APTN National NewsA First Nation RCMP officer died of an apparent suicide Monday after a public battle with post traumatic stress disorder.Cpl. Ron Francis made headlines when he was photographed smoking medical marijuana in his uniform.Friends and family say it’s important to raise awareness of PTSD.They want him remembered as a kind man who needed more help from the RCMP.APTN’s Trina Roache has the story.
Dwight Howard (12) of the Houston Rockets shoots a free throw against the Sacramento Kings in the second half of the Rocket’s 119-98 victory on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Houston.Credit: Courtesy of TNSThose of you who have been watching the NBA playoffs — or have been trying to watch it — have seen a free-throw contest as opposed to a basketball game while following the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets series.Both teams have been using the heavily debated “Hack-a” strategy against one another. This is when a team intentionally fouls a poor free-throw shooter away from the play in order to put him at the line, in hopes that he misses at least one of his free-throw attempts. That allows the team to avoid playing defense for a possession and having to guard a couple of the most dominant players in the league in Rockets guard James Harden and Clippers forward Blake Griffin.While this strategy has worked over the course of the season and in the playoffs, it has taken a lot away from the natural flow of the game for the fans. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said this rule will be looked at in the offseason.In Game 2 of the Clippers vs. Rockets series, there were 96 free throws attempted, 64 of them by the Rockets. Rockets center Dwight Howard went 8-of-21 at the line and is now shooting 40 percent at the stripe in the series.The Rockets have not utilized fouling Clippers center DeAndre Jordan as much as the San Antonio Spurs did in their previous series, as Jordan has been shooting surprisingly decent in the first two games at 59 percent.These fouls not only put a poor free-throw shooter at the line, but they also change the flow of the game and have forced head coaches Doc Rivers and Kevin McHale to remove their big men from the game. Look for the “Hack-a-Jordan” and “Hack-a-Howard” strategies to continue to be used throughout the remainder of the series.Currently, teams are able to foul away from the play throughout the game except for the final two minutes. I do think it is bad for the game in its entirety, but I do not think it should be adjusted.Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said it best after he utilized it against Jordan: “If someone can’t shoot free throws, that’s their problem.” The player should be the one working to improve his free-throw percentage to prevent this game plan from being used against him.One of Popovich’s own players, Tiago Splitter, used to be hacked early in his career. As a rookie, Splitter shot an atrocious 54 percent at the line, but he has improved that percentage to a respectable 75 percent this season.The most impressive player in the 2015 playoffs so far, Griffin, shot 52 percent from the line early in his career and is now up to 73 percent this season.Every player in the league has weaknesses that they must improve on. Chauncey Billups used to struggle finishing in traffic, so he learned how to draw fouls. J.J. Redick has learned how to put the ball on the floor and hit a floater or pull-up jumper when defenders close out aggressively on him. The rules were never adjusted for Billups by letting him shoot uncontested layups, and the same for Redick by letting him shoot open three-point attempts.When Silver and the league look at the rule this offseason, they will have a few options to modify it. First, they could keep it exactly how it is, where a team can intentionally foul except for the final two minutes of the game. I am not sure why something is allowed for the first 46 minutes of the game, but then all of a sudden during the final two minutes it changes. I am not complaining, though, as the last two minutes are the most exciting part of the game.Another option I have thought of is not allowing a foul away from the ball in the first 16 seconds of the shot clock, and then allowing it the last eight seconds. This gives teams an opportunity to score before a foul is given, while the opposing team must decide to foul or play out the last third of the shot clock.Finally they may discard the “Hack-a” policy throughout the entire 48 minutes. If this happens, Jordan, Howard, Andre Drummond and other poor free-throw shooters will benefit drastically. These players will earn larger contracts in free agency from teams due to the impact they create on the defensive end and rebounding, while they do not have to worry about them being hacked anymore on the offensive end.I strongly believe from a basketball standpoint the players must take responsibility to improve on their weaknesses. I expect the rule to be looked at this offseason, and possibly altered to make the games more enjoyable for the fans of the NBA to watch. read more
Sony has made its digital channel Crackle available on Windows phones in the UK.The Crackle app allows user to watch ad-supported Hollywood movies and TV series and original digital series. Crackle is already available on Apple phones and devices, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games consoles and Bravia TV sets.
