first_img Facebook Reuters More Share this storyIKEA to test furniture rental in 30 markets as greener alternative to flat-pack fare Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn IKEA, which had global sales of 39 billion euros (US$44 billion) last year, said it wants to develop subscription-based leasing offers to encourage products to be reused as many times as possible before being recycled.Ikea KAARST, Germany — IKEA will expand tests to allow customers to rent desks and sofas rather than buy them as it shifts away from selling low-cost disposable furniture in response to growing environmental concerns.The world’s biggest furniture group first said it was looking into furniture leasing in February. It fleshed out its plans on Wednesday at an event held at its first ‘sustainable’ store in Kaarst, western Germany, opened in 2017.“Testing out opportunities for leasing offers is one of the ways we are challenging ourselves to deliver on our transformation strategy,” said Jesper Brodin, chief executive of Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores.“Climate change and unsustainable consumption are among the biggest challenges we face in society.”IKEA’s move towards supporting a more circular economy comes as many young consumers say they want to minimize their impact on the environment, preferring to rent items ranging from clothing to cars.Its business model has already come under pressure from the rise of online retail and a growing reluctance among younger shoppers to travel to its vast out-of-town stores, get the flat-pack furniture home and assemble it themselves.Rent the Runway, which has previously only rented out designer apparel and accessories, said last month it will partner with Williams-Sonoma Inc’s West Elm brand to allow subscribers to rent home decor.IKEA, which had global sales of 39 billion euros (US$44 billion) last year, said it wants to develop subscription-based leasing offers to encourage products to be reused as many times as possible before being recycled.It had already committed to make all its products from renewable and recycled materials by 2030 and also to design all its products to be reused, repaired and recycled. In 2018 it handled 1 million orders for spare parts to repair products.IKEA has already started testing different furniture rental projects in the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland, and aims to expand the tests to all its 30 markets next year.In Sweden and Switzerland, it is looking into providing furniture to companies on a subscription model, while in the Netherlands it is testing a rental package for students in cooperation with a housing association.© Thomson Reuters 2019 0 Comments Reddit Twitter Comment April 3, 201911:14 AM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Join the conversation → Email Recommended For YouJapan ruling bloc to keep simple majority in upper house, may get 2/3- NHK exit pollDavid Rosenberg: Deflation is still the No. 1 threat to global economic stability — and central banks know itTrans Mountain construction work can go ahead as National Energy Board re-validates permitsBank of Canada drops mortgage stress test rate for first time since 2016The storm is coming and investors need a financial ark to see them through IKEA to test furniture rental in 30 markets as greener alternative to flat-pack fare Young consumers say they want to minimize their impact on the environment last_img read more

HVDC Relay expanding high voltage application (GPR-M, GPR-H series)LSIS has been developing mass production of their GPR-M (DC 1000 V class) and GPR-H (DC 1500 V class) series. Generally, as the rated voltage increases, the size of the product must be increased to ensure insulation. However, the GPR-M (1000 V) series is implemented in the same size as the GER (DC 450 V) series, thus improving the customer’s space utilization. The GPR-M and GPR-H series are equipped with the same hydrogen barrier as the GER series.As the battery capacity of the vehicle increases, the rated voltage is increased and the external charge is expanded. Therefore, it is required to monitor the increase of the DC relay voltage and the On/Off of the contact point.GPR-M series has a rated voltage of DC 1000 V, 10 A ~ 400 A. The GPR-M400 can be used to check contact On/Off by monitoring the auxiliary contact. These products are all UL, IEC, CCC certified.GPR-H series has a rated voltage of DC 1500 V, 500 A and an auxiliary contact. They are all UL and IEC certified. In addition, an advantage is that the GPR-H series can be used in a system in which bi-directional blocking, such as reverse blocking or charge / discharge of a system can occur, by applying a bi-directional magnet arc extinguishing structure.Demand for the LSIS HVDC Relay is expected to increase exponentially with the continued global trend of expansion of renewable energy. The rapid charger for an electric car switches the AC to DC to supply electricity to the vehicle and the HVDC relay is used to supply and cut off the power. ESS, a system for storing electricity, uses a HVDC Relay between the battery and PCS. The HVDC Relay is used for On/Off of solar modules in PV systems.Based on its achievements in DC 450 V electric vehicles, LSIS will continue to commercialize HVDC relays to DC 1000 V and DC 1500 V for electric vehicles and chargers and will continue as a leader in the renewable energy market.For more information on LSIS HVDC Relay and Contactors, click here. Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine GER series HVDC Relay in Electric Vehicles (GER series)LSIS’ HVDC Relay came to the market for the first time in electric vehicles (HEV, PHEV, EV). Now they are mass produced to keep up with demand from well renowned global automobile manufacturers, who have accumulated trust in LSIS’ products. The HVDC Relay, applied to an electric vehicle, is installed between the vehicle battery and the inverter to cut off the charge and to discharge the DC power of the battery. It is also used between the external charger and the vehicle battery. Applied products are from the general electric relay (GER) series with a rated voltage of DC 450 V and rated current 10 A ~ 400 A. Electric vehicle application system Sponsored by LSIS LSIS was established in 1974 and spun off from the LG Group in 2003. The company business focus is on green energy electric power equipment and automation. LSIS has led the Korean electric power equipment market for the last 40 years and with the expansion of the renewable energy market, the company’s particular focus is on DC device commercialization for the solar and electric vehicle markets.HVDC Relays are used to supply and cut off the DC power, by opening and closing contacts by an actuator.Arcing that occurs when the DC power is cut off may cause damage to the contacts and surrounding components, so the arc should be extinguished as quickly as possible in the desired direction. The LSIS HVDC Relay is a product of power field technology and know-how gained over the last 40 years. It has excellent electrical durability, companct size, with low noise and features a permanent magnet and hydrogen inside for optimal arc extinguishing. Arc extinguishing structure read more

first_imgSource: The Adventures of StarmanThe Adventures of Starman is both art and history wrapped into a beautiful collectors edition comic book. To bring Starman to life, Eli partnered with comic artist Dash Martin and hired artists from both Marvel and DC.The first episode of the Starman movement is dedicated to the people of SpaceX who made the Falcon Heavy Launch possible, and Elon Musk for his ceaseless efforts to lead humanity forward..embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Source: The Adventures of StarmanWhat’s in store for Starman after Episode 1? Eli is going to continue honoring our contemporary leaders who are working towards a space faring civilization while shedding light on some of the powerful forces who are trying to stop our progress in creating a cleaner and safer planet. Starman will return in Episode 2: Big Oil Strikes Back.The Adventures of Starman Episode 1 is limited to 5,000 sequentially numbered copies and is available now at theadventuresofstarman.com.*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. See The Tesla Roadster In Space From All Angles ELON MUSK, SPACEX, AND TESLA INSPIRE NEW COMIC BOOK SERIESEli Burton is the President and Founder of My Tesla Adventure, a California-based Tesla Owners Club. The club’s mission is to bring together Tesla owners to embark on fun adventures, make great memories, and form lasting friendships. Eli is also a long-time space enthusiast, amateur rocket maker, SpaceX fan, and creator of an exciting new comic book series, The Adventures of Starman.*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.More Tesla Starman Stories: Tesla Starman Battles Jeff Bezos In This Retro Space Shooter Game Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 1, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: The Adventures of Starman“My vision for Starman is for him to become more than a moment, but a movement. I see it as a movement where people like me who are inspired by the current space revolution strive to do their best for human advancement toward space,” Eli explains.He continues, “I took an artistic approach because art has the capacity to inspire people, especially children like my daughter, to study hard and strive for STEM careers — this is a must if we are going to conquer the final frontier in our lifetime. I also hope that the Adventures of Starman will help drive public support for space exploration. Starman is the hero we need to keep dreaming of a better future.” Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Roadster “Starman” Toy Launched By Hot Wheels Source: The Adventures of StarmanThe SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch was the moment space enthusiasts like Eli had been waiting for since the landing on the Moon. “We all were brought up with the ideal that when we grew up we were going to live in a Futurama world — flying cars, space travel and humans becoming a multi-planetary species. Instead all we got were 140-characters, and a chance to buy upgraded smart phones, until Elon Musk came along,” says Eli.“When I saw Starman orbiting around the Earth in Elon’s Tesla Roadster, I knew I had to do something to help push his vision forward,” says Eli explaining his motivation behind The Adventures of Starman.last_img read more

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Home Depot offers the Ryobi 20-inch 40V Cordless Electric Snow Blower for $349 shipped. Regularly $399, today’s deal is the first discount we’ve tracked and the best price available. With winter upon us, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning off the those sidewalks. Opt for Ryobi’s 20-inch 40V model and don’t worry about gas or oil. Ships with a five-year warranty and 5Ah battery. Rated 3.9/5 stars. more…The post Green Deals: Ryobi 20-inch 40V Electric Snow Blower $349, more appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

