Prime minister Sheikh Hasina. File PhotoPrime minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in Quebec on a four-day official visit to Canada to attend the Outreach Leaders Programme of the G7, the group of seven countries with advanced economies in the world.A flight of Air Canada, which left Toronto Pearson International Airport at 12:00pm (local time), arrived at Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport at 2:00pm on Friday local time (12:00am on Saturday Bangladesh time).Bangladesh high commissioner in Canada Mizanur Rahman received her at the airport.Earlier, an Emirates Airlines flight carrying the prime minister and her entourage landed at Toronto at 9:30am local time (7:30pm Bangladesh time).Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau invited 12 world leaders, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to take part in a special outreach session of the G7 Summit.The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.During her visit, the prime minister will join the outreach session at Quebec City on 9 June.On the next day, she will hold a bilateral meeting with her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in Quebec in the morning and join a views-exchange meeting with Bangladesh expatriates in Toronto in the evening.Sheikh Hasina will also have a meeting with Canada’s special envoy on Rohingya crisis Bob Rae in Toronto on 11 June.The prime minister is expected to return home on 12 June.
Map of SylhetTwo unidentified young men crushed to death under the wheels of a train at Sylhet railway station on Saturday night.The age of the youths is around 20 years, said Jahangir Alam, officer-in-charge of Sylhet GRP police station, reports UNB.The duo fell down while trying to board Dhaka-bound ‘Upoban Express’ around 10:00pm while it was leaving the platform and crushed to death under the train’s wheels.The victims used to push rickshaws on the Keane Bridge area in the city, the OC added.
Marco Krohn, Wikimedia CommonsA mining farm of Genesis Mining located in Iceland. The picture shows mainly Zeus scrypt miners.The business with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is ever growing, including here in Houston.CenterPoint Energy is noticing that too.About six months ago, the company started seeing a dramatic increase in power demand in residential areas, where it turns out people built high tech rigs to mine cryptocurrency.“A typical residence will use about 1,500 to 2,000 kilowatt hours per month,” Julienne Sugarek, vice president for CenterPoint’s power delivery department, said. “And we’ve seen loads ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 kilowatt hours a month.”CenterPoint has identified 38 such mining operations in Greater Houston.The company is asking people to call its customer service line before building one, so they can adjust to the increased energy demand. X Listen 00:00 /00:50 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share
Share Currently, a federal injunction is keeping TPS in effect for people from El Salvador and Haiti, but not Honduras. Those three countries make up 94% of immigrants with these protections. If parents can’t stay in the United States legally, some will leave their families and return to their home countries, according to the report’s author Nicole Svajlenka.“We know that separating children from their families has a lot of repercussions ranging from emotional distress to economic turmoil and all of these are really lasting for young children’s development,” said Svajlenka.She said other parents may opt to stay in the country illegally and could be deported at any time, which would also cause emotional stress for children. Svajlenka also said Texas children have the most to lose if TPS is ended.“Texas is actually the state with the largest number of US citizen children that would be impacted,” she said.TPS has allowed hundreds of thousands of people escaping natural disasters or conflict to work and live legally in the United States for decades. TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti have lived in the United States an average of 22 years. More than half of the 49,000 TPS holders living in Texas from those three countries live in the Houston area. X Listen Photo courtesy of Teodoro Aguiluz (CRECEN)Joel Gómez (right), with the Center of Central American Resources (known as CRECEN by its acronym in Spanish), assists Martir Velasquez (left) with his paperwork to re-register as a recipient of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS).A total of 49,000 Texas children have a parent with Temporary Protected Status from El Salvador, Honduras or Haiti, according to a study by the Center for American Progress.The parents of those children could lose their immigration status if federal courts side with the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the vast majority of those protected. 00:00 /00:59 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
By Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFROFor 61 years, Will Preyer and Stewart Hall didn’t fully comprehend their separate but equal places in baseball history when they played in their state Little League Championship in 1955. Eight years after Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, the game remained segregated at the youth level, especially in the Deep South. However, things changed in1955 at the Florida State Little League Championship, which is now the subject of a documentary recently screened at the Library of Congress.“A Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story” chronicles the story of how the all-White Orlando Kiwanis and all-Black Pensacola Jaycees met in a championship game defined by more than its box score. It was the first time that racial divisions were put aside on a baseball diamond for kids to socially interact and compete while breaking the stereotypes associated with Jim Crow.The Pensacola Jaycees were the first Black team to face an all White team in a Florida Little League game. They are the subject of a new documentary ‘A Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story.’ (Courtesy Photo)“I think this story is important because we didn’t realize the significance of the game when we played it,” Hall told the AFRO. “A chance to reunite with the guys gave us the chance to learn about how they were feeling and to talk with them about what was it was like growing up Black in Pensacola.”The documentary addresses the different worlds the players were entering the game from. Hall and the rest of his Orlando teammates had “perfect” lives with no legally sanctioned barriers keeping them from enjoying it. Pensacola players were living in a world of denied access and curfews that kept them in a social holding cell where they dared not be caught outside the neighborhood after hours. They advanced to the championship round via forfeit because White teams in the Florida panhandle wouldn’t face teams with Black players.However, a love for baseball was the common theme in each dugout. The feelings of those times and the passion for the game of both teams is captured brilliantly by director John Strong. Strong blends stories of a shared romanticism that both groups felt for the game against a backdrop of how those times were shaping the way kids were growing up in two separate Americas.“It took a lot of digging,” said producer Ted Haddock. “The more we really pressed into it we discovered this was a very significant game and a story that really needed to be told”.The AFRO’s legendary sports columnist Sam Lacy wrote about the historic game in 1955. (File photo)Hall says in the movie how the AFRO, and legendary sports editor Sam Lacy, made him appreciate the role he played in history. Lacy wrote the story that was published with a headline “Florida Little League Has Mixed Playoff” on August 20, 1955 which opened the door to start the project. It wasn’t until Hall read the AFRO’s chronicle of the events that he realized the magnitude of the ground that was broken on that day.“A chance to reunite with the team from Pensacola gave us a chance to fill in a lot of the blanks,” said Hall. “It has been an emotional experience being around those men. After 61 years to be able to finally talk openly with them is a red letter moment in my life.”Several baseball legends also share their perspectives on the importance of this game throughout the story. Former Orioles Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken and manager Davey Johnson are joined by longtime home run king Hank Aaron.Orlando won the game 5-0 but that is just a footnote according to Rev. Freddie Augustine who played for Pensacola. “Times were tough then and racial tension was always high. But leading up to and during the game there was no problem. I just wished we had played a better game,” Augustine said.
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Kolkata: The state government has chalked out a detailed plan to set up trauma care centres at various hospitals in the state, to ensure quick treatment to accident victims. The government will bear a cost of around Rs 45 crore for the construction of the trauma care centres and for buying equipments.According to initial plans, eight trauma care centres would be constructed in the first phase. The locations would be on or near national and state highways and other important roads. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt has been learnt that three trauma care centres would be located at SSKM Hospital, Bardhaman Medical College and Hospital (BMCH) and North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH), while three others would be constructed at Kharagpur, Asansol and Islampur. The remaining two will be set up at Singur and Amtala.The critical patients would be admitted in the trauma care centres on an emergency basis. Accident victims or any trauma patient will be kept in the centres, where the patients would be given special care. These trauma care centres will have all the modern facilities to handle such patients. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe victims of fire incidents or those seriously injured in accidents, would be taken to the trauma care unit of the hospitals, where they would be given immediate attention. It is important to transfer these patients to a hospital equipped with trauma care facilities. This could save lives of many accident victims in the state, the senior officials of the state Health department said.The construction of the trauma care centre at BMCH has already been done. There will be 25 beds – 10 general, 10 critical care and five step down or high-dependency units (HDU). Accidents victims in the area are often brought to the city’s hospital and it takes a long time to shift a critical patient to the city. Had there been a trauma care unit at BMCH, people meeting with road accidents in the area can be provided treatment faster. The trauma care centre at NBMCH will be made operational soon.According to the Health department sources, the largest trauma care centre is coming up at the SSKM Hospital. It is expected that it can be made operational within September this year. Those coming up at BMCH, NBMCH and Singur will be of level 2 category, while the ones at Kharagpur and Islampur will be of level 3 category. A trauma care centre was inaugurated at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, a few months ago. It may be mentioned that RG Kar Medical College and Hospital is the first medical college hospital in the state to have a separate dedicated building for trauma care. The eight-storeyed building of the trauma care unit has departments like medicine, neuro-medicine, neuro-surgery, orthopedic and anesthesiology. Patients are availing specialised health care facilities under the same roof. The new building has 150 beds.
