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TB’s links to diabetes

first_imgAs the global obesity epidemic grows, researchers are looking worriedly at burgeoning rates of diabetes — a top risk factor for tuberculosis — and wondering if the number of TB cases will rise, too.Though infectious diseases such as tuberculosis are often thought of as being fundamentally different from chronic diseases related to lifestyle, such as diabetes and heart disease, a growing body of research indicates that the two are tied together in ways not completely understood but likely related to the body’s immune response and the metabolic effects of fat tissue.Researchers gathered at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge last Thursday to share insights into those links and to foster collaboration that might help unravel what’s happening.“The No. 1 risk factor for TB globally is not HIV, it’s diabetes,” said Sarah Fortune, the Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases.Fortune’s comments opened the Seventh Annual New England Tuberculosis Symposium at the Broad Institute. The all-day session attracted researchers from across New England, which Fortune said may hold the largest concentration of TB researchers in the world.Called “TB in the 21st Century: The Convergence of Infectious and Metabolic Diseases,” the symposium focused squarely on the links among TB, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases. The session featured speakers from the New England TB community as well as guests from South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, the University of New Mexico, and Cornell University.Fortune said the symposium “has the goal of bringing people together and driving research forward. We want to be at the cutting edge.”The speakers addressed a variety of technical issues, including energy metabolism, the immune impact of dietary restriction, the role of inflammatory molecules during infection, and the search for new anti-TB drugs.Amy Barczak, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and researcher at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, described a new way to search for drug candidates, which she used to identify a handful that are promising. The slow rate of drug discovery is worrisome, she said, because it is being outpaced by the development of resistance in tuberculosis bacteria.“It’s very sobering to look at this scenario and see we’re not keeping up with new drug development,” Barczak said.Adrie Steyn, an investigator at the Kwazulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, talked about the possible link between cigarette smoking and the development of drug-resistant TB. Smoking, like diabetes and HIV, is a risk factor for developing TB, and Steyn pointed out that cigarette smoke has long been known to contain compounds that help cause DNA to mutate.The event honored HSPH’s 100th anniversary, which is being celebrated this year. Former dean Barry Bloom, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Professor of Public Health, offered reflections on tuberculosis research. And Gokhan Hotamisligil, chair of the School’s Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases and the J.S. Simmons Professor of Genetics and Metabolism, served as the event’s centennial speaker, offering perspectives on metabolism and immunity.Links between those biological processes have been known for some time, Hotamisligil said. Researchers have long known that malnutrition can interfere with the body’s immune response and increase susceptibility to infection. Similarly, links between diabetes and immunity have been noticed before, though with gangrene, not TB. Physicians in the 1940s noticed that a diabetic patient who developed gangrene needed much more insulin each day.Hotamisligil said it is troubling that the obesity epidemic is now beginning to take hold in developing countries with little medical infrastructure.“What it means is that many, many hundreds of millions of people will be left with no treatment. So the problem is immense,” Hotamisligil said.last_img read more

“Cloud-like” – Is Your Data Center Ready for the Plunge?

first_imgCloud is just about everywhere and in most companies’ strategies. However, getting and moving to cloud doesn’t always happen as quickly as we hope. The larger your infrastructure is, the more detail is required to plan and migrate while minimizing disruptions to daily operations.But is cloud, specifically public cloud, the best approach for every need, every application, and every company? Or is “cloud-like” a better route?As IT administrators evaluate their cloud options, they may find a number of criteria to support moving to public cloud. They may also find some aspects that are not so favorable. Security, data ownership or data lock-in, flexibility, choice of platforms, available applications, and so forth -– these are some of the key aspects to consider when moving from an on-premises environment, and which may prevent you from fully migrating certain applications, data, and policies to public cloud. But you still want all of the benefits that come with cloud.Enter “Cloud-like”A cloud-like approach could mean evaluating different options to obtain public cloud benefits – such as scalability, economics, flexibility, manageability – but without some of the risks or downsides you have discovered about public cloud for your business, infrastructure and workforce. Perhaps your IT organization knows that running certain workloads with on-premises servers will always provide faster results than cloud instances. Maybe IT also believes that maintaining the data close to compute/servers and not incurring data transfer costs or lock-in will reduce latencies and budgets over the long term. Or it could be that IT really wants to secure data and meet in-region compliance requirements for data privacy, for example, without risking data migration to or in the cloud. Unique scenarios indicate a cloud-like approach could benefit IT as they engage in hybrid IT models.Let’s evaluate servers in a cloud-like approach. To leverage servers in this scenario, a consumption component must be considered to deliver cloud-like economics. This can include approaches like metered consumption or pay-as-you-go, without embarking on buying servers. This approach would also mimic cloud, paying for CPU cycles when needed.Another aspect is how to ensure servers can scale in performance to tackle real-time burst demands for processing data. An expanded capacity (“bursting”) option could be useful.And with servers and data on-premises, businesses can experience cloud-like flexibility while reducing risk of outage or breaches while keeping latency low.Dell Technologies Flexible Consumption for Dell EMC PowerEdge servers enables cloud-like aspects as described prior. This solution from Dell Financing Services can enable you to get the technology you need today to drive business outcomes and predict your IT spend. One of the Flexible consumption solutions include Flex on Demand, which helps you address business requirements with payments that scale up or down to match your usage.*Deliver a similar, “cloud-like” experience on-premiseNot only does Flex on Demand provide a consumption model which is cloud-like while giving you the servers you want with all the bells-and-whistles and full management by Dell, but Flex on Demand also helps IT scenarios such as:Datacenter extension – whether consolidating colocation or hosted operations back into the domain to reduce costs or seeking to support additional workloads for a set period of time (months to years), IT can readily reduce external factors and maintain full control over operations without management overhead.Secured, fully independent environments – ideal for in-region or country requirements to support global privacy, security, compliance standards, servers in a Flexible Consumption program are fully isolated but fully manageable to support global business needsMixed workloads and mixed volatility – real-time, demanding, volatile and retail applications often push servers to maximum operations for a short time before settling back to a normal cycle. A dedicated Flex on Demand approach separates this strain from your infrastructure, and provides the right-sized server choices for your workloads, allowing for these bursts of activity as they appear.With Flex on Demand, IT has an additional consumption approach to obtaining the best PowerEdge servers for their applications, and in a cloud-like economics fashion.Now you have more choices to select the best compute nodes for your business needs. AMD-based PowerEdge servers with Flex on Demand provide new configurations for deployments including web front-ends, cloud hosting servers, and other high-demand, high-transaction environments. Furthermore, Flex on Demand is also available for Dell vSAN ready nodes, further extending the value of cloud-like consumption into your operations model. Learn more about PowerEdge servers and Flex on Demand here.Flex on Demand is a key offer and part of the larger Dell Technologies on Demand portfolio, enabling innovative, consumption-based payment solutions. For more information, learn more about Flexible Consumption here.* Payment solutions provided and serviced by Dell Financial Services L.L.C. or its affiliate or designee (“DFS”) for qualified customers. Offers may not be available or may vary in certain countries. Where available offers may be changed without notice and are subject to product availability, applicable law, credit approval, documentation provided by and acceptable to DFS and may be subject to minimum transaction size. Offers not available for personal, family or household use. Dell EMC and the Dell EMC logo are trademarks of Dell Inc. Restrictions and additional requirements may apply to transactions with governmental or public entities. Flexible Consumption: At the end of the initial term customer may 1) extend original term or 2) return the equipment to DFS.last_img read more

What New York really needs is meaningful (and real) mandate relief for local governments

first_imgCategories: Opinion, Schenectady CountyThe governor recently announced that he would not sign a budget agreement without the tax cap being made permanent. Which is fine since the tax cap is nothing more than a public relations tool used to try to trick the residents into thinking that state politicians are actually doing something to address the high property taxes in New York.Spoiler alert: They’re not.Despite his theatrics, it’s interesting to watch the powerful Andrew Cuomo blame everyone else for the high taxes in this state except himself. He tries to get you to believe that it’s the federal government’s fault, or the local government’s fault, or the counties’ fault; even the weather’s fault, but certainly not his fault. We live in a one-party, top-down, command and control, Democrat-led state government and he is trying to get you to believe that he’s unable to fix any of the financial problems plaguing the state.The fact is that the state’s tax cap does nothing to address the underlying issue that is driving up the cost of government: state mandates. It’s expensive to do business in New York and that’s true for the private sector as much as it is for the local governments across the state. There are many reasons for this, but the most impactful are the many mandates that the state pushes down to local government.I’ll address the latest one to come out of Albany, voter reform.New York lawmakers passed a package of voter reforms recently which includes a provision that would require polls to be open a full 10 days prior to the actual Election Day. While any reform that increases voter access to the polls is good – as long as the state places the proper protections against fraud – this reform would place a financial burden on local governments. In this state, counties are responsible for registering voters and actually holding elections, but that doesn’t mean the county pays for it. In counties like Schenectady, the costs of all elections are pushed down to the town level as a “budgetary pass through.” This means the county racks up the bill and the local property taxpayer pays it. Now with this early voting reform, the governor and Legislature are piling on the costs that will eventually hit all taxpayers.Elections weren’t always so expensive to run. The truth is that there was a time when towns ran elections and were responsible for the spending. In 2005, for example, when the towns ran elections in this county, the total annual cost for the town of Glenville was just $42,000. Then, the county took over running the Board of Elections and promised lower costs that would be realized due to savings from “consolidation.” Who could argue against the efficiencies of consolidation, right? Well, fast forward to 2019 when the county charged the town almost $400,000 for elections. That’s a 10-fold increase in costs in the 14 years since the county took over running the Board of Elections.Now, we will have to add the costs of the unfunded mandate called voter reform that the state just dumped on us. Exactly what that cost may be has not been articulated or even considered by lawmakers in Albany and few are really sure how much this will end up costing. We know that increased costs of manpower to staff polling places and other operational costs will likely push an additional $500,000 or so onto the local governments. That means that early voting will likely cost the taxpayer an additional 2% in new property taxes. All this “reform” has led to one thing: The taxpayer paying more in property taxes thanks to the endless unfunded mandates that the state pushes on local governments that cause higher property tax bills. If state lawmakers want to increase access to the polls, they should pay for it. Otherwise it’s just another unfunded mandate.Placing a tax cap on local governments without simultaneously enacting meaningful mandate relief is morally wrong and will eventually bankrupt our communities…but, sure, maybe it is just the weather driving everyone out after all. Chris Koetzle is the supervisor of the town of Glenville and the acting chairman of the Schenectady County Republican Party.More from The Daily Gazette:Capital Region COVID-19 Tracker for Friday, Oct. 16, by countyEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…Schenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentslast_img read more