State Highlights Democratic Gov Hopefuls Spar Over Hospitals In NY

first_imgA selection of health policy stories from New York, Indiana, South Carolina, California and Kansas.The New York Times: Debating A Fix For Hospitals In Dire StraitsOf all the issues in the Democratic primary for mayor, one of the few that most candidates seem to agree on is that struggling New York City hospitals need to be saved. … Despite the discourse, it is the state that regulates hospitals and gives the grants and loans needed to keep them from failing. And Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is not throwing the hospitals a lifeline (Hartocollis, 9/6).The Associated Press: W. Ind. Prison Inmates Provide End-Of-Life CareInmates at a western Indiana prison are trained to give end-of-life care for their cellmates through a hospice program as a way to help deal with an aging prison population. The program at the Wabash Valley Correctional Institute in Carlisle, 35 miles south of Terre Haute, was the idea of a prisoner who had watched his friend die of lung cancer in 2009 without a single outside visitor. Inmate volunteers have cared for 50 convicts in their final days over the past three years, The Indianapolis Star reports (9/8).The Associated Press: Medicaid Agency Helping School Clinics SucceedFour high-poverty schools in Charleston County [South Carolina] could become a statewide model for in-school medical clinics that offer parents a convenient way to take their children to the doctor’s office. … Agency officials say they want to simultaneously help the clinics grow and become financially stable, so services don’t depend on fluctuating grants. That involves helping enroll qualifying students in the government health care program for the poor and disabled, as well as training staff on how to bill Medicaid for services (Adcox, 9/9).The Hill: AFL-CIO Convention Avoids Health Care Union’s ProtestsThe AFL-CIO narrowly avoided an embarrassing union-led protest by canceling convention events that spotlighted a health care company. The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) was planning to protest events highlighting Kaiser Permanente, scheduled for Sunday and Monday this week in Los Angeles (Bogardus, 9/9).Kansas Health Institute: Inspector General’s Report Has Rural Hospitals WorriedA new report from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes recommendations that — if acted upon — could undermine hundreds of small, rural hospitals across the nation including scores in Kansas, hospital officials and some rural health experts say (Shields, 9/9).California Healthline: Home Health Industry Could Use More Regulation, According To UCLAUC-Los Angeles researchers yesterday released a study that concluded more regulation is needed among home health care workers in California. … A bill is pending in the current session, AB 1217 by Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), which would establish certification of home health workers. The bill has raised privacy concerns because it calls for posting of certification data — including names of care givers — online. Other concerns revolve around the possible rise in cost of home health services (Gorn, 9/6). State Highlights: Democratic Gov. Hopefuls Spar Over Hospitals In N.Y. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

State Highlights States Troubled Health Law Websites Fall Hardest On Poor

first_imgState Highlights: States’ Troubled Health Law Websites Fall Hardest On Poor This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, Florida, Texas, Georgia and California.The New York Times: Faulty Websites Confront Needy In Search Of AidWhile the nation’s attention was focused on the troubled rollout of the federal health care site under the Affordable Care Act, the problems with the unemployment sites have pointed to something much broader: how a lack of funding in many states and a shortage of information technology specialists in public service jobs routinely lead to higher costs, botched systems and infuriating technical problems that fall hardest on the poor, the jobless and the neediest (Robles, 1/7). The Roanoke Times: State Sen. Creigh Deeds To Push For Mental Health ReformDeeds, D-Bath County, said Monday that he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he has received since Nov. 19, when his son, Austin “Gus” Deeds, shot himself after a violent confrontation at the senator’s Millboro home. But he has been more moved by stories of people with harrowing experiences dealing with the state’s fragmented mental health system. “I’m not by myself in this,” Deeds said in a telephone interview Monday evening. … Deeds said his son had a history of mental illness and was twice committed for psychiatric treatment in 2011. “My son was 18, he was an adult,” Deeds said. “I couldn’t make him keep appointments. … I couldn’t make him take medicine,” (Sluss, 1/6).The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Deeds Submits Mental Health Bills After TragedySen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, has joined an escalating legislative debate sparked by his own family tragedy. Deeds has quietly filed three bills aimed at closing gaps in Virginia’s fragmented mental health system — including one to allow a 24-hour window for holding someone involuntarily under an emergency custody order instead of the maximum of six hours now allowed under state law. He also broke a six-week silence in a telephone interview with The Roanoke Times on Monday that shed light on the mental illness afflicting his 24-year-old son, Austin C. “Gus” Deeds, who stabbed his father repeatedly Nov. 19 outside their Millboro home and then shot himself to death, just 13 hours after being released from an emergency custody order for a mental health evaluation (Martz, 1/7).The Washington Post: Deeds Returns To Richmond Determined To Reform Mental Health SystemState Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, determined to rebound from a personal tragedy that left him gravely injured and his son lost to suicide, returns to the Capitol this week on a mission to fix the state’s mental health system. Deeds (D-Bath) has proposed two bills intended to address what went horribly wrong in November, when his 24-year-old son, Austin, known as “Gus,” stabbed the senator and then fatally shot himself (Vozzella, 1/6).Politico: Shifting Strategies For State Abortion Battles In 2014Conservative states that ran into legal trouble passing some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation last year have shifted their approach for 2014: smaller instead of sweeping. Rather than bans that directly challenge Roe v. Wade, many states are again going for more incremental measures that address the physical space requirements of clinics, physicians’ qualifications and the use of certain procedures. The move is hardly a retreat, abortion opponents say, but rather a strategic decision that they expect could be nearly as effective in less time. Compared to broader moves, restrictions that are more narrowly drawn often pass judicial muster (Villacorta, 1/6). Kaiser Health News: Nonprofit Health Centers Go Into For-Profit Insurance BusinessAs Florida shifts nearly all of its 3 million Medicaid recipients into private managed care plans this year, Prestige expects to triple its enrollment to more than 300,000 members. That could lead to more profits for Jessie Trice and the other health centers. Through Prestige, they are also less reliant on policies set by other insurers, and gain more control over how Medicaid funds are spent (Galewitz, 1/7).The Dallas Morning News: Federal Judges Question Whether Texas Abortion Law Has Forced Clinics To CloseAppellate judges challenged lawyers Monday over provisions of Texas’ new abortion law and whether they have unduly caused the closure of about a dozen abortion clinics. The three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals bore down in particular on the shuttering of the only two abortion clinics in the Rio Grande Valley. The lack of facilities is now requiring women seeking an abortion to travel about 150 miles to a Corpus Christi clinic. State Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell defended the law, saying the state has a right to regulate medical practices as a way to promote women’s health (Hoppe, 1/7).Georgia Health News: No Performance Bonus This Year For Kids’ Enrollment After two years of receiving a bonus, Georgia is not included in the latest round of federal performance awards for enrolling eligible children in government health insurance programs. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said last week that 23 states earned a bonus for fiscal 2013, funded under legislation that reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A year ago, Georgia received a bonus of $1.9 million, after gaining almost $5 million for fiscal 2011, the first year that the state received an award (Miller, 1/6).California Healthline: New Overtime Law Has Far-Reaching Effects On Home Health Care IndustryThe basic tenet of a new home health care law seems straightforward and unassailable: Workers who work more than nine hours at a time are entitled to overtime pay. But it may not be as simple as that. Many in the home health industry say the practical application of overtime will spell the end of live-in care and could actually result in lower earnings for home health workers. On Jan. 1, the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (AB 241), created by Assembly member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), took effect. It regulates the number of consecutive hours for home health care workers and requires overtime pay for long work shifts (Gorn, 1/6).last_img read more