Kolkata: A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instructed police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to take stern action against those involved in collecting money for giving admission in colleges, Trinamool Chatra Parishad (TMCP) has also decided to crack the whip against such individuals.TMCP president Jaya Dutta will hold a meeting with student representatives from various colleges at Trinamool Bhavan beginning from Monday, giving clear instructions of abstaining from demanding money from any student for admission. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”The party has made it clear that those who will disobey the directions in this regard and will indulge in corruption for his/her own interest, will have to land in jail. There will be no place for him/her in the party,” Dutta said, who had been assigned the responsibility to communicate the party’s strong stand in this regard.It has been learnt that Dutta will hold a meeting with representatives from Central Kolkata colleges on Monday, South Kolkata colleges on Tuesday and North Kolkata colleges on Wednesday. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt may be mentioned that immediately after the CM’s instructions, Kolkata Police on Staurday posted a message on their Facebook page, inviting complaints against people who are demanding money to ensure admission to colleges. It has been learnt that the Chief Minister became furious after reports of students asking for money from freshers to get them admitted in different colleges surfaced in the media.Acting on two complaints, Kolkata Police have already arrested four students, for allegedly extorting money to arrange seats in colleges. Senior police officials are expected to visit some colleges in the city, to ensure smooth admission procedures on Monday. Extra police force will be deployed outside colleges where admissions are going on. Outsiders will not be allowed inside the college premises and only merit should be the criterion for admission.Kolkata Police has posted on Facebook, asking people to email or WhatsApp complaints about extortion related to college admissions.It may be mentioned that in the core committee meeting held at Netaji Indoor Stadium recently, Mamata Banerjee had categorically said that no money should be taken from students on the pretext of providing admissions in colleges and stern actions would be taken against those involved in the matter.The Bidhannagar City Police, on its Facebook and Twitter page, has put up an email id: firstname.lastname@example.org and a WhatsApp number: 9051518444, on which a person can register his/her complaint if there is a demand for money for admission.
Kolkata: Medical Bank gave new clothes and sweets to around 200 AIDS patients who are receiving treatment at School of Tropical Medicine (STM).There are indoor patients at STM and also patients who visit theoutdoor regularly.The volunteers of Medical Bank along with the doctors, nurses and para-medical staff of STM went to the patents and gave them new clothes and sweets.Most of the AIDS patients who receive treatment in the indoor section of STM have been deserted by their friends and Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal liferelatives.During the Pujas, they do not get any chance to visit the community Pujas situated in the area like College Square ofMohammad Ali park.D Ashis, general secretary of Medical Bank said: “It is unfortunate that even the educated people believe that AIDS is contagious and do not go to their near and dear ones. The patients feel lonely particularly during the Pujas.For the past 15 years, we give them new clothes and sweets on the day of Tritiya just to communicate to them that they are not alone.”Lauding the venture of Medical Bank, STM doctors said: “Many of the patients feel lonely and depressed as their relatives do not visit them. They do not get new clothes to wear during the days of the Puja. They are really happy to receive the new clothes and sweets. Now, they dont feel alone.”
Andrus AnsipThe EU has proposed new copyright rules that will allow European residents to travel with the digital content they have purchased or subscribed to at home.The proposed regulation would permit “cross-border portability of online content services”, in a move that would stamp out geo-blocking of online content across EU countries.“We want to ensure the portability of content across borders. People who legally buy content – films, books, football matches, TV series – must be able to carry it with them anywhere they go in Europe,” said Andrus Ansip, vice-president for the EU’s Digital Single MarketAnsip likened the changes to the planned phase-out of mobile roaming charges in Europe and is part of the EU’s plans to modernise European copyright rules.The new rules are expected to be introduced in 2017 and will apply to all 28 EU member states.“The Regulation proposed today is the first step of an ambitious reform. I count on the co-legislators to make sure that portability becomes reality for European consumers by 2017 so that they can enjoy their favourite content also when they travel in the EU – and without the fear of roaming charges, which will end by mid-2017,” said commissioner for the digital economy and society, Günther Oettinger.He said that the EU aimed to create a copyright rules that are fair, reward investment in creativity and make it “easier for Europeans to access and use content legally.”Under the new rules, the EU said that it will change the current situation whereby a Dutch subscriber to Netflix travelling to Germany isn’t able to watch films offered by Netflix to German consumers, or a French user of the online service MyTF1 is not able to rent a new film while on business trip to the UK.“More will be proposed in spring next year. Our aims are to allow a better circulation of content, offer more choice to Europeans, to strengthen cultural diversity and provide more opportunities for the creative sector,” said the EU.It also said that it intends to improve the cross-border distribution of TV online and aims to “facilitate the granting of licences for cross-border access to content”.However, critics have raised fears about what the knock-on effect could be on territory-based content distribution models.“The Commission’s proposals to mandate cross border access to digital content remain a significant concern for producers, distributors and broadcasters of film and TV content in the UK and across the EU,” said John McVay, CEO of UK producers’ body PACT.“Any intervention that undermines the ability to license on an exclusive territorial basis will lead to less investment in new productions and reduce the quality and range of content available to consumers.”
