Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Posts Tagged ‘study’

COVID Human Challenge Study Results Published

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 8 aprile 2022

LONDON, UK—Nature Medicine has published the results of the world’s first COVID human challenge study. The preprint became available as of February 2022, but the full publication also contains supplementary materials, including the study protocol. Imperial College London’s announcement of the results, including a summary of the findings of interest, can be read here.Day Sooner began advocating on behalf of volunteers who wanted to participate in COVID challenge studies in April 2020. We called for greater transparency for these studies and an earlier release of the protocol (as published in the Guardian and the British Medical Journal), to ensure public trust and understanding.We appreciate the research team’s boldness in being the first team to run COVID human challenge studies, and are grateful to the team and study participants. While 1Day had no role in running the study, a number of our volunteers (some quoted below) have spoken widely about their pride in their participation. In addition, 1Day Sooner worked hard to build the public conversation around challenge trials and engage interested parties, and continues to advocate that medical trial volunteers should be represented in medical ethics discussions.In this infectious dosing study, participants were exposed to an early strain of SARS-CoV-2 and kept under medical observation so immune response data could be collected and analyzed. The preprint contains data describing participants’ viral load, symptoms, and period of contagiousness, as well as the sensitivity and specificity of lateral flow tests.The results of this challenge trial are fascinating, and would have been even more useful early in the pandemic, when there was immense uncertainty about contagiousness and the use of lateral flow tests, among other items this study examined. These results demonstrate the importance of using challenge trials early in emergency situations and treating them with urgency once they are underway.Now that the COVID challenge model has finally been established and better treatments exist, the model needs to be expanded to new strains and scaled up to test universal coronavirus vaccines, intranasal vaccine formulations, and new antiviral treatments. Dr. Fauci has endorsed the use of common cold coronavirus challenge models in developing universal vaccines, and Dr. Dean Smith, Section Head of the Combination Vaccines review division in Health Canada, suggested human challenge as a potentially important approach to authorizing universal coronavirus vaccines at a January WHO global consultation on the topic.

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Study on EU taxonomy: companies only partially prepared for requirements

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 25 marzo 2021

The real estate market has quite a bit of catching up to do if it wants to work through the taxonomy criteria laid down by the European Union. This is partially because stakeholders lack the data they need to fulfil the requirements. In addition, the way some of the criteria are currently defined, they are practically impossible to fulfil. This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) in collaboration with partners from Denmark, Austria and Spain. 62 projects involving a variety of building types in eleven European countries participated in the study. The final report is now available on the DGNB website. It also includes recommendations to the EU Commission and market stakeholders aimed at making it easier to apply the criteria in the future. The study was conducted by the DGNB in partnership with the Green Building Council España (GBCe), the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI) and the Green Building Council Denmark (DK-GBC). It was based on the first version of the taxonomy criteria published in March 2020. The classification system for sustainable investments was developed by the EU to establish a classification system for financial products and investments that make significant contributions to environmental goals, for example through climate protection or adaptations to climate change, in such a way that they may declare themselves to be ‘sustainable’ in environmental terms. In the real estate market, this affects criteria applied to new buildings, renovations and the acquisition and ownership of buildings. The data gaps identified for almost all projects were particularly conspicuous for residential buildings and larger properties. Commercial property and smaller buildings already possessed a better foundation of data. It was noticeable that certified buildings were more likely to be able to demonstrate compliance – i.e. they were better prepared for the taxonomy requirements. The time required to complete the assessment varied widely, from 2 to 25 hours per project. Here, too, certified buildings were at an advantage in comparison to non-certified buildings. They are also better prepared when it comes to the systems and processes required to provide documentation for the taxonomy. The study showed that the current taxonomy criteria provide a good foundation, but further work is still required to ensure they can actually be applied in practice and that they are suitable for the market. There were a number of issues that simply could not be addressed yet. “When highly motivated people are working on projects and they’ve already taken a whole host of sustainability requirements into account, but still have problems working through them and providing evidence, it shows that a lot of work is still needed to develop the criteria,” states Lemaitre. “The EU has a special responsibility in this respect to define guidelines in a clear way. It has to be ensured that the guidelines are fundamentally implementable, and the whole topic should be made as manageable as possible to avoid unnecessary effort just working through the criteria,” states Lemaitre. Based on an initial assessment of the study, concrete recommendations for improving the way certain criteria are defined were already submitted to the EU Commission in December. They were also forwarded to bodies and individuals responsible for such issues. A further recommendation is that established certification systems should be recognised as a means of providing evidence in order to leverage synergies and avoid unnecessary additional resource investments.Ultimately, the study shows that the taxonomy criteria as they stand at the moment can only be fully met by projects that already meet exceptionally high sustainability standards. Although it is right to define ambitious requirements, especially given the urgency of issues such as climate protection and climate adaptation, they are too ambitious. The EU Commission is squandering a golden opportunity to exploit the full potential of the taxonomy to foster transformation in the real estate industry. “If people get the impression they can’t meet the requirements anyway, there’ll be totally unmotivated to even try in the first place,” states Lemaitre. “If a way can be found to get a broader spectrum of projects to come on board, we’d have a lot more potential to use this opportunity to set sweeping changes in motion.” For more information, go to

