Friday, May 31, 2013

Acuity of spatial origin of sounds

Scientists discover origin of a giant synapse

May 28, 2013
The calyx of Held (orange) is a type of giant synapse, which synapses onto “medial nucleus of the trapezoid body” (MNTB) neurons (green) and relays excitatory information to these neurons. The neurons in turn send inhibitory outputs to a number of targets in the auditory brain stem and thus act as a master source of well-timed inhibition for the lower auditory system. (Credit: University of Colorado School of Medicine)
EPFL scientists have revealed a mechanism responsible for the creation of giant synapses in the brain that allow us to efficiently process auditory information.
Humans and most mammals can determine the spatial origin of sounds with remarkable acuity. To accomplish this small daily miracle, the brain has developed a circuit that’s rapid enough to detect the tiny lag that occurs between the moment the auditory information reaches one of our ears, and the moment it reaches the other.
The mastermind of this circuit is the “Calyx of Held,” the largest known synapse in the brain. EPFL scientists have revealed the role that a certain protein plays in initiating the growth of these giant synapses. The discovery, could also help shed light on a number of neuropsychiatric disorders.
Enormous synapses enable faster auditory-related communication/.../

Tobacco Day infographic

World No Tobacco Day infographic: The numbers behind smoking cigarettes


HEALTH Smoking/cigarette...Undated handout picture of a woman smoker. Family doctors are too overworked to tackle patients about smoking even though treating smoking-related illnesses costs the NHS  1.5 billion a year in England, research showed, Monday March 10, 2003. Some GPs were so worried about increasing their workload that they were unwilling to put up posters about quitting smoking in their waiting rooms. The findings by charity group No Smoking Day, which falls on Wednesday March 12, also showed that one in two smokers will die from the habit. See PA story HEALTH Smoking. PA Photo/handout....A...LONDON...UK
Smoking causes one in ten adult deaths, according to the World Health Organization (Picture: PA)
It may not roll off the tip of the tongue, but World No Tobacco Day will be on the lips of many today.
The campaign has organised for 25 years by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is held each May 31./.../

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Clearing the Smoke

Tobacco Company Efforts to Influence the Food and Drug Administration-Commissioned Institute of Medicine Report Clearing the Smoke: An Analysis of Documents Released through Litigation

  • Crystal E. Tan,
  •  
  • Thomas Kyriss,
  •  
  • Stanton A. Glantz mai

Background

Spurred by the creation of potential modified risk tobacco products, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assess the science base for tobacco “harm reduction,” leading to the 2001 IOM report Clearing the Smoke. The objective of this study was to determine how the tobacco industry organized to try to influence the IOM committee that prepared the report.

Methods and Findings

We analyzed previously secret tobacco industry documents in the University of California, San Francisco Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, and IOM public access files. (A limitation of this method includes the fact that the tobacco companies have withheld some possibly relevant documents.) Tobacco companies considered the IOM report to have high-stakes regulatory implications. They developed and implemented strategies with consulting and legal firms to access the IOM proceedings. When the IOM study staff invited the companies to provide information on exposure and disease markers, clinical trial design for safety and efficacy, and implications for initiation and cessation, tobacco company lawyers, consultants, and in-house regulatory staff shaped presentations from company scientists. Although the available evidence does not permit drawing cause-and-effect conclusions, and the IOM may have come to the same conclusions without the influence of the tobacco industry, the companies were pleased with the final report, particularly the recommendations for a tiered claims system (with separate tiers for exposure and risk, which they believed would ease the process of qualifying for a claim) and license to sell products comparable to existing conventional cigarettes (“substantial equivalence”) without prior regulatory approval. Some principles from the IOM report, including elements of the substantial equivalence recommendation, appear in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Conclusions

Tobacco companies strategically interacted with the IOM to win several favored scientific and regulatory recommendations.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary

Editors' Summary

Background

Up to half of tobacco users will die of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, or another tobacco-related disease. Cigarettes and other tobacco products cause disease because they expose their users to nicotine and numerous other toxic chemicals. Tobacco companies have been working to develop a “safe” cigarette for more than half a century. Initially, their attention focused on cigarettes that produced lower tar and nicotine yields in machine-smoking tests. These products were perceived as “safer” products by the public and scientists for many years, but it is now known that the use of low-yield cigarettes can actually expose smokers to higher levels of toxins than standard cigarettes. More recently, the tobacco companies have developed other products (for example, products that heat aerosols of nicotine, rather than burning the tobacco) that claim to reduce harm and the risk of tobacco-related disease, but they can only market these modified risk tobacco products in the US after obtaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. In 1999, the FDA commissioned the US Institute of Medicine (IOM, an influential source of independent expert advice on medical issues) to assess the science base for tobacco “harm reduction.” In 2001, the IOM published its report Clearing the Smoke: Assessing the Science Base for Tobacco Harm and Reduction, which, although controversial, set the tone for the development and regulation of tobacco products in the US, particularly those claiming to be less dangerous, in subsequent years.

