0

9 months agoSouthampton defender Tom O’Connor to pen new deal

first_imgSouthampton defender Tom O’Connor to pen new dealby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton’s 19-year-old defender Tom O’Connor has signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at St Mary’s until June 2021.Kilkenny native O’Connor, who is enjoying a fine season as part of Radhi Jaïdi’s Under-23s, has taken on the captain’s armband this season, as well as a new role at centre-half, having first joined the academy in 2015.”It feels really good,” the Irishman began. “I’ve been here nearly five years now, and I’ve enjoyed every moment. I’m delighted to sign a new deal and hopefully I can keep improving.”My target was always to reach the first team. The next step is the most difficult step, but I’m working towards it.”Seeing all the academy graduate names on the teamsheet recently gives you a great boost and shows that the new manager really values young players.”You know if you’re performing, and working hard, you have a chance of being noticed.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

0

March 26 2008 This continues 32408 report of

first_imgMarch 26, 2008 This continues 3/24/08 report of interior work on the north facing studio apartment on the first floor of Unit 10 in the East Crescent Complex. Construction crew leader Melissa Soluski works with workshop participant Colleen Reckow on tiles for the bathroom. Some of the tiles have to be trimmed at one edge to accommodate the small translucent red tile. [Photo & text: sa] The tiles have been grouted and now a sealer against moisture is applied to the grouted grooves. [Photo & text: sa] The same tile work provides a splash guard for the rest of the small bathroom. This report will continue as work progresses. [Photo & text: sa]last_img read more

0

Swedish streaming firm Voddler has started rolling

first_imgSwedish streaming firm Voddler has started rolling out a new global video-on-demand service for Bollywood content, called Bollyvod. The service has gone live in the US, with worldwide launches to follow in the coming months.Voddler said it has secured more than 100,000 hours of content for Bollyvod – including the latest movies and shows from Bollywood’s leading studios – and claims it is aiming at global audience of some 700 million people.“In many countries, Bollywood fans are a niche audience. On a global scale, though, they are a mass market crying out for Indian cinema and TV-shows,” said Voddler CEO Marcus Bäcklund.“Bollyvod gives people exactly what they want: good content truly anywhere and anytime, with an extraordinary quality of service. In doing this, Bollywood crushes piracy. So while Hollywood struggles with its digital transition, Bollywood will generate new revenue and make piracy streaming irrelevant, thanks to one global disruptive move.”Voddler said it will deliver the Bollywood content using its peer-to-peer cloud Vnet, which is designed to allow content owners to reach large audiences, even in low bandwidth regions.last_img read more

0

Human brain cell transplant opens new avenues to understand neurological conditions

