Sipas studimit: Në Kosovë mbi 40 % e popullatës janë me çrregullime mendore

Një studim i madh epidemiologjik i kryer në Ballkan gjeti një përfshirje në çrregullimet të ndjenjave dhe ankthit përkatësisht prej 47.6% dhe 41.8%, në 648 të rritur Kosovarë (Priebe et al., 2010)

Shkruan: Kushtrim Islami

A mund të kenë shkaktuar traumat e konfliktit të para 20 viteve efekte serioze në Kosovë, sa i kushtojnë shoqërisë? A i ka ri-sjellë pandemia e Kovid 19 këto trauma? Një studim e thekson se trauma kolektive me efekte afatgjate në Kosovë e kalon 41 %, (mbi 740 000 qytetarë të Kosovës) kurse një studim tjetër tregon se është më shumë e shprehur në Kosovë se në Ruandë, ku kishte ndodhur gjenocid gjatë viteve 90-të.

Nëse vjen një person nga një vend i huaj, ska nevojë as të dal nga vetura, nëse vozitë brenda ditës p.sh. në qytetin e Prishtinës, që të përballet me sjellje të acaruara dhe agresive, të cilat në ndonjë vend tjetër thjesht nuk do të haseshin, të pakten jo në atë intenzitet. Në Kosovë poashtu ka pasur, dhe ka ende, personalitete që janë me çrregullime psikologjike, që kanë qenë apo janë në pozita të rëndësishme vendimmarrëse. Çrregullimi i stresit posttraumatik pas stresit intensiv është një rrezik qe ndikon ne ndryshime afatgjate të personalitetit, me pasoja të rënda individuale dhe sociale.

Duke qenë i angazhuar në ngritjen e kapaciteteve organizative për më shumë se 15 vite, gjatë observimeve, në vazhdimësi faktorët psikologjik dilnin dominues e që bazuar në disa studime nga bota akademike, këto çrregullime lënë pasoja serioze afatgjate. Ajo që fillimisht më ka shtyer ta kuptoj këtë problematikë, ishin disa tregues që shfaqeshin vazhdimisht, që sugjeronin se individët që kishin pasuar trauma gjatë luftës së fundit 98-99 në Kosovë, apo edhe pas saj, shprehnin mangësi në nxënie të informatave, që mund të kuptohet edhe pjesërisht si stagnim intelektual.

Një studim i madh nga Qendra Mjekësore e Universitetit Columbia Irving, tregoi se një nga simptomat më të përhapura të Çrregullimi i stresit posttraumatik nuk ndërlidhet vetëm drejtpërdrejt me emocionet: individët që vuajnë nga një çrregullim i lidhur me stresin përjetojnë vështirësi njohëse duke filluar nga humbja e kujtesës deri tek aftësia e dëmtuar për të mësuar gjëra të reja.

Një studim i madh epidemiologjik i kryer në Ballkan gjeti një përfshirje në çrregullimet të ndjenjave dhe ankthit përkatësisht prej 47.6% dhe 41.8%, në 648 të rritur Kosovarë (Priebe et al., 2010).

Dy sondazhe u kryen, një në Kosovë, 8 vjet pas luftës dhe tjetra në Ruandë, 14 vjet pas gjenocidit. Proporcionet e pjesëmarrësve që plotësuan kriteret diagnostike për Çrregullimin i stresit posttraumatik (PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) dhe Episodit madhor depresiv (Ang. MDE -Major Depressive Episode) ishin 33.0% në Kosovë dhe 31.0% në Ruandë. PTSD-ja dhe MDE-ja e shoqëruar ishin të shoqëruara me ulje të rezultateve të shëndetit mendor dhe fizik në të dy mjediset, por ky studim e cek se efektet ishin dukshëm më të mëdha në Kosovë sesa në Ruandë.

Më e keqja është se në Kosovë, për më shumë se 20 vite askush nga faktorët vendorë nuk janë marrë me këtë problem serioz të shëndetit mendor, që ka lënë pasoja si të natyrës psikologjike poashtu edhe të asaj edukative. Siç duket, edhe hulumtimet lidhur me çrregullimet e stresit posttraumatik që ishin bërë në Kosovë, me qëllim apo jo, nuk e kishin marrë jehonën e nevojshme. Mund të ketë qenë ndonjë prapavijë politike që ta ketë ndaluar, për te mos krijuar panik kolektiv, që do të mund ta acaronte një qetësi të domosdoshme të pas luftës, të fuqizuar nga vetë faktori ndërkombetar. 

(Autori është magjistër në Menaxhimin e Njohurive në Universitetin Robert Gordon, Mbretëria e Bashkuar)

Postime të ngjashme

Gabimi i mjekut të përgjithshëm dhe familjar rreth kolikës abdominale dhe kolikës renale

 

Dhimbja e barkut, Dhembja e barkut, Kolika Abdominale, Colica Abdominalis, Dhembja e barkut Gastroenterologu, Kirurgu Abdominal, Mjeku Emergjent

Shkruan: Leutrim Maxhuni

Kohët e fundit është bërë praktikë e gabuar nga ana e Mjekut të Përgjithshëm dhe
Familjar(pjesa më e madhe e tyre) për kolikën abdominale (dhimbjes së
barkut) dhe kolikën renale (dhimbjes së veshkave ose organeve të traktit urinar) rreth trajtimit të saj
dhe udhëzimit te Gastroenterologu, Kirurgu abdominal apo Urologu. 



 Në shumicën e rasteve mjekët e përgjithshëm dhe mjekët familjar(shumica e tyre) bëjnë gabim
fatal profesional kur çdo pacient/e me dhimbje të barkut e udhëzojnë te
Kirurgu Abdominal duke menduar që çdo dhembje e barkut ka natyrë
kirurgjike dhe sipas tyre çdo pacient të cilit i dhemb barku duhet të operohet (çfarë gabimi trashanik profesional).

Nëse pacienti me dhimbje barku nuk mund t’a menagjoni atëherë duhet të udhëzohet te Gastroenterologu sepse diagnostikën e dhimbjes së barkut e bën Gastroenterologu dhe jo Kirurgu Abdominal. Kirurgu Abdominal merret me operacione dhe jo me diagnostikë.

Nëse pacientin me dhimbje të barkut (Colica abdominalis) e udhëzoni menjëherë te Kirurgu Abdominal atëherë ju me atë udhëzim për pacientin keni vendosur që menjëherë të shkojë në sallë të operacionit sepse vet fjala Kirurg ka të bëjë me një specialist i cili kryen operacione. 

Pra sipas mjekëve të përgjithshëm dhe Specialistëve të Mjekësisë Familjare çdo pacient i cili ka dhimbje të barkut ose Colica Abdominalis duhet të operohet që në të vërtetë është një gabim tepër i madh dhe mund të ndiqeni penalisht për këtë konstatim sepse t’a dërgosh pacientin me dhimbje barku direkt te Kirugu Abdominal për operacion pa pasur ose pa konstatuar sëmundje akute kirurgjike abdominale vërtetë është vepër penale.

Rreth diagnostikës së dhembjes së barkut merret mjeku i përgjithshëm, mjeku familjar, mjeku emergjent dhe Gastroenterologu. Nëse mjekët e cekur konstatojnë(me ekzaminimet e realizuara fizike, laboratorike dhe imazherike) që pacienti duhet të operohet atëherë dërgohet te Kirugu Abdominal.

Nëse ka ndonjë
dyshim rreth dhimbjes së barkut në vend që pacientin ta ekzaminojnë
fillimisht dhe të bëjnë ekzaminime laboratorike dhe imazherike ose t’a trajtojnë me medikamente, ata menjëherë shkruajnë
udhëzimin. Gabimi tjetër është se në vend që pacientin me dhimbje barku
t’a udhëzojnë te Gastroenterologu ata e udhëzojnë menjëherë te Kirurgu
duke menduar që çdo kolikë abdominale(dhimbje e barkut) ka origjinë kirurgjike dhe duhet të operohet(çfarë gabimi katastrofal).

Kolikën abdominale të dyshimtë udhëzojeni te Gastroenterologu pastaj
nëse Gastroenterologu diagnostikon ndonjë sëmundje me natyrë Kirurgjike
abdominale e udhëzon te Kirurgu Abdominal për intervenim kirurgjik.



Gabimi tjetër edhe më i madh i mjekut të përgjithshëm dhe familjar është udhëzimi i
kolikave renale ose dhimbjes së barkut në regjionin lumbal(lateral) të
majtë ose të djathtë te Kirurgu në vend se të udhëzohet te Urologu.



Poashtu gabimet janë edhe se pacientët udhëzohen menjëherë pa u
kontrolluar fare, pa e pyetur fare për ankesat dhe paraqitjen e
sëmundjes dhe pa e trajtuar fare pacientin për sëmundjen përkatëse qoftë
në formë të injeksioneve (spazmolitikë, analgjetikë), infuzioneve apo per os.



Sikur çdo dhembje e barkut të kishte natyrë kirurgjike atëhërë nuk do
të mjaftonin as 500 Spitale Rajonale e Klinika Universitare për
pacientët që do të operoheshin. 

Pra pacienti me dhimbje të barkut udhëzohet te Gastroenterologu për diagnostikim të mëtejmë dhe jo te Kirurgu Abdominal.

Postime të ngjashme

Reagon Oda e Mjekëve të Kosovës për suspendimin dhe arrestimin e mjekut në Podujevë: Iu bë padrejtësi


Gjatë mbrëmjes së djeshme, nëpër rrjetet shoqërore, ka qarkulluar një video ku shihet doktori Ibrahim Hoti duke mos pranuar t’i japë shërbime mjekësore një qytetari, me arsyetimin se ai tashmë e ka përfunduar orarin e punës.

Pas kësaj sjelljeje të mjekut të Qendrës së Mjekësisë Familjare në Podujevë, është marrë vendimi që mjeku në fjalë të suspendohet nga puna dhe të arrestohet.

Këtë vendim në raport me Hotin po e sheh si të padrejtë Oda e Mjekëve të Kosovës e cila thotë se atij s’ i është dhënë kurrfarë mundësie sqarimi për situatën dhe s’ janë zhvilluar hetime paraprake për të.

Ata më tutje kërkojnë nga autoritetet e hetuesisë në komunën e Podujevës që ta lirojnë Hotin derisa të verifikohet rasti, në të kundërt s’ përjashtohet edhe ndërmarrja e masave sipas legjislacionit në fuqi nga ta.

Postimi i tyre i plotë:

Reagim ndaj suspendimit dhe arrestimit të Dr. Ibrahim Hotit, mjek pranë QKMF-Podujevë

Oda e Mjekëve të Kosovës e ka ndjekur me shqetësim ngjarjen e ndodhur ditën e djeshme në Qendrën e Mjekësisë Familjare në qytetin e Podujevës. Me këtë rast, OMK vlerëson se anëtarit të saj, Dr. Ibrahim Hotit, i është bërë padrejtësi duke e suspenduar nga vendi i punës dhe duke e arrestuar pa iu dhënë mundësia e sqarimit dhe pa u zhvilluar hetime paraprake dhe të nevojshme dhe vërtetuar se a janë respektuar protokolet mjekësore gjatë trajtimit të pacientit në fjalë.

Ky veprim i padrejtë i institucioneve të sundimit të ligjit ka bërë që me qindra pacientë të mbesin në kohë pandemie pa marrë shërbime dhe trajtim specifik në këtë kohë pandemie.

OMK i bën thirrje autoriteteve të hetuesisë dhe nivelit komunal të Komunës së Podujevës që para se të ndërmarrin veprime spektakolare duke arrestuar një mjekë pa respektuar ecuritë verifikuese mbi respektimin e protokoleve mjekësore të bëjë lirimin e menjëhershëm të Dr. Hotit deri në verifikimin e rastit, përndryshe neve si përfaqësues të komunitetit të mjekëve, edhe në kushte pandemie, do të detyrohemi për ndërmarrjen e masave sipas legjislacionit në fuqi.

OMK qëndron fort prapa zbatimit të ligjeve dhe Kodit të deontologjisë mjekësore por edhe në ngritjen e zërit dhe ndërmarrjen e veprimeve në mbrojtjen e komunitettit në rast të ndërmarrjes së masave arbitrare dhe denigruese ndaj kolegëve tonë.

Oda e Mjekëve të Kosovës

Ibrahim Hoti punonte si pulmolog në QKMF të Podujevës

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Vetitë e propolisit për shëndetin oral


Benefitet e propolisit për shëndetin oral njihen tashmë. Falë kompozimit të tij të veçantë farmakologjik që përfshin flavonoidet, acidet fenolike e të tjera—ai përdoret prej vitesh për të mbrojtur dhëmbët dhe gingivat. Preparatet me bazë propolisi gjejnë përdorim të gjerë në fushën stomatologjike. Në përgjithësi shfrytëzohen për vetitë antimikrobiale, antivirale, analgjezike dhe anti-inflamatore.

Jo të gjithë e dinë që propolisi përdoret për të parandaluar kariesin dhe sëmundjet paradontale. Ja cilat janë disa nga përfitimet e tij kryesore në këë fushë:

-Parandalon kariesin dentar

-Ka benefite në sëmundjet paradontale duke parandaluar humbjen e kockës

-Veprim anti-inflamator

-Aktivitet anti-viral

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Dalin fotot, Brad Pitt shfaqet në karrige me rrota, por s’ do ta besoni arsyen


Aktori i njohur Brad Pitt është shfaqur sëfundmi në një karrige me rrota.

s’ do ta besoni, por ka qenë një dhëmballë e hequr që aktorin e ka bërë që të mos ecë vetë, por të shtyhet nga truproja e tij në një karrige me rrota.

Mësohet se ai vetëm e ka hequr dhëmballën dhe s’ kishte asnjë problem tjetër përveç “punës stomatologjike”.

Në përpjekje për të mos u dukur si ai, Brad mbante kapuçin në kokë, një palë syze dhe një maskë mbi gojën dhe hundën e tij.

Mesa duket aktori që e kemi ndjekur të gjithë s’ qenka dhe aq “trim” sa duket në filma.

j.l./ dita

Postime të ngjashme

Gjendet pa shenja jete një 28 vjeçar te stacioni i trenit në Fushë Kosovë, dyshohet se kreu vetëvrasje


Një 28 vjeçar me inicialet A.T, dyshohet se ka vrarë veten në parking të stacionit të trenit në Fushë Kosovë.

Lajmin për Telegrafin e ka konfirmuar zëdhënësja e policisë, Flora Ahmeti.

Ahmeti ka thënë se policia është duke e hetuar rastin si “vdekje e dyshimtë”, përkundër që ka elemente që sugjerojnë për një vetëvrasje të mundshme.

“Sot rreth orës 01:00, në stacionin policor të Fushë Kosovës është hap një rast vdekje e dyshimtë. Rasti ka ndodhë mbrëmë rreth orës 23:30, në parking të stacionit të trenit në Fushë Kosovë.

Mbështetur në të dhënat fillestare të këqyrjes së vendit të dukurisë përkundër që ka elemente që sugjerojnë për një vetëvrasje të mundshme, policia me kujdes të shtuar po heton rastin si vdekje të dyshimtë dhe po ndërmerr të gjitha veprimet e duhura hetimore dhe ato forenzike – te ekzaminimit që do ti ndihmonin hetimit të dukurisë dhe sqarimit e ndriçimit të plotë të rastit.

Trupi i pajetë i viktimës A.T (mashkull) 28 vjeç, është dërguar për obduksion në Institutin e Mjekësisë Ligjore”, ka thënë Ahmeti. 

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Nga e hëna mësimi do të zhvillohet në shkolla pa kufizime


Ministrja e Arsimit, Abrërie Nagavci, ka njoftuar se nga e hëna në të gjitha nivelet e arsimit parauniversitar mësimi do të vazhdojë pa kufizime për pjesëmarrje fizike të nxënësve në shkolla.

Nagavci me anë të një postimi në Facebook, ka shkruar se ky vendim është marrë në bashkëpunim me IKSHPK-në dhe Ministrinë e Shëndetësisë.

“Komunat dhe shkollat do të vendosin të punojnë sipas njërit nga skenarët A, B ose C, varësisht prej situatës me pandeminë”, ka shkruar Nagavci.

Postimi i plotë:

Nga e hëna, me 19 prill, në të gjitha nivelet e arsimit parauniversitar mësimi do të vazhdojë pa kufizime për pjesëmarrje fizike të nxënësve në shkolla.

Në bashkëpunim me institucionet përgjegjëse, IKSHPK-në e Ministrinë e Shëndetësisë kemi marrë vendim që nxënësit të rikthehen në objekte shkollore.

Komunat dhe shkollat do të vendosin të punojnë sipas njërit nga skenarët A, B ose C, varësisht prej situatës me pandeminë.

Komunat kanë njoftuar se janë të gatshme të vazhdojnë procesin mësimor sipas këtij vendimi, ndërsa gjatë fundjavës do të vazhdohet me dezinfektimin e objekteve shkollore dhe do të jenë gati për vazhdimin e mësimit me pjesëmarrje fizike të nxënësve.

Ftoj nxënësit, mësimdhënësit, prindërit dhe të gjithë akterët e përfshirë në procesin mësimor, që të respektojnë me përpikëri masat kundër pandemisë.

Shëndet e suksese! 

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Lenjani: Efektet anësore të vaksinës mund të zgjasin deri në 12 orë, të sëmurët të konsultohen para vaksinimit


Drejtori i Klinikës Emergjente, Basri Lenjani, tha se pandemia e ka penguar shërbimin emergjent, posaqë aty trajton pacientët me lëndime nga më të ndryshmet.

Ai në një intervistë për Ekonomia Online tha se Klinika Emergjente iu ka dhënë prioritet të gjitha rasteve, si: goditjet në tru, zemër, gjendjeve aksidentale etj.

Mes tjerash, Lenjani shtoi se mund të ketë ndëshkime për mjekët të cilët dërgojnë pacientin pa ndonjë kriter në nivelin e shërbimit dytësor.

“Po, e ka penguar shërbimin emergjent. Në rastet e sëmundjeve të cilat kërkojnë trajtim mjekësor në shërbimin klinik emergjent posaqë shërbimi klinik emergjent përveç sëmundjeve, lëndimeve dhe helmimeve është ballafaquar edhe me pritjen e të sëmurëve me Covid-19.

Po ashtu shumica e klinikave janë të stërmbushura me pacientë të cilët vuajnë nga COVID dhe zakonisht këtyre pacientëve u është humbur e drejtë për tu pranuar në spital për shkak të mungesës së vendeve”, theksoi Lenjani.

“Në kuadër të Komitetit të shërbimit spitalor iu kemi dhënë prioritet të gjitha rasteve si goditjet në tru, zemër, gjendjeve aksidentale. Mendoj se pa një sistem të mirëfilltë të referimit dhe mjekët të cilët e dërgojnë pa ndonjë kriter në nivelit e shërbimit dytësor mund të ndëshkohen sipas ligjit që e përcakton ligji për shëndetësi. Me kusht që s’ do të kemi ndëshkime në aspektin e sistemit të referimit s’ mund të dërgohet një i sëmurë i cili më parë s’ ka kryer asnjë ekzaminim në nivelin parësor dhe dytësor e ngarkojnë shërbimin klinik emergjent”, tha ai.

Sipas tij, në bazë të ligjit për kujdesin emergjent mjekësor Klinika Emergjente ka në dispozicion 50 lloje të barnave të listës emergjente, duke shtuar se mungojnë stoqet rezervë.

“Deri tani klinika është e pajisur me pajisje mjekësore dhe me barna të natyrës emergjente. Në bazë të ligjit për kujdesin emergjent mjekësor klinika emergjente ka në dispozicion 50 barna të listës emergjente. Këto barna aplikohen në mënyrë ampulare”.

Lenjani ka folur edhe për vaksinën antiCOVID-19. Ai tha se marrja e vaksinës mund të ketë efekte të përgjithshme si të një gripi sezonal me kokë dhimbje, gjë e cila mund të zgjasë 12 orë.

ndërsa, ai apeloi te personat që kanë probleme me zemër, tru, enë të gjakut dhe sëmundje të mushkërive të konsultohen me mjekun e tyre në mënyrë që të mosvije te ndonjë ndërlikim.

“Secila klinikë ka dërguar listën e punëtorëve mjekë infermierë dhe stafit mbështetës. Unë si drejtor klinike jam vaksinuar me vaksinën kundër COVID-19 dhe pranë 50 % kanë marrë vaksinën dhe shpresojmë që në ditët në vazhdim edhe personeli tjetër do të marrin vaksinën posaqë mund të ketë efekte lokale dhe mund të ketë ndonjë efekt të përgjithshëm po zakonisht janë emetim të një gripi sezonal me kokë dhimbje, me temperaturë, dhimbje muskulore dhe shpeshherë mund të ketë me marramendje”.

Ai tha se këto efekte mund të zgjasin jo më tepër se 12 orë.

“Por këto efekte mund të zgjasin jo më tepër se 12 orë dhe zakonisht kalojnë me marrjen e paracetamolit. Mirëpo, këshilla ime është që të përcaktohet një specialist i cili, në mënyrë të saktë, do t’i përcaktonte indikacionet të marrjes së vaksinave sidomos të personave që kanë sëmundje posaqë para marrjes së vaksinës ekziston një parambrojtje për personat që kanë probleme me zemër, tru enë të gjakut më sëmundje të mushkërive paraprakisht duhet të konsultohet me mjekun e tyre në mënyrë që të mos vijë ndonjë ndërlikim. Por mund të paraqitet vetëm ndonjë rast me alergji, por kjo varet nga secili individ posaqë organizimi i njeriut është specifik për veten”.

Postime të ngjashme

OBSH: Vdekjet e mbi 80-vjeçarëve nga Covid-19 në nivelin më të ulët në Evropë


Vdekjet e mbi 80-vjeçarëve për shkak të COVID-19 në Evropë ka rënë në nivelin më të ulët që nga fillimi i pandemisë, në rreth 30%, në sajë të vaksinave, tha drejtori rajonal i OBSH, Hans Kluge.

“Në dy muajt e fundit, tendenca midis personave mbi 80 vjeç ka devijuar nga tendenca e vërejtur në të gjitha grupmoshat e tjera, që mund të jetë për shkak të vaksinimit të pjesës më të madhe në këtë grup me rrezik të lartë”, tha Kluge në një konferencë virtuale për shtyp nga Athina.

“Numri i vdekjeve të personave mbi 80 vjeç ka rënë gradualisht në rreth 30%, niveli i më i ulët që nga fillimi i pandemisë”, shtoi ai.

Në mes të janarit, ishte akoma 62%, niveli i tij më i lartë, sipas degës së OBSH-së në Evropë.

OBSH vazhdon të bëjë thirrje për vigjilencë pasi 160 raste të reja raportohen mesatarisht çdo minutë në të tërë rajonin, sipas të dhënave të saj.

Sipas të dhënave zyrtare, në BE, 16,9% e popullsisë ka marrë dozën e parë të vaksinës.

Organizata e Kombeve të Bashkuara vazhdon të bëjë thirrje për përdorimin e vaksinës AstraZeneca.

“Aktualisht, rreziku i zhvillimit të mpiksjes së gjakut është shumë më i lartë për dikë të sëmurë me COVID-19, sesa për dikë që ka marrë vaksinën AstraZeneca”, vuri në dukje Kluge. /kp/

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How we can reduce food waste and promote healthy eating — ScienceDaily


Food waste and obesity are major problems in developed countries. They are both caused by an overabundance of food, but strategies to reduce one can inadvertently increase the other. A broader perspective can help identify ways to limit food waste while also promoting healthy nutrition, two University of Illinois researchers suggest.

“You can reduce food waste by obtaining less or eating more. Our concern was that if people are reducing waste by eating more, what does that mean for nutrition? And how do we think about these tradeoffs in a way that promotes both good nutrition outcomes and good food waste outcomes? Public policies have generally focused on either obesity or food waste, but rarely considered them together, says Brenna Ellison, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (ACE) at U of I.

Ellison and Melissa Pflugh Prescott, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) at U of I, discuss a systems approach to addressing food waste and nutrition in a new paper, published in Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Food waste refers to the loss of edible food that is not consumed for various reasons. It occurs at all levels of the supply chain, from farm to transportation, processing, retail, food service, and consumer levels.

Food waste is often calculated by weight or by calories, Ellison explains. If you calculate by weight, dairy products, vegetables, grain products, and fruit account for the majority of food loss. But when converted to calories, added fats and oils, grain products, and added sugars and sweeteners are the top categories for food waste. Encouraging increased consumption of those foods could have negative health consequences, she notes.

In their paper, Ellison and Prescott provide strategies for reducing food waste in a variety of settings, including food service, retail, schools, and homes.

Some restaurants and university dining halls that offer buffet-style dining have tried to limit food waste by imposing fines or offering incentives to ensure people finish the food they select. While such strategies may limit waste, they encourage overeating, the researchers say. They suggest instead using behavioral cues such as smaller plates and scoops that nudge people to select less food.

School meals are important means to improve public health and introduce children to new, healthy foods. However, plate waste is a persistent problem in school lunch settings. Schools can use salad bars to encourage students to try new items, but that causes pre-plate waste because some items are not selected. COVID-19 modifications pose additional challenges to safe strategies for food recovery, but there are still viable options, Prescott states.

“For example, schools can take items like whole apples or unopened cartons of milk and recycle them. They can reuse them in future meals, making sure they are following food safety protocols. Or they can donate them to food pantries and other nonprofit organizations, or create backpack programs where they can send some of those items home with students who may be struggling with food insecurity. There are certainly ways to do this safely,” she says.

The researchers note that households are responsible for some of the costliest food waste, because they are at the end of the supply chain. Consumers throw away food for various reasons, such as food safety concerns, desire to eat fresh food, and poor food management.

Choosing more processed food could reduce waste but is not desirable from a health perspective. Learning strategies for better meal planning and using a list for grocery shopping are better ways to accomplish both waste reduction and improved nutrition goals, Ellison says.

“We know that even if you try to plan meals, it can be hard to follow through. It’s important to be realistic about planning. For example, if you know that you’re likely to order take out one or two nights a week, then plan for that. Don’t buy food you won’t need,” she notes.

