sexta-feira, 31 de março de 2017

High doses of vitamin C to improve cancer treatment passes human safety trial

Clinical trials found that it is safe to regularly infuse brain and lung cancer patients with 800 -- 1000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C as a potential strategy to improve outcomes of standard cancer treatments. In a work presented March 30, 2017 in Cancer Cell, University of Iowa researchers also show pathways by which altered iron metabolism in cancer cells, and not normal cells, lead to increased sensitivity to cancer cell death caused by high dose vitamin C.

"This paper reveals a metabolic frailty in cancer cells that is based on their own production of oxidizing agents that allows us to utilize existing redox active compounds, like vitamin C, to sensitize cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy," says co-author Garry Buettner, who was one of the first to propose that cancer cells might have a vulnerability to redox active compounds over 40 years ago. Buettner, along with study senior authors Bryan Allen and Douglas Spitz, are faculty members at the University of Iowa's Department of Radiation Oncology, Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program, in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The 11 evaluable patients enrolled in the brain cancer safety trial received three infusions of vitamin C a week for 2 months followed by two infusions per week for 7 months while receiving standard care radiation and chemotherapy. The goal of each infusion was to raise the concentration of vitamin C in a patient's blood to 20,000 μM, as compared to a blood level of about 70 μM found in most adults. The high dose is necessary because vitamin C has a half-life of about two hours in the circulation of humans. The treatment was generally well tolerated; with modest side effects including frequent trips to the bathroom and dry mouth. Rarely, some patients developed high blood pressure that subsided quickly following infusion.

Why is this approach safe? Vitamin C, even at high levels, isn't toxic to normal cells. The research group at Iowa found, however, that tumor tissue's abnormally high levels of redox active iron molecules (a by-product of abnormal mitochondrial metabolism) react with vitamin C to form hydrogen peroxide and free radicals derived from hydrogen peroxide. These free radicals are believed to cause DNA damage selectively in cancer cells (versus normal cells) leading to enhanced cancer cell death as well as sensitization to radiation and chemotherapy in cancer cells.

"This is a significant example of how knowing details of potential mechanisms and the basic science of redox active compounds in cancer versus normal cells can be leveraged clinically in cancer therapy," says co-senior author Douglas Spitz, who focused on the biochemical studies. "Here, we verified convincingly that increased redox active metal ions in cancer cells were responsible for this differential sensitivity of cancer versus normal cells to very high doses of vitamin C."

The safety study sets the stage for phase II clinical trials looking at whether high dose vitamin C is effective at extending overall lifespan and quality of life for patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. The researchers are currently enrolling patients with stage 4 lung cancer and will soon begin enrolling people with glioblastoma multiforme (brain cancer) in these phase II trials. They are hopeful that brain cancer responses to radiation and chemotherapy can be enhanced in these phase II trials. This guarded optimism is based on the phase I trial data showing an increase in overall survival of 4-6 months in 11 glioblastoma multiforme patients (18-22 months) versus the 14-16 months survival typically seen with the standard treatment.

"The majority of cancer patients we work with are excited to participate in clinical trials that could benefit future patient outcomes down the line," says co-senior author Bryan Allen, who led the clinical side of the study. "Results look promising but we're not going to know if this approach really improves therapy response until we complete these phase II trials."

The cost per patient above standard insurance billing for the phase II vitamin C glioblastoma multiforme protocol is approximately $8000 spread over 9 months of test infusions. This cost can be less than a single dose of some immunotherapy and/or chemotherapy drugs.
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Materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

New treatment for antibiotic resistant bacteria and infectious disease

A study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, describes a new treatment pathway for antibiotic resistant bacteria and infectious diseases with benefits for patients and health care providers.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Newcastle University found that the unusual approach of removing antibodies from the blood stream reduced the effects of chronic infections, the requirement for days spent in hospital and the use of antibiotics.

In this study, the team identified two patients with bronchiectasis who suffered with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections that were resistant to many antibiotics; a 64-year-old male, diagnosed with bronchiectasis aged fifteen, and a 69-year-old female who had bronchiectasis from childhood.
Bronchiectasis is a disease that leads to permanent enlargement of the airways in the lung and affects over 300,000 patients in the UK. Symptoms are debilitating for patients, and typically include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and chest pain. Bronchiectasis often affects patients beyond the age at which lung transplantation is possible.

Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections commonly occur in patients suffering from bronchiectasis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacterium that can cause disease and is known as a multidrug resistant pathogen, recognised for its advanced antibiotic resistance mechanisms and association with serious illnesses.
The patients volunteered to be part of an explorative treatment that built on previous findings from the research group in 2014.

Professor Ian Henderson, Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, explained, "These patients had an excess of a particular antibody in the bloodstream. In contrast to the protective effect normally associated with antibody, in these patients the antibody stopped the immune system killing the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium and this worsened the patients' lung disease. Perhaps counter-intuitively, we decided to remove this antibody from the bloodstream and the outcomes were wholly positive."