Why Was This Study Done?

Tobacco companies have a long history of working to shape scientific discussions and agendas. For example, they have produced research results designed to “create controversy” about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke. In this study, the researchers investigate how tobacco companies organized to try to influence the IOM committee that prepared the Clearing the Smoke report on modified risk tobacco products by analyzing tobacco industry and IOM documents.

What Did the Researchers Do and Find?

The researchers searched the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (a collection of internal tobacco industry documents released as a result of US litigation cases) for documents outlining how tobacco companies tried to influence the IOM Committee to Assess the Science Base for Tobacco Harm Reduction and created a timeline of events from the 1,000 or so documents they retrieved. They confirmed and supplemented this timeline using information in 80 files that detailed written interactions between the tobacco companies and the IOM committee, which they obtained through a public records access request. Analysis of these documents indicates that the tobacco companies considered the IOM report to have important regulatory implications, that they developed and implemented strategies with consulting and legal firms to access the IOM proceedings, and that tobacco company lawyers, consultants, and regulatory staff shaped presentations to the IOM committee by company scientists on various aspects of tobacco harm reduction products. The analysis also shows that tobacco companies were pleased with the final report, particularly its recommendation that tobacco products can be marketed with exposure or risk reduction claims provided the products substantially reduce exposure and provided the behavioral and health consequences of these products are determined in post-marketing surveillance and epidemiological studies (“tiered testing”) and its recommendation that, provided no claim of reduced exposure or risk is made, new products comparable to existing conventional cigarettes (“substantial equivalence”) can be marketed without prior regulatory approval.

What Do These Findings Mean?

These findings suggest that tobacco companies used their legal and regulatory staff to access the IOM committee that advised the FDA on modified risk tobacco products and that they used this access to deliver specific, carefully formulated messages designed to serve their business interests. Although these findings provide no evidence that the efforts of tobacco companies influenced the IOM committee in any way, they show that the companies were satisfied with the final IOM report and its recommendations, some of which have policy implications that continue to reverberate today. The researchers therefore call for the FDA and other regulatory bodies to remember that they are dealing with companies with a long history of intentionally misleading the public when assessing the information presented by tobacco companies as part of the regulatory process and to actively protect their public-health policies from the commercial interests of the tobacco industry.

Additional Information

Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary athttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1​001450.

Irreconcilable Conflict: The Tobacco Industry and the Public Health Challenge of Tobacco Use

  • Thomas E. Novotny mail
..........................
The FDA's deliberative process on tobacco product regulation, including that of its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, need not incorporate the input of the tobacco industry, its experts, or in particular, its lawyers. The industry can certainly provide its commentary in this government regulatory process, and it has all the resources it needs to do so. However, it should never be treated as a stakeholder because it is unlikely that the industry will ever be part of the solution to the public health challenge of tobacco use./.../
The FDA's deliberative process on tobacco product regulation, including that of its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, need not incorporate the input of the tobacco industry, its experts, or in particular, its lawyers. The industry can certainly provide its commentary in this government regulatory process, and it has all the resources it needs to do so. However, it should never be treated as a stakeholder because it is unlikely that the industry will ever be part of the solution to the public health challenge of tobacco use.

Paradox of Mental Health

The Paradox of Mental Health: Over-Treatment and Under-Recognition

  • The PLOS Medicine Editors mail
Among all the conditions in the world of health, mental health occupies a unique and paradoxical place.
On the one hand is over-treatment and over-medicalization of mental health issues, often fueled by a pharmaceutical industry interested in the broadening of the boundaries of “illness” and in the creation of more and wider diagnostic categories and thus markets for “selling sickness.” On the other hand exists profound under-recognition of the suffering and breadth of mental health issues affecting millions of people across geographies, which is a global problem.