Some States Beating Others To Health Law Enrollment Punch

first_imgNews outlets take closer looks at the Obama administration’s health law enrollment figures and find that some states are far outpacing others. Marketplace problems that persist in some states are also examined.The Associated Press: Disparities Seen In Enrollments Under The Affordable Care ActMost states are still lagging when it comes to sign-ups under President Obama’s health care law, but an Associated Press analysis of numbers reported Wednesday finds a dozen high-achievers getting ahead of the game. Huge disparities are emerging in how well states are living up to federal enrollment targets, and that will help determine if the White House reaches its unofficial goal of having 7 million signed up by the end of March, six weeks away (Alonso-Zaldivar, 2/13).The Associated Press: Michigan Beats Health Insurance Sign-Up TargetsAbout 112,000 Michigan residents chose a private insurance plan under the federal health care law in the first four months of enrollment, outpacing government projections by 12,000. Numbers released Wednesday by President Barack Obama’s administration show 36,500 more people in the state signed up through a federal website from Dec. 29 to Feb. 1 (2/13).The Associated Press: Oregon Health Enrollments In The Middle Of The PackThe latest federal figures show Oregon places in the middle of the pack among states that built their own health insurance exchanges when it comes to the number of people who’ve signed up for private plans under the Affordable Care Act. An analysis of new federal government figures by The Associated Press shows that Oregon is seventh when it comes to enrollments in private coverage as a percentage of states’ populations. Thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have their own exchanges (2/13).The Seattle Times: About 30,000 To Have Health Insurance By End Of MarchAfter the uproar over insurance plans that were discontinued under the Affordable Care Act, the number of Washington residents with individual coverage is expected to increase, according to state projections released Thursday. An estimated 300,000 people are predicted to have health-insurance plans by the end of March when the individual insurance market closes for the year (Stiffler, 2/13).The Philadelphia Inquirer: Health Sign-Ups Gaining SteamSoutheastern Pennsylvania is among the top regions in the country for enrollment in the federal insurance marketplace, which officials said Wednesday grew significantly nationwide in January. The Obama administration said about one million people signed up for private insurance under the health law last month through federal and state marketplaces combined, extending a turnaround from early days when dysfunctional websites frustrated consumers (Sapatkin, 2/13).MinnPost: MNsure Leaders Present Proof Of Small But Measurable ProgressMNsure has proof that the exchange is working better for consumers — a distinct change from past claims — but the fledgling marketplace has a long way to go before it’s fully fixed and on firm ground. The exchange’s leaders went before lawmakers tasked with overseeing the marketplace on Wednesday, where they described efforts to bring on a new lead technology vendor to fix MNsure, a contract to beef up its call center and potential difficulties remaining financially solvent (Nord, 2/13). The Star Tribune: MNsure Error Rates Improve As Sign-Up Gets Easier Consumers are having an easier time getting through the MNsure website as a result of efforts to fix technology issues and beef up call center staff, officials at the state’s new online health insurance exchange said Wednesday. While the website remains “less than perfect,” it is stabilizing, MNsure interim CEO Scott Leitz said in a measured progress report delivered to state lawmakers and an increasingly antsy board of directors in separate meetings. “We still have a ways to go, but we have taken significant steps forward” in reducing error rates and adding staff, Leitz said (Crosby and Meitrodt, 2/13).WBUR: Updates, But No Solutions, From Today’s Connector Board MeetingIf you have or have tried to sign up for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector, you know the website is a mess. Last week, Gov. Deval Patrick brought in a special assistant, Sarah Iselin, and and IT oversight group, Optum. Today we had the first of what are to be weekly updates, with graphics that map the problems many of you are having. If you are expecting a quick fix, you can stop reading here. But there are some important updates that might be helpful (Bebinger, 2/13).The Boston Globe: 50,000 Filings For Health Coverage In LimboAbout 50,000 health insurance applications, many filed by low-income Massachusetts residents, have yet to be processed by the state’s troubled insurance marketplace, officials disclosed Thursday, and it may take months to get all these people enrolled in subsidized plans. For several months, residents have been encouraged to file old-fashioned paper applications because the state’s insurance website has been hobbled by error messages and has crashed frequently since it was revamped in October to comply with the more complex requirements of the federal health care law. Frustration with the broken Massachusetts Health Connector website and the paperwork backlog was evident Thursday, when Jean Yang, the agency’s executive director, wept as she told the Connector board how demoralized her staff is (Levenson, 2/14). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Some States Beating Others To Health Law Enrollment Punchlast_img read more