Dr Tony De Soyza, Bronchiectasis service lead, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Trust and Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University, explained, "We needed a brand new way of tackling this problem. Working with kidney and immunology experts, we used a process known as plasmapheresis that is somewhat like kidney dialysis. The plasmapheresis involved the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from circulation, and was done 5 times in a week in order to remove antibody from the patients. We then replaced antibodies with those from blood donations. This treatment restored the ability for the patients' blood to kill their infecting Pseudomonas."

Both patients reported a rapid improvement in health and wellbeing, greater independence and improved mobility compared to any point in the previous two years.
Professor Henderson added: "This shows that we can improve patient wellbeing significantly, by reducing the need for treatment and the numbers of days spent in hospital, which will also help to reduce the reliance on antibiotics. The next step is to do longer term studies to investigate whether an earlier intervention, with slightly less aggressive therapies, could help prevent disease progression in patients."

This is the first description of antibody-dependent enhancement of bacterial disease. It may be widely applicable to other bacterial infections and offers hope for the treatment of some antibiotic resistant infections.
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Materials provided by University of Birmingham. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

5 Tips to Improve Your Digestion


verywell.com


By Cathy Wong, ND - Reviewed by a board-certified physician.

Do you inhale your food? Are you so busy that even chewing seems like a luxury? Here are some tips on improving digestion:

Tip #1: Cover the Basics

Basic 1: Chew, Chew, Chew
  • Take smaller bites.
  • Put your fork down in between bites.
  • Try using chopsticks - it forces you to slow down.
  • Thoroughly chew each bite of food.
  • Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth - chewing grains thoroughly allows amylase, the digestive enzyme present in saliva, to digest the grains.
Basic 2: Get Enough Water

Insufficient water intake is a primary cause of constipation. Constipation then causes an imbalance in bacteria, promotes inflammation of the intestinal lining, and can even lead to the absorption of larger molecules, a condition known as intestinal permeability. 5 Ways to Boost Your Water Intake.

Basic 3: Increase Your Dietary Fiber
Good sources of dietary fiber include:
  • Dried fruit, such as dates, figs, and prunes
  • Beans and legumes- if you don't have time to cook dried beans, buy canned, but make sure you rinse them thoroughly before cooking. Lentils and split peas are less gas-forming than other legumes.
  • Bring an apple with you to work as a snack
  • Ground flaxseeds are a gentle laxative. They can be useful for chronic constipation, damage to the intestine wall from laxative use, irritable bowel, and to soothe inflammation. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on rice, grains, salads, or any other meal of your choice.

Tip #2: Practice Mindful Eating

A pilot study at Indiana State University found that mindfulness, including specific instructions to slowly savor the flavor of food and be aware of how much food is enough, helped to reduce eating binges from an average of four binges per week to one and a half.
  • Eat in the moment. Savor every bite, enjoying the flavors, textures, and smells of your meal.
  • Buy fresh flowers to put on the dining table.
  • Use smaller cutlery so that you eat less with each bite.
  • Create a beautiful atmosphere - dim the lights, play music and light candles.

Tip #3: Address Food Sensitivities and Allergies

Food sensitivities are behind many digestive disorders. For example, between 33% and 66% of IBS patients report having one or more food intolerances, resulting in bloating, gas, and pain. The most common culprits are milk and dairy (40-44%) and grains (40-60%).
A trained practitioner can supervise an elimination diet. Many foods are removed from the diet for a brief period of time, then re-introduced sequentially to isolate the body's reaction to the offending foods.

Tip #4: Increase Good Gut Bacteria

Not all bacteria is bad. There are over 400 different kinds of bacteria and yeasts in the digestive system. Of these, the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophillus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are considered good "probiotic" bacteria because they can help to maintain intestinal health. Acidophilus and Other Probiotics.
Although good bacteria can be found in some yogurt, there is a wide variation in the quantity and quality. Look for good quality organic yogurt that add the active cultures after pasteurization, because this heat process destroys both good and bad bacteria.
Supplements containing acidophilus and bifidobacteria can be found in health food stores. They are especially helpful for the following conditions:
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas, bloating, flatulence
  • Recurring vaginal yeast infections
  • Bad breath

Tip #5: Supplement to Restore Digestive Health

  • Enteric-Coated Peppermint Oil - Peppermint oil can reduce abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.
  • Digestive Enzymes - Enzyme supplements are believed to support the body's own digestive enzymes to aid digestion and help with other disorders stemming from poor digestion.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

quinta-feira, 30 de março de 2017

Brain stimulation improves schizophrenia-like cognitive problems

sciencedaily.com

 Cerebellar stimulation restores missing brain wave in rats and corrects timing deficit

"A beautiful, lobular structure," is how Krystal Parker describes the cerebellum -- a brain region located at the base of the skull just above the spinal column. The cerebellum is most commonly associated with movement control, but work from Parker's lab and others is gradually revealing a much more complex role in cognition that positions the cerebellum as a potential target for treating diseases that affect thinking, attention, and planning, such as schizophrenia.