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Drones for the study of inaccessible volcanic emissions

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 novembre 2020

An international team led by University College London (UCL, UK), which saw the participation of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) with the Volcanology research group of the DiSTeM Department of the University of Palermo, developed and used a new technology based on the use of drones to measure the volcanic gases emitted by active volcanoes, thus demonstrating that even in inaccessible, active and dangerous volcanoes such as Manam (in Papua New Guinea), drones are the only way to implement important measures to characterize the state of activity in safe conditions. The research results were published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) journal, Science Advances.Today, technology offers scientists the means to conduct research that was previously only a dream. What was apparently out of reach over the years is now within reach, as demonstrated in a new international project titled Aerial-Based Observations of Volcanic Emissions (ABOVE).This project used innovative technologies, i.e. drones (Unmanned Aerial System – UAS) with miniaturized gas sampling equipment to collect volcanic gas measurements at the volcanoes of Manam and Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. These volcanoes are strong emitters of gas, but little is known about them because their plumes are difficult to access using terrestrial techniques, especially in the event of eruptions.ABOVE is changing the way scientists sample volcanic gas emissions through research conducted by the Deep Carbon Observatory, a global community of scientists engaged in decades of research aimed at a better understanding of Earth’s natural carbon cycle.Taking advantage of recent advances in drone technology, the UAS are able to acquire aerial measurements of volcanic gases directly from plumes. This project transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing together scientists, engineers and pilots to study some of the most inaccessible but heavily degassing volcanoes in the world.In May 2019, an international team of scientists embarked on an ambitious campaign of measurements at the two volcanoes – in Papua New Guinea – both of the most prodigious sulfur dioxide emitters on Earth, yet lacking any measurement of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.The team includes scientists from the UK, Italy, the US, Papua New Guinea, Sweden, Germany and Costa Rica. The project unites several groups working on drone measurements of volcanic gases around the world.The groups deployed various types of drones (fixed-wing, rotary-wing and combined systems) equipped with gas sensors, spectrometers and sampling devices to acquire measurements near the emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases, and the different methods were compared to verify the areas of optimal use.The Italian team has made available the geochemical instrumentation developed in its laboratories, for the installation on board of drones developed by a team of the Bristol University, both fixed-wing, more suitable for long-distance flights and to make composition measurements by crossing the plume gases, as well as rotary wing, more versatile for gas sampling at fixed points. Systems integration was carried out in close collaboration between the two teams. Already from the preliminary stages of the project, a rotary wing drone complete with geochemical sensors and other portable instruments were left at the disposal of the volcanological observatory of Papua New Guinea, the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory. Using new gas sensors and miniaturized spectrometers, and designing innovative sampling devices that can be activated automatically, the researchers were able to fly drones up to 2 km high and 6 km away, and to reach the inaccessible areas where to perform the measurements.In fact, the campaign on the Manam volcano was particularly challenging. The volcano has a diameter of 10 km and an elevation of 1800 m above sea level, with most of the summit areas totally inaccessible, and is located on an island 13 km from the Northeast coast of Papua New Guinea.This volcano was known from satellite measurements to be one of the largest sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitters in the world, but before this project nothing was known about its CO2 production, much more difficult to measure from afar due to the high concentrations in the background atmosphere.Finally, the abundance ratio between these CO2 and SO2 species turns out to be fundamental for determining the probability of the occurrence of an eruption, because it correlates with the depth in which the magma resides, and both species were detected during the campaigns of measure.

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Jacobson and Aon Launch Semi-Annual U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 8 gennaio 2020

The first-quarter 2020 iteration of the Semi-Annual U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study, conducted by The Jacobson Group and Aon plc, is now open until January 24, 2020. The study has provided valuable insights on insurance labor trends since 2009 and is regarded as an accurate predictor of the industry’s staffing outlook.“The insurance industry remains in a candidate-driven market, with a nearly non-existent unemployment rate,” says Gregory P. Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of Jacobson. “As talent needs shift and workplaces transform, insurers must rethink their staffing and recruiting strategies. The results from our study help company leaders understand the current insurance talent climate and make necessary adjustments to best compete in today’s market.”Carriers across all sectors of the insurance industry are invited to complete the survey. Participation is confidential, and detailed results will be distributed to all participants at no cost. To complete the survey, follow this link: survey results and analysis will be discussed in a complimentary webinar on February 6, 2020. All members of the insurance community are welcome to attend.