The researchers also suggest ways to encourage good nutrition through small changes. “If you have young kids, you can try frozen vegetables. You can take a little bit out at a time and do some testing with your children; you won’t have a whole package that might go to waste,” Ellison says.

Better cooking skills are also important, Prescott states.

“Cooking is a win-win in terms of promoting health and reducing food waste. There is evidence that links cooking and improved diet quality. And people who cook might over time become more skilled at repurposing leftovers, and being more creative with foods that are about to go to waste,” she says. “Freezing leftovers for future meals is also a helpful strategy, if you have freezer space.”

Prescott notes that some of these strategies may be difficult for families that lack adequate equipment for cooking, storing, and freezing. She and Ellison are working to develop a cooking education curriculum primarily addressing the challenges facing low-income households who may have limited resources available.

The two researchers are also planning a study on school nutrition aiming to identify behavioral nudges to increase fruit and vegetable consumption while reducing waste, and a project focusing on safety issues of food recovery in schools.

Illinois Extension provides information and resources for families wanting to learn more about nutrition and wellness.



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Hipertensioni arterial gjatë Ramazanit


Shkruar nga:Dr. Gëzim Berisha Kardiolog

Gjatë Ramazanit myslimanët privojnë veten nga të gjitha ushqimet dhe pijet nga lindja në perëndim të diellit. Kjo paraqet një ndërrim të rëndësishëm të stilit të jetës, sidomos lidhur me mënyrën e fjetjes dhe ushqimit. Studimet kanë treguar se te pacientët me hipertension arterial të kontrolluar agjerimi s’ paraqet kurrfarë problemi dhe tolerohet lehtë me kusht që të vazhdohet të merret rregullisht terpia adekuate.

Disa këshilla që duhet t’i kenë parasysh pacientët me hipertension gjatë Ramazanit janë si në vijim:
▶ Konsultoni mjekun tuaj. Kjo mund të jetë e nevojshme të përshtatni terapinë në mënyre që barnat të merren dy herë në ditë (syfyr dhe iftar). 
▶ Konsumoni sasi të mjaftueshme të lëngjeve pas iftarit për të parandaluar dehidrimin dhe komplikimet e tij.
▶ Konsumo mjaftueshëm pemë dhe perime. Ato përmbajnë Kalium që është i nevojshëm për ta kontrolluar shtypjen e gjakut.
▶ Evitoni ushqimet shumë të njelmëta dhe me shumë yndyrë.
▶ Konsumoni dy herë në javë mish peshku. Peshku permban Omega 3 substancë kjo e nevojshme për kontrollimin e shtypjes së gjakut
▶ Monitorojeni rregullish shtypjen e gjakut
▶ Mish të kuq konsumo në sasi të moderuar
▶ Vazhdo aktivitetin fizik edhe gjatë ramazanit. Aktiviteti fizik rregullon shtypjen e gjakut. Studimet kanë treguar se edhe aktiviteti fizik gjatë taravive ndihmon në rregullimin e shtypjes së gjakut ./Familja Jonë

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New model proves successful in predicting COVID-19 infection rates two to three weeks in advance — ScienceDaily


A new study by Texas A&M University researchers published in PLOS ONE details a new model for making short-term projections of daily COVID-19 cases that is accurate, reliable and easily used by public health officials and other organizations.

Led by Hongwei Zhao, professor of biostatistics at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, researchers used a method based on the SEIR (susceptible, exposed, infected and recovered states) framework to project COVID-19 incidence in the upcoming two to three weeks based on observed incidence cases only. This model assumes a constant or small change in the transmission rate of the virus that causes COVID-19 over a short period.

The model uses publicly available data on new reported cases of COVID-19 in Texas from the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Texas A&M researchers used this data on disease incidence for Texas and a selection of counties that included the Texas A&M campus to estimate the COVID-19 transmission rate.

“The results indicate that this model can be used to reasonably predict COVID-19 cases two to three weeks in advance using only current incidence numbers,” Zhao said. “The simplicity of this model is one of its greatest strengths as it can be easily implemented by organizations with few resources. Forecasts from this model can help health care organizations prepare for surges and help public health officials determine whether mask mandates or other policies will be needed.”

They forecasted future infections under three possible scenarios: a sustained, constant rate of transmission; one where the transmission rate is five percent higher than current levels, reflecting a decrease in practices to prevent transmission or an increase in conditions that promote transmission; and one where transmission is five percent lower.

Estimating the current effective transmission rate can be tricky, since day-to-day variations in both infections and reporting can dramatically influence this estimate. Thus, the researchers smoothed daily reporting variations using a three-day weighted average and performed additional smoothing to account for data anomalies such as counties reporting several months of cases all at once.

The researchers compared their projections with reported incidence in Texas through four periods in 2020: April 15, June 15, August 15 and October 15. The number of new daily COVID-19 cases reported were relatively low in mid-April, when many businesses were shut down, and then started to increase in early May after phased re-openings began in Texas. The numbers increased sharply after Memorial Day, and then trended downward after a statewide mask mandate was enacted during the summer. Infections increased again after Labor Day, but then seemed to plateau until the middle of October, when the transmission rate was observed again to increase dramatically.

The statewide application of the model showed that it performed reasonably well, with only the second period forecast deviating from the actual recorded incidence, perhaps due to the dramatically changing numbers at the time when a great wave of COVID-19 occurred around the Memorial Day holiday. The model performed similarly well at the county level, though the smaller population and changes in population, such as students moving in and out of the area during the school year, influenced reporting of new cases.

However, the model is limited by the data it uses. Local testing and reporting policies and resources can affect data accuracy, and assumptions about transmission rate based on current incidence are less likely to be accurate further into the future. And as more people contract COVID-19 and recover, or are vaccinated, the susceptible population will change, possibly affecting transmission.

Despite these limitations, the researchers said the model can be a valuable tool for health care facilities and public health officials, especially when combined with other sources of information. The COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, so having a tool that can determine when and where another surge might occur is important. Similarly, researchers hope to use these new tools at their disposal for future infectious disease needs.

Additionally, the model has been used to create a dashboard that provides real-time data on the spread of COVID-19 state-wide. It has been used locally by university administrators and public health officials.

Other School of Public health researchers involved in this study included Marcia Ory, Tiffany Radcliff, Murray Côté, Rebecca Fischer and Alyssa McNulty, along with Department of Statistics researchers Huiyan Sangand and Naveed Merchant.

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Materials provided by Texas A&M University. Original written by Rae Lynn Mitchell. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Si t’i ricikloni qelizat vjetra duke agjëruar


Agjërimi ka treguar rigjenerimin e qelizave të sistemit imunitar vetëm pas tri ditësh. Njerëzit pësojnë ndryshime të shpejta gjatë gjithë kohës, për arsye të ndryshme, ku një nga këto mund të jetë besimi. Kjo gjë ka treguar se kryerja e agjërimit mund të rigjenerojë qelizat dhe mund të sjell qëndrueshmërinë e tyre si dhe një sistem imunitar të shëndetshëm vetëm pas tri ditëve.

Ndoshta për të mbajtur sistemin imunitar të shëndetshëm dhe të mprehtë, ju duhet të agjëroni.
Hulumtuesit nga Universiteti i Kalifornisë Jugore në Los Anxhelos kanë thënë se agjërimi periodik mbron sistemin imunitar nga dëmtimet dhe promovon rigjenerimin.
Njerëzit, të cilët kanë probleme me sistemin imunitar duhet të agjërojnë. Një profesor i Gerontologjisë dhe i Shkencave Biologjike në Shkollën e USC Davis Gerontologji, Valter Longo, ka parë efektet e agjërimit te njerëzit.

Ky rezultat vuri në pah se organet e trupit riciklojnë qelizat e vjetra të sistemit imunitar, ku pikërisht kjo gjë shkakton prodhimin e qelizave të reja të këtij sistemi imunitar dhe në këtë mënyrë ndodh zëvendësimi i tyre. Qelizat e sistemit imunitar në fundin e tyre mund të çojnë në lodhje dhe mund të ndalojnë procesin funksional ose mund të mos e realizojnë atë siç duhet. Ka qenë e besueshme se s’ kishte shumë për të bërë në mënyrë që të kapërcehej kjo pjesë me trajtime dhe të arrihej qëndrueshmëria e qelizave.

Ky hulumtim i fundit, që flet pikërisht për agjërimin periodik, mund të hedh dritë mbi disa të vërteta në lidhje me qelizat rigjeneruese në trup, gjë e cila ndryshon qelizat e vjetra dhe realizon rigjenerimin e gjakut dhe të sistemit imunitar. “Ne s’ mund të parashikojmë se agjërimi i zgjatur do të ketë një efekt të tillë në promovimin dhe rigjenerimin e qelizave të sistemit hematopoietic. Kur ju keni shumë uri, sistemi imunitar përpiqet që të kursejë energji dhe pikërisht një nga gjërat që ju mund të bëni për të ruajtur energjinë është që të ricikloni një shumë të qelizave imune dhe sidomos ato që mund të jenë dëmtuar.

Agjërimi nxit prodhimin e qelizave të reja, pa dëmtuar imunitetin, kështu ai mund të ndihmojë njerëzit që vuajnë nga sëmundje ose ato që janë deklaruar si kushte mjekësore të pashërueshme. Agjërimi i zgjatur rrit nivelin e fuqisë së trupit duke e detyruar atë që të përdor më shumë glukozë, yndyrë, dhe ketone si dhe duke nxjerrë jashtë një pjesë të vjetër të qelizve të bardha të gjakut. Pra, agjërimi vepron si një detoksifikant që nxjerr jashtë funksionit të vjetrat dhe sjell të rejat. Agjërimi i zgjatur pakëson nivelet e një enzime të njohur si PKA, ose proteina e kinazës A.

Në fillim hulumtimet kanë gjetur se ai forcon dhe rrit rregullimin e qelizave të qëndrueshme dhe ndihmon në vetë-rinovimin e tyre së bashku me zgjerimin e jetëgjatësisë. Duke agjëruar ju do të ndihmoni në uljen e niveleve të IGF-1, i cili është një hormon i rritjes që është i lidhur me plakjen, si dhe rritjen e rrezikut të tumorit dhe kancerit të llojeve të ndryshme. “PKA është geni kyç që duhet të mbyllet për këto qeliza dhe për të kaluar në mënyrën e tij rigjeneruese”, thotë Longo.
“Ai jep OK për qelizat rigjeneruese në mënyrë që të shkojnë përpara dhe të fillojnë provat dhe rindërtimi i gjithë sistemit. Dhe lajmi i mirë është se trupi heq pjesë të sistemit që mund të jenë të dëmtuara ose të vjetra, pjesë këto joefikase dhe kjo vetëm gjatë agjërimit. Tani, Nëse ju mund të filloni me një sistem të dëmtuar rëndë nga kimioterapia ose plakja, ciklet e agjërimit mund të gjenerojnë një sistem të ri imunitar”, përfundoi ai.

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A novel, quick, and easy system for genetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 — ScienceDaily


SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred and spread, but what effect do those mutations have? Current methods for studying mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome are very complicated and time-consuming because coronaviruses have large genomes, but now a team from Osaka University and Hokkaido University have developed a quick, PCR-based reverse genetics system for analyzing SARS-CoV-2 mutations.

This system uses the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a circular polymerase extension reaction (CPER) to reconstruct the full-length cDNA of viral genome. This process does not involve the use of bacteria, which can introduce further unwanted mutations, and takes only two weeks using simple steps to generate infectious virus particles. Previous methods took a couple of months and were very complicated procedures.

“This method allows us to quickly examine the biological features of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2,” says lead author of the study Shiho Torii. “We can use the CPER technique to create recombinant viruses with each mutation and examine their biological features in comparison with the parental virus.” The large circular genome of SARS-CoV-2 can be constructed from smaller DNA fragments that can then be made into a viable viral genome with CPER, and used to infect suitable host cells. A large amount of infectious virus particles can be recovered nine days later.

“We believe that our CPER method will contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms underlying propagation and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, as well as help determine the biological significance of emerging mutations,” explains corresponding author Yoshiharu Matsuura. “This could accelerate the development of novel therapeutics and preventative measures for COVID-19.” The team also suggest that the use of the CPER method will allow researchers to insert “reporter genes” into the SARS-CoV-2 genome to “tag” genes or proteins of interest. This will enable a greater understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells and causes COVID-19, assisting with the development of therapies. The CPER method could even allow a recombinant virus that is unable to cause disease to be generated, which could be used as a safe and effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.

Mutations are arising in the SARS-CoV-2 population all the time, as well as questions as to what those mutations do and whether they could affect the efficacy of vaccines. “Our simple and rapid method allows scientists around the globe to characterize the mutants, which is a vital step forward in our fight against the SARS-CoV-2,” says Takasuke Fukuhara of the research group.

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Materials provided by Osaka University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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An evolutionary history of compromises — ScienceDaily


Evolutionary anthropologists from the University of Vienna and colleagues now present evidence for a different explanation, published in PNAS. A larger bony pelvic canal is disadvantageous for the pelvic floor’s ability to support the fetus and the inner organs and predisposes one to incontinence.

The human pelvis is simultaneously subject to obstetric selection, favoring a more spacious birth canal, and an opposing selective force that favors a smaller pelvic canal. Previous work of scientists from the University of Vienna has already led to a relatively good understanding of this evolutionary “trade-off” and how it results in the high rates of obstructed labor in modern humans. However, it has remained unclear what the advantage of a narrow birth canal is, given its disadvantage for childbirth. It has long been thought that a smaller birth canal is advantageous for bipedal locomotor performance. A different, less prominent explanation is that it enhances pelvic floor functionality. The muscles of the human pelvic floor play a vital role in supporting our inner organs and a heavy fetus, and in maintaining continence. A larger pelvic canal would increase the downward deformation of the pelvic floor, increasing the risk of pelvic floor disorders, such as pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. However, this “pelvic floor hypothesis” has been challenging to prove.

A team of evolutionary anthropologists and engineers from the University of Vienna, the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, and the University of Texas at Austin (USA) used a new approach to test this hypothesis. The researchers, led by Katya Stansfield and Nicole Grunstra from the Department of Evolutionary Biology, simulated a Finite Element model of a human pelvic floor across a range of different surface areas and thicknesses and investigated the deformation in response to pressure. “Finite Element analysis allowed us to isolate the effect of pelvic floor geometry by controlling for other risk factors, such as age, number of births, and tissue weakness,” says Stansfield. This approach also enabled the team to model pelvic floor size across a broader range of variation than can be observed in the human population, “because natural selection may prevent the occurrence of such ‘extreme’ sizes precisely because of the disadvantages for pelvic floor functionality,” explains Grunstra.

As predicted by the pelvic floor hypothesis, larger pelvic floors deformed disproportionately more than smaller pelvic floors. “Our results support the notion that smaller pelvic floors — and thus smaller birth canals — are biomechanically advantageous for organ and fetal support despite their disadvantage for childbirth,” says Stansfield.

The researchers also found that thicker pelvic floors were more resistant to bending and stretching, which partly compensated for the increase in pelvic floor deformation as a result of increased surface area. So why did natural selection not result in a larger birth canal that eases childbirth, along with a disproportionately thicker pelvic floor that compensates for the extra deformation? “We found that thicker pelvic floors require quite a bit higher intra-abdominal pressures in order to undergo stretching, which is actually necessary during childbirth,” says Grunstra. The pressures generated by women in labor are among the highest recorded intra-abdominal pressures and they may be difficult to increase further. “Being unable to push the baby through a resistant pelvic floor would equally complicate childbirth, and so we think we have identified a second evolutionary trade-off, this time in the thickness of the pelvic floor,” concludes Grunstra. “Both the size of the birth canal and the thickness of the pelvic floor appear to be evolutionary ‘compromises’ enforced by multiple opposing selective pressures,” says co-author Philipp Mitteroecker.

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Për 1 muaj, 1236 Rezonanca Magnetike në Klinikën e Radiologjisë


Klinika e Radiologjisë veprimtarinë shëndetsorë e realizon në kuadër të SHSKUK-së dhe merret me Radiologjinë Diagnostike, Radiologjinë Invazive dhe me Radiologjinë Intervente në kuadër të së cilave bënë: triazhim, monitorim, ekzaminim, observim, diagnostikim radiologjik, intervenim radiologjik dhe konsulenca specialistike.

Klinika e Radiologjisë ka shënuar shifra rekorde, duke realizuar 1 mijë e 236 Rezonanca Magnetike për një muaj, ndonëse Qendra Klinike Universitare e Kosovës po përballet me Pandeminë COVID-19.

Në raportin e punës për muajin mars, stafi i klinikës ka kryer, gjithashtu, 10 mijë e 142 radiografi dhe 1707 procedura diagnostikuese me anë të ultratingullit. Gjatë kësaj periudhe, në këtë klinikë janë realizuar edhe 2246 Tomografi të Kompjuterizuar dhe 87 Radiologji Intervente.

Kujtojmë se në muajin Mars në Klinikën e Radiologjisë është realizuar për herë të parë biopsia kockore e brinjës së parë, te një pacient i moshës 51 vjeçare. Klikoni këtu për të lexuar më shumë.

Klinika e Radiologjisë është e organizuar në profile si:

Diagnostika e neuroradiologjisë me radiologji intervente
Diagnostika torakale me radiologji intervente
Diagnostika abdominale me radiologji intervente
Diagnostika e gjiut me radiologji intervente
Diagnostika osteomuskulare me radiologji intervente
Diagnostika pediatrike me radiologji intervente
Diagnostika me radiofarmak

Drejtori i Klinikës së Radiologjisë
Mr.sci. Dr. Bujar Gjikolli – radiolog

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Duke researchers are working on developing flu shot using new coronavirus technology


Duke researchers are developing a flu shot using coronavirus vaccines’ new mRNA technology that could offer protection for up to FIVE YEARS

  • Currently, flu shots are made by researchers guessing which strains will be the most prevalent
  • The new version, being developed by Duke University, would be able to target all influenza strains
  • It uses new mRNA technology, which is the platform used for the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna coronavirus vaccines
  • mRNA is part of the virus’s genetic code and gets the body to recognize the pathogen and attack if a person becomes infected
  • Duke scientists believe that people would be able to get the new shot every four to five years rather than every year 

Researchers from Duke University are developing a flu shot with the new technology that was used for two coronavirus vaccines.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna shots use part of the virus’s genetic code called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to get the body to recognize the pathogen and attack if a person becomes infected. 

Now, scientists from the school in North Carolina have teamed up with the National Institues of Health to create a flu vaccine with mRNA technology, reported Nexstar.

What’s more, people will be able to get the new shot every four or five years rather than annually.

A new version of the flu shot is being developed by researchers at Duke University that would be able to target all influenza strains rather than certain ones, like the current shot does

A new version of the flu shot is being developed by researchers at Duke University that would be able to target all influenza strains rather than certain ones, like the current shot does

The new shot uses new mRNA technology - used for the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna coronavirus shots - and involves getting the body to recognize the virus through part of its virus's genetic code, and then attacking if a person becomes infected

The new shot uses new mRNA technology – used for the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna coronavirus shots – and involves getting the body to recognize the virus through part of its virus’s genetic code, and then attacking if a person becomes infected

‘We actually just completed in the past two weeks the manufacture of a messenger RNA vaccine for influenza that should have broad reactivity across many different strains to make a universal flu vaccine,’ Dr Barton Haynes, director for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, told Nexstar.

To make flu vaccines, officials from the World Health Organization choose the strains for the Northern Hemisphere’s shot in February, and those for the Southern Hemisphere in September or October.

The flu vaccine comes in the form of a shot or a nasal spray. For those who choose to go with the injectable, there are two options. 

THE MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT THE FLU SHOT

It is a myth that the flu shot can give you the flu.

‘There isn’t any live virus in the influenza vaccine so it’s impossible to get the flu from the vaccine,’ said Dr Tosh from the Mayo Clinic.

‘There was a live vaccine that’s not available any more, but it was impossible to get the flu from that too,’ he added.

CDC officials insist it is not too late to get the flu shot, despite evidence that this year’s vaccine is only 30 percent effective against H3N2.

The H3N2 strain of the virus has so far killed 85 adults and 20 children in the US. 

Health officials say that the vaccine could be even more valuable now since it is more effective against strains which are only just emerging – including the H1N1 strain and various B viruses.

CDC figures show the majority of Americans do not get the flu shot and more and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children.

The first is a trivalent vaccine, which protects against two influenza A strains, H1N1 and H3N2, and one influenza B strain.

The second option, the quadrivalent flu vaccine, protects against the same strains as the trivalent vaccine, as well as an extra influenza B virus.

For those with egg allergies or who prefer not to have a shot, there is a nasal spray, known as FluMist.

It uses live, weakened viruses which are meant to teach the body to recognize and ward off flu strains if you become infected.

Haynes told Nexstar that, rather than guessing which strains will be prevalent during the season, the new vaccine will be able to target all strains.    

‘That’s where all this work is, is to learn how to target those common spots, those conserved regions that will react with lots of different strains or all the different strains optimally,’ Haynes said.

Because of this, people would not need to get a flu shot every year and instead would be able to get one every four or five years.

Additionally, more people around the world would be able to receive the new version because it is not made with eggs, allowing people with allergies to be immunized.

‘They go into cells in the body and then the protein made in the body that becomes the vaccine that protects the immune response. And of course, there are no eggs involved and no egg allergy,’ Haynes said.

The vaccine, which is currently undergoing clinical trials, is expensive to produce because the materials needed are in short supply because they’re being used for COVID-19 vaccines. 

However, once the pandemic is over, Haynes told Nexstar the new flu shots will be cheaper and easier to produce than those that are commonly used today.

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Genetic predisposition to schizophrenia may increase risk of psychosis from cannabis use — ScienceDaily


It has been long been known that cannabis users develop psychosis more often than non-users, but what is still not fully clear is whether cannabis actually causes psychosis and, if so, who is most at risk. A new study published in Translational Psychiatry by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and King’s College London helps shed light on both questions. The research shows that while cannabis users had higher rates of psychotic experiences than non-users across the board, the difference was especially pronounced among those with high genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

“These results are significant because they’re the first evidence we’ve seen that people genetically prone to psychosis might be disproportionately affected by cannabis,” said lead author Dr. Michael Wainberg, Scientist the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics at CAMH. “And because genetic risk scoring is still in its early days, the true influence of genetics on the cannabis-psychosis relationship may be even greater than what we found here.”

Using data from the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database containing participants’ in-depth genetic and health information, the authors analyzed the relationship between genetics, cannabis use and psychotic experiences across more than 100,000 people. Each person reported their frequency of past cannabis use, and whether they had ever had various types of psychotic experiences, such as auditory or visual hallucinations. The researchers also scored each person’s genetic risk for schizophrenia, by looking at which of their DNA mutations were more common among schizophrenia patients than among the general population.

Overall, people who had used cannabis were 50 per cent more likely to report psychotic experiences than people who had not. However, this increase was not uniform across the study group: among the fifth of participants with the highest genetic risk scores for schizophrenia, it was 60 per cent, and among the fifth with the lowest scores, it was only 40 per cent. In other words, people genetically predisposed to schizophrenia were at disproportionately higher risk for psychotic experiences if they also had a history of cannabis use.

Notably, because much less is known about the genetics of schizophrenia in non-white populations, the study’s analysis was limited to self-reported white participants. “This study, while limited in scope, is an important step forward in understanding how cannabis use and genetics may interact to influence psychosis risk,” added senior author Dr. Shreejoy Tripathy, Independent Scientist at the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics, who supervised the study. “The more we know about the connection between cannabis and psychosis, the more we can inform the public about the potential risks of using this substance. This research offers a window into a future where genetics can help empower individuals to make more informed decisions about drug use.”

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Epigenetic regulator HPI1a drives de novo genome reorganization in early Drosophila embryos — ScienceDaily


The DNA molecule is not naked in the nucleus. Instead, it is folded in a very organized way by the help of different proteins to establish a unique spatial organization of the genetic information. This 3D spatial genome organization is fundamental for the regulation of our genes and has to be established de novo by each individual during early embryogenesis. Researchers at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg in collaboration with colleagues from the Friedrich Mischer Institute in Basel now reveal a yet unknown and critical role of the protein HP1a in the 3D genome re-organization after fertilisation. The study published in the scientific journal Nature identifies HP1a as an epigenetic regulator that is involved in establishing the global structure of the genome in the early Drosophila embryo.

The information of the human genome is encoded by approximately 3 billion DNA base pairs and packaged into 23 pairs of chromosomes. If all chromosomes could be disentangled and linearly aligned, they would be a thin thread of about 2 meters. The DNA molecule must be extensively packaged to fit inside the nucleus, the size of which is in the micrometer range. “The DNA thread is not simply stuffed into the cell nucleus. Instead, it is folded in a very organized way to ensure that different parts of the genome, sometimes several thousand base pairs away from each other, can intercommunicate for appropriate gene functions,” says Nicola Iovino, group leader at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg.

Part of this packaging are histone proteins acting as spools around which DNA is winded and thereby compacted. This complex of DNA and proteins is called chromatin. As such, chromatin is the fundament for further packaging of the genetic material into chromosomes whose structure is mostly known for its characteristic cross shape. The chromosomes themself occupy distinct positions within the nucleus, known as chromosome territories, that also enable efficient packaging and organization of the genome.

The full machinery contributing to this 3D chromatin organization remains unexplored. Now the lab of Nicola Iovino at the MPI in Freiburg, in collaboration with Luca Giorgetti from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel (Switzerland), was able to show the fundamental role of the heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a) in the reorganization of the 3D chromatin structure after fertilization. By combining powerful Drosophila genetics with 3D genome modeling, they discovered that HP1a is required to establish a proper chromatin 3D structure at multiple hierarchical levels during early embryonic development.

Early embryos as a model to study chromatin reprogramming

The degree of packaging as well as the corresponding gene activity is influenced by epigenetic modifications. These are small chemical groups that are installed on the histones. “Proteins that carry out these epigenetic modifications can be thought of as being either writers, erasers or reader of the given epigenetic modification. We discovered that the reader protein HP1a is required to establish chromatin structure during early embryonic development in Drosophila,” says Fides Zenk, first-author of the study.