Policy Positions Health Spending Is The American Way What Becomes Of Medicare

first_img Bloomberg: Spending A Lot On Health Care Is The American Way The rehashed House GOP budget blueprint wants to reshape Medicare into more of a Medicare Advantage model, which now covers some 19 million Americans. What does that mean? Funding for the guaranteed part of Medicare would be shifted into the privatized scheme. You’d receive a fixed stipend or “premium support” to buy a private policy on an exchange. (John Wasik, 7/19) USA Today: Dear America, Universal Health Care Is What Real Freedom Looks Like Policy Positions: Health Spending Is ‘The American Way’; What Becomes Of Medicare; And Does Universal Health Care Equal Freedom? Media outlets explore important health policy questions. Forbes: How GOP Will Still Carve Up Medicare center_img In 1991, after nearly 10 years of recurring wracking pain in my lower abdomen, I walked into a hospital in Helsinki, Finland. I wasn’t a Finnish citizen and wasn’t, at that time, married to one. I was an American writer visiting my Finnish boyfriend, working temporarily in Helsinki. An admitting nurse listened to my symptoms and guessed my problem — a diagnosis that received preliminary confirmation by ultrasound within the hour. (Anne Korkeakivi, 7/20) The U.S. has some of the most expensive medicine in the world, with health-care spending now almost 18 percent of gross domestic product. But why? And might we hope to get this spending down? Unfortunately, expensive health care is embedded in the American way of life — more specifically, the American desire to live it up with high consumption. (Tyler Cowen, 7/20) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

LG ThinQ TVs are getting an Alexa upgrade – Heres how to

first_imgLG’s AI ThinQ TVs are getting an Alexa upgrade, which means you’ll soon be able to utilise the digital assistant’s routines on your telly. The AI TVs already have Google Assistant, and support for Apple’s Siri is expected later in the year.LG has revealed Amazon’s Alexa will be coming to its AI ThinQ TVs in 14 countries – including the UK and US. The update means – if you have one of LG’s 2019 AI ThinQ TVs, of course – you can avoid further cluttering up your living room with an Echo device.Related: Best TVsYou’ll be able to control all your Alexa-enabled devices through your TV. LG also says its virtual helper can handle more complex requests than ever before, due to the TV range’s enhanced AI conversational voice recognition tech.LG says that the update will come to the US later this month, while users based in Europe will receive the changes in the coming weeks. If you’re wondering how to get Amazon Alexa on your TV, it’s pretty easy. To access the new features, you simply need to download the Alexa app to your LG AI ThinQ TV. If you already have the app, it will require an update. If you don’t have updates set to download automatically then make sure you visit the app and check if an update is available.Related: LG OLED55C9 reviewUnsurprisingly, LG has placed a heavy focus on AI voice assistants for the AI ThinQ TVs. Along with current support for Google Assistant, LG announced its AI ThinQ range would also get support for Apple’s Airplay 2 and HomeKit. Airplay 2 will give viewers access to the new Apple TV app and allow for airdrops to the TV. While Apple HomeKit integration will let users interact with Siri through the TV and use Apple’s Home app to control compatible smart home devices. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