Ericsson will handle playout and media management for the BBC’s portfolio of UK channels as part of a new seven-year deal with the broadcaster.The contract includes playout and media management services for BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC and the BBC’s interactive Red Button service.The deal also includes playout and media management for the BBC’s international news channel, BBC World News, which is available in more than 200 countries.“We have a very positive relationship with the BBC as a result of our acquisition of Red Bee Media in May 2014, and currently provide a number of other broadcast and media services to the BBC including metadata, interactive services and access services. We look forward to strengthening this relationship further over the coming years,” said Thorsten Sauer, head of broadcast and media services at Ericsson.Bal Samra, managing director, BBC Television, said the deal provides “excellent value for money” and would guarantee “quality, flexibility and innovation.”“By extending our partnership with Ericsson we have secured the future delivery of these broadcast critical services and delivered significant savings for the BBC,” said Samra. read more
Register Now » –shares Next Article Senior Editor for Green Entrepreneur July 9, 2014 Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff Peter Page Etsy CEO: We Couldn’t Have Succeeded Under Proposed FCC Net Neutrality Rule Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson has asked in official comments for the Federal Communication Commission to reclassify Internet service providers (ISPs) as utilities so the commission will have “authority to protect an open Internet once and for all.’’ Dickerson bluntly urged the FCC to take the politically explosive move of reclassifying ISPs as “telecommunications services’’ subject to tight regulation under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, originally enacted in 1934 to regulate telephone service.Related: The Latest FCC Net Neutrality Rules Should Be OpposedThe reclassification is vehemently opposed by ISPs such as Verizon, which warned reclassification would “impose 1930s utility regulation on the Internet’’ and “lead to years of legal and regulatory uncertainty and would jeopardize investment and innovation in broadband.”The ISPs’ congressional allies urged FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to “halt your consideration of any plan to impose antiquated regulation of the Internet’’ in a letter sent before Wheeler unveiled the latest proposed rule. Wheeler said Title II reclassification was under consideration the following day when the rule proposal was released for public comment.Etsy is the archetype Internet success story, launched in a Brooklyn apartment in 2005 by Dickerson and furniture maker Rob Kalin. The company now has offices globally and employs 500 people. In 2013, more than a million artists, designers and collectors, had cumulative gross sales of $1.35 billion.Dickerson noted in his comments that 88 percent of Etsy sellers are women mostly working from home. Sellers have an average household income of $44,900 but about 25 percent of Etsy sellers make a scant $25,000 per year.“These Internet-enabled entrepreneurs are building businesses on their own terms, prioritizing flexibility and independence over rapid growth, and using Etsy income to build resilience in the face of declining job security,’’ Dickerson wrote.With just days left until the July 15 FCC deadline for the initial round of comments, there is growing specificity from relatively smaller Internet businesses insisting on Title II reclassification. Mozilla, a coalition of online education companies, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, long a skeptic of government regulation of the Internet, have already publicly supported Title II reclassification.Google and Facebook were the corporate face of net neutrality advocacy for years leading up to the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet Order but have been nearly silent in the current debate. Both were signatories to a letter urging the five FCC commissioners to “protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization’’ but did not recommend Title II reclassification.Related: Net Neutrality, ExplainedDickerson’s comments are notable for cogently analyzing in plain language both complex telecommunications law and how the economics of making a living on the Internet will shift under the current proposed rule that would allow “fast lanes’’ that are “commercially reasonable’’ but mandate a vague “adequate level of service’’ for companies that can’t afford a fast lane. Dickerson, drawing from the federal court decision in January that invalidated most, but not all, of the 2010 Open Internet Order, reasoned the FCC does have authority to make the slow lanes fast enough without reclassification probably would be overruled in the courts, also. “If the proposed rules were in place when Etsy was founded, we would never have achieved the success we have today. Etsy and other startups will suffer if the FCC allows some companies to negotiate priority or exclusive access to consumers,’’ Dickerson wrote.The FCC has received more than 600,000 comments on the net neutrality rulemaking. The public can comment online until July 15 for the initial round. After July 15 the public can review commens and file replies until Sept. 15.Related: WATCH: Comedian John Oliver Takes On FCC in Witty Net Neutrality Rant Net Neutrality Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 4 min read read more