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United Health Products Completes Safety and Efficacy Animal Study for HemoStyp® Hydrocolloid Product

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 dicembre 2019

United Health Products (UHP) (OTC: UEEC) today announced that it had completed a safety and efficacy animal study for its HemoStyp hydrocolloid product, for which it filed a patent application in August 2019. The hemostatic hydrocolloid product is formed into a gel, foam or spray in order to control bleeding and oozing from a variety of wounds. If the patent is granted and FDA approval is obtained, HemoStyp could then be bundled as a suite of multiple products for surgical and wound care applications. UHP is also working on two other complementary HemoStyp-based products that could potentially be added to its surgical product suite.The study, A Safety and Efficacy HemoStyp Hydrocolloid Test, was done by creating bilateral femoral arteriovenous fistulas in swine. HemoStyp thrombin hydrocolloid was applied to the anastomosis suture line on one side for the cessation of bleeding, while the market leading competitive product was applied to the anastomosis suture line on the opposite side for the cessation of bleeding.
After the completed hemostatic test, an autopsy with pathologic evaluation was performed three weeks following the procedures and showed no difference in scarring and inflammation between the two hemostatic agents. Pathology was completed by Thomas J. Baldwin, DVM, PhD, DACVP Director, Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, an affiliate of Utah State University, on November 22, 2019.The study indicated that the safety properties are equivalent to a previously approved Class III competitive product. These findings will be used to create an application for an additional format to the HemoStyp family of products and an additional Class III.

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Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 9 settembre 2019

Indiana American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Company (NYSE: AWK), today announced it has received the J.D. Power award for ranking highest in customer satisfaction among water utilities in the Midwest according to the J.D. Power 2019 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM.The Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, now in its fourth year, measures satisfaction among residential customers of 89 water utilities that deliver water to at least 400,000 customers and is reported in four geographic regions: Midwest, Northeast, South and West. Overall satisfaction is measured by examining 33 attributes in six factors (listed in order of importance): delivery; price; conservation; billing and payment; communications; and customer service.“Our employees are truly customer obsessed,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “They work hard to deliver exceptional service and water quality each and every day to all of our customers across the state. I am proud of the work they do and the commitment we have to customer satisfaction. Thank you to our customers for their rating of our team.”According to a J.D. Power news release on the study, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that $473 billion in drinking water infrastructure investment will be needed during the next 20 years as aging pipes and treatment and storage facilities require upgrades and replacement. They also noted that, the ability of water utilities to successfully manage that process will increasingly be determined by how well they communicate with customers while also minimizing service interruptions and quality issues. According to Prine, “Indiana American Water has invested more than $870 million in its water and wastewater infrastructure during the last decade to maintain and enhance service, water quality, system reliability and fire protection capabilities for customers while keeping the cost of water service for most households their most affordable utility bill at about a penny per gallon.

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Phase 2 dose-finding study demonstrated the blood pressure lowering effect of aprocitentan

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 3 settembre 2019

Allschwil, Switzerland Idorsia Ltd (SIX: IDIA) announced that the results of the Phase 2 study with aprocitentan were presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2019 Congress in Paris, France. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most common cardiovascular risks, and its prevalence continues to rise. According to a recent study, there are more than 1 billion people living with hypertension worldwide. Left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to life-threatening conditions such as stroke, ischemic heart disease, or kidney disease. Aprocitentan is an orally active dual endothelin receptor antagonist (ERA). Aprocitentan at doses of 12.5 and 25 mg is currently being investigated for the treatment of patients whose blood pressure is uncontrolled despite receiving triple antihypertensive medications (categorized as resistant hypertension) in a global Phase 3 registration study, “PRECISION”. The doses were selected based on a Phase 2 dose-finding study which evaluated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of a once-a-day oral regimen of four dose levels of aprocitentan in patients with essential hypertension. Results of this Phase 2 study were presented at ESC Congress 2019.

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QIAGEN’s New QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel Demonstrates Excellent Performance in Multicenter Clinical Study in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 agosto 2019

QIAGEN (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced the publication of a multicenter clinical study demonstrating the accuracy of its QIAstat-Dx syndromic testing solution for diagnosing the causes of acute gastroenteritis. The QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel delivered high performance compared to other, existing multiplex tests in this study which evaluated 385 patient samples at university hospital laboratories across Europe.The study showed the QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel was highly sensitive (98.2% positive percent agreement, a measure of ability to detect pathogens) and specific (99.9% negative percent agreement, a measure of ability to identify true negative samples). Multiple pathogens were identified in nearly one-third of the patient samples that tested positive. Authors emphasized the system’s “ease of use” and that the system and assay yielded results in approximately one hour. The study also cited the ability of the QIAstat-Dx panel to provide cycle threshold (CT) values and amplification curves, quantitative indications of the amount of nucleic acids detected, as a unique advantage in interpreting diagnostic findings for gastrointestinal syndromes, which can be complicated by co-infections or false positives in testing. These are important capabilities which other currently widely used syndromic platforms do not offer.The article, “Multicenter evaluation of the new QIAstat Gastrointestinal Panel for the rapid syndromic testing of acute gastroenteritis,” has been accepted for publication by the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (EJCMID) and is available online. The study was conducted at Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre in Denmark and University Hospital of Bonn in Germany.
Introduced in Europe in early 2018 and the United States in mid-2019, the QIAstat-Dx system enables fast, cost-effective and easy-to-use syndromic testing with novel Sample to Insight solutions. The QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel provides differential detection of more than 20 bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens implicated in gut infections. The panel is already available in Europe. The QIAstat-Dx Respiratory Panel, for detection of more than 20 common viral and bacterial infections in respiratory syndromes, is currently available in Europe and the United States.QIAGEN is developing a broad pipeline of planned assays for the QIAstat-Dx content menu, spanning infectious diseases, oncology, companion diagnostics and other disease areas.

