Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 321

Posts Tagged ‘effects’

Goldfinch Bio Presents Methods to Mitigate Batch Effects in Whole Genome Sequencing

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 24 ottobre 2019

Goldfinch Bio, a U.S.-based, clinical stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing precision medicines for the treatment of kidney diseases, announced a novel computational approach applied to its proprietary Kidney Genome Atlas (KGA) to enable a well-calibrated dataset for case-controlled genomic-wide association studies (GWAS) in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). These methods were described in an oral presentation on October 19th at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2019 Annual Meeting in Houston, TX.Researchers utilized the KGA, which currently contains whole genome sequencing (WGS) on 23,000 de-identified individual patients, including 2,000 cases of FSGS and other proteinuric disorders, to discover loci associated with FSGS, a disease that causes scarring of the kidney which can lead to kidney failure. The researchers sourced cases and controls from five clinical sites and 21 publicly-available cohort studies. The heterogeneity in sample acquisition presented challenges for downstream analysis, as evidenced by massive inflation in test statistics when standard filtering and quality control methods were applied. Notably, the data revealed a batch effect confounded with case/control status.Researchers then implemented a three-pronged data-driven approach to further determine and control for batch effects: identifying clusters of similar sequencing technologies by conducting a principal component analysis on depth of coverage; implementing a novel use of silhouette scores and permutations to quantify case-control dissimilarity at the dataset-level; and iteratively removing controls with high dissimilarity from cases to achieve a better-calibrated dataset for case-control GWAS.
A preliminary, proof-of-principle analysis in a subset of individuals showed that inflation was well controlled. After confirming the statistical associations, researchers will link the signals to specific genes to identify putative targets for therapeutic intervention.

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Statin side effects are strongest predictor of failure to meet cholesterol targets

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 18 febbraio 2017

cardiologiaSophia Antipolis. Statin side effects are the strongest predictor of failure to meet low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol targets, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.1 Other predictors were statin non-adherence and use of weaker statins.“The beneficial effect of reducing LDL cholesterol on slowing the progression of coronary heart disease is overwhelmingly documented today in epidemiologic and randomised controlled studies,” said lead author Dr John Munkhaugen, a cardiology trainee and post-doctoral researcher at Drammen Hospital, Norway.“European guidelines2 recommend a blood LDL cholesterol goal of less than 1.8 mmol/l but just one in five cardiac patients taking lipid-lowering drugs achieve this,”3 he added.The NORwegian COR (NOR-COR) prevention project originates from the Department of Medicine at Drammen Hospital and is a collaboration between Drammen and Vestfold hospitals, and the Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine and Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo. It is investigating why patients fail to control risk factors including lipids and blood pressure after they have a cardiovascular event. This analysis examined the reasons why cardiac patients do not achieve the LDL cholesterol target.The study included 1,095 patients hospitalised with a first or recurrent coronary event or treatment (heart attack, coronary artery bypass graft, or coronary stent) who were identified from medical records at two Norwegian hospitals (Drammen and Vestfold). Sociodemographic, medical and psychosocial information was collected from medical records, an interdisciplinary self-report questionnaire, clinical examinations, and blood samples while patients were in hospital and at follow-up after two to 36 months.
The researchers found that 57% of patients were not meeting the LDL target of 1.8 mmol/l at follow-up. Statin specific side effects (mainly muscle complaints), low statin adherence, and moderate- or low-intensity statin therapy were the main reasons for failing to meet the target.Patients with side effects were more than three times more likely to miss the cholesterol target than those without side effects. Those who did not take their statins were three times more likely to miss the target than patients who did take them. Patients prescribed moderate- or low-intensity statins were 62% more likely to miss the target than those prescribed high-intensity statins.“We found the same three reasons for not meeting the target when LDL was analysed as a dichotomous or continous variable which confirms the strength of the associations,” said Dr Munkhaugen. “Surprisingly, low socioeconomic status and psychosocial factors did not predict failure to control LDL cholesterol.” “The findings show that the focus for interventions to improve LDL cholesterol control are statin side effects, and adherence to and prescription of sufficiently potent statins,” he continued.Dr Munkhaugen said more research was needed on why side effects of statins had such a big effect on meeting cholesterol goals. “Patients who experience side effects are probably more likely to reduce or terminate statin use, or their doctor may prescribe a weaker drug or take them off statins altogether,” he said. “Individual variations in how the body reacts to and uses the drug may also play a role.”The links between non-adherence and intensity of statin therapy on LDL cholesterol are likely explained by the pharmacological effects of the drug. “Not taking the prescribed amount of statins or being prescribed a weaker statin means there is less drug in the body to act and lower LDL,” said Dr Munkhaugen.“The reasons for statin non-adherence are a complex interaction between factors related to the patient and the healthcare system,” he added. “Interventions aiming to improve statin adherence have been a priority in recent years, but the success has been modest and short-lived.”
The study found that the use of high-intensity statins was significantly more frequent in patients who achieved the cholesterol target. But Dr Munkhaugen said: “The relationship with adherence and side effects needs to be clarified before advice can be given about the potency of statins that should be prescribed. Our findings point to the need for more research on ways to ensure adherence and prescription of sufficiently potent statins, while at the same time addressing side effects.”