David Murphy 35shares August 1, 2016 Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Add to Queue Amazon This story originally appeared on PCMag Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Image credit: Shutterstock 3 min read Noise-cancelling headphones can be great, especially if you don’t want to deal with the noise of an airplane, a busy New York street, or a loud coffee shop. However, the main problem with noise-cancelling headphones is that they aren’t very smart. They block out all noise regardless of what it actually is. And that can be an issue if there are some things you need to hear among the cacophony: a siren approaching in the distance, someone tapping you on the shoulder to tell you about something important or your order.Flicking the noise-cancelling feature of your headphones on and off is way to handle this problem, but it’s a bit cumbersome and it doesn’t really help you for unexpected sounds you might want to hear. There’s a better solution — or, at least, there could be. According to a report from CNET, Amazon was recently granted a patent for noise-cancelling headphones that can intelligently separate noise you don’t want to hear from sounds you do want to hear. It does so by automatically disabling the noise-cancelling aspect whenever it detects certain frequencies, sound patterns or even special keywords.”Aspects of the disclosure provide suspension of noise cancellation at a noise-cancelling device using keyword spotting. In one aspect, a predetermined word or phrase can be spotted within an utterance received at the noise-cancelling device, and in response, noise cancellation can be suspended or otherwise terminated. The predetermined word or phrase can be specific to an end-user that utilizes the noise-cancelling device and/or a person that interacts with the end-user,” reads Amazon’s patent.”In another aspect, interaction between an operator and the noise-cancelling device can be monitored after noise cancellation is suspended, and based at least on such interaction, a model for keyword spotting can be refined. In certain aspects, noise cancellation at the noise-cancelling device can be suspended or otherwise terminated in response to receiving a suspension directive via an electronic non-audio signal, for example, from a peripheral device. In other aspects, the noise-cancelling device can resume noise cancellation in response to a control signal.”Since this is just a patent, there’s no guarantee that Amazon is actually making noise-cancelling headphones with this special technology built in. We don’t know any other features the headphones have, or even how you might train the headphones to recognize certain keywords. We’d be interested to know if the headphones came with a pre-populated list of words they’re triggered by, whether you could pick and choose these trigger words from a list, or whether you’d have to train the headphones to respond to phrases like “excuse me,” “order” or “now serving.” Next Article Amazon Wins Patent for Smarter Noise-Cancelling Headphones Enroll Now for $5 read more
The Target: BP program helped us to standardize our procedure for blood pressure determination across the clinic as a whole, thus leading to improved patient outcomes and quality of care delivery”said Thomas Mihelich, M.D., Chief Quality Officer at Utica Park Clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of 340 clinics receiving Gold level recognition this year. Of the 103 million Americans with high blood pressure, less than half of them have it controlled to a healthy level. Through the Target: BP program, healthcare providers have access to tools and resources to not only help them remain mindful of blood pressure management but help more of their patients become involved with their care and health goals in order to get their blood pressure under control.Related StoriesHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersScientists turn type A blood into universal type O, potentially doubling blood transfusion stocks“A driving force behind Target: BP’s goal of improving cardiovascular health is the physician and patient partnership,” said AHA President Ivor Benjamin, M.D., FAHA. “No single risk factor has more impact on the nation’s death rates from cardiovascular disease than high blood pressure. We are pleased to see more and more practices prioritize blood pressure control and collaborate with their patients to achieve the program’s goal of reducing heart disease and strokes in their communities.”Experts agree that high blood pressure can often be managed effectively when patients work with their physician to create and follow a treatment plan.“Although we have the tools to effectively treat high blood pressure, many patients face a variety of barriers making it difficult to successfully manage the condition. Target: BP is meant to facilitate ways around those barriers,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “We applaud the physicians who are already working hard to control their patients’ blood pressure. And, because we know that improving control rates by just a few percentage points can lead to tens of thousands of additional hypertensive patients with controlled blood pressure, we will continue to urge more physician practices, health systems and patients to join this effort to prioritize blood pressure control. By increasing the national blood pressure control rate, we will be able to save many more lives and improve health outcomes for patients throughout the nation.”More than 1,650 physician