New 15 -Minute Blood Test Could Drastically Cut Overuse Of Antibiotics

Antibiotics have been overused in both agriculture and human healthcare, and as a result, “superbugs” resistant to almost all common antibiotics have now emerged. If a clever solution to the problem isn’t find soon, this global health emergency will end up expensing us millions of lives.

As scientists work hard at trying to break through the newly developed defenses of these microbes, a new standalone blood test has emerged that may find the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics drop off considerably.

The device is an incredibly cheap and straightforward laboratory on a chip– it takes only 15 minutes, and picks up on whether a patient is suffering from a viral or bacterial infection. If it’s the former, then no antibiotics will be given, as they often are when a technological examination like this isn’t made.

Its rapidity means that the test can be conducted in the presence of the patient. For this type of diagnosis, they no longer require their sample sent off to another medical facility for examination.

Going by the name FebriDx, this little gadget appears out for two different proteins in the blood. The first, myxovirus resistance A( MxA ), shows up when there’s a viral infection. The other, C-reactive protein( CRP ), appears when there’s a bacterial infection; its presence in significant quantities is a marker for rednes in general.

Publishing their results in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, a team- led by Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center- outline how the device is not yet 100 percentage accurate, but it goes a long way towards improving the precision of diagnoses.

When it came to bacterial samples, FebriDx tests had a 92 percent arrangement rate with conventional infection detection methods, and an 84 percent arrangement rate with regards to viral samples. That means that at this stage, the input of a medical expert is always necessary, even with the test available.

Regardless, the device has been described by parent company RPS Diagnostics as a “1 5-minute, single use, disposable, point-of-care diagnostic test” that’s “commercially ready”, which essentially entails it could be available for common usage in the near future, perhaps as early as 2018.

At the very least, FebriDx appears to be a very powerful augmentative tool for clinical practitioners. At best, this is a simple technique that could partly solve an enormously complex problem.

According to an official press release, acute upper respiratory tract infections are the “most common reason for oral antibiotic infections in the US”, and “3 0 to 50 percentage of antibiotics used in the outpatient defining are inappropriate.” The implication here is that this type of misdiagnosis is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance, and that a FebriDx could effectively run a long way towards nipping it in the bud.

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Louisiana’s New’ Blue Lives Matter’ Bill On Cop Killers Is Actually Pretty Redundant

WASHINGTON — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards( D) intends to sign a bill this week that will allow prosecutors to try longer sentences for people who attack police officer, EMTs or firefighters because they detest them.

It’s a strange policy that may turn out to be useless.

The bill awaiting the governor’s signature, HB 953, is widely known as “Blue Lives Matter, ” a phrase patterned after the Black Lives Matter movement and that stands on the opposite side of criticisms of police brutality. The Blue Lives Matter movement argues that police officers are under siege and need extra protections.

Louisiana, like many other states, already penalise people who assault or kill policemen more harshly than people who assault or kill, tell, waitress or pizza delivery guys. The state automatically categorizes cop-killing as first-degree slaying — a charge that could result in the capital punishment if convicted — even when it’s not premeditated. Assaulting or battering a police officer also comes with a harsher charge.

It’s easy for attorneys to demonstrate a victim of violence was a police officer, but proving intent and get inside an offender’s mind is extremely difficult. So why is Louisiana making prosecutors prove that an assault on a policeman was motivated by hatred for policemen when the nation already has tougher penalties for assaulting policemen, regardless of the motivation?

It’s all about sending a message.

By attaining police officer a protected class — like race, national origin and religion — the state is doing more to value its officers, said Louisiana state Rep. Lance Harris( R ), the bill’s author.

But Dane S. Ciolino, a statute professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, doubts the bill will actually protect policemen more than existing law does.

“There’s certainly no gap in criminal matters, ” he said. “It’s just showboating for the constituents.”

At least 37 states have enhanced penalties for assaulting a police officer, regardless of the attacker’s motive. Some countries do that by considering harming a police officer to be an “aggravating factor, ” which heightens the severity of the sentence for the alleged offense. In New York, being convicted in the aggravated murder of a police officer carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. It is also an automatic first-degree charge. Michigan has a similar statute.

These protections extend beyond police officer. Florida law, for example, mandates that the assault or battery of public transit employees — along with law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMTs — be reclassified as a higher charge. Other jurisdictions — including New York and Washington , D.C. — add extra years in prison for assaulting a bus or taxi driver in hopes of deterring violence against transportation workers.

Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University, worries that HB 953 may actually scale back current hate crimes statutes if police officers are included.

“We might very well dilute the hate crime statute so that it is weakened beyond repair, ” he told. “Originally the idea of hate crime ordinances was to protect vulnerable groups of americans.”

“There are a number of very dangerous occupations, but it’s not only the police who may be injured or killed on the job, ” Levin added.

Stringer/ Reuters
Taxi drivers are 30 times more likely to be killed on the job than employees in other occupations.

A U.S. city bus driver was assaulted every three days in 2012, according to estimates from the Amalgamated Transit Union, the largest labor union for transit employees in the U.S. and Canada. But Larry Hanley, international president of the ATU, doesn’t watch the need to give public transit workers additional protection under hate crimes statutes.

“To the extent that bus drivers represent the government, you could argue that this stem from some hatred of government workers, ” Hanley said. “But, candidly, the majority of members of the crimes involving assaults on transit workers are connected to fare disputes, to people’s own mental issues — we have people who get on buses who are mentally disturbed — people who are drunk and have taken part in assault. So I’m not sure this really fits the mold.”

Taxi drivers have also opposed hard for the protections afforded to their profession — and for the right reasons. They are 30 times more likely to be killed on the job than employees in other occupations, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Much like city bus drivers, they tend to work in isolated surroundings and transport potentially violent strangers.

They are also more likely to belong to an already protected class under hate-crime ordinances. Most cab drivers in New York, for example, immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India or Ecuador.

On Saturday, Sirajul Islam Khan, a taxi driver in the Bronx, was attacked when he took out some cash to dedicate a customer change. The assailant allegedly beat Khan and wailed that he would kill the cab driver — not for being a cab driver, but for being Muslim.

“Prosecuting crimes against a worker as a hate crime belies the long struggle for racial justice in our country, ” Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, told HuffPost. “We have sought hate crime prosecution only when a driver has been targeted because of their race or religion. There are conditions that attain workers vulnerable to crime on the job. But that is an occupational security matter , not a hate crime.”

Levin pointed out that for a brief period of time following large-scale anti-police brutality protests in Ferguson, Missouri, New York and Baltimore, ambushes of police officers did rise. But this was short-lived.

“I would be much more likely to support the idea of expanding hate crime statutes to protect police officer if there were some long-term trend whereby law enforcement was at greater risk than usual, ” he said.

Even E. Pete Adams, the executive director of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, doubts his members will be able to do much with the new law.

“Motivation is by its very nature hard to prove, but sometimes when the facts align correctly motivation can be shown, ” Adams said. “But it is a challenge. It’s a challenge under the current law, it’ll be a challenge under the amendment.”

The hate crime moniker, Adams underlined, “is merely a sentence enhancement tool.” And Louisiana already has laws that more harshly punish people who assault policeman.

“This legislation is unnecessary, ” Ciolino, the law prof, told. “But the Louisiana criminal code is littered with unnecessary and redundant provisions, so this is nothing new.”

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com

‘Anti-malarial mosquitoes’ created using controversial genetic technology

Scientists aim to tackle malaria by creating bugs unable to spread the parasite, but caution recommended over unpredictable ecological consequences

Hundreds of genetically modified mosquitoes that are incapable of spreading the malaria parasite to humen have been created in a laboratory as part of a revolutionary approach to combating the disease.

The move marks a major step towards the development of a powerful and controversial technology called a gene drive that aims to tackle the disease by forcing anti-malarial genes into swarms of wild mosquitoes.

The procedure can quickly transform the genetic makeup of natural insect populations, making it a dramatic new tool in the fight against an infection that still claims over 400,000 lives a year. The same technology is being considered for other human diseases and infections that devastate crops.

This is a significant first step, said Prof Anthony James at the University of California, Irvine. The mosquitoes we created are not the final brand, but we know this technology allows us to efficiently generate large populations.

But gene drive technology is so powerful that resulting researchers have recommended scientists in the field to be cautious. A warning published in August in the prestigious publication Science, by squads in the UK, US, Australia and Japan, said that while gene drives have the potential to save lives and bring other benefits, the accidental release of modified organisms could have unpredictable ecological consequences.