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Control Study for Digital Therapeutic Smoking Cessation App

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 31 Maggio 2019

Results from the world’s first randomized control study to examine digital therapeutic smoking cessation programs were presented on May 20th at the American Thoracic Society International Conference. The findings demonstrate that CureApp’s nicotine dependence treatment app resulted in an improvement in continuous abstinence rate (CAR) compared to a control group over multiple time points.Kohta Satake, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Chief Executive Officer of CureApp, Inc. and a respiratory specialized physician says, “Healthcare professionals are challenged to help patients fight against the psychological nicotine addiction alone between clinical visits. CureApp’s digital therapeutics approach is a breakthrough in bridging the gap between clinical visits providing daily support to the patients. We are striving for regulatory and reimbursement approval to deliver the solution as soon as possible.”The CureApp solution delivers information and educational material through an app that is conveniently on the patient’s smartphone, together with a Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor for tracking their progress, and a web interface for physicians. CureApp’s system is the first such program to undergo the rigorous testing of Phase III clinical trials. With this confirmation of its efficacy, CureApp’s goal is to use this data to obtain regulatory approval and health insurance coverage in Japan and to expand globally in multiple countries including the United States.

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New study confirms non-recycled paper is better for the climate

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 16 Maggio 2019

When produced where the environmental impact of producing electricity is low, and where the forest is sustainably managed, paper from fresh fibres has lower environmental impact than paper from recycled fibres. That’s the conclusion of a new life cycle study made by IVL, Swedish Environmental Research Institute.The study uses a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, comparing 100% fresh fibre-based paper produced at Holmen Paper in Sweden with 100% recycled-based paper produced with German production conditions. The study shows that paper based on fresh fibre has a lower environmental impact than recycled paper, not least when it comes to emissions. The study was also subject to a third-party review. “In Holmen, we are extremely focused on sustainability and it’s vital to know that when we embarked on this journey, we were studying our own environmental impact and were in no way interested in discrediting recycled paper. But the key findings in this study are very important because it shows that the general misconception that recycled paper is better for the climate is in fact wrong”, says Lars Lundin, CEO at Holmen Paper.An important variable in the findings of the study is the energy mix. Producing paper from fresh wood resources requires more energy than paper produced from recycled resources. However, the study shows that if low-emission renewable energy resources are used for the fresh fibre production, the environmental effects can be significantly reduced. One reason the Swedish scenario does so well is that the Swedish electricity mix has a lower environmental impact compared to the German.“The study shows that paper from fresh fibres has a lower environmental impact in several aspects. When comparing climate impact, eutrophication and acidification the difference between fresh and recycled fibres is significant in favour for the fresh fibre, despite higher energy consumption”, says Håkan Stripple from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute.Fresh fibre is also essential for the whole recycling process. The cellulose fibres in paper cannot be recycled more than about 5-7 times. After that, the fibre quality is so low you can no longer use it to produce paper. Therefore, the addition of fresh fibre is vital for the paper recycling process.“To combat climate change, we need to lower our emissions and replace fossil based materials. All paper is renewable, degradable and climate smart, but we need to acknowledge the fact that paper from fresh fibres is, in many cases, better for the climate and an essential prerequisite for recycled paper”, concludes Lars Lundin.
The Whitepaper “Environmental benefits of fresh fibre” is available to download at

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The new website of IDOS Research and Study Centre

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 9 Maggio 2019

From today the new website of IDOS Research and Study Centre, entirely renewed in its layout, contents and functions, is online. The website has been implemented thanks to the technical support of Lai Momo cooperative association, which for many years has been collaborating with IDOS to realize and promote the annual socio-statistical report on immigration in Italy, Dossier Statistico Immigrazione – Statistical Dossier
on Immigration, together with other publications and events. On the new website ( everyone can find not only detailed information on all
events promoted by IDOS or where IDOS is called to intervene (meetings, conferences, seminars, courses, interviews and other training and/or sensitization activities), but also news and updates useful for operators and researchers, original reports edited by IDOS network of local researchers, press releases, socio-statistical tables and summaries, videos, graphics (all things that can be downloaded or pressed) concerning studies and publications annually edited by IDOS. What’s absolute new is that for the first time everyone can buy online all IDOS publications, both in paper format and – at a lower price – in digital format (pdf), through a fast, easy and sure online system of payment and invoice. In particolar, for every main annual report (Dossier Statistico Immigrazione – Statistical Dossier on Immigration, Osservatorio Romano sulle Migrazioni – Roman Observatory on Migrations, Rapporto Immigrazione e Imprenditoria – Report on Immigration and Entrepreneurship, etc.), it’s available for sale both the entire book and – separately purchasable in electronic format only – every single thematic chapter and the final addendum of statistical tables. Many other monographic publications, periodically edited by IDOS in collaboration with – or for commission of – some private or institutional bodies, are also available in addiction to such a rich archive of annual reports.

