-authors. “What the paper shows is that even if those environmental benefits are very, very low, if nothing else, from a safety reason, you have a reason to move forward with the standards,” he said. The federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or “CAFE” standards, were first introduced in the United States in 1975. In 2012, the Obama administration approved a more stringent set of standards, which would steadily increase the efficiency of certain vehicles through 2025. The standards also changed some of the ways efficiency requirements are applied to cars of different sizes. Facing opposition from the automobile manufacturing industry, the administration later conducted a review of the standards but concluded at the end of 2016 that they would remain in place. However, the Trump administration decided in March to reopen this review — meaning it could decide to weaken or remove the Obama administration’s update. [Trump’s review of car fuel standards could lead to fight with California, environmentalists] Pushback against the CAFE standards is hardly new. Over the decades, industry members and other critics have levied a variety of arguments against them, and one of the most common from the beginning has been the idea that fuel standards sacrifice safety. Many critics have suggested that lighter-weight cars — which are typically more fuel efficient — are more likely to produce fatalities in an crash. This may indeed be the case if you’re looking at a weight change in only one car. Say you observe a crash between two SUVs, both around the same size. If you downsize one of those vehicles to a Smart car, the chance of its passengers being injured or killed may increase. On the other hand, if you downsize both vehicles, the overall risk of fatality might actually become smaller than it was to begin with. The researchers argue that, in the past, critics have only examined the effects of reducing an individual vehicle’s weight and not the standards’ overall effects on all vehicles in circulation — an important distinction. “What CAFE actually does is it doesn’t just lower the weight of one vehicle,” said Kevin Roth, an environmental economist at the University of California at Irvine and another co-author of the study. “It changes the entire composition of the fleet.” The researchers (who included Bento, Roth and co-author Kenneth Gillingham of Yale University) focused their study on two effects of the original CAFE standards: a reduction in the average weight of all vehicles on the road and a change in the dispersion of their weight — that is, how much variation there is in the weight of individual cars. Dispersion is what really causes safety problems, the researchers note. If you think about the scenario with the SUV and the Smart car, the problem wasn’t just that the Smart car, by itself, is a lightweight vehicle — it’s that it was pitted against a much heavier one. Automakers’ responses to fuel economy standards tend to produce a reduction in the average weight of vehicles on the road, as well as an increase in their weight dispersion. The relevant safety question, then, is whether an increase in weight dispersion, or a decrease in mean weight, is the more dominant outcome. To investigate, the researchers analyzed data on vehicles sold in the United States between 1954 and 2005 to see how their weight changed after the original CAFE standards were introduced in 1975. Next, they collected police reports on 17 million car crashes across 13 states between 1989 and 2005, noting which ones produced fatalities and the weights of the vehicles involved. Finally, the researchers conducted a series of simulations to see how these crashes might have turned out if the original CAFE standards had not been introduced and the vehicles’ weights had not been adjusted. The simulations suggested that 171 to 439 fewer fatalities occurred each year with the standards in place than without them, depending on factors such as the year and the location of the crashes. “I think one of the findings of this study is that these [safety] concerns have been drummed up as the reason to get rid of this standard,” Roth said. “We’re essentially showing that these concerns are probably overblown.” In fact, some of the changes the Obama administration made to the CAFE standards were designed to address safety concerns, according to Joshua Linn, a senior fellow at environmental research nonprofit Resources for the Future. (Linn was not involved with the new study but has provided comments on the working paper to the authors.) The study suggests that, in reality, this was probably never actually a problem, he said. However, the new study addresses only the effects of the original CAFE standards — not the Obama administration’s update, which may take years to produce noticeable changes in the composition of vehicles on the road, Roth noted. This means that the researchers can’t say for certain that their findings apply to the Obama standards under review. But they may suggest that “there’s no reason to think that removing the standards is going to improve safety on the road,” Roth said. It remains to be seen whether the safety argument will become a major point in the talks about the CAFE standards’ future under the Trump administration. So far, many of these discussions have revolved around the costs and logistics manufacturers face in complying with the current rules. Last week, automakers reportedly met with the heads of the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency to discuss some of these issues. And it may be that the Obama standards are adjusted rather than removed. However, should a rollback begin to appear imminent, “then actually our study could become incredibly influential in the sense that our study looks at a historical perspective on the standards,” Bento said. “You start measuring what would happen if you were to truly remove or to lower the standards, potentially.”


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A recent survey of over 2,000 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer found that half of those who undergo bilateral mastectomy after genetic testing don't actually have mutations known to confer increased risk of additional cancers, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and four other U.S. medical centers. Instead the women had what are known as variants of uncertain significance, or VUS, that are often eventually found to be harmless. A bilateral mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which both of a woman's breasts are removed after a diagnosis of cancer in one breast. The finding highlights the need for genetic counselors to help both patients and physicians better understand the results of genetic testing intended to determine a woman's risk for cancer recurrence or for developing a separate cancer in her ovaries or unaffected breast. "Our findings suggest a limited understanding among physicians and patients of the meaning of genetic testing results," said Allison Kurian, MD, associate professor of medicine and of health research and policy at Stanford. "Clinical practice guidelines state that variants of uncertain significance should not be considered to confer high cancer risk, and that patients with these variants should be counseled similarly to a patient whose genetic test is normal. However, many of the physicians surveyed in our study stated that they manage these patients in the same way as they do patients with mutations known to increase a woman's risk." Only about half of the surveyed women who received genetic testing ever discussed their test results with a genetic counselor, and between one-quarter and one-half of the surveyed breast cancer surgeons indicated they treat women with VUS no differently than women with known cancer-associated mutations, the researchers found. Furthermore, some women undergo surgery prior to receiving genetic testing or seeing the results. Kurian is the lead author of the study, which will be published online April 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. University of Michigan researchers Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, and Steven Katz, MD, MPH, share senior authorship. The findings come on the heels of a February study by many of the same researchers showing that physicians often fail to recommend genetic testing for breast cancer patients at high risk for mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which are strongly associated with ovarian and other cancers. In this study, the researchers asked 2,502 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer whether they had received genetic testing, and if so, whether the testing and any discussion of results occurred before or after breast surgery. They found that of the 666 women who had received testing, 59 percent were considered to have a high risk of a dangerous mutation in a cancer-associated gene. About one-quarter of these women had genetic testing only after surgery -- meaning critical decisions were made about their care before information about their mutation status was available. Delays in testing were particularly pronounced in women who lacked private health insurance. The researchers then polled the surgeons who treated the women in the survey. They found that, when compared with doctors who had treated 51 or more newly diagnosed breast cancer patients during the previous year, doctors who had treated fewer than 21 breast cancer patients were: less confident in discussing the results of genetic testing with patients, more likely to order the genetic test without referring women to a genetic counselor, less likely to delay surgery in order to have test results available for surgical decision-making and more likely to manage a patient with variants of uncertain significance in the same way they would manage patients with proven high-risk mutations in cancer-associated genes. "Our findings suggest that we are not maximizing the benefit of genetic testing for our patients with breast cancer because of barriers related to timeliness of testing and lack of expertise necessary to incorporate results into treatment decisions," said Katz, who is a professor of medicine and of health management and policy at the University of Michigan. Although genetic testing has become more common and less costly, it's also become more confusing. The advent of multiplex gene panels that simultaneously test for mutations or variations in many different genes can render results that are difficult to interpret without the help of a trained genetic counselor. Uncertainties as to the meaning of test results may lead less-experienced surgeons to recommend aggressive treatment in the form of bilateral mastectomies, or cause women to opt for what they may feel is the safest option to manage their cancer. Conversely, high-risk women who do carry dangerous mutations need this information to make informed decisions about their health care choices. "The gaps identified in this study are striking," said Jagsi, professor and deputy chair of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan. "It is critical to ensure that patients at high risk for known cancer-associated mutations are fully informed of the potential benefits of genetic testing, and counseled accurately about the meaning of test results." "We're learning that clinicians' knowledge of breast cancer genetics can be highly variable," said Kurian, who is a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute. "It's important for women at high risk of carrying a dangerous mutation to see someone with expertise in cancer genetics when planning their care. Unfortunately, in many cases genetic counselors may not be optimally integrated into the care of newly diagnosed cancer patients, making it difficult to rapidly triage these patients. Our study highlights the urgent need for improved patient access to cancer genetics experts, particularly genetic counselors, and for educating physicians about the appropriate use of genetic testing and interpretation of test results." Researchers from the University of Southern California, Emory University and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center also contributed to the study. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant P01CA163233), the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kurian has received research funding from Invitae, Myriad Genetics, Ambry Genetics, GenDx and Genomic Health. Stanford's departments of Medicine and of Health Research and Policy also supported the work. The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation's top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://med. . The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health. For information about all three, please visit http://med. .


News Article | April 29, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has determined which online colleges and universities in the U.S. have the most military-friendly programs and services. Of the 50 four-year schools that earned honors, Drexel University, University of Southern California, Duquesne University, Regis University and Harvard University were the top five. 50 two-year schools were also recognized; Laramie County Community College, Western Wyoming Community College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Mesa Community College and Kansas City Kansas Community College ranked as the top five. A complete list of top schools is included below. “Veterans and active duty members of the military often face unique challenges when it comes to transitioning into college, from navigating the GI Bill to getting used to civilian life,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “These online schools not only offer military-friendly resources, they also offer an online format, allowing even the busiest members of our armed forces to earn a degree or certificate.” To be included on the “Most Military-Friendly Online Colleges” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. Each college is also evaluated on additional data points such as the number and variety of degree programs offered, military tuition rates, employment services, post-college earnings of alumni and military-related academic resources. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Most Military-Friendly Online Colleges” list, visit: The Most Military-Friendly Online Four-Year Colleges in the U.S. for 2017 include: Arizona State University-Tempe Auburn University Azusa Pacific University Baker University Boston University Canisius College Carnegie Mellon University Columbia University in the City of New York Creighton University Dallas Baptist University Drexel University Duquesne University George Mason University Hampton University Harvard University Illinois Institute of Technology Iowa State University La Salle University Lawrence Technological University Lewis University Loyola University Chicago Miami University-Oxford Michigan Technological University Missouri University of Science and Technology North Carolina State University at Raleigh Norwich University Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus Purdue University-Main Campus Regis University Rochester Institute of Technology Saint Leo University Southern Methodist University Syracuse University Texas A & M University-College Station University of Arizona University of Denver University of Florida University of Idaho University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan-Ann Arbor University of Minnesota-Twin Cities University of Mississippi University of Missouri-Columbia University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus University of Southern California University of the Incarnate Word Washington State University Webster University The Most Military-Friendly Online Two-Year Colleges in the U.S. for 2017 include: Aims Community College Allen County Community College Amarillo College Barton County Community College Bunker Hill Community College Casper College Central Texas College Chandler-Gilbert Community College Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cochise College Columbus State Community College Cowley County Community College Craven Community College Dakota College at Bottineau East Mississippi Community College Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell Campus Edmonds Community College Fox Valley Technical College GateWay Community College Grayson College Hutchinson Community College Kansas City Kansas Community College Lake Region State College Laramie County Community College Lone Star College Mesa Community College Metropolitan Community College Mitchell Technical Institute Mount Wachusett Community College Navarro College Northeast Community College Norwalk Community College Ozarka College Phoenix College Prince George's Community College Quinsigamond Community College Rio Salado College Rose State College Sheridan College Shoreline Community College Sinclair College Southeast Community College Southwestern Oregon Community College State Fair Community College Truckee Meadows Community College Western Nebraska Community College Western Oklahoma State College Western Texas College Western Wyoming Community College Yavapai College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: cen.acs.org

George A. Olah, the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Southern California and the recipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has died. He was 89. Olah was a towering figure, physically and scientifically, who earned international chemistry fame 40 years ago for his novel use of “magic acid,” a concoction of antimony pentafluoride and fluorosulfonic acid that is billions of times as strong as . . .


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives. Technology is slowly taking away our competencies and muting our need to be aware of our surroundings -- including other people. We rather like it. We feel unburdened. Our phones can give us opinions and even answers. We can just sit and stare. The next step in allowing us to calmly take leave of our senses comes from the University of Southern California. Its researchers have taken it on themselves to create technology that defuses lovers' tiffs before they happen. The aim is to ensure that no shoes, bottles of beer, or words than can never be forgiven are ever tossed in anger. A joint project between the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Dornsife College of Arts, Letters and Sciences created a wearable that the researchers call "a sort of seismometer of the shakes, rattles and rolls in a relationship." The first step, of course, was to quantify the amount of tension in a relationship. Everything is a number these days. So the researchers grabbed every possible gadget that a couple might use and analyzed body temperature, heart activity, sweat, and audio recordings. They even threw in an assessment of language content and vocal intensity. Once they'd completed their analysis, they injected it into their proprietary algorithm. The result? The researchers claim their algorithm was up to 86 percent successful in detecting conflict episodes between lovers. The researchers say they now have the basis of a wearable that can send notifications to lovers five minutes before they scream at each other, slam doors or even utter an intemperate hiss. The idea isn't, however, to make money from the device. This is research-only. "Our overarching goal, and hope, is to develop technologies for measuring and analyzing human bio-behavioral processes in natural settings to improve our scientific understanding of the human condition," Shri Narayanan, the engineering lead on the study, told me. The boffins see not only benefits to lasting love, but improvements to human health, as someone is warned to go meditate for 10 minutes instead of launching a tirade at an innocent partner. Not everyone reacts to conflict the same way, however. "We hope to be able incorporate signal-derived prompts to improve relationship functioning and to expand to develop individualized models," Adela Timmons, graduate researcher in psychology on the study, told me. "We know that all people do not react the same way during arguments or when feeling upset." But what if this technology does eliminate relationship woes? Won't it make life a little too sanitized? Won't it destroy the joys of make-up sex? And what are the French and Italians going to make movies about? It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to the heart of the matter. Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Although the odds of developing breast cancer are nearly identical for black and white women, black women are 42 percent more likely to die from the disease. This mortality gap - driven by social and environmental, as well as biological factors - continues to persist. A large, multi-institutional study, published on-line May 4, 2017, in JAMA Oncology, was designed to understand this gap by beginning to unravel the germline genetic variations and tumor biological differences between black and white women with breast cancer. This is the first "ancestry-based comprehensive analysis of multiple platforms of genomic and proteomic data of its kind," the authors note. Findings from this study could lead to more personalized risk assessment for women of African heritage and hasten the development of novel approaches designed to diagnose specific subtypes of aggressive breast cancers early and treat them effectively. One new finding is that black women with hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative breast cancer had a higher risk-of-recurrence score than white women. The study also confirmed that black patients were typically diagnosed at a younger age and were more likely to develop aggressive breast-cancer subtypes, including basal-like or triple-negative cancers (tumors lacking estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2), as well as other aggressive tumor subtypes. "People have long associated breast cancer mortality in black women with poverty, or stress, or lack of access to care, but our results show that much of the increased risk for black women can be attributed to tumor biological differences, which are probably genetically determined," said study author Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, professor of medicine and human genetics at the University of Chicago. "The good news," she said, "is that as we learn more about these genetic variations, we can combine that information with clinical data to stratify risk and better predict recurrences - especially for highly treatable cancers - and develop interventions to improve treatment outcomes." "This is a great example of how team science and investments in science can accelerate progress in identifying the best therapies for the most aggressive breast cancers," said co-author Charles Perou, PhD, a member of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of genetics, and pathology & laboratory medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. "In the largest dataset to date that has good representation of tumors from black women, we did not find much difference between the somatic mutations driving tumors in black and white women," he added. "Yet black women were more likely to develop aggressive molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Now we provide data showing that differences in germline genetics may be responsible for up to 40 percent of the likelihood of developing one tumor subtype versus another." The study used DNA data collected from 930 women - 154 of predominantly African ancestry and 776 of European ancestry - available through The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), established by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute. The researchers combed through the data methodically, looking for racial differences in germline variations (normal DNA), somatic mutations (tumor acquired), subtypes of breast cancers, survival time, as well as gene expression, protein expression and DNA methylation patterns. "Most significantly," explained first author Dezheng Huo, MD, PhD, associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Chicago, "we observed a higher genetic contribution to estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer in blacks." Black women were more likely to get these highly aggressive cancers. This is one of the first studies to connect genetics to this racial difference in tumor subtype frequencies. The study also revealed 142 genes that showed differences in expression levels according to race. One gene, CRYBB2 (Crystallin Beta B2), was consistently higher in tumors from black patients within each breast cancer subtype, as well as in normal tissues, suggesting it may be a race-specific gene. The researchers also found somatic mutations in 13 genes or DNA segments that differed in frequency in tumors from black and white women. One of them, a mutated gene called TP53, was more common in black women (52%) than white women (31%) and was a strong predictor of disease recurrence. "Despite the relatively short follow-up time in the TCGA dataset, we were able to detect a significant racial disparity in patient survival using breast cancer-free interval as the endpoint between patients of African and European ancestries," said co-first author Hai Hu, PhD, vice president for research at the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber. "Most of the worst outcomes came from basal-like subtype breast cancer patients of African Ancestry." "Black women in all categories, including the most common breast cancers, were likely to have a worse prognosis," Olopade said. "Understanding the basic, underlying genetic differences between black and white women, the higher risk scores and the increased risk of recurrence should lead us to alternative treatment strategies," said Perou. The crucial long-term benefit of this study, according to Olopade, is that "it is a step toward the development of polygenic biomarkers, tools that can help us better understand each patient's prognosis and, as we learn more, play a role in choosing the best treatment." "Genes matter," she added. "This is a foot in the door for precision medicine, for scientifically targeted treatment." "This study now outlines a path for us to personalize breast cancer risk assessment and develop better strategies to empower all women, especially black women, to know their genetics and be more proactive in managing their risk," Perou said. The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Department of Defense. Also contributing were Toshio Yoshimatsu and Jason Pitt from the University of Chicago; Katherine Hoadley and Melissa Troester of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jianfang Liu, Yuanbin Ru, and Lori Sturtz from the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber, Windber, PA; Suhn Rhie of the University of Southern California; Eric Gamazon of Vanderbilt University; Andrew Cherniack from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Tara Lichtenberg from Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio; Carl Shelly from the University of Wisconsin; Christopher Benz from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, Calif.; Gordon Mill from The MD Anderson Cancer Center; Peter Laird from the Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI; and Craig D. Shriver from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD. To reach co-author Charles Perou, PhD, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of genetics, and pathology & laboratory medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, contact Laura Oleniacz, Science Communications Manager, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, 919-445-4219, laura_oleniacz@med.unc.edu. To reach co-author Hai Hu, PhD, vice president for research at the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine at Windber contact Natalie Bombatch, Communications & Marketing Manager, Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, Windber, PA, 814-467-3447, nbombatch@windbercare.org.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: compositesmanufacturingmagazine.com