A new study from Parker's lab and the lab of Nandakumar Narayanan at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine finds that stimulating the cerebellum in rats with schizophrenia-like thinking problems normalizes brain activity in the frontal cortex and corrects the rats' ability to estimate the passage of time -- a cognitive deficit that is characteristic in people with schizophrenia.

"Cerebellar interactions with the frontal cortex in cognitive processes has never been shown before in animal models," says Parker, UI assistant professor of psychiatry and the first faculty hire of the new Iowa Neuroscience Institute. "In addition to showing that the signal travels from the cerebellum to the frontal cortex, the study also showed that normal timing behavior was rescued when the signal was restored."

The UI study, which was published March 28 online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, adds to the accumulating evidence, including recent human studies from Harvard University, that suggests cerebellar stimulation might help improve cognitive problems in patients with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a serious and debilitating psychiatric illness that disrupts a person's ability to think and to understand the world around them. About 1 percent of the population is affected by schizophrenia. There is no cure and few therapies reliably improve the condition's cognitive problems.
Knowing it's essential for cognitive function, the researchers recorded brain activity from the frontal cortex of nine patients with schizophrenia and nine healthy controls while they performed a timing task where they had to estimate the passage of 12 seconds.

"We think timing is a window into cognitive function," Parker explains. "It allows us to probe executive processes like working memory, attention, planning -- all those things are abnormal in schizophrenia."
Compared to healthy individuals, patients with schizophrenia performed poorly on the timing task. They also lacked a low frequency burst of brain activity (the delta brain wave) that occurs right at the start of the trial in healthy subjects.
To probe the brain circuitry involved in this signal, and to assess the role of the cerebellum, the team turned to an animal model. In schizophrenia, dopamine signaling in the frontal cortex is abnormal. By blocking dopamine signaling in the frontal cortex of rats, the team was able to reproduce the schizophrenia-like timing problems in the animals.

Recordings of neural activity in the frontal cortex of the rats showed that, like humans with schizophrenia, these rats also lacked the low frequency burst of brain activity (delta wave) during the timing task. The study also showed that, in control rats, the same delta wave activity occurred in the rat's cerebellum during the timing task and, interestingly, the cerebellar activity preceded the activity in the frontal cortex.

"We think that delta wave burst of activity acts like a 'go' signal that triggers individual neurons to start ramping their activity to encode the passage of time," Parker explains. "That happens in both the frontal cortex and the cerebellum, but there is synchrony between the two and the cerebellum is actually leading the frontal cortex and providing the signal to the frontal cortex."
Finally, the researcher used optogenetics to stimulate the rats' cerebellar region at the precise delta wave frequency of 2 Hertz. This stimulation restored normal delta wave activity in the rats' frontal cortex and normalized the rats' performance on the timing test.

The findings explain how cerebellar stimulation might have a therapeutic benefit in schizophrenia. Parker adds that the research may also inspire novel cerebellar targeted pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia.
Non-invasive brain stimulation is currently approved as a treatment for depression. However, cerebellar stimulation is still an experimental approach and is not FDA approved as a therapy. Early experimental studies from Harvard in patients with schizophrenia suggest that cerebellar stimulation is safe and appears to improve some of the patients' cognitive abnormalities. Parker is currently pursuing human testing of non-invasive cerebellar stimulation at the UI in collaboration with Aaron Boes, director of the Iowa Brain Stimulation Program. They are working to understand how cerebellar stimulation influences cognitive function and frontal cortex activity in patients with schizophrenia.
Although the current study focused on schizophrenia, similar cognitive problems along with cerebellar abnormalities also are a feature of autism, Parkinson's disease, addiction, OCD, bipolar disorder, and depression. If cerebellar stimulation proves helpful for schizophrenia, it might also be beneficial for some patients with these other conditions.

quarta-feira, 29 de março de 2017

Broad support exists for larger warnings on cigarette packs

Health warnings cover about 10 percent of a cigarette pack's exterior surface in the United States, but there is broad support, even among smokers, for making them significantly larger, a University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center study has found.
The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, found that a majority of smokers and nonsmokers who responded to a randomized telephone survey said they supported increasing warning sizes to cover 25 percent, 50 percent, and as much as 75 percent of cigarette packs. The data was presented in a poster session at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health.

"These findings show there is national public support for implementing larger pack warnings in the United States," said Adam Goldstein, MD, MPH, a UNC Lineberger member and professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine. "There's broad support, even among smokers."
Previous research has suggested that larger sized warnings on cigarette packs are more effective than smaller warning labels in increasing smokers' intentions to quit and leading them to think about the harms of smoking, said the study's first author Sarah Kowitt, a doctoral student in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

While a federal law passed in 2009 called for larger cigarette warnings, litigation has stalled the enactment of the warning requirements. The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act required the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement graphic, or picture, warnings along with text covering half of the front and rear panels of cigarette packages. These warnings have not yet been implemented because of tobacco industry lawsuits, and the U.S. FDA is researching new warnings to comply with any legal challenges.