They call on scientists to ensure that experimental organisms cannot escape from their labs, be released on purpose, or even find their way out accidentally in the event of a natural disaster. Researchers should also be open about the precautions they take to prevent an unintended release, they said.

In the latest study, mosquitoes were engineered to carry genes for antibodies that target the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum . When released into the wild, researchers believe the modified insects will breed with normal mosquitoes and pass the anti-malarial genes on to their young, making an ever-increasing proportion of future generations resistant to the malaria parasite.

James and his squad employed a genome editing procedure called Crispr-Cas9 to write anti-malarial genes into the Dna of eggs belonging Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. A major carrier of the malaria parasite in Asia, the strain is responsible for more than 10% of malaria cases in India.

In lab tests, the modified mosquitoes passed on their anti-malarial genes to 99.5% of their offspring, is recommended that the procedure was incredibly effective and efficient. To track which bugs inherited the antibody genes, the scientists added a tracer gene that devoted carriers red fluorescent eyes.

James, who signed the warn in Science, said more run was needed to perfect the gene drive before modified insects can be tested in field trials. But describing the experimentations in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, he wrote: Strains based on this technology could have a major role in sustaining malaria control and elimination as part of the eradication agenda.

Dr Simon Bullock, a geneticist at the MRCs Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, helped to perfect the use of Crispr genome editing in flies, and also signed the call for precautions over gene drive research. Gene drive technology has great potential to help tackle malaria and other global problems in public health. But the capacities of genetic changes to spread rapidly in the wild population means that great caution should be taken when building gene drive systems in the laboratory.

Accidental or malicious release of a gene drive system into the wild could have unpredictable ecological consequences and thus researchers must use multiple safeguards the hell is robust to human error and nefarious actions. Fortunately, several safeguarding strategies are already available, he said.

But Bullock, who was not involved in the research, was surprised that the California group had not described the safeguards they put in place to ensure the mosquitoes did not escape. Devoted the highly sensitive nature of this technology and their call for transparency in this area of research, Im flabbergasted that the authors have not are set out in the publication detailed information on the containment procedures used in this study and how they were evaluated, he added.

Prof Anthony Shelton who studies pest management at Cornell University in New York said the California-based team was justified in its optimism over the procedure. Before open field test, they need to test their bugs in small arenas and field cages to decide the potential for it to work on a larger scale, he told. In theory this technology should work in the field, but farther exams are needed and only then will the full potential of this breakthrough be realized for the benefit of humanity.

Prof Gregory Lanzaro at University of California, Davis added: Concern that narcotic and insecticide resistance are eroding recent successes in managing malaria has drawn attention to alternative approaches, including the use of genetically modified mosquitoes. This new study marks a significant advance toward the development of this strategy.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Newly released images indicate glimpse of life inside Prince’s Paisley Park

( CNN) Images merely released show Paisley Park as a colorful, eclectic space that was the beloved home of Prince, where the hotshot had relaxed, recorded music and threw parties.

The sprawling compound was long the subject of curiosity and is now a permanent museum in Chanhassen on the outskirts of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 65,000 -foot property has tours there.

Paul Ryan’s Chairmen Do End Run On 9/11 Responders

WASHINGTON — Two of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s( R-Wis .) newly empowered committee chairwomen took immediate advantage Thursday of the freshly elected leader’s pledge to give power back to committees — and may have handed him a 9/11 -related publicity disaster.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte( R-Va .), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton( R-Mich .), the head of the Energy and Commerce Committee, both announced various measures to temporarily extend the expiring 9/11 health and compensation programs.

In the process, they appear to have ignored permanent 9/11 legislation that was already proposed and sponsored by a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a majority of more than 240 members in the House.

That bill is universally backed by 9/11 responders and proponents, and the latter are furious the two chairpeople decided to ignore a measure that already has enough support to pass. They wanted to make sure Ryan heard that they were not pleased to see the first major legislation to be rolled out on the new speaker’s watch.

“On a day when Republicans voted for a new speaker of the House, and promised they are turning over a new leaf, the House Judiciary Congressman Bob Goodlatte recklessly and without regard for the actual needs of 9/11 responders introduced his own version of the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act, ” told John Feal, the head of the FealGood Foundation advocacy group.

He left out Upton, because Upton’s bill dealing with health treatment was still in draft form. Goodlatte’s bill would provide compensation at a similar level to the current Zadroga act, which is estimated to meet less than half of the require identified by an independent evaluator.