During the American Institute of Architects (AIA) show, April 27-29 in Orlando, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) held its fourth annual Composites Pavilion. The pavilion was an opportunity for architects, engineers and designers to learn about the value of FRP products in architectural applications from ACMA and many members of its Architectural Division. Architecture is a rapidly growing market for ACMA members, and each year ACMA’s Architectural Division works to create opportunities in architecture through the development of standards and other educational events. This year’s Composites Central, at the heart of the pavilion, featured 16 presentations from eight speakers on a wide variety of topics including durability, restoration, thermal break construction, structural insulated panels, and translucent FRP. The pavilion also featured the second annual Composites Challenge, coordinated by David Riebe of Windsor Fiberglass. The challenge asked architectural students working in teams to develop a unique composite architectural/building component or assembly. Contest judges were looking for the students’ designs to push the limits of architecture beyond the traditional cladding and secondary components currently identified within the International Building Code. Last year’s contest yielded a number of amazing designs, and this year’s students raised the bar even higher. This year’s winning design, “MANIFOLD,” came from Clemson University. The design deviated from traditional mold-making methods by applying folding techniques that capitalize on fiberglass composites’ flexible textile qualities to create a complex and structural full-scale column. “The ACMA Composites Challenge was an excellent opportunity for all,” said Joseph Choma, Assistant Professor, Clemson University. “It began with industry leaders sharing their expertise, and ended with students and faculty sharing their design research investigations. The reciprocal dialogue between industry and academia energized the explorations – knowing that what we do could contribute to advancements in composites manufacturing for architectural applications.” Two teams from the University of Southern California tied for second place. One group designed “The Incubator,” which is a proposed extension of the university’s Marshall School of Business. The Incubator is a modular structure with composite panels designed to allow daylighting throughout the building to create an open environment for students. The other group from USC is also a proposed design for a satellite campus for the Marshall School of Business, known as “Plug N’ Play.” As the team explains, the site faces challenges of constrained accessibility for construction, poor daylighting, a narrow floorplate, and strict building regulations. Composites help overcome these challenges and serve as a viable replacement for steel.


Mexican ecologist José Sarukhán will urge scientists to become stewards of the environment, during an Award Ceremony held in his honor in Washington DC tomorrow, May 4. In a time where facts and logic are disregarded, and the natural world is being destroyed - scientists can no longer just be scientists - they must also strive to be stewards of the environment. This is one of the biggest challenges facing environmental science today, says 2017 Tyler Prize laureate Professor José Sarukhán, who will deliver the annual Tyler Prize lecture tomorrow, May 4, in Washington DC. The Mexican ecologist will be in the US to accept the prize, the world's premiere award for environmental achievement - often referred to as the 'Nobel for the Environment'. Professor Sarukhán is one of the most celebrated scientists and public intellectuals in all of Latin America, having developed one of the world's first national government departments dedicated to understanding and preserving biodiversity in his home country of Mexico. Professor Sarukhán says academia has had a long-standing contract with the public, to make them aware of the implications of their research. "But now, environmental scientists are charged with an even heavier responsibility: to make people see that ignoring the laws that govern the natural world has a critical connection to human risk," Sarukhán said. "If we don't do this, we ignore the matrix of nature that is essential for our wellbeing - and of the rest of the species with which we cohabit." "To inspire people to change their way of acting and living - that takes a certain kind of personality. It is tough work, but if you have the will, then I urge you to do it." At this 44th Tyler Prize lecture, Sarukhán's talk will be followed by a panel with some of the United States' leading environmental scientists - such as Jane Lubchenco and Harold Mooney. The panel, Translating Research Into Policy Action: How Can Environmental Science Move Forward Quickly? will be moderated by John Iadarola, host of the political news network, The Young Turks. Sarukhán is himself an exemplary model of an environmental advocator and communicator. As an ecologist, he has been published in esteemed journals and accepted into the top international academies - but has always made time to deliver free public lectures to help others understand the impact humans have on the environment. His role as communicator reached a career pinnacle when, in 1992, after having built a strong relationship with his country's then-president, Carlos Salinas, Sarukhán was able to convince him to fund a government level department dedicated entirely to biodiversity. At the time, this model was one of the first of its kind in the world, which was later replicated in other countries. Sarukhán's model, now called CONABIO, is today a powerful department within the Mexican government, with 300 staff and an annual operating budget of $14 million US. Click here to download a press kit, including photos and an embeddable video of Professor Sarukhán. Established by the late John and Alice Tyler in 1973, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is one of the first international premier awards for environmental science, environmental health and energy. Recipients encompass the spectrum of environmental concerns, including environmental policy, health, air and water pollution, ecosystem disruption and loss of biodiversity, and energy resources. The Prize is awarded by the international Tyler Prize Executive Committee with the administrative support of the University of Southern California. For more information on the Tyler Prize go to: http://www.


Patent
University of Southern California | Date: 2017-02-08

A method for alleviating a symptom of multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune or inflammatory disease includes a step of identifying a subject having multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune diseases. A fasting mimicking diet is administered to the subject for a first predetermined time period, the fasting mimicking diet providing less than 50 % of the subjects normal caloric intake. A non-fasting diet is administered to the subject for a second time period following the first time period. The non-fasting diet provides the subject greater than 60 percent of the subjects normal caloric intake but a calorie intake necessary for the subject to return to a normal healthy weight.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.csmonitor.com

—Imagine: At the push of a button a team of machines jumps into action, taking a digital blueprint and transforming an empty lot into one with a physical home in just days. They finish on time, on budget, and with zero waste. This Jetsons-like vision of an automated future has come largely true for car manufacturing. Now engineers hope buildings will be next. From Apis Cor’s 3-D printed house to the MIT Media Lab’s new multipurpose robotic arm, startups and research teams alike aim to spark a digital revolution in an analog industry that has thus far proved resistant to disruption. In a California parking lot last July, a 50-foot wide, 12-foot tall semi-domed structure arose over just two days, as a a robotic arm mounted on self-driving, tank-like treads spent 13.5 hours depositing layer after layer of plastic foam until it ballooned into a giant yellow beehive. MIT hopes its Digital Construction Platform (DCP), which it presented in the journal Science Robotics in April, will lay the foundation for future buildings. “We’ve seen huge, huge advances through digital processes for the design side,” says lead author Steven Keating. “But we haven’t yet really seen that translate to the construction site.” Despite the alleged dawning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, builders still build much like they did before the first one: stacking rectangles, sometimes by hand. Construction is a massive industry, consuming more raw resources than any other and accounting for 11 percent of all global economic activity. It's inefficient, too: construction produces half of all US solid waste, which makes it a prime target for the precision that robotics offers. Yet construction sites, unlike indoor assembly lines, lie at the mercy of Mother Nature. And we rely on buildings for our safety far more than we do most other other consumer products. As such, the construction industry has proven understandably reluctant to innovate, explains Dr. Keating in a phone interview. “They have to be worried about structures standing for 50 to 100 years. Lives are at stake.” Still, some groups think they’ve made a breakthrough. In February, recent startup Apis Cor’s robotic arm built up layers of quick-drying concrete into the walls of what it calls the first on-site 3-D printed home. Completing the $10,000 model house took one month, including wiring and finishing, and printing the walls took one day, according to spokesperson Konstantin Nefedev. It’s easy to see the technology’s allure. Printing walls allows builders to accurately predict the time and materials needed, which could bring down costs. Indeed, the University of Southern California is developing the similar Contour Crafting system with the explicit goal of making housing affordable for millions of people in developing countries. But technology is just one part of the equation. “There are several obstacles – the first being construction codes and regulations,” writes Mr. Nefedev in an email. Russian testing facilities have certified Apis Cor’s concrete as being able to withstand multiple freeze/thaw cycles, but MIT’s Dr. Keating wonders how eagerly the safety-conscious industry will adopt materials that haven't proven themselves with decades of use. Keating prefers technologies that buttress, rather than replace, the current methods. “Baby steps is how we can actually start to change the industry. If you’re doing it all from the ground up in one giant leap, it’s very difficult to integrate with existing construction worksites’ techniques.” Instead of going straight for erecting a whole building with novel materials, MIT chose to construct a mold suitable for pouring regular concrete as their proof of concept, a method that is backward-compatible with half a century of construction history. “If you can come in and replace one key step, which is making that formwork, which defines the entire building’s geometry, you’re already using a system that’s widely used in construction. That’s how you can maybe get some actual real structures built and scale very quickly,” explains Keating. The robotic arm’s flexibility unshackles cost from form, opening the door to the strength of curvy buildings. “If you look in nature, have you ever seen an animal or insect that has a square-shaped shell?” he asks. Keating’s also quick to point out that the demo showcases just one feature of the DCP: “I want to emphasize that we don’t call this a 3-D printer. This is a platform.” Like a human hand, its functions are tool-expandable, and currently include site excavation, cutting, surface finishing, and welding chain links into stiff rods. Alexander Schreyer, a professor of building technology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, agrees that 3-D printing could bring welcome efficiency gains, but suspects it will never be a one-size-fits-all solution. “In construction you’ve always had a mixture of techniques,” he says in a phone interview. “Rather than saying ‘I’m going to 3-D print an entire house,’ I think a combination is ultimately a really good approach.” Mr. Schreyer says developments are already underway in the form of prefabricated parts that builders assemble onsite: “It’s like putting an Ikea piece of furniture together: it just fits.” Such techniques are readily available, but their lack of widespread popularity suggests that innovation in construction may face barriers besides technology and regulation. “We all live in houses that have roughly the same functionality and roughly the same aesthetic. Why on Earth should every house have to be re-thought from the ground up?” asks Schreyer. “The car industry produces some things in mass and customizes just enough so that people are happy. It’s mind-boggling that that doesn’t happen with houses,” he continues. “I’m assuming it can only be perception.” People may assume prefabricated buildings are less durable, he speculates. Ultimately, economics may force innovation. Despite the vast sums of money involved, the industry faces margins in the low single-digits. Any method that offers a path to profit will handsomely reward companies who adopt it, but Schreyer suggests none has hit that tipping point yet. Whether the houses of the future are cast, printed, or prefabricated, experts agree that change is coming, albeit gradually. “I think the world will become more automated, and that includes construction, but I think it’s going to be a lot slower than people expect,” says Keating. In that sense the construction may resemble concrete itself, with its imperceptible but unstoppable flow. “We all move in a single general direction,” says Nefedev, about MIT’s DCP. “All technologies are progressing in incremental steps – whether it be a step or a leap forward, only time and practice will tell.”