Turner is using the Accenture Video Solution platform to help manage and operate some of the its online video services – including Filmstruck Curzon in the UK and Cartoon Network TV Everywhere (TVE) in Asia Pacific.The Accenture Video Solution is a cloud-based, open platform that integrates digital video management, distribution and monetisation. It is scalable and adaptable, letting Turner integrate components from the platform along with proprietary and third-party solutions.“We are reimagining television by taking a fan-centric, technologically innovative approach to deliver high-quality experiences to our audiences wherever and whenever they choose,” said Aksel van der Wal, executive vice president, digital ventures and innovation, international, Turner.“With Accenture’s flexible video solution, we are continuing to evolve our OTT app development platform and are well-positioned to deliver a wide variety of experiences to a much broader audience.”Sef Tuma, Accenture managing director and digital video lead, said: “Because we’re developing [an] open cloud-based Accenture Video Solution, and providing accelerated delivery services, Turner has the ability to launch multiple brands and services globally on top of it, ultimately giving consumers access to the best content across a variety of platforms.”Turner, in partnership with Warner Bros, announced plans at the start of the year to roll out its US subscription video-on-demand service Filmstruck internationally, starting in the UK.The service went live in the UK in January where it launched in association with cinema brand Curzon. Filmstruck draws primarily on the Warner Bros. library and the Criterion Collection library, as well as other global and local content partners.
Altice Portugal and Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) have agreed to renew the distribution agreements of the public station channels until 2022 on its Meo platform.Altice said that the deal “guarantees stability in the development of the relationship between both companies, and that it marks “opens space for collaboration and innovation in a shared effort of commitment with the country”.Alexandre Fonseca, CEO of Altice Portugal, said: “the renewal of this agreement is another milestone in the relationship between both companies. RTP is one of the historical partners of Altice Portugal, and this agreement once again consolidates the quality on offer of the best television content to our customers, as well as, through communication, technology and content, connecting it to the country and the world.“I also underline the importance and the quality of the professionals of this public television, which in many cases are true symbols of national culture and journalism. “Gonçalo Reis, President of RTP, added: “The continuation of the distribution agreement in a medium-term perspective allows the two companies to work on large-scale projects. We want both to develop additional forms of RTP content distribution on Meo platforms, enabling innovative user experiences, channels or themes.”RTP broadcasts a wide range of Portuguese-language stations on Altice’s Meo service, including seven television channels (RTP 1, RTP 2, RTP 3, RTP Memory, RTP Azores, RTP Madeira and RTP Africa).
Source:https://news.agu.org/press-release/extreme-heat-increasing-both-summer-and-winter/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 27 2018A new study shows extreme heat events both in the summer and in the winter are increasing across the U.S. and Canada, while extreme cold events in summer and winter are declining.A new study in the in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, examined absolute extreme temperatures–high temperatures in summer and low temperatures in winter–but also looked at relative extreme temperature events–unusually cold temperatures and unusually warm temperatures throughout the year.The new study found both relative and absolute extreme heat events have increased across the US and Canada since 1980. This upward trend is greatest across the southern US, especially in the Ozarks and southern Arizona, as well as northern Quebec. That means there are more extremely hot days during the summer as well as more days that are considered extremely hot for the time of year, like abnormally warm days in the winter.The new research also found both relative and absolute extreme cold events are decreasing, most notably in Alaska and Northern Canada, along with patches along the US Atlantic coast. In these areas, there are fewer instances of temperatures that are extremely cold either compared to the normal range, like in winter, or for the time of year, like unusually cold days in the summer.Global mean surface temperature, the most frequently cited indicator of climate change, has been steadily increasing since the 1970s. However, temperature extremes pose a greater ecological risk to many species than average warming, according to the study’s authors.The new study is one of the first to explore relative extreme temperature events, which are changing more rapidly than absolute temperature extremes, and can have important implications for the environment, agriculture and human health, according to Scott Sheridan, professor in the department of geography at Kent State University and lead author of the new study.”Typically for this kind of research we look at the highest temperatures in the summer and lowest temperatures in the winter. But we’ve also seen that extreme temperatures that are really anomalous for the time of year can have a high impact–these relative extremes are important and underappreciated,” he said.Investigating temperature extremesTo investigate how extreme temperature events have been changing over time, Sheridan and his co-author conducted a climatology of cold and heat events, both absolute and relative, for North America, followed by an analysis of how they have changed from 1980-2016.Related StoriesSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchSuper-Resolution Raman Imaging with Plasmonic SubstratesHeat from nanoparticles zaps cancer cells from insideRelative extreme temperature events are changing faster than absolute extreme events, and often occur outside of seasonal norms, according to the new study. In the eastern half of the US, relative extreme heat events occur as early as mid-winter into early spring. Out-of-season extreme temperatures can cause early thaws in mild winters or catch vulnerable populations unprepared and unacclimated.Across parts of the Arctic, extreme cold events have become almost entirely nonexistent and increasingly difficult to identify, according to the researchers.”Relative temperature anomalies can trigger what are called phenological mismatches, where a mismatch in the temperature and the season can cause trees to bloom too early and birds and insects to migrate before there is appropriate food,” Sheridan said.Most notable is the highly anomalous warm event in March 2012, which included persistent mid-summer warmth in multiple locations. The event produced a ‘false spring’ in which vegetation prematurely left dormancy, so that it was not prepared for subsequent frosts, leading to large agricultural losses in certain areas, according to the researchers.There is some evidence that early-season heat events are more hazardous to humans than heat events later in the season. When people are not acclimatized to hotter temperatures, they are more vulnerable to negative health impacts, especially the elderly, infants, young children, and people with chronic health problems or disabilities, according to the researchers.The study clearly underlines the importance of not just looking at high temperatures in the summer but also looking at relative temperatures, said Kristie Ebi, professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the study.”Using information generated in the study on regional patterns in extreme weather events, particularly relative extremes in temperature, early warnings could be issued that include information on what people can do to protect themselves and to protect crops and ecosystems,” Ebi said.
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 17 2019A new study led by a research team from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School describes how bacteria adapted to the modern hospital environment and repeatedly cause antibiotic-resistant bloodstream infections. Infections acquired by hospitalized patients are more often antibiotic-resistant than those that occur elsewhere, and hospitals invest considerable effort to prevent them. Despite best efforts, some bacteria are able to persist and circulate among patients, causing repeated infections. This study examined one of the first sustained hospital outbreaks of a multidrug-resistant bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, which occurred from the early through the mid-1980s, causing over 60 outbreak strains.The study, published online April 10 in Science Translational Medicine, was led by a research team headed by Michael Gilmore, PhD, Senior Scientist at Mass. Eye and Ear, and the Sir William Osler Professor of Ophthalmology, and Director of the Infectious Disease Institute in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. The team compared the DNA sequences of bacteria that had been archived from the outbreak 30 years ago by collaborator Mark M. Huycke, MD, infectious disease specialist now at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Spearheaded by Gilmore laboratory research associate Daria Van Tyne, PhD, and with the help of Broad Institute Scientist Ashlee Earl, PhD, the researchers identified mutations in the bacteria as they caused one infection after another over 4 years.The study’s authors hope the novel findings on how enterococci infect the bloodstream will help scientists and physicians develop new ways to prevent these infections from happening, and to better treat them when they occur.”Knowing how the microbes outsmarted the body’s immune system and antibiotics tells us what is critical to the microbe in order to cause infection,” says Dr. Gilmore. “This in turn gives us a clearer shot at new targets for developing the next generation of antibiotics, and for guiding their careful use inside and outside of hospitals.”Naturally occurring in the human gut, enterococci bacteria can lead to infections including bloodstream and urinary tract infections, infections of surgical sites, and endocarditis–infection of the heart valves.Researchers examined the genomes of the bacteria to analyze samples from an early outbreak of bacteremia in patients in a Wisconsin hospital between 1984 and 1988 that was caused by multidrug-resistant Enterococcus faecalis in order to learn how they adapted to existence in the hospital and transmission from one patient to another. By going back to the early days of the antibiotic resistance problem, Dr. Van Tyne, Dr. Gilmore, and colleagues were able to see that Enterococcus faecalis entering into the bloodstream first turn on an unusual pathway that allows the microbe to make a new substance that helps to shore up its cell wall. This makes the bacterium more able to resist being killed by white blood cells, and also by antibiotics of the penicillin class that attack the bacterial cell wall. The authors also saw that in the middle of the outbreak, the types of adaptations suddenly changed, and the bacteria began to reinforce their cell walls in a new way. This change corresponded to the introduction and widespread use of a then-new antibiotic, called imipenem.Related Stories’Scissors’ component of CRISPR/Cas9 sometimes gets stuckStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea decipheredGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaDr. Van Tyne, now an Assistant Professor in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine, was able to repeatedly recreate the exact change 30 years later in the laboratory, using an imipenem class antibiotic, proving the link.”Our study shows how an enterococcal outbreak lineage emerged and evolved over an extended hospital outbreak and how outbreak strains responded to host immune selection and changing antibiotic regimens,” says Dr. Van Tyne. “These findings highlight new pathways that could be further leveraged in the future for control and management of hospital-acquired enterococcal infections.”Antibiotic resistant infection is a leading threat to public health worldwide. It has been estimated that by 2050, more people could die from infections that are no longer treatable with antibiotics, than from cancer. Understanding how some bacteria have been able to overcome our natural immune defenses, and new drugs as they are introduced, is the key to preventing a future where up to 10 million people could die each year from antibiotic resistant infection, according to Dr. Gilmore.”This research study is a powerful example of how scientists like Dr. Gilmore are utilizing new genetic technologies and molecular biology to uncover new and important information about drug-resistant bacteria, so we may better understand, and ultimately prevent and treat life-threatening infections,” says Joan W. Miller, MD, the David Glendenning Cogan Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Chief of Ophthalmology at Mass. Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.Source: https://www.masseyeandear.org/news/press-releases/2019/04/genomic-study-identifies-pathway
Professor Elborn’s main focus is Cystic Fibrosis focused on understanding pathophysiology of infection and inflammation and the translation of new therapies into clinical practice. This programme of work is undertaken with laboratory and clinical collaborators in Queen’s University Belfast. This includes a significant commitment from the NICRN (Respiratory Health) where Stuart is PI on 6 current clinical trials. Prof. Elborn has smaller programmes with others in COPD, bronchiectasis, lung cancer including clinical trials. His research is funded by grants from government agencies, charitable bodies, industry and money raised from clinical trials. Professor Elborn has developed a clinical trials network for Respiratory Health funded by the Northern Ireland Research and Development Office.In all his research, Professor Elborn endeavours to bring scientists and clinicians together to promote inter-disciplinary research. I have been successful in developing programmes of research across disciplines, hospitals and universities in Northern Ireland and across the UK and Europe.About Dr Graham Dixon About Prof. Stuart Elborn Sponsored Content by Neem BiotechJun 25 2019 Stuart Elborn & Graham DixonSchool of MDBS Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor,Queens University Belfast& CEO, Neem BiotechAn interview with, Professor Elborn and Dr. Dixon, discussing the issues surrounding bacterial respiratory infections associated with chronic lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis, conducted by Alina Shrourou, BSc. How much of a problem are respiratory infections in chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and COPD?In cystic fibrosis, COPD and people with bronchiectasis, there is a chronic infection that we know now is quite complex and is made up of communities of different species of microbiota; not just bacteria, but also fungi and viruses.© Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.comIt is possible for patients to have a long-term respiratory infection, causing intermittent episodes of exacerbation where their symptoms increase, often on a background or baseline of continuous symptoms but they flare up and get worse – we call these exacerbations.These events are very strongly related to quality of life and prognosis, so the events themselves reduce quality of life but we also know that frequent exacerbations across a range of respiratory conditions are associated with reduced survival. These events are a bit like a heart attack to the lungs. They do damage, which is irreparable and that probably drives the further reduction in lung function and the reduction in survival.What are the biggest challenges currently associated with treating bacterial infections in patients with chronic respiratory conditions?The main challenges are involved with finding long term treatment that would prevent exacerbations and flare ups. When these events do occur, it is difficult to determine what is the right drug, duration of treatments and context in which to treat these events.We have a number of treatments which we provide long term, but most of these are in cystic fibrosis and are based on inhaled antibiotic therapy. However, many of the antibiotics that are currently licensed, are only licensed for alternate month treatment, so we end up with complex regimes where patients are given two or potentially three types of inhaled antibiotics but they’re rotating those each month.We don’t really know which combinations are most efficacious, and so we are driven by trying to make decisions for individual patients based on very limited evidence.There is some anticipation that good anti-inflammatory therapy might help in this context, but there are no large-scale studies to help us understand that. We have a relatively limited repertoire of antimicrobial therapies which we know can be effective. Then understanding how we use antibiotics or antibiotics agents in a more effective way to prevent these episodes, is equally important.We are also still trying to understand how long we should be giving patients antibiotics for, to treat these exacerbations and to restore the inflammation homeostasis in their lungs. However, we are limited by the drugs available and by the approach that we use, which has developed historically and usually involves a 14-day course of IV antibiotics. There are several studies trying to tackle some of these issues. There’s a program called ‘Stop’, in the US, which is testing the hypothesis that in some patients, a shorter time than 14 days might be just as effective as 14 days of treatment, and some individuals may need longer than 14 days – they may need 21 days for example. There is a large pragmatic clinical trial in North America currently running to try to address those issues.Please outline the work you are involved in at Queen’s University Belfast to help overcome these challenges.We’re running a number of translational clinical trials that are trying to address these issues. The Framework 7 funded a program called CF Matters, using next generation sequencing to determine the bacteria in people with CF. That information was then used to decide in a consensus panel, what additional drugs might be added to the usual IV antibiotics. Although that study is now complete, unfortunately we were not able to demonstrate that the direct therapy based on molecular biome data benefited patients. However, we’re still doing some sub-group analysis because it may be that in some patients, there is in fact benefit from an additional drug.We’re also exploring a number of new antibiotic agents in both CF and bronchiectasis; some of which are conventional antibiotics but, others are of a different approach. We’re trying to re-think how we use current antibiotics, attempting to develop some new antibiotics with collaborators in the pharmaceutical industry and looking at new tools to help determine which antibiotics are most effective in individual patients.What is the importance of AMR resistance and therapy and the need for circumventing AMR in CF and respiratory disorders?This is a particularly tricky issue. We know that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) develops in people with cystic fibrosis who receive antibiotics. For example, resistance to Pseudomonas aeruginosa increases in individuals with CF, with age and antibiotic exposure. Usually the first infection of Pseudomonas is with a very antibiotic sensitive organism. However, through intrinsic mutations over time, the bacteria develop a resistance profile. It is also possible to cross infect with a resistant Pseudomonas so some patients may acquire a resistant pseudomonas from other patients if there aren’t effective infection control procedures in place.We know that resistance occurs in cystic fibrosis, so what is left to determine, is whether resistance predicts response to treatment. In inhaled antibiotic studies, and in a number of studies looking at this for treatment of exacerbations, there isn’t a strong relationship between resistance and successful treatments and this is very much in contrast to treatments of acute infections where resistance is a very good predictor of outcome in, for example, infection or sepsis associated with neutropenia. We are dealing with a different context of chronic infections associated with exacerbations.Related StoriesWound healing work presented at the RCP Innovation in Medicine Conference 2018 by Neem BiotechExperts drive Neem Biotech’s efforts to counter effects of antimicrobial resistance on treatment of lung infectionsAward granted to Neem Biotech to develop antimicrobial intervention for chronic lung infectionsIt’s not as straight forward as acute infection but we need new and prospective therapies that will circumvent the antimicrobial resistance nature of chronic infections in cystic fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases, and/or use mechanisms that are not genetically determined, providing therapies that would be consistently effective in people with chronic lung infection.What makes Neem Biotech’s approach to respiratory infections unique?Neem are coming at it from a non-traditional antibiotic angle involving novel mechanisms of action.Quorum sensing describes a way in which bacteria communicate, and it drives the production of various factors which allows them to infect and damage tissue. By blocking quorum sensing, it means that the bacteria cannot produce biofilms which then become chronic infections and are very protected both from antibiotics and the host immune system. By approaching this system, we are investigating the possibility of stopping the bacteria from becoming invasive, rather than killing the bacteria per se, as resistance development can be slowed with reduced pressure on the bacteria to reproduce.Disrupting communication between microbes is likely to make them more amenable to clearance by normal immune pathways and make the microbes more susceptible to antibiotic killing.We’re excited about this program, because we’re taking the understanding of the biology of bacterial host interaction and translating the science through to the therapies that will work with the immune system to improve outcomes in this condition.Are there ways in which higher education, industry, health authorities and clinical practitioners can work together more effectively to prove the value and cost benefit of innovations in the field of chronic respiratory infections?Yes, there are a wide range of initiatives; some of which are generic to healthcare and the use of antibiotics, but there are some specific programs which are now developing in CF.A couple of years ago, we were able to persuade the CF community in North America, Europe and Australasia to put together a working group that would address key questions around the medical need and assess the evidence around how we currently use antibiotics in people with cystic fibrosis. The outputs of that are in the process of being published.The outputs identify some of the challenges in identification and laboratory determination of infection; through to what we know, or perhaps more importantly, what we don’t know, where the gaps are, and scoping what other future steps we need to take in terms of development of new drugs and how we use the learning from antimicrobial stewardship to improve long term outcomes in people with CF.We’ll be developing some education programs over the next 12 – 24 months that we’ll be able to use to help educate healthcare teams looking after people with CF, and for cystic fibrosis patients themselves. We’ve just finished a large survey in both of those sectors to gauge the understanding of these issues so that we can really target the right education to our community. I think that the lack of cystic fibrosis educational materials is huge issue for us as a society and in CF. We need to make a contribution to that by understanding the problem, having the right therapies and the right program of treatment and understanding how antimicrobial stewardship might be really important in long term outcomes for our patients.Neem are contributing to this initiative by participating in a syndicate that’s run by the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust. It involves academia, the pharmaceutical industry and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and it looks at how those groups can work together to improve success in R&D and cystic fibrosis. One of the elements we are involved in is investigating how we develop better, more predictable and translatable models in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo to evaluate potential new cystic fibrosis drugs.We also have the newly formed Respiratory Innovation Wales – a group that brings together academia, industry and the NHS to try and research respiratory conditions more generally, with an aim of better facilitating the movement of drugs through the system.What would interdisciplinary respiratory research success look like in the future?Working together is key. Taking good science from academia and developing that within an industrial environment, being able to link to medical professionals and make that translational leap. I believe there is also value in approaching the NHS to facilitate the clinical development and clinical trials programs. It’s really a very collaborative effort and that’s why the Respiratory Innovation Wales has been set up to try and help with. Then naturally, that leads to patient inclusion.How do you expect the success of Neem’s research to impact the existing knowledge base and clinical practice in management of bacterial infections in chronic respiratory conditions?The introduction of a new class of antibiotic that has a novel mechanism would be a terrific additional therapeutic opportunity in CF and other chronic lung conditions. To be able to modulate the pathogenicity of a bacterium without having a severe impact on the good bacteria that sits in the lung, could really start to move people with devastating diseases such as CF back to have lungs with a much healthier ecosystem and associated with improved health and further increases in survival.Where can readers find more information? www.neembiotech.com UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust – www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk British Lung Foundation – www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you Dr Graham Dixon obtained his PhD in biochemistry at Swansea University and has spent over 25 years in Big Pharma, VC funded and publicly listed biotechnology companies. As Chief Scientific Officer and later Chief Executive Officer he has led over ten positive proof of concept programmes in humans and been a part of several new drug approval programmes in biotechnology companies including Neem Biotech, Onxeo, Sensorion, Addex Therapeutics, Galapagos, Entomed and F2G.Sponsored Content Policy: News-Medical.net publishes articles and related content that may be derived from sources where we have existing commercial relationships, provided such content adds value to the core editorial ethos of News-Medical.Net which is to educate and inform site visitors interested in medical research, science, medical devices and treatments.
RELATED Fire fighters at work as they put down a fire at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, in Kolkata, on Oct 3, 2018 – Debasish Bhaduri COMMENT SHARE October 03, 2018 Fire breaks out on-board merchant vessel in Bay of Bengal, crew rescued Patients evacuated; no casualties SHARE SHARE EMAIL A massive fire broke out at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, a leading State-run hospital in the city. At least 10 fire tenders have been pressed into action till reports last came in.The centuries old hospital also houses a medical college.As per sources, there have been no reports of any casualty in the incident. Informal estimates peg that nearly 250 patients were evacuated from different wards of the hospital.Morning scenes saw patients being carried out into the open in bed-sheets holding saline bottles in hand, by fire department officials, hospital staff, students, locals and relatives of patients. Some patients were able to walk out on their own.According to a fire brigade official, the cause of the fire is yet to be determined. Preliminary reports suggest that fire broke out at a medicine shop in the pharmacy department of the hospital. The city had already seen over 90 deaths in a similar fire incident that broke out at the privately run AMRI Hospital in south Kolkata some years back. Even as recently as last month, the city saw a fire break out at the Bagree market, one of the largest wholesale markets in Asia. The blaze was finally extinguished 4 days later. Published on fire Fire engulfs Bagree market for over 40 hours COMMENTS
COMMENTS A ceiling on party expenditure in campaigning, for which the Election Commission (EC) has been pressing political parties and the government, will see “the light of day in time to come”, says Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat. Rawat, who demits office on Saturday, said his “only regret” as head of the poll panel is that the EC was unable to recommend to the Law Ministry a fresh “legal framework” in tune with the changing times vis-a-vis the use of money and social media. Sunil Arora will take over as the new chief election commissioner on Sunday. Responding to a question on transparency in funding of political parties, Rawat told PTI in an interview that it is “a long-term reform”. “… all political party meeting in August (this year) had recommended that there should be a ceiling on party expenditure and commensurately there should be transparency in funding. I think it will see the light of day in time to come,” he said. Almost all parties agreed to a cap on expenditure, he added. The election watchdog has been pushing for greater transparency in election-related expenditure by parties and candidates. Like individuals, there should be a ceiling on expenditure by political parties during polls, according to the Election Commission, which has referred the matter to the Law Ministry for legislative action. At present, there is a ceiling on campaigning funds for individual candidates in the electoral fray but no cap on the money political parties can spend for electioneering. The ceiling varies from state to state depending on its population and number of assembly or Lok Sabha seats. November 30, 2018 Published on Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat – PTI SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT elections