practices and health systems nationwide have joined Target: BP™ since 2015, sharing a common goal to reduce the number of adult patients with uncontrolled blood pressure and improve health outcomes associated with heart disease. Launched in 2017, the Target: BP Recognition Program is an extension of Target: BP™. More information about Target: BP and a full list of this year’s recognized participants can be found at TargetBP.org. Source:https://www.ama-assn.org/ Oct 19 2018American Heart Association and American Medical Association award physician practices and health systems with Target: BP™ Recognition Program designation for their commitment to prioritize blood pressure control within the communities they serve The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) today recognized 802 physician practices and health systems from across the country for their commitment to reducing the number of Americans who have heart attacks and strokes each year. As part of the annual Target: BP Recognition Program, run jointly by the two associations since 2017, these practices are being recognized for their commitment to helping more patients improve blood pressure control.More than 8.7 million people with high blood pressure are represented by this year’s 802 program participants. The highest level of achievement in the program is to reach a control rate of 70 percent or more, signifying Gold status. According to this year’s Target: BP data, nearly half of Target: BP Recognition Program participants reached Gold status—with these health care organizations achieving on average 77 percent of their hypertensive patients’ blood pressure controlled. Data for the program is based on high blood pressure control being defined as less than 140/90 mmHg. read more
Source:https://wyss.harvard.edu/predicting-leaky-heart-valves-with-3d-printing/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 11 2018New integrated workflow improves valve sizing accuracy during aortic valve replacement proceduresMore than one in eight people aged 75 and older in the United States develop moderate-to-severe blockage of the aortic valve in their hearts, usually caused by calcified deposits that build up on the valve’s leaflets and prevent them from fully opening and closing. Many of these older patients are not healthy enough to undergo open heart surgeries; instead, they have artificial valves implanted into their hearts using a procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which deploys the valve via a catheter inserted into the aorta. There are challenges with this procedure, however, including the need to choose the perfect-sized heart valve without ever actually looking at the patient’s heart: too small, and the valve can dislodge or leak around the edges; too large, and the valve can rip through the heart, carrying a risk of death. Like Goldilocks, cardiologists are looking for a TAVR valve size that is “just right”.Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have created a novel 3D printing workflow that allows cardiologists to evaluate how different valve sizes will interact with each patient’s unique anatomy, before the medical procedure is actually performed. This protocol uses CT scan data to produce physical models of individual patients’ aortic valves, in addition to a “sizer” device to determine the perfect replacement valve size. The work was performed in collaboration with researchers and physicians from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The University of Washington, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, and is published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.”If you buy a pair of shoes online without trying them on first, there’s a good chance they’re not going to fit properly. Sizing replacement TAVR valves poses a similar problem, in that doctors don’t get the opportunity to evaluate how a specific valve size will fit with a patient’s anatomy before surgery,” said James Weaver, Ph.D., a Senior Research Scientist at the Wyss Institute who is a corresponding author of the paper. “Our integrative 3D printing and valve sizing system provides a customized report of every patient’s unique aortic valve shape, removing a lot of the guesswork and helping each patient receive a more accurately sized valve.”When a patient needs a replacement heart valve, they frequently get a CT scan, which takes a series of X ray images of the heart to create a 3D reconstruction of its internal anatomy. While the outer wall of the aorta and any associated calcified deposits are easily seen on a CT scan, the delicate “leaflets” of tissue that open and close the valve are often too thin to show up well. “After a 3D reconstruction of the heart anatomy is performed, it often looks like the calcified deposits are simply floating around inside the valve, providing little or no insight as to how a deployed TAVR valve would interact with them,” Weaver explained.To solve that problem, Ahmed Hosny, who was a Research Fellow at the Wyss Institute at the time, created a software program that uses parametric modeling to generate virtual 3D models of the leaflets using seven coordinates on each patient’s valve that are visible on CT scans. The digital leaflet models were then merged with the CT data and adjusted so that they fit into the valve correctly. The resulting model, which incorporates the leaflets and their associated calcified deposits, was then 3D printed into a physical multi-material model.Related StoriesCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseSmoking triples the risk of death from cardiovascular diseaseTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockThe team also 3D printed a custom “sizer” device that fits inside the 3D-printed valve model and expands and contracts to determine what size artificial valve would best fit each patient. They then wrapped the sizer with a thin layer of pressure-sensing film to map the pressure between the sizer and the 3D-printed valves and their associated calcified deposits, while gradually expanding the sizer.”We discovered that the size and the location of the calcified deposits on the leaflets have a big impact on how well an artificial valve will fit into a calcified one,” said Hosny, who is currently at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “Sometimes, there was just no way a TAVR valve would fully seal a calcified valve, and those patients could actually be better off getting open-heart surgery to obtain a better-fitting result.”In addition, the multi-material design of the 3D-printed valve models, which incorporate flexible leaflets and rigid calcified deposits into a fully integrated shape, could much more accurately mimic the behavior of real heart valves during artificial valve deployment, as well as provide haptic feedback as the sizer is expanded.The team tested their system against data from 30 patients who had already undergone TAVR procedures, 15 of whom had developed leaks from valves that were too small. The researchers predicted, based on how well the sizer fit into the 3D printed models of their aortic valves, what size valve each patient should have received, and whether they would experience leaks after the procedure. The system was able to successfully predict leak outcome in 60-73% of the patients (depending on the type of valve the patient had received), and determined that 60% of the patients had received the appropriate size of valve.”Being able to identify intermediate- and low-risk patients whose heart valve anatomy gives them a higher probability of complications from TAVR is critical, and we’ve never had a non-invasive way to accurately determine that before,” said co-author Beth Ripley, M.D., Ph.D, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Washington who was a Cardiovascular Imaging Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital when the study was done. “Those patients might be better served by surgery, as the risks of an imperfect TAVR result might outweigh its benefits.” Additionally, being able to physically simulate the procedure might inform future iterations of valve designs and deployment approaches.The team has made their leaflet modeling software and 3D printing protocol freely available online for researchers or clinicians who wish to use them. They hope their project will serve as a springboard for evolvable biomedical design that keeps pace with the market’s state of the art.”At the core of the personalized medicine challenge is the realization that one medical treatment will not serve all patients equally well, and that therapies should be tailored to the individual,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “This principle applies to medical devices as well as drugs, and it is exciting to see how our community is innovating in this space and attempting to translate new personalized approaches from the lab and into the clinic.” read more
Source:https://news.rub.de/english/press-releases/2018-12-19-neuroscience-how-brain-reacts-loss-vision Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 19 2018Going blind affects all senses, and disrupts memory abilityIf mice lose their vision immediately after birth due to a genetic defect, this has a considerable impact, both on the organization of the cerebral cortex and on memory ability. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in a study published online in the journal Cerebral Cortex on 7 December 2018. They demonstrated that, in the months after blindness emerged, the density of neurotransmitter receptors that regulate excitation balance and are required for memory encoding was altered in all areas of the cortex that process sensory information. Furthermore, the hippocampus, a brain region that plays a crucial role in memory processes, was profoundly affected.Mirko Feldmann, Daniela Beckmann, Professor Ulf Eysel and Professor Denise Manahan-Vaughan from the Department of Neurophysiology conducted the study.Other senses sharpen after loss of visionFollowing the loss of vision, other senses become gradually more sensitive: tactile and hearing acuity and one’s sense of smell all improve, enabling a blind individual to use these senses to navigate accurately through the environment, despite a lack of visual input. But this process takes time and practice. The associated changes in the brain are facilitated by synaptic plasticity, a process that enables experience-dependent adaptation, learning and memory. One clue as to whether reorganizational adaptation is taking place in the brain is obtained by analyzing the density and distribution of neurotransmitters that are crucial for synaptic plasticity.Adaptation requires major effort from the brainRelated StoriesPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustThe researchers from Bochum studied what happens in the brain after loss of vision in mice. They examined the density of neurotransmitter receptors after the emergence of blindness and compared the results with the brains of healthy mice. In addition, they tested how well the blind mice performed in spatial recognition tests, in order to