In a telephone survey of 5,014 U.S. adults, researchers gauged whether respondents would support larger warning sizes. Respondents were asked about their opinions about a warning covering either 25, 50, or 75 percent of the cigarette pack. They found that more than 78 percent of all respondents and 75 percent of smokers, supported a warning covering 25 percent of a pack. Seventy percent of respondents supported a warning covering half of the pack, and 58 percent of smokers did. For a warning covering 75 percent of a pack, nearly 68 percent of respondents and 61 percent of smoker supported an increase.

They also found that smokers intending to quit smoking responded to the questions about increasing pack size by 25 and 50 percent more favorably.
"Most adults, including smokers, have favorable attitudes towards larger warning labels on cigarette packs," Kowitt said. "These findings support the implementation of larger health warnings on cigarette packs in the U.S. as required by the 2009 Tobacco Control Act."
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Materials provided by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

New method heats up ultrasonic approach to treating tumors



sciencedaily.com

Researchers apply new modeling tools to improve acoustic simulations and design a new focusing method for potential clinical treatments

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a breakthrough therapeutic technique used to treat tumors. The principle of this noninvasive, targeted treatment is much like that of focusing sunlight through a lens, using an ultrasonic transducer like a convex lens to concentrate ultrasound into a small focal region. In an article appearing this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, a multi-institutional team of researchers in China have now designed a semi-enclosed, spherical cavity transducer for potential application in HIFU that can generate a steady, standing-wave field with a subwavelength-scale focal region and extremely high ultrasound intensity.

HIFU concentrates ultrasonic energy into a focal region by using an ultrasonic transducer, which converts electrical signals into sound waves, to raise the temperature within the tumor to above 65 C, killing cells without damaging the surrounding tissue. This therapeutic precision is dependent on the size of the focal region and the intensity of focused ultrasound generated by the transducer.
The size of the focal region generated by the spherical cavity transducer was about 50 to 70 percent of the millimeter-scale wavelength, and the pressure amplitude gain over three orders of magnitude. In contrast, the size of the focal region generated by a traditional concave spherical transducer is about 10 times the wavelength, and the pressure amplitude gain is generally lower than 200. The level of intensity channeled through a tighter focal region produced by the new transducer design could be a significant improvement in HIFU for targeted cancer treatments.

The numerical simulations modeling the focused fields is key to providing the detailed information needed to estimate the performance of ultrasonic transducers used in HIFU therapy. The lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) modeling the team used is a novel mesoscopic simulation method born at the end of 20th century. While it is different than either the traditional macroscopic flow equation or the microscopic molecular dynamics simulation (MDS), it takes the advantages of both. The LBM can describe some complex flows that might be difficult to model using traditional computational fluid dynamics approaches.

"The size of the focal region generated by conventional spherical concave transducers is restricted by acoustic diffraction to usually the order of the ultrasound wavelength, but this does not meet the needs of more sophisticated treatments," said Dong Zhang, a researcher at the Institute of Acoustics in China. "Because it is crucial to reduce the size of the focal region while supplying sufficient ultrasonic energy, we were prompted to design a new kind of ultrasonic transducer."
Traditional acoustic simulation approaches are generally based on the numerical solutions of wave equations. These approaches can provide approximate simulations of the acoustic field, but do not incorporate the physical flow details, and cannot easily handle boundaries with complex geometric structure. In addition, these traditional methods are computationally expensive.
Realizing the full potential of this new tool and applications requires some additional focused research.

"We are working to improve the measuring technique in cases of high pressure and to build a non-isothermal and compressible LBM model based on a complex lattice to capture the details of acoustic field and describe the accompanying acoustic nonlinearity more accurately," Zhang said. "Also, considering that acoustic cavitation is inevitable under extreme pressure conditions, we want to build a multiphase LBM model to study bubble dynamics, and further investigate the cavitation and collapse jetting."

The potential applications are not limited to just HIFU therapy. For example, some unique physical phenomena could be observed and investigated under the extreme pressure conditions provided by this device.
"We designed the spherical cavity transducer, a device that has a novel but simple structure, and could generate both the subwavelength-scale focal region and extremely high ultrasonic intensity," Zhang said
In addition, while the LBM is widely used in fluid dynamic simulations and rarely in acoustic fields, it provides a novel but promising tool to simulate complicated acoustic fields.
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Materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Celiac disease: Not enough evidence for screening


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for celiac disease in asymptomatic persons. The report appears in the March 28 issue of JAMA.