first_img Battery-Electric Fast-Charging Versus Time Explained We loved it so much we bought our second LEAF, LEAFam Neeson, in 2015, to go all electric. When I skid LEAFam Neeson into a tree after driving a refugee to work in a blizzard we replaced it with a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, which we love just as much. Our joy of owning an electric vehicle has spread to my parents, who now own a 2019 Bolt. Electric vehicles continue to improve every year and I can confidently say I will never go back to gas.Editor’s Note: Alex Waardenburg is very interested in electric vehicles and is currently working on a research paper about EV smart charging for his master’s degree program. He reached out to us with this article, as well as a survey that you can take to help him out with his research.But, one aspect of driving an electric vehicle hasn’t improved and it really perturbs me. Electric vehicle charging is still so… dumb. EVs are sophisticated computers with massive amounts of energy storage and an internet connection, but their charger is no smarter than a coffee maker from the 1960’s!Sure, every vehicle manufacturer has a pilot program, a partnership, or done a study of smart charging. Every time I see a new article about it I’m encouraged that it shows they recognize the potential, but they have not given consumers anything to show for it after almost a decade. All the while startups like eMotorWerks have successfully commercialized smart EV charging stations. It hurts me to say Tesla is no better and it has no excuse. It has the vehicles and the software, which it uses for charging its Powerwall. Why doesn’t Tesla give customers the option of charging their vehicle the same way a Powerwall charges?A full implementation of smart charging would compensate the vehicle owner just by charging when electricity is the cheapest and reducing charge power when electricity is expensive. And, increasingly cheap electricity corresponds to times when renewable energy is abundant.Accelerating the implementation of electric vehicle smart charging, complete with compensation, will accelerate the transition to electric vehicles by making them more economical and environmentally friendly. It will also accelerate the transition to renewable energy by giving utilities more control over demand to compensate for the lack of control over electricity supply inherent in renewable energy. That synergy will spiral as more renewable energy makes electric vehicles even more enticing and more electric vehicles make more renewable energy possible.Of course, the true potential of smart charging can only be unlocked by utilities, and they are not going to play ball until EV smart charging reaches a critical mass to make it worth their effort. That will happen inevitably as electric vehicle adoption accelerates, but there are important steps vehicle manufacturers can take now to accelerate the point at which their fleet reaches critical mass. I believe the most important step is to work together.If only Tesla and GM coordinated, they would double their fleet overnight and reach critical mass together because all of their vehicles are internet connected, and they could both utilize all of their current fleet. That would show manufacturers like Nissan the importance of including internet connectivity to all of their electric vehicles. Of course, they should coordinate with every manufacturer who is willing to reach critical mass even sooner in all markets. It would allow vehicles from small manufacturers (who may never reach critical mass on their own) to be utilized. Since it is all coordinated by software, each manufacturer can leave the conglomeration with their entire fleet overnight with a software update as soon as they reach critical mass on their own.That is what vehicle manufacturers can do, but I am not a vehicle manufacturer. I also do not think venting on the internet is going to change anything or help anyone. No, my plan is to help manufacturers achieve critical mass another way; through increasing the utility of each electric vehicle.I am writing a research paper for my master’s degree and I chose to write about a novel way to increase the utility of each electric vehicle for smart charging by allowing electric vehicle owners to select a target charge range instead of a single value. The target range gives algorithms additional flexibility to choose the absolute best times to charge, even from day to day, allowing electric vehicles to be used for medium term energy storage (some days are sunnier than others!). It also gives smart charging algorithms extra flexibility to deal with the unpredictability of energy markets.In my research paper, I will attempt to quantify how much improvement it would provide. My analysis of using smart charging to increase self-consumption of solar power shows that using a target charge range improves self consumption by 15% over using a target charge value! However, modeling the benefits of other aspects heavily depends on how large users make their target charge range. That is what you can do to help.I have made a survey to estimate how large EV owners will make their range to make my analysis more accurate. If you have driven an electric vehicle, would you please fill out my survey, so I can make my research even more useful to someone who does manufacture electric vehicles with, say, 310 miles of range and 220 miles of range? Source: Electric Vehicle News Road Tripping And No Tesla Supercharger? This Hack Is the Answer What is EV smart charging? Why do we need it to move electric car adoption forward?My wife and I bought our first electric vehicle six years ago this summer. It was a signature ‘Blue Ocean’ 2013 Nissan LEAF, which my sister-in-law affectionately named LEAF Erickson. We have enjoyed freedom from the pump, smooth and exciting driving, and the assurance of a simple drive train (as a mechanical engineer who inspects draw bridge machinery, I’ve grown a healthy distrust of moving parts).Charging-Related Content: Electrify America Progress Report: Over 100 Charging Sites Open Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 17, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