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Brain Stimulation Improves Depression Symptoms, Restores Brain Waves in Clinical Study

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 16 marzo 2019

With a weak alternating electrical current sent through electrodes attached to the scalp, UNC School of Medicine researchers successfully targeted a naturally occurring electrical pattern in a specific part of the brain and markedly improved depression symptoms in about 70 percent of participants in a clinical study.The research, published in Translational Psychiatry, lays the groundwork for larger research studies to use a specific kind of electrical brain stimulation called transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to treat people diagnosed with major depression.
“We conducted a small study of 32 people because this sort of approach had never been done before,” said senior author Flavio Frohlich, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Carolina Center for Neurostimulation. “Now that we’ve documented how this kind of tACS can reduce depression symptoms, we can fine tune our approach to help many people in a relatively inexpensive, noninvasive way.”Frohlich, who joined the UNC School of Medicine in 2011, is a leading pioneer in this field who also published the first clinical trials of tACS in schizophrenia and chronic pain.
His tACS approach is unlike the more common brain stimulation technique called transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS), which sends a steady stream of weak electricity through electrodes attached to various parts of the brain. That approach has had mixed results in treating various conditions, including depression. Frohlich’s tACS paradigm is newer and has not been investigated as thoroughly as tDCS. Frohlich’s approach focuses on each individual’s specific alpha oscillations, which appear as waves between 8 and 12 Hertz on an electroencephalogram (EEG). The waves in this range rise in predominance when we close our eyes and daydream, meditate, or conjure ideas – essentially when our brains shut out sensory stimuli, such as what we see, feel, and hear.Previous research showed that people with depression featured imbalanced alpha oscillations; the waves were overactive in the left frontal cortex. Frohlich thought his team could target these oscillations to bring them back in synch with the alpha oscillations in the right frontal cortex. And if Frohlich’s team could achieve that, then maybe depression symptoms would be decreased.His lab recruited 32 people diagnosed with depression and surveyed each participant before the study, according to the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), a standard measure of depression.
Prior to the study, Frohlich set the primary outcome at four weeks, meaning that the main goal of the study was to assess whether tACS could bring each individual’s alpha waves back into balance and decrease symptoms of depression four weeks after the five-day intervention. He set this primary outcome because scientific literature on the study of tDCS also used the four-week mark.But when Frohlich’s team looked at data from two weeks after treatment, they found that 70 percent of people in the treatment group reported at least a 50 percent reduction of depression symptoms, according to their MADRS scores. This response rate was significantly higher than the one for the two other control groups. A few of the participants had such dramatic decreases that Frohlich’s team is currently writing case-studies on them. Participants in the placebo and control groups experienced no such reduction in symptoms.

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New Study Reveals the Importance of Active-DHA in the Developing Brain

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 settembre 2018

Vanteres, an innovative biotech company leveraging its biomedical research expertise to develop actively transported lysophospholipids, announces new evidence that demonstrates the critical role of LPC-DHA in normal fetal and infant brain development. The new study, conducted by researchers at Duke-NUS, reveals Active-DHA transported by MFSD2a found at the blood brain barrier plays a physiological role in both brain growth and health during brain development. LPC-DHA or ‘Active-DHA’ is a natural form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that is attached to a lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC).“We’ve always known the brain is one of the most lipid-rich organs in the body, but until now, we never completely understood how the brain received DHA,” said Douglas Hicks, Chief Business Officer at Vanteres. “By understanding the importance of Active-DHA and its ability to be effectively transported to the brain, we’ve unleashed big possibilities for innovations to support our brain health.”The study, published in PLOS Biology, illustrates not only how the brain accumulates DHA as Active-DHA, but also provides a mechanistic understanding for its function in brain development. Researchers using MFSD2a-deficient mouse models have definitively proven that MFSD2a deficiency results in a unique form of postnatal microcephaly caused by a lack of DHA. Prior to this study, researchers identified four human families with mutations to the MFSD2a transporter, all of which have cases of severe microcephaly and intellectual disabilities. Although there is no clear-cut genetic evidence for the role of DHA in the brain, the correlation between these animal and human genetic studies prove that MFSD2a and Active-DHA are critical for proper brain development.“For the first time, we have evidence to prove LPC-DHA or Active-DHA controls crucial processes in the brain to regulate the growth of new membranes in neurons and other cell types after a baby is born when the brain is rapidly growing,” said lead researcher on the study and Duke-NUS professor Dr. David Silver. “Other forms of DHA are not able to enter the brain because of the blood-brain barrier that guards against the free flow of substances into this vital organ.”Vanteres leverages its proprietary knowledge of the MFSD2a transport and Active-DHA to develop clinical and nutritional products that could improve cognitive health due to low DHA levels in the brain. While the liver naturally transforms DHA into Active-DHA, it is usually not at sufficient levels. Vanteres’ applications of Active-DHA should lead to significantly higher levels of DHA reaching the brain, providing clinical benefits to help address neonatal and adult neurological diseases.