“This bizarre act of unilateral action was ironically done the same day the James Zadroga Health and Compensation Act intersected the 60 -vote threshold to stimulate the bill filibuster proof, ” Feal said , noting that the existing, permanent bill would pass easily. “Even more bizarre, Chairman Goodlatte didnt consult with the House bill sponsors.”

“It’s an insult, is what it is, ” told Karrie Boswell, a Virginia firefighters’ union member with 27 years of service in Fairfax, Virginia, who thought Ryan might have to intervene.

“It might be the very first exam of his leadership, to see how he manages it, ” Boswell told The Huffington Post.

Ryan declared Thursday that he wanted the House to return to so-called regular order, where committees work on legislation before it goes to the House floor. If Goodlatte and Upton take up their only measures, the popular one backed by 9/11 proponents will never reach the floor.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand( D-N.Y .), the lead sponsor of the bill, told Friday if Ryan disregards the decision reached by House and Senate lawmakers, it would “show a grave lack of judgment to unwind the will of such a vast majority.”

“I hope the current speaker can analyze the issue on the facts and the merits of the communication and not make such a grave mistake in his first few weeks.”

A spokesman for Ryan did not immediately answer a request for comment.

Representatives for Goodlatte declined to speak on the record, but a committee staffer said the idea behind writing a new bill was to balance the needs of the victims with the money Congress could create to fund the compensation program. And since the present program sunsets in 2016 after five years on the books, Goodlatte thought a similar five-year period would be better than a permanent extension, devoting Congress a chance to re-evaluate in the future.

Goodlatte also wanted to use the bill to raise compensation for victims of Iranian terrorism, and other acts of terror that have been adjudicated in the courts, the aide told, adding that such amendments would not have been possible on the existing 9/11 bill.

Gillibrand, however, countered that she would have been happy to work with the House chairwomen but they never spoke to her. She said she was particularly peeved because she spoke to Upton simply a couple of days ago and asked if he supported her permanent bill.

“Im extremely disappointed that without calling me, without discussing with me, he then introduced a five-year bill, ” she told. “It feels to me like it was drafted by junior staff who dont know anything.”

Advocates for first responders did not raise objections to helping other victims of terrorism, but weren’t sure why that couldn’t be done in a separate bill.

And they were especially upset that both Goodlatte’s measure and Upton’s only last five years.

As a responder, that is like saying ‘I see you have a fire on the 10 th floor, but I am only going to the fifth floor, ‘” said Richard Alles, Deputy Chief of the FDNY and a board member of Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act. “Anyone else but Congress would fix the problem , not leave it hanging. Cancer does not last five years. This is basically telling we have to drag you all back here again and again to get the help we need.

When the original Zadroga Act passed, it was limited to five years, in part to show that it would not be subject to fraud and abuse. Since it has not been, responders say it’s day for Congress to stop constructing them arrive hat in hand to lawmakers, and let them simply worry about surviving.

Boswell remembered how she joined a group of responders earlier this month who came to Washington to lobby their cause, after having already done so the month before when Jon Stewart visited Congress.

It was obvious to her why lawmakers should stop involving responders to trek to D.C. with their wheelchairs and oxygen tanks. And one firefighter offered an especially poignant example.

“He was standing down in the Metro tunnel, and he explained to me that he hadn’t been down in the subway in a long time, ” Boswell told. “And as the subway develop went rumbling into the station, in advance there was a loud rumble and a big rush of air. He said it took him right back, because he was in the second tower[ of the World Trade Center] as it collapsed.”

Some 4,000 responders have been diagnosed with 9/11 -related cancer, and about 33,000 people are currently get treatment in the medical program. It expired last month, but has enough cash to keep operating into next year. There are 470 Virginians in the medical program, and 85 who are eligible for compensation. In Michigan, Upton’s state, there are about 80 9/11 responders, including 16 who are eligible for compensation.

“I’m merely sitting here wondering how people continue to function if they have to deal with this stuff arbitrarily in “peoples lives”, ” said Boswell, who has been directing other responders to the Facebook pages of Goodlatte and other Virginia lawmakers. “It’s absolutely time to lift this burden off their backs. They should not have to come back down here and fight again in five years.”

Alles’ group also preserves a site that lets people track and contact lawmakers who are in favour of and resist the permanent Zadroga bill.