first_img Watch This Tesla Model 3 Stop Itself To Avoid Horrific Crash: Video As you’ll see in the video clip above, a Tesla Model S is on Autopilot when it approaches a small construction area on the expressway. In this particular situation, the cement dividing wall actually encroaches on the lane in which the Model S is traveling in. Autopilot stays the course, which keeps the car in its lane, but in the process, the wall is clipped by the car.It’s unfortunate, but as you’ll read in the description below, the damage was very minor.Video description:Tesla Auto Pilot Fail!Our Tesla bounces off the wall.This is our Tesla Model S during autopilot that bounced off the wall. No injuries except the wheel was heavily scuffed up and some small scratches on the film itself. Luckily it didn’t need a body shop visit and just need film replacement to make it look like it never happened.Winning!Source: YouTube The system is far from perfect, but it’s the most advanced available today.Luckily, the damage was very minor. However, in these edge-case scenarios, no current self-driving system on the market is able to always do what’s right.As Tesla states though, the driver should always be attentive and always in control of the car. We need to remember that even Tesla says the cars aren’t yet capable of full self-driving, so the driver then is in charge.More Crash Info Tesla Model S With Dashcam Captures Near Crash: Video Source: Electric Vehicle News Watch Tesla Model X Stop Itself To Avoid Major Crash: Video Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 1, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News No Sign Of Nissan LEAF e+ Sales Splash In Japan Nissan LEAF e-Plus Officially Rated At 215 & 226 Miles Of EPA Range However, there are also cons like too big an A-pillar, useless navigation system, only 7-inch display (too small), center console bothers your legs. Additionally, the charging speed at popular 50 kW chargers in Japan is too slow for such a big battery.During the first brief test, battery temperature was low while driving and didn’t raise much while charging at 37-39 kW from 16% to 83%. More tests at higher-speed chargers (100 kW) would be needed to find out the battery temperature during fast charging.From the video description:center_img Nissan LEAF e+ Tested By Engadget: Video “I recently got a chance to drive an e+Leaf for a week and decided to make a review video. Since I wanted to make several videos but I only got the car for five days I decided to make a Frankenstein video of a range test, battery test, road trip and review. It’s kind of a mess but there is good information in it. I hope you’ll enjoy it!” The range is now high enough to skip buying a gas car in a country like JapanElectrified Journeys Japan recently released a very interesting test drive review of the brand new Nissan LEAF e+, received for few days from a dealer in Japan.The car with 99.4 Battery State-of-Health (according to LeafSpy) was indicating an available range of 462 km (287 miles) and during the road trip it managed to deliver it pretty accurately.100% – indicated range of 462 km (287 miles)56% – indicated range of 245 km (152 miles) after covering 177 km (110 miles)33% -indicated range of 158 km (98 miles) after covering 296 km (184 miles)16% – indicated range of 76 km (47 miles) after covering 383 km (238 miles) – total 459 km (285 miles)Among the biggest positives are: range, ProPilot driving assist, round view monitor, storage capacity and power. The new LEAF e+ also drives great, handling is good and the cabin is quiet.Nissan LEAF e+last_img read more

first_imgAre you ready for some football?The answer is likely yes as the football season is arguably the most anticipated sports season and one that transforms the weekends of many.For Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance practitioners, understanding the game is not just a professional diversion, but one that can actually add professional value as well.The reason is because understanding what makes a football organization successful can also inform FCPA compliance in a business organization.In the spirit of the season, my article “How a Successful Football Organization Can Inform FCPA Compliance In a Business Organization” highlights four attributes of a successful football organization that can also elevate FCPA compliance in a business organization.Click here to download the article.last_img read more

first_imgby, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweet2Share34ShareEmail36 SharesI’m happy to say that ChangingAging’s audience has expanded beyond the immediate realm of people who know Dr. Bill Thomas and his work.It’s exciting that we’re attracting people from outside what Bill calls the “GeroSphere” and adding lots of new voices and perspectives to the conversation. At the same time, Bill’s efforts to build a tour movement around live events is in its third year and really building steam.In both cases we’re meeting thousands of new people for the first time! We are hoping this year to better align and span the gap between the digital (ChangingAging.org) and live (Age of Disruption Tour) platforms and foster an ongoing conversation and movement to change and disrupt aging.In pursuit of that, we’ll soon be rolling out a new look and feel for the “Dr. Bill Thomas” brand and we’d love to give you an exclusive preview and get your input (especially our longtime fans!).To get started we got outside our box and solicited feedback from a local visual design agency in Ithaca called ThinkTopography to help translate our mission into a visual identity. Here are a few highlights from the initial brand development conversation:The first step for the designer was to establish a color palette. Lead designer Megan Pugh suggested a color profile that captures Bill’s personality as a “(friendly) crusader but a little edgy — like a band”, based on these traits:And here is the resulting color palette:The next big challenge was to decide whether Bill needed a formal logo to cap off the brand. Or wether we should focus on creating a logo for the Tour, or perhaps a new ChangingAging logo? After a lot of debate we decided Step 1 would be to focus on creating a “Dr. Bill Thomas” logo that captures the essence of both the digital and live platforms under it.The core theme we identified as key to the logo was “Conversation.” Check out the initial prototypes: Logo Sketch PrototypesNext, Megan played around with applying the