Early embryonic development is a particularly interesting time window to study the processes governing the organization of chromatin. At fertilization, two highly specialized cells — sperm and egg — fuse. The resulting totipotent zygote will ultimately give rise to all the different cells of the body. Interestingly most of the epigenetic modifications that shape chromatin are erased and have to be established de novo. In Drosophila, the lab of Nicola Iovino had previously shown that after fertilization chromatin undergoes major restructuring events. Thus, it is the ideal model system to study the processes underlying the establishment of chromatin structure.

De novo establishment of 3D genome architecture

When the genome of the zygote is activated for the first time after fertilization, it triggers global de novo 3D chromatin reorganization including a clustering of highly compacted regions around the centromere (pericentromeric), the folding of chromosome arms and the segregation of chromosomes into active and inactive compartments. “We identified HP1a as an important epigenetic regulator necessary to maintain individual chromosome integrity but also central for establishing the global structure of the genome in the early embryo,” says Nicola Iovino.

3D genome simulation

These findings and data collected in Drosophila embryos have then been used by collaborators from the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI) lead by Luca Giorgetti to build realistic three-dimensional models of chromosomes. This is possible because chromosomes inside the cell nucleus are polymers, very large molecules composed of chains of smaller components (monomers) — in this case consecutive DNA base pairs and the DNA-binding proteins that together constitute the chromatin fiber. Like all other polymers, be it silk, polyethylene or polyester, chromatin obeys a general set of physical laws described by a branch of physics known as ‘polymer physics’. These laws can be encoded into computer programs and used to simulate the three-dimensional shape of chromosomes in the nucleus.

“The advantage of this approach is that it allows simulating the effects of very large numbers of mutations. This enables researchers to explore scenarios that are beyond experimental reach, such as the simultaneous depletion of many different proteins that would require years of lab work. By comparing simulations with the outcome of experiments, this approach also allows to test alternative hypotheses concerning the mechanisms that lay at the basis of experimental observations,” says Luca Giorgetti, group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel.

In this case, FMI researchers used polymer models of the entire Drosophila genome to ask the question: based on the basic laws of polymer physics, is it possible that the depletion of a single protein — HP1 — leads to a massive change in the associations and shape of chromosomes in the nucleus? Or are additional mechanisms needed to explain the experimental observations? “We found that removal of the protein to its binding sites in the simulations accounted for the full set of experimental results, thus providing further confirmation that HP1 plays a key role in establishing the three-dimensional structure of the genome” says Yinxiu Zhan, co-first-author of the study.



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New Hampshire man accidentally given cocktail of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines


A New Hampshire man was accidentally given a different COVID-19 vaccine at his second appointment than he received during his first one.

When Craig Richards, from Lempster, scheduled his first appointment at a location in West Lebanon, he received the Moderna vaccine, reported WMUR 9.

However, when he returned four weeks later to complete his vaccine series, he was accidentally given the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.

Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning Americans not to mix and match shots from the two companies, state health officials insist Richards will be fine.

Craig Richards (pictured), from Lempster, New Hampshire, received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during his first appointment on March 16

Craig Richards (pictured), from Lempster, New Hampshire, received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during his first appointment on March 16

Four weeks later, he returned for his second appointment and was accidentally given a Pfizer coronavirus shot (pictured)

Four weeks later, he returned for his second appointment and was accidentally given a Pfizer coronavirus shot (pictured)

According to WMUR 9, Richards received his first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the state-run West Lebanon site on March 16.

Four weeks later, on Tuesday, April 13, he returned with his CDC indicating the vaccine he had gotten to receive his second dose. 

‘[The medic] said: “You ready for a poke?” I said: “Sure,” and he poked me,’ Richards told the station.

‘As soon as he poked me, he looked down at my card, and I think he realized he just gave me the Pfizer.’ 

‘I looked at him and said: “You did not just give me the wrong shot.” And he bolted! I don’t know if I had a real angry face on.’ 

The medic went to go get the supervisor on site, who came over and spoke with Richards

Richards said a supervisor came over and talked to him. 

‘[The supervisor said]: “You’re going to be fine. The good news is, you are fully vaccinated,” and I’m just like: “This isn’t happening,”‘ Richards said.

Current CDC recommendations suggest a person only receive a second shot of different vaccine in ‘exceptional situations.’

‘These mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable with each other or with other COVID-19 vaccine products,’ the CDC writes on its website.

‘The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.

‘In exceptional situations in which the first-dose vaccine product cannot be determined or is no longer available, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses.’ 

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services released a statement to WMUR 0 that states Richards will be fine.

‘A mixed series is safe, as CDC guidance recommends mixing the series if the brand from the first dose is not available at the second dose,’ the statement read. 

‘While there have not been any clinical studies on whether a mixed series is as effective as a complete series, it will still provide enough protection that a third dose is not necessary or recommended.’

Meanwhile, in Europe, health authorities have been considering allowing people to mix and match doses in order to drive up vaccination rates.

In addition, on Wednesday, a major UK trial testing whether or COVID-19 vaccines can be safely mixed was expanded.

Originally, researchers were injecting volunteers with a dose of the AstraZeneca–University of Oxford vaccine followed by a Pfizer dose a few weeks later and vice versa.

Under the expansion, volunteers will now be tested with a cocktail of  the Moderna vaccine and the Novavax vaccine.  



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There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to treat severe asthma — ScienceDaily


Wheezing, coughing that doesn’t stop, a pale and sweaty face: clinically, severe asthma attacks look very similar from patient to patient. But biologically, not all severe asthma is the same — and a team of scientists has, for the first time, identified the key difference in people, a finding that has important implications for treatment.

In a paper published today in Cell Reports, a group of scientists led by immunologists and pulmonologists at the University of Pittsburgh, in collaboration with Stanford University, used advanced tools of immunology, molecular biology and unbiased computational and bioinformatic approaches to characterize immune profiles of patients with severe asthma. These findings invite a new appreciation for the complexity of disease mechanisms and can lead to improved treatments.

“We started this study to better understand immune mediators of inflammation in asthma,” said lead author Matthew Camiolo, M.D., Ph.D., clinical instructor of medicine at Pitt. “We found that despite being grouped broadly as ‘clinically severe,’ these asthma patients actually had very different and distinct immune profiles.”

Asthma is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 million Americans, or 1 in 13 people suffer from asthma. And while current standards of treatment — inhaled immunosuppressive corticosteroids, such as beclomethasone and budesonide — are effective in most patients, clinical markers that can help identify those who are likely to be resistant to treatment are lacking.

For patients who do not respond to standard corticosteroid treatment or respond to it poorly, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to treat severe disease. Because of that, while severe asthma accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all asthma cases, it consumes 50 percent of associated health care costs, amounting to $28 billion annually.

“Although breakthroughs in asthma therapy have greatly improved our ability to treat patients, many people still continue with disease that greatly diminishes their quality of life,” said co-senior author Sally Wenzel, M.D., director of Pitt’s Asthma and Environmental Lung Health Institute, and chair of Pitt Public Health’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

To characterize immune cells within the airways of severe asthma patients, the researchers, in collaboration with Kari Nadeau, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Sean N Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research at Stanford University School of Medicine, used mass cytometry, RNA-sequencing and machine learning, and established a novel algorithm that links immune cells to cellular pathways potentially related to disease pathogenesis.

The research team found that lung aspirates from one group of patients were enriched with T cells polarized to fight infections, while the other group had a much lower level of T cells. At the same time, the second group had an increased number of innate immune cells expressing an inflammatory molecule IL-4 — a cytokine known to be elevated in asthma.

“We have identified two clusters of severe asthma patients with very similar biomarkers but with strikingly distinct immune profiles and associated biological pathways,” said senior author Anuradha Ray, Ph.D., professor of medicine and immunology at Pitt. “These findings identify new targets for therapy, which are distinct in the two subgroups of severe asthma patients who otherwise would be indistinguishable based on biomarker profiles.”

“We believe that the cell types expressing IL-4 in the airways of one of the groups have not been previously identified in humans in any setting,” Ray added.

Researchers are optimistic that these findings will enhance precision medicine approaches to treating severe asthma patients.

“These important findings are the result of a successful team effort among physician-scientists and basic scientists across institutions that has established a new frontier in asthma research,” said Ray. “We hope the new knowledge gained will be used to develop new therapeutics to treat severe asthma patients and also allow improved stratification of patients for better efficacy of existing therapies.”



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First noninvasive measurements of fast brain signals — ScienceDaily


The brain processes information using both slow and fast currents. Until now, researchers had to use electrodes placed inside the brain in order to measure the latter. For the first time, researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), successfully visualized these fast brain signals from the outside — and found a surprising degree of variability. According to their article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers used a particularly sensitive magnetoencephalography device to accomplish this feat.

The processing of information inside the brain is one of the body’s most complex processes. Disruption of this processing often leads to severe neurological disorders. The study of signal transmission inside the brain is therefore key to understanding a myriad of diseases. From a methodological point of view, however, it creates major challenges for researchers. The desire to observe the brain’s nerve cells operating ‘at the speed of thought’, but without the need to place electrodes inside the brain, has led to the emergence of two techniques featuring high temporal resolution: electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Both methods enable the visualization of brain activity from outside the skull. However, while results for slow currents are reliable, those for fast currents are not.

Slow currents — known as postsynaptic potentials — occur when signals created by one nerve cell are received by another. The subsequent firing of impulses (which transmit information to downstream neurons or muscles) produces fast currents which last for just a millisecond. These are known as action potentials. “Until now, we have only been able to observe nerve cells as they receive information, not as they transmit information in response to a single sensory stimulus,” explains Dr. Gunnar Waterstraat of Charité’s Department of Neurology with Experimental Neurology on Campus Benjamin Franklin. “One could say that we were effectively blind in one eye.” Working under the leadership of Dr. Waterstraat and Dr. Rainer Körber from the PTB, a team of researchers has now laid the foundations which are needed to change this. The interdisciplinary research group succeeded in rendering the MEG technology so sensitive as to enable it to detect even fast brain oscillations produced in response to a single sensory stimulus.

They did this by significantly reducing the system noise produced by the MEG device itself. “The magnetic field sensors inside the MEG device are submerged in liquid helium, to cool them to -269°C (4.2 K),” explains Dr. Körber. He adds: “To do this, the cooling system requires complex thermal insulation. This superinsulation consists of aluminum-coated foils which produce magnetic noise and will therefore mask small magnetic fields such as those associated with nerve cells. We have now changed the design of the superinsulation in such a way as to ensure this noise is no longer measurable. By doing this, we managed to increase the MEG technology’s sensitivity by a factor of ten.”

The researchers used the example of stimulating a nerve in the arm to demonstrate that the new device is indeed capable of recording fast brain waves. As part of their study on four healthy subjects, the researchers applied electrical stimulation to a specific nerve at the wrist whilst at the same time positioning the MEG sensor immediately above the area of the brain which is responsible for processing sensory stimuli applied to the hand. To eliminate outside sources of interference such as electric networks and electronic components, the measurements were conducted in one of the PTB’s shielded recording rooms. The researchers found that, by doing so, they were able to measure the action potentials produced by a small group of simultaneously activated neurons in the brain’s cortex in response to individual stimuli. “For the first time, a noninvasive approach enabled us to observe nerve cells in the brain sending information in response to a single sensory stimulus,” says Dr. Waterstraat. He continues: “One interesting observation was the fact that these fast brain oscillations are not uniform in nature but change with each stimulus. These changes also occurred independently of the slow brain signals. There is enormous variability in how the brain processes information about the touch of a hand, despite all of the stimuli applied being identical.”

The fact that the researchers are now able to compare individual responses to stimuli opens the way for neurology researchers to investigate questions which previously remained unanswered: To what extent do factors such as alertness and tiredness influence the processing of information in the brain? What about additional stimuli which are received at the same time? The highly sensitive MEG system could also help scientists to develop a deeper understanding of, and better treatments for, neurological disorders. Epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease are examples of disorders which are linked to disruptions in fast brain signaling. “Thanks to this optimized MEG technology, our neuroscience toolbox has gained a crucial new tool which enables us to address all of these questions noninvasively,” says Dr. Waterstraat.

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Materials provided by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). Original written by Erika Schow. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Second vaccine important for those who have not had COVID-19 to reach strong immunity — ScienceDaily


People who have recovered from COVID-19 had a robust antibody response after the first mRNA vaccine dose, but little immune benefit after the second dose, according to new research from the Penn Institute of Immunology. The findings, published today in Science Immunology, suggest only a single vaccine dose may be needed to produce a sufficient antibody response. The team found that those who did not have COVID-19 — called COVID naïve — did not have a full immune response until after receiving their second vaccine dose, reinforcing the importance of completing the two recommended doses for achieving strong levels of immunity.

The study provides more insight on the underlying immunobiology of mRNA vaccines, which could help shape future vaccine strategies.

“These results are encouraging for both short- and long-term vaccine efficacy, and this adds to our understanding of the mRNA vaccine immune response through the analysis of memory B cells,” said senior author E. John Wherry, PhD, chair of the department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics and director of the Penn Institute of Immunology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The human immune response to vaccines and infections result in two major outcomes — the production of antibodies that provide rapid immunity and the creation of memory B cells, which assist in long-term immunity. This study represents one of the first to uncover how memory B cell responses differ after vaccination in people who previously experienced infection, compared to those who have not have COVID-19.

“Previous COVID-19 mRNA vaccine studies on vaccinated individuals have focused on antibodies more than memory B cells. Memory B cells are a strong predictor of future antibody responses, which is why it’s vital to measure B cell responses to these vaccines,” Wherry said. “This effort to examine memory B cells is important for understanding long-term protection and the ability to respond to variants.”

The researchers recruited 44 healthy individuals who received either the BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Of this cohort, 11 had a prior COVID-19 infection. Blood samples were collected for deep immune analyses four times prior to and after vaccine doses.

The data shows key differences in vaccine immune responses in COVID naïve versus COVID-19 recovered individuals. The findings suggest that only a single vaccine dose in individuals recovered from COVID-19 may be enough to induce a maximal immune response, based on both strong antibody and memory B cell responses. This is likely due to a primary immune response because of their natural infection.

In contrast, it took two vaccine doses to demonstrate considerable antibody and memory B cell responses for those who did not have COVID-19, underlying the importance of the two-dose mRNA vaccine schedule to achieve optimal levels of immunity.

These findings were also reflected in an analysis of antibodies against the D614G mutation and the B.1.351 South African variant of COVID-19. For those who did not have COVID-19, it took a second dose to get a robust enough immunity level against the mutation and variant, whereas those recovered from COVID-19 had a strong enough antibody response after one dose.

“This is important for us to keep in mind as we consider vaccination strategies in the future and potential viral variants,” Wherry said. “We need to make sure people have the strongest memory B cell responses available. If circulating antibodies wane over time, our data suggests that durable memory B cells could provide a rapid source of protection against re-exposure to COVID-19, including variants.”

The researchers also examined vaccine-induced side effects in relation to immune responses. While seen in a smaller cohort of 32 COVID naïve people, they found that those who experienced systemic side effects after receiving a vaccine dose — such as fever, chills, headache, and fatigue — had stronger post-vaccination serum antibodies, but not memory B cells. Although more data is needed and all subjects developed robust immunity, it is possible that inflammation and side effects early after vaccination could signal stronger immune reactions.

“Everyone has good responses to the vaccines. They work to protect people against COVID-19. But for those who may be worried about side effects, they are not necessarily a bad thing — they may actually be an indicator of an even better immune response,” Wherry said.

The researchers are continuing larger-scale studies, which are necessary to fully examine the question of a one- or two-dose regimen in COVID-19-recovered individuals and to see how long the vaccine antibodies last. Wherry and his team are continuing to study the vaccine’s effect on virus-specific T cell responses, another element of the body’s immune response.

The study was facilitated by the Penn Immune Health Project, with funding from the NIH (AI105343, AI082630, AI108545, AI155577, AI149680, AI152236, HL143613, P30-AI0450080, T32 AR076951-01, T32 CA009140, T32 AI055400, U19AI082630), the Allen Institute for Immunology, Cancer Research Institute-Mark Foundation Fellowship, Chen Family Research Fund, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Penn Center for Research on Coronavirus and Other Emerging Pathogens, the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine COVID Fund, the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine 21st Century Scholar Fund, and a philanthropic gift from Jeffrey Lurie, Joel Embiid, Josh Harris, and David Blitzer.



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A pioneering new study examines the social effects of mindfulness — ScienceDaily


Mindfulness is big business. Downloads of mindfulness apps generate billions of dollars annually in the U.S., and their popularity continues to rise. In addition to what individual practitioners might have on their phones, schools and prisons along with 1 in 5 employers currently offer some form of mindfulness training.

Mindfulness and meditation are associated with reducing stress and anxiety, while increasing emotional well-being. Plenty of scholarship supports these benefits. But how does mindfulness affect the range of human behaviors — so-called prosocial behaviors — that can potentially help or benefit other people? What happens when the research looks outwardly at social effects of mindfulness rather than inwardly at its personal effects?

It’s within the area of prosocial behaviors that a new paper by University at Buffalo researchers demonstrates the surprising downsides of mindfulness, while offering easy ways to minimize those consequences — both of which have practical implications for mindfulness training.

“Mindfulness can make you selfish,” says Michael Poulin, PhD, an associate professor of psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences and the paper’s lead author. “It’s a qualified fact, but it’s also accurate.

“Mindfulness increased prosocial actions for people who tend to view themselves as more interdependent. However, for people who tend to view themselves as more independent, mindfulness actually decreased prosocial behavior.”

The results sound contradictory given the pop culture toehold of mindfulness as an unequivocal positive mental state. But the message here isn’t one that dismantles the effectiveness of mindfulness.

“That would be an oversimplification,” says Poulin, an expert in stress, coping and prosocial engagement. “Research suggests that mindfulness works, but this study shows that it’s a tool, not a prescription, which requires more than a plug-and-play approach if practitioners are to avoid its potential pitfalls.”

The findings will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Poulin says independent versus interdependent mindsets represent an overarching theme in social psychology. Some people think of themselves in singular or independent terms: “I do this.” While others think of themselves in plural or interdependent terms: “We do this.”

There are also cultural differences layered on top of these perspectives. People in Western nations most often think of themselves as independent, whereas people in East Asian countries more often think of themselves as interdependent. Mindfulness practices originated in East Asian countries, and Poulin speculates that mindfulness may be more clearly prosocial in those contexts. Practicing mindfulness in Western countries removes that context.

“Despite these individual and cultural differences, there is also variability within each person, and any individual at different points in time can think of themselves either way, in singular or plural terms,” says Poulin.

The researchers, which included Shira Gabriel, PhD, a UB associate professor of psychology, C. Dale Morrison and Esha Naidu, both UB graduate students, and Lauren M. Ministero, PhD, a UB graduate student at the time of the research who is now a senior behavioral scientist at the MITRE Corporation, used a two-experiment series for their study.

First, they measured 366 participants’ characteristic levels of independence versus interdependence, before providing mindfulness instruction or a mind wandering exercise to the control group. Before leaving, participants were told about volunteer opportunities stuffing envelopes for a charitable organization.

In this experiment, mindfulness led to decreased prosocial behavior among those who tended to be independent.

In the next experiment, instead of having a trait simply measured, 325 participants were encouraged to lean one way or the other by engaging in a brief but effective exercise that tends to make people think of themselves in independent or interdependent terms.

The mindfulness training and control procedures were the same as the first experiment, but in this case, participants afterwards were asked if they would sign up to chat online with potential donors to help raise money for a charitable organization.

Mindfulness made those primed for independence 33% less likely to volunteer, but it led to a 40% increase in the likelihood of volunteering to the same organization among those primed for interdependence. The results suggest that pairing mindfulness with instructions explaining how to make people think of themselves in terms of their relationships and communities as they’re engaging in mindfulness exercises may allow them to see both positive personal and social outcomes.

“We have to think about how to get the most out of mindfulness,” Poulin says. “We have to know how to use the tool.”



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One year of SARS-CoV-2 evolution — ScienceDaily


A number of SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged from immunocompromised hosts, research has identified. It is thought that variants of concern — including B.1.1.7, a variant first identified in Kent — were a result of long-term infection in people with a weakened immune system.

Persistent infections in immunocompromised people could cause the virus to mutate more frequently because the person’s immune system cannot clear the virus as quickly as the immune system of a healthy person.

Authors Professor Wendy Barclay, Dr Thomas Peacock, Professor Julian Hiscox and Rebekah Penrice-Randal explain the importance of monitoring genetic changes in SARS-CoV-2 for future control of the virus: “As more and more variants appear, we are getting a better picture of their shared similarities and differences and can better predict what other new variants will look like. Putting all this information together will also help us design booster vaccines that protect against as many variants as possible or design targeted diagnostics” they said.

Their review discusses where mutations have occurred, what part of the virus they affect and how the resulting variants could impact vaccination efforts. According to the authors, mutations in SARS-CoV-2 are expected, as the virus is adapting to humans. “Sequencing of human seasonal coronaviruses has not been done on a scale like SARS-CoV-2, particularly when they would have initially spread into humans. SARS-CoV-2 is at the start of its journey in humans whereas other human coronaviruses have been around, in some cases, for many decades” they said.

Variants with the same or similar mutations have emerged independently in different countries: “SARS-CoV-2 is probably still finding its way in humans in terms of optimal infection and transmission. The scale of the outbreak and the massive sequencing efforts will identify concurrent mutations; basically, the virus is undergoing the same types of selection pressures wherever you are in the world, and the outbreak was all seeded by the same original virus,” explained the authors.

Mutations of particular interest include those in the spike protein. This protein allows the virus to enter host cells and is the main target of the immune system, including immunity generated by all current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Mutations in the gene that codes for spike could change the shape of the protein, allowing it to no longer be recognised by the immune system. Because this protein is so important for SARS-CoV-2 entry, favourable mutations are more likely to succeed and create new, dominant variants of the virus.

Changes that give the virus an advantage can quickly become dominant. For example, one mutation, named D614G, was found in 80% of SARS-CoV-2 viruses sequenced just four months after it was first detected. Now, viruses without the D614G mutation are only commonly seen in parts of Africa.

Another mutation, N501Y, is found in the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7. This mutation is believed to be the result of infection of an immunocompromised individual and may contribute to the virus being more contagious. Infections with this variant have a higher fatality rate. In the UK, B.1.1.7 became the dominant variant within three months and is now responsible for over 90% of infections there.

Significant spike protein mutations discussed in the review include:

D614G:

In February 2020, a mutation was detected in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and named D614G. This mutation was found to makes SARS-CoV-2 more infectious, however does not make the virus more harmful. This increase in infectivity led to a significant fitness advantage and within four months, 80% of SARS-CoV-2 viruses sequenced around the world were found to have the mutation. Now, only parts of Africa have circulating viruses without the D614G mutation.

Despite initial concerns, D614G does not have an effect on vaccine efficiency and in some cases, viruses with the D614G mutation are more readily cleared by antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Y435F:

In mid-2020, reports of mink becoming infected by humans became frequent. In mink, the spike protein of the virus commonly developed two mutations called Y435F and N501T. These mutations allow for stronger binding of the virus to human receptor cells. Viruses with these mutations were found in a cluster of human infections in Denmark, believed to have originated from mink. Concerningly, this variant was able to infect people who had previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and were thought to have some immunity to the virus. As a result, 17 million mink were culled.

The mutation Y435F has also been reported to have developed in an immunocompromised person, possibly as a result of chronic infection with the virus allowing it to adapt.

N501Y:

In December 2020, a highly transmissible variant of the virus was isolated in Kent, UK. This variant, named B.1.1.7, contained a mutation in the spike protein called N501Y. Not only does this mutation make the virus more contagious, but it was also found to have a higher fatality rate. In the UK, B.1.1.7 is now the dominant variant, and is responsible for over 90% of infections.

The mutation N501Y has been found to have little effect on immunity from both vaccines and previous infections.

E484K:

The spike protein mutation E484K has emerged in recent months, once in South Africa and at least twice in Brazil. Variants with the mutation of E484K are able to evade the immune system of both vaccinated and previously infected individuals.

It is thought that this mutation was driven by high levels of population immunity, which drove mutations in the spike protein to evade the immune system. In Brazil, there have been several reports of healthcare workers and other people with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 being reinfected with variants with the E484K mutant, raising concerns about vaccine protection against this variant.

The review also examines mutations which make changes to other parts of the virus, such as ORF8, an accessory protein that is thought to supress the host immune system. Viruses with a deletion in the gene that encodes for ORF8 has been found to cause less severe clinical disease.

The authors of the review have called for increased global efforts to monitor SARS-CoV-2 mutations. Currently the United Kingdom and Denmark perform disproportionately high sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Regular monitoring of the virus allows early identification of emerging variants and allows researchers to identify the associated mutations.

“Although the genomic surveillance in Europe and the USA is fairly strong it is becoming clear there are large areas of the world that we simply have no idea what variants are circulating. These are starting to appear in Europe as imports or community outbreaks. Better surveillance across a broader range of countries would allow us to better risk assess what the next stage of the pandemic might look like,” said the authors. “If we want to monitor the ongoing emergence, spread, and import of potential vaccine escape mutants we have to continue this effort or risk further pandemic waves and vaccine failure. Furthermore, understanding the genomic epidemiology of the virus as early as possible will allow us to rapidly develop updated vaccine boosters.”

Professor Alain Kohl, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of General Virology said: “The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants is one of the great challenges in the ongoing pandemic. This review article summarises our current knowledge and understanding of the evolution of the virus, as well as the consequences — for example in terms of vaccination. It is of great interest to anyone wishing to learn more about the history of this virus and what the future may hold.”



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Scientists generate human-monkey chimeric embryos — ScienceDaily


Investigators in China and the United States have injected human stem cells into primate embryos and were able to grow chimeric embryos for a significant period of time — up to 20 days. The research, despite its ethical concerns, has the potential to provide new insights into developmental biology and evolution. It also has implications for developing new models of human biology and disease. The work appears April 15 in the journal Cell.

“As we are unable to conduct certain types of experiments in humans, it is essential that we have better models to more accurately study and understand human biology and disease,” says senior author Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. “An important goal of experimental biology is the development of model systems that allow for the study of human diseases under in vivo conditions.”

Interspecies chimeras in mammals have been made since the 1970s, when they were generated in rodents and used to study early developmental processes. The advance that made the current study possible came last year when this study’s collaborating team — led by Weizhi Ji of Kunming University of Science and Technology in Yunnan, China — generated technology that allowed monkey embryos to stay alive and grow outside the body for an extended period of time.

In the current study, six days after the monkey embryos had been created, each one was injected with 25 human cells. The cells were from an induced pluripotent cell line known as extended pluripotent stem cells, which have the potential to contribute to both embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues. After one day, human cells were detected in 132 embryos. After 10 days, 103 of the chimeric embryos were still developing. Survival soon began declining, and by day 19, only three chimeras were still alive. Importantly, though, the percentage of human cells in the embryos remained high throughout the time they continued to grow.

“Historically, the generation of human-animal chimeras has suffered from low efficiency and integration of human cells into the host species,” Izpisua Belmonte says. “Generation of a chimera between human and non-human primate, a species more closely related to humans along the evolutionary timeline than all previously used species, will allow us to gain better insight into whether there are evolutionarily imposed barriers to chimera generation and if there are any means by which we can overcome them.”

The investigators performed transcriptome analysis on both the human and monkey cells from the embryos. “From these analyses, several communication pathways that were either novel or strengthened in the chimeric cells were identified,” Izpisua Belmonte explains. “Understanding which pathways are involved in chimeric cell communication will allow us to possibly enhance this communication and increase the efficiency of chimerism in a host species that’s more evolutionarily distant to humans.”

An important next step for this research is to evaluate in more detail all the molecular pathways that are involved in this interspecies communication, with the immediate goal of finding which pathways are vital to the developmental process. Longer term, the researchers hope to use the chimeras not only to study early human development and to model disease, but to develop new approaches for drug screening, as well as potentially generating transplantable cells, tissues, or organs.

An accompanying Preview in Cell outlines potential ethical considerations surrounding the generation of human/non-human primate chimeras. Izpisua Belmonte also notes that “it is our responsibility as scientists to conduct our research thoughtfully, following all the ethical, legal, and social guidelines in place.” He adds that before beginning this work, “ethical consultations and reviews were performed both at the institutional level and via outreach to non-affiliated bioethicists. This thorough and detailed process helped guide our experiments.”

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Major Basic Research Project of Science and Technology of Yunnan, Key Projects of Basic Research Program in Yunnan Province, High-level Talent Cultivation Support Plan of Yunnan Province and Yunnan Fundamental Research Projects, UCAM, and the Moxie Foundation.

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Basha e pranon: U bë zhurmë e madhe, shkova rinovova patentën meqë m’u dha mundësia


Gjatë emisionit “Log” në ABC, Basha iu përgjigj Braçes, ndërsa zbuloi se patentën e kishte marrë për herë të parë kur ishte 17-vjeç, në 1991.

“Kur doli fotografia, më thanë se unë s’ e ndjek, që kishte një lumë entuziazmi të drejtuesve të lartë të kundërshtarit politik që kishin zbuluar se kishte skaduar leja e drejtimit, në fakt dua t’i falënderoj se më këtë rast e rinovova lejen e drejtimit. Patentën e kam marrë 17 -vjeç, në 1991”, tha Basha.

Por a dëgjon muzikë gjatë udhëtimit në makinë?

“Në përgjithësi po” u përgjigj lideri demokrat, duke  thënë se Edi Rama e ka zbuluar tani Dua Lipën.

Por çfarë muzike dëgjon Basha?

“Pop, rock, sigurisht muzikë shqiptare. Shumicën e rasteve, jo vetëm në fushatë por edhe gjatë aktivitetit jashtë fushate udhëtimi në makinë është kohë që harxhohet me mesazhe dhe telefonata”, tha ai.

j.l./ dita

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Innovative technique developed to destroy cancerous kidney cells — ScienceDaily


An innovative new technique that encourages cancer cells in the kidneys to self-destruct could revolutionise the treatment of the disease, a new study in the journal Pharmaceutics reports.

During this unique study, researchers from the University of Surrey and Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University in Russia investigated whether certain naturally occurring proteins within the body can be used to treat cancer.

Focusing on cathepsin S, a member of the lysosomal cathepsin proteins that are known to affect cancer progression, and p21 BAX, a protein that can stimulate cell destruction, researchers found that both can be deployed simultaneously to fight cancer cells in a two-pronged ‘attack.’ They act firstly by stopping the mechanism that makes certain treatments of the disease ineffective, and secondly by effectively encouraging cancerous cells to self-destruct.

This revolutionary approach targets two converging regulatory pathways that can sometimes be resistant to chemotherapy and has led to the development of a potential ground-breaking therapy using a novel peptide, CS-PEP1. Researchers found that this peptide inhibits both cathepsin S and its ability to break down the p21 BAX protein, resulting in the accumulation of p21 BAX, which encourages the death of cancer cells in the kidneys. The twin-track effect of this peptide can also override the molecular resistance often found during conventional chemotherapy treatment and offers a novel and effective approach in treating cancer.

An increased focus on therapeutic cancer treatments has signalled a move away from traditional methods such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as therapeutic treatments have been found to cause less harm to normal cells and fewer side effects for patients.

Professor Paul Townsend, Principal Investigator, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, said: “Kidney cancer is a very difficult type of cancer to cure; there is an increased need to think innovatively to develop new techniques. We have now discovered that proteins already in the body can be manipulated to encourage cancerous cells to die. This is an extraordinary breakthrough and insight, and can be used to potentially inform the treatment of other types of aggressive cancers, such as cancers of the breast and prostate.”

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Ja çfarë duhet të bëni kur keni dhimbje të forta barku


dhembjet e stomakut janë aq të zakonshme sa të gjithë i përjetojnë ato në një moment apo në një tjetër. Ka dhjetëra arsye pse mund të keni një dhimbje stomaku

Shumica e shkaqeve s’ janë serioze dhe simptomat kalojnë shpejt. Në përgjithësi, s’ ka nevojë të shikoni përtej kuzhinës suaj për një zgjidhje.

Xhenxhefil

Që nga kohërat antike, njerëzit i janë drejtuar xhenxhefilit si një ilaç për të gjitha, nga dhimbja te marramendja. s’ është thjesht një përrallë e të moshuarave. Studimet kanë treguar se xhenxhefili mund të jetë një trajtim shumë efektiv për disa lloje të shqetësimeve të stomakut.

Një anti-inflamator natyral, xhenxhefili është i disponueshëm në shumë forma dhe të gjitha mund të ndihmojnë. Suplementet e xhenxhefilit janë të lehta për t’u marrë, ndërsa disa njerëz e preferojnë xhenxhefilin në formë pijeje, si çaj për shembull, shkruan “Living”.

Çaj kamomili

Një filxhan çaji kamomili mund të ndihmojë në lehtësimin e dhembjes së stomakut, duke vepruar si një anti-inflamator. Këto veti anti-inflamatore ndihmojnë muskujt e stomakut të relaksohen, gjë që mund të zvogëlojë dhimbjen e ngërçeve dhe spazmave.

Dieta BRAT

Dieta BRAT përfshin bananet, orizin, salcën e mollëve dhe bukën e thekur, që ndihmojnë për të qetësuar dhembjet e stomakut, përzierjet ose diarren.

BRAT përmban ushqime me fibra të ulëta dhe asnjë nga këto ushqime s’ përmban kripë ose erëza, të cilat mund të përkeqësojnë më tej simptomat. Kjo dietë e butë është e zakonshme kur ndiheni të sëmurë dhe doni të hani diçka. Provoni ta thekni shumë bukën, gjë që mendohet se zvogëlon të përzierat.

Mente

Mentja shpesh rregullon të përzierat dhe shqetësimin e stomakut, meqë mentoli në gjethet e saj është një analgjezik natyral, ose thënë ndryshe qetësues i dhembjeve.

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Get your head in the game — One gene’s role in cranial development — ScienceDaily


Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) use genetic engineering in mice to further understand how cell fate is determined in the head

Tokyo, Japan — Mammalian embryonic development is an extremely complex and precise process. Specific molecular events act as cues that tell cells in the embryo where to move and what type to mature into. The expression levels of different genes in these cells can change at certain points of development, helping produce the signals that further the progression. Now, researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have used experiments with mice to show how a particular gene helps direct generation of tissues in the head.

In an article published in Scientific Reports, a group of researchers from TMDU determined that expression of a gene called Distal-less homeobox 5 (Dlx5) assists certain cells in the mouse head mature into cartilage cells, while others become bone cells. This is critical for proper cranial formation.

Neural crest cells (NCCs) have been a recent focus of developmental biology research because they can transition into many cell types including neurons, and those in the head region additionally differentiate into bone and cartilage. NCCs form an initial layer that constructs dermis and the meninges in early stages of development, then another group of NCCs present at the supraorbital region becomes bone forming cells and the cell domain expands apically as the overlying layer to form the calvarium to protect the brain. From these previous observations, the TMDU group became interested in how experimentally increasing Dlx5 expression would affect NCC differentiation.

“We worked with a mouse model to further understand how over-expressed Dlx5 affects cranial development,” says lead author of the study Tri Vu Hoang. “We used a method where we could force higher expression levels of Dlx5 in NCCs in a group of mice, then compared their head development with mice not genetically engineered in this way.”

The researchers first confirmed that Dlx5 was being expressed in NCCs in the engineered moue as they expected before examining cranial bone and cartilage formation in the two groups of mice. They observed enhanced layers of both bone and cartilage in the mice with higher NCC Dlx5 expression compared with the controls.

“We saw an interesting response with Dlx5 overexpression in the NCCs,” describes Sachiko Iseki, senior author. “NCCs intrinsically forming soft tissues of the initial layer transform into bone and cartilage in the vertex of the Dlx5-engineered mice.”

The group also examined expression of several bone and cartilage growth-promoting genes in the regions where new cartilage and bone were formed. They observed upregulation of multiple major genes for bone and cartilage formation including ?-catenin and Pdgfr?, bone genes were expressed in the region close to the skin and cartilage genes near the brain in the Dlx5-engineered mice that was not seen in the control animals. The observation shows that the initial soft tissue layer transform into the two different layers around the time of bone and cartilage formation.

“Our results shed light on early development of the head layer of NCCs in the mouse vertex; there two cell layers exhibiting differentiating potential for bone and cartilage.” says Vu Hoang. “Overexpression of Dlx5 in NCCs is an artificial situation in embryonic development, but it showed us an interesting phenomenon to discuss uncovered developmental mechanisms in the vertex of the head.”

This study provides fascinating data that will help move the developmental biology field forward. The researchers have successfully helped reveal the complicated mechanisms involved with cranial development.

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Rritet numri i viktimave, kritikohet procesi i imunizimit


Kosova të enjten shënoi 17 vdekje të reja nga koronavirusi në 24 orët e fundit, ndërsa specialistët shëndetësorë shprehin pakënaqësi lidhur me ritmin e imunizimit të popullatës.

Ata madje thonë se me shpejtësinë aktuale të imunizimit, Kosovës do të duhen tri deri katër vjet që të imunizojë gjithë popullatën.

Për 16 ditë nga fillimi i imunizimit, autoritetet shëndetësore në Kosovë kanë arritur të vaksinojnë vetëm 12,000 persona. Prioritet në imunizim u është dhënë punonjësve shëndetësorë, të moshuarve dhe atyre me sëmundje kronike. Ky imunizim po bëhet me vaksinën e AstraZenecas, ku Kosova, në fund të marsit pranoi 24,000 doza të kësaj vaksine. Aktualisht imunizimi është duke u bërë në sallën “1 Tetori” në Prishtinë si dhe në qendrat e mjekësisë familjare në disa komuna.

“Në mënyrë që vaksinimi të ketë ndikim në ecurinë e pandemisë është e nevojshme që një numër i madh i qytetarëve të vaksinohet brenda një periudhe shumë të shkurtër kohore. Dhe kur them një numër i madh, mendoj në deri gjysmë milion njerëz të vaksinohen për më pak se tre muaj”, thotë infektologu Ilir Tolaj.

Me procesin e ngadaltë të vaksinimit pajtohet edhe vetë koordinatori për vaksinim në sallën ‘1 Tetori’, Niman Bardhi.

“Ne jemi deklaruar që kemi kapacitete. Vetëm në qendrën ‘1 Tetori’ nga 750 deri në 1,000 persona mund të vaksinohen në ditë, shto pastaj edhe qendrat tjera që kanë qenë të përfshira në këtë proces. Kjo punë ka mundur të kryhet për 4-5 ditë. Ne ishim në dispozicion nga ora 08:00 deri në ora 19:30. Por, s’ e di si rrodhi kjo që të mos ta kemi të përmbyllur më shpejtë këtë proces sesa që jemi në kohën aktuale”, thotë Bardhi.

Ai shton se kapacitetet në sallën ‘1 Tetori’ mundësojnë vaksinimin brenda ditë të 2,000 personave.

atëherë, kritikat se vaksinimi po ecë ngadalë, sipas Ministrisë së Shëndetësisë, s’ qëndrojnë.

Në një përgjigje me shkrim dërguar Radios Evropa e Lirë, nga kjo ministri thonë se kapacitetet për imunizim janë te mjaftueshme dhe mund të shtohen. Por, sipas tyre, meqë në dispozicion për fillim janë vetëm 24,000 doza, administrimi ka shkuar më me kujdes.

“Me që ka pak doza në dispozicion, u është dhënë grupeve prioritare mundësia që të vaksinohen, por nga dita e nesërme kur fillon vaksinimi i grupmoshës 75-79 vjeç, dozat do të administrohen që të gjitha dhe shumë shpejt”, thuhet në përgjigjen e kësaj ministrie.

Ata thonë se Kosova ka kapacitete edhe për vaksinim masiv, por fatkeqësisht deri tash s’ ka pasur shumë doza të vaksinës kundër koronavirusit.

Imunizimin e ngadalësoi hezitimi i mjekëve

Në anën tjetër, Hana Xhemajli, specialiste për hulumtime të politikave globale shëndetësore, tha për Radion Evropa e Lirë se në ngecjen e këtij procesi ka ndikuar hezitimi i stafit mjekësor për t’u vaksinuar.

“Procesi ka ecur në mënyrë siç është planifikuar, mirëpo s’ janë planifikuar se do të ketë kaq shumë hezitim nga stafi profesional për mos ta marrë vaksinën, që është një habi në vete dhe është një rrezik meqenëse ata dërgojnë një mesazh të gabuar te popullata, e cila s’ ka shumë informata për vaksinimin”, thotë Xhemajli.

Ky hezitim i mjekëve për të mos e marrë vaksinën, thotë Xhemajli, është rrezik, pasi që Nëse ata s’ janë të vaksinuar dhe të mbrojtur, ekziston rrezikun që stafi mjekësor të mos mund të punojë.

Gjatë javës së parë të imunizimit, nga 15,000 punonjës shëndetësorë në sektorin publik dhe atë privat, janë vaksinuar pak më shumë se 3,000.

Kosova ka nisur procesin e vaksinimit kundër koronavirusit më 29 mars, pas sigurimit të 24,000 dozave të vaksinës AstraZeneca, me anë të programit COVAX të Organizatës Botërore të Shëndetësisë, i cili ka për qëllim shpërndarjen e vaksinave në vendet e varfra.

Autoritetet kanë thënë se do të pranohen edhe 76,800 doza tjera të vaksinës së AstraZeneca në periudhën prill-qershor, ashtu sikurse mbi 100,000 doza të vaksinës Pfizer/BioNTech, deri në fund të qershorit. 

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Kryemadhi: s’ fle në shtrat me Metën, në këtë moshë që jemi ne s’ i hyjmë në punë njëri-tjetrit


Kryetarja e LSI, Monika Kryemadhi ka deklaruar se s’ fle me presidentin Ilir Meta.

Sipas saj, presidenti aktualisht është angazhuar me Kushtetutën dhe demokracinë, ndaj e ka lënë pas dore marrëdhënien bashkëshortore.

“Në këtë moshë që jemi ne, s’ i hyjmë në punë njëri-tjetrit. Aktualisht s’ fle me presidentin. Është me kushtetutën dhe demokracinë”, ka deklaruar Kryemadhi në një intervistë të shkurtër për emisionin “Fiks aspak”.

Kujtojmë se kreu i shtetit, gjatë këtyre ditëve është zhvendosur në Vlorë.

Intervista:

Jeni martuar me mblesëri apo me dashuri?

Jemi puthur në fshehtësi, por dhe jemi dashuruar. s’ jemi martuar me mblesëri. Por s’ mendoj që kjo është gjë shumë e rëndësishme tani, kur kalamajtë na janë bërë nga 20 e ca vjeç e kusur.

Po që është bërë sebep PS-ja, s’ ka ndonjë gjë nga ana jote tani?

Normal që sebep është bërë PS-ja, posaqë kemi qenë anëtarë të Partisë Socialiste. Po përsëri sebep do të jetë PS-ja që më 25 prill socialistët të votojnë LSI-në.

Edhe të forcohet më shumë dashuria…

detyrimisht. Dashuria tek LSI-ja, se me Kushtetutë është e pavarur.

Do martoheshe sot prapë me Ilir Metën ti?

Këto pyetje s’ bëhen në periudhë fushatash elektorale. Se në periudhë fushatash elektorale, në 17 fushata që kam bërë me Ilir Metën, 17 herë jam dënuar me pushkatim, me varje në litar, me burgim të përjetshëm. Kështu që në periudhë fushatash s’ pyetet për dashuri. Aq më shumë 10 ditë para.

 

j.l./ dita

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Lipid research may help solve COVID-19 vaccine challenges — ScienceDaily


New research by University of Texas at Dallas scientists could help solve a major challenge in the deployment of certain COVID-19 vaccines worldwide — the need for the vaccines to be kept at below-freezing temperatures during transport and storage.

In a study published online April 13 in Nature Communications, the researchers demonstrate a new, inexpensive technique that generates crystalline exoskeletons around delicate liposomes and other lipid nanoparticles and stabilizes them at room temperature for an extended period — up to two months — in their proof-of-concept experiments.

The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines use lipid nanoparticles — basically spheres of fat molecules — to protect and deliver the messenger RNA that generates a vaccine recipient’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“The expense of keeping these vaccines very cold from the time they’re made to the time they’re delivered is a challenge that needs to be addressed, especially because many countries don’t have sufficient infrastructure to maintain this kind of cold chain,” said Dr. Jeremiah Gassensmith, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and of bioengineering at UT Dallas and a corresponding author of the study. “Although we did not include in this work the specific lipid nanoparticles used in current COVID-19 vaccines, our findings are a step toward stabilizing a lipid nanoparticle in a way that’s never been done before, so far as we know.”

The idea for the research project began during a coffee-break discussion between Gassensmith and Dr. Gabriele Meloni, a corresponding co-author of the study and assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UT Dallas.

Gassensmith’s area of expertise is biomaterials and metal-organic frameworks, while Meloni’s research focus is transmembrane transporter proteins. These proteins reside within cell membranes and are crucial for moving a variety of small molecules, including ions and trace metals, in and out of cells for several purposes.

“Membrane proteins sit in a cell membrane, which is a lipid bilayer,” Meloni said. “To study their structure and biophysical and biochemical properties, we must extract these proteins from the membrane using detergents and then reconstitute them back into an artificial membrane — a proteoliposome — that mimics the proteins’ natural environment.”

Shell Creation

Lipid nanoparticles and liposomes are similar in structure, and neither are thermodynamically stable at room temperature, Gassensmith said. The lipid structures can fuse or aggregate, exposing any embedded membrane proteins or cargo to degradation.

“One of the challenges in my field of research is that both membrane proteins and lipid bilayers are very delicate and intrinsically metastable, and we’re trying to combine them in order to understand how these proteins function,” Meloni said. “We have to handle them carefully and prepare them fresh each time. They cannot be stored for long periods and are not easily shipped to colleagues in other labs.”

The researchers joined forces to develop a methodology to stabilize this kind of lipid system and demonstrated their results using transmembrane proteins from Meloni’s lab as a case study.

They mixed liposomes — some with embedded proteins, some without — with a combination of two inexpensive chemicals, zinc acetate and methylimidazole, in a buffer solution. In about a minute, a crystal matrix began to form around individual liposomes.

“We think that the lipids interact with the zinc just strongly enough to form an initial zinc-methylimidazole structure that then grows around the lipid sphere and completely envelops it, like an exoskeleton,” Gassensmith said. “It’s analogous to biomineralization, which is how certain animals form shells. We sort of co-opted nature in creating this totally fake shell, where the biomacromolecules — the lipids and proteins — catalyze the growth of this exoskeleton.”

The ability of biomimetic shells to form around biological molecules is not new, Gassensmith said, but the process hasn’t worked well with lipids or liposomes because the metal salts that comprise the shell material suck water out of the liposomes by osmosis and cause them to explode.

“One of the keys to this research was identifying the buffer solution in which everything resides,” Gassensmith said.

Building a Buffer

Three graduate students collaborated on the project to develop the unique buffer medium that allows the reaction to occur.

“The buffer medium maintains the ionic strength of the solution and keeps the pH stable so that when you add a huge amount of metal salts, it doesn’t osmotically shock the system,” said Fabián Castro BS’18, a chemistry doctoral student in Gassensmith’s lab and a lead author of the study.

Castro and co-lead authors Sameera Abeyrathna and Nisansala Abeyrathna, chemistry doctoral students (and siblings) in Meloni’s lab, worked together to develop the buffer formulation.

Once the biomolecules have grown a shell, they are locked in, and the lipids remain stable. While the exoskeleton is very stable, it has a fortuitous Achilles’ heel.

“The shell will dissolve if it encounters something that is attracted to zinc,” Gassensmith said. “So, to release and reconstitute the liposomes, we used a zinc chelating factor called EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), which is a common, inexpensive food additive and medicine used to treat lead poisoning.”

In addition to the laboratory experiments, in another proof-of concept exercise, Gassensmith mailed through the U.S. Postal Service a sample of the stabilized lipid particles to his mother in Rhode Island. She shipped them back to Texas, but because the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of most UT Dallas research labs in 2020, the samples sat untouched for about two months until the graduate students returned to campus to examine them. Although the informal experiment lasted much longer than the researchers had expected, the samples survived and functioned “just fine,” Gassensmith said.

“This project required two different types of expertise — my group’s expertise in membrane transport proteins and Dr. Gassensmith’s long track record working with metal-organic frameworks,” Meloni said. “Our success clearly demonstrates how such collaborative research can bring about novel and useful results.”

Other UT Dallas authors of the study in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry include Dr. Ron Smaldone, associate professor; doctoral students Yalini Wijesundara, Olivia Brohlin, Alejandra Durand Silva and Shashini Diwakara; and Michael Luzuriaga PhD’20. Researchers from Graz University of Technology in Austria also contributed to the work.

The research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (R35GM128704), The Welch Foundation, the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, the UT Dallas Office of Research’s Seed Program for Interdisciplinary Research, the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Program, and the Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium.



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Shtoni këtë pluhur në pijet tuaja për të ngritur fokusin dhe shkrirë dhjamin në bark


A keni dëgjuar për matcha? Pija e shijshme jo vetëm që është e modës, por ka një bollëk përfitimesh të mahnitshme shëndetësore.

Pirja e çajit matcha ose shtimi i një lugë pluhur çaji jeshil matcha në një gotë mund të zbutë lodhjen dhe të shpejtoj humbjen e peshës.

Shikoni dy nga përfitimet e matcha më poshtë:

Mpreh fokusin

Matcha përmban pesë herë më shumë L-teaninë sesa çaji jeshil tradicional. Pse ka rëndësi? Ky aminoacid stimulon aktivitetin e valëve alfa të trurit që rrisin fokusin. Në fakt, hulumtimet në Institutin e Kërkimit të Ushqimit dhe Shëndetit Unilever në Holandë tregojnë se L-teanina mund të rrisë fuqinë e trurit me 133 për qind për gati dy orë.

Shkrirja e dhjamit

Matcha furnizon trupin me polifenolin EGCG, i cili aktivizon një enzimë që nxit qelizat muskulore të djegin dhjamin e barkut. Në një studim në Revistën Amerikane të Ushqimit Klinik, ky efekt ndihmoi pirësit e çajit të gjelbër të humbnin dy herë më shumë peshë dhe katër herë më shumë dhjamë në bark sesa ata që s’ konsumuan matcha.

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Efforts to stop spread of COVID-19 should focus on preventing airborne transmission, experts say — ScienceDaily


Any future attempts to reduce the spread of covid-19 should be focused on tackling close airborne transmission of the virus which is considered to be the primary route for its circulation, according to experts in an editorial published in The BMJ.

Respiratory experts argue that it is now clear that covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is most likely to transmit between people at close range through inhalation rather than through contact with surfaces or longer range airborne routes, although those routes can also be responsible.

The covid-19 pandemic has helped to redefine airborne transmission of viruses, say the experts from the universities of Leicester, Edinburgh Napier and Hong Kong, Virginia Tech, and NHS Lanarkshire, Edinburgh.

There has been some confusion over precise definitions of air transmissions of infections from the last century in which the difference between “droplet” “airborne,” and “droplet nuclei” transmission have led to misunderstandings over the physical behaviour of these particles, they say.

What is important to know, they claim, is that if a person can inhale particles, regardless of their size or name, they are breathing in aerosols. And while this can happen at long range, it is more likely to happen when being close to someone because the aerosols between two people are much more concentrated at short range, similar to being close to someone who is smoking.

People infected with SARS-CoV-2 produce many small respiratory particles full of the virus as they exhale. Some of these will be inhaled almost immediately by those within a typical conversational “short range” distance of less than one metre, say the experts, while the remainder will disperse over longer distances to be inhaled by others further away — more than two metres.