examine the animals’ memory.Before any changes had developed in the sensory cortices, the researchers observed that loss of vision was first followed by changes in the density of neurotransmitter receptors and impairments of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. In subsequent months, hippocampal plasticity became more impaired and spatial memory was affected. During this time the density of neurotransmitter receptors also changed in the visual cortex, as well as in other cortical areas that process other sensory information.”After blindness occurs, the brain tries to compensate for the loss by ramping up its sensitivity to the missing visual signals,” explains Denise Manahan-Vaughan, who led the study. When this fails to work, the other sensory modalities begin to adapt and increase their acuities. “Our study shows that this process of reorganization is supported by extensive changes in the expression and function of key neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. This is a major undertaking, during which time the hippocampus’ ability to store spatial experiences is hampered,” says Manahan-Vaughan. read more
By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMar 13 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Wireless earphones could be releasing potentially carcinogenic radiation into the heads of the users, finds a new study. Mohd Syis Zulkipl | ShutterstockA group of 250 experts and researchers have signed a petition to the United Nations and World Health Organisation to stop the use of these and other wireless devices.The researchers explain that these wireless ear pieces use a type of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiowave via Bluetooth technology to transmit data. The closeness of this radiation to the brains of the users is cause for concern, say the researchers.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedJerry Phillips, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Colorado said, “My concern for AirPods is that their placement in the ear canal exposes tissues in the head to relatively high levels of radio-frequency radiation.” Phillips is one of the many scientists who have called for a restriction on use of such devices.The petition reads, “Based upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices.” It goes on to say that the risk of cancer, neurological disorders, and DNA damage that have been associated with EMF exposure cannot be ignored.The International Agency for Research on Cancer too recently agreed that these EMF waves could be “possibly carcinogenic” to humans. These waves are similar to UV rays or X raysbut are not as powerful. They can cause burns at high concentration but are generally of less impact. The debate about whether they are carcinogenic is still ongoing.The World Health Organisation developed guidelines that regulate the amount of EMF the devices are allowed to emit. The petition adds, “The various agencies setting safety standards have failed to impose sufficient guidelines to protect the general public, particularly children who are more vulnerable to the effects of EMF. By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfil its role as the preeminent international public health agency.”The guidelines insist that phones should be kept away from the body when not in use. Sleeping with the phone is not a good practice and usage of headsets or headphones to conduct phone calls is suggested as a good option. Sources:Original editorial article: “Are AirPods and Other Bluetooth Headphones Safe?”.IARC classifies radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. WHO. read more
Source:ISPOR Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 16 2019Value in Health, the official journal of ISPOR- the professional society for health economics and outcomes research, announced today the publication of a high-level overview of machine learning for healthcare outcomes researchers and decision makers. The report, “Machine Learning for Health Services Researchers,” was published in the July 2019 issue of Value in Health.Machine learning is a rapidly growing field that attempts to extract general concepts from large datasets, commonly in the form of an algorithm that predicts an outcome-;a task that has become increasingly difficult to accomplish by humans because data volume and complexity has increased beyond what was capable with traditional statistics and desktop computers.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyMachine learning methods may be useful to health service researchers seeking to improve prediction of a healthcare outcome with large datasets available to train and refine an estimator algorithm. Machine learning methods can help generalizable data-driven estimators when many covariates are being selected among and when the outcome of interest may be produced by complex nonlinear relationships and interaction terms.In this report, the authors introduce key concepts for understanding the application of machine learning methods to healthcare outcomes research. They first provide an overview of machine learning, then identify 5 steps to developing and applying a machine learning algorithm (commonly referred to as a predictive model or estimator): (1) data preparation, (2) estimator family selection, (3) estimator parameter learning, (4) estimator regularization, and (5) estimator evaluation.The report goes on to compare 3 of the most common machine learning methods: (1) decision tree methods that can be useful for identifying how different subpopulations