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Apollo Endosurgery Announces Spanish Study of ESG in NASH Patients

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 16 Maggio 2018

Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. (“Apollo”) (Nasdaq:APEN), a global leader in less invasive medical devices for bariatric and gastrointestinal procedures, announced today the enrollment of the first patient in a multicenter, randomized, controlled, double-blind study of the efficacy and safety of Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (“ESG”) using Apollo’s OverStitch™ Endoscopic Suturing System, in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”). The study is funded by a Beca FIS Grant awarded to the Foundation of the Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda by the Ministry of Health of the Spanish Government. The study will involve four National Health System Hospitals, led by Professor José Luis Calleja, MD from Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, as Principal Investigator. The primary objective of the study is to compare the efficacy of ESG plus lifestyle modification to lifestyle modification alone in the resolution of NASH without worsening of fibrosis in patients with BMI greater than 30 kg/m2.

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Study and work in the EU: set apart by gender

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 9 dicembre 2017

study and workThe EU’s economy has a major weakness: the uneven concentration of women and men in studies and at work. This makes the labour market less competitive and companies struggle to find qualified professionals in growing sectors, such as information and communications technology (ICT) and health or personal care. Gender segregation poses challenges for these industries and leads to a reduced talent pool, untapped potential and unfulfilled career aspirations. Women make up less than 20% of ICT graduates in the EU, a figure that has been declining in recent years. Despite labour shortages in the sector, women will keep missing out on these job opportunities because of gender segregation that shapes their choices from an early age. These are some of the findings from a forthcoming report prepared by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) at the request of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.“We cannot ignore gender segregation anymore. This is an EU-wide problem, which reinforces the undervaluation of women’s work and leads to their higher poverty and lower economic independence. The fact that employment growth stems from the creation of quality jobs for men but not so much for women needs to be recognised and dealt with by a much wider circle of stakeholders,” said Virginija Langbakk, Director of EIGE.Even with recent employment boosts, women and men are still concentrated in jobs typical for their gender. Women often end up in part-time jobs that pay less and have a lower social status. Fewer economic opportunities for women not only mean a lower standard of living for themselves, but also rule out the chances of better living conditions for their entire family.“Gender stereotypes are the motion force behind segregation, influencing subject choices and career aspirations for girls and boys from a young age. The current situation needs to change. It is up to everyone – parents, peers, teachers and politicians to let young people know that they have both the ability and the possibility to study and work in any field they want, irrespective of their gender”, said Jevgeni Ossinovski, Estonian Minister of Health and Labour.In the coming years, our ageing society will put more and more pressure on the care sector. There are big gender imbalances and a serious undersupply of men who are willing and able to work in this field. Most men are not interested in taking up jobs in women dominated professions. They make up only one fifth of graduates in health and welfare across the EU.Narrowing the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is one way to create fairer economic growth. EIGE’s research shows that this would lead to more jobs (up to 1.2 million by 2050) and increased GDP over the long-term (up to 820 billion EUR by 2050). It would also improve the long‑term competitiveness of the EU economy, due to more exports and less imports that would contribute to an improved balance of trade.EIGE’s report ‘Study and work in the EU: set apart by gender’ (forthcoming 2018) forms the basis of conclusions adopted by the European Council for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO). It explores the progress in overcoming educational and occupational gender segregation in the EU and looks at ways to address it. (photo: study and work)

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Nanomechanical Sensors to Study at the Nanoscale Biomedical Challenges

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 4 dicembre 2017

Roma Martedì 5 Dicembre 2017, ore 11:13 Dipartimento di Scienze, CISDIC Via della Vasca Navale 79 Giovanni Longo, dell’Istituto di Struttura della Materia del CNR, terrà presso il Dipartimento di Scienze un seminario in cui verranno descritte le diverse potenzialità di applicazione di un sensore di “nanomotion” sviluppato per caratterizzare la correlazione tra vita e movimento.
Ad esempio, verrà mostrato come sia possibile studiare con tale sensore la risposta di specie batteriche a farmaci e a stimoli chimici e come monitorare i neuroni esposti alle proteine ​​amiloidi, per dimostrare a livello di singola cellula l’effetto delle diverse forme di aggregazione delle proteine, e ancora come ottenere una rapida caratterizzazione della risposta delle cellule tumorali ai farmaci antitumorali. Tutti questi risultati indicano che esiste una stretta correlazione tra movimento e vita e che un sensore in grado di trasdurre questi movimenti può fornire un nuovo punto di vista nell’analisi dei sistemi viventi e consentire un nuovo modo di caratterizzare l’attività metabolica.