new colors: Color Logo 1 Color Logo 2 Color Logo 3That brings us to the present. Megan is currently refining the logo prototypes and as soon as Bill signs off on the final logo we will begin rolling out the redesign.What do you think of the new look? What’s your favorite logo? Share in the comments below!Related PostsNew Podcast: Life Extension QuackeryBill Thomas and Nate Silas Richardson take on the age old question of mortality as well as a deep dive into caregiver stress when your spouse or partner lives with dementia. They also share a behind-the-scenes look at the latest swing of the Age of Disruption Tour, including how the…New Podcast: How To Play Life’s Most Dangerous GameWelcome to the only Podcast on the web featuring a physician, Dr. Bill Thomas, and musician, Nate Silas Richardson, who team up for the #AskDrBill Show. Today’s question: “What about the aches, pains, and chronic illness/risk of disease?”New Podcast: ReimaginationWelcome to the only Podcast on the web featuring a physician, Dr. Bill Thomas, and musician, Nate Silas Richardson, who team up for the #AskDrBill Show. Today’s question: What is Life Reimagined?Tweet2Share34ShareEmail36 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgby, Eilon Caspi, ChangingAging GuestbloggerTweetShare624ShareEmail624 Shares1. The human right of all people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is to be with people who know their life story including cultural habits and religious faith (Bell & Troxel, 2003).  2. Developing friendships, relationships, and trust with people with dementia is the foundation of person-directed care (Bell & Troxel, 2003; Zgola, 1999). Knowing, understanding, and thoughtfully using the life history of the person with dementia are the keys to creating and maintaining this foundation.3. The only way to truly understand an individual in later life in a holistic manner is to see her or him in a life-course perspective.4. Although more and more cueing is required as the disease progresses, the long-term memory remains relatively intact until the later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Therefore, there is a need to “capitalize on what can be remembered from the distant past to help counter the threat to personhood” (Chaudhury, 2002).5. “Neurodevelopmental Sequencing Approach” in Dementia. Behavior, movement, and functional losses in people with dementia occur in approximately the reverse order of their original development (Buettner, & Kolanowski, 2003). Functional abilities, skills, and activities a person acquired, learned, and enjoyed in infancy, childhood, and early adult life may be relatively preserved into the later stages of dementia. This key principle can be described in the phrase “What Goes In First, Goes Out Last.”6. To be able to have a meaningful interaction, connection, and communication with the person with dementia (e.g., conversation prompter) and to be able to attribute meaning to seemingly incoherent speech (Chaudhury, 2002).7. To be able to identify, focus, and capitalize on the person’s remaining abilities (Yes, we need to understand and proactively compensate for the decreased or lost abilities but we also need to avoid focusing excessively on these). Due to the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease, this is a “moving target” that requires regular assessment and adjustment.8. To be able to plan, encourage, and engage the person in enriching, appropriate, and personally meaningful activities based on her or his life-long interests, current abilities, disabilities, and preferences. This, while remaining open to the possibility that life-long interests may change among certain individuals.9. To understand the meaning of behavioral expressions for the person living with dementia (Rasin & Kautz, 2007). For example, to be able to identify and address remote triggers from the distant past of distressing behavioral expressions (Landerville et al. 2005). Research and practice have demonstrated a relationship between various early-life stressful events (e.g., life-threatening experiences and traumas) and current distressing behavioral expressions (Cohen-Mansfield & Marx, 1989; Feil, 2002).10. To be able to design a physical environment in a way that is personalized, familiar to the individual, understandable, and consistent with her or his lifelong positive experiences such as in their homes. This, from general design of physical spaces to cultural, ethnic, and familiar symbols, favorite and personally meaningful objects, and furniture. This, while continuously adapting the physical environment to the person’s cognitive disabilities and remaining abilities.11. To know what in the person’s life gives her or him hope (Kivnick, 1993) and to use this knowledge to nurture this sense in the present.12. To know what it is in the person’s life (from her/his perspective) that is most worth living for or that makes her/him feel most alive (Kivnick, 1993).13. To know whom or what the person especially cares about (Kivnick, 1993) and to use this knowledge to plan conversations, emotional support, meaningful engagement, and personal care.14. To know the things that have always given the person confidence and made her or him proud (Kivnick & Murray, 2001) and to use this knowledge on a regular basis to promote those feelings and experiences in the person.15. To know the person’s fears and to make every effort to avoid situations, conversations, activities, and care tasks that may trigger those fears.16. To be able to anticipate and proactively address the person’s physical, emotional, psychological, social, occupational, cultural, and spiritual needs. Various unmet needs related to the person’s psychosocial history often contribute to distressing and harmful behavioral expressions (Whall & Kolanowski, 2004).17. Many family members want to remain involved in the care of their relative when the person lives in a long-term care home (such as a