experience different risks for an outcome, (2) deep learning methods that can identify complex nonlinear patterns or interactions between variables predictive of an outcome, and (3) ensemble methods that can improve predictive performance by combining multiple machine learning methods. Finally, the authors demonstrate the application of common machine methods to a simulated insurance claims dataset. While machine learning methods may be useful to health service researchers, they offer considerable challenges that are worth considering before engaging in a machine learning activity. Specifically, they may be difficult to interpret (particularly for deep learning), difficult to glean mechanistic understandings from, and may require substantial investment of time and resources for computation. Nevertheless, improvements in hardware and cloud computing technologies have made machine learning methods increasingly accessible to healthcare outcomes researchers and healthcare organizations. With this article, we aim to lower the barriers to implementing machine learning methods.”Patrick Doupe, PhD, Zalando SE, Berlin, Germany read more
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Swiss food giant Nestle announced Monday it will pay $7.15 billion in cash for the rights to market Starbucks products around the world, outside of the company’s coffee shops. Starbucks commits $10M for greener coffee cup Brewing up a ‘global coffee alliance’ The agreement gives Nestle, which owns the Nescafe and Nespresso brands, a strong platform for continued growth in North America, the company said in a statement.Nestle is focusing on coffee as a main growth area and has already made some acquisitions in the sector.The Starbucks business covered by the deal currently generates around $2 billion sales annually and includes coffee beans and ground coffee that Nestle will be selling in supermarkets around the world.”This transaction is a significant step for our coffee business, Nestle’s largest high-growth category,” said Nestle CEO Mark Schneider in a statement.”Both companies have true passion for outstanding coffee and are proud to be recognised as global leaders for their responsible and sustainable coffee sourcing,” he said.The deal does not include any of Starbucks’ coffee shops and cafes.Around 500 Starbucks staff will join Nestle, the company said, but the operations would continue to be located in Seattle.Both companies would collaborate on “innovation and go-to-market strategies”, it said.Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson hailed the deal as “historic” and said it would create a “global coffee alliance”. Nestle, which has been under intense shareholder pressure to improve its profitability, has begun to reposition itself since Schneider took over at the start of last year.The former head of German healthcare group Fresenius has pushed for the food giant to focus in on a few areas, like bottled water, infant nutrition and pet care, with coffee a top priority.’Unexpected transaction’While Nestle’s Nespresso and other coffee products are omnipresent in Europe, they have had a harder time catching on in the United States.Over the past 15 months, the company has clearly set its sights on high-end coffee brands in North America. It snapped up a majority share in California-based Blue Bottle Coffee last September, and two months later bought Texas company Chameleon Cold Brew.At the same time, Nestle has been selling off parts of its confectionary business, handing over its US candy business earlier this year to Italy’s Ferrero for nearly $3.0 billion.Analysts hailed Monday’s deal.”Nestle has once again surprised the market with an unexpected transaction,” Jean-Philippe Bertschy of Vontobel said in a research note.He said that “coffee is one of the key growth pillars in the CEO’s strategy, (and) allows Nestle to gain scale in the US, a weak spot so far.”He acknowledged that “the price might appear expensive, but given the returns, the deal could exceed the cost of capital within three to four years”. The transaction, which needs approval from regulators, should be finalised by the end of 2018, Nestle said, adding that the deal should start making a positive contribution to its earnings per share and its growth targets starting next year.The company saw its shares swell 0.6 percent in mid-morning trading at 76.84 Swiss francs a piece, as the Swiss stock exchange’s main SMI index was up just 0.15 percent.Starbucks, meanwhile, said it will use the cash to accelerate share buybacks. The Seattle-based company said it now expected to return some $20 billion to shareholders through buybacks and dividends by 2020. © 2018 AFP Explore further Citation: Nestle pays $7.15 billion to sell Starbucks products (2018, May 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-nestle-billion-starbucks-products.html read more