The Xiaomi Mi 9T isnt what we were expecting – heres why

first_imgFreshly-discovered Geekbench listing reveals that the Xiaomi Mi 9T is a familiar face under a different name — here’s what we know about the new phone.The Geekbench performance of the Xiaomi Mi 9T confirms that it is none under than a redubbed version of the Xiaomi Redmi K20 (reports GSMArena). Presumably, the expected Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, will therefore be the K20 Pro. We’ve closely followed the release of the latter, which sells in China and India, so we know exactly what to expect from the Mi 9T; below are all the details.Related: Best PhonesThe Xiaomi Mi 9T version tested on Geekbench had 6GB of RAM, and Android 9. But we also know, based on K20 specifications, that it will have a Snapdragon 730 chip, and a 6.39-inch 1080 x 2340 resolution screen. The camera will be a triple lens affair: 48-megapixel main sensor, 8-megapixel telephoto (with 2x optical zoom), and 13-megapixel ultrawide lens. Its neat 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera is a standout design feature that catches the eye, looking similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro.The differences between the standard and Pro editions are not as drastic as you might think. The K20 Pro is endowed with the same screen and camera, but has the more powerful Snapdragon 855 processor on board, and an Adreno 640 GPU instead of the Adreno 618. So if the K20 Pro is released as the Mi 9T Pro, we’d expect the same internal upgrades and a price bump to match.Related: Galaxy Note 10All the listed specifications look very promising, and we hope they’ll be enough for Xiaomi to continue its record of impressive budget smartphones. We gave the Xiaomi Mi 9 an impressive 5-star rating in our review, lavishing praise on its versatile camera, and the excellent performance and screen. Yes, the most impressive aspect of the device was its flagship-busting price of £499 ($635). This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.last_img read more

LGs affordable Galaxy Note 10 rival just leaked – and it looks

first_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor Galaxy Note 10center_img LG’s affordable Galaxy Note 10 rival, the Stylo 5, has ‘leaked’ online and it doesn’t look terrible.The leak appeared on Android Headlines on Monday, which reported getting its hands on a series of “official renders”.The images show a phone with a similar design to the Stylo 4, the headline feature being the handset’s stylus support. Outside of that it looks like a standard affordable Android phone featuring a single piece chassis, rear fingerprint scanner and solo camera sensor.The leak didn’t mention any other specs, or how much the LG Stylo 5 will cost. The only other info we got about it is that it is “expected” to launch around July 15. The previous Stylo 4 was only available for a limited time on Amazon in the UK. It retailed for around $299 in the US.Though the Stylo 5 may not have the wow factor of a flagship, its use of a stylus is unique at this price. The only other mainstream phones with stylus support are Samsung’s Galaxy Note line, which target the top end of the market.Related: Best phabletWe’ve always been fans of Note phones’ S Pen styluses, which make it quick and easy to take notes or edit documents on the go. So we’d be super excited to see similar functionality appear at the bottom end of the phone market.The news follows several similar leaks about Samsung’s hotly anticipated next phablet, the Galaxy Note 10. Recent rumblings suggest the Galaxy Note 10 will have a completely reworked design, upgraded camera and wealth of new S Pen features. Samsung’s also expected to launch an even more premium Galaxy Note 10 Pro variant, though details about this are thin on the ground.The move would make sense given Samsung’s Galaxy S10 release strategy. Samsung released a family of Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, Galaxy S10e and Galaxy S10 5G phones at its Unpacked event earlier this year.The Galaxy Note 10 is expected to launch ahead of the IFA trade show in September. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.last_img read more

Lets See What Top Auto Execs Said About Tesla At The LA

first_img This CEO Thinks Tesla Is A Ford-Killer WHAT ARE THE TOP AUTO EXECS SAYING ABOUT TESLA?Big Auto’s top executives have a long history of downplaying Tesla. But the tide may be turning. With the impressive success of the Tesla Model 3, top execs are beginning to show the Silicon Valley automaker some long-deserved respect.Check Out These Stories: Above: Checking out the Tesla Model 3 (Image: Charged via Steve Jurvetson)Cheddar visited the LA Auto Show and spoke with a number of top executives to get their feedback on Tesla. According to Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, Tesla has inspired his team “to look at ourselves to see if there are unmet needs of customers so that we can innovate our process.”Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti Automobiles adds, “Tesla was innovative, and they pushed the car industry in one direction.” Anthony Foulk, the senior product manager at Audi of America agrees, “They have definitely pushed the entire auto industry forward.”.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Above: Speaking with auto execs at the LA Auto Show, Cheddar’s Hope King and Tamara Warren discuss Tesla’s impact on the industry (Twitter: Hope King)When considering Tesla, Derrick Hatami, the executive vice president of sales and marketing at Volkswagen of America notes, “It has presented an interesting window into what the possibilities could be for electric vehicles… something to look at and aim for.”Green Car Reports also sat down with Hatami’s boss, Scott Keogh. VW’s new U.S. CEO recalls being in meetings with executives and dealers who’ve said that “this Tesla thing’s a joke.” Keogh, on the other hand, is not so quick to dismiss the company’s new Model 3. “And then lo and behold, it probably will be—because we’re not far away now—the best-selling car in America,” says Keogh, with no dealer network, no advertising, and none of the tools that the industry is used to. Tesla Model 3 Sales Charge Way Past Milestone Of 100,000 In U.S. Above: A look at Tesla’s factory-owned stores often placed in unconventional locations like shopping malls (Source: REP)Los Angeles Times spoke with Porsche North America chief executive Klaus Zellmer who adds, “If you look at what Tesla has done, if you look at their volume and look at their price level, it’s truly astonishing. If you can do that with one brand and a sales network that is not comprised of dealers and a real sales organization, it’s even more astonishing.”===Source: Cheddar, Hope King, Green Car Reports, Los Angeles Times*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. *This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. Source: Electric Vehicle News The Tesla Model S Handily Converts This Popular British Columnist Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 5, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