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 12 2018Scientists have created a ‘window’ into the brain, which enables researchers to watch in incredible detail how human brain cells develop and connect to each other in real time.In the new study, led by Imperial College London in collaboration with a group from the University of Cambridge, researchers transplanted human brain cells into a mouse brain, and for the first time watched how they grew and connected to each other.This allowed the team to study the way human brain cells interact in a more natural environment than previously possible.The team, funded by the Medical Research Council, used the technique to model Down syndrome, using cells donated by two individuals with the condition.The scientists say their approach could be used to study a range of brain conditions in the future, including schizophrenia, dementia or autism.The study, published today in the journal Science, describes how researchers saw differences in the brain cells from the individuals with Down syndrome compared to brain cells from a person without the condition.Although some of the connections formed between the brain cells from the individuals with Down syndrome were more stable and abundant, they communicated in a slightly less coordinated fashion.Dr Vincenzo De Paola, lead author of the research from Imperial’s Institute of Clinical Sciences, said: “It’s been a fantastic team effort and I’m grateful to the many scientists who participated in this study, as well as to the people who donated tissue samples for this research. Our results suggest the reduced coordinated activity and increased stability of connections in Down syndrome may be linked to cognitive function. Figuring this out would be an important piece of the puzzle, and we hope to have an answer soon.”Professor Rick Livesey, joint co-corresponding author from the University of Cambridge’s Wellcome/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, commented: “Working together with the Imperial team has allowed us to extend our previous work on making stem cells and nerve cells from people with Down syndrome, to study how those nerve cells develop and function when put in a living brain. We are very excited by how much we have learned and the new avenues this has opened up for understanding Down syndrome”.Dr Raquel Real, a neurologist from Dr De Paola’s group at Imperial College London and joint first author of this study, added: “The transplantation of human brain cells has allowed us to monitor their maturation over time. Ultimately, we detected that cells from Down syndrome individuals are not as active as normal cells at a crucial stage in their development, and this could have important implications for some of the symptoms of this condition”.Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaDr De Paola added: “Scientists have been struggling to develop a way of monitoring live human cells and their connections in the brain. This new imaging approach may have taken us one step closer to this.”Crucially, the technique allows scientists to study how brain cells communicate, explained Dr De Paola: “The connections between brain cells, which enable them to talk to each other, is often the first thing to be damaged in conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. This happens long before the brain cells themselves start to die. But the connections are so tiny, that no type of scanning tool available, such as MRI or PET scans, can see them. We used a revolutionary microscopy technique – called in vivo 2-photon microscopy – which allowed us to see not only individual live brain cells, but also the connections between them.”In the study, joint first author Dr Manuel Peter and colleagues from the Gurdon Institute created human brain cells by reverse-engineering skin cells. This process involved taking a few skin cells from volunteers with Down syndrome, and then reprogramming them in the lab to form brain cells. They then engineered those neurons so their activity could be monitored.Joint first authors Dr Raquel Real and Dr Antonio Trabalza from the Imperial College London group were then able to implant these human neurons in the brain of live mice and monitored their development and function over time.Dr De Paola explained: “The human brain cells not only formed complex networks, but also started communicating in a way that was very similar to normal brain cells. We were hoping a few of the human brain cells would grow within the mouse brain – but we were stunned to see the human brain cells thrive, and soon talk and work together.”However, he cautioned: “It is still not clear to what extent the transplanted human brain cells resemble the organization and complexity of their counterparts in the human brain. We now need to investigate this with further experiments.”The Imperial team now hope to refine this technique, and potentially use this approach to study other neurological conditions. Source:https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/188553/human-brain-cell-transplant-offers-insights/last_img read more

0

Minimally invasive surgery for cervical cancer may not be a good idea

first_imgOne of the studies came from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center that has already stopped minimally invasive hysterectomies for women with cervical cancer. Dr. Joe-Alejandro Rauh-Hain, a gynecologic cancer specialist at MD Anderson and a co-author to one of the studies says that the team was surprised with the results of the study. He said that they had expected survival rates for both kinds of surgeries to be around the same.Due to the drastically reduced risk of bleeding, pain, infections and surgical complications with keyhole surgeries, they are increasingly being preferred in the US. Rauh-Hain said that after these two studies, the surgeons can no longer recommend minimally invasive surgeries to patients with early stage cervical cancer.Dr. Alexander Melamed of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School was another co-author of the study. He said that personally he would now refrain from offering “minimally invasive radical hysterectomy” in cervical cancer patients until more research shows that the risks are absent.This first study looked at 2,461 women who were diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer between 2010 and 2013. Around half of these women (1225) underwent minimally invasive surgery for hysterectomy while the other got open surgeries. Of the women who underwent keyhole surgeries, 79 percent had be operated using robotic assistance. Authors wrote, “Over a median follow-up of 45 months, the four-year mortality was 9.1 percent among women who underwent minimally invasive surgery and 5.3 percent among those who underwent open surgery.” Women undergoing minimally invasive surgeries were 65 percent more likely to die within the four years following the operation compared. In comparison to 70 women who died within four years after surgery after an open surgery, 94 women undergoing minimally invasive surgery died during the same period.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsIn the second study the researchers randomly assigned 631 women to undergo either open surgery or minimally invasive hysterectomy. These procedures were conducted at 33 hospitals across United States, Brazil, Columbia, Italy, Peru, Australia, Mexico and China. At 4.5 years post-surgery, 95 percent women undergoing traditional open surgeries were disease free compared to 86 percent women undergoing minimally invasive surgery.Dr. Pedro Ramirez, a professor in gynecologic oncology at MD Anderson and one of the researchers on the study explained that for minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, usually carbon dioxide gas is used to inflate the abdomen to visualize the surgical field. He said that this carbon dioxide gas could play a role in causing the cancer cells to be implanted in different parts of the abdominal cavity while operating.Dr. Shohreh Shahabi, chief of gynecological oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was one of the researchers on one of the study teams. He emphasized that these findings are true for cervical cancers alone as of now and there are several other cancers that are being surgically treated using laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgeries.Dr. Amanda N. Fader, director of the Kelly Gynecologic-Oncology Service at Johns Hopkins University wrote an editorial accompanying the studies saying that these results were a “great blow” to minimally invasive surgical approaches for cervical cancer. She said Johns Hopkins has since this stopped keyhole surgeries for cervical cancers and reverted back to open surgeries. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 1 2018New research shows that keyhole surgery or minimally invasive laparoscopic robotic surgery could be dangerous in the long run for women with cervical cancer. Unlike open surgeries, minimally invasive surgeries are being increasingly conducted and preferred because of their minimal tissue damage, minimal pain and risk as well as faster recovery. Both studies have been published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.The researchers however found that women who were undergoing minimally invasive hysterectomies including some that use robotic surgery for example with the Da Vinci device, are at a greater risk of their cancers coming back compared to women who have had an open surgery. Cervical cancer development. Image Credit: Double Brain / Shutterstockcenter_img Source:https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1804923 and https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1806395last_img read more