This is an I statement, indicating that evidence is lacking, of poor quality, or conflicting, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined.
Celiac disease is caused by an immune response in persons who are genetically susceptible to dietary gluten, a protein complex found in wheat, rye, and barley. Ingestion of gluten by persons with celiac disease causes inflammatory damage to the small intestine, which can cause gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal illness. The estimated prevalence among U.S. adults ranges from 0.40% to 0.95%.

To issue a new recommendation, the USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the accuracy of screening for celiac disease in asymptomatic adults, adolescents, and children; the potential benefits and harms of screening vs not screening and targeted vs universal screening; and the benefits and harms of treatment of screen-detected celiac disease.

The USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of experts that makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

Detection

The USPSTF found inadequate evidence regarding the accuracy of screening tests for celiac disease in asymptomatic populations.

Benefits of Early Detection and Intervention or Treatment

The USPSTF found inadequate evidence on the effectiveness of screening for celiac disease in asymptomatic adults, adolescents, and children with regard to morbidity, mortality, or quality of life. The USPSTF also found inadequate evidence on the effectiveness of targeted screening in persons who are at increased risk for celiac disease (e.g., persons with family history or other risk factors), or on the effectiveness of treatment of screen-detected, asymptomatic celiac disease to improve morbidity, mortality, or quality of life compared with no treatment or treatment initiated after clinical diagnosis.

Harms of Early Detection and Intervention or Treatment

The USPSTF found inadequate evidence on the harms of screening for or treatment of celiac disease.

Summary

The USPSTF found inadequate evidence on the accuracy of screening for celiac disease, the potential benefits and harms of screening vs not screening or targeted vs universal screening, and the potential benefits and harms of treatment of screen-detected celiac disease.
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Materials provided by The JAMA Network Journals. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

terça-feira, 28 de março de 2017

30 Phrases Top CEOs Live By


addicted2success.com


Lisa Froeling

As anyone who comes from a small, southern town knows, it is extremely easy to pick up common sayings from those around you. Someone who’s pretty full of it is “all hat, no cattle.” Your perpetually late friend is “slower than molasses in January.” Someone who has just sold a business is “living in high cotton.”
Most of these sayings come from a grandmother or crazy uncle, but they are said so much that they become ingrained in our language, mentality, and culture. Imagine if this were the case with sayings from some of the smartest people out there – the world’s top CEOs.
The following sayings might not be as full of as much character compared to some of the more colorful southern expressions, but they are great lines to shape your business practices around.

Here are 30 quotes you will hear from the top CEOs:

1. “Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.”  – Michael Dell, Dell
2. “Trust your instincts.”  – Estée Lauder, Estée Lauder
3. “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”  – Walt Disney, Disney
4. “We’re not going to invest a dollar that doesn’t make sense to invest.” – Marc Lore, Jet
5. “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone, know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”  – Dave Thomas, Wendy’s
6. “Your people determine your product.” – Taso Du Val, Toptal
7. “Make your team feel respected, empowered and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.”  – Tim Westergen, Pandora
8. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”  – Drew Houston, Dropbox
9. “The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon
10. “Be simple and reliable” – Jan Koum, WhatsApp
“Always deliver more than expected.”  – Larry Page, Google
12. “Make something that meshes into your daily life.” – Eric Migicovsky, Pebble
13. “There’s an entrepreneur right now, scared to death, making excuses, saying, ‘It’s not the right time just yet.’ There’s no such thing as a good time.” – Kevin Plank, Under Armour
14. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo
15. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”  – Richard Branson, Virgin Group
16. “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”  – Ray Kroc, McDonald’s
17. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”  – Tony Hsieh, Zappos
18. “Capital isn’t scarce. Vision is.” – Sam Walton, Wal-Mart
19. “Life is too short to do mediocre work and it is definitely too short to build shitty things.” – Stewart Butterfield, Slack
20. “In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” – Howard Schultz, Starbucks
“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.”  – Donald Trump, The Trump Organization
22. “Singular focus matters.” – Jeffrey Housenbold, Shutterfly
23. “Smarter is always the answer.” – Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM
24. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”  – Steve Jobs, Apple
25. “I’m not an inventor. I just want to make things better.” – Daniel Ek, Spotify
26. “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil
“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.” – Larry Ellison, Oracle
28. “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” – Elon Musk, SpaceX
29. “As an entrepreneur, I try to push the limits. Pedal to the metal.” – Travis Kalanick, Uber
30. “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world…if you do so, you are insulting yourself.” – Bill Gates, Microsoft
By adopting these sayings and the mentalities behind them, you can follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest business leaders. After all, who is better to learn from than the successful people that came before you?

Hope these quotes repeat themselves in your mind! What is your favorite quote?

REVEALED: The 7 Habits of the World's Most Inspiring Individuals To Get Motivated, Push Your Boundaries, and Step Into Your Greatness.

Man with quadriplegia employs injury bridging technologies to move again -- just by thinking


 
 
 
 

 First recipient of implanted brain-recording and muscle-stimulating systems reanimates limb that had been stilled for 8 years

Bill Kochevar grabbed a mug of water, drew it to his lips and drank through the straw.
His motions were slow and deliberate, but then Kochevar hadn't moved his right arm or hand for eight years.