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Drug users born in the 1980s and 1990s are turning to injection drug more quickly than previous generations, a USC-led study suggests The prescription opioid epidemic is shrinking the time it used to take drug users to progress to drug injection, a new Keck School of Medicine of USC-led study suggests. The study may predict the next national public health threat related to prescription painkiller abuse, said Ricky Bluthenthal, lead author of the study and a professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. "The prescription opioid epidemic is creating a heroin epidemic, which will create an injection drug use epidemic," Bluthenthal said. "We've seen the first two. Now we're waiting to see the last emerge on the national level. I predict we'll see an uptick in injection-related diseases over the next couple of years." The study, published in April in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, is based on 776 drug users in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Participants born in the 1980s or 1990s, on average, took six years to escalate from first illicit drug use to first drug injection. The average for participants born in the 1970s was nine years. "The more rapid transition to injection is an impact of the prescription opioid-to-heroin use phenomenon," Bluthenthal said. "Heroin is most efficiently used via injection as compared to other formerly popular drugs such as crack cocaine or even cocaine." Injection-related diseases can include HIV, which affects more than 1.2 million Americans, and hepatitis C, which affected an estimated 3.9 million Americans in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who inject drugs also are at elevated risk for sexually transmitted infections, abscesses and soft-tissue infections, mental health disorders, drug overdose and dying young, the study stated. Researchers found that the first drug injected changed in tandem with national drug use trends. In general, however, heroin and prescription opiate pills were the most common first drug injected. Drug users born in the 1980s and 1990s moved quicker from initial illicit drug use to syringe use than those born in the '70s. In California, 2,014 deaths were attributed to opioid-related poisoning or overdose, according to the state's Department of Public Health. Nationwide, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids -- more than 165,000 deaths -- has nearly quadrupled since 1999, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. On an average day in America, some 3,900 people begin nonmedical use of prescription opioids, creating more than $55 billion in health and social costs each year. Prescription opioids are the current drug of choice and has been for nearly two decades, Bluthenthal said. Heroin was popular in the 1970s, crack cocaine in the 1980s and marijuana in the 1990s. For the past 20 years, people who inject drugs were considered an aging population. Long-acting opioid-based medications became available in the 1990s, Bluthenthal said. Once use of prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin skyrocketed, however, the downward trend changed, he noted. In the study, researchers divided the 776 individuals into birth cohorts: those born before the 1960s, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s or later. All participants had injected in the last month. About 33 percent were white, 30 percent were African-American and 25 percent were Latino. The adult participants completed a survey that asked if they had ever used a list of drugs, including crack cocaine, methamphetamine, speed, heroin, tranquilizers, nonmedical use of prescription opioids and buprenorphine. They reported when they first used that drug, the first time they injected and what drug they injected. More than half had injected heroin, powder cocaine and methamphetamine. More than 30 percent reported they had injected crack cocaine and opioid painkillers. Longer time until first injection was associated with drug treatment prior to first injection. This fact suggests that drug interventions may help keep drug users away from the needle. "We need to get ahead of a possible drug injection epidemic," Bluthenthal said. "What works for Latinos in East Los Angeles might not work for people in West Virginia. We need to come up with prevention activities responsive to specific cultures, generations and locales to combat the move to drug injection." USC researchers from multiple disciplines, including the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, are trying to solve the intractable problem of unnecessary drug prescriptions. Previous USC-led research found that a "nudge" reduces doctors' unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions. Researchers ranked and shared a list of physicians most likely to give an unnecessary prescription and used pop-up boxes that required physicians to justify their pharmacy order. Interventions such as these potentially can prevent unnecessary opioid prescriptions and the negative effects that result from painkiller addiction. Bluthenthal is collecting more data from younger people using opioids to better understand the drug behaviors associated with younger generations. The research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Cancer Institute via nearly $1.7 million in awards. Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is among the nation's leaders in innovative patient care, scientific discovery, education, and community service. It is part of Keck Medicine of USC, the University of Southern California's medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area. This includes the Keck Medical Center of USC, composed of the Keck Hospital of USC and the USC Norris Cancer Hospital. The two world-class, USC-owned hospitals are staffed by more than 500 physicians who are faculty at the Keck School. The school today has approximately 1,650 full-time faculty members and voluntary faculty of more than 2,400 physicians. These faculty direct the education of approximately 700 medical students and 1,000 students pursuing graduate and post-graduate degrees. The school trains more than 900 resident physicians in more than 50 specialty or subspecialty programs and is the largest educator of physicians practicing in Southern California. Together, the school's faculty and residents serve more than 1.5 million patients each year at Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital, as well as USC-affiliated hospitals Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. Keck School faculty also conduct research and teach at several research centers and institutes, including the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at USC, the USC Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute, the USC Roski Eye Institute and the USC Institute of Urology. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck School of Medicine among the Top 40 medical schools in the country. For more information, go to keck.usc.edu.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Mothers protect their babies and teach them habits to stay healthy and safe as they grow. A new UCLA-led study shows that beneficial bacteria from mothers do much the same thing. The study found that 30 percent of the beneficial bacteria in a baby's intestinal tract come directly from mother's milk, and an additional 10 percent comes from skin on the mother's breast. What's more, babies who breast-feed even after they begin eating solid food continue reaping the benefits of a breast milk diet -- a growing population of beneficial bacteria associated with better health. After birth, beneficial bacteria from the mother and environment colonize the infant's intestine, helping digest food and training the baby's immune system to recognize bacterial allies and enemies. But scientists still don't completely understand the mechanisms that help babies establish a healthy gut microbiome -- the diverse community of bacteria that inhabits the intestines. "Breast milk is this amazing liquid that, through millions of years of evolution, has evolved to make babies healthy, particularly their immune systems," said Dr. Grace Aldrovandi, the study's senior author and a professor of pediatrics and chief of infectious diseases at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. "Our research identifies a new mechanism that contributes to building stronger, healthier babies." The findings appear in the May 8 issue of the JAMA Pediatrics. The study, which looked at 107 mother-infant pairs, is the largest to date showing the transfer of bacteria in the milk into the baby's gut, Aldrovandi said. Earlier research has shown that a balanced bacterial community in the intestine is a key factor in people's susceptibility to immune diseases. For example, children who develop type 1 diabetes have abnormalities in their gut microbiomes; what's more, a healthy gut appears to protect against allergies, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease throughout life. "We're appreciating more and more how these bacterial communities, particularly in the intestine, help guard against the bad guys," Aldrovandi said. "We know from animal model systems that if you get good bacteria in your gut early in life, you're more likely to be healthy." Throughout the babies' first year of life, researchers collected samples of breast milk and infant stool, and swabs from the skin around the nipple. They analyzed the samples to assess which bacteria were shared between mothers and infants, and calculated the relative abundance of the bacteria. The origin of breast milk bacteria remains unclear; one hypothesis is that it travels to the breast from the mother's intestine. The project did not address how babies who are fed only formula acquire heathy microbiomes. Aldrovandi and colleagues want to expand the research to evaluate more samples in late infancy to better understand the transition to an adult microbiome. They would like to test in the lab how bacteria that are provided through breast-feeding are critical in infants' immune responses, and determine which beneficial bacteria are missing in people who have certain diseases. The study's other authors are Dr. Pia Pannaraj and Dr. Jeffrey Bender of University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine; Shangxin Yang, Adrienne Rollie, Helty Adisetiyo, Fan li and Dr. Chiara Cerini of Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Sara Zabih, Pamela Lincez, Kyle Bittinger, Aubrey Bailey and Frederic Bushman of University of Pennsylvania; and Dr. John Sleasman of Duke University School of Medicine. The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (K23 HD072774-02, K12 HD052954-09, R01 AI052845, R01 AI1001471, UM1AI106716) and the University of Pennsylvania Center for AIDS Research (P30 AI045008).


News Article | May 7, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

This article originally appeared on The Conversation. Republished with permission from Millenials Strike Back, the 56th edition of Griffith Review. Selected pieces consist of extracts, or long reads in which Generation Y writers address the issues that define and concern them. The oldest surviving great work of literature tells the story of a Sumerian king, Gilgamesh, whose historical equivalent may have ruled the city of Uruk some time between 2800 and 2500 BC. A hero of superhuman strength, Gilgamesh becomes instilled with existential dread after witnessing the death of his friend, and travels the Earth in search of a cure for mortality. Twice the cure slips through his fingers and he learns the futility of fighting the common fate of man. Transhumanism is the idea that we can transcend our biological limits, by merging with machines. The idea was popularised by the renowned technoprophet Ray Kurzweil (now a director of engineering at Google), who came to public attention in the 1990s with a string of astute predictions about technology. In his 1990 book, The Age of Intelligent Machines (MIT Press), Kurzweil predicted that a computer would beat the world’s best chess player by the year 2000. It happened in 1997. He also foresaw the explosive growth of the internet, along with the advent of wearable technology, drone warfare and the automated translation of language. Kurzweil’s most famous prediction is what he calls “the singularity”—the emergence of an artificial super-intelligence, triggering runaway technological growth—which he foresees happening somewhere around 2045. In some sense, the merger of humans and machines has already begun. Bionic implants, such as the cochlear implant, use electrical impulses orchestrated by computer chips to communicate with the brain, and so restore lost senses. At St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne, my colleagues are developing other ways to tap into neuronal activity, thereby giving people natural control of a robotic hand. These cases involve sending simple signals between a piece of hardware and the brain. To truly merge minds and machines, however, we need some way to send thoughts and memories. In 2011, scientists at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles took the first step towards this when they implanted rats with a computer chip that worked as a kind of external hard drive for the brain. First the rats learned a particular skill, pulling a sequence of levers to gain a reward. The silicon implant listened in as that new memory was encoded in the brain’s hippocampus region, and recorded the pattern of electrical signals it detected. Don't miss: Brigitte Macron, Former Drama Teacher, Prepares for New Role: French First Lady Next the rats were induced to forget the skill, by giving them a drug that impaired the hippocampus. The silicon implant then took over, firing a bunch of electrical signals to mimic the pattern it had recorded during training. Amazingly, the rats remembered the skill – the electrical signals from the chip were essentially replaying the memory, in a crude version of that scene in The Matrix where Keanu Reeves learns (downloads) kung-fu. Again, the potential roadblock: the brain may be more different from a computer than people such as Kurzweil appreciate. As Nicolas Rougier, a computer scientist at Inria (the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation), argues, the brain itself needs the complex sensory input of the body in order to function properly. Separate the brain from that input and things start to go awry pretty quickly. Hence sensory deprivation is used as a form of torture. Even if artificial intelligence is achieved, that does not mean our brains will be able to integrate with it. Whatever happens at the singularity (if it ever occurs), Kurzweil, now aged 68, wants to be around to see it. His Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever (Rodale Books, 2004) is a guidebook for extending life in the hope of seeing the longevity revolution. In it he details his dietary practices, and outlines some of the 200 supplements he takes daily. Failing that, he has a plan B. The central idea of cryonics is to preserve the body after death in the hope that, one day, future civilisations will have the ability (and the desire) to reanimate the dead. Both Kurzweil and de Grey, along with about 1,500 others (including, apparently, Britney Spears), are signed up to be cryopreserved by Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona. Offhand, the idea seems crackpot. Even in daily experience, you know that freezing changes stuff: you can tell a strawberry that’s been frozen. Taste, and especially texture, change unmistakably. The problem is that when the strawberry cells freeze, they fill with ice crystals. The ice rips them apart, essentially turning them to mush. That’s why Alcor don’t freeze you; they turn you to glass. After you die, your body is drained of blood and replaced with a special cryogenic mixture of antifreeze and preservatives. When cooled, the liquid turns to a glassy state, but without forming dangerous crystals. You are placed in a giant thermos flask of liquid nitrogen and cooled to -196℃, cold enough to effectively stop biological time. There you can stay without changing, for a year or a century, until science discovers the cure for whatever caused your demise. “People don’t understand cryonics,” says Alcor president Max More in a YouTube tour of his facility. “They think it’s this strange thing we do to dead people, rather than understanding it really is an extension of emergency medicine.” The idea may not be as crackpot as it sounds. Similar cryopreservation techniques are already being used to preserve human embryos used in fertility treatments. “There are people walking around today who have been cryopreserved,” More continues. “They were just embryos at the time.” One proof of concept, of sorts, was reported by cryogenics expert Greg Fahy of 21st Century Medicine (a privately funded cryonics research lab) in 2009. Fahy’s team removed a rabbit kidney, vitrified it, and reimplanted into the rabbit as its only working kidney. Amazingly, the rabbit survived, if only for nine days. More recently, a new technique developed by Fahy enabled the perfect preservation of a rabbit brain though vitrification and storage at -196℃. After rewarming, advanced 3D imaging revealed that the rabbit’s “connectome”—that is, the connections between neurons—was undisturbed. Unfortunately, the chemicals used for the new technique are toxic, but the work does raise the hope of some future method that may achieve the same degree of preservation with more friendly substances. That said, preserving structure does not necessarily preserve function. Our thoughts and memories are not just coded in the physical connections between neurons, but also in the strength of those connections—coded somehow in the folding of proteins. That’s why the most remarkable cryonics work to date may be that performed at Alcor in 2015, when scientists managed to glassify a tiny worm for two weeks, and then return it to life with its memory intact. Now, while the worm has only 302 neurons, you have more than 100 billion, and while the worm has 5,000 neuron-to-neuron connections you have at least 100 trillion. So there’s some way to go, but there’s certainly hope. In Australia, a new not-for-profit, Southern Cryonics, is planning to open the first cryonics facility in the Southern Hemisphere. “Eventually, medicine will be able to keep people healthy indefinitely,” Southern Cryonics spokesperson and secretary Matt Fisher tells me in a phonecall. “I want to see the other side of that transition. I want to live in a world where everyone can be healthy for as long as they want. And I want everyone I know and care about to have that opportunity as well.” To get Southern Cryonics off the ground, ten founding members have each put in A$50,000, entitling them to a cryonic preservation for themselves or a person of their choice. Given that the company is not-for-profit, Fisher has no financial incentive to campaign for it. He simply believes in it. “I’d really like to see [cryonic preservation] become the most common choice for internment across Australia,” he says. Fisher admits there is no proof yet that cryopreservation works. The question is not about what is possible today, he says. It’s about what may be possible in the future. Cathal D. O'Connell is the Centre Manager, BioFab3D (St Vincent's Hospital), University of Melbourne. Carrie-Anne Moss on 'Humans' Season 2, 'The Matrix' Reunion with Keanu Reeves and Technophobia


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The number of preschool children in the U.S. with visual impairment is projected to increase by more than 25 percent in the coming decades, with the majority of visual impairment resulting from simple uncorrected refractive error, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology. Visual impairment (VI) in early childhood can significantly impair development of visual, motor, and cognitive function. There has been a lack of accurate data characterizing the prevalence of VI in the U.S. preschool population. Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and colleagues examined prevalence data from two major population-based studies to determine demographic and geographic variations in VI in children ages 3 to 5 years in the United States in 2015 and estimated projected prevalence through 2060. Visual impairment was defined as decreased visual acuity (VA) ( The researchers found that in 2015 in the United States, it is estimated that 174,00 children ages 3 to 5 years were visually impaired, most (n = 120,600; 69 percent) owing to simple uncorrected refractive error, and that Hispanic white children were the most affected (n = 65,942; 38 percent). The 45-year projections indicate a 26 percent increase in VI in 2060. During this period, Hispanic white children will remain the largest demographic group in terms of the absolute numbers of VI cases (44 percent of the total). Multiracial American children will have the greatest proportional increase (137 percent), and non-Hispanic white children will have the largest proportional decrease (21 percent) in the number of VI cases. From 2015 to 2060, the states projected to have the most children with VI are California, Texas and Florida. Several limitations of the study are noted in the article. "Given that most preschool VI can be prevented or treated by low-cost refractive correction and that early intervention is critical for better visual outcomes, vision screening in preschool age and follow-up care will have a significant, prolonged effect on visual function and academic and social achievements and therefore should be recommended for all children," the authors write. "A coordinated surveillance system is needed to continuously monitor the effect of preschool VI on the national, state, and local levels over time." Editor's Note: This study was supported by grants from the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md., and unrestricted grants from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York. All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.


News Article | May 6, 2017
Site: www.nytimes.com

Employees arrived for work on Friday at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.


Washington DC, May 5, 2017: Mexican ecologist José Sarukhán last night used his acceptance speech for the world's highest environmental honor, the Tyler Prize, to challenge the Trump administration's attitude towards science. He particularly criticized the administration's' plan to build an impermeable wall between the US and Mexico. "If this wall is built, many mammal species, such as Jaguars, will not be able to move freely in their original territories. This will not only lead to genetic isolation -- in some populations, that could potentially mean extinction." Professor Sarukhán addressed the proposed border wall in the context of international scientific collaboration. He was being recognized for his establishment of CONABIO -- a world-first federal institution charged with protecting national biodiversity. "A society that develops fear of independent science cannot advance at the pace which its growth and needs demand. A sound and enlightened government must support excellence and and independent scientific activity... for the global good," the 2017 Tyler Laureate said. Professor Sarukhán called for the US to return to the evidence-based thinking that founded one of the most advanced democracies in the world. "Scientific integrity must underpin public policy-making -- and it must be adequately funded. This is precisely what has made the US the great nation that it is at the moment: a world class public scientific research in all fields, together with the strongest system of research-based universities in the world." At this 44th Tyler Prize Award Ceremony, Professor Sarukhán accepted his gold medal award, a plaque, and a check for $200,000 US. The black tie formalities were preceded by a panel featuring two leading US environmental scientists -- Jane Lubchenco and Harold Mooney. The panel, Translating Research Into Policy Action: How Can Environmental Science Move Forward Quickly? was moderated by John Iadarola, host of the political news network, The Young Turks. Click here to download a press kit including photos of the Award ceremony and lecture, as well as a video of Professor Sarukhán. Established by the late John and Alice Tyler in 1973, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is one of the first international premier awards for environmental science, environmental health and energy. Recipients encompass the spectrum of environmental concerns, including environmental policy, health, air and water pollution, ecosystem disruption and loss of biodiversity, and energy resources. The Prize is awarded by the international Tyler Prize Executive Committee with the administrative support of the University of Southern California. For more information on the Tyler Prize go to: http://www.