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Fundamental rights: MEPs highlight effects of deterring migrants and austerity

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 settembre 2015

European CommissionThe fundamental rights of asylum seekers in the EU could be infringed by reception centre conditions, “hot returns”, barbed wire and other deterrence measures, say MEPs in a non-binding resolution voted Tuesday. The text also states concerns about the impact of austerity measures on EU citizens’ economic, civil, social and cultural rights and calls on the European Commission to set up a “scoreboard” to monitor democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in EU member states.The non-legislative resolution, approved by 360 votes to 291, with 58 abstentions, addresses the fundamental rights situation in the EU in 2013-2014.
The EU and its member states should put solidarity and respect for fundamental rights of migrants and asylum seekers at the core of EU migration policies, MEPs say. The EU and its member states should take “energetic and compulsory measures to prevent further tragedies at sea”, they add, also calling for “the establishment of an effective and harmonised EU asylum system for the fair distribution of asylum seekers among member states”.MEPs express concern about “hot return” procedures, migrant reception and detention centres in member states and negative stereotypes and misinformation about migrants. The resolution also condemns security measures at EU borders “which now sometimes even take the form of walls and barbed wire”, and calls for “fundamental rights-sensitive border controls”.
MEPs deplore the way in which the financial, economic and sovereign debt crisis along with budgetary restrictions has “negatively affected economic, civil, social and cultural rights”.When deciding and implementing corrective measures and budget cuts, the EU institutions and member states should do fundamental rights impact assessments and guarantee that sufficient resources are made available to safeguard fundamental rights, MEPs say. They add that “minimum essential levels of civil economic, cultural and social rights”, in particular for the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged groups, must be ensured.
The Commission should set up a scoreboard using “common and objective” indicators by which “democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights will be measured”, says the text. . This scoreboard should provide the basis for constant monitoring and a “system of annual country assessment”, it adds.“We see basic violations of these fundamental rights across the face of Europe on a daily basis”, said lead MEP Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT), in Monday’s plenary debate, adding that “we have to know what is happening in EU member states, because that would mean that the European institutions could take the necessary steps to protect those fundamental rights”.

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Faster and accurate identification of drugs causing allergic reactions: a great relief for patients

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 settembre 2014

A new diagnostic set to become the regular method for the diagnosis of cutaneous adverse drug reactions is faster, safe and easy to perform Allergic skin diseases are among the most frequently misunderstood diseases that allergists have to deal with
Experts confirm that better and faster diagnosis will help improve the quality of life of patients with allergic skin diseases
Krakow (Poland), Medication is a major pillar in the management of many diseases. But for some patients, their use can have detrimental effects including cutaneous adverse drug reactions (CADR), a common form of allergic skin disease, what can seriously impact on their quality of life. For allergists, CADR can prove time-consuming, especially with regard to diagnosis, since they often require the use of more than one analytic system to find the drug causing the allergy.Until recently, no universal method has been available, despite allergic reactionsintensive research in this field over the preceding decades. However, the diagnosis of CADR could now improve significantly thanks to a new method developed by a group of researchers led by Dr Grzegorz Porebski, Jagiellonian University, Department of Clinical and Environmental Allergology (Krakow, Poland). Faster, safer, more accurate and widely availableThe new technique is faster and more accurate than existing methods as it allows the accurate identification of the drug causing the reaction:“People usually take more than one drug together and it’s impossible to withdraw all this medication immediately. Patients would like to know which drug they can continue using and which one not, and this is a big challenge. Now they have a new tool that can improve the causality diagnosis to exclude the drug which has caused the allergy and it can be used in quite a large group of people affected by these reactions,” explains Dr Porebski.In addition, the method is safer because it doesn’t require exposure of the patient to the drug, as it is performed in vitro with a blood sample. Another advantage is that the technique is easy to perform and could be easily available in health centres, as opposed to other methods which are more expensive and therefore not accessible to all patients.This new diagnostic method has been studied in a drug whose use is widespread among Europeans – carbamazepine – which is prescribed in cases of epilepsy, psychiatric disorders or neurophatic pain. However, the study is also to confirm the method’s efficiency in the use of antibiotics and new phases will be extended to other drugs.Dr Porebski will present the implications of this new method at the Third Skin Allergy Meeting (SAM) organised by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). The meeting is being held in Krakow, Poland, starting today until Saturday. Europe’s leading researchers and clinicians in the field of skin allergy are gathering at SAM to share their expertise with participants on a wide range of topics from contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, urticaria and angioedema, to mastocytosis and anaphylaxis, drug and food allergies and the skin, diagnostics in skin allergy and hand eczema.
Allergies can be seen in almost every organ. Most commonly, however, it is the skin and the mucous membranes that are involved since they represent the frontier between the individual and their environment. Despite being so common, allergic skin diseases are among the least understood, and most frequently misunderstood, diseases the allergists have to deal with.The umbrella term for a local inflammation of the skin should be dermatitis. What is generally known as “atopic eczema/dermatitis” is not one, single disease but rather an aggregation of several diseases with certain characteristics in common.According to Professor Radoslaw Spiewak, Professor and Head of the Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology of the Jagiellonian University Medical College and President of the Local Organising Committee for the EAACI SAM, one of the common mistakes that allergists make is to consider all forms of eczema as atopic dermatitis. Another frequent error is to blame food allergy as the major cause of allergic skin diseases. Moreover, various types of eczema may co-exist in a patient, overlapping, and being replaced by one another. Sometimes, this situation occurs without being noticed by patient or doctor. Despite a similar appearance, the diversity of mechanisms underlying allergic skin diseases requires diverse and complex approaches.