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Study adds to evidence that electronic cigarettes are not harmless

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 febbraio 2017

sigaretteSophia Antipolis. A study published in JAMA Cardiology has added to growing evidence that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are not harmless. “Studies like this give further confirmation that e-cigarettes are not harmless,” said European Society of Cardiology cardiovascular prevention spokesperson Professor Joep Perk.“If I was a minister of health I would put my efforts into public anti-smoking campaigns especially directed towards the younger generation, and not promote e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking,” he continued. “There are studies also showing that people that start with e-cigarettes have a tendency to become persistent tobacco cigarette smokers as well.” The 2016 European guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention flagged up the need for further research on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. The current study included 23 habitual e-cigarette users (used most days for at least one year) and 19 non-users between the ages of 21 and 45 years. It found that habitual e-cigarette users were more likely than non-users to have increased cardiac sympathetic activity (increased adrenaline levels in the heart) and increased oxidative stress – known mechanisms by which tobacco cigarettes increase cardiovascular risk. The authors said the findings “have critical implications for the long-term cardiac risks associated with habitual e-cigarette use” and “mandate a re-examination of aerosolized nicotine and its metabolites”. They added that causality could not be confirmed on the basis of this single, small study, and that further research into the potential adverse cardiovascular health effects of e-cigarettes is warranted. “Nicotine stimulates the central nervous system, so it’s not at all surprising that people continuously taking nicotine get this sympathetic stimulation,” said Professor Perk. “This then might lead to irregular heartbeat and raised blood pressure, and probably has long-term deleterious effects on the blood vessel walls.” “It is too large a step to say that these negative effects are proof that people are going to die early because they used e-cigarettes,” he continued. “To prove this you have to put people on e-cigarettes for 10 to 15 years and see how many die early – a study that will not be done for ethical reasons. The weakness of all studies in this field is that they are observational and small, and they look at indicators of vascular wall damage rather than incidence of cardiovascular disease or death.” Professor Perk said that, even after this study, e-cigarettes could still be used to help people stop smoking tobacco cigarettes, but they should be used with caution and other methods should preferably be tried first. He said: “E-cigarettes are one of the tools we have in nicotine replacement therapy but as clinicians we should be cautious of putting people on large amounts of central nervous system stimulant drugs. Other smoking cessation schemes, such as chewing gum or patches, always include the decision to taper off use and eventually stop. This is not in general the case with e-cigarettes, which tend to be seen as a replacement and not a weaning off nicotine addiction. In fact they prolong the addiction.” “This is an area where we need more knowledge,” continued Professor Perk. “The more data we collect, the more it seems that nicotine replacement strategies that taper off and ultimately end nicotine use are the way to go.” “At the end of the day the best thing is simply to prevent people ever getting into the vicinity of nicotine,” he concluded.

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Global research priorities for interpersonal violence prevention: a modified Delphi study

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 6 gennaio 2017

Almost half a million people are victims of homicide every year and one in three women has experienced violence from an intimate partner at some point during her life. Furthermore, a quarter of adults report having been physically abused in childhood and one in five women and one in 13 men report having been sexually abused in childhood. Interpersonal violence during childhood can have serious, lifelong consequences that affect mental and physical health, academic and job performance and social functioning.In addition, interpersonal violence, which includes child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, youth violence, armed violence, sexual violence and elder abuse, create an economic burden on society. Over the last two decades, the prevention of interpersonal violence has risen on the international public health agenda. In May 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a global plan of action to strengthen the role of health systems in World Health Organizationaddressing interpersonal violence, particularly against women and girls and against children. The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) recently adopted by the United Nations include four targets on interpersonal violence: to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, to eliminate all harmful practices against women and girls (target, to reduce significantly all forms of violence and related deaths everywhere; and (iv) to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children In spite of progress in the past 20 years, major gaps in violence prevention remain. The Global status report on violence prevention1 reveals that civil and vital registration data on homicide are lacking in 40% of countries. Moreover, fewer than half of all countries have reported conducting population-based surveys on most forms of nonfatal violence, such as child maltreatment, youth violence and elder abuse. Only 9.3% of all outcome evaluation studies in violence prevention have been conducted in low- and middleincome countries and there is no indication that this is increasing, despite over 85% of violent deaths occurring in these countries.
Research has a major role to play in reducing the global burden of interpersonal violence, by: clearly defining the magnitude and distribution of violence; identifying risk and protective factors; developing effective interventions that target these factors to prevent and respond to violence; and increasing understanding of the legislative and policy environment and the human, institutional and financial resources required to scale up effective interventions. However, current research remains under-resourced relative to the burden of the problem, it is fragmented and disproportionately focused on high-income countries.