As a journal, PLOS Medicine has covered both sides of the mental health “coin,” and we continue to make mental health in general a priority area. We recognize that the whole of the field of mental health research is relatively underdeveloped, and that a particular scarcity of clinical trials exists from outside high-income settings and for non-drug interventions. As a result, we also support efforts to improve capacity in mental health research whilst committing to the publication of the state of the art in research and commentary [1],[2]./.../

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Biblioteca Digital Mundial


 
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

2603 - AMICOOR 16


Mastering our Creative Routine

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 20 segundos
The Pace of Productivity and How to Master Your Creative Routine*by Maria Popova* *“When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly.”* We seem to have a strange but all too human cultural fixation on the daily routines and daily rituals of famous creators, from Vonnegut toBurroughs to Darwin — as if a glimpse of their day-to-day would somehow magically infuse ours with equal potency, or replicating it would allow us to replicate their genius in turn. And though much of this is mere cultural voyeurism, there is something to be said for the value of a well-engineered daily rout... mais »



Vital signs register

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 22 horas
Scanadu Scout ‘Tricorder’ launches on indiegogoMay 23, 2013 Scanadu Scout (credit: Scanadu) Scanadu has announced updates to its Scanadu Scout, the “first medical Tricorder,” a prototype device designed to measure vital signs; and the launch of an indiegogo campaign. A first-edition Scout can be reserved on indiegogo and will be available in March 2014. The Scout is sold as an exploratory tool. “By helping us collect data, we can file our application to the FDA for market approval as an over-the-counter consumer-grade diagnostic tool,” the company said./.../

Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 22 horas
*From: *Kelly ODonnell Dear colleagues, . The *Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020 *was passed here in Geneva at the WHO World Health Assembly (11:50am, 24 May 2013). This is great news and we have good reason to all celebrate. (see pages 7-8 of the *Action Plan* for a quick overview) . Earlier this week (Wednesday) about 45 member states (representing several regions explicitly and thus well-over 100 countries) made very supportive comments. Five civil society organisations made very supportive statements as well including WFMH, CBM, World Vision and two pharmaceutic... mais »

NCD and Rheumatic Fever

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 2 dias
*Sent by Marianne Burle de Figueiredo* **** *Update from the 66th World Health Assembly***** *Side event on addressing inequalities in NCDs: a focus on rheumatic heart disease ** *Convened by the governments of New Zealand and South Africa and the World Heart Federation, health officials from New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Fiji and Rwanda discussed the vital need for countries to integrate rheumatic fever (RF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) prevention and control into national action plans. The event was held on 22 May and was chaired by our president Dr K. Srinath Reddy a... mais »

Demographic Dividend

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 3 dias
Harnessing the Demographic Dividend," a PRB ENGAGE Presentation RELATED ENGAGE PresentationsAchieving a Demographic DividendThe Challenge of Attaining the Demographic Dividend Download presentation in English (video format), with narration (MP4: 283MB) (Right-click and choose "save link as" to save to your computer) | *Coming soon: *French (video format), with narration *Coming soon: *Presentation in English (Flash format), without narration | French (Flash format), without narration *Coming soon:* Presentation Guide in English | French ------------------------------ (May 2013) The EN... mais »

The 7-minutes Workout

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 3 dias
How to Do the 7-Minute Workout [image: Infographic: How to do the 7-minute Workout]

Bacteriophage immune system extension

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 3 dias
Bacteriophage adhering to mucus provide a non–host-derived immunity 1. Jeremy J. Barra,1, 2. Rita Auroa, 3. Mike Furlana, 4. Katrine L. Whitesona, 5. Marcella L. Erbb, 6. Joe Poglianob, 7. Aleksandr Stotlanda, 8. Roland Wolkowicza, 9. Andrew S. Cuttinga, 10. Kelly S. Dorana, 11. Peter Salamonc, 12. Merry Youled, and 13. Forest Rohwera http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-immune.html 1. Edited by Richard E. Lenski, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, and approved April 18, 2013 (received for review March 28, 2013) Abst... mais »

Medscape

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 3 dias
[image: Refer a Colleague]Dr. Aloyzio Achutti,Invite your colleagues to sign up for a *FREE**Medscape* account today so they too can benefit from our vast network of medical resources tailored for medical doctors worldwide.Membership is *FREE*.*Please refer your colleagues by May 31, 2013.*[image: Invite Your Colleagues to Sign Up for a Free Medscape Account] Help us grow our *Medscape* community in Brazil. Refer a colleague to sign up at *Medscape.com/mgm* and use invitation code: *MGM513* *How do I refer a colleague?* Simply forward this email or the link *Medscape.com/mgm* and tel... mais »