nursing home or an assisted living residence). Learning about the unique and rich life-history of the person is a great way to involve family members in her or his support and care (Chaudhury, 2002). This, in turn, could inform and lead to more individualized and effective care and highest practical physical function, emotional / psychological well-being, and safety.18. To be able to develop an individualized care plan that respects the person’s values, beliefs, faith, personality, lifestyle, daily routine, habits, coping style, areas of sensitivity, fears, traumas, accomplishments, expectations, interests, special skills, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and preferences.19. To relate to the person with empathetic identification and make her/him feel that she/he is understood as a real person (Chaudhury, 2002).20. To be able to see the person behind the dementia and/or her/his behavioral expressions and to preserve her or his personhood, identity, sense of self, and dignity as long as possible (Kitwood, 1997).“People with dementia may have something important to teach the rest of humankind. If we make the venture one of genuine and open engagement, we will learn a great deal about ourselves“ – Professor Tom Kitwood, author of the groundbreaking book: Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First (1997).References Bell, V., & Troxel, D. (2003). The best friends approach to Alzheimer’s care. Baltimore: Health Professions Press. Buettner, L. & Kolanowski, A. (2003). Practice guidelines for Recreation Therapy in the care of people with dementia. Geriatric Nursing, 24(1), 18-25.Chaudhury, H. (2002). Place-biosketch as a tool in caring for residents with dementia. Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly, 3(1), 42-45.Cohen-Mansfield, J & Marx, M.S. (1989). Do past experiences predict agitation in nursing home residents? International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 28(4), 285-294.Feil, N. (2002). The validation breakthrough: Simple techniques for communicating with people with Alzheimer’s-type dementia. (2nd edition). Baltimore: Health Professions Press.Kitwood, T. (1997). Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First. Berkshire, UK: Open University.Kivnick, H.Q., & Murray, S.V. (2001). Life strengths interview guide: Assessing elder clients strengths. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 34(4), 7-32.Kivnick, H.Q. (1993). Everyday mental health: a guide to assessing life strengths. Generations, 17(1), 13-20.Landerville, P., Dicaire, L., Verreault, R., & Levesque, L. (2005). A training program for managing agitation of residents in long-term care facilities: Description and preliminary findings. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 31(3), 34-4.Rasin, J., & Kautz, D.D. (2007). Knowing the resident with dementia: Perspectives of assisted living facility caregivers. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 33(9), 30-36.Whall, A.L. & Kolanowski, A.M. (2004). The need-driven dementia-compromised behavior model – a framework for understanding the behavioral symptoms of dementia. Aging & Mental Health, 8(2), 106-108.Zgola, J.M. (1999). Care that works: A relationship approach to persons with dementia. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Related PostsBook Review: Aging Together – Dementia, Friendship and Flourishing CommunitiesBooks on dementia are usually addressed not to friends but to family caregivers or professionals. I approached this book with excitement because we rarely see the words “dementia,” “friendship” and “communities” together.Trust at StakeThe full text of Eilon Caspi’s recent journal article “Trust at stake: Is the “dual mission” of the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association out of balance?” is now available for free thanks to an anonymous donor seeking to raise awareness of the gross imbalance of effort and funding between the Association’s dual…Latest Alzheimer’s From The Inside Out NewsletterThe latest edition of Richard Taylor’s newsletter Alzheimer’s From the Inside Out was published today. If you want a deeper understanding of dementia, and the people who live with it, I highly recommend you become a subscriber by clicking here. Here’s what Richard has to say about the latest research…TweetShare624ShareEmail624 SharesTags: Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia dementia care long term care insurance memory carelast_img read more

first_imgJun 13 2018A chance conversation between researchers at Queen’s University Belfast led to their combined expertise in developing a ground-breaking approach for the treatment of pneumonia.The research team’s findings have recently been published in the prestigious leading Journal of Controlled Release.Pneumonia is a serious inflammatory condition of the lungs, which is responsible for over 5% of all deaths in the UK each year, equivalent to over 3.2 million and also remains the leading infectious cause of death among children under five worldwide.One of the most common causes of pneumonia is lung infection with the bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae, the very bacteria that Professor Jose Bengoechea, Centre Director at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University has spent much of his research career studying.Related StoriesFighting hidden hunger with promising new approachStudy: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably needNumber of fully-immunized Australian kids hits record highIt was a chance conversation between Professor Bengoechea, Professor Cliff Taggart, a researcher at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine and their colleague Professor Chris Scott at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology that led to the discovery of this new groundbreaking treatment for pneumonia.During this conversation the researchers realized that an idea Professor Scott was developing for