EVgo network powered 75 million miles of EV driving in 2018

first_imgEVgo’s fast charging network powered EV owners to drive more than 75 million miles last year, representing 88 percent annual growth over 2017. more…The post EVgo network powered 75 million miles of EV driving in 2018 appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Electric buses surging in Latin America Chile adding to fleet as it

first_imgA number of Latin American countries are ramping up their adoption of electric buses this year, with Chile leading the way. The country recently added 200 new electric buses to its fleet, with an expected 500 more to follow next year, as it aims to have a fully electric public transport system by 2040. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast. post Electric buses surging in Latin America, Chile adding to fleet as it aims for all-electric by 2040 appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Electrek Review Boosted Mini X short electric skateboard long on power

first_imgSource: Charge Forward In college in Southern California, I would skateboard between classes. It saved a few minutes of commute and was fun on the manicured streets and smooth sidewalks in and around USC.  But even as big a fan of micro mobility, I haven’t since seen skateboarding as a commuter tool, even with the powerful new longboards from Boosted and others. Roads and seasons in New York are just too terrible. But last month, Boosted gave me their $999 Boosted Mini X in an attempt to change my mind… more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast. post Electrek Review: Boosted Mini X, short electric skateboard long on power appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

FCPA Professor Turns 8

first_img Donate Support This Free Public Website FCPA Professor is widely regarded as a leading source of FCPA news and commentary. All of this takes time, money, and substantial effort. Thus, if FCPA Professor adds value to your practice or business, please consider a donation. Eight years ago, I launched FCPA Professor with this simple mission statement.“After a decade-long private practice legal career focused on the FCPA, I am pleased to launch FCPA Professor in connection with my new academic career. To be sure, there are other websites and blogs which cover FCPA topics. However, FCPA Professor seeks to inject a much-needed scholarly voice into FCPA issues. Thus, in addition to covering the “who, what, and where” of FCPA enforcement actions, news, and legislative initiatives, this blog will also explore the more analytical “why” questions increasingly present in this current era of aggressive FCPA enforcement. The goal of this blog is thus to foster a forum for critical analysis and discussion of the FCPA (and related topics) among FCPA practitioners, business and compliance professionals, scholars and students, and other interested persons.”Eight years and 2,120 posts later, FCPA Professor is still here and the mission remains the same.A current high-ranking official at the SEC recently wrote: “I really enjoy reading your blog (even if I don’t always agree with you).” Always agreeing with everything that appears on FCPA Professor was never the goal. Informing, educating, and forcing readers to view FCPA issues through a different lens is, and has always been, the goal.Other FCPA information sources often regurgitate what the DOJ or SEC say or serve as proxies for marketing legal and compliance services. FCPA Professor asks the questions that yield a more sophisticated understanding of the FCPA’s modern era. Other FCPA information sources spin narratives with seemingly little regard to actual facts. FCPA Professor publishes real news and real commentary backed by real statistics written by an individual with real FCPA experience.What started out in 2009 as a “blog” has turned into a comprehensive website that has been described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and “the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA.” Along the way, FCPA Professor has been named a Top Law Blog for in-house counsel by Corporate Counsel, a Top 25 Business Law Blog by LexisNexis, and a top 100 Legal Blog by the American Bar Association.Doing anything every day for eight years straight has its ups and downs and the surprises, rewards and struggles remain the same as those described in this previous anniversary post.In short, running FCPA Professor takes time, money, and substantial effort, yet the content on FCPA Professor is provided free to readers (hundreds of thousands of readers each year from around the world). If I may ask one thing of readers on this occasion, it is to make this “relationship” more of a two-way street.Thus, if FCPA Professor adds value to your practice or business or otherwise enlightens your day and causes you to contemplate the issues in a more sophisticated way, please consider a donation to FCPA Professor to help celebrate this 8th anniversary.  Yearly subscriptions to other legal publications or sources of information can serve as an appropriate guide for a donation amount.last_img read more

UPDATE Baker Botts and Simpson Thacher Advise in 4 Billion Credit Facility

first_img Remember me Lost your password? Username Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.center_img The credit facility replaces the existing $4 billion senior secured revolving credit facility that was scheduled to mature in December 2015 . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Passwordlast_img

European project InSPECT develops miniature photonics spectrometers for tissue diagnostics

first_imgMay 8 2018TISSUE DIAGNOSTICS SUCCESSFULLY TESTEDToday physicians are still severely hampered by the lack of precision of the needle tip location during a biopsy. Looking at lung cancers, 25% of the diagnoses suffer a false negative outcome through traditional biopsy methods. In the future, this can be avoided: for the first time, the European project InSPECT developed miniature spectrometers with integrated light sources enabling guided sensing. Further, a new class of broadband light source has been developed based on solid state laser excitation of luminescent materials. For this, new luminescent materials have been developed covering the spectral range from 400 to 1700 nm and a prototype light source incorporating these materials has been realized.Eliminate delays in diagnose and treatmentPhysicians will be able to perform a precise and instant diagnoses, with the compact cubic-inch broadband spectrometers that can be developed at high volume and low-cost.The new generation of very compact and more cost-effective spectrometry solutions generate viable business models bringing spectral sensing inside the operating theatre, at general practitioners in their consultation rooms and to remote healthcare centers. By integrating an optical fiber inside a biopsy needle,  cancerous and non-cancerous tissue can be illuminated and differentiated by spectral analysis. Backscattered light is collected and led to a spectrometer that identifies spectral fingerprints like water, fat and hemoglobin. The different concentrations, collected by a second optical fiber, give real-time feedback to the physician during the medical intervention.This method for tissue detection allows a fast and accurate diagnoses that can significantly accelerate the start of the cancer treatment, vital to increase the survival rate and recovery of each patient.The photonics spectrometers pave the way for ultimate miniaturization of biophotonic and medical applications.   Prof. dr. Theo Ruers, Professor of Surgical Oncology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute comments:  ​There is possibility to use those technologies in smart surgical devices so the surgeon knows exactly if he/she is cutting into tumorous or into normal tissue. Another application could be to develop implantable tissue sensors. a compact cubic-inch like broadband spectrometer based on diffractive optics, and a spectrometer system based on Si-based TriPleX waveguide technology integrating the spectrometer onto a photonic integrated circuit. Source: Miniaturized light sources and spectrometers at full spectrumRelated StoriesCombining expansion microscopy with VR allows researchers to ‘step inside’ biological dataSpotlight on ECCMID 2019: Detecting Disease & Managing InfectionsMaking Laboratories More Efficient with the Most Modern LIMS on the MarketThe DRS (Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy) systems today use a commercial halogen-type light source and two spectrometer devices, one for the visible and near infrared region of the spectrum (using silicon based sensors) and one for the short wave infrared region above 1 um wavelength (using indium-gallium-arsenide sensors).Within the European Horizon 2020 project InSPECT, two new classes of spectrometer systems have been developed:last_img read more