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New Multi-Center Registry To Study Benefits of Stretta Therapy for GERD Patients after Sleeve Gastrectomy

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 13 Maggio 2016

MedicinaNORWALK, /PRNewswire/ — Mederi Therapeutics today announced a new multi-center registry that will study the benefit of Stretta Therapy as a treatment option in patients who experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) after sleeve gastrectomy (SG).The study, entitled “Examining the Benefit of RF Treatment (Stretta) of GERD after Sleeve Gastrectomy,” includes 15 of the top bariatric programs in the U.S. This multi-center registry will study patients with documented GERD a minimum of six months after a sleeve gastrectomy. The study will focus on GERD symptom control (HRQL) after Stretta, with follow up at six, 12, and 24 months.Sleeve gastrectomy is the weight loss procedure of choice, representing 51% of bariatric surgeries performed in the U.S. in 2014 (up from 42% in 2013). Patients typically choose a sleeve over a gastric bypass because it allows the stomach to retain normal function.
Erin Moran-Atkins, MD, FACS, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Montefiore Medical center and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, explained the challenges of treating patients with GERD after a sleeve: “Obese patients experience GERD at a dramatically higher rate than the average population. Weight loss surgery resolves GERD in some patients, but for others, symptoms continue. The post-sleeve patient may also have a hard time tolerating common GERD medications and want to avoid a conversion to a gastric bypass, which has been the standard next step.” Co-investigator W. Scott Melvin, MD, FACS, Director General Surgery at the Montefiore Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, further noted the limited options for sleeve patients with GERD. “Because of the sleeve’s altered anatomy, you can’t perform a fundoplication. Furthermore, conversion to a gastric bypass has a higher complication rate. Stretta has been widely studied in patients with altered anatomy from surgery. Importantly, for the bariatric patient, receiving Stretta doesn’t preclude further surgery. We are looking forward to data confirming that Stretta can help the growing bariatric patient population with GERD.” Studies show that up to 84% of patients with pre-existing GERD continued to have symptoms after a sleeve gastrectomy, and at least eight percent develop new GERD post-operatively.
Stretta is a non-surgical procedure for GERD that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to regenerate the muscle between the stomach and esophagus. Studies show that Stretta resolves reflux symptoms, improves quality of life, reduces or eliminates medications, and decreases acid exposure in patients with chronic GERD. Stretta is delivered transorally and does not alter the anatomy, making it a viable option for patients with GERD who have undergone bariatric surgery.
Stretta is a versatile, non-surgical option for GERD patients who do not respond well to medications and wish to avoid surgery. Stretta has been the subject of more than 40 studies, all showing a high level of safety and efficacy. Manufactured by Mederi Therapeutics, Stretta is available worldwide.

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Greenpeace: Study – 100% renewable energy globally by 2050 possible

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 21 settembre 2015

berlinoBerlin, 21 September 2015 – The investment necessary to move toward 100% renewable energy by 2050 would be more than covered by future savings in fuel costs, according to a ground-breaking new report from Greenpeace, researched in collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).The Energy [R]evolution scenario 2015 also says more jobs would be created in the energy sector – with the solar industry alone employing as many people in the future as the coal industry does today. Its detailed data compares different regions of the world.
Within 15 years, renewables’ share of electricity could triple from 21% today to 64% — almost two thirds of global electricity supply could come from renewable energy. Even with the rapid development of countries like Brazil, China and India, CO2 emissions could fall from the current 30 gigatonnes a year to 20 gigatonnes by 2030. In jobs, the solar PV industry could employ 9.7 million people by 2030, more than 10 times as many as it does today. Jobs in wind power could grow to 7.8 million over the same period. Sven Teske of Greenpeace, the lead author of the report, said: “The solar- and wind industries have come of age, and are cost-competitive with coal. It is very likely they will overtake the coal industry in terms of jobs and energy supplied within the next decade. ““It’s the responsibility of the fossil fuel industry to prepare for these changes in the labour market and make provisions. Governments need to manage the dismantling of the fossil fuel industry which is moving rapidly into irrelevance. Every dollar invested in new fossil fuel projects is high risk capital which might end up as stranded investment.”The necessary investment is more than covered by savings in future fuel costs. The average additional investment needed in renewables until 2050 is about $1 trillion a year. Because renewables don’t require fuel, the savings over the same period are $1.07 trillion a year, so more than meet the costs of the required investment, with the cross-over point happening between 2025 and 2030.Kumi Naidoo, the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said: “We must not let lobbying by vested interests in the fossil fuel industry stand in the way of a switch to renewable energy, the most effective and fairest way to deliver a clean and safe energy future, so more than meet the costs of the investment.“I would urge all those who say ‘it can’t be done’ to read this report and recognise that it can be done, it must be done and it will be for the benefit of everyone if it is done.”The Paris climate summit, in less than three months, offers global leaders the opportunity to take the necessary and critical steps to fight climate change, by accelerating the steady transformation of the world’s energy sector, away from fossil fuels and towards 100% renewable energy by mid-century.Naidoo adds: ‘With this Greenpeace scenario, the Paris climate agreement must deliver a long term vision for phasing out coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy by mid-century, reaching the goal of 100% renewables with energy access for all.”

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