Michael McAuliff encompass Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com

I Never Knew You Could Do So Many Things With Hydrogen Peroxide

I still remember how much I detested get cuts and scrapings as a kid…because they meant my mom would douse the places with hydrogen peroxide and that arguably hurt more!

But it also always did the trick. Since hydrogen peroxide does expire — you should get rid of it six months after opening — it can be tough to use the entire bottle up on only bumps and cuts. Then again, if you know all of these awesome employs for the fizzy liquid, you’ll find yourself going through bottle after bottle. This stuff is so useful!

First, for easy application, consider getting a spray bottle top for your hydrogen peroxide.

1. Devote your dishwasher cleanser a boost by adding a splash of hydrogen peroxide to it.

2. Make elephant toothpaste with your kids.

3. Got gunk in your ears? Clean them out with a fell or two of hydrogen peroxide.

4. Get rid of dry, cracked heels by soaking your feet in a hydrogen peroxide and hot water bath for 30 minutes.

Dry them off and scrub with a pumice stone to easily remove the dead skin.

5. Clean off burnt-on food and grease stains with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

6. Disinfect your makeup brushes with baby shampoo and some hydrogen peroxide.

7. Hate the yellow cavity stain marks on your white shirts? Some hydrogen peroxide and dish soap get rid of them!

8. Spot clean carpets with a mix of water, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon essential oil.

Here are the details.

9. Watering your plants with one ounce of hydrogen peroxide to every two beakers of water is super good for them. Here’s why.

10. Don’t only rinse your fruits and veggies — make sure you’re really cleaning them by spraying with some hydrogen peroxide.

11. Keep leftover salad from spoiling and wilting by spraying it with a half beaker of water and a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.

12. Run some hydrogen peroxide over your toothbrush to clean it.

13. You can also build toothpaste from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

14. Pour a half cup of hydrogen peroxide into your toilet bowl, let it sit for 20 minutes, and scrub it clean.

15. Spray down your rain after every employ with some hydrogen peroxide. It’ll disinfect and keep your grout white.

16. Get rid of acne and acne scars with hydrogen peroxide.

17. Spray pennies or other copper pieces with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and salt to give them an antique look.

Well there you have it — stop simply utilizing it on your cuts and start using it all around your home!

In a cool science video, insure exactly what happens when blood comes into contact with more concentrated hydrogen peroxide!

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A toxic legacy for my generation

( CNN) Trillion dollar deficits, once deemed to be a temporary stimulative measure aimed at healing the wounds of the Great Recession, are becoming accepted as business as usual in Washington.

As budget deals are hashed out and both parties reach common ground on issues that affect all Americans, talk of fiscal discipline is curiously absent. It seems we’ve reached a new bipartisan consensus that’s troubling for the taxpayers of tomorrow — in Beltway politics, deficits don’t matter anymore. As a 33 -year-old, I’m one of those who ultimately will have to pay the price.

Nearly ten years ago, red ink was splattered all over our nation’s balance sheet, and that caused an hubbub among countless Americans. The federal government blew a gaping pit in our budget, funding unprecedented efforts to stabilize the economy on the heels of a near-depression.

Beloved therapy dog needs help of his own

( CNN) Casper has expended their own lives, all 63 dog-years of it, serving others.

With every tail wag and wet-nose kiss, he has spread love and happiness in a place that can feel desperate: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where kids are often confined to their hospital rooms for months on end.

Though their families try to stay optimistic, they are scared. The doctors and nurses do their best to remain upbeat, but even they too grow weary sometimes, which is when Casper comes in.

Black Panther is for film what Barack Obama was for the presidency

( CNN) For a few hours starting next weekend, black America will exhale, something it has not done since the Republican Party preferred as its presidential nominee a man who rose to national political prominence on open bigotry and 58% of white voters built him President.

For a few hours, all tints of black people, African and African-American, will be able to see themselves become the center of the most influential image-making industry on countries around the world. Slavery and racism will be neither soft-pedaled nor portrayed as the totality of the black experience.

“Black Panther, ” scheduled for wide release next Friday, could therefore not have been better period. Had Marvel decided to launch this superhero franchise during the Obama era, it would have still resonated, but not like this.

A new analyze finds that stress during pregnancy can lead to nervousnes and depression in adulthood – Quartz


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