cancer treatment could also be used for tackling deadly Klebsiella infections.Professor Bengoechea explains: “This microbe is a particularly difficult bug to treat due to increasing number of isolates resistant to virtually all currently available antibiotics.”It actually hides in the lung by sneaking inside immune cells, making it exceptionally hard to access with antibiotics. This hidden infection can then re-emerge and cause pneumonia in patients”.It was the discussion of Professor Scott’s lab work using nanotechnology to target chemotherapy directly into cancer cells when the researchers realized that the same targeted approach could be used to get antibiotics directly to the deadly bacteria lurking in infected immune cells.Professor Scott explains: “This is a perfect example of how thinking out of the box and combining very different expertise, you can have an eureka moment!”These exciting research findings are very much in line with the research ethos of the University, which is centered on global challenges.”Pneumonia remains a global health emergency. By developing this treatment that has proven to tackle this deadly strain of bacteria, our research partnership could change the lives of people across the world.”The Queen’s team are continuing further research within the next 5 years to achieve a better understanding of how best to treat patients with pneumonia with this specialized technology. Source:http://www.qub.ac.uk/last_img read more

first_img Source:https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ Jun 14 2018A team of researchers says it has linked sensitivity to an allergen in red meat to the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart. While high saturated fat levels in red meat have long been known to contribute to heart disease for people in general, the new finding suggests that a subgroup of the population may be at heightened risk for a different reason – a food allergen. The study, which is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, appears in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.”This novel finding from a small group of subjects from Virginia raises the intriguing possibility that allergy to red meat may be an underrecognized factor in heart disease,” said study leader Coleen McNamara, M.D., a professor of medicine in the Cardiovascular Research Center of the University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville. “These preliminary findings underscore the need for further clinical studies in larger populations from diverse geographic regions and additional laboratory work.”The number of people with red meat allergies in the United States is unclear, but researchers estimate that it may be 1 percent of the population in some areas. The number of people who develop blood antibodies to the red meat allergen without having full-blown symptoms is much higher–as much as 20 percent of the population in some areas, the researchers say.Only in recent years did scientists identify the main allergen in red meat, called galactose-α-1,3-galactose, or alpha-Gal, a type of complex sugar. They also found that a tick–the Lone Star tick–sensitizes people to this allergen when it bites them. That is why red meat allergies tend to be more common where these ticks are more prevalent, such as the Southeastern United States, but also extending to other areas, including Long Island, New York.Researchers have suspected for some time that allergens can trigger certain immunological changes that might be associated with plaque buildup and artery blockages, but no one had identified a specific substance that is responsible for this effect. In the current study, researchers showed for the first time that a specific blood marker for red meat allergy was associated with higher levels of arterial plaque, or fatty deposits on the inner lining of the arteries. The blood marker they identified is a type of antibody (immunoglobulin or IgE) that is specific to the alpha-Gal allergen.Related StoriesWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalTo identify this blood marker, the researchers analyzed blood samples from 118 adults and detected antibodies to alpha-Gal, indicating sensitivity to red meat, in 26 percent of them. Using an imaging procedure, the researchers found that the quantity of plaque was 30 percent higher in the alpha-Gal sensitized patients than in the non-sensitized patients. These plaques, a hallmark of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), also tended to be more structurally unstable, which means that they have an increased likelihood of causing heart attack and stroke.The evidence for a link between red meat allergens and coronary artery disease is still preliminary, the researchers noted, so they plan to conduct detailed animal and human studies to confirm their initial findings. Currently, the only treatment for red meat allergy once it is diagnosed is strict avoidance of red meat.”While more studies are needed, the current work provides a potential new approach or target for preventing or treating heart disease in a subgroup of people who are sensitized to red meat,” said Ahmed Hasan, M.D., Ph.D., a medical officer and program director in NHLBI’s Atherothrombosis & Coronary Artery Disease Branch.For now, consumers are encouraged to follow current recommendations for a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes adapting a healthy diet, such as eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other heart-healthy foods. Lean red meats can be part of a heart-healthy diet for those who are not allergic. Other heart-healthy lifestyle changes also include aiming for a healthy weight, managing stress, getting more exercise, and quitting smoking.last_img read more