And it took some practice to reach and grasp just by thinking about it.
Kochevar, who was paralyzed below his shoulders in a bicycling accident, is believed to be the first person with quadriplegia in the world to have arm and hand movements restored with the help of two temporarily implanted technologies.

A brain-computer interface with recording electrodes under his skull, and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) system* activating his arm and hand, reconnect his brain to paralyzed muscles.

Holding a makeshift handle pierced through a dry sponge, Kochevar scratched the side of his nose with the sponge. He scooped forkfuls of mashed potatoes from a bowl -- perhaps his top goal -- and savored each mouthful.

"For somebody who's been injured eight years and couldn't move, being able to move just that little bit is awesome to me," said Kochevar, 56, of Cleveland. "It's better than I thought it would be."

A video of Kochevar can be found at: https://youtu.be/OHsFkqSM7-A
Kochevar is the focal point of research led by Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UH). A study of the work will be published in the The Lancet March 28 at 6:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time.

"He's really breaking ground for the spinal cord injury community," said Bob Kirsch, chair of Case Western Reserve's Department of Biomedical Engineering, executive director of the FES Center and principal investigator (PI) and senior author of the research. "This is a major step toward restoring some independence."
When asked, people with quadriplegia say their first priority is to scratch an itch, feed themselves or perform other simple functions with their arm and hand, instead of relying on caregivers.

"By taking the brain signals generated when Bill attempts to move, and using them to control the stimulation of his arm and hand, he was able to perform personal functions that were important to him," said Bolu Ajiboye, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and lead study author.

Technology and training

The research with Kochevar is part of the ongoing BrainGate2* pilot clinical trial being conducted by a consortium of academic and VA institutions assessing the safety and feasibility of the implanted brain-computer interface (BCI) system in people with paralysis. Other investigational BrainGate research has shown that people with paralysis can control a cursor on a computer screen or a robotic arm.

"Every day, most of us take for granted that when we will to move, we can move any part of our body with precision and control in multiple directions and those with traumatic spinal cord injury or any other form of paralysis cannot," said Benjamin Walter, associate professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Clinical PI of the Cleveland BrainGate2 trial and medical director of the Deep Brain Stimulation Program at UH Cleveland Medical Center.

"The ultimate hope of any of these individuals is to restore this function," Walter said. "By restoring the communication of the will to move from the brain directly to the body this work will hopefully begin to restore the hope of millions of paralyzed individuals that someday they will be able to move freely again."
Jonathan Miller, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and director of the Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery Center at UH, led a team of surgeons who implanted two 96-channel electrode arrays -- each about the size of a baby aspirin -- in Kochevar's motor cortex, on the surface of the brain.

The arrays record brain signals created when Kochevar imagines movement of his own arm and hand. The brain-computer interface extracts information from the brain signals about what movements he intends to make, then passes the information to command the electrical stimulation system.
To prepare him to use his arm again, Kochevar first learned how to use his brain signals to move a virtual-reality arm on a computer screen.

"He was able to do it within a few minutes," Kirsch said. "The code was still in his brain."
As Kochevar's ability to move the virtual arm improved through four months of training, the researchers believed he would be capable of controlling his own arm and hand.

Miller then led a team that implanted the FES systems' 36 electrodes that animate muscles in the upper and lower arm.
The BCI decodes the recorded brain signals into the intended movement command, which is then converted by the FES system into patterns of electrical pulses.

The pulses sent through the FES electrodes trigger the muscles controlling Kochevar's hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder. To overcome gravity that would otherwise prevent him from raising his arm and reaching, Kochevar uses a mobile arm support, which is also under his brain's control.

New Capabilities

Eight years of muscle atrophy required rehabilitation. The researchers exercised Kochevar's arm and hand with cyclical electrical stimulation patterns. Over 45 weeks, his strength, range of motion and endurance improved. As he practiced movements, the researchers adjusted stimulation patterns to further his abilities.

Kochevar can make each joint in his right arm move individually. Or, just by thinking about a task such as feeding himself or getting a drink, the muscles are activated in a coordinated fashion.

When asked to describe how he commanded the arm movements, Kochevar told investigators, "I'm making it move without having to really concentrate hard at it...I just think 'out'...and it goes."
Kocehvar is fitted with temporarily implanted FES technology that has a track record of reliable use in people. The BCI and FES system together represent early feasibility that gives the research team insights into the potential future benefit of the combined system.

Advances needed to make the combined technology usable outside of a lab are not far from reality, the researchers say. Work is underway to make the brain implant wireless, and the investigators are improving decoding and stimulation patterns needed to make movements more precise. Fully implantable FES systems have already been developed and are also being tested in separate clinical research.

Kochevar welcomes new technology -- even if it requires more surgery -- that will enable him to move better. "This won't replace caregivers," he said. "But, in the long term, people will be able, in a limited way, to do more for themselves."
The investigational BrainGate technology was initially developed in the Brown University laboratory of John Donoghue, now the founding director of the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, Switzerland. The implanted recording electrodes are known as the Utah array, originally designed by Richard Normann, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Utah.

The report in today's Lancet is the result of a long-running collaboration between Kirsch, Ajiboye and the multi-institutional BrainGate consortium. Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD, a neurologist and neuroengineer at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brown University and the VA RR&D Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology in Providence, Rhode Island, directs the pilot clinical trial of the BrainGate system and is a study co-author.

"It's been so inspiring to watch Mr. Kochevar move his own arm and hand just by thinking about it," Hochberg said. "As an extraordinary participant in this research, he's teaching us how to design a new generation of neurotechnologies that we all hope will one day restore mobility and independence for people with paralysis."

Other researchers involved with the study include: Francis R. Willett, Daniel Young, William Memberg, Brian Murphy, PhD, and P. Hunter Peckham, PhD, from Case Western Reserve; Jennifer Sweet, MD, from UH; Harry Hoyen, MD,and Michael Keith, MD, from MetroHealth Medical Center and CWRU School of Medicine; and John Simeral, PhD from Brown University and Providence VA Medical Center.
*CAUTION: Investigational Device. Limited by Federal Law to Investigational Use.

Highway to health: New findings point way to more nutritious crops


sciencedaily.com

 Researchers uncover inner workings of plant circulation and storage

Almost every calorie that we eat at one time went through the veins of a plant. If a plant's circulatory system could be rejiggered to make more nutrients available -- through bigger seeds or sweeter tomatoes -- the world's farmers could feed more people.

Washington State University researchers have taken a major step in that direction by unveiling the way a plant's nutrients get from the leaves, where they are produced through photosynthesis, to "sinks" that can include the fruits and seeds we eat and the branches we process for biofuels. The researchers found a unique and critical structure where the nutrients are offloaded, giving science a new focal point in efforts to improve plant efficiency and productivity.

"If you can increase the sink strength by 5 percent, and you get 5 percent more product, you'd be looking at a multibillion dollar market," said Michael Knoblauch, a professor in the WSU School of Biological Sciences.

Determining where nutrients land

Knoblauch last year capped two decades of work on a plant's inner workings by publishing in the journal eLife the strongest support yet of an 86-year-old hypothesis of how nutrients move through plants. The current research, also published in eLife, expands on this by looking at where the nutrients end up and how.

"What we eat is mostly fruits, roots and seeds, cereals and so on," said Knoblauch. "And all this stuff is not at the place of photosynthesis. It's at the place of unloading. So all the sugars and everything that is generated by photosynthesis are basically translocated to these so-called sinks.

"The unloading mechanism is a very important step because it determines how much a specific sink gets," he said. "So if we are able to modify the so-called sink strength, we can basically modify what fruit or root gets more."

Videos show nutrients unloaded

Knoblauch, then-doctoral student Timothy Ross-Elliott and other researchers from WSU, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Delaware analyzed Arabidopsis, a mustard plant and model organism, using non-invasive imaging, 3-D electron microscopy and mathematical modeling. They produced a suite of remarkable videos showing growing roots and fluorescently tagged solutes and large molecules moving through the phloem, the tissue that transports plant sugars, and getting offloaded to neighboring cells.

They discovered that the phloem unloads through convection, a combination of diffusion, the movement of sugar solute from areas of high concentration to low, and bulk flow, in which both a solute and solution are transported. Facilitating the process are plasmodesmata, pores connecting neighboring cells.

They also saw for the first time unique structures called "funnel plasmodesmata." They measure only 300 nanometers across -- 3/10,000ths of a millimeter and the wavelength of ultraviolet light. Despite their size, the funnel-shaped pores have 1/400th the flow resistance of an ordinary pore and can release large proteins in discrete pulses, which the researchers call "batch unloading."

Targeting sinks to draw more nutrients

Their intimate knowledge of the plant's circulatory system gives the researchers new insights into what structures might be targeted to increase the ability of a fruit or root to draw nutrients, said Knoblauch.

"It's a beautiful, elegant system," he said. "The more you pull out, the more you get. So if we are able to increase the sink strength of a specific sink of interest, then we can draw to this sink more nutrients of interest. If we want to make a tomato fruit a stronger sink by modifying phloem unloading, we draw more of the nutrients to the fruit and make more fruit product."
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Materials provided by Washington State University. Original written by Eric Sorensen. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

segunda-feira, 27 de março de 2017

EPA chief: Trump to undo Obama plan to curb global warming




The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says President Donald Trump in the coming days will sign a new executive order that unravels his predecessor's sweeping plan to curb global warming.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt says the executive order to be signed Tuesday will undo the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

The 2015 rule has been on hold since last year while a federal appeals court considers a challenge by coal-friendly Republican-led states and more than 100 companies.
Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Pruitt said Trump's intention is to bring back coal-mining jobs and reduce the cost of electricity.
Supporters of former President Barack Obama's plan say it would spur thousands of clean-energy jobs.