The well-known and often used preventative steps of wearing masks, keeping your distance, and reducing indoor occupancy all help to reduce the usual routes of transmission, whether through direct contact with surfaces or droplets, or from inhaling aerosols, they say.

However, they argue that a crucial difference is the need for added emphasis on ventilation because the tiniest suspended particles can remain in the air for hours and these are an important route of transmission.

Therefore measures to ensure that air is replaced or cleaned are all the more important, meaning opening windows, installing or upgrading heating, ventilation, and use of air conditioning systems.

In addition, the quality of masks is important to ensure effective protection against inhaled aerosols. Masks usually prevent large droplets from landing on covered areas of the face but tiny airborne particles can find their way around any gaps.

High quality masks with high filtration efficiency and a good fit are, therefore, important, they say.

Efforts to improve the quality of indoor air through better ventilation will bring other benefits, they add, such as reduced sick leave for other respiratory viruses and other environmentally related complaints including allergies and sick building syndrome.

If companies experienced less absenteeism with its impact on productivity, this could save them significant costs which would offset the expense of upgrading their ventilation systems.

The experts conclude: “Covid-19 may well become seasonal, and we will have to live with it as we do with influenza. So governments and health leaders should heed the science and focus their efforts on airborne transmission.

“Safer indoor environments are required, not only to protect unvaccinated people and those for whom vaccines fail, but also to deter vaccine resistant variants or novel airborne threats that may appear at any time.

“Improving indoor ventilation and air quality, particularly in healthcare, work, and educational environments, will help all of us to stay safe, now and in the future.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by BMJ. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Vdes në QKUK edhe babai i 15-vjeçarit të vrarë në Gradicë të Drenasit


Bekim Muja, babai i 15 vjeçarit A. Muja, i cili u vra në fshatin Gradicë të Drenasit, ka ndërruar jetë pasi s’ ka arritur t’i mbijetojë plumbave që kishte marrë javë më parë.

Ai qëndronte që disa ditë i plagosur në Qendrën Klinike Universitare të Kosovës, (QKUK).

Lajmin e ka bërë të ditur edhe miku i tij, Burim Klinaku me anë të një postimi në Facebook.

“Sap morra lajmin si paska vdekë Bekim Muja ishall allhu e ka dergu në lule të xhenetit do të na mungon”, shkroi ai.

Po ashtu shefi i Intensivës, Shaqir Uka tha shkurt se ai ka humbur jetë në orën 16:30.

“S’ka mundur t’i përballojë plagët e marra nga arma e zjarrit”, u shpreh Uka.

ngjarja e rëndë kishte ndodhur më 5 prill në fshatin Gradicë të Drenasit ku në vend kishte mbetur i vdekur 15 vjeçari A.M, derisa i plagosur kishte mbetur babai i tij B.M. (që ndërroi jetë sot).

Të njëjtit dyshohet se janë plagosur nga fqinjtë e tyre (po ashtu babë dhe bir) pas një mosmarrëveshje lidhur me malin e fshatit, por motivi i saktë i dukurisë s’ dihet akoma.

Dy të dyshuarit për vrasjen dhe plagosjen në fshatin Gradicë të Drenasit gjendjen në paraburgim.

në këtë kohë Gjykata e Prishtinës ka njoftuar se u është caktuar masa e paraburgimit të pandehurve Xh. B.  dhe A. B, të cilët nga Prokuroria dyshohen se kanë kryer veprën penale të vrasjes së rëndë dhe ndihma për kryerjen e vrasjes së rëndë.

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Emergency room visits fell by 25% amid third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, CDC report finds


Emergency room visits fell by 25% amid third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and by nearly two-thirds among children younger than age 11, CDC report finds

  • From mid-December 2019 to mid-January 2020, there were an average of two million emergency room visits per week
  • This fell by 25% over the same time period in 2020 to 2021 to an average of about 1.5 million per week
  • The largest declines were among children, decreasing 66% among those aged 0 to 4 and by 63% for those age 5 to 11 
  • Weekly visits for adult patients decreased the most in the West and Northeast and for pediatric patients in the Northeast and Midwest
  • Visits related to coronavirus made up 7% of all visits in January 2021 while 0.1% of all visits were related to the flu during the  2020-21 flu season

During the third peak of the coronavirus pandemic over the winter, the number of emergency room visits fell dramatically, a new report finds.

Between mid-December 2020 and mid-January 2021, emergency department visits in the U.S declined by one-quarter compared to the same time one year prior.

The largest drops were seen among Americans aged 11 or younger, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed on Thursday.

What’s more, visits related to the flu decreased by about 98 percent from the 2019-2020 flu season to the 2020-21 flu season. 

Researchers say adults likely were fearful of seeking medical care for themselves or their children over fears they’d catch COVID-19.  

Weekly emergency room visits fell by 25% from an average of two million in mid-December 2019 to mid-January 2020 to an average of about 1.5 million per week over the same time period during 2020 to 2021 (above)

Weekly emergency room visits fell by 25% from an average of two million in mid-December 2019 to mid-January 2020 to an average of about 1.5 million per week over the same time period during 2020 to 2021 (above)

The largest declines were among children, decreasing 66% among those aged 0 to 4 and by 63% for those age 5 to 11 from winter 2019-2020 to winter 2020-2021

The largest declines were among children, decreasing 66% among those aged 0 to 4 and by 63% for those age 5 to 11 from winter 2019-2020 to winter 2020-2021

A previous CDC report found that number weekly number of emergency department visits nationwide fell by more than 40 percent during the first peak of the pandemic in March and April.

After the initial decline during spring 2020, visits continued to increase through at least July 2020 before falling again.

To assess the continued impact the team looked at the numbers and types of ER from December 20, 2020 to January 16, 2021 using data from the CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program.

This was compared with data from one year earlier between December 15, 2019 and January 11, 2020.   

During the pre-pandemic period over the winter, there were an average of two million weekly ER visits.

However, over the same time period one year later, visits declined by 25 percent decline to about 1.5 million per week. 

Visits fell the most from children falling from about 300,000 during winter 2019-2020 to less than 100,000 during winter 2020-2021.

The report found that ER visits for children ages zero through four were 66 percent lower during the third pandemic wave  than the year before from rough 225,000 per week to nearly 75,000 per week.

Meanwhile, for children from ages five to 11, weekly ER visits were 63 percent lower from about 150,000 to about 50,000.

Regionally, the largest decreases for weekly adult patient visits were seen in the West and Northeast at 23 percent and 14 percent respectively.

Weekly visits for adult patients (left) decreased the most in the West and Northeast and for pediatric patients (right) in the Northeast and Midwest

Weekly visits for adult patients (left) decreased the most in the West and Northeast and for pediatric patients (right) in the Northeast and Midwest

Visits related to coronavirus made up 7% of all visits in January 2021 while 0.1% of all visits were related to the flu during the 2020-21 flu season (above)

Visits related to coronavirus made up 7% of all visits in January 2021 while 0.1% of all visits were related to the flu during the 2020-21 flu season (above)

For children, the largest declines in weekly visits were in the Northeast and Midwest at 65 percent and 53 percent, respectively. 

Despite the overall decline, the researchers also found that COVID-19-related visits increased during January 2021, accounting for seven percent of all weekly visits.

However, influenza visits made up just 0.1 percent of all weekly ER visits during the 2020-2021 flu season compared to nearly five percent the season before.

In its previous report, the CDC noted that people were likely scared to go to the emergency room but don’t have access to other forms of medicine.

‘Persons who use the ED as a safety net because they lack access to primary care and telemedicine might be disproportionately affected if they avoid seeking care because of concerns about the infection risk in the ED,’ the authors wrote.

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The device, which is powered by ultrasonic waves, could help doctors monitor the health of transplanted organs and tissue — ScienceDaily


Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have created a tiny wireless implant that can provide real-time measurements of tissue oxygen levels deep underneath the skin. The device, which is smaller than the average ladybug and powered by ultrasound waves, could help doctors monitor the health of transplanted organs or tissue and provide an early warning of potential transplant failure.

The technology, created in collaboration with physicians at the University of California, San Francisco, also paves the way for the creation of a variety of miniaturized sensors that could track other key biochemical markers in the body, such as pH or carbon dioxide. These sensors could one day provide doctors with minimally invasive methods for monitoring the biochemistry inside functioning organs and tissues.

“It’s very difficult to measure things deep inside the body,” said Michel Maharbiz, a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. “The device demonstrates how, using ultrasound technology coupled with very clever integrated circuit design, you can create sophisticated implants that go very deep into tissue to take data from organs.”

Maharbiz is the senior author of a new paper describing the device, which appears in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Oxygen is a key component to cells’ ability to harness energy from the food that we eat, and nearly all tissues in the body require a steady supply in order to survive. Most methods for measuring tissue oxygenation can only provide information about what is happening near the surface of the body. That is because these methods rely on electromagnetic waves, such as infrared light, which can only penetrate a few centimeters into skin or organ tissue. While there are types of magnetic resonance imaging that can provide information about deep tissue oxygenation, they require long scanning times, and so are unable to provide data in real time.

Since 2013, Maharbiz has been designing miniaturized implants that use ultrasonic waves to wirelessly communicate with the outside world. Ultrasonic waves, which are a form of sound too high in frequency to be detected by the human ear, can travel harmlessly through the body at much longer distances than electromagnetic waves and are already the basis of ultrasound imaging technology in medicine. One example of such a device is Stimdust, designed in collaboration with UC Berkeley electrical engineering and computer sciences assistant professor Rikky Muller, which can detect and stimulate electrical nerve firings in the body.

Soner Sonmezoglu, a postdoctoral researcher in engineering at UC Berkeley, led the effort to expand the implant’s capabilities to include oxygen sensing. Incorporating the oxygen sensor involved integrating both an LED light source and an optical detector into the tiny device, as well as designing a more complicated set of electronic controls to operate and read out the sensor. The team tested the device by monitoring the oxygen levels inside the muscles of live sheep.

Sonmezoglu points out that this type of oxygen sensor differs from the pulse oximeters that are used to measure oxygen saturation in the blood. While pulse oximeters measure the proportion of hemoglobin in the blood that is oxygenated, the new device is able to directly measure the amount of oxygen in tissue.

“One potential application of this device is to monitor organ transplants, because in the months after organ transplantation, vascular complications can occur, and these complications may lead to graft dysfunction,” Sonmezoglu said. “It could be used to measure tumor hypoxia, as well, which can help doctors guide cancer radiation therapy.”

Study co-authors Jeffrey Fineman and Emin Maltepe, who both are pediatricians at UCSF and members of the Initiative for Pediatric Drug and Device Development, became involved in the work because of its potential for monitoring fetal development and caring for premature babies.

“In premature infants, for example, we frequently need to give supplemental oxygen but don’t have a reliable tissue readout of oxygen concentration,” Maltepe said. “Further miniaturized versions of this device could help us better manage oxygen exposure in our preterm infants in the intensive care nursery setting and help minimize some of the negative consequences of excessive oxygen exposure, such as retinopathy of prematurity or chronic lung disease.”

The technology could be further improved, Sonmezoglu said, by housing the sensor so that it could survive long term in the body. Further miniaturizing the device would also simplify the implantation process, which currently requires surgery. In addition, he said, the optical platform in the sensor could be readily adapted to measure other biochemistry in the body.

“By just changing this platform that we built for the oxygen sensor, you can modify the device to measure, for example, pH, reactive oxygen species, glucose or carbon dioxide,” Sonmezoglu said. “Also, if we could modify the packaging to make it smaller, you could imagine being able to inject into the body with a needle, or through laparoscopic surgery, making the implantation even easier.”



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Arsyeja befasuese që disa njerëz gjithmonë ndjehen të uritur


Po mendoni pse jeni gjithmonë të uritur – edhe pasi të keni ngrënë ushqime të bollshme? s’ është gjithçka në kokën tuaj. Sipas një studimi të ri, kjo ka të bëjë me sheqerin tonë në gjak dhe sa ulët bie në orët pas ngrënies.

Hulumtimi vjen nga ZOE, një kompani që përdor testimin në shtëpi për të ndihmuar njerëzit të kuptojnë mikrobiomën e tyre dhe nevojat ushqyese në mënyrë që të mbajnë një mënyrë jetese të shëndetshme. Ekipi përbëhej nga shkencëtarë nga Shkolla Mjekësore e Harvardit, Shkolla e Shëndetit Publik Harvard TH Chan, Spitali i Përgjithshëm i Massachusetts, Universiteti i Nottingham, King’s College në Londër, Universiteti Leeds dhe Universiteti Lund në Suedi.

Ata vëzhguan mbi 1.000 pjesëmarrës (disa prej të cilëve ishin binjakë) dhe u dhanë secilit vaktin e njëjtë saktësisht dy herë në ditë. Ndryshe nga studimet e mëparshme që zakonisht vëzhgojnë efektin e ushqimit në sheqerin në gjak dy orë pas ngrënies, ekipi gjurmoi nivelet e glukozës së pjesëmarrësve për tre deri në katër orë pas një vakti.

Ata që kishin një rënie të ndjeshme të sheqerit në gjak gjithashtu kishin më shumë gjasa të hanin vaktin e tyre të dytë më shpejt, plus ishin të uritur më vonë gjatë ditës dhe konsumonin 200 deri në 300 kalori shtesë në përgjithësi sesa ata me glukozë më të vogël.

Studiuesit s’ panë asnjë korrelacion midis gjërave si mosha ose pesha që tregonte Po qe se një pjesëmarrës do të binte në kategorinë përkatëse. Edhe binjakët identikë që morën pjesë dhe, përsëri, hëngrën saktësisht të njëjtat gjëra shpesh treguan rezultate jashtëzakonisht të ndryshme.

Ekipi shpjegon se bëhet fjalë për “metabolizmin unik të secilit person së bashku me efektet e përditshme të ushqimeve që zgjidhni dhe nivelet e aktivitetit tuaj”. Në thelb, është provë e mëtejshme se s’ ka një qasje të vetme për të gjitha dietat dhe humbjen e peshës. Trupat tanë të gjithë reagojnë ndryshe ndaj ushqimit që hamë.

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Vaksinimi në Shtetet e Bashkuara



Në Shtetet e Bashkuara vazhdon me shpejtësi fushata për vaksinimin e 328 milionë banorëve. Por shtetet e ndryshme janë duke përparuar me ritme të ndryshme. Vendosni kursosin mbi secilin shtet amerikan për të mësuar se sa doza janë administruar, sa njerëz janë vaksinuar plotësisht dhe cila është përqindja totale e vaksinimit të popullësisë në shtet. Në përgjithësi ShBA ka administruar 194,791,836 doza ndërsa 69,211,473 qytetarë janë vaksinuar plotësisht. Deri tani është vaksinuar 21.15% e popullsisë. Që nga fillimi i pandemisë, në ShBA janë regjistruar 31,421,360 raste infeksionesh ndërsa COVID-19 ka shkaktuar vdekjen e 564,402 amerikanëve.

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Pfizer CEO says a THIRD Covid vaccine dose will be needed as soon as six months


BREAKING NEWS: Pfizer CEO says a THIRD Covid vaccine dose will be needed as soon as six months after someone receives two shots – and then be vaccinated annually

  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said it is ‘likely’ people will need a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • The potential booster shot will be given within 12 months of someone being fully vaccinated
  • Bourla said it is possible that people will need to be immunized against the novel coronavirus annually

Pfizer Inc’s CEO says he believes people will likely need a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

On Thursday, Albert Bourla said a potential booster shot would be administered six to 12 months of being fully vaccinated.

Bourla added that he thinks it is possible that people will need to be immunized against coronavirus annually.  

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech began studying a third dose of their vaccine in late February.

The booster shot is aimed at protecting against future variants, which may be better at evading antibodies from vaccine than earlier strains of the virus.

About 144 volunteers will be given the third dose, mostly those who participated in the vaccine’s early-stage U.S. testing last year.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said it is 'likely' people will need a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said it is ‘likely’ people will need a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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Stretching the boundaries of medical tech with wearable antennae — ScienceDaily


Current research on flexible electronics is paving the way for wireless sensors that can be worn on the body and collect a variety of medical data. But where do the data go? Without a similar flexible transmitting device, these sensors would require wired connections to transmit health data.

Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the Penn State College of Engineering, and two international teams of researchers are developing devices to explore the possibilities of wearable, flexible antennae. They published two papers in April in Nano-Micro Letters and Materials & Design.

Wearable antenna bends, stretches, compresses without compromising function

Like wearable sensors, a wearable transmitter needs to be safe for use on human skin, functional at room temperature and able to withstand twisting, compression and stretching. The flexibility of the transmitter, though, poses a unique challenge: When antennae are compressed or stretched, their resonance frequency (RF) changes and they transmit radio signals at wavelengths that may not match those of the antenna’s intended receivers.

“Changing the geometry of an antenna will change its performance,” Cheng said. “We wanted to target a geometric structure that would allow for movement while leaving the transmitting frequency unchanged.”

The research team created the flexible transmitter in layers. Building upon previous research, they fabricated a copper mesh with a pattern of overlapping, wavy lines. This mesh makes up the bottom layer, which touches the skin, and the top layer, which serves as the radiating element in the antenna. The top layer creates a double arch when compressed and stretches when pulled — and moves between these stages in an ordered set of steps. The structured process through which the antenna mesh arches, flattens and stretches improves the overall flexibility of the layer and reduces RF fluctuations between the antenna’s states, according to Cheng.

Energy efficiency was another priority. The bottom mesh layer keeps radio signals from interacting with the skin. This implementation, beyond preventing tissue damage, avoids a loss of energy caused by tissue degrading the signal. The antenna’s ability to maintain a steady RF also allows the transmitter to collect energy from radio waves, Cheng said, potentially lowering energy consumption from outside sources.

The transmitter, which can send wireless data at a range of nearly 300 feet, can easily integrate a number of computer chips or sensors, Cheng said. With further research, it could have applications in health monitoring and clinical treatments, as well as energy generation and storage.

“We’ve demonstrated robust wireless communication in a stretchable transmitter,” Cheng said. “To our knowledge, this is the first wearable antenna that exhibits almost completely unchanged resonance frequency over a relatively large range of stretching.”

Enabling further antenna customization with constant variables

After developing the stretchable antenna prototype, Cheng analyzed it with another research team. The researchers aimed to identify new fundamental pathways for fine-tuning such a device that could be applied to similar, future research.

“We wanted to investigate the problem by examining the connection between mechanical properties and electromagnetic behavior,” Cheng said. “Highlighting this relationship can reveal insights about the influence of different parameters on antenna performance.”

The team fabricated an antenna with layers and a mesh pattern similar to their previous prototype but lacking the double-arch compression structure. They measured the deformation of the antenna as the mesh was stretched at different intervals, then used computer simulations to examine the relationship between the deformation and the antenna performance.

To simplify the analysis of the antenna’s radio signal transmission, the researchers used a mathematical technique to convert certain measurements — such as the width and angle of the repeating mesh pattern — into constant values. With this process, called normalization, researchers can focus on the relationship between specific variables by negating the influence of the normalized variables.

The team found that the normalization of different variables provided several avenues for customizing the antenna’s performance. They also found that the simulated geometry of the mesh could produce different outcomes, even with the same set of normalized variables.

Though the researchers analyzed wearable antenna properties, Cheng emphasized that their methods could be applied to other radio frequency devices.

“We’ve shown that you don’t have to be limited to exploring the effects of one normalized variable,” Cheng said. “Using this method, we can tailor the properties for other antennae or devices that communicate using microwaves.”

Looking toward the future

Cheng and his collaborators will continue to research ways to facilitate the development of these devices through application-based studies as well as further fundamental explorations to optimize the design process.

“We are really excited that this research could one day lead to networks of sensors and transmitters worn on the body, all communicating with each other and external devices,” Cheng said. “What we’re imagining is science fiction at the moment, but we are working to make it happen.”



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Përfitimet shëndetësore nga lulet e brokolit


Brokoli është një perime që rritet mirë gjatë periudhave të freskëta të vitit. Brokoli i përket familjes së kultivarëve Brassica oleracea, që përfshin lakrën, lakrën e vogël, lulelakrën dhe barishte të tjera.

Formimi i tufëzave të brokolit në qendër të bimës shënon momentin kur ju duhet të përkujdeseni rregullisht për rritjen e saj.

Brokoli mblidhet kur sythet e lules janë akoma të mbyllura. Kur petalet e lules së brokolit nisin të marrin nuancë të verdhë, atëherë prijeni brokolin nga kërcelli menjëherë, pavarësisht madhësisë, pasi ky është momenti i fundit për të përfituar perimen e brokolit.

Nëse lulet çelin, atëherë lakra e brokolit do të shpërhapet dhe perimja s’ do ta ketë formën e saj tradicionale.

Shpesh ndodh që bima futet në periudhën e lulëzimit më herët se zakonisht. Kjo vjen për shkak të mangësive në ujitje dhe përkujdesje.

Në rastin e brokolit, një perime që dashuron freskinë, lulëzimi i hershëm nënkupton se bima është mbajtur në temperatura të ngrohta.

Në vendet me klimë të ngrohtë, farat e brokolit mbillen në vjeshtë, në mënyrë që të çelin gjatë dimrit ose në fillim të pranverës.

Mënyra më e mirë për të parandaluar çeljen e luleve të brokolit është të ruani temperaturën në tokën e mbjellë.

Nëse e mbillni brokolin në mot të ngrohtë, atëherë sigurohuni ta ujisni në mënyrë të përsëritur. Uji i ftohtë do ta ruajë temperaturën e tokës dhe do të ndalojë lulëzimin e parakohshëm të bimës.

Lulet ngjyrëverdhë të brokolit janë të ngrënshme dhe të shijshme. Ato mund të hahen të freskëta ose të gatuara.

Këto lule përdoren jo vetëm për garniturë por edhe përfshihen në sallatë falë vlerave të tyre ushqimore.

Lulet e çelura plotësisht të brokolit do të fishken gjatë zierjes, por lulet pjesërisht të çelura e ruajnë formën e tyre.

Aroma dhe shija e këtyre luleve është goxha e kënaqshme dhe e kërkuar, madje në shumë tregje, ato shiten në sektorin e barishteve të veçanta dhe delikate.

Kultivarët më të përhapur të brokolit janë tre. Kultivari më i përdorur është ai Kalabrez që ka marrë emrin nga Kalabria e Italisë.

Tufat e tij janë të mëdha dhe kërcenjtë të trashë. Ky kultivar prodhohet në temperaturë të ftohtë. Kultivari i dytë është ai me tufëza të shumta e të vogla dhe me shumë kërcenj të hollë.

Lulelakra ngjyrë vjollcë është një nënkultivar i brokolit që ka tufëza shumë më të vogla. Shpesh ndodh që majat e tufëzave kanë ngjyrë vjollcë.(AgroWeb.org)

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Nanomaterials strategically activate the immune system to fight inflammation as effectively as current standard therapeutics — ScienceDaily


Biomedical engineers at Duke University have developed a self-assembling nanomaterial that can help limit damage caused by inflammatory diseases by activating key cells in the immune system. In mouse models of psoriasis, the nanofiber-based drug has been shown to mitigate damaging inflammation as effectively as a gold-standard therapy.

One of the hallmarks of inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis, is the overproduction of signaling proteins, called cytokines, that cause inflammation. One of the most significant inflammatory cytokines is a protein called TNF. Currently, the best treatment for these diseases involves the use of manufactured antibodies, called monoclonal antibodies, which are designed to target and destroy TNF and reduce inflammation.

Although monoclonal antibodies have enabled better treatment of inflammatory diseases, the therapy is not without its drawbacks, including a high cost and the need for patients to regularly inject themselves. Most significantly, the drugs also have uneven efficacy, as they may sometimes not work at all or eventually stop working as the body learns to make antibodies that can destroy the manufactured drug.

To circumvent these issues, researchers have been exploring how immunotherapies can help teach the immune system how to generate its own therapeutic antibodies that can specifically limit inflammation.

“We’re essentially looking for ways to use nanomaterials to induce the body’s immune system to become an anti-inflammatory antibody factory,” said Joel Collier, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University. “If these therapies are successful, patients need fewer doses of the therapy, which would ideally improve patient compliance and tolerance. It would be a whole new way of treating inflammatory disease.”

In their new paper, which appeared online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on April 5, Collier and Kelly Hainline, a graduate student in the Collier lab, describe how novel nanomaterials could assemble into long nanofibers that include a specialized protein, called C3dg. These fibers then were able to activate immune system B-cells to generate antibodies.

“C3dg is a protein that you’d normally find in your body,” said Hainline. “The protein helps the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system communicate, so it can activate specific white blood cells and antibodies to clear out damaged cells and destroy antigens.”

Due to the protein’s ability to interface between different cells in the immune system and activate the creation of antibodies without causing inflammation, researchers have been exploring how C3dg could be used as a vaccine adjuvant, which is a protein that can help boost the immune response to a desired target or pathogen.

In their new nanomaterial, Hainline and Collier were able put this idea to the test by weaving key fragments of the C3dg protein with components of TNF into nanofibers. The C3dg protein would trigger the B-cells to create antibodies, while the TNF components would provide a blueprint of what the antibodies need to seek out and destroy.

“When Kelly assembled the C3dg protein and key portions of TNF into these nanofibers, she saw that there was a strong B-cell response, which means there was an increased production of antibodies that targeted TNF,” said Collier. “In standard mouse models of inflammation, mice experience a temperature change where their internal temperature will drop. But when Kelly delivered her C3dg nanofibers, it was highly protective, and the mice didn’t experience an inflammatory response.”

When the team tested their nanomaterial in the psoriasis mouse model, they found that the nanofibers carrying C3dg were as effective as a monoclonal antibody therapy. And because C3dg is normally found in the body, it wasn’t flushed out of the system by anti-drug antibodies.

After examining the psoriasis model, the team made a surprising discovery — C3dg wasn’t just stimulating antibody production in the B-cells, it was also influencing the response of T-cells.