Proteins moderating nicotine dependence may help fat cells burn energy

first_img Source: May 22 2018The same proteins that moderate nicotine dependence in the brain may be involved in regulating metabolism by acting directly on certain types of fat cells, new research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute shows.Previous research by LSI research assistant professor Jun Wu and others identified a new type of fat cell in mice and humans, in addition to the white fat cells that store energy as lipids. These thermogenic, or “beige,” fat cells can be activated to burn energy through a process called thermogenesis.To better understand what makes beige fat unique, Wu and her colleagues analyzed activated beige fat and uncovered a molecule directly linked to thermogenesis in these cells: CHRNA2 (for cholinergic receptor nicotinic alpha 2), a type of receptor that is best known for regulating nicotine dependence in brain cells.Their findings, scheduled to be published May 21 in Nature Medicine, reveal that CHRNA2 functions in mouse and human beige fat cells, but not in energy-storing white fat cells-;indicating that this protein plays a role in energy metabolism.This doesn’t mean that smoking is good for you, cautioned Wu, but the findings may help further explain some of the weight gain that is associated with smoking cessation. Research has shown that nicotine can suppress appetite. But by identifying how nicotine affects metabolism directly, this new study may open the door to more novel approaches to combating the weight gain that often occurs when individuals stop smoking.In research conducted in human and mouse cells and in genetically modified mice, Wu and her colleagues determined that CHRNA2 receptor proteins can be activated both by nicotine and by acetylcholine molecules produced by nearby immune cells. When the CHRNA2 protein receives the acetylcholine or nicotine, it stimulates the beige fat cells to start burning energy.Related StoriesReceptor in the uterus can detect sperm molecule, aids in sperm survivalAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyEffective stop smoking treatments less likely to be prescribed to people with mental health conditions”It is really cool to discover a selective pathway for beige fat, a new cell type-;and even more exciting that this is conserved in humans,” said Wu, the study’s senior author and assistant professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the U-M Medical School.To further test the role of CHRNA2 in metabolism, the researchers analyzed mice that lacked the gene needed to make this protein. “And the mice definitely are metabolically worse off, compared to the control group,” Wu said.Mice without the CHRNA2 gene showed no differences from the control group when they were fed a regular diet. But when they were switched to a high-fat diet, the mice lacking the gene exhibited greater weight gain, higher body fat content and higher levels of blood glucose and insulin-;indicators of diabetes.”Beige fat is very important in regulating whole-body metabolic health,” Wu said. “Our results in mice show that if you lose even one aspect of this regulation-;not the whole cell function, but just one part of its function-;you will have a compromised response to metabolic challenges.”Wu believes that understanding the specific CHRNA2 signaling pathway in beige fat also opens a new avenue for identifying druggable targets to treat obesity and metabolic syndrome.”This pathway is important from a basic research standpoint, but it also has relevance for metabolic and human health research,” she said. “The more we can narrow down a precise pathway for activating beige fat, the more likely we are to find an effective therapy for metabolic health that does not carry harmful side effects.”last_img read more

Serotonin stimulation may improve patience mice study shows

first_img Source: Jun 1 2018Just a little longer. It’s a common experience: hanging on in the hopes that our patience will pay off in the end. From waiting from a restaurant seat to queuing at a theme park, we’re all able to put our desire for immediate gratification to one side when we know there’s something good coming up. Most of the time. But this isn’t just a human trait – a new study shows that mice can be patient too, and reveals a link between the brain’s chemical system and the mice’s belief about how waiting will pay off.The effect of the neuromodulator serotonin on mice’s ability to stay patient when waiting for a reward is at the core of a new study published in Nature Communications. The authors, Dr. Katsuhiko Miyazaki and Dr. Kayoko Miyazaki, analyzed how the rodents behaved under the influence of serotonin, as part of a study conducted in the Neural Computation Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST).Serotonin is a chemical messenger that influences neuron functions. It has been linked to a huge array of behaviors, from mood and sleep, to cravings and spontaneity. The power of the chemical over human behavior has made it a key focus in the treatment of mental conditions, such as depression by selective serotonin receptor inhibitors (SSRIs), which slow down the reabsorption of serotonin and keep it active in the brain.”Serotonin has had a lot of study in pharmacology, and serotonergic drugs are commonly prescribed,” said Katsuhiko Miyazaki, “but the role that serotonin has over behavior isn’t clear”. The team investigated for a causal relationship between serotonin levels and behavior in mice.The mice were trained to perform a task to obtain a food reward: place their nose into a small hole and wait – dubbed a “nose poke”. After a pre-set duration, the reward was delivered. In a previous study, the team used a method called optogenetics, a method which allows scientist to use light to stimulate specific neurons with precise timing. These neurons are genetically modified to a produce a light-sensitive protein that are then stimulated by shining light along a fiber optic implanted in the brain. In the study, serotonin-producing neurons were optogenetically stimulated in a part of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), which output widely to the forebrain. The result was that increasing the activity of serotonin neurons in the DRN drastically increased the amount of time mice were willing to wait for a food reward.While the study showed that serotonin increased patience, the latest study tested whether mice respond similarly in circumstances when getting a reward was uncertain. Would mice wait for food regardless of the probability and timing of it turning up, or would they give up if they predicted a low chance of return on their time investment?Related StoriesDrinking Matcha tea may reduce anxious behavior, research showsScientists identify early signs of Parkinson’s disease years before symptoms developHarnessing target of the brain chemical serotonin to combat obesityThe new trials showed there are limits to serotonin’s ability to enhance patience. Mice were given a nose-poke trial with a 75% chance of a reward, with a 3 second waiting period before the reward was delivered. When these mice were subject to a no-reward outcome, their waiting time was prolonged, as expected from the previous paper. However, in tests where the chance of reward delivery following a nose-poke was 50% or 25%, increasing serotonin had no effect on the mice’ waiting time. “The patience effect only works when the mouse thinks there is a high probability of reward” said Dr Miyazaki.They also found that serotonin stimulation made the mice to wait longer when the timing of a reward was harder to predict. In a test with a 75% chance of getting a reward, in some sessions mice were rewarded after precise periods, while in other sessions they were rewarded after randomized timing. The extended waiting times by serotonin neuron stimulation were more prominent when the reward timing was randomized.To help explain the results of their experiment, the team constructed a computational model to coherently explain the experimental data. In the model, the mice were able to expect when a food reward would be delivered, and to judge when they were subject to a no-reward trial. The model could reproduce the experimental results by assuming that serotonin affects the mice’ confidence of receiving a reward when their subjective confidence is high. In a 75% reward probability trial, for example, serotonin made the mice behave as if there was a 95% chance of reward.The model also reproduced the result of timing uncertainty. When the mice were uncertain of the timing of when a reward would be delivered, it became difficult for them to judge whether they were waiting in a reward trial or no-reward trial. Serotonin stimulation increased the mice’s belief that they were in a reward trial, delaying their judgment further as reward timing was less clear.The findings show that the relationship between the activation of serotonin and subsequent behavior is highly dependent on the animals’ belief about the circumstances. These results may have implications for our understanding of how humans taking serotonin boosting drugs can also be affected. “This could help explain why combined treatment of depression with SSRIs and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is more effective than just SSRIs alone,” said Dr. Miyazaki. “The psychological boost of the therapy is enhanced by raised serotonin levels.”last_img read more

New nuclear medicine approach shows potential for precision treatment of solid tumors

first_imgJun 26 2018A novel nuclear medicine approach is showing great promise for precision treatment of solid tumors in many types of cancer–including lung, breast, pancreas and ovarian in adults and glioma, neuroblastoma and sarcoma in children. The research was presented today at the SNMMI 2018 Annual Meeting, June 23-26 in Philadelphia.In 2017, researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center developed a novel approach to pretargeted radioimmunotherapy (DOTA-PRIT) that demonstrated preclinically, complete responses, including cures, in several solid tumor types using the beta-emitting lutetium-177 (177Lu)-DOTA-hapten. In the research presented today, the researchers expanded the DOTA-PRIT approach to actinium-225 (225Ac), an alpha-emitting isotope.Related StoriesDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersGut-boosting food may put an end to childhood malnutrition worldwideDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosa”Targeted alpha radiotherapy has shown considerable promise for patients, especially for those with advanced castration-resistance prostate cancer,” said Steven M Larson, MD and Sarah M. Cheal, PhD, of the Program in Molecular Pharmacology and Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. “By combining DOTA-PRIT with 225Ac-proteus-DOTA hapten, we can potentially target a wide array of cancer types for which we have validated DOTA-PRIT bispecific antibodies (GD2-expressing, HER2-expressing, and GPA33-expressing cancers).”DOTA-PRIT has a major advantage over other forms of radioimmunotherapy because of its very high ability to deliver radiation to tumors while sparing normal tissues, such as kidney and bone marrow. Larson and Cheal explained, “Creating a targeting alpha radiohapten greatly expands the potential for killing small nests of cells and even single cancer cells, which is likely to be important early in the course of metastatic spread.”Researchers synthesized proteus-DOTA, radiolabeled it with 225Ac, and conducted in vitro and in vivo studies of a mouse model with colorectal cancer to determine if pretargeting the tumor with 225c-proteus-DOTA hapten was feasible. A toxicity study was performed in normal tumor-free athymic nude mice with varying dose levels of 225Ac-proteus-DOTA given as a single intravenous injection. Mice were monitored daily for 145 days post-injection and weighed up to twice weekly for evidence of treatment-induced toxicity.Researchers found that their new approach, 225Ac-proteus-DOTA, mimics the behavior of the previously developed approach, 177Lu-DOTA-hapten, with high tumor uptake, minimal accumulation in normal tissue, good whole-body clearance, no acute toxicity and no chronic radiation damage (see figure below). In addition, the new approach offers greater versatility of treatment for a wide variety of solid tumors and clinical situations.Larson and Cheal pointed out, “When solid tumors spread beyond surgical control, they are the deadliest tumors for cancer patients. Using the DOTA-PRIT approach, we hope to greatly expand the potential of delivering precision radioimmunotherapy to human solid tumors.” Source: read more