Daily consumption of tea may protect the elderly from cognitive decline, study suggests


A cup of tea a day can keep dementia away, and this is especially so for those who are genetically predisposed to the debilitating disease, according to a recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore's (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
The longitudinal study involving 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older has found that regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50 per cent, while APOE e4 gene carriers who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86 per cent.

The research team also discovered that the neuroprotective role of tea consumption on cognitive function is not limited to a particular type of tea -- so long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves, such as green, black or oolong tea.

"While the study was conducted on Chinese elderly, the results could apply to other races as well. Our findings have important implications for dementia prevention. Despite high quality drug trials, effective pharmacological therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as dementia remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory. Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. The data from our study suggests that a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person's risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in late life," explained Asst Prof Feng.

He added, "Based on current knowledge, this long term benefit of tea consumption is due to the bioactive compounds in tea leaves, such as catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine. These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration. Our understanding of the detailed biological mechanisms is still very limited so we do need more research to find out definitive answers."

In this study, tea consumption information were collected from the participants, who are community-living elderly, from 2003 to 2005. At regular intervals of two years, these seniors were assessed on their cognitive function using standardised tools until 2010. Information on lifestyles, medical conditions, physical and social activities were also collected. Those potential confounding factors were carefully controlled in statistical models to ensure the robustness of the findings.
The research team published their findings in scientific journal The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging in December 2016.

Future Research

Asst Prof Feng and his team are planning to embark on further studies to better understand the impact of Asian diet on cognitive health in aging. They are also keen to investigate the effects of the bioactive compounds in tea and test them more rigorously through the assessment of their biological markers and by conducting randomised controlled trials or studies that assign participants into experimental groups or control groups randomly to eliminate biased results.
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Materials provided by National University of Singapore. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

domingo, 26 de março de 2017

In a sample of blood, researchers probe for cancer clues


One day, patients may be able to monitor their body's response to cancer therapy just by having their blood drawn. A new study, led by bioengineers at UC Berkeley, has taken an important step in that direction by measuring a panel of cancer proteins in rare, individual tumor cells that float in the blood.

Berkeley researchers isolated circulating tumor cells from the blood of breast cancer patients, then used microscale physics to design a precision test for protein biomarkers, which are indicators of cancer. After isolating each cell, the microfluidic device breaks the cells open and tests the cellular contents for eight cancer protein biomarkers. The researchers are expanding the number of proteins identifiable with this technology to eventually allow pathologists to classify cancer cells more precisely than is possible using existing biomarkers.

"Tremendous advances have been made in DNA and RNA profiling in cells collected using a liquid biopsy. We extend those advances to highly selective measurement of proteins -- the 'molecular machines' of the cell," said Amy Herr, Berkeley a bioengineering professor and leader of the study team. "We are working to create medicine that would allow a doctor to monitor a patient's treatment response through a blood draw, perhaps on a daily basis."

The study was published March 23 in the journal Nature Communications. The research was a collaboration with breast cancer surgeon Stefanie Jeffrey at Stanford University and with a University of California startup, Vortex Biosciences. Funding was provided by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

The study focuses on circulating tumor cells, a potentially rich source of information about a person's cancer. These cells are thought to break off from the original tumor and circulate in the blood, and may be a sign of an aggressive tumor. But studying these cells is difficult because the cells are rare, so few are collected even when enriched from the blood. The cells contain different proteins than the original tumor, so research is ongoing to unlock the secrets of these elusive cells.

To better study circulating tumor cells, the researchers collaborated with physician-scientists and industry engineers to develop a microfluidics system that separates these large cells into a concentrated sample. A key advance the team made was in devising a system to precisely handle and manipulate the concentrated cells from blood. The Berkeley researchers then analyzed each circulating tumor cell for the specific panel of cancer proteins.

To do so, they placed each rare cell in a microwell (with a diameter roughly half the width of a human hair). Once settled in the microwell, the circulating tumor cells were burst open and the proteins released from inside each cell were separated according to differences in size or mass. The scientists were then able to identify cancer proteins by introducing fluorescent probes that bind to and light up a specific protein target. By sorting and probing the protein targets, the test is more selective than existing pathology tools. Enhanced selectivity will be crucial in detecting subtle chemical modifications to biomarkers that can be important but difficult to measure, Herr said. The researchers plan to expand their approach to identify more proteins, and proteins with unique modifications, in circulating tumor cells.

"Microfluidic design was key in this study. We were able to integrate features needed for each measurement stage into one process," Herr said. "Systems integration allowed us to do every single measurement step very, very quickly while the biomarkers are still concentrated. If not performed exceptionally fast, the cell's proteins diffuse away and become undetectable."
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Materials provided by University of California - Berkeley. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.