“We observed that nanofibers that only contained the C3dg components without the TNF components still showed a therapeutic benefit to our models, which was surprising. But I think the most significant discovery was seeing a beneficial T-cell response that was activated by a protein you’d naturally find in your body,” said Hainline. “That kind of response had been seen before with other proteins, but we haven’t seen any reports of people using that response with C3dg.”

For their next steps, the team hopes to further explore the mechanisms behind this beneficial T-cell activation. They’ll also pursue additional experiments to explore the response to similar nanomaterials in rheumatoid arthritis models.

“We’re still learning about this T-cell response, and we’re trying to understand how it’s involved,” said Collier. “Ultimately, we’d love to see if C3dg can be used as a universal component in multiple different therapies against inflammation, especially if we can swap out the TNF segments with a different target. This work clearly indicates that nanomaterials involving C3dg warrant further development as immunotherapies.”



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Atomistja Era Syla fiton Medaljen e Argjendtë në Olimpiadën Matematike Evropiane për Vajza


Kjo është hera e dytë që Era Syla fiton medalje në Olimpiadën Matematike Evropiane për Vajza (EGMO).

EGMO (European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad) është garë e formatit të ngjashëm me Olimpiadën Ndërkombëtare të Matematikës dhe konsiderohet gara më e rëndësishme evropiane e matematikës për vajza, në të cilën marrin pjesë pothuajse të gjitha shtetet e Evropës, të përfaqësuara nga nxënëset më të mira të matematikës.

Për Kosovën kjo ishte pjesëmarrja e dytë me radhë, pas asaj të vitit të kaluar kur po e njëjta atomistë, Era Syla fitoi Medalje të Bronztë.

Ky sukses i jashtëzakonshëm i Erës para së gjithash është rezultat i potencialit të saj intelektual, i talentit të saj për matematikë dhe i punës së saj të palodhshme. Veç këtyre, ky sukses i Erës do të ishte shumë më i vështirë pa përkrahjen dhe investimin e vazhdueshëm të familjes, shkollës, mësimdhënësve, individëve e organizatave të ndryshme profesionale.

Instituti ATOMI me këtë rast iu ka shprehur mirënjohje dhe falënderim të gjithë atyre që kanë kontribuuar në realizimin e potencialit të Erës dhe në arritjen e këtij suksesi të jashtëzakonshëm nga ana e saj!

Përgatitja e ekipit garues të EGMO-s, është përkrahur financiarisht e jofinanciarisht nga Instituti ATOMI, me anë të sponsorizimit nga kompania Alb Architect.

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You’re close enough to catch Covid from someone else if you can smell their breath, expert says


Dr Julian Tang, a virologist, said if you can smell someone's breath you are too close

Dr Julian Tang, a virologist, said if you can smell someone’s breath you are too close

Britons should use the ‘garlic-breath distance’ measurement to work out whether they are at risk of catching coronavirus, an expert said today.

Dr Julian Tang, a virologist at Leicester University, warned people were standing close enough for the virus to jump between them if they could smell each other’s breath. 

‘The way this virus transmits is really through conversational distance, within one metre,’ he told Sky News.

‘When you’re talking to a friend or sharing the same air as you’re listening to your friend talking, we call it the garlic-breath distance.

‘So if you can smell your friend’s lunch you’re inhaling some of that air as well as any virus that’s inhaled with it.’

Dr Tang added the Government’s slogan ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ was sending the wrong message about how the virus spreads. 

At the start of the pandemic, experts thought the risk of getting infected was mainly from touching contaminated surfaces such as ATMs and petrol pumps.

But evidence now suggests the SARS-CoV-2 virus is airborne, with infected patients emitting contagious particles when they cough, sneeze, talk or breathe. 

 

HOW IS COVID SPREAD AND WHAT TRIGGERS AN INFECTION?

At the start of the pandemic, experts warned Covid was mostly spread through fomites – clothes, utensils and objects likely to carry the virus.

They suggested an infection could be triggered by touching these and then placing a hand to the mouth, nose or eyes.

But now evidence suggests the risk from this action is tiny – less than five in 10,000 according to one paper – and the US CDC says it is no longer the main route of transmission.

Instead, scientists believe, the disease is mainly airborne which makes it much harder to contain.

The World Health Organization says SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the pandemic, is mainly spread through droplets expelled through sneezes, coughs and even talking.

The droplets, which contain saliva, mucous and other substances from the airways including viruses, are larger than pure air particles.

After being released from the body they travel short distances before falling to the floor, which is why social distancing is so crucial. 

Some experts have also suggested aerosols – lighter particles released in breath and when someone talks – are the major driver.

It is for this reason that scientists are advising face masks are essential, to block the spread of particles, meaning fewer are put into the atmospher and able to be picked up.

They add that ventilation is key indoors to keep fresh air circulating and ensure these droplets don’t build up. 

Dr Tang criticised No10’s official slogan when it was unveiled last month, accusing ministers of misinforming people over how the virus spreads. 

‘I think the emphasis is wrong. So the message “hands, face, space”, we think should be really “space, space, hands”,’ he said.

The virologist also echoed other experts saying lockdown had been the driving force behind tumbling Covid cases and deaths. 

‘At the moment the lockdown is causing the main impact in terms of the reduction in cases and deaths,’ he said.

‘The vaccine roll-out is very rapid and encouraging but we’ll see that impact once we start to open indoor spaces.

‘If one or two people have antibodies that immune barrier will reduce the spread of the virus in an indoor environment where air ventilation is poorer and where people are close together unmasked talking and breathing the same air.’

Dr Tang was speaking after publishing a paper in the British Medical Journal warning the virus is mostly transmitted through the air.

He wrote those infected with the virus emit small droplets laden with the virus, which can then be inhaled by people up to two metres away.

At the start of the pandemic, experts warned Covid was mostly spread through fomites – clothes, utensils and objects likely to carry the virus.

They suggested an infection could be triggered by touching these and then placing a hand to the mouth, nose or eyes.

But now evidence suggests the risk from this action is tiny – less than five in 10,000 according to one paper – and the US CDC says it is no longer the main route of transmission.

Instead, scientists believe, the disease is mainly airborne which makes it much harder to contain.

The World Health Organization says SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the pandemic, is mainly spread through droplets expelled through sneezes, coughs and even talking.

The droplets, which contain saliva, mucous and other substances from the airways including viruses, are larger than pure air particles.

After being released from the body they travel short distances before falling to the floor, which is why social distancing is so crucial. 

Some experts have also suggested aerosols – lighter particles released in breath and when someone talks – are the major driver.

It is for this reason that scientists are advising face masks are essential, to block the spread of particles, meaning fewer are put into the atmospher and able to be picked up.

They add that ventilation is key indoors to keep fresh air circulating and ensure these droplets don’t build up. 

It comes after other experts warned smelling someone’s bad breath (halitosis) is a sign that more distance is needed to prevent transmission.

Professor Trish Greenhalgh, a primary care expert at the University of Oxford, warned in December that face masks should be worn when people are packed close together. 

‘In addition to “shared air” (mostly an indoor risk), there’s also the problem of being caught in the direct jet of an exhaled gas cloud when someone coughs, speaks, sneezes or just breathes out,’ she said.

‘If you’re close enough to feel their warm breath on you or smell their halitosis (bad breath) you probably need a mask even outdoors.’



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Good dental health may help prevent heart infection from mouth bacteria — ScienceDaily


Maintenance of good oral health is more important than use of antibiotics in dental procedures for some heart patients to prevent a heart infection caused by bacteria around the teeth, according to a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement published today in the association’s flagship journal, Circulation.

Infective endocarditis (IE), also called bacterial endocarditis, is a heart infection caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream and settle in the heart lining, a heart valve or a blood vessel. It is uncommon, but people with heart valve disease or previous valve surgery, congenital heart disease or recurrent infective endocarditis have a greater risk of complications if they develop IE. Intravenous drug use also increases risk for IE. Viridans group streptococcal infective endocarditis (VGS IE) is caused by bacteria that collect in plaque on the tooth surface and cause inflammation and swelling of the gums. There’s been concern that certain dental procedures may increase the risk of developing VGS IE in vulnerable patients.

The new guidance affirms previous recommendations that only four categories of heart patients should be prescribed antibiotics prior to certain dental procedures to prevent VGS IE due to their higher risk for complications from the infection:

    those with prosthetic heart valves or prosthetic material used for valve repair;

    those who have had a previous case of infective endocarditis;

    adults and children with congenital heart disease; or

    people who have undergone a heart transplant.

“Scientific data since the 2007 AHA guidelines support the view that limited use of preventive antibiotics for dental procedures hasn’t increased cases of endocarditis and is an important step at combating antibiotic overuse in the population,” said Walter R. Wilson, M.D., chair of the statement writing group and a consultant for the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

It has been over a decade since recommendations for preventing infective endocarditis were updated amid concerns of antibiotic resistance due to overprescribing. The American Heart Association’s 2007 guidelines, which presented the biggest shift in recommendations from the Association on the prevention of infective endocarditis in more than 50 years, more tightly defined which patients should receive preventive antibiotics before certain dental procedures to the four high-risk categories. This change resulted in about 90% fewer patients requiring antibiotics.

The scientific statement writing group reviewed data on VGS IE since the 2007 guidelines to determine if the guidelines had been accepted and followed, whether cases of and mortality due to VGS IE have increased or decreased, and if the guidance might need to be adjusted.

The writing committee reports their extensive review of related research found:

    There was good general awareness of the changes in the 2007 guidelines, however, adherence to the guidelines was variable. There was about a 20% overall reduction in prescribing preventive antibiotics among high-risk patients, a 64% decrease among moderate-risk patients, and a 52% decrease in those patients at low- or unknown-risk.

    In a survey of 5,500 dentists in the U.S., 70% reported prescribing preventive antibiotics to patients even though the guidelines no longer recommend it, and this was most often for patients with mitral valve prolapse and five other cardiac conditions. The dentists reported that about 60% of the time the antibiotic regimen was recommended by the patient’s physician, and 1/3 of the time was according to patient preference.

    Since the stricter 2007 antibiotic guidelines, there is no convincing evidence of an increase in cases of VGS IE or increased mortality due to VGS IE.

    The writing group supports the 2007 recommendation that only the highest risk groups of patients receive antibiotics prior to certain dental procedures to help prevent VGS IE.

    In the presence of poor oral hygiene and gingival disease, VGS IE is far more likely to develop from bacteria attributable to routine daily activities such as toothbrushing than from a dental procedure.

    Maintenance of good oral hygiene and regular access to dental care are considered as important in preventing VGS IE as taking antibiotics before certain dental procedures.

    It is important to connect patients with services to facilitate access to dental care and assistance with insurance for dental coverage, especially in those patients at high risk for VGS IE.

    It is still appropriate to follow the recommendation to use preventive antibiotics with high-risk patients undergoing dental procedures that involve manipulation of the gum tissue or infected areas of the teeth, or perforation of the membrane lining the mouth.

The scientific statement was prepared by the volunteer writing committee on behalf of the American Heart Association’s Young Hearts Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis and Kawasaki Disease Committee; the Council on Lifelong Congenital Heart Disease and Heart Health in the Young; the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; and the Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research.

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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Përse rrobat kirurgjike janë me ngjyrë të gjelbër ose të kaltër?


Ngjyra e bardhë, për shkak të intensitetit të vet, mund të dekoncentrojë kirurgët të cilët përqendrohen te pacienti

në të vërtetë, ngjyra e bardhë, për shkak të intensitetit që ka, mund të shpërqendrojë kirurgët të cilët pikërisht përqendrohen në ngjyrën e kuqe të gjakut, transmeton Telegrafi.

Efekt i ngjashëm shfaqet me rastin e ekspozimit të personit në diell kur është ka rënë borë.

Syve tanë u duhet kohë që të përshtaten me dallimin e tillë të kontrastit të ngjyrave, thekson Live Science.

Meqenëse ngjyrat e gjelbër dhe e kaltër janë e kundërta e spektrit të ngjyrës së kuqe, ato u ndihmojnë kirurgëve të cilët gjatë operimeve përqendrohen te pacienti dhe te ngjyra e kuqe e organeve etj.

Pikërisht për këtë shkak ngjyra e gjelbër dhe e kaltër e rrobave të kirurgëve, jo vetëm që u ndihmojnë mjekëve, por shikimin e tyre e bëjnë më të ndjeshëm ndaj nuancave të ndryshme të ngjyrës së kuqe.

Dhe në fund, kjo u ndihmon që më mirë të kujdesen në gjithë hollësitë e anatomisë njerëzore me çka zvogëlojnë mundësinë e ndodhjes së gabimeve gjatë operacioneve.

Dikur i gjithë stafi mjekësor kishte veshur rroba të bardha, derisa ndonjë ditë, në vitin 1914, një doktor me ndikim e kishte nisur traditën e uniformës së gjelbër apo të kaltër.

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Trendy ‘mindfulness’ programmes can make you more SELFISH, study finds


Trendy ‘mindfulness’ programmes can make you more SELFISH: Meditation increases egotistical behaviours for independent people, study finds

  • Researchers studied how independence altered the response to mindfulness  
  • The practice triggers increased selfishness in independent people
  • It has the opposite effect on team players and leads to more altruistic behaviour  

Mindfulness can make some people more selfish, a new study has found. 

The trendy practice has become a popular tool to help people enjoy their surroundings more in a bid to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. 

It has been proven effective, but scientists have now found it has previously unknown side-effects depending on the sort of person using it. 

For independent people, mindfulness leads to increased selfishness, researchers found. 

But for people who are naturally interdependent and view endeavours as a collective effort, mindfulness actually promotes altruistic behaviour. 

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Mindfulness can make some people more selfish, a new study has found. The trendy practice has become a popular tool to help people enjoy their surroundings in a bid to relieve stress and reduce anxiety (stock)

Mindfulness can make some people more selfish, a new study has found. The trendy practice has become a popular tool to help people enjoy their surroundings in a bid to relieve stress and reduce anxiety (stock)

What is mindfulness?  

Paying more attention to the present moment – to one’s own thoughts and feelings, and to the surrounding world  – can improve mental wellbeing.

This activity is now being called mindfulness. 

Mindfulness can help people enjoy life more and gain a deeper understanding of themselves.  

You can take steps to develop it in your own life. 

It was initially developed in East Asia and has become a trendy tool in Western cultures in recent years. 

Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, writes on the NHS website that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.

‘It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,’ he says.

‘An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience.’

Academics from the University of Buffalo in the US conducted two experiments with more than 300 volunteers each. 

Participants were quizzed to determine if they were more independent or interdependent and they then took part in a mindfulness activity. 

In the first experiment, the participants were afterwards told about a charity which needed volunteers to send out envelopes for a charitable organisation. 

This subtle task showed that independent people, after undergoing a bout of mindfulness, are less likely to help out.  

In the second experiment, participants were asked if they would sign up to chat online with potential donors to help raise money for a charitable organisation.

Results showed that mindfulness made those primed for independence 33 per cent less likely to volunteer, but it led to a 40 per cent increase in the likelihood of volunteering among those primed for interdependence.

‘Mindfulness can make you selfish,’ says Dr Michael Poulin, lead author of the study from the University of Buffalo. ‘It’s a qualified fact, but it’s also accurate.

‘Research suggests that mindfulness works, but this study shows that it’s a tool, not a prescription, which requires more than a plug-and-play approach if practitioners are to avoid its potential pitfalls.’ 

The researchers say the fault is not with mindfulness, but how it is deployed. 

It was developed in East Asia as a way for people to pay more attention to the moment and consciously stop and notice the world around them. 

This helps with mental health as it allows people to feel gratitude and enjoyment in things they otherwise take for granted. 

Mindfulness has been proven effective for improving mental health, but researchers have now found that it can have previously unknown side-effects depending on the sort of person using it. For independent people, mindfulness leads to selfishness, researchers found (stock)

Mindfulness has been proven effective for improving mental health, but researchers have now found that it can have previously unknown side-effects depending on the sort of person using it. For independent people, mindfulness leads to selfishness, researchers found (stock)

People in mindfulness’ native East Asia tend to be interdependent as a byproduct of their culture. 

As a result, the pro-altruism side-effect of mindfulness means it not only benefits individuals, but wider society as a whole. 

However, its recent adoption in Western cultures — where people are naturally more independent — removes the prosocial aspect of society and leads to more selfish behaviour. 

‘Despite these individual and cultural differences, there is also variability within each person, and any individual at different points in time can think of themselves either way, in singular or plural terms,’ says Dr Poulin.

The findings will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science. 

Meditation and mindfulness linked to narcissism and feelings of ‘spiritual superiority’, study finds 

Forms of spiritual enlightenment can ‘boost feelings of superiority’ by stoking the ego, a new study has found. 

Dutch experts studying questionnaires of nearly 4,000 people found a link between practising spiritual training, like meditation, and feelings of ‘spiritual superiority’. 

Thy found that those who were engaged in the more bizarre ‘energetic’ therapies, such as aura reading, were the most smug. 

Forms of spiritual training – including mindfulness, meditation, self healing and reading auras – are supposed to distance people from their ego and any feelings of self-worth.  

But spiritual training appears to actually have the opposite effect, by enhancing people’s need to feel ‘more successful, more respected or loved’, the experts say.  

‘Spiritual training is assumed to reduce self‐enhancement, but may have the paradoxical effect of boosting superiority feelings,’ say the authors, from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

‘It can, thus, operate like other self‐enhancement tools and contribute to a contingent self‐worth that depends on one’s spiritual accomplishments.

‘Self‐enhancement motive is powerful and deeply ingrained so that it can hijack methods intended to transcend the ego and, instead, adopt them to its own service.’ 

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Danimarka pritet që tu dhurojë vendeve të varfra vaksinën e AstraZenecas


Danimarka po konsideron shpërndarjen e vaksinës AstraZeneca në vendet e varfra pasi ndaloi përdorimin e saj në vend për shkak të shqetësimeve në lidhje me formimin e mpiksjeve të rralla të gjakut, tha drejtori i OBSH-së për Evropën, Hans Kluge.

Danimarka këtë javë u bë vendi i parë që ndërpreu përdorimin e vaksinës AstraZeneca, ndërsa zyrtarët evropianë vazhdojnë të analizojnë dhjetëra raporte të mpiksjeve shumë të rralla të gjakut të kombinuara me trombocite të ulëta që kanë ndodhur në vendet e Bashkimit si dhe në Mbretërinë e Bashkuar.

Organizata Botërore e Shëndetësisë (OBSH), e cila së bashku me agjencitë mjekësore britanike dhe evropiane vazhdojnë të këshillojnë përdorimin e vaksinës, duke thënë se përfitimet e vaksinës tejkalojnë rreziqet, po bën gjithashtu presion që vendet të mos grumbullojnë vaksina Po qe se s’ i përdorin ato, raporton thelocaldenmark.

“Dje fola me Soren Brostromin, drejtor i autoritetit shëndetësor danez dhe kuptova se Ministria e Jashtme është gati ose tashmë po shqyrton opsionet për të ndarë vaksinën AstraZeneca me vendet e varfra”, tha Kluge.

Zyrtarët e OBSH-së s’ kanë kritikuar ndërprerjen e vaksinimit me AstraZeneca në Danimarkë dhe thanë se secili komb duhet të jetë fleksibël në marrjen e vendimeve në lidhje me programet e vaksinimit bazuar në normat e vaksinimit, infeksionit dhe shtrimet në spital. 

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Fewer Britons are sticking to 10-day self-isolation following a positive test result, survey finds


Fewer Covid-infected Britons are sticking to the 10-day self-isolation rules than two months ago, an official survey suggests.

The Office for National Statistics found 82 per cent of those questioned who tested positive said they followed the mandatory quarantine in the six days to March 13. 

For comparison, the figure in early February — when just 10million Britons had been vaccinated — was 86 per cent.

Experts stressed, however, the results were likely an ‘overestimate’ because they were at odds with other studies, including one paper that claimed fewer than one in five Britons was properly self-isolating. 

On the other hand, Test & Trace’s Dido Harding has claimed in the past the numbers underestimate people’s efforts because they are a yes/no question – people who obeyed all the rules for nine days but had to go to a shop once, for example, would fail.

Britain was under its third lockdown in early February, with citizens required to stay home except for to shop for essentials and attend crucial jobs across all four nations.

But by March 13, England had reopened schools for all pupils, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were allowing primary school children back to the classroom.

Office for National Statistics found 82 per cent were self-isolating for ten days in early March. For comparison, in February they suggested it was 86 per cent. Experts stressed, however, the results were likely an overestimate

Office for National Statistics found 82 per cent were self-isolating for ten days in early March. For comparison, in February they suggested it was 86 per cent. Experts stressed, however, the results were likely an overestimate

ONS survey found going to the shops, visiting work, school or university or a medical appointment were the most likely reasons for not following the mandatory quarantine

ONS survey found going to the shops, visiting work, school or university or a medical appointment were the most likely reasons for not following the mandatory quarantine

They found 14 per cent of those who isolated were not paid by their employer for the period

They found 14 per cent of those who isolated were not paid by their employer for the period

Professor Robert West, a behavioural scientist at University College London, warned there was a ‘high risk’ these results were an overestimate.

‘First, the rate of reported self-isolation is much higher than that found in repeated surveys using a different sampling method,’ he said.

Can you smell your friend’s garlic breath? Then you’re close enough to catch Covid from them, expert says 

Britons should use the ‘garlic-breath distance’ measurement to work out whether they are at risk of catching coronavirus, an expert said today.

Dr Julian Tang, a virologist at Leicester University, warned people were standing close enough for the virus to jump between them if they could smell each other’s breath.

‘The way this virus transmits is really through conversational distance, within one metre,’ he told Sky News.

‘When you’re talking to a friend or sharing the same air as you’re listening to your friend talking, we call it the garlic-breath distance.

‘So if you can smell your friend’s lunch you’re inhaling some of that air as well as any virus that’s inhaled with it.’

Dr Tang added the Government’s slogan ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ was sending the wrong message about how the virus spreads.

At the start of the pandemic, experts thought the risk of getting infected was mainly from touching contaminated surfaces such as ATMs and petrol pumps.

But evidence now suggests the SARS-CoV-2 virus is airborne, with infected patients emitting contagious particles when they cough, sneeze, talk or breathe

‘Secondly, the data rely on self-reporting in circumstances where the pressure to report having self-isolated is very high.

‘Thirdly, this is a sample of people who have chosen to get tested, and responded to the survey and are, therefore, likely to be much more compliant than the average person.’

Professor James Rubin, a psychologist at King’s College London, argued the results were ‘good news’, saying the ‘high levels of adherence were encouraging’.

But he warned they should be taken with a pinch of salt because fewer than half of the people the ONS rang to ask to complete the survey actually responded. 

‘We need to ask ourselves whether there’s systematic bias at play,’ he said.

‘Perhaps people who don’t adhere to self-isolation also tend to not respond to surveys asking about adherence?’

The ONS survey relied on 1,122 people for its results, with respondents self-reporting whether they had followed isolation rules without providing any evidence.

Statisticians claimed their low response rate (45 per cent) was down to the target population being unwell and, therefore, less able to take part.

They found shopping for groceries, toiletries or medicines (32 per cent) and going to work, school or university (31 per cent) were the most common reasons for not staying at home out of those who failed to stick to the requirements in the latest survey.

This was similar to the previous survey which found shopping for groceries, toiletries and medicine (27 per cent), going to work, school or university (22 per cent) and visiting the doctors (17 per cent) were the most likely reasons. 

A third of those who self-isolated said it had a bad impact on their wellbeing and mental health during the period in March.

And 14 per cent reported not being paid by their employer for following the rules.

Moreover, three in ten respondents said they were not sure they understood the self-isolation rules.

The ONS study did not include people who had been asked to self-isolate despite not getting a positive test, such as those returning to the UK from abroad or who had recently been in contact with someone who was infected with the virus. 

Previous studies have suggested adherence to the self-isolation rules is very low despite ministers making them a legal requirement.

A King’s College London paper from September found just one in five Britons who had tell-tale Covid symptoms self-isolated. They quizzed 30,000 in the research.

And a British Medical Journal study based on 26,000 participants published last month found less than half of respondents (42 per cent) stayed home for the full ten-day quarantine period.

Experts have suggested many are not self-isolating because of insufficient income support and concerns over struggles with mental health.

They add many housing options – such as small flats in city centres – make the requirement impractical.

Ministers cut the self-isolation period from two weeks to 10 days in December, amid warnings the period was too long and many people were not following the order.

Medical officers said there was sufficient evidence that people weren’t infectious after this time period. 



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Cilat janë alergjitë më të zakonshme të pranverës dhe si t’i parandalojmë ato


Alergjitë në pranverë përbëjnë shqetësim për një pjesë të konsiderueshme të popullsisë.

Shpesh krijojnë shqetësime nga më të ndryshme, të cilat pengojnë në aktivitetet e përditshme.

Alergjitë më të zakonshme të pranverës janë:

Reaksionet alergjike

Simptomat që zakonisht shkakton janë rrjedhja e hundëve, teshtitja, kruajtja dhe bllokimi i hundës dhe rrjedhimisht dhimbja e kokës. Është e mundur bllokimi i hundës të bëhet i përhershëm dhe të shkaktojë dëme serioze, Me kusht që s’ trajtohet si duhet në kohën e duhur.

Astma alergjike

Simptomat e astmës alergjike ndryshojnë në varësi se sa e rëndë është ajo. Mund të shfaqet me një “djegie” në gjoks ose me kollë. Sidoqoftë, mund të jetë më serioze dhe të bëjë që të keni vështirësi në frymëmarrje dhe në të njëjtën kohë të keni kollë të fortë. Shkaku kryesor për shfaqjen e alergjive të pranverës është poleni i pemëve, i cili vazhdimisht qarkullon në ajër, shkruan KP.

Simptomat më të zakonshme të alergjive pranverore janë:

Sy të kuq që lotojnë

Sy të thatë dhe kruarje

Sy me rrathë të zinj

Rrjedhje sekrecionesh nga hunda

Kollë

Teshtitje

Për të shmangur këto probleme, përpiquni të qëndroni në shtëpi gjatë ditëve të thata dhe me erë. Koha më e mirë për të dalë, sipas specialistëve, është pas shiut, i cili do ta ketë pastruar atmosferën nga poleni. Minimizoni punën me bimë në ballkon dhe në oborr. Sapo të ktheheni në shtëpi nga jashtë, hiqini rrobat menjëherë dhe bëni një dush të shpejtë për të larguar polenin nga lëkura dhe flokët tuaj.

Postime të ngjashme

Less than 0.01% of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have gone on to contract the disease


A small number of Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 later contracted the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These-so-called ‘breakthrough cases’ occur when people test positive for the virus at least 14 days after receiving their final dose of the vaccine, and which officials say is not surprising.

‘So far, about 5,800 breakthrough cases have been reported to CDC,’ the federal health agency wrote to CNN in an email.   

‘To date, no unexpected patterns have been identified in case demographics or vaccine characteristics.’

With more than 76.6 million Americans – 23.1 percent of the population – fully immunized against coronavirus, this means that just 0.007 percent later fell ill – far less than one percent.

Additionally, more than 123.9 million Americans – or 37.3 percent – have received at least one dose with an average of 3.3 million shots in arms per day.

The CDC also told CNN that seven percent of those 5,800 cases – or 396 people – were later hospitalized and 74 of them died of COVID-19.    

The data are the first numbers to show how well the vaccine works in real life and – although the shots are not 100 percent foolproof – it suggests that developing the virus after being fully vaccinated is very rare.  

The CDC reports that about 5,800 of 76.6 million Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 - 0.007% - later tested positive for the virus,  with addition 123.9 million Americanas receiving at least one dose

The CDC reports that about 5,800 of 76.6 million Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – 0.007% – later tested positive for the virus,  with addition 123.9 million Americanas receiving at least one dose

Of those 5,800 cases, most were older and female, with 7% of them- or 396 people - later hospitalized and 74 of them dying of the virus. Pictured: A nurse prepares to give Skyler Penney a shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Clermont, Florida, April 14

Of those 5,800 cases, most were older and female, with 7% of them- or 396 people – later hospitalized and 74 of them dying of the virus. Pictured: A nurse prepares to give Skyler Penney a shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Clermont, Florida, April 14

Experts have warned that breakthrough case will continue to occur as  tens of millions of people are vaccinated across the country. 

In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine was 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic disease and the Moderna vaccine was 94.5 percent effective,

Meanwhile, real-world data showed the Pfizer jab was 91 percent effective against all disease for at least six months and the Moderna vaccine was 90 percent effective.

This means that fully vaccinated people are between 90 and 95 percent less likely to develop COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.

In addition, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trials showed 72 percent efficacy in the US, meaning those who got the one-shot jab were 72 percent less likely to contract the disease. 

By comparison, flu shots are less effective with about 40 to 60 percent efficacy, meaning that people vaccinated against the flu are more likely to get the seasonal virus than people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are to contract the coronavirus.

According to the CDC, about 40 percent of the breakthrough infections occurred among people who are aged 60 and older.

The agency also told CNN that 65 percent were among females and 29 percent had no symptoms.   

‘CDC is monitoring reported cases for clustering by patient demographics, geographic location, time since vaccination, vaccine type or lot number, and SARS-CoV-2 lineage,’ the email read.

Health officials also plan to test samples from people with breakthrough cases to see if any of the patients were infected with variants.  

The news comes as the pause of the J&J vaccine continues.

It comes amid the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccinated after there were nine reports of rare, but serious, blood clots out of 7.2 million vaccinations. Pictured: Boxes and vials of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine at National Jewish Hospital in Denver, March 6

It comes amid the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccinated after there were nine reports of rare, but serious, blood clots out of 7.2 million vaccinations. Pictured: Boxes and vials of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine at National Jewish Hospital in Denver, March 6

NIH director Dr Francis Collins told CNN the pause allow more time for scientists to investigate links between the shot and blood clots and that he doesn't believe the pause will slow down the mass vaccination campaign. Pictured: Collins holds a model of the novel coronavirus, as he testifies on Capitol Hill, July 2020

NIH director Dr Francis Collins told CNN the pause allow more time for scientists to investigate links between the shot and blood clots and that he doesn’t believe the pause will slow down the mass vaccination campaign. Pictured: Collins holds a model of the novel coronavirus, as he testifies on Capitol Hill, July 2020

The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggested clinicians stop using the shot after six reports  – later updated to nine – of rare, but serious, blood clots out of 7.2 million vaccinations.

Members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) delayed a vote on Wednesday on whether or not to recommend lifting the pause because many said they wanted more data before proceeding with a decision. 

National Institutes of Health Director Dr Francis Collins told CNN will allow more time for scientists to investigate links between the vaccine and blood clots and whether or not certain groups of people are more susceptible.

Collins said he does not believe the pause will slow down the U.S. mass vaccination campaign.   

‘In fact, the J&J vaccine supply was the smallest of the three and was not going to be particularly critical to get us to the point where everybody would have vaccine access by the end of May, or certainly by June,’ Collins said.

This is despite Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, noting during a press conference on Wednesday that there will be an impact on daily averages ‘in the very short term…as sites and appointments transition from Johnson & Johnson to Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.’ 

What’s more, Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy told CNN that Americans shouldn’t be worried about the pause because it shows that the U.S. vaccine safety system is working the way it was intended to. 

‘Our confidence in these vaccines is still high…We want to just make sure the investigations are done completely,’ he said.

An average of more than three million people are being vaccinated every day in the U.S. (above), but some states are doing better at immunizing residents than others

An average of more than three million people are being vaccinated every day in the U.S. (above), but some states are doing better at immunizing residents than others 

T0P 10 US STATES AND BOTTOM 10 US STATES VACCINATING THEIR RESIDENTS AGAINST COVID- 19

 TOP 10 STATES

1. New Hampshire – 53.3%

2. Maine – 45.3%

3. New Mexico –  45.1%

4. Connecticut – 45%

5. Massachusetts – 44.5%

6. Vermont – 43.1%

7. New Jersey – 42.8%

8. Rhode Island – 41.8% 

9. South Dakota – 41.3%

10.  Pennsylvania – 40.1%

 BOTTOM 10 STATES

1. Mississippi – 28.1%

2. Alabama – 28.7%

3. Louisiana – 29.9%

4. Tennessee – 30.4%

5. Georgia – 30.6%

6. Idaho – 31.1%

7. Indiana – 31.3% 

8. Wyoming – 31.4%

9. Arkansas – 31.6%

10. Missouri – 32% 

Percentages indicate share of residents who have received at least one dose.

Source: CDC/Bloomberg

However, vaccine hesitancy is still apparent in some parts of the U.S. and state that are excelling and struggling with vaccinations are starting to look like the nation’s political map: deeply divided between red and blue states.  

Currently, New Hampshire is doing the best when it comes to the percentage of residents who have received a least one dose with 53.3 percent doing so, according to CDC and Bloomberg data. 

Rounding out the top five are Maine, New Mexico, Connecticut and Massachusetts, which all have given at least an initial shot to more than 44 percent of their adult populations.

All have a history of voting Democratic and supported President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. 

In the bottom are five states where fewer than 31 percent have rolled up their sleeves for a shot. The wort is Mississippi with just 28.1 percent of adults in the state receiving at least one dose.

Three of the bottom five – Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee – lean Republican and voted for Donald Trump last fall.

The fifth is Georgia, which has a Republican governor and supported GOP presidential candidates for nearly three decades before narrowly backing Biden.   

The emerging pattern: Americans in blue states that lean Democratic appear to be getting vaccinated at more robust rates, while those in red Republican states seem to be more hesitant.

‘We can draw a conclusion that red states and voters that voted for Trump are going to be more difficult to vaccinate because we have real good survey data to support that,’ Dr Howard Forman, a professor of public health and management at the Yale School of Medicine, told the Associated Press.     

Forman cautioned that in most U.S. states, which receive vaccine shipments based on population, demand for the shot still exceeds supply, so it’s hard to know how many people are resisting until everyone who wants the shots gets them.

But if states soon start seeing significant numbers of unfilled appointments with many people still unvaccinated, he said consequences could be serious.

On Wednesday, Dr William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told DailyMail.com he is already seeing in his state of Tennessee the effects of vaccine hesitancy – only 30.4 percent of the population has received at least one shot – and encourages everyone to get the vaccine when it becomes available to them.

‘Covid continues to spread. It continues to put people into the hospital, even younger people,’ he said.

‘The way we can all protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors is to all get vaccinated just as quickly as possible.’       



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Postime të ngjashme

Katër stampime të lezetshme që ju duhen patjetër në gardërobën tuaj


Me kusht që jeni një minimalist i fortë, mund të dëshironi të mos i shikoni stampimet e përzgjedhura.

Por, të gjithë kemi nevojë për pak stimulim vizual herë pas here, dhe kur bëhet fjalë për veshjet, s’ ka më mirë sesa goditjet e rënda grafike të këtij sezoni.

Ky s’ është formacioni juaj i zakonshëm i luleve dhe pikave, prejse 2021 ka sjellë trende plotësisht marramendëse. Fatmirësisht, ka shumë alternativa që mund t’i provoni deri sa të arrini te ajo që juve ju përshtatet më së miri.

Me kusht që keni nevojë për inspirim ju mund të ndiqni Paloma Wool, e njohur si mbretëresha e stampimeve grafike, qofshin ato shumëngjyrëshe, rrotullime të mëdha ose spirale dinamike.

Këto printime s’ dështojnë kurrë të vendosin një buzëqeshje në fytyrën tuaj, pavarësisht nga stili personal.

Shkoni më poshtë katër nga këto trende të lezetshme:

Vorbull

Kuadrate

Valë-valë

Lule abstrakte

Postime të ngjashme

Vaccines not lockdown to blame for rapid drop in cases, top scientist says


Vaccines are behind Britain’s sharp drop in coronavirus cases since January, top experts claimed today — despite Boris Johnson insisting lockdown was the reason for the fall.  

Professor Tim Spector, a King’s College London epidemiologist who runs the UK’s largest Covid symptom tracking study, said the epidemic had ‘mainly’ been squashed by the ‘exemplar vaccine programme’.

With more than 60 per cent of the population jabbed with at least one dose and up to 10 per cent protected due to prior infection, Professor Spector added Britain was ‘starting to see herd immunity take effect’.

His comments come after data from his symptom-tracking app showed a 17 per cent drop in daily cases last week, with an estimated 1,600 new symptomatic infections a day across the country — down from 60,000 at the peak in January.

Separate Test and Trace figures showed new cases in England had dipped by 34 per cent last week, with 19,196 positive tests recorded in the seven days to April 7 — compared to 29,178 at the end of March. 

Professor Spector said: ‘As the UK slowly exits lockdown, I’m encouraged to see Covid cases continue to fall with our rates among the lowest in Europe. 

‘In fact, the UK closely mirrors cases in Israel with its exemplar vaccine programme. Based on our data and countries like Israel, I believe the fall in cases since January is mainly thanks to the vaccination programme and less about the strict lockdown the UK has been under since late December. 

‘With up to 60 per cent of the population vaccinated and around 5 to 10 per cent with natural immunity due to infection, we’re starting to see herd immunity take effect. This should prevent future large-scale outbreaks.’

Professor Spector warned it was inevitable cases would pick up again as restrictions are eased over the coming months. But he said any outbreaks would be ‘smaller’ and ‘manageable’ and among groups yet to be vaccinated.

It comes after the Prime Minister claimed the reduction in Covid infections, hospitalisations and deaths was down to lockdowns and was not achieved by the roll-out of vaccines. In a significant toning down of his praise for the jabs, he said the ‘bulk of the work’ in reducing the disease was done by brutal restrictions.

The Government’s own analysis has shown the vaccines have so far prevented 10,000 Covid deaths and are reducing hospitalisations by more than 80 per cent. Experts told MailOnline today the PM’s comments were ‘slightly misleading’ and suggested it was an attempt by Downing Street to keep people in check as lockdown is lifted. 

King's College London's study of more than a million Britons showed daily cases have fallen by 17 per cent in the last week, with an estimated 1,600 new symptomatic cases a day across the country

King’s College London’s study of more than a million Britons showed daily cases have fallen by 17 per cent in the last week, with an estimated 1,600 new symptomatic cases a day across the country

Test and Trace data indicated a 34 per cent drop in Covid cases over the seven days to April 7 compared to the previous week, after 19,196 people tested positive for the virus

Test and Trace data indicated a 34 per cent drop in Covid cases over the seven days to April 7 compared to the previous week, after 19,196 people tested positive for the virus

With more than 60 per cent of the population vaccinated with at least one dose and up to 10 per cent of people protected due to prior infection, Professor Tim Spector said Britain was getting close to achieving 'herd immunity'

With more than 60 per cent of the population vaccinated with at least one dose and up to 10 per cent of people protected due to prior infection, Professor Tim Spector said Britain was getting close to achieving ‘herd immunity’

What is herd immunity? 

Herd immunity is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.

Effectively, it means that once people have some form of immunity, it reduces the ability of a disease to spread among the population.

Therefore, someone who has antibodies either through previous infection or vaccines, acts as a ‘barrier’ to the virus.

If you have enough ‘barriers’ then the disease cannot effectively spread through a population.

But in the case of a new virus, such as with Covid-19, the virus can spread essentially without any barriers – which can lead to a pandemic.

The World Health Organisation says it supports achieving herd immunity through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population.

But one expert told MailOnline that Covid-19 is here to stay and that the key is reaching a ‘herd immunity threshold’.

This keeps the virus at what is known as an endemic level – where a disease is regularly found among the population but is not harmful enough to impact on society.

Keeping Covid-19 within the herd immunity threshold, which can vary particularly in winter when diseases such as flu and coronavirus spread quickly, will mean it is kept at a ‘manageable level’, the expert added.

Research shows the current crop of Covid vaccines help by increasing the antibody response to the virus – therefore heavily reducing the risk that someone can be made seriously ill.

But data is not yet available about how effective the vaccinations are at preventing transmission. 

Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline: ‘The vaccines wouldn’t have had much effect on the overall epidemic until the end of February/early March because they were not in enough arms yet, so you could say the initial drop was probably due to lockdown.

‘But I think the comments were slightly misleading because now that 60 per cent have been given the jab, it’s absolutely the case the vaccines will be doing the heavy lifting from now on.’ 

Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London and health analytics firm Lane Clark & Peacock LLP, said: ‘The January lockdown clearly helped break the chain of transmission resulting in cases and deaths declining across the whole population. 

‘The greatest declines in infection and mortality rates however were seen in the older and more vulnerable groups who had received Covid-19 vaccination during this period.’ 

Internal NHS figures released yesterday show Covid admissions in A&E are down 76 per cent among people aged 80 to 83 vaccinated with Pfizer’s jab, and positive tests down 70 per cent.

The improvements were seen from 35 days after people’s first vaccine doses and based on eight out of 10 getting their second jab within four weeks. Therefore, the findings are not specifically about effectiveness after either one dose or two doses.

Statistics show that over-65s now make up a smaller proportion of hospital patients than they did before vaccines, accounting for 49 per cent in March compared to 70 per cent in December.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the health service in England, said yesterday the ‘vaccines are successfully reducing hospitalisations and deaths’.

Public Health England’s real-world analysis of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine suggests both jabs cut transmission by up to 70 per cent and slash deaths and hospitalisations by over 90 per cent, after full vaccination. The figures are slightly less in people after their first dose.

Today’s figures from the Covid Symptom Study UK Infection Survey, ran by researchers at King’s and health tech firm ZOE, are based on around one million weekly users of the app. 

Estimates were made based on users’ feedback and almost 6,000 recent swab tests done between March 27 and April 10. 

Researchers believe about one in 2,000 people across Britain are carrying the disease at any given time, bringing the R value to around 0.8.

The found on average there were 1,601 daily cases across the UK in the most recent recording period, compared to 1,924 daily infections the week before. The figure was 1,271 for England.

Professor Spector argued the UK was on the cusp of achieving herd immunity, when so much of a population has protection against a virus through vaccines or previous infection that it starts to decline naturally.

Experts are torn over the exact percentage needed to achieve herd immunity but believe it will be at least 75 per cent. Top US medical official Dr Anthony Fauci has previously suggested it could be as high as 90 per cent.

The UK government’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance quoted a figure of 60 per cent back in March 2020 but scientists now believe it is much higher than that because the virus is more transmissible than previously thought.

However, true herd immunity will likely only be attained if there is even jab coverage around the country. In London, uptake rates have been below 60 per cent in some parts, compared to more than 80 per cent in most other areas.

Last week modelling by University College London (UCL) suggests that 73.4 per cent of the population will have protection against Covid by the middle of this month. 

UCL theoretical neuroscientist Professor Karl Friston told The Daily Telegraph on April 7: ‘Over 50 per cent of adults have been vaccinated, around 42 per cent of people have now been exposed to the virus and about 10 per cent have pre-existing immunity.

‘When factoring in the estimated efficacy of vaccination in terms of sterilising immunity, this – according to the model – means about 70 per cent of the population are immune.

‘Based upon contact rates at the beginning of the pandemic and estimated transmission risk, this is nearly at the herd immunity threshold.’ 

UCL’s modelling examines real-time deaths, infections, vaccinations and hospital admissions – among other factors – to determine Britain’s current R Rate of 1.12.

Meanwhile, separate data from Test and Trace released today found that of the 3.7million swabs completed in England during the seven days to April 7, only 19,000 spotted the virus, indicating a positivity rate of 0.5 per cent.

Although a million more swabs were done in the previous week, the proportion of all these that identified the virus was 0.6 per cent. This suggests cases are still dropping.  

The study found a clear reduction in the rates of positive tests, A&E visits and hospital admissions for Covid for people who were vaccinated (blue line) compared to people of a similar age who weren't vaccinated (orange line)

It found that, as the time since vaccination increased, the effect became stronger (purple line), with A&E attendances and hospital admissions dropping to 75 per cent lower than in non-vaccinated people

The study found a clear reduction in the rates of positive tests, A&E visits and hospital admissions for Covid for people who were vaccinated (blue line) compared to people of a similar age who weren’t vaccinated (orange line). It found that, as the time since vaccination increased, the effect became stronger (purple line), with A&E attendances and hospital admissions dropping to 75 per cent lower than in non-vaccinated people

Separate NHS data show that an average of 175 people are now admitted to hospital with Covid each day in England. The number is a fraction of the 4,000 per day at the height of the second wave in January

Separate NHS data show that an average of 175 people are now admitted to hospital with Covid each day in England. The number is a fraction of the 4,000 per day at the height of the second wave in January

Just 175 Covid patients were admitted to hospitals across England on Sunday, Department of Health data shows. This is the lowest level since mid-September when ministers were happy to allow Britons to sit inside pubs despite no one being jabbed

Just 175 Covid patients were admitted to hospitals across England on Sunday, Department of Health data shows. This is the lowest level since mid-September when ministers were happy to allow Britons to sit inside pubs despite no one being jabbed

Despite the wealth of evidence showing the success of the jabs, the PM claimed this week that lockdown —not vaccinations — were driving down infections, hospitalisations and deaths. 

Speaking the day after No10’s easing of lockdown restrictions saw pub gardens, shops, gyms and hairdressers reopen, Mr Johnson said it was the national shutdown that had been ‘overwhelmingly important’ in driving down rates.

He said: ‘The numbers are down — of infections and hospitalisations and deaths. 

‘But it is very, very important for everybody to understand that the reduction in these numbers, in hospitalisations and in deaths and infections, has not been achieved by the vaccination programme.

‘People don’t, I think, appreciate that it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures that we’re seeing.

‘And so, yes of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown.

‘So, as we unlock, the result will inevitably be we will see more infection, sadly we will see more hospitalisation and deaths, and people have just got to understand that.’

The comments marked a significant shift in tone by the PM, who has repeatedly hailed the vaccines as a ‘one-way road to freedom’ and said they had ‘thrown a shield’ around the entire population.  

Justin Trudeau tries to deflect criticism for Canada’s sluggish jab roll out by claiming Britain is facing a ‘very serious’ Covid third wave as cases soar in his country… but experts tracking UK’s outbreak have NO idea what he is on about 

Justin Trudeau faced fury today after claiming Britain is facing a ‘very serious third wave’ in a desperate attempt to deflect criticism for his country’s sluggish vaccine rollout and surging infections. 

The Canadian premier referred to the UK’s hugely successful drive, which has 60 per cent of the population given jabs compared to just 20 per cent in Canada, as he sought to justify keeping tough restrictions.

‘Vaccinations on their own are not enough to keep us safe,’ he told MPs in the country’s parliament.

‘We know for example that the UK is ahead of just about everybody else on vaccination and yet they maintain very strong restrictions and are facing a very serious third wave.’ 

But Tories accused Mr Trudeau of ‘fake news’, telling MailOnline he should ‘butt out’ and focus on his own country’s woes. Scientists tracking the spread of the virus also rubbished the Canadian premier’s comments, insisting the UK is in a ‘stable’ position.

Conservative MP Peter Bone said Mr Trudeau seemed to be deploying a similar tactic to the EU. ‘When they were in trouble on their poor performance of vaccination, they went on the attack trying to hit out at everyone and everything including the UK. Maybe this is the old saying, ‘the best form of defence is attack’ – even if there is no foundation to it.’ 

He added: ‘It would sound to me, like with the EU, there’s a lot of fake news in what he is saying. He should butt out of UK affairs and concentrate on running his own country, which he doesn’t seem to be doing very well.’ 

Professor Tracy Hussell, an immunologist and director of the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation at Manchester University, said: ‘I don’t really know what his fears are based on. I think clarification of that would certainly be useful. The UK is in a relatively stable position at the moment.’

Asked whether there was any sign of a third wave in the data, she said ‘not at the moment’ adding that hospitals have remained ‘calm’ and there are no clear signs of an uptick. 

On Monday, Canada recorded a record 10,859 new cases compared to 2,491 cases on the same day in the UK - a resurgence which infectious disease experts blame on 'pandemic fatigue', the early lifting of lockdown curbs and the appearance of more transmissible variants

On Monday, Canada recorded a record 10,859 new cases compared to 2,491 cases on the same day in the UK – a resurgence which infectious disease experts blame on ‘pandemic fatigue’, the early lifting of lockdown curbs and the appearance of more transmissible variants

Cases in the North American country, which was praised by pundits for its early response to the coronavirus outbreak but has struggled to get its vaccine programme up to speed, recently hit 207.3 per million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University – exceeding even the staggering 206.7 per million recorded in the US.

On Monday, Canada recorded a record 10,859 new cases compared to 2,491 cases on the same day in the UK – a resurgence which infectious disease experts blame on ‘pandemic fatigue’, the early lifting of lockdown curbs and the appearance of more transmissible variants.

While Britain roars ahead with its hugely successful vaccine rollout, with more than 32 million people having already received a first dose and now being offered the jab to over-45s in England, Canada has inoculated just a fifth of its population against the virus.

The Canadian government even suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in under-55s amid frenzied concerns it could cause blood clots in young people, and especially women – despite the claims of EU regulators that the shot does not cause the rare phenomenon.

Amid growing pandemic fatigue, hundreds of protesters in Montreal chanting ‘Freedom for the young’ clashed with riot police as they smashed windows and set bins alight during a demo against a draconian curfew extended and expanded by local authorities. 

Yet despite this, Mr Trudeau claimed during a Question Time in the Canadian House of Commons on Wednesday that Britain was ‘facing a very serious third wave’ of Covid-19 cases – despite no evidence yet showing that the country is on the cusp of another outbreak.

Dismissing the efficacy of vaccines, the Canadian premier said restrictions such as mask mandates and social distancing would help reduce cases and deaths, in an echo of Boris Johnson’s claims yesterday that lockdowns saved lives – and urged MPs to ‘engage in the right kind of behaviour’. 

 



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Plank anësor: Një ushtrim për bark të sheshtë që mund të bëhet në shtëpi


Sa më të fortë të jenë muskujt e barkut, aq më shumë ky ushtrim pakëson dhimbjen e shpinës

Fuqia e muskujve të barkut dhe të shpinës, si dhe muskujt anësorë të barkut ndërtohen me këtë rezistencë.

Shtrihuni në anën e djathtë të trupit tuaj, në një vijë të drejtë, me këmbët të shtrira njëra mbi tjetrën, të bashkuara.

Krahu është shtrirë, koka mbështetet mbi të. Supet, ijët dhe këmbët janë në të njëjtën linjë, transmeton Telegrafi.

Tani ngrihuni, vendosni bërrylin nën supe (në përputhje me shpatullën tuaj), ndërsa ngrini ijët nga dyshemeja me forcën e muskujve tuaj të barkut.

ndërsa bëni plankun anësor, mbështetja është në parakrah dhe këmbë. Ju duhet ta përsërisni këtë ushtrim në të dy anët e trupit.

Koha dhe numri i përsëritjeve janë të njëjta si në rastin e një planku të zakonshëm.

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Endometriosis: Woman claims she was refused hysterectomy due to age


A woman with endometriosis has revealed how she ‘pleaded’ with her doctors for a hysterectomy to remove her womb – but claimed she was refused due to her age and childless status.

Hannah Lockhart, 23, from Bangor, Northern Ireland, suffers from the long-term condition which sees tissue similar to the womb lining grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.  

The pain has become so bad, Hannah is now unable to go to the bathroom alone, and uses a wheelchair to move around.

She said she had been looking forward to starting a family with her fiancé Christopher Lowry but is now ‘pleading’ with doctors for a hysterectomy due to crippling pain, which has seen her hospitalised seven times in the last year. 

Speaking to BBC’s Evening Extra, Hannah explained: ‘Having children to me was one of the most important things…I don’t think I will ever get over the fact that I won’t have my own children naturally – that’s hard to come to terms with.’ 

She said she has begged for her womb to be removed to relieve her – but claimed doctors have refused, adding: ‘They have told me before that if I had been 10-15 years older and had a family of my own, it would not be an issue.’