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Expo: Keith Tyson

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 15 settembre 2009

keith tysonLondon until 11/11/2009 Parasol Unit  14 Wharf Road Cloud Choreography and Other Emergent Systems is a new exhibition by the winner of the 2002 Turner Prize, Keith Tyson, which brings together several groups of his works. Set up as an exploration of Tyson’s practice, rather than as a mid-career survey, the exhibition focuses on the systems and processes that inform the creation of his work.  Tyson’s work can be seen as an ongoing investigation into the question of how and why things come into being. Many of them investigate the physical forms and systems found within the natural world; others examine the effects of mankind on the environment, and the ensuing man-made forms and systems. In other works, Tyson questions the creation of the artwork itself, positing it as something which can be randomly generated by systems, but simultaneously making us aware that these systems are generated by the artist. Influenced as much by astrophysics and mathematics, as by observation of and reflection on nature, Tyson’s work presents a unique combination of scientific data with poetic artistry. This urges us to consider the roots of creativity alongside its aesthetic beauty. The works operate on a number of levels: as examples of physical, mathematical or scientific data, or of processes or systems. The breakdown of sophisticated and simple processes and mathematical data into an artistic aesthetic is something which greatly interests Tyson, and in all his works there is a consideration of -beauty’ (whether be it natural or artificial).  The structure of the exhibition at Parasol unit broadly splits into two parts. The first part, in the lower gallery, features works that focus on natural processes and systems, such as the Nature Sculptures, Nature Paintings, and a new series of works entitled Cloud Choreography paintings. In these series of works, we see a transition from observing the natural world in sculptural form, to attempts at recreating elements of it through chemical processes and rendered on large-scale aluminium sheets. In the upper gallery, the second part of the exhibition focuses more on mathematical, man-made and process-driven systems, and includes sculptures from the Fractal Dice series alongside paintings from a new series of work entitled Operator Paintings, which are to be shown as a series for the first time.  This exhibition at Parasol unit is be accompanied by a new publication on Keith Tyson’s work.  Keith Tyson (born 1969 in Ulverston, Cumbria, UK) held his first solo show From the Art Machine at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery in 1996 and since then has exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally. In 2002, Tyson was awarded the Turner Prize for his show Supercollider at the South London Gallery. (Keith Tyson)

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L’inquinamento dell’aria

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 agosto 2009

E’ legato alla mobilità causa ogni anno la morte di decine di migliaia di persone nella Regione Europea dell’OMS. Se da una parte il trasporto costituisce una parte vitale della vita moderna, esso ha un costo per la salute che molta parte della popolazione, incluso chi non utilizza mezzi di trasporto, sta pagando. Le autorità affrontano la difficile sfida di ridurre i rischi per la salute e l’ambiente. Una comprensione adeguata dei rischi relativi all’impatto degli agenti inquinanti sulla salute e dei determinanti dell’esposizione è un prerequisito per affrontarli ed eliminarli o ridurli.  La nuova pubblicazione Effetti sulla salute dell’inquinamento dell’aria da trasporto (Health effects of transport-related air pollution), risultato di un progetto di tre anni dell’ufficio europeo dell’OMS, offre una valutazione delle evidenze disponibili ed un’analisi approfondita dei rischi per la salute dell’inquinamento dell’aria da trasporto. Presentata oggi in occasione del Seminario di Sanità Pubblica a Roma “Le politiche di mobilità urbana per la promozione della salute ed il contenimento delle emissioni nocive”, la pubblicazione propone argomentazioni concrete per un’azione immediata con politiche di trasporto che massimizzino i benefici per la salute e rispettino gli standard di mobilità. Il rapporto individua il trasporto stradale come la fonte più importante di agenti inquinanti pericolosi, quali il particolato fine (PM), il biossido di azoto, il benzene ed altri.  Molte città riportano un’eccedenza nei livelli stabiliti dalla UE per il PM10, biossido di azoto e benzene, la maggior parte emessi da automobili e camion. L’evidenza epidemiologica e tossicologica sugli effetti dell’inquinamento dell’aria da trasporto è aumentata sostanzialmente nelle ultime decadi. Essa prova che l’inquinamento dell’aria da trasporto: contribuisce ad aumentare il rischio di morte, in particolare per cause cardiopolmonari; aumenta il rischio di sintomi respiratori e malattie; può aumentare l’incidenza del cancro ai polmoni in persone con un’esposizione a lungo termine; può influenzare la suscettibilità ad altri fattori che hanno un impatto sulla salute, come gli allergeni presenti nell’aria.

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