0

Study finds new strains of hepatitis C virus in subSaharan Africa

Source:https://www.sanger.ac.uk/news/view/new-strains-hepatitis-c-found-africa Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 17 2018The largest population study of hepatitis C in Africa has found three new strains of the virus circulating in the general population in sub-Saharan Africa. The research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and collaborators suggested that certain antiviral drugs currently used in the West may not be as effective against the new strains and that clinical trials of patients in sub-Saharan Africa are urgently needed to assess optimal treatment strategies in this region.Published in the Journal Hepatology, the discovery of the new strains could inform hepatitis C treatment and vaccine development worldwide, and assist the World Health Organisation’s aim of eliminating hepatitis C globally.Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is transmitted mainly by needles and exposure to blood products. Infection can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer, and nearly 400,000 people die from hepatitis C each year. Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection, 10 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa and there is no current vaccine.In 2016, the World Health Organisation announced its aim to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health problem by 2030 globally. In the western world, direct-acting antiviral drugs are effective against multiple strains of the virus, and are currently tailored towards strains found in high income countries such as the US and the UK. However, research on HCV in sub Saharan Africa and other low income regions has been extremely limited. Access to diagnosis and treatment is low, and it is not known if different places have the same strains of the virus. This will have a huge impact on eliminating hepatitis C worldwide.To investigate HCV in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers carefully screened the blood of 7751 people from the general population in Uganda and, using molecular methods, found undiagnosed HCV in 20 of these patients. They sequenced the HCV genomes from these and two further blood samples from people born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and discovered three completely new strains of the virus, in addition to some strains seen in the west.Related StoriesNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccineStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedDr George S. Mgomella, joint first author on the paper from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge, said: “In the largest study of hepatitis C in the general population in sub-Saharan Africa to date, we found a diverse range of hepatitis C virus strains circulating, and also discovered new strains that had never been seen before. Further research is needed as some antiviral drugs are effective against specific strains of hepatitis C virus and may not work as well in these populations.”Dr Emma Thomson, a senior author on the paper from Glasgow University, said: “It is important that there is a concerted effort to characterise hepatitis C strains in sub-Saharan Africa at a population level in order to assist countries to select optimal treatments for national procurement. It will also be important to inform vaccine design which would catalyse the elimination of hepatitis C by 2030.”The researchers discovered that current screening methods using antibody detection were inaccurate in Uganda and that detection of the virus itself would likely be a superior method for diagnosing the infection in high-risk populations. The researchers found that many of the strains present carry mutations in genes known to be associated with resistance to some commonly used antiviral drugs, proving that careful approaches are needed to diagnose and treat HCV effectively in Africa.Dr Manj Sandhu, a senior author on the paper from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and University of Cambridge, said: “Our study highlights the need for more investment on people in Africa and developing parts of the world. We show there are clear differences in HCV across the world, underlining the need for understanding HCV globally. Our work will help inform public health policy and reveals that further studies and clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa are urgently needed if the WHO is to achieve its vision of eliminating hepatitis C by 2030”. read more