Finnish researchers gain new insights on brain activity during general anesthesia

first_imgJul 3 2018Finnish researchers have gained new information on brain activity during general anesthesia by recording changes in the electrical activity of the brain. They discovered that changes in electroencephalogram correlated with the loss of consciousness itself and also by the non-specific effects of the drugs. Nearly all participants recalled dreaming during unresponsiveness and, somewhat surprisingly, words presented during anesthesia were still processed in the brain even though the participants were unable to recall them later.When people are administered an anesthetic, they seem to lose consciousness – or at least they stop reacting to their environment. But is consciousness lost fully during anesthesia or does consciousness persist in the brain but in an altered state? This question has been explored in the joint research project “The Conscious Mind: Integrating subjective phenomenology with objective measurements” of the University of Turku and the Hospital District of Southwest Finland studying neural mechanisms of human consciousness. In the study, the changes caused by the anesthetics were monitored with electroencephalogram (EEG) and positron emission tomography (PET).The study is a joint project between the research group of Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Anaesthesiologist Harry Scheinin studying anesthesia mechanisms, and the research group of Professor of Psychology Antti Revonsuo studying human consciousness and brain from the point of view of philosophy and psychology. The study was conducted in collaboration with investigators from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the University of California, Irvine, USA. The latest research findings in the project have been published as four different publications in the July issues of the two leading journals in anesthesiology. The main funders of the project are the Academy of Finland and Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.Brain Dreams and Processes Words during AnaesthesiaIn the first part of the study, healthy voluntary participants were anesthetized either with dexmedetomidine or propofol. The drugs were administered with computer-driven target-controlled infusions until the subject just barely lost responsiveness. From this state, the subjects could be woken up with light shaking or a loud voice without changing the drug infusion. Immediately after the subjects regained responsiveness, they were asked whether they experienced anything during the anesthesia period.- Nearly all participants reported dream-like experiences that sometimes mixed with the reality, says Professor Revonsuo.The subjects were played Finnish sentences during the anesthesia, half of which ended as expected (congruent) and half in an unexpected (incongruent) word, such as “The night sky was filled with shimmering tomatoes”. Normally, when a person is awake, the unexpected word causes a response in the EEG, which reflects how the brain processes the meaning of the sentence and word. The researchers tested whether the subjects detected and understood words or entire sentences while under anesthesia.- The responses in the EEG showed that the brain cannot differentiate between normal and bizarre sentences when under anesthesia. When we used dexmedetomidine, also the expected words created a significant response, meaning that the brain was trying to interpret the meaning of the words. However, after the participants woke from the anesthesia, they did not remember the sentences they had heard and the results were the same with both drugs, says Senior Researcher, Adjunct Professor Katja Valli who participated in the study.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersThe subjects were also played unpleasant sounds during the anesthesia. After the subjects woke up, the sounds were played again and, surprisingly, they reacted faster to these sounds than to new sounds they had not heard before. The subjects who were given dexmedetomidine also recognized the played sounds better than by chance, even though they could not recall them spontaneously.- In other words, the brain can process sounds and words even though the subject did not recall it afterwards. Against common belief, anesthesia does not require full loss of consciousness, as it is sufficient to just disconnect the patient from the environment, explains Dr. Scheinin.The Applied Study Design Enabled Separation of Consciousness from Other Drug EffectsThe perceived changes in the EEG were mostly similar to earlier studies. However, the current study used constant infusion both when the participants were asleep and awake, which enabled the researchers to differentiate the effects of the drugs on consciousness from other possible direct or indirect effects. Partly because these effects get mixed, it is still a great challenge to estimate the depth of anesthesia during surgery.The project also studied the effects of four different anesthetics on regional cerebral glucose metabolism with PET imaging. The findings alleviated the concern for potential harmful effects of dexmedetomidine on the ratio of cerebral blood flow and metabolism. In the future, the project will further analyze the association between cerebral blood flow or metabolism and the state of consciousness.Consciousness Is in a Dream-like State during AnaesthesiaAll in all, the findings indicate that consciousness is not necessarily fully lost during anesthesia, even though the person is no longer reacting to their environment. However, dream-like experiences and thoughts might still float in consciousness. The brain might still register speech and try to decipher words, but the person will not understand or remember them consciously, and the brain cannot construe full sentences from them.- The state of consciousness induced by anesthetics can be similar to natural sleep. While sleeping, people dream and the brain observes the occurrences and stimuli in their environment subconsciously, summarises Professor Revonsuo.- Anesthesia could resemble normal sleep more than we have previously thought, adds Dr. Scheinin. read more