News Article | April 22, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 37th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were awarded tonight at the University of Southern California’s Bovard Auditorium. Hosted by comedian Tig Notaro, the ceremony recognized outstanding literary achievement in 11 categories, including the new Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose. The Book Prizes ceremony is a prologue to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the nation’s largest literary and cultural festival. This year’s 22nd annual festival will convene more than 600 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs on the USC campus. Novelist Thomas McGuane was honored with the 2016 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, and Ruebén Martinez received the Innovator’s Award for his work honoring Latino writers and expanding the community of readers throughout Southern California. A complete list of this year’s Book Prizes winners follows. The complete list of 2016 Book Prizes finalists and previous winners is available at latimes.com/BookPrizes, as is eligibility and judging information. Festival of Books news and updates are available on the event website, Facebook page and Twitter feed (#bookfest).


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Vernon L. Grose’s new book, Death is Not Fatal ($19.99, paperback, 9781498472234; $9.99; eBook, 9781498472241) explains to readers that death is the most feared subject in our world today, yet the subject least discussed. From war, accidents, crime, aging, terror, overdose, disease, disaster, or suicide, death still awaits everyone. Since both death and life are constantly being redefined in our changing world, this unique analysis re-examines death as only a change of address, not the end of existence. After a lengthy career with NASA and NTSB involving death related to space and aviation disasters, this leading authority speaks out with an insightful perspective on how death doesn’t determine destination but only removes any opportunity to establish it. The author unlocks unconventional thinking -- revealing how everyone actually experiences not one but two deaths. With the first death (moral), it sets up your ultimate destination, while the second death (physical) marks the end of your life on earth. Grose says, “Is Death the end of your existence? Is it possible that every person will exist forever? Of two competing worldviews, Judeo-Christian – which addresses both life and death, and Secular Humanism – which avoids death by focusing exclusively on life, there are two essential facts that will challenge our thinking. Delving deeply into these two contrasting viewpoints replaces death fears with the simple freedom and peace one can come to know regarding their ultimate destiny.” Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Vernon L. Grose, DSc expertise has been solicited in 500 plus TV interviews world-wide, addressing the terror of sudden, massive, and unexpected death. Educated as a physicist, he worked on NASA Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs –acquainted with 10 of the 12 men who walked on the Moon. Author of three other books and over 60 professional publications, he has traveled in 54 countries on six continents. He has taught University of Southern California graduate students in US, Germany and Spain – also teaching executives for UCLA in Mexico. Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 12,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order Death is Not Fatal through Ingram Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. The book is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Discovered more than 100 years ago, black phosphorus was soon forgotten when there was no apparent use for it. In what may prove to be one of the great comeback stories of electrical engineering, it now stands to play a crucial role in the future of electronic and optoelectronic devices. With a research team’s recent discovery, the material could possibly replace silicon as the primary material for electronics. The team’s research, led by Fengnian Xia, Yale’s Barton L. Weller Associate Professor in Engineering and Science, is published in the journal Nature Communications. With silicon as a semiconductor, the quest for ever-smaller electronic devices could soon reach its limit. With a thickness of just a few atomic layers, however, black phosphorus could usher in a new generation of smaller devices, flexible electronics, and faster transistors, say the researchers. That’s due to two key properties. One is that black phosphorus has a higher mobility than silicon — that is, the speed at which it can carry an electrical charge. The other is that it has a bandgap, which gives a material the ability to act as a switch; it can turn on and off in the presence of an electric field and act as a semiconductor. Graphene, another material that has generated great interest in recent years, has a very high mobility, but it has no bandgap. However, finding a way to control the bandgap of black phosphorus is critical to realizing its potential applications. To that end, the researchers have discovered that the material’s bandgap is most controllable at a certain thickness. By applying a vertical electric field to the material at that thickness, the researchers can “tune” the bandgap, essentially shrinking the moderate gap to the point where it nearly closes. That opens up many potential applications for black phosphorus, such as imaging tools, night vision devices, mid-infrared optical modulators, on-chip spectroscopy tools, and other optoelectronic technologies. “Before this study, the bandgap of black phosphorus could not be dynamically tuned, limiting its applications in optoelectronics,” says Bingchen Deng, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in Xia’s lab. Finding the optimum thickness took some trial and error. “At first, we tried a 4-nanometer thick sample, and we found the bandgap tuning was not very pronounced,” Deng says. Deng also noted that having a bandgap that can be controlled means that black phosphorus could potentially be used as a topological insulator, a material with the unusual ability to serve as both an insulator (inside the material) and as a conductor (on its surface). Researchers are particularly interested in topological insulators, since they could be key to developing low-power electronics in which electrons at the surface do not suffer from scattering. Other authors for the paper are Professor Judy Cha, Yujun Xie, Cheng Li, Qiushi Guo, and Xiaomu Wang from Yale; Professor Li Yang and Vy Tran from Washington University; Professor Han Wang from the University of Southern California; Professor Steve Koester from the University of Minnesota; Hao Jiang of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and He Tian of the University of Southern California.


Hoag Physicians Selected to Teach Unique Breast Conserving Operative Technique at National Meeting for The American Society of Breast Surgeons Newport Beach, CA, May 01, 2017 --( This prestigious opportunity allowed Drs. Silverstein and Savalia to discuss and teach the Split Reduction, an operative technique developed and perfected at Hoag, for surgeons across the nation. Combining the principles of oncologic surgery with the techniques of plastic surgery, this technique alters the incision site on a patient’s breast to accommodate tumors that other oncologists said could not be removed without a mastectomy. “Hoag is the most advanced place in the world for saving breasts for patients who are told they need a mastectomy,” Dr. Silverstein said. “Women have so many treatment options, including lumpectomies and oncoplastic surgery to remove cancerous tumors while achieving optimal cosmetic and oncologic results. It is surprising that mastectomy is still the default surgical option for breast cancer treatment,” Dr. Savalia added. In addition, five research poster presentations were presented at the national meeting by Hoag faculty and USC/Hoag Breast Fellows on the following topics: A Comparison of Margin Width in DCIS Patients Treated with Breast Conserving Surgery Plus Whole Breast Radiation Therapy. Data supported the Consensus Guideline: 2 mm is an appropriate minimal margin width for patients with DCIS patients treated with breast conserving therapy plus whole breast radiation therapy. Analysis of data found a higher local recurrence rate with narrow surgical margins (< 2mm margins) at 31% compared with the adequately excised group (≥ 2mm margins) at 11%. Authors: Sadia Khan, DO, Program Advisor Hoag Breast Center, Melvin J. Silverstein, MD, Hoag Breast Center Medical Director and the Gross Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, et al Excision alone for low risk Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS) using University of Southern California/Van Nuys Prognostic Index (USC/VNPI). Findings confirm reports that whole breast radiation therapy (WBRT) may be safely omitted in patients with low-risk DCIS. Established the UCS/VNPI algorithm that quantifies five measurable prognostic factors (tumor size, margin width, nuclear grade, age and comedonecrosis) and aids in predicting local recurrence in conservatively treated patients. Authors: Nicole Zaremba, MD (2017 Muzzy Family Endowed Fellowship in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery at Hoag), et al Outcome After Local Invasive Recurrence: The Impact of Original Diagnosis of DCIS Versus Invasive Cancer. Found that patients with an original diagnosis of invasive breast cancer have higher probability of developing an invasive local recurrence when compared to patients with an original diagnosis of DCIS (42% versus 12%). Authors: Julie Wecsler, MD (USC/Hoag Breast Fellow), et al Four-Year Results of a Single Site X-Ray IORT Trial for Early Breast Cancer. Studied intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) as a safe alternative to whole breast radiation (WBRT) for low-risk breast cancer patients. Found the rate of local ipsilateral breast tumor events is somewhat higher than those reported in WBRT patients but lower than those described in patients treated with excision alone. Authors: Melinda Epstein, Ph.D., et al Intraductal Papillomas: To Excise or Not Excise Authors: Sayee Kiran, MD (USC/Hoag Breast Fellow), et al This research was presented at the 18th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Joining the Hoag Breast team at the national meeting was the winner of the 2017 International Scholarship in Breast Surgery Juan Cossa, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery, Clinics Hospital of Montevideo, Uruguay. Dr. Cossa was selected by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS) and chose to visit Hoag when given the opportunity to study at any cancer hospital in the United States. “It was an honor to have Dr. Cossa join our team and have the opportunity to teach him about oncoplastic surgery,” said Dr. Silverstein. “Hoag continues to pioneer innovative medical and surgical advancements and it’s a privilege to be able to share that knowledge with surgeons around the world.” Newport Beach, CA, May 01, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Melvin J. Silverstein, M.D., Hoag Breast Center Medical Director and the Gross Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery and Nirav Savalia, M.D., Director of Oncoplastic and Aesthetic Breast Surgery at Hoag, were among the faculty selected by the American Society of Breast Surgeons to teach the Annual Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Course at the national meeting held this year in Las Vegas on April 26-30, 2017.This prestigious opportunity allowed Drs. Silverstein and Savalia to discuss and teach the Split Reduction, an operative technique developed and perfected at Hoag, for surgeons across the nation. Combining the principles of oncologic surgery with the techniques of plastic surgery, this technique alters the incision site on a patient’s breast to accommodate tumors that other oncologists said could not be removed without a mastectomy.“Hoag is the most advanced place in the world for saving breasts for patients who are told they need a mastectomy,” Dr. Silverstein said.“Women have so many treatment options, including lumpectomies and oncoplastic surgery to remove cancerous tumors while achieving optimal cosmetic and oncologic results. It is surprising that mastectomy is still the default surgical option for breast cancer treatment,” Dr. Savalia added.In addition, five research poster presentations were presented at the national meeting by Hoag faculty and USC/Hoag Breast Fellows on the following topics:A Comparison of Margin Width in DCIS Patients Treated with Breast Conserving Surgery Plus Whole Breast Radiation Therapy. Data supported the Consensus Guideline: 2 mm is an appropriate minimal margin width for patients with DCIS patients treated with breast conserving therapy plus whole breast radiation therapy. Analysis of data found a higher local recurrence rate with narrow surgical margins ( Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

A new renewable energy source might come from the world’s simplest alcohol. A team of researchers from the University of Southern California, led by senior author G. K. Surya Prakash and 1994 Nobel Prize winner George Olah, have created a carbon-neutral method to produce and store hydrogen from methanol, without concurrent production of either carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. The researchers were able to trap the hydrogen in organic derivatives of ammonia called amines. The process to extract hydrogen from methanol, called the methanol reformer, traditionally produced carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide as part of the extraction process. However, because carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas that causes global warming and ocean acidification, making a push to find a way to extract hydrogen without producing greenhouse gas has become important. According to the study, by coupling methanol and 1,2-diamine, the reaction production of N-formamide and N, N′-diformamide, are hydrogenated back to the free amine and methanol by a simple hydrogen pressure swing. “Thus, an efficient one-pot hydrogen carrier system has been developed,” the study states. “The H generating step can be termed as ‘amine reforming of methanol’ in analogy to the traditional steam reforming. It acts as a clean source of hydrogen without concurrent production of CO [unlike steam reforming] or CO [by complete methanol dehydrogenation]. “Therefore, a carbon neutral cycle is essentially achieved where no carbon capture is necessary as the carbon is trapped in the form of formamide [or urea in the case of primary amine]. In theory, a hydrogen storage capacity as high as 6.6 weight percentage is achievable.” Methanol, which can be produced with only water, carbon dioxide and energy, stores half the energy of traditional petroleum-based gasoline while also burning cleaner with no soot, particulates or other residue and burning half as bright. It naturally occurs in small amounts in the Earth’s atmosphere, but there are large clouds of methanol floating in the star-forming regions of space. The combustion of methanol also produces less deleterious greenhouse gases of nitrogen oxides, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Methanol, which is sometimes called wood alcohol, biodegrades quickly and is traditionally produced from natural gas. it can be corrosive to older automobile tubing and casing, but much less to newer generations of vehicles. While it is more efficient to replace gasoline or diesel with methanol, the alcohol also provides less miles to the gallon due to its lower energy density. The research team first began refining “The Methanol Economy” about 20 years ago with the goal of developing renewable sources of energy, led by methanol, that could mitigate the problems caused by carbon emissions, as well as the U.S. dependence on other countries for oil. Since then the need to offset crude oil consumption has grown to where global consumption is expected to be about 100 million barrels by 2018. The study was published in The Journal of the American Chemical Society. It represents Olah’s last major paper as he passed away on March 8, 2017.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

A new renewable energy source might come from the world’s simplest alcohol. A team of researchers from the University of Southern California, led by senior author G. K. Surya Prakash and 1994 Nobel Prize winner George Olah, have created a carbon-neutral method to produce and store hydrogen from methanol, without concurrent production of either carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. The researchers were able to trap the hydrogen in organic derivatives of ammonia called amines. The process to extract hydrogen from methanol, called the methanol reformer, traditionally produced carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide as part of the extraction process. However, because carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas that causes global warming and ocean acidification, making a push to find a way to extract hydrogen without producing greenhouse gas has become important. According to the study, by coupling methanol and 1,2-diamine, the reaction production of N-formamide and N, N′-diformamide, are hydrogenated back to the free amine and methanol by a simple hydrogen pressure swing. “Thus, an efficient one-pot hydrogen carrier system has been developed,” the study states. “The H generating step can be termed as ‘amine reforming of methanol’ in analogy to the traditional steam reforming. It acts as a clean source of hydrogen without concurrent production of CO [unlike steam reforming] or CO [by complete methanol dehydrogenation]. “Therefore, a carbon neutral cycle is essentially achieved where no carbon capture is necessary as the carbon is trapped in the form of formamide [or urea in the case of primary amine]. In theory, a hydrogen storage capacity as high as 6.6 weight percentage is achievable.” Methanol, which can be produced with only water, carbon dioxide and energy, stores half the energy of traditional petroleum-based gasoline while also burning cleaner with no soot, particulates or other residue and burning half as bright. It naturally occurs in small amounts in the Earth’s atmosphere, but there are large clouds of methanol floating in the star-forming regions of space. The combustion of methanol also produces less deleterious greenhouse gases of nitrogen oxides, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Methanol, which is sometimes called wood alcohol, biodegrades quickly and is traditionally produced from natural gas. it can be corrosive to older automobile tubing and casing, but much less to newer generations of vehicles. While it is more efficient to replace gasoline or diesel with methanol, the alcohol also provides less miles to the gallon due to its lower energy density. The research team first began refining “The Methanol Economy” about 20 years ago with the goal of developing renewable sources of energy, led by methanol, that could mitigate the problems caused by carbon emissions, as well as the U.S. dependence on other countries for oil. Since then the need to offset crude oil consumption has grown to where global consumption is expected to be about 100 million barrels by 2018. The study was published in The Journal of the American Chemical Society. It represents Olah’s last major paper as he passed away on March 8, 2017.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Dr. Jacqueline Subka is proud to announce that she now offers her patients various minimally invasive treatments incorporating the latest BIOLASE® WaterLase® dental laser. This cutting-edge laser technology can minimize treatment time as well as healing time for people who need to see a dentist in Thousand Oaks, CA, for numerous procedures, including gum disease treatment. Laser dentistry procedures also provide Dr. Subka’s patients improved comfort and a reduced risk of complications. In contrast to traditional dental tools, the BIOLASE WaterLase laser allows Dr. Subka to perform hard and soft tissue procedures without heat, friction, pressure or incisions, reducing the need for sedation. The laser uses a stream of water, along with laser energy, to quickly and precisely cut through tissue while causing minimal pain. This efficient approach frequently allows Dr. Subka to reduce the number of times that patients must visit a dentist in Thousand Oaks, CA, for treatment. With laser dentistry, patients can also expect faster healing periods. This laser treatment minimizes damage to healthy tissue and sterilizes the surgical site, thereby reducing the risk of infections and other post-procedural complications. “Laser gum surgery is the most amazing new procedure that we have,” said Dr. Subka. Utilizing this laser technology, Dr. Subka can improve patient comfort and final outcomes during a variety of procedures, including periodontal disease treatment. During gum surgery, Dr. Subka uses the dental laser to exclusively target bacteria and diseased tissue, leaving healthy gum tissue intact to protect the teeth. This laser dentistry procedure promotes reattachment between the teeth and supporting tissue, which reduces the risk of tooth loss and related complications, such as pain and dietary restrictions. By removing the bacteria that cause gum disease, laser periodontal disease treatment may also protect patients from other health risks linked to this condition, including stroke, heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Seeing the convenient and long-lasting benefits of laser gum surgery provides her patients, Dr. Subka says, “The amount of post-operative discomfort that patients have is greatly reduced. We don’t have to make any incisions, we don’t have to do any suturing. The results are phenomenal.” People who need to visit a dentist in Thousand Oaks, CA, for gum disease treatment or other procedures are encouraged to call Dr. Subka’s office at 805-373-1919 to schedule personalized consultations. Patients may also visit Dr. Subka’s website at http://www.subkadds.com to request appointments or learn more about the services that she offers. Dr. Jacqueline Subka is general dentist offering personalized dental care for patients in Thousand Oaks, CA since 1999. Dr. Subka received her dental degree from the prestigious University of Southern California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles. Dr. Subka practices gentle dentistry and incorporates state-of-the-art techniques to provide leading, minimally invasive care. She and her team are committed to continuing education and strive to provide high-quality, personalized dental care to each patient. To learn more about Dr. Subka and the dental services she provides, visit her website at http://www.subkadds.com or call 805-373-1919.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.PR.com

Mississauga, Canada, April 28, 2017 --( Today’s savvy elective healthcare consumers trust online reviews for vital information in selecting the best practice, doctor, and services for their needs. Doctors’ Choice Awards fills that demand with valid and verified reviews about doctors, from other doctors. DCA believes that medical professionals are best suited to evaluate one another’s performance. Publishing their feedback provides essential insight for the public. As a National Award Winner, and as previous winner of several other Doctors’ Choice Award honors, Dr. Nazarian is helping to set high industry standards for patient care and practice innovation. During the course of 2016, Dr. Nazarian received 28 favorable reviews from other doctors, through the Doctor’s Choice Awards program. Their input helped her rise to the top of her medical specialty to capture the distinction of National Award Winner among a group of qualified nominees. “I have earned a number of recognitions throughout my career,” says Dr. Nazarian, “but the DCA National Award means something special to me. It shows that colleagues, some of the people I hold in the highest regard, acknowledge my hard work and dedication in the field of plastic surgery. That is a terrific feeling.” About Dr. Nazarian Dr. Nazarian is a Board-certified plastic surgeon, and founder of Nazarian Plastic Surgery. Her extensive background includes plastic, cosmetic, reconstructive, hand, and burn surgery. She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York, and trained at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She served plastic surgery residency at University of Southern California. She is a widely-published author and sought-after lecturer, and is active in many professional associations. Dr. Nazarian is also a mother of three, and has her own line of organic skin care products for pregnant and breastfeeding women. About Doctors’ Choice Awards Doctors’ Choice Awards is a platform that connect physicians around the globe. DCA encourages them to share candid comments about referring doctors, colleagues, teachers, mentors, and classmates, who they have come to respect. Organizations that provide services to doctors may also participate in DCA. The credibility of DCA awards is carefully guarded – they may only be earned through positive peer reviews. DCA awards cannot be bought. For more information, contact: Dr. Dr. Sheila Nazarian Nazarian Plastic Surgery Phone – 310-659-0500 Email – Info@nazarianplasticsurgery.com Website – www.nazarianplasticsurgery.com Andra Salim Doctors’ Choice Awards Phone – 312-239-0638 Email – andra@doctorschoiceawards.org Website – www.doctorschoiceawards.org Mississauga, Canada, April 28, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Doctors’ Choice Awards recently announced eight National Award Winners, including Dr. Sheila Nazarian. She takes countrywide honors in the practice specialty of plastic surgery. This award acknowledges Dr. Nazarian’s remarkable reputation among peers in the medical community, for practice excellence, patient care, and exceptional outcomes. Nazarian Plastic Surgery is situated on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. While the practice provides a full range of services, Dr. Nazarian takes a special interest in female procedures such as “mommy makeovers,” laser vaginal therapy, fat freezing, and breast enhancements. She has a reputation for first-hand experience, testing each device or product personally or on a staff member before recommending it to patients.Today’s savvy elective healthcare consumers trust online reviews for vital information in selecting the best practice, doctor, and services for their needs. Doctors’ Choice Awards fills that demand with valid and verified reviews about doctors, from other doctors. DCA believes that medical professionals are best suited to evaluate one another’s performance. Publishing their feedback provides essential insight for the public. As a National Award Winner, and as previous winner of several other Doctors’ Choice Award honors, Dr. Nazarian is helping to set high industry standards for patient care and practice innovation.During the course of 2016, Dr. Nazarian received 28 favorable reviews from other doctors, through the Doctor’s Choice Awards program. Their input helped her rise to the top of her medical specialty to capture the distinction of National Award Winner among a group of qualified nominees.“I have earned a number of recognitions throughout my career,” says Dr. Nazarian, “but the DCA National Award means something special to me. It shows that colleagues, some of the people I hold in the highest regard, acknowledge my hard work and dedication in the field of plastic surgery. That is a terrific feeling.”About Dr. NazarianDr. Nazarian is a Board-certified plastic surgeon, and founder of Nazarian Plastic Surgery. Her extensive background includes plastic, cosmetic, reconstructive, hand, and burn surgery. She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York, and trained at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She served plastic surgery residency at University of Southern California. She is a widely-published author and sought-after lecturer, and is active in many professional associations. Dr. Nazarian is also a mother of three, and has her own line of organic skin care products for pregnant and breastfeeding women.About Doctors’ Choice AwardsDoctors’ Choice Awards is a platform that connect physicians around the globe. DCA encourages them to share candid comments about referring doctors, colleagues, teachers, mentors, and classmates, who they have come to respect. Organizations that provide services to doctors may also participate in DCA. The credibility of DCA awards is carefully guarded – they may only be earned through positive peer reviews. DCA awards cannot be bought.For more information, contact:Dr. Dr. Sheila NazarianNazarian Plastic SurgeryPhone – 310-659-0500Email – Info@nazarianplasticsurgery.comWebsite – www.nazarianplasticsurgery.comAndra SalimDoctors’ Choice AwardsPhone – 312-239-0638Email – andra@doctorschoiceawards.orgWebsite – www.doctorschoiceawards.org Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from DoctorsChoiceAwards


Juvéderm Vollure™ XC is specially tailored with a unique balance of gel firmness and cohesivity. It represents Allergan's commitment to creating fillers specifically designed to meet different patient needs. The injectable is a smooth, clear, colorless hyaluronic acid gel which contains a small amount of local anesthetic (lidocaine) to ease injection. Juvéderm Vollure™ XC is manufactured using VYCROSS® technology – the secret behind its specialized smooth-gel properties and its exceptionally long-lasting nature. A pivotal clinical study involving 123 subjects was conducted to evaluate the product's safety and effectiveness. Approximately 93 percent of subjects reported high levels of satisfaction with their treatment results six months after injection and 68 percent went on to report continued satisfaction 18 months after injection. The amount of dermal filler a person needs depends on their age and condition of their skin. People in their 20s or 30s may only require a few syringes, but a person in their 50s or 60s may require what is known as a "liquid facelift," which could be as many as six milliliters of filler to achieve maximum correction. As various fillers are designed to address specific areas besides the nasal labial folds, including around the lips, hollowness under the eyes, restoring cheek volume and more, Dr. Jochen says that it often takes a combination of different fillers to address the full face. A personal consultation is essential to review recommendations on how much filler will produce the desired results and which fillers are best for the areas a person wants treated. A leading dermatologist, Dr. Timothy Jochen specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology and cosmetic surgery procedures. He is one of the top facial filler and Botox injectors in the nation. Dr. Jochen is also an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He also is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor as voted by his peers. Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center has offices in Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs, CA. To more about Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center or see before and after photos of Juvéderm Vollure™ XC, visit: https://contourderm.com/vollure/ Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link: Timothy Jochen, MD: http://www.profnetconnect.com/timothyjochenmd?no_redir=1 To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/juvederm-vollure-xc-dermal-filler----long-lasting-fda-approved-treatment-for-diminishing-nasolabial-folds-now-available-at-contour-dermatology--cosmetic-surgery-center-300444513.html


The equity premium included the following components: monetary costs defined as a screening fee that passengers were willing to pay per flight; wait time defined as the length of time in minutes that passengers had to wait to complete security screening; convenience defined as the proportion of passengers without contraband who are mistakenly singled out for further scrutiny; and safety defined as the acceptable percentage of passengers who board with contraband that was not detected during screening (known as the "miss rate"). The study is based on the responses of 222 participants in an online survey who were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Each watched a four-minute video that described the study and explained the equity premiums. Respondents were then randomly assigned to one of three possible two-stage screening procedures that evaluated passengers according to a set of behavioral indicators (such as perceived fear or stress), their demographic characteristics (age, race, sex and/or national origin) or at random. Respondents then completed 10 trade-off assessments to determine how much they were willing to sacrifice to avoid differential treatment. For all selection procedures, respondents were willing to pay up to $15 and tolerated an increase of up to two additional passengers boarding with contraband to avoid inequitable screenings. When selection procedures focused on demographic characteristics, they were willing to wait an additional 15 minutes. However, respondents who were assigned to procedures that selected passengers at random or according to their behavior were only willing to tolerate an additional five minutes. Male and female respondents also responded differently. To avoid a less equitable screening, female participants were willing to wait longer and pay more than male respondents. Females were 2.8 times more likely to wait longer than the minimum wait time and 1.7 times more likely to pay more than the minimum screening fee. However, there were no significant differences in fee or wait time allowances between white and non-white respondents. "We know that travelers value both safety and equity, but what we did not know is how they reconcile these conflicting priorities," said Kenneth Nguyen, corresponding author and quantitative methods graduate student at the University of Southern California. "The value of the current research is to shed light on how travelers make this trade-off and, perhaps more importantly, uncover factors that affect this trade-off, and suggest ways that stakeholders can incorporate these findings in the design of security policies." The overall low numbers suggest that most respondents were only willing to make limited sacrifices for more equitable screening and that they still placed a high value on low costs, shorter wait times, greater safety and convenience. People were willing to give up equal protection for other priorities like minimizing cost and inconvenience and maximizing safety. These results offer valuable insights for the TSA and other security officers. Even if screening procedures based on demographic characteristics were more effective than random or behavior-based selections, travelers in this study showed they are much more opposed to these discriminatory procedures by making greater sacrifices in equity premiums when experiencing this type of procedure. Researchers from the University of Southern California conducted this research with support from the United States Department of Homeland Security through the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) (award no. 2010-ST-061-RE0001). Risk Analysis: An International Journal is published by the nonprofit Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), an interdisciplinary, scholarly, international society that provides an open forum for all who are interested in risk analysis, a critical function in complex modern societies. Risk analysis includes risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and risk policy affecting individuals, public- and private-sector organizations, and societies at a local, regional, national, or global level. To learn more, visit www.sra.org To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/study-reveals-what-air-travelers-will-tolerate-for-non-discriminatory-security-screening-300447266.html


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

One Day I Too Go Fly Inc, an independent production company creating films exploring new narratives about Africans and Africa in a globalized age, has released its first film NAIJA BETA. The documentary is now available worldwide on the VOD platforms VHX and Vimeo. The release comes after a year of film festival engagements in Europe, Africa and North America where NAIJA BETA garnered several awards. NAIJA BETA follows a team of Nigerian and Nigerian-American undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who launch and run Exposure Robotics Academy (XRA), a robotics camp for teenagers, in Lagos, Nigeria. Propelling its action through a competition drama set-up, the film explores youth entrepreneurship, STEM education, and African diasporan homecoming in present-day Nigeria. “This heart warming documentary often finds itself deviating from its mission and submerging itself in the complexities of human emotions that are unfolding around it. Fortunately, deviating from its simple set up is what makes NAIJA BETA a masterpiece in its own right. It is a documentary that examines the fears of children of Africa and what lies ahead for them and the ones rediscovering home even while they were not looking,” wrote Hafeez Oluwa, reviewing the film at the 2016 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Lagos for Sodas N Popcorn, the largest movie database in Nollywood. The film premiered at the 2016 Pan African International Film Festival in Cannes, France. Since then, it has won the following awards: Best Documentary Feature - Urban Mediamakers Film Festival 2016; Best Documentary Short - Roxbury International Film Festival 2016; Achievement in Documentary Film, Feature Length - Silicon Valley African Film Festival 2016; and the High Output Director Award - Arlington International Film Festival 2016. It was also nominated for Best Humanitarian Film at RapidLion: The South African International Film Festival 2017. NAIJA BETA is directed by Arthur Musah, an engineer turned filmmaker whose own journey from Ghana to MIT, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science, informs his films. After studying filmmaking as an Annenberg Fellow at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Musah returned to MIT to embark on a multi-year study of African youths coming of age at the iconic American college. NAIJA BETA marks his directorial debut, and is the first of two films resulting from the project. The second film, ONE DAY I TOO GO FLY, is in post-production. NAIJA BETA is produced by Arthur Musah and Brook Turner. “While the characters in NAIJA BETA are Nigerian, the film speaks more broadly to the current wave of Africans in the diaspora who are returning to figure out their place on the continent,” said Musah. “The film documents early efforts by ambitious young African entrepreneurs, and that resonates.” Since graduating from MIT, NAIJA BETA protagonist Obinna Ukwuani and his XRA cofounder Obinna Okwodu have moved to Nigeria to launch new businesses. Okwodu is making rental housing affordable for professionals in Nigeria with his new venture Fibre. Ukwuani continues to impact STEM education in Nigeria with his CNN-featured startup Makers Academy, which recently launched its New Economy Skills Accelerator (NESA) program. NAIJA BETA main character Jemima Osunde was eager to leave Nigeria as a high-school student learning to program robots at the XRA, but now studies at the University of Lagos’ College of Medicine and is a rising star of Nigerian television and film. The film has engaged audiences at community screenings such as Girls Day at the MIT Museum and Global Entrepreneurship Week at the African Leadership University. The Yale Undergraduate Association for African Peace and Development will screen NAIJA BETA and host filmmaker Arthur Musah as a panelist at its conference April 14-15, 2017. NAIJA BETA continues its festival run, making its New York Premiere at the 24th New York African Film Festival. The screening will take place at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem on May 20th, 2017. For the latest news about NAIJA BETA, please visit http://pidgincinema.com/ or the film's Facebook page.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

EWING, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq: OLED), enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED® technology and materials, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. “We are pleased to report excellent first quarter results across the board, including record emitter sales,” said Sidney D. Rosenblatt, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Universal Display. “It is an exciting time for the OLED industry. We are encouraged by the momentum that we are seeing from our customers as well as from the supply chain that supports the OLED ecosystem. With customers’ mounting investments in new manufacturing capacity and the development of an array of new display and lighting products, we expect our growth trajectory to be positive for the foreseeable future.” Rosenblatt continued, “As we look forward, we believe that the OLED industry is poised to grow faster than earlier expectations this year. We are therefore raising our 2017 revenue guidance range to at least $260 million to $280 million, reflecting year-over-year growth of 30% to 40%. Additionally, we are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors approved a second quarter dividend of $0.03 per share.” Financial Highlights for the First Quarter of 2017 The OLED industry is still at a stage where many factors can have a material impact on its growth. The Company now has sufficient visibility into its potential future financial performance for this year to estimate 2017 revenues to at least be $260 million to $280 million. The Company also announced a second quarter cash dividend of $0.03 per share on the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on June 30, 2017, to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 15, 2017. In conjunction with this release, Universal Display will host a conference call on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The live webcast of the conference call can be accessed under the events page of the Company's Investor Relations website at ir.oled.com. Those wishing to participate in the live call should dial 1-800-967-7141 (toll-free) or 1-719-457-2604, and reference conference ID 4010879. Please dial in 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled conference call time. An online archive of the webcast will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call. Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq: OLED) is a leader in developing and delivering state-of-the-art, organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies, materials and services to the display and lighting industries. Founded in 1994, the Company currently owns or has exclusive, co-exclusive or sole license rights with respect to more than 4,200 issued and pending patents worldwide. Universal Display licenses its proprietary technologies, including its breakthrough high-efficiency UniversalPHOLED® phosphorescent OLED technology that can enable the development of low power and eco-friendly displays and solid-state lighting. The Company also develops and offers high-quality, state-of-the-art UniversalPHOLED materials that are recognized as key ingredients in the fabrication of OLEDs with peak performance. In addition, Universal Display delivers innovative and customized solutions to its clients and partners through technology transfer, collaborative technology development and on-site training. Headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey, with international offices in China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and wholly-owned subsidiary Adesis, Inc. based in New Castle, Delaware, Universal Display works and partners with a network of world-class organizations, including Princeton University, the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, and PPG Industries, Inc. The Company has also established relationships with companies such as AU Optronics Corporation, BOE Technology, DuPont Displays, Inc., Innolux Corporation, Kaneka Corporation, Konica Minolta Technology Center, Inc., LG Display Co., Ltd., Lumiotec, Inc., OLEDWorks LLC, OSRAM, Pioneer Corporation, Samsung Display Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd., Tianma Micro-electronics and Tohoku Pioneer Corporation. To learn more about Universal Display Corporation, please visit http://www.oled.com. Universal Display Corporation and the Universal Display Corporation logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Universal Display Corporation. All other company, brand or product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks. All statements in this document that are not historical, such as those relating to Universal Display Corporation’s technologies and potential applications of those technologies, the Company’s expected results and future declaration of dividends, as well as the growth of the OLED market and the Company’s opportunities in that market, are forward-looking financial statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements in this document, as they reflect Universal Display Corporation’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in greater detail in Universal Display Corporation’s periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, in particular, the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Universal Display Corporation’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. Universal Display Corporation disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained in this document.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

EWING, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq: OLED), enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED® technology and materials, today announced that its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017, will be released on Thursday, May 4, 2017 after market close. At that time, a copy of the financial results release will be available on the Company’s website at www.oled.com. In conjunction with this release, Universal Display will host a conference call on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The live webcast of the conference call can be accessed under the events page of the Company's Investor Relations website at ir.oled.com. Those wishing to participate in the live call should dial 1-800-967-7141 (toll-free) or 1-719-457-2604, and reference conference ID 4010879. Please dial in 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled conference call time. An online archive of the webcast will be available within two hours of the conclusion of the call. Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq: OLED) is a leader in developing and delivering state-of-the-art, organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies, materials and services to the display and lighting industries. Founded in 1994, the Company currently owns or has exclusive, co-exclusive or sole license rights with respect to more than 4,200 issued and pending patents worldwide. Universal Display licenses its proprietary technologies, including its breakthrough high-efficiency UniversalPHOLED® phosphorescent OLED technology that can enable the development of low power and eco-friendly displays and solid-state lighting. The Company also develops and offers high-quality, state-of-the-art UniversalPHOLED materials that are recognized as key ingredients in the fabrication of OLEDs with peak performance. In addition, Universal Display delivers innovative and customized solutions to its clients and partners through technology transfer, collaborative technology development and on-site training. Based in Ewing, New Jersey, with international offices in China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, Universal Display works and partners with a network of world-class organizations, including Princeton University, the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, and PPG Industries, Inc. The Company has also established relationships with companies such as AU Optronics Corporation, BOE Technology, DuPont Displays, Inc., Innolux Corporation, Kaneka Corporation, Konica Minolta Technology Center, Inc., LG Display Co., Ltd., Lumiotec, Inc., OLEDWorks LLC, OSRAM, Pioneer Corporation, Samsung Display Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd., Tianma Micro-electronics Co., and Tohoku Pioneer Corporation. To learn more about Universal Display Corporation, please visit http://www.oled.com. Universal Display Corporation and the Universal Display Corporation logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Universal Display Corporation. All other company, brand or product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks. All statements in this document that are not historical, such as those relating to Universal Display Corporation’s technologies and potential applications of those technologies, the Company’s expected results and future declaration of dividends, as well as the growth of the OLED market and the Company’s opportunities in that market, are forward-looking financial statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements in this document, as they reflect Universal Display Corporation’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in greater detail in Universal Display Corporation’s periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, in particular, the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Universal Display Corporation’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. Universal Display Corporation disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained in this document.


Analysis of Egyptian fossils has identified a new species of extinct carnivorous mammals called hyaenodonts, according to a study published April 19, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Matthew Borths from Ohio University, United States of America, and Erik Seiffert from University of Southern California, United States of America. Hyaenodonts preceded modern terrestrial carnivores in Africa and also lived in Europe, Asia, and North America. Some were tree-dwelling; others were terrestrial. The Afro-Arabian hyaenodont records are the oldest, making them key to understanding the evolution of these extinct meat-eaters. The authors of the present study characterized 34 million-year-old Egyptian fossils of a new skunk-sized species of hyaenodont. They named it Masrasector nananubis, the species name referring to Anubis, the canine-headed Egyptian god associated with the afterlife. This hyaenodont was a teratodontine, a carnivorous clade that has been difficult to align with other lineages due to poorly known cranial anatomy. The fossils of the new hyaenodont are the most complete known remains of a teratodontine from the Paleogene Period, and include largely complete skulls, jaws and limb bones. Based on the morphology of the new hyaenodont's bones, the researchers concluded that teratodontines are a close sister group of Hyainailourinae, one of two major hyaenodont clades that were hypercarnivorous, eating mostly meat. Comparison of the limb bones with those of other meat-eating mammals suggests that the new species was terrestrial and moved fast. The researchers state that the fossils of this new species will inform all future explorations of hyaenodont evolution and ecological diversity. "Hyaenodonts were the the top predators in Africa after the extinction of the dinosaurs," says Borths. "This new species is associated with a dozen specimens, including skulls and arm bones, which means we can explore what it ate, how it moved, and consider why these carnivorous mammals died off as the relatives of dogs, cats, and hyenas moved into Africa." In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS ONE: http://journals. Citation: Borths MR, Seiffert ER (2017) Craniodental and humeral morphology of a new species of Masrasector (Teratodontinae, Hyaenodonta, Placentalia) from the late Eocene of Egypt and locomotor diversity in hyaenodonts. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0173527. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173527 Funding: Field work in the Fayum Depression, Egypt, and digital curation of Fayum fossils is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation through grants BCS-0416164, BCS-0819186, and BCS-1231288, Gordon and Ann Getty, and The Leakey Foundation. MRB was supported by a U.S. National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DEB-1311354, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Turkana Basin Institute Graduate Fellowship, and a Stony Brook University Graduate Council Fellowship, and is currently supported by a U.S. National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology (DBI-1612062. Portions of the data acquisition for this study were also supported by grants from The Explorers Club and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


The study, "Valuing equal protection in aviation security screening," examined how much American travelers valued the principle of equal protection by quantifying the "equity premium." The equity premium included the following components: monetary costs defined as a screening fee that passengers were willing to pay per flight; wait time defined as the length of time in minutes that passengers had to wait to complete security screening; convenience defined as the proportion of passengers without contraband who are mistakenly singled out for further scrutiny; and safety defined as the acceptable percentage of passengers who board with contraband that was not detected during screening (known as the "miss rate"). The study is based on the responses of 222 participants in an online survey who were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Each watched a four-minute video that described the study and explained the equity premiums. Respondents were then randomly assigned to one of three possible two-stage screening procedures that evaluated passengers according to a set of behavioral indicators (such as perceived fear or stress), their demographic characteristics (age, race, sex and/or national origin) or at random. Respondents then completed 10 trade-off assessments to determine how much they were willing to sacrifice to avoid differential treatment. For all selection procedures, respondents were willing to pay up to $15 and tolerated an increase of up to two additional passengers boarding with contraband to avoid inequitable screenings. When selection procedures focused on demographic characteristics, they were willing to wait an additional 15 minutes. However, respondents who were assigned to procedures that selected passengers at random or according to their behavior were only willing to tolerate an additional five minutes. Male and female respondents also responded differently. To avoid a less equitable screening, female participants were willing to wait longer and pay more than male respondents. Females were 2.8 times more likely to wait longer than the minimum wait time and 1.7 times more likely to pay more than the minimum screening fee. However, there were no significant differences in fee or wait time allowances between white and non-white respondents. "We know that travelers value both safety and equity, but what we did not know is how they reconcile these conflicting priorities," said Kenneth Nguyen, corresponding author and quantitative methods graduate student at the University of Southern California. "The value of the current research is to shed light on how travelers make this trade-off and, perhaps more importantly, uncover factors that affect this trade-off, and suggest ways that stakeholders can incorporate these findings in the design of security policies." The overall low numbers suggest that most respondents were only willing to make limited sacrifices for more equitable screening and that they still placed a high value on low costs, shorter wait times, greater safety and convenience. People were willing to give up equal protection for other priorities like minimizing cost and inconvenience and maximizing safety. These results offer valuable insights for the TSA and other security officers. Even if screening procedures based on demographic characteristics were more effective than random or behavior-based selections, travelers in this study showed they are much more opposed to these discriminatory procedures by making greater sacrifices in equity premiums when experiencing this type of procedure. Explore further: Aviation professor expects boost in fliers for the holidays More information: Kenneth D. Nguyen et al. Valuing Equal Protection in Aviation Security Screening, Risk Analysis (2017). DOI: 10.1111/risa.12814


EWING, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq: OLED), enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED® technology and materials, today announced that its Board of Directors approved a second quarter cash dividend of $0.03 per share on the company's common stock. The dividend is payable on June 30, 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 15, 2017. Future dividends will be subject to Board approval. Universal Display Corporation (Nasdaq: OLED) is a leader in developing and delivering state-of-the-art, organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies, materials and services to the display and lighting industries. Founded in 1994, the Company currently owns or has exclusive, co-exclusive or sole license rights with respect to more than 4,200 issued and pending patents worldwide. Universal Display licenses its proprietary technologies, including its breakthrough high-efficiency UniversalPHOLED® phosphorescent OLED technology that can enable the development of low power and eco-friendly displays and solid-state lighting. The Company also develops and offers high-quality, state-of-the-art UniversalPHOLED materials that are recognized as key ingredients in the fabrication of OLEDs with peak performance. In addition, Universal Display delivers innovative and customized solutions to its clients and partners through technology transfer, collaborative technology development and on-site training. Headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey, with international offices in China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and wholly-owned subsidiary Adesis, Inc. based in New Castle, Delaware, Universal Display works and partners with a network of world-class organizations, including Princeton University, the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, and PPG Industries, Inc. The Company has also established relationships with companies such as AU Optronics Corporation, BOE Technology, DuPont Displays, Inc., Innolux Corporation, Kaneka Corporation, Konica Minolta Technology Center, Inc., LG Display Co., Ltd., Lumiotec, Inc., OLEDWorks LLC, OSRAM, Pioneer Corporation, Samsung Display Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd., Tianma Micro-electronics Co., and Tohoku Pioneer Corporation. To learn more about Universal Display Corporation, please visit http://www.oled.com. Universal Display Corporation and the Universal Display Corporation logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Universal Display Corporation. All other company, brand or product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks. All statements in this document that are not historical, such as those relating to Universal Display Corporation’s technologies and potential applications of those technologies, the Company’s expected results and future declaration of dividends, as well as the growth of the OLED market and the Company’s opportunities in that market, are forward-looking financial statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements in this document, as they reflect Universal Display Corporation’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in greater detail in Universal Display Corporation’s periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, in particular, the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Universal Display Corporation’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. Universal Display Corporation disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement contained in this document.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

The video commerce company participates in the annual star-studded event MINNEAPOLIS, May 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Evine Live Inc. (“Evine”) (NASDAQ:EVLV), a multiplatform video commerce company (evine.com), today announced that it will support the 24th annual Race to Erase MS Gala on May 5, held at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. A platinum sponsor of the star-studded gala, Evine is making a financial donation as well as donating several auction items to help raise funds in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that impacts over 2 million people worldwide. Following the gala event, Nancy Davis will appear live on Evine on May 19 - 21 with her signature “Peace & Love” branded product, including a co-branded timepiece created in partnership with Invicta, Evine’s best-selling watch brand. “It is an honor for Evine to partner with Nancy Davis and the Race to Erase MS to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis,” said Bob Rosenblatt, Chief Executive Officer of Evine. “MS is a disease that impacts some of our closest vendors, investors and customers, and we are humbled to support such a worthy cause. I look forward to having the opportunity to demonstrate Evine’s ‘Be Good to Others’ mantra as we partner with Nancy to help support research toward eradicating this debilitating disease.” The Race to Erase MS was founded by Davis in 1993 after being diagnosed with the disease. Since 1994, the foundation has raise more than $46 million in contributions. Funding research is the core focus of the foundation, with all funds raised supporting the Center Without Walls program, a nationwide collaboration of physicians and scientists all working to find a cure. “When I was first diagnosed, there were no drugs on the market to help stop the progression of MS. Today, there are 15 FDA-approved drugs to treat the symptoms of MS, and the FDA recently approved Ocrevus, which helps people with relapsing remitting MS in addition to people with primary progressive MS,” said Nancy David, founder of Race to Erase MS and owner of Peace & Love Jewelry. “That progress gives me hope and makes me grateful for all the people and organizations who have supported the Race to Erase MS. Evine has been an amazing partner over the past two years. The company’s generosity and willingness to raise awareness and money for MS research keeps our hope for finding a cure alive.” Happening on Friday, May 5, the 24th annual Race to Erase MS Gala is a star-studded event frequented by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. This year’s event will honor Jamie-Lynn Sigler, most notably known for her role as Meadow Soprano on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” with the 2017 Medal of Hope Award. Evine will send its own star-power, with host Heather Hall interviewing attendees on the red carpet along with Dr. Terry and Heather Dubrow as guests of honor. In addition to the financial donation, Evine will also offer several auction items, including an “Evine Experience.” As part of the experience, the auction’s winner would receive a two-night travel package to Evine studios, including airfare and hotel for two. While at the studios, the winner would be given a backstage tour, the opportunity to pitch their product and a chance to sell a product live on Evine’s television network. Invicta, Evine’s best-selling watch brand, has also created a timepiece especially for Davis’ foundation. Based on the popular Invicta Peace & Love watch released in early 2015, this year’s Invicta Peace & Love Lupah will be offered in both men’s and women’s styles and include six additional easy-to-change colorful straps. Each timepiece proudly displays Nancy Davis’s signature Peace & Love logo on its dial and comes packaged in a specially-designed gift box. Returning to Evine May 19 at 8pm ET, May 20 at 1am, 3pm and 8pm ET, and May 21 throughout the day, Davis will present the co-branded watch and new pieces from her Peace & Love gemstone jewelry collection, including a white topaz and zircon adjustable bracelet, offered in 14 different styles. For more information on the Race to Erase MS, visit www.erasems.org. To bid on the “Evine Experience,” visit http://bit.ly/2oMxhPK. For more information on Evine and to shop Davis’ full collection, go to www.evine.com/peaceandlove. About Evine Evine Live Inc. (NASDAQ:EVLV) operates Evine, a multiplatform video commerce company that offers a compelling mix of proprietary and name brands directly to consumers in an engaging and informative shopping experience via television, online and mobile. Evine reaches approximately 87 million cable and satellite television homes 24 hours a day with entertaining content in a comprehensive digital shopping experience. About Race to Erase MS Race to Erase MS is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure for MS.  Funding research is the core focus of the foundation and significant strides have been made to find the cause and cure of this debilitating disease.  At the event’s inception 24 years ago, the absence of medications and therapies encouraged its involvement; the Race has been instrumental in funding many pilot studies that have contributed to drugs now on the market and other very important therapies that are improving the lives of people suffering from MS. All funds raised support the Center Without Walls program, a unique collaboration of the world’s leading MS research scientists currently representing Harvard, Yale, Cedars Sinai, University of Southern California, Oregon Health Science University, UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins.  This nationwide collaboration of physicians, scientists and clinicians are on the cutting-edge of innovative research and therapeutic approaches to treat MS.  It is the hope of the Race to Erase MS that in addition to combating MS through research in a clinical environment, awareness will be created by educating the public about this mysterious disease. Tickets to the 24th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala start at $1,000 and tables start at $10,000. To purchase tickets for the event, please contact info@erasems.org or (310) 440-4842.


"Most of the young children ages 3-6 with vision problems today – which is about 174,000 children – are resulted from simple uncorrected refractive errors," said Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, principal investigator of the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease (MEPEDS) study and director of the USC Roski Eye Institute as well as dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "Our research offers a comprehensive look at the prevalence of VI in the U.S. preschool population. We conducted this study because of concern about the future eye health of children since there has been a lack of accurate data characterizing these eye health issues." The new study used prevalence data from two major population-based studies, including MEPEDS – the largest undertaken examining childhood eye diseases – to determine demographic and geographic variations in VI in children ages 3 to 5 years in the United States in 2015 and estimated projected prevalence through 2060. The USC researchers defined visual impairment as decreased visual acuity (VA) (<20/50 in children 36 to 47 months of age or <20/40 in children 48 months of age or older) in the better-seeing eye in the presence of an identifiable ophthalmic cause. The MEPEDS research led by Dr. Varma, is also part of a collaborative international research effort with the Pediatric Eye Disease Consortium. This new data and additional findings from this consortium will be presented next week at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting held May 7-11 in Baltimore. "Our mission is to not only gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of vision disorders among preschool children, but also help inform and develop evidence-based guidelines for population screening of common pediatric vision disorders," said Xuejuan Jiang, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and preventive medicine at USC Roski Eye Institute and one of the lead researchers on the study. "This research is a bellwether that visual impairment in young children can be prevented or treated with low cost solutions if we intervene at an early age," continued Varma. "If we don't the long-term effects of impaired vision at early childhood that can adversely impact in academic and social achievements will put our future generations at a distinct disadvantage. This is a population health transformation imperative." :  This study was supported by grants from the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md., and unrestricted grants from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York. All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported. About the USC Roski Eye Institute (usceye.org) The USC Roski Eye Institute, part of the Keck Medicine of USC university-based medical enterprise, has been a leader in scientific research and innovative clinical treatments for more than 40 years.  Ranked No. 2 in National Eye Institute (NEI) research grants for academically-based ophthalmology departments and nationally ranked in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" issue for more than 22 years, the USC Roski Eye Institute is headquartered in Los Angeles with clinics in Arcadia, Beverly Hills and Pasadena. Faculty physicians are also the exclusive ophthalmic doctors affiliated with L.A. County + USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) and Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/preschool-children-face-increasing-vision-problems-over-coming-decades-according-to-usc-roski-eye-institute-research-article-in-jama-ophthalmology-300451670.html


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Grant Stevens, M.D., FACS, a board certified plastic surgeon, founder and medical director of Marina Plastic Surgery in Marina del Rey, CA, and an international traveling professor, was elected president-elect of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) at the Aesthetic Meeting this month in San Diego, CA. ASAPS is the leading national aesthetic medical organization comprising more than 2,600 board certified plastic surgeons who specialize in face and body aesthetic surgery. Also elected are Clyde H. Ishii, MD, Honolulu, president; Charles Thorne, MD, New York, vice president; Herluf G. Lund Jr., MD, St. Louis, treasurer; and William P. Adams, Jr., MD, Dallas, secretary. Dr. Stevens is a clinical professor of plastic surgery, University of Southern California, as well as Chairman of the USC-Marina Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship and Director of the USC Division of Aesthetic Surgery. He is featured in Castle Connolly's "Top Doctor Guide" recognizing him as one of the best plastic surgeons in America and is one of the select few to be featured in "Plastic Surgery: The World's Top Surgeons & Clinics." Dr. Stevens is an active member at Marina Del Rey Hospital, where he is the past Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the Chairman of the Liposuction Committee, and the Medical Director of The Breast Center. He is also on staff at St. John's Medical Center, the Marina Outpatient Surgery Center and USC. Dr. Stevens graduated with honors from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis where he was awarded the Senior Prize in Surgery. He completed his general surgery training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, then returned to Washington University-Barnes Hospital where he completed a Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with Dr. Paul Weeks, Dr. Leroy Young, Dr. Tom Mustoe, Dr. Jeffrey Marsh and Dr. R. Christie Wray. He is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons. He was appointed by the governor of California to the Medical Board of California Medical Quality Review Board. Dr. Stevens is an ASAPS Traveling Professor and has been an invited visiting professor at numerous U.S. and international universities. Dr. Stevens is a third vice president on the board of directors of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and he is on the Board of Directors and one of the International Traveling Professors. Dr. Stevens has authored more than 70 articles and chapters on aesthetic plastic surgery. He recently completed a chapter on mastopexy and mastopexy augmentation in Grabb and Smith. Dr. Stevens is a member of many medical societies, including ASAPS, ISAPS, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the International College of Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. Dr. Stevens is the past Chairman of the California Medical Association Advisory Panel on Plastic Surgery. He received the California State Assembly and the California State Senate Certificate of Recognition. He has also received the Special Congressional Certificate of Recognition and the Distinguished Service Citation from the Medical Board of California. For more information, visit Marina Plastic Surgery; like Marina Plastic Surgery on Facebook; sign up for the blog BeautyByStevens.com and follow on Twitter @DrGrantStevens.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

OrthAlign, Inc., a privately held U.S.-based medical device and technology company providing orthopedic surgeons with advanced precision technologies, announced today the executive appointment of Mike Bushlack as Chief Financial Officer and the promotion of James Young Kim as Vice President and General Manager of International. Mike Bushlack comes to OrthAlign with over 15 years of financial leadership experience in the medical device industry, working with early growth stage and large multi-national companies. Prior to joining OrthAlign, Mike was Chief Financial Officer of Blue Belt Technologies, Inc. and held executive financial leadership and business development roles at ev3 Inc., Covidien, and Medtronic, garnering a proven track record of partnering with business teams to develop and implement strategic plans and financial processes and focus investments to drive growth and enhance entity value. Mike began his career at KPMG LLP in Minneapolis, where he was a Senior Manager. James Kim has over 12 years of strategic marketing and sales experience in the medical and healthcare industry, responsible for strategic planning, product and brand management, product development, and multiple launch and global commercialization assignments. Since October 2013, James served as OrthAlign's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, helping lead the organization through an important growth period, including expansion of OrthAlign technology into key international markets. Prior to joining OrthAlign, James served in key marketing roles with Allergan, CareFusion, and Johnson & Johnson, successfully managing the Natrelle®, Pyxis®, and OneTouch® brands, respectively. James received an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. “The executive appointments of Mike and James are key elements in our continued efforts to successfully expand our customer reach, portfolio of products, and focus in providing world class customer service to our surgeons, hospitals, and surgery centers across the globe,” said Eric B. Timko, OrthAlign’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. “We are energized and excited about the growth opportunities before us and are heavily focused on our strategic initiatives as one of the leading technology companies in orthopaedics.” OrthAlign is a privately held medical device and technology company, developing advanced technologies that deliver healthier and more pain-free lifestyles to joint replacement patients, globally. We provide healthcare professionals with cutting edge, computer-assisted surgical tools that seamlessly and cost-effectively deliver vital data and clinical results to optimize outcomes for our patients. For more information regarding OrthAlign, please visit http://www.orthalign.com. “ORTHALIGN®, ORTHALIGN PLUS®, KNEEALIGN®, KNEEALIGN® 2, HIPALIGN®, and UNIALIGN™ are registered trademarks of OrthAlign, Inc.”


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A student team from the University of Southern California (USC), in conjunction with Accenture (NYSE:ACN), will provide pro-bono management consulting services to help Habitat for Humanity International design and create an initiative to boost volunteer retention as part of Accenture's annual U.S. undergraduate Innovation Challenge. The winning team from USC was selected in April 2017 following multiple rounds of competition. The 2017 competition included 253 teams from more than 50 undergraduate campuses and diversity partner organizations, with 1,625 total competitors. "It was incredibly rewarding to help mobilize exceptionally talented and committed students in assisting Habitat for Humanity International with strategies for how to build lifelong support that sustains long after a volunteer’s first build," said Marty Rodgers, managing director of Accenture's nonprofit practice. "Habitat exemplifies high performance delivery, and Accenture is honored to play a role in advancing its important mission," The USC team's winning proposal included a multi-pronged approach for Habitat for Humanity International to establish a consistent volunteer experience across affiliates, such as a structure for volunteers to advance through defined experience and loyalty levels. Areas of emphasis involve strategic leveraging of databases, enhanced social engagement with families and creation of new mentorships and workshops. Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, said "Being chosen to participate in this year’s Accenture Innovation Challenge has been both rewarding and an honor. I am confident the concepts surfaced by the student teams will help ensure we build not only safe, decent and affordable houses, but also deeper and lasting relationships with the volunteers so critical to achieving our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live." Accenture’s Innovation Challenge, launched in 2012, provides college students from across the United States an opportunity to put their community spirit and creative ideas to the test by participating in a case competition to support a priority goal of a nonprofit organization. Winning teams help implement their proposal with the nonprofit organization and a pro-bono Accenture consulting team. Accenture is a leading professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. With more than 50,000 people and operations in 41 cities in the United States, Accenture serves 93 of the Fortune 100 and more than 70 percent of the Fortune 500. In the United States, Accenture has innovation hubs which bring together key elements of the Accenture Innovation Architecture – including labs, studios and innovation centers – to help clients develop and deliver disruptive innovations to drive growth. With an unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity, Accenture is consistently recognized on FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity lists. Visit us at www.accenture.com.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Schnur comes to AJC after a career in communications and advocacy in California and national politics, and, more recently, teaching at the University of Southern California and the University of California – Berkeley. "I am honored to head the AJC Los Angeles office, to work with leaders in our community to build and strengthen relationships with those who share our core principles," said Schnur. "I have spent years building support for the causes and issues that are most important to me, but nothing is more vital than the values that form the pillars of the Jewish community." Since 2004, Schnur has taught politics, communications and leadership at the University of Southern California. He has been Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, founder of the USC/LA Times statewide political poll, and faculty advisor to the Trojans for Israel and SC Students for Israel organizations. In addition to his position at USC, Schnur is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of California at Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies. He also has held the post of Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics at Harvard University and taught an advanced course in political campaign communications at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. Earlier in his career, Schnur spent nearly 20 years in state and national politics, working on four presidential campaigns and three campaigns for governor of California. He served as chairman of the California Fair Political Practice Commission, communications director for Governor Pete Wilson, and for Senator John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. In 2011, Schnur changed his party registration to No Party Preference. In recent years, he has been involved with AJC Los Angeles, serving on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. AJC, a non-partisan organization founded in 1906, has headquarters in New York, 22 offices across the U.S, 10 around the world, and 34 international partnerships with overseas Jewish communities and student organizations. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dan-schnur-named-director-of-ajc-los-angeles-300449705.html


News Article | April 24, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

iPayables, a leading provider of electronic invoicing and AP Automation, today announced the appointment of Scott McKeon as Vice President of Sales. McKeon brings nearly 20 years of sales, marketing and operational experience and will lead the sales organization as the company plans and executes on an aggressive growth plan and continued commitment to customer success. "Scott brings proven expertise in developing world-class sales and operational organizations, combined with his core value of putting the customer first, making him a great fit for iPayables as we launch our Company into larger market opportunities in 2017 and beyond," said Ken Virgin, iPayables CEO. "As we continue to execute on our commitment to customer success in the AP Automation and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) industry, I am confident that Scott’s leadership will accelerate our momentum and growth.” Today’s finance and accounts payable leaders are overwhelmed by the ever-increasing number and types of invoicing, vendor management and payment options, along with the need to communicate business insights and risks to their boards while demonstrating ROI. iPayables is in a unique position to help CFOs, Financial Controllers and Accounts Payable leaders address these concerns with a flexible and reliable AP Automation solution that is trusted by some of the largest businesses in the world. “With over twenty-six billion dollars in invoices flowing through the iPayables platform, iPayables is a proven leader and industry pioneer in the accounts payable space, with a tremendous opportunity for further growth,” said McKeon. “I’m proud to join a team of market innovators that has paved the way in automating financial processes and empowering Accounts Payable teams with powerful and reliable solutions to reduce their costs and increase efficiencies.” McKeon brings a proven track record of achieving exceptional sales and operational efficiency in SaaS-based businesses, and will focus on leading sales team efforts to expand iPayables’ Accounts Payable automation business in current and future markets across the globe. Prior to joining iPayables, McKeon served as Vice President of Sales Operations for Spireon, a leading provider of SaaS-based connected vehicle technology. McKeon earned his BA from Southern Virginia University and Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California. iPayables is the leading provider of Accounts Payable Automation, Vendor Portal and Electronic Invoicing. By using our advanced internet invoicing system (InvoiceWorks®), companies can process invoices electronically, make changes, and track payments all while eliminating phone inquiries, data entry, filing and the scanning of documents. The world's largest airline, largest grocer, largest restaurant chain and other Fortune 100 companies use iPayables InvoiceWorks® because of its functionality, flexibility, and unmatched value. iPayables provides supplier tools for invoice web-entry, file upload, EDI, PO flip and paper invoice capture, which integrate seamlessly with our robust and dynamic workflow, purchase order matching, dispute resolution, payment and dynamic discounting capabilities. To learn more about iPayables log on to http://www.ipayables.com.