SHARE COMMENT Published on Toracabs Technology Services has announced the launch of Tora Cabs, a technology platform for cab hiring starting with Hyderabad.Conceived in 2017 and launched in June 2019, Tora is a joint venture with a Korean partner headquartered in New Delhi.SB Shin, Director, Toracabs Technology Services said, “Through this joint venture partnership we expect to benefit a larger number of people. It was important to partner with a brand that is based on values and that would give an edge to both the driver and the customer.”Kavita Bhaskaran Ravi, Director, Marketing & Public Policy, Toracabs Technology Services said, “Tora is based on the vision of bringing convenience and benefits to the customers and drivers. It has been created with a philosophy of “No Commission” and ‘No Surge.”“With TORA we plan to change the way you look at the ride hailing industry,” she said.The company plans to bring about a paradigm shift in this sector with its business model built on the ethos of bringing fair play and technology innovation for the larger public.Business modelTora is focussed on a sustainable model based on taking zero commission from drivers. Drivers will only be charged pay per use fees starting with a nominal Rs 199 per day, 199 x6 for 7 days, and 199 x 25 for a month. This gives the driver the option of paying for only the days he uses. The ‘No commission’ model ensures better earnings.Since its launch on June 12, Tora has already on board 1,500 plus drivers .Tora technology aims to make it a transparent business with its app for both riders and drivers. Zero surge, zero commission cab service aims to make it a transparent business model for both riders and drivers new service Hyderabad Cabs COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL June 27, 2019 read more
NEW DELHI: Attacking the government in the Lok Sabha, the opposition DMK Tuesday said the condition of the farmers in the country is pathetic. Party Member S S Palanimanickam said farmers are lagging behind every other profession in the country. “BJP said that they would be doubling the income of farmers but they are only repeating the same slogan because there is a big gap between their saying and action,” he said. The member was participating in the discussion on demand for grants for department of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, and rural Development Ministry. “I am sure that in the next election also, you will be repeating the same slogan. We were expecting loan waiver but that did not happened…You are just giving peanuts to farmers,” he said. On the PM Kisan Yojna, under which the government gives Rs 6000 per annum to farmers, he said that this is a small amount. He suggested that if the government wants to double farmers income they need to give special importance to sectors like dairy, poultry and fishery. “They should get remunerative prices,” he said. Ramapati Ram Tripathi (BJP) said the Budget mainly focuses on village people and farmers. The Budget would also help in doubling the income of farmers. “Rs 6,000 is not a small amount and this will help small farmers in crucial times. They do not have to approach moneylenders now,” he said, adding the amount is helping them in buying seeds and urea. For urea, farmers do not have to stand in queues due to the steps taken by the government, he said. Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News.XStart your day smart with stories curated specially for you read more
Another farmer kills self in Wayanad, 18 suicide cases since bank recovery actionWhile an official statement on the reason behind suicide is yet to be released, the farmer’s family claims Anikuttan committed suicide over pressure of unpaid loans.advertisement Next P S Gopikrishnan Unnithan WayanadJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 15:36 IST Anikuttan, the farmer, allegedly consumed poison and was later rushed to the hospital by his family members. (Representational Image)In yet another case of farmer’s suicide, a 55-year-old man killed himself by consuming poison in Wayanad district of Kerala.The deceased farmer has been identified as Anikuttan from Pulpally region in Wayanad district.On Tuesday, Anikuttan allegedly consumed poison and was later rushed to the hospital by his family members. Anikuttan died on Wednesday morning.While an official statement on the reason behind suicide is yet to be released, the farmer’s family claims Anikuttan committed suicide over pressure of unpaid loans.According to the farmer’s family members, Anikuttan was upset over his father’s unpaid loans. The family was unable to clear off the debt due to repeated crop failures.In May, another debt-ridden farmer from Wayanad — 53 year-old Dinesh Kumar — had ended his life by consuming poison.Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi had then written to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, seeking a probe into the suicide of Dinesh Kumar and deanding financial assistance to his family. According to Dinesh’s family, he committed suicide due to pressure of unpaid loans.On Thursday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi raised the issue of farm distress in the country and said farmers in his parliamentary constituency, Wayanad are committing suicide in the absence proactive government help.Rahul Gandhi said that 18 farmers have committed suicide in Wayanad after banks initiated recovery action against debt-ridden farmers. “In Wayanad alone bank notices have been served to 8,000 farmers. They are facing immediate eviction. Under the SARFAESI Act, their properties are attached against their bank loans,” Rahul Gandhi said.He also alleged that the Centre is refusing to direct the Reserve Bank of India to implement the moratorium announced by the state government.The Kerala government had earlier announced a moratorium on farm loans in the state till December 31, 2019. This would restrict the banks from initiating recovery action on unpaid dues incurred by the farmers.ALSO READ | Day after Amethi visit, Rahul Gandhi raises Wayanad farmers’ suicide in ParliamentALSO WATCH | Zero budget farming can double farmers’ income: Nirmala SitharamanFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury read more