Hannah Lockhart, 23, from Bangor, who has endometriosis has revealed how she 'pleaded' with her doctors for a hysterectomy to remove her womb - but claimed she was refused due to her age and childless status

Hannah Lockhart, 23, from Bangor, who has endometriosis has revealed how she ‘pleaded’ with her doctors for a hysterectomy to remove her womb – but claimed she was refused due to her age and childless status

Hannah said her pain began in her early teenage years but has been gradually worsening, resulting in her starting to use a wheelchair at the end of last year due to difficulty walking. 

She said: ‘Whenever I first got periods, from the very beginning, my periods were very heavy and very painful. 

‘It got to a point where I was taking pain relief, very heavy pain relief, every month.

‘I would be off school, there were days I couldn’t get out of bed or leave the month. It was the same cycle every single month.

Hannah said she had been looking forward to starting a family with her fiancé Christopher Lowry but is now 'pleading' with doctors for a hysterectomy due to her symptoms worsening

Hannah said she had been looking forward to starting a family with her fiancé Christopher Lowry but is now ‘pleading’ with doctors for a hysterectomy due to her symptoms worsening

‘I had a dread every month of this coming, I knew the pain that was coming and I knew how heavy it was going to be.’

She said she was about 15 or 16 when she ‘realised this wasn’t normal’, saying: ‘We went to the GP seevral times and their answer was just to put me on the pill. I don’t know how many different pills I tried.

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?

Endometriosis occurs when cells in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body. 

Each month, these cells react in the same way as those in the womb; building up, breaking down and bleeding. Yet, the blood has no way to escape the body.

Symptoms include pain, heavy periods and fatigue, as well as a higher risk of infertility, and bowel and bladder problems.

Its cause is unknown but may be genetic, related to problems with the immune system or exposure to chemicals.

Treatment focuses on pain relief and improving quality of life, which may include surgery or hormone treatment.

Source: Endometriosis UK

‘The pill comes with side effects too, it severely affects your mood as well.’

‘I then started to get pain throughout the month, so it wasn’t just on my cycle, so it was real sharp stabbing pains when you would be fine one minute and then you’d be on the floor.’

She was then referred on to doctors who she said told her: ‘Teenagers get pains and there is nothing we can do.’

She said endometriosis was ‘never mentioned’, adding: ‘It was us who bought it up to the doctors because nobody would bring it up to me. If it had have been mentioned years ago, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in now.

‘To be diagnosed earlier would have made such a difference. I wold have known what was wrong with me, instead of getting past from post to post. All the invasive tests I was put through…I perhaps wouldn’t have needed to go through that.’

‘Whenever you’re so young, they don’t want to affect your fertility or operate. They’re very against it. It’s a constant battle we’re up against’

She said hospital stays started last June and said she had been admitted 7 times in the past 10 months, with each stay being at least 1 week.

She said: ‘Last June, I started to lose the feeling in my right leg and I couldn’t walk or stand on it. I went to hospital the next day, and they had to rush me to surgery. I was in for a week after that, then I was home for a week, then in again for another few days.

‘Over the summer, I felt my symptoms were settling down every day. I was in pain, but it wasn’t as bad. 

‘But In November, it was as though I’d taken 10 steps backwards.’

She said she collapsed while at work and was taken back into hospital for a week, explaining: ‘People don’t understand the impact it has on your body.’

She added the fatigue is the worst part, saying: ‘There are days I can’t get out of bed, I’m so so sore.’ 

Hannah said she would be 'no use' to a child as a mother because of her chronic pain and revealed that she has looked into adoption with her partner

Hannah said she would be ‘no use’ to a child as a mother because of her chronic pain and revealed that she has looked into adoption with her partner 

She said the pain she suffers from is ‘beyond a 10’, saying: ‘It was only a week ago I was in hospital, yelling and yelling out in pain for someone to help me. They just don’t know what to do.’  

Hannah, who is wheelchair-bound due to the condition, continued: ‘Every single day I’m taking morphine, I’m taking different tablets for nerves to try and stop the pain and nothing works.’ 

She insisted that the chronic pain is ‘far, far more’ than a ‘heavy period’ once a month and claimed that the condition has ‘damaged’ multiple areas of her body.

Hannah needs a urinary catheter to go to the toilet and is already going through the menopause due to complications from the disease and emergency surgery last summer.

She said: ‘Being in menopause at 23 isn’t very nice at all.’  

Because of her early menopause, Hannah has to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to try and ‘calm down’ her symptoms. 

She explained: ‘Mine has spread to my bowel, it’s right through to my back and it has also completely damaged my bladder to the point that I can no longer use the bathroom myself.’  

Hannah said she had been looking forward to starting a family with her fiancé Christopher Lowry but is now ‘pleading’ with doctors for a hysterectomy due to her symptoms worsening.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and would leave Hannah unable to get pregnant following the surgery – but endometriosis can also lead to infertility.

Hannah said she believes she has been refused a hysterectomy due to the fact that she is young and doesn’t have children. 

She explained: ‘Back in December I pleaded with the doctor. I was literally begging her, in particular to remove my right ovary which is constantly growing cysts.

‘I have said to them, “Can you please just do whatever it takes here?”‘

When asked whether doctors had explained why they wouldn’t give her a hysterectomy, she said: ‘It’s simply because of my age. 

‘I have laid in hospital with women 10-15 years older than me who are having hysterectomies. It is purely because of my age.

‘It’s heartbreaking that just because I am so young, I have to keep suffering.’

Hannah said she would be ‘no use’ to a child as a mother because of her chronic pain and revealed that she has looked into adoption with her partner.

She explained: ‘At the end of the day I know that it’s not giving birth to a child that makes you a mum – it’s the love and the life that you provide for that child that makes you a mother.’  

MailOnline has contacted South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust for comment. 



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Franca bëhet vendi i katërt evropian që regjistron 100,000 vdekje nga COVID-19


Franca pritet të enjten të kalojë një “moment historik të zymtë”, duke shënuar 100,000 vdekje të shkaktuara nga COVID-19.

Sipas mediave të huaja, përcjell Telegrafi, rreth 297 viktima u regjistruan të mërkurën në vend, duke e çuar totalin në 99,805.

Gjatë javës së kaluar, mesatarisht 293 njerëz humbën jetën çdo ditë nga virusi.

Franca do të bëhet vendi i katërt në Evropë që ka arritur një numër të tmerrshëm pas Mbretërisë së Bashkuar, Italisë dhe Rusisë.

Ndryshe, SHBA vazhdon të ketë numrin më të lartë të vdekjeve në botë me më shumë se 564,000 jetë të humbura nga pandemia. Pasohet nga Brazili, Meksika dhe India.

Franca zyrtarisht regjistroi vdekjen e parë të Evropës nga COVID-19 më 14 shkurt 2020, kur një turist kinez 80-vjeçar vdiq në spital pas tre javësh në kujdes intensiv.

Dymbëdhjetë ditë më vonë, u njoftua për vdekjen e shtetasit të parë francez, një burrë 60-vjeçar.

Dhe deri në fund të pranverës, dhe përkundër një bllokimi të rreptë të vendosur në mes të marsit, vendi kishte regjistruar gati 30,000 vdekje.

Por vala e dytë u tregua edhe më e dhunshme në Francë dhe u shtua në fillim të këtij viti nga shfaqja e varianteve më të transmetueshme.

Kështu, që nga tetori, më shumë se 65,000 vdekje i janë atribuar virusit.

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Covid-19 UK: NHS waiting list hits ANOTHER record-high amid pandemic, official figures show


Boris Johnson today said the NHS would ‘get all the funding it needs’ to get through the Covid backlog as the number of people on the waiting list hit a record 4.7million.

The Prime Minister pledged to help the health service back to its feet as data for England today showed that 400,000 people have waited over a year for surgery.

And the proportion of cancer patients who hadn’t been treated within the two month target after being diagnosed has also jumped to a record 30.3 per cent.

Medics said NHS England’s performance figures laid bare the true toll of the Covid pandemic on hospitals, which were forced to turf out patients with other illnesses during the national lockdowns. 

Cancer charities described coronavirus as being ‘catastrophic’ for treatment. While MPs called for an NHS rescue plan to cut down waiting lists as hospitals scramble to cope with a Covid-induced backlog. 

Mr Johnson said during a visit to a military base in Dartmouth, Devon: ‘We do need people to take up their appointments and to get the treatment that they need.

‘We’re going to make sure that we give the NHS all the funding that it needs, as we have done throughout the pandemic, to beat the backlog.’

A record 4.7million people are now waiting for routine hospital treatment, official data showed today as the NHS scrambles to catch up with a Covid backlog

A record 4.7million people are now waiting for routine hospital treatment, official data showed today as the NHS scrambles to catch up with a Covid backlog

Speaking on a visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, today, Boris Johnson said: 'We're going to make sure that we give the NHS all the funding that it needs'

Speaking on a visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon, today, Boris Johnson said: ‘We’re going to make sure that we give the NHS all the funding that it needs’

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said today: ‘Ten years of Tory underfunding, cuts and chronic staff shortages left the NHS exposed when the pandemic hit.

‘Patients are now left paying the price with waiting lists at record highs.  

‘Labour is calling for an NHS rescue plan to bring down waiting lists and ensure patients can receive the quality care they deserve.’

Figures from NHS England show 387,885 people were waiting more than a year for treatment in February.

For comparison, the figure for the same month in 2020 — before Covid spiralled out of control — was 1,613.

Almost 4,000 Covid patients were being admitted to hospital every day in England during the peak of the second wave in January. Rates fell in February, following the effect of lockdown restrictions and vaccination.  

It has now been five years since the NHS met the Government’s target of ensuring all patients receive planned treatment.

Tim Mitchell, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: ‘The NHS had a brutal start to the year because of the second wave of Covid, and this is reflected in today’s figures. 

LESS THAN 70 PER CENT OF PEOPLE GIVEN FIRST TREATMENT FOR CANCER WITHIN TWO MONTHS OF AN URGENT REFERRAL  

Fewer than 70 per cent of patients diagnosed with cancer were treated within two months of being referred for urgent tests by their GP — a record low.

NHS England figures today showed just 69.7 per cent of newly-diagnosed patients met that target in February this year. 

For comparison, the figure for February 2020 was 74.0 per cent.

The number of people seeing a specialist for suspected cancer in the first full year of the pandemic is now more than 370,000 lower than in the previous year — a 15 per cent fall.

And there was a six per cent drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment compared with this time last year, with no improvement over 2021.

The total number of people starting treatment between March 2020 and February 2021 is now at least 38,500 lower than expected.

Sara Bainbridge, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘Today’s data further illustrates the catastrophic impact of Covid-19 on cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

‘Whilst there has been a marginal improvement from January in terms of urgent referrals, the number of people starting treatment remains lower than we’d expect. 

‘Tens of thousands of people are still missing a diagnosis due to disruption caused by the pandemic, which could affect their prognosis.

‘It’s vital that cancer services continue to be prioritised and that those with cancer are not forgotten. 

‘To address the extensive challenges that lie ahead, the NHS urgently needs a long-term, fully-funded plan for its workforce, ensuring there are more dedicated staff are able to provide the best care for cancer patients, now and in the future.’

‘Although we did see the number of patients with Covid decline in February, hospitals were still under huge pressure due to having to separate Covid and non-Covid care, staff having to isolate or being ill with the virus, and the massive resource needed to support the essential national vaccination effort.

‘Although the most urgent operations, for cancer and life-threatening conditions, went ahead, hundreds of thousands of patients waiting for routine surgery such as hip and knee operations, cochlear implants and vascular operations had their treatment cancelled or postponed.

‘387,885 patients have now been waiting over a year for planned treatment. That is a year of uncertainty, pain, and isolation. 

‘People have been patient as they’ve seen the battering the pandemic has given the NHS, but how much longer can they be expected to wait?’

He added: ‘Hitting the inauspicious milestone of a half a decade since the Government’s 18-week target for planned treatment was last met, reminds us the NHS’ capacity problem predates the pandemic. 

‘We already had too few beds and not enough staff to keep wider services, such as planned operations, going through hard winters and flu outbreaks.

‘The symptoms were there even before the pandemic, but the problem has now become ‘chronic’ and needs ‘long-term treatment’. 

‘As we try to get the NHS back on its feet, we must consider how to future-proof our health service, so that vital and life-changing operations can continue, no matter what comes our way. 

‘We need a New Deal for Surgery, with investment on a scale last seen in the 2000s, to get back on track meeting NHS waiting time standards.’

The total number of people admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England was down 47 per cent in February 2021, compared with a year earlier.

Some 152,642 patients were admitted for treatment during the month, compared with 285,918 in February 2020.

Because 2020 was a leap year, February contained 29 days rather than the usual 28 days. But the extra day will make little overall difference to the figures.

The year-on-year decrease recorded in January was 54 per cent, while in December 2020 the drop was 25 per cent.

Dr Susan Crossland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: ‘This data shows pressure is high and growing despite the fall in Covid cases and this was prior to the country starting to come out of lockdown.

‘Just this week the workload in acute medical units has felt to many like the pre-pandemic ‘eternal winters’ we had been working through for too long.’

She said the ‘scale of pressure on the system’ was best illustrated by separate data showing that 700 A&E patients were left waiting more than 12 hours for treatment in March. 

For comparison, the figure was around 330 in March 2019, when casualty units were busier. 

Statistics also show 174,624 urgent cancer referrals were made by GPs in February, compared with 190,369 a year before – a year-on-year drop of eight per cent. 

But the proportion of suspected cancer patients seeing a consultant within the two-week time target was 90.3 per cent, compared to 92.6 per cent last February. It was just 83.4 per cent in January 2021.

Urgent referrals where breast cancer symptoms were present – though not initially suspected – were down from 13,627 in February 2020 to 12,199 in February 2021, a fall of 10 per cent. 

The number of people seeing a specialist for suspected cancer in the first full year of the pandemic is now more than 370,000 lower than in the previous year — a 15 per cent fall.

Fewer than 70 per cent of patients diagnosed with cancer were treated within two months of being referred for urgent tests by their GP — a record low

Fewer than 70 per cent of patients diagnosed with cancer were treated within two months of being referred for urgent tests by their GP — a record low

And there was a six per cent drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment compared with this time last year, with no improvement over 2021.

The total number of people starting treatment between March 2020 and February 2021 is now at least 38,500 lower than expected.

Sara Bainbridge, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘Today’s data further illustrates the catastrophic impact of Covid on cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

‘Whilst there has been a marginal improvement from January in terms of urgent referrals, the number of people starting treatment remains lower than we’d expect. 

‘Tens of thousands of people are still missing a diagnosis due to disruption caused by the pandemic, which could affect their prognosis.

‘It’s vital that cancer services continue to be prioritised and that those with cancer are not forgotten. 

‘To address the extensive challenges that lie ahead, the NHS urgently needs a long-term, fully-funded plan for its workforce, ensuring there are more dedicated staff are able to provide the best care for cancer patients, now and in the future.’ 

NHS England said staff completed almost 2million operations and other elective care in January and February this year, while also providing hospital treatment for nearly 140,000 coronavirus patients.

It said two in five of all patients who have received hospital treatment for Covid were admitted in the first two months of the year.

Data shows 1.9million elective procedures or support for patients took place amid the winter surge of Covid infections and there were some 2.6million A&E visits in that period, NHS England said.

Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director for the NHS in England, said: ‘Treating 400,000 patients with Covid-19 over the course of the last year has inevitably had an impact on the NHS but it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of staff that they managed to deliver almost two million ops and procedures in the face of the winter wave and improve waiting times for them along with A&E and ambulance service.

‘It is good to see that people kept coming forward for checks cancer and other care with 22,000 who needed it starting treatment.

‘And the NHS recently announced a £1bn elective recovery fund which will be used to accelerate the restoration of services and treat as many people as possible, so we continue to urge anyone who needs the NHS to come forward so we can help you.’

But Dr Nick Scriven, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said: ‘It is becoming clearer that people with chronic illness, such as heart failure, have struggled on throughout the pandemic with community care but have now reached the limit of their endurance and now need hospital inpatient care.

‘Therefore it is imperative to rebuild face-to-face teams in the community as a matter of urgency as these are invaluable for patients with chronic diseases.

‘We must put emphasis on the safe ‘flow’ of patients through hospitals to effective discharge home to enable front door acute and emergency teams to do their jobs with manageable pressure on staff.

‘While no-one wants to see waiting lists increase any further, the priority will always be to ensure the most sick and in need get their care promptly and safely.

‘The job of government and NHS leaders is to make sure systems are in place across the board so that all patients are seen at the right place, by the right person at the right time to really effect change and we are not there yet.’



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2,673 lindje gjatë muajit shkurt 2021, 1,509 raste të vdekjeve


Agjencia e Statistikave të Kosovës (ASK) ka publikuar të dhënat preliminare  në baza mujore për Lindjet, Vdekjet, Kurorëzimet dhe Shkurorëzimet për muajin shkurt 2021.

Sipas dispozitave ligjore mbi udhëheqjen e regjistrave themeltarë për Lindjet, Vdekjet, Kurorëzimet dhe Shkurorëzimet, rastet regjistrohen në mënyrë të obliguar në regjistrat e lartë-cekur, në vendin e dukurisë, pa marrë parasysh se personat me të cilët lidhet ngjarja, vendbanimin e përhershëm/të zakonshëm e kanë në atë vend, ose në ndonjë vend tjetër.

Në muajin shkurt 2021 janë regjistruar gjithsej 2,673 lindje (brenda dhe jashtë Kosovës), ku krahasuar me muajin janar 2021 është një rritje për 0.3%. Prej këtyre lindjeve të regjistruara në muajin shkurt, 1,382 lindje janë meshkuj dhe 1,291 lindje janë femra.

ndërsa, janë regjistruar gjithsej 1,509 raste të vdekjeve (brenda dhe jashtë Kosovës), ku krahasuar muajin shkurt me muajin janar 2021 është një rënie për (-11.96%). Prej vdekjeve të regjistruara 840 raste janë meshkuj dhe 669 raste janë femra.

Në muajin shkurt 2021 janë regjistruar gjithsej 1,593 kurorëzime (brenda dhe jashtë Kosovës), ku krahasuar me muajin janar ka një rënie të numrit të qifteve të kurorëzuara për (-17.3%).

ndërsa, krahasuar numrin e shkurorëzimeve të muajit shkurt me muajin janar 2021, del se ka një rënie për (-23.6%). Gjithsej janë regjistruar 123 raste të qifteve të shkurorëzuara

ASK-ja do të vazhdojë me grumbullimin e të dhënave me anë të pyetësorëve të veçantë statistikorë, për Lindjet DEM-1, Vdekjet DEM-2 , Kurorëzimet DEM-3 dhe Shkurorëzimet SHK-1, gjatë këtij viti kalendarik, sikurse deri më tani. Grumbullimi i të dhënave vazhdon të bëhet çdo muaj dhe do të shërbej për krijimin e bazës së të dhënave, si dhe krahasimin me të dhënat administrative.

Burimi i të dhënave të këtij Buletini është Agjencia e Regjistrit Civil të Kosovës (ARC).

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Covid-19 UK: More than 30% of black over-60s in England have yet to get their coronavirus vaccine


More than 30 per cent of black over-60s have still not had their first Covid vaccine despite No10’s PR blitz to encourage uptake among BAME people, data has shown.

The proportion of black people who have not had a jab is nearly seven times higher than it is for white over-60s and higher than all other ethnicities, weekly figures show.

The data published yesterday — which comes from NHS health records — shows more than one in five Chinese and Pakistani over-60s in England have not yet had a jab.

Some 15 per cent of Bangladeshi people and 11 per cent of Indian people in that age group had also not taken the vaccine by April 7.

Rates were much lower among white, mixed race and Irish people – between four and eight per cent.    

Ministers launched a media campaign in February to address vaccine hesitancy after experts raised concerns about low uptake in ethnic minorities.

The Department of Health worked with more than 50 ethnic minority TV channels and radio stations that broadcast in 13 different languages to tackle anti-vaxx misinformation.

And a survey at the start of the month showed self-reported hesitancy among black people had halved since the start of the advertising campaign.

But the latest figures will raise concerns that more still has to be done to ensure jabs are being given to people of all ethnicities in a successful national roll-out.

Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chief at the JCVI, said in a seminar today: ‘There are problems in London, where the coverage rates are lower, and there are problems among certain ethnic minority groups, such as black Africans, where rates are lower, and we still need to do a lot of work with those groups.’

The figures show that a smaller proportion of black people have taken up the vaccine offer in every age group, compared to other ethnicities.

Just 12,474 out of 19,530 eligible black people aged 60 to 65 had received a jab by April — an uptake rate of just 63.9 per cent.

This was lower than mixed-race (74.3 per cent), south Asian (81.6 per cent) and significantly lower than white people in the age group (91.9 per cent).

But the proportion was slightly higher for each age group as they got older, in line with uptake among all ethnicities.

Some 67 per cent of black people aged 65 to 70; 71 per cent aged 70 to 80; and 74 per cent aged 80 and over have had a dose.

THE GOVERNMENT’S PR BLITZ TO ADDRESS HESITANCY IN ETHNIC MINORITIES 

The Department of Health and Social Care launched its UK Covid-19 Vaccine Uptake Plan on February 13.

It released targeted information and advice via 50 ethnic minority TV, radio, social media, and printed materials. 

DHSC and NHS social media channels are producing advice and information videos every day to answer questions about vaccines and provide the latest details about the vaccination programme.

DHSC also worked closely with social media platforms to identify and act against incorrect claims about the virus and anti-vaccination messages which could endanger people’s health. 

The Government began its PR blitz to address hesitancy in minority ethnic groups on February 13 — the day after the most recent ONS data begins at.

It launched its Covid vaccine uptake plan on that date, outlining plans to reach minority ethnic groups on broadcast and social media in a policy paper.

Ministers are working with more than 50 ethnic minority TV channels and radio stations that broadcast in 13 different languages to tackle anti-vaxx misinformation.

More than 90 faith, healthcare provider networks, influencers and experts from a range of communities have been recruited to hold Q&As to address people’s concerns about the Covid vaccine.  

Officials are also working with the BBC World Service to produce videos on key questions from South Asian groups in Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil, Gujarati, and Sylheti. 

An advert featuring Adil Ray, Moeen Ali, Denise Lewis, Romesh Ranganathan, Meera Syal was aired simultaneously on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky TV channels on February 18.

And this Tuesday, film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, author Malorie Blackman and radio DJ Trevor Nelson were among the signatories of an open letter by Sir Lenny Henry urging black Britons to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

In the letter Sir Lenny acknowledges the ‘legitimate worries and concerns’ that people feel, adding: ‘We know change needs to happen and that it’s hard to trust some institutions and authorities.’

He continued: ‘But we’re asking you to trust the facts about the vaccine from our own professors, doctors, scientists involved in the vaccine’s development, GPs, not just in the UK but across the world including the Caribbean and Africa.

‘Many of whom are our relatives, many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the people of this country from this pandemic.’ 

WHY ARE PEOPLE WORRIED ABOUT VACCINES? 

SIDE EFFECTS 

One reason some people are fearful of having a vaccine is the risk of side effects.

Side effects are normal because the vaccines trigger the immune system, which is how they work, and the immune system is usually what causes symptoms of illness.

Things like fever, aches, headache and tiredness are all normal signs that the immune system is reacting to something and are often caused jabs but are not serious. They tend to clear up by themselves within days, and can be controlled with drugs like paracetamol and ibuprofen.

A tiny proportion of people suffer more severe side effects, such as going into shock or having a severe allergic reaction, but this is extremely rare and usually only happens in people with a history of bad reactions. 

Everybody who receives a jab on the NHS is monitored for at least 15 minutes to make sure they don’t have a bad reaction, and vaccination teams have treatments on hand to help if this happens.

FERTILITY

Part of the reason for young women being concerned is understood to be myths about the vaccine affecting fertility or the health of unborn babies.

Although vaccines are not recommended for pregnant women, this is only because they have not been trialled on them specifically – the same reason children are not eligible for the jabs.

There is no evidence to suggest the vaccine would be capable of harming an unborn child – and certainly not any more than the real coronavirus – but it is not being given to pregnant women out of caution.

And on long-term effects on fertility, Professor Van-Tam said no vaccine has ever led to infertility and there was no reason the Covid ones would do so.  

ONLINE CONSPIRACY THEORIES 

Online conspiracy theories also claim that jabs have tracking microchips in them, contain animal products or use cells from human flesh – none of which are true.

Experts have called for spreading lies about vaccines online to be criminalised, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it ‘total nonsense’.



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Merkel vaksinohet kundër Covid-19 të premten, këtë vaksinë do ta marrë


Kancelarja e Gjermanisë, Angela Merkel, do të vaksinohet kundër sëmundjes Covid-19 të premten. Njoftohet se ajo do ta marrë vaksinën e kompanisë “AstraZeneca”, e cila në Gjermani u jepet vetëm personave mbi moshën 60-vjeçare. Kancelarja i ka 66 vjet.

Përdorimi i kësaj vaksine është kufizuar vetëm për personat e moshuar edhe në shumë shtete tjera evropiane për shkak të paraqitjes së rasteve të mpiksjes së gjakut pas vaksinimit.

Agjencia Evropiane e Ilaçeve ka thënë se lidhja mes kësaj vaksine dhe mpiksjes së rrallë të gjakut është e mundshme, por se efektet pozitive të vaksinës ia marrin anën çfarëdo rreziku. Sidoqoftë, Danimarka ka vendosur që ta largojë vaksinën e AstraZeneca-s tërësisht nga programi i vaksinimit.

Ndryshe, Gjermania ditëve të fundit po përballet me rritjen e numrit të rasteve. Ky shtet të enjten regjistroi 29.426 raste të reja me Covid-19, që është shifra më e lartë ditore që nga 8 janari. Shifra e përgjithshme e infektimeve shkoi në mbi 3 milionë e 70 mijë.

E zemëruar nga dështimi i disa rajoneve që të vendosin masa të të ashpra kufizuese pavarësisht rritjes së numrit të rasteve, kancelarja Merkel po kërkon nga kuvendi që t’i ofrojë qeverisë qendrore kompetenca të përkohshme për të vendosur masa izolimi në zonat me shkallë të lartë të infeksioneve.

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