News Article | April 22, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Providing broad access to life-saving drugs and rewarding the innovators who develop those drugs often end up in opposition, but there is a better way to address this problem. That was the message from Dana Goldman, PhD, Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy, Public Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California, who served as the keynote speaker for Western University of Health Sciences’ Ray Symposium April 20, 2017. The Ray Symposium, presented by WesternU’s College of Pharmacy and Interprofessional Education program, honors Max D. Ray, MS, PharmD, Dean Emeritus of the College of Pharmacy. The symposium focused on “Re-Thinking Value in an Era of Health Reform.” Goldman opened his talk by explaining the “innovation and access dilemma.” In the short run, the public wants unfettered access to a new, highly-effective drug treatment. High prices might limit access to the drug, so ideally the prices should be set at the cost of production. But pharmaceutical research and development is risky, and in order to get people to invest in risky endeavors you have to pay them a reward, he said. “We developed things like patents, market exclusivity and research subsidies that are designed to generate innovation. We want to reward the innovators,” Goldman said. “In the long run we want prices to be high for innovation, but in the short run we want them to be low.” This is not merely an academic, theoretical debate. It played out quite dramatically with the development of highly active antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV in the mid-1990s. “The goal for medical innovation is to have people live longer. In 1994 we were starting to make some progress with drugs like AZT. But by 2000 we’d shifted out their survival curve even more,” Goldman said. The life expectancy for a patient with HIV went from 19 years in 1984 to 34 years by 2000. “So we shifted it by 15 years. That's a remarkable accomplishment. You take an illness that was affecting people in the prime years of their life and you’re adding 15 years of life and perhaps more,” he said. Manufacturers of those drugs made $63 billion in profit. “You might look at that and think that is a very large number. And maybe you think that’s not even ethical,” Goldman said. “On the other hand, if you take the hundreds of thousands of people who get HIV and multiply that by 15 years of life each one of them gets, then multiply the value of a life year, say $100,000 to $150,000, you get $1.4 trillion in patient health benefits.” Of the value created to society, about 5 percent of value was returned to the innovators. “That $63 billion that sounded like an unethical number becomes 5 percent of return to the innovator, and it raises important questions. You could even argue that the returns were too low. It doesn’t encourage enough innovation,” Goldman said. Another health issue that also illuminates the problems with innovation versus access is the development of statins, or cholesterol-lowering medications. There are millions of Americans who are not meeting their cholesterol goals. We have a problem of under-treatment, and one reason is people don’t comply with their doctor’s orders, Goldman said. “If you charge people a $10 copay for their statins you’ll find, regardless of their cardiovascular risk, only about 60 percent will take their medicine the therapeutically-optimal amount of time,” Goldman said. “If you double that copay, you’ll get a 12 percentage point reduction in compliance. We know cost-sharing matters.” But there are other pricing models that encourage innovation, Goldman said. Drugs are not like an office visit. They have more in common with something like a Microsoft operating system. “Microsoft spends a whole bunch of money on R&D and hires programmers, and then they shrink wrap their product and sell it to you,” Goldman said. “Now, Microsoft does not charge you every time you turn on your computer. What they want you to do is use it as much as possible. What you buy is a license to use the product, and that license is designed to reward the innovator for developing the product.” So to place statins into this example, instead of charging a $25 copay, you could charge a $195 license – paid by the insurer – and that license will give you access to however much statin as you and your doctor think you need. “What we showed is by doing that, you suddenly remove any of the effect of copay on use, and you can magically improve adherence from about 65 percent to 80 percent,” Goldman said. “In a population of about 10,000 people that means 127 fewer hospital stays during the year. The manufacturer ends up getting the exact same profits. But who has won? Society has won. The patients have won. They get better compliance.” The health plan actually saves some money and that money could be divided among the health plan, the manufacturer and the patient, Goldman said. “If we get out of this model of paying per use and thinking about rewarding the innovation, we can maybe do better,” he said.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has evaluated the best colleges and universities in California for 2017. Of the 50 four-year schools who made the list, Stanford University, University of Southern California, California Institute of Technology, University of California Los Angeles and University of California Berkeley came in as the top five. Of the 50 two-year schools ranked, Santa Rosa Junior College, Pasadena City College, Ohlone College, College of San Mateo and Mission College were the top five. A full list of schools is included below. “California offers students some of the highest-quality academic opportunities in the country, and the schools on our list are the best of the best,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Not only do these colleges and universities offer outstanding degree programs, they also provide their students with career resources and counseling services that equip them for post-college success.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in California” list, institutions must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit schools. Each college is ranked on additional statistics including the number of degree programs offered, the availability of career and academic resources, the opportunity for financial aid, graduation rates and annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in California” list, visit: The Best Four-Year Colleges in California for 2017 include: Art Center College of Design Azusa Pacific University California Baptist University California Institute of Technology California Lutheran University California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo California State University-Long Beach Chapman University Claremont McKenna College Concordia University-Irvine Dominican University of California Fresno Pacific University Harvey Mudd College Holy Names University Loma Linda University Loyola Marymount University Mills College Mount Saint Mary's University National University Notre Dame de Namur University Occidental College Pacific Union College Pepperdine University Pitzer College Point Loma Nazarene University Pomona College Saint Mary's College of California San Diego State University San Francisco State University San Jose State University Santa Clara University Scripps College Stanford University University of California-Berkeley University of California-Davis University of California-Irvine University of California-Los Angeles University of California-Riverside University of California-San Diego University of California-Santa Barbara University of California-Santa Cruz University of La Verne University of Redlands University of San Diego University of San Francisco University of Southern California University of the Pacific Westmont College Whittier College Woodbury University The Best Two-Year Colleges in California for 2017 include: Allan Hancock College American River College Bakersfield College Butte College Cabrillo College Canada College Chabot College Chaffey College Citrus College City College of San Francisco College of San Mateo College of the Canyons College of the Siskiyous Contra Costa College Copper Mountain College Crafton Hills College Cuesta College Cypress College De Anza College Diablo Valley College Feather River College Foothill College Fresno City College Las Positas College Lassen Community College Long Beach City College MiraCosta College Mission College Modesto Junior College Monterey Peninsula College Mt. San Antonio College Napa Valley College Ohlone College Orange Coast College Palomar College Pasadena City College Riverside City College Sacramento City College Saddleback College San Bernardino Valley College San Diego Mesa College Santa Ana College Santa Barbara City College Santa Rosa Junior College Shasta College Skyline College Solano Community College Southwestern College West Valley College Yuba College ### About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Raisa Ahmad was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which she conducted research and prepared memos for patent litigation cases involving software and security patents, pharmaceuticals, and biomedical devices.  In addition, she has experience preparing claim construction charts, invalidity contentions, and Lanham Act standing memos.  Prior to law school, she was a student engineer and conducted electric-cell substrate impedance sensing analysis for the Center for the Convergence of Physical and Cancer Biology.  Ahmad received her J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law in 2016 where she was senior articles editor for the Arizona Law Review and received the Dean's Achievement Award Scholarship.  She received her B.S.E., magna cum laude, in biomedical engineering from Arizona State University in 2011.  She is admitted to practice in Texas. Brian Apel practices patent litigation, including post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  He has worked for clients in the mechanical, electrical, and chemical industries and has experience in pre-suit diligence including opinion work, discovery, damages, summary judgment, and appeals.  Apel also has experience in patent prosecution, employment discrimination, and First Amendment law.  Before law school, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.  Apel received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Michigan Law School in 2016 and his B.A., with honors, in chemistry from Northwestern University in 2008.  He is admitted to practice in Minnesota, the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Zoya Kovalenko Brooks focuses her practice on patent litigation, including working on teams for one of the largest high-tech cases in the country pertaining to data transmission and memory allocation technologies.  She was previously a summer associate and law clerk with the firm.  While in law school, she served as a legal extern at The Coca-Cola Company in the IP group.  Prior to attending law school, she was an investigator intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she investigated over 20 potential discrimination cases.  Brooks received her J.D., high honors, Order of the Coif, from Emory University School of Law in 2016 where she was articles editor for Emory Law Journal and her B.S., high honors, in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Georgia. Holly Chamberlain focuses on patent prosecution in a variety of areas including the biomedical, mechanical, and electromechanical arts.  She was previously a summer associate with the firm.  She received her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2016 where she was an editor of Intellectual Property and Technology Forum and her B.S. in biological engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Thomas Chisena previously was a summer associate with the firm where he worked on patent, trade secret, and trademark litigation.  Prior to attending law school, he instructed in biology, environmental science, and anatomy & physiology.  Chisena received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2016 where he was executive editor of Penn Intellectual Property Group Online and University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 37.  He also received his Wharton Certificate in Business Management in December 2015.  He received his B.S. in biology from Pennsylvania State University in 2009.  He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Claire Collins was a legal intern for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office during law school.  She has experience researching and drafting motions and legal memorandums.  Collins received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2016 where she was a Dillard Fellow, her M.A. from Texas A&M University in 2012, and her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in 2006.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts. Ronald Golden, III previously served as a courtroom deputy to U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark and U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge.  He received his J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2012 where he was on the staff of Widener Law Review and was awarded "Best Overall Competitor" in the American Association for Justice Mock Trial.  He received his B.A. from Stockton University in political science and criminal justice in 2005.  He is admitted to practice in Delaware and New Jersey. Dr. Casey Kraning-Rush was previously a summer associate with the firm, where she focused primarily on patent litigation.  She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2016 where she was managing editor of Penn Intellectual Property Group Online and awarded "Best Advocate" and "Best Appellee Brief" at the Western Regional of the AIPLA Giles Rich Moot Court.  She earned her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University in 2013 and has extensive experience researching cellular and molecular medicine.  She received her M.S. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University in 2012 and her B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Butler University in 2008.  She is admitted to practice in Delaware. Alana Mannigé was previously a summer associate with the firm and has worked on patent prosecution, patent litigation, trademark, and trade secret matters.  During law school, she served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  She also worked closely with biotech startup companies as part of her work at the UC Hastings Startup Legal Garage.  Prior to attending law school, Mannigé worked as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  She received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2016 where she was senior articles editor of Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal.  She received her M.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2010 and her B.A., cum laude, in chemistry from Clark University in 2007.  She is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Will Orlady was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which he collaborated to research and brief a matter on appeal to the Federal Circuit.  He also analyzed novel issues related to inter partes review proceedings, drafted memoranda on substantive patent law issues, and crafted infringement contentions.  During law school, Orlady was a research assistant to Professor Kristin Hickman, researching and writing on administrative law.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2016 where he was lead articles editor of the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology and his B.A. in neuroscience from the University of Southern California in 2012.  He is admitted to practice in Minnesota and the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. Jessica Perry previously was a summer associate and law clerk with the firm, where she worked on patent and trademark litigation.  During law school, she was an IP & licensing analyst, in which she assisted with drafting and tracking material transfer agreement and inter-institutional agreements.  She also worked with the Boston University Civil Litigation Clinic representing pro bono clients with unemployment, social security, housing, and family law matters.  Prior to law school, she was a senior mechanical design engineer for an aerospace company.  She received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 2016 where she was articles editor of the Journal of Science and Technology Law, her M.Eng. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009, and her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2007.  She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Taufiq Ramji was previously a summer associate with the firm, in which he researched legal issues that related to ongoing litigation and drafted responses to discovery requests and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actions.  Prior to attending law school, Ramji worked as a software developer.  He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2016.  He is admitted to practice in California. Charles Reese has worked on matters before various federal district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  His litigation experience includes drafting dispositive, evidentiary, and procedural motions; arguing in federal district court; and participating in other stages of litigation including discovery, appeal, and settlement negotiation.  Previously, he was a summer associate with the firm.  He received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2016 where he was articles editor of Harvard Law Review, his A.M. in organic and organometallic chemistry from Harvard University in 2012, and his B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Furman University in 2010.  He is admitted to practice in Georgia and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Ethan Rubin was previously a summer associate and law clerk with the firm.  During law school, he worked at a corporation's intellectual property department in which he prepared and prosecuted patents relating to data storage systems.  He also worked as a student attorney, advocating for local pro bono clients on various housing and family law matters.  Rubin received his J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School in 2016 where he was articles editor of Boston College Law Review, his M.S. in computer science from Boston University in 2013, and his B.A., magna cum laude, in criminal justice from George Washington University in 2011.  He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Pooya Shoghi focuses on patent prosecution, including portfolio management, application drafting, client counseling, and standard essential patent development.  Prior to joining the firm, he was a patent practitioner at a multinational technology company, where he was responsible for the filing and prosecution of U.S. patent applications.  During law school, he was a legal intern at a major computer networking technology company, where he focused on issues of intellectual property licensing in the software arena.  He received his J.D., with honors, from Emory University School of Law in 2014 where he was executive managing editor of Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review.  He received his B.S., summa cum laude, in computer science (2015) and his B.A., summa cum laude, in political science (2011) from Georgia State University.  He is admitted to practice in New York and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Tucker Terhufen focuses his practice on patent litigation in federal district courts as well as before the International Trade Commission for clients in the medical devices, life sciences, chemical, and electronics industries.  Prior to joining Fish, he served as judicial extern to the Honorable David G. Campbell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and to the Honorable Mary H. Murguia of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in 2016 where he was note and comment editor of Arizona State Law Journal and received a Certificate in Law, Science, and Technology with a specialization in Intellectual Property.  He received his B.S.E., summa cum laude, in chemical engineering from Arizona State University.  He is admitted to practice in California. Laura Whitworth was previously a summer associate with the firm.  During law school, she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  She received her J.D., cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law in 2016 where she was senior federal circuit editor of American University Law Review and senior patent editor of Intellectual Property Brief.  She received her B.S. in chemistry from the College of William & Mary in 2013.  She is admitted to practice in Virginia, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Jack Wilson was previously a summer associate with the firm.  During law school, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Mark Davis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Prior to attending law school, he served in the United States Army.  He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from William & Mary Law School in 2016 where he was on the editorial staff of William & Mary Law Review and his B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Virginia in 2009.  He is admitted to practice in Virginia and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Fish & Richardson is a global patent prosecution, intellectual property litigation, and commercial litigation law firm with more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists in the U.S. and Europe.  Our success is rooted in our creative and inclusive culture, which values the diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives.  Fish is the #1 U.S. patent litigation firm, handling nearly three times as many cases than its nearest competitor; a powerhouse patent prosecution firm; a top-tier trademark and copyright firm; and the #1 firm at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, with more cases than any other firm.  Since 1878, Fish attorneys have been winning cases worth billions in controversy – often by making new law – for the world's most innovative and influential technology leaders.  For more information, visit https://www.fr.com or follow us at @FishRichardson. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fish--richardson-announces-18-recent-associates-300447237.html


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

Imagine possibly getting further insights into New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's sleeping habits? Or tracing Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's recovery patterns after an injury? The National Football League Players Association said Monday it's partnering with Whoop to provide wrist-worn monitors to measure heart rate, fatigue and recovery levels. Each of the league's nearly 2,000 players will have the option to wear a Whoop Strap 2.0 during their offseason workouts. The biometric monitors are different from the NFL-owned, nickel-sized Zebra sensors worn during games and practices that mostly track player movement and exertion. The deal is a part of a partnership with the NFLPA's One Team Collective, the union's business accelerator. Talks began shortly after Whoop won a pitch day competition for sports-focused tech companies during Super Bowl week in Houston. "This data will be extremely useful to our players," said Ahmad Nassar, president of NFL Players Inc., the union's licensing and marketing arm. "We want to capture data beyond the NFL season and make sure they are taking care of their bodies and getting enough rest, especially during the offseason." This could give players some extra motivation to stay fit as their teams may directly benefit as a result, said Ram Shalev, the CEO of PhysiMax, an Israeli-based company that helps pro athletes recover from movement-based injuries. "A greater number of the players will most likely report to training camp in better shape and in peak physical condition," he said. This isn't the only deal Boston-based Whoop has in professional sports. Last month, Major League Baseball agreed to let players to wear Whoop monitors during games following a study in cooperation with MLB that showed a correlation between monitoring recovery and injury and the quality of hitting and pitching. "We're still in the early stages of how athletes use wearable equipment," said Courtney Brunious, associate director for the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California. "You have some players who will be highly into the technology aspect the data will provide, and others who are concerned about their privacy and don't want to be tracked." In addition to being able to monitor how training, injuries like concussions and traveling affect their bodies, the NFL players will also have a minority stake in Whoop. The agreement gives them the right to sell their data to broadcast networks and sports sites and to have it used in scientific research, said Whoop CEO Will Ahmed. "This is a first-of-its-kind deal. We're talking about the recovery of players and them benefitting from it physically and fiscally," he said. "The NFLPA is being really forward-thinking in terms of having players think more about health and safety and how to extend their careers." First published April 25, 7:09 a.m. PT. Update, 4:24 p.m.: Adds comment from a sports injury expert. Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool. It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to the heart of the matter.


Ralph P.,University of California at Davis | Ralph P.,University of Southern California | Coop G.,University of California at Davis
PLoS Biology | Year: 2013

The recent genealogical history of human populations is a complex mosaic formed by individual migration, large-scale population movements, and other demographic events. Population genomics datasets can provide a window into this recent history, as rare traces of recent shared genetic ancestry are detectable due to long segments of shared genomic material. We make use of genomic data for 2,257 Europeans (in the Population Reference Sample [POPRES] dataset) to conduct one of the first surveys of recent genealogical ancestry over the past 3,000 years at a continental scale. We detected 1.9 million shared long genomic segments, and used the lengths of these to infer the distribution of shared ancestors across time and geography. We find that a pair of modern Europeans living in neighboring populations share around 2-12 genetic common ancestors from the last 1,500 years, and upwards of 100 genetic ancestors from the previous 1,000 years. These numbers drop off exponentially with geographic distance, but since these genetic ancestors are a tiny fraction of common genealogical ancestors, individuals from opposite ends of Europe are still expected to share millions of common genealogical ancestors over the last 1,000 years. There is also substantial regional variation in the number of shared genetic ancestors. For example, there are especially high numbers of common ancestors shared between many eastern populations that date roughly to the migration period (which includes the Slavic and Hunnic expansions into that region). Some of the lowest levels of common ancestry are seen in the Italian and Iberian peninsulas, which may indicate different effects of historical population expansions in these areas and/or more stably structured populations. Population genomic datasets have considerable power to uncover recent demographic history, and will allow a much fuller picture of the close genealogical kinship of individuals across the world. © 2013 Ralph, Coop.

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