GDP and Health Care Spending

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 3 dias
The Gross Domestic Product and Health Care Spending Victor R. Fuchs, Ph.D. May 22, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1305298 References How much will the United States spend on health care during the next decade or two? The answer matters greatly to physicians, federal and state governments, businesses, and the general public. The answer will determine the type and extent of care that physicians can provide to their patients, as well as the amount of physicians' take-home pay. It will also determine how much everyone else can consume or invest in other goods and services. Unfortunately, forecas...mais »

Itararé - Santa Maria, RS

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR EXTENSION - Há 4 dias
* EXPOSIÇÃO SOBRE A VFRGS E O BAIRRO ITARARÉ - SM* Motivado por uma exposição organizada por Therezinha De Jesus Pires Santos e por múltiplas ligações com nossa história e família, também seguindo sugestão de minha irmã *Maria Helena Cechella Achutti*, tentarei preservar neste espaço algumas imagens e algumas memórias que elas me suscitaram. A primeira imagem do início do século passado (abaixo) me foi remetida pelo colega, amigo e parente *José Antônio Brenner*. Vê-se o morro do monumento, ainda sem ele. Também a primeira casa à esquerda, na rua principal, era de meu avô, e foi onde ... mais »

Cosmic Graveyard

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 5 dias
Cosmic Graveyard: Looking For Life in an Unlikely Place By Michael D. LemonickMay 21, 2013Add a Comment [image: This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the "last hurrah" of a star like our sun, the outer layers of gas being cast off and leaving behind the burned out white dwarf, the white dot in the center.]NASA / EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the "last hurrah" of a star like our sun, the outer layers of gas being cast off and leaving behind the burned out white dwarf, the ite dot in the center. That makes them a possible, though seemingly improbable,...mais »

Diet and Brain

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 5 dias
Add Olive Oil or Nuts to Guard Brain By Kathleen Struck, Senior Editor, MedPage Today Published: May 20, 2013 Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Action Points - Participants considered to be at high vascular risk were enrolled in a randomised, primary prevention trial with nutritional intervention comparing two Mediterranean diets (supplemented with either extra-virgin olive oil or mixed nuts) versus a low-fat control diet. - After a mean followup of over 6 years, intervention with a Medi... mais »

HIV 30 Years

Aloyzio AchuttiemAMICOR - Há 5 dias
30 Years of HIV: Looking Back, Looking Ahead By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today Published: May 20, 2013 There was no fanfare on May 20, 1983 when*Science* published what is undoubtedly among the most important medical papers of the 20th century. In the usual dry prose, researchers from the Institut Pasteur in Paris described a new retrovirus, which they dubbed lymphoadenopathy associated virus, or LAV. It was, they reported, a "typical type-C RNA tumor virus" with a tropism for T-lymphocytes and was similar to -- but clearly distinct from -- human T-cell leu... mais »

Mastering our Creative Routine


The Pace of Productivity and How to Master Your Creative Routine

by 
“When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly.”
We seem to have a strange but all too human cultural fixation on the daily routines and daily rituals of famous creators, from Vonnegut toBurroughs to Darwin — as if a glimpse of their day-to-day would somehow magically infuse ours with equal potency, or replicating it would allow us to replicate their genius in turn. And though much of this is mere cultural voyeurism, there is something to be said for the value of a well-engineered daily routine to anchor the creative process. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (public library), edited by Behance’s 99U editor-in-chief Jocelyn Glei and featuring contributions from a twenty of today’s most celebrated thinkers and doers, delves into the secrets of this holy grail of creativity./.../

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Vital signs register


Scanadu Scout ‘Tricorder’ launches on indiegogo

May 23, 2013
Scanadu Scout (credit: Scanadu)
Scanadu has announced updates to its Scanadu Scout, the “first medical Tricorder,” a prototype device designed to measure vital signs; and the launch of an indiegogo campaign.
A first-edition Scout can be reserved on indiegogo and will be available in March 2014.
The Scout is sold as an exploratory tool. “By helping us collect data, we can file our application to the FDA for market approval as an over-the-counter consumer-grade diagnostic tool,” the company said./.../