0

How to improve communication between people and smart buildings

first_img In a new study, researchers found that subtle changes in design of virtual assistants results in behavioral changes that can help the environment. The researchers found people connect better with a computer-generated avatar that represents building management. They found that social banter between machine and people gets better results.The findings underscore how personal connections and social interactions key to human relations also foster cooperation between people and machines.The study, “Establishing Social Dialog between Buildings and Their Users,” appears in the Dec. 27 International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. It’s the latest study by USC scientists focused on the human-machine dynamic and is a product of convergent disciplines at USC, including engineering, communications and behavioral sciences. The study authors are from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.Virtual assistants key to communication between people and smart buildingsVirtual assistants are as new as Alexa or Siri and as old as HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The proliferation of smart buildings laden with automated systems for heating, cooling and lighting is important to improve worker health and productivity, conserve energy and protect the environment.”You can think of things like the computer interface on the Star Trek ship Enterprise as closer to reality than science fiction,” said Gale Lucas, research assistant professor at USC Viterbi and corresponding author of the study. “We’re beginning to explore where the line is between people and buildings that perform as machines. We are trying to get people to feel more comfortable and make smart buildings perform better.”Americans spend 90 percent of their time inside buildings, either working or sleeping or shopping or studying. Comfort, quality of life, worker productivity and safety directly affect the operation of buildings.According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings account for 39 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. In California, the state Air Resources Board ranks the building sector as the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and has targeted the sector for an 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050. The board has identified behavior practices as an important influence for energy consumption in buildings. When it comes to buildings and their occupants, USC researchers see a failure to communicate, yet improved dialogue between the two can help smart buildings work better for a sustainable society. More information: Saba Khashe et al. Establishing Social Dialog between Buildings and Their Users, International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction (2018). DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2018.1555346 Citation: How to improve communication between people and smart buildings (2019, January 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-people-smart.html Explore further Improving indoor air quality to increase health and well-beingcenter_img Provided by University of Southern California USC research shows people help smart buildings conserve energy when they dialogue with a computer persona nicknamed Ellie, who represents the building management. Credit: Diana Molleda; iStock Communication between people and smart buildings improves performanceYet the promise of smart buildings often doesn’t match their performance. Despite automation, human actions inside four walls or office floors can compromise a building’s energy efficiency capabilities. Buildings work more efficiently when people inside cooperate.”If a building spoke to you, it could ask for things that might help the environment, like ‘turn off lights’ or ‘open windows’ or ‘save energy,'” Lucas said. “If the building were to ask people, ‘Why don’t you do something environmentally-friendly?,’ we might get people to engage in healthy behaviors for themselves and the environment.”To accomplish that goal, people and buildings need better cooperation, and people need to trust the technology while computers need to use proven behavioral change interventions to nudge people to act. The USC research explored how best to accomplish this.The scientists selected 200 participants, mostly college students, of mixed race and ethnicities. First, subjects were exposed to an office setting using virtual reality, followed by a real office setting for a smaller group of participants. The researchers crafted pro-environmental messages for a virtual assistant, an agent nicknamed Ellie, to ask questions, such as “If I open the blinds for you to have natural light, would you please dim or turn off the artificial lights?” They then observed if participants cooperated with these pro-environmental requests.Who is involved in communication between people and smart buildings?Replicating similar previous research by the USC team, the results showed that people responded better when Ellie, the virtual human, acted on behalf of the building manager, rather than when she performed as a personification of the building.People were also more cooperative when the messages were part of a social dialogue rather than monologue. This element proved critical, the study indicates. For example, subjects responded better to small talk, such as, “Hi, how are you? …. What’s your name?… I’m glad to see you.” Social dialogue helped overcome bias against the avatar. The researchers found people responded well to Ellie when she used social dialog, regardless if she functioned as the face of the building or an agent of the building manager.According to the study, “Including a social dialog may have helped to overcome the difference between personas by making the building persona more relatable. Indeed, people associate monologue with strangers and dialog with closer relationships.”The scientists noted similar results whether study participants operated in an actual office or virtual reality simulation. They also found that when they repeated the experiment one week later, the subjects responded more positively, suggesting familiarity due to repeated interactions helped.”We are trying to build a relationship between buildings and their users, akin to a friendship, so users are empowered to improve individual performance as well as building performance,” said Burcin Becerik-Gerber, associate professor of engineering in the USC Viterbi School.The findings demonstrate that design decisions that account for the human-machine dynamic will be important to achieving the potential for smart buildings.”Our research contributes to the fundamental understanding of human-machine teamwork,” said Becerik-Gerber: “The impact is beyond just smart buildings. The work changes the way we perceive and experience today’s built environments and artifacts, environments and artifacts that are attentive and have an identity that can have two-way interactions with people.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more