first_imgBy Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJun 27 2018According to researchers genetically altered poliovirus strains could help some patients of brain cancer. A team of researchers from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, used modified polio virus strains in small groups of patients who had glioblastoma – a particularly deadly form of brain cancer. In these patients standard treatments have failed say the researchers and this novel therapy could help.Dr. Darell Bigner, the director emeritus of the The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at the Duke Cancer Institute says that he has been working on this for the last five decades and the results have been unique. The research however is still rudimentary says Annick Desjardins, a neuro-oncologist, who was part of the study, and may take further studies and detailed understanding to be accepted as part of standard therapy. As of now treatment with these modified polioviruses resulted in prolonged survival in 21 percent of the study population.Desjardins said that there have been long term survivors and this is something that has not been seen among patients with glioblastoma. Glioblastoma remains one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancers in adults.The results of the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine online this week and were also presented in the 22nd International Conference on Brain Tumor Research in Norway.For this study the team of researchers used the polio virus as it has the capacity to infect the nerve cells of the body. The polio virus can cause lifelong paralysis when it infects children but the version that the researchers used was a genetically modified one. The modification involved removal of one of the genes of the virus that prevented it from causing polio. This gene was replaced by another harmless one derived from rhinovirus that causes common cold.This modified virus now was infused into the tumours of the patient’s brains directly with the help of a tube inserted into the skull. The virus not only killed the tumour cells in the patients’ brains but also stimulates the patients’ immune system that could attack the tumours. They involved 61 patients between 2012 and 2017 in whom different doses of the modified viruses were given.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerDespite the benefits of the virus on the tumours and survival, it was not free of side effects and risks. There were cases of swelling in the brain that led to seizures and complications in the patients. One of the patients also developed a blood clot within the brain that necessitated surgery. However the overall medial survival was 12.5 months among those given polio virus compared to 11.3 months in the past who had not been treated with any such therapy.After 24 months from therapy, 21 percent of the virus treated group survived when compared to 14 percent who had not been treated with any such therapy. This control group not treated with virus therapy was obtained from historical reports.At 36 months after the treatment 21 percent of the virus treated patients remained compared to only 4 percent in the control group. Two of the patients survived for over six years and one survived for over five years said Bigner. He said that this is something that has not been seen before. Desjardins said that just like other immunotherapies this viral therapy does not work on all patients. However if a patient responds, he or she is likely to be a long term survivor, Desjardins said.As a next step says Bigner, the team wants to try the viral therapy on children with brain cancer as well as other cancers such as breast cancer and melanomas. At present Desjardins and some of the researchers hold patents for the treatment that the Duke licensed to Istari Oncology, a start up company. A phase 2 study is to start soon. Source:https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1716435last_img read more

first_imgCombined, these factors can lead to a host of serious health issues, including malnutrition, dehydration and pneumonia from food and drinks being misdirected into the lungs.Experts say the joint causes are costing the NHS millions of pounds in additional care for older people who can require lengthy hospital treatment.Last week it was revealed how two English patients died and five came to ‘significant harm’ after they were fed inappropriate food such as hash browns and sponge cake while in hospital between 2015 and 2017.To limit the number affected, researchers say elderly patients should be encouraged to practise specific throat muscle exercises.The research was led by Dr Sonja Molfenter, an assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.She says her team’s work helps explain why an estimated 15 per cent of elderly people experience dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.Dr Molfenter said: “Dysphagia has serious consequences for health and quality of life.“This research establishes the need for exercise programmes for older adults that target throat muscles just like those that target the muscles of the arms, legs and other parts of the human body.”The scientists tested their theory on 44 healthy OAPs, of which 21 were men.Each was given a small amount of the chemical barium to chew on, followed by an oral breathing test.Other studies have demonstrated that when patients with dysphagia are admitted to the hospital, they normally experience a 40 per cent longer length-of-stay than those without the condition.Related StoriesGut-boosting food may put an end to childhood malnutrition worldwideStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeThe research could prove significant, with the UK and other advanced economies experiencing increasingly older populations.In 2016 the UK population stood at 65.6 million, a figure projected to reach 74 million by 2039.Improvements in healthcare and lifestyles mean 18 per cent of people are now aged 65 and over, with 2.4 per cent aged 85 and above. By 2036, 23 per cent are expected to be aged 65 and over.Pharmacist Shamir Patel, of online pharmacy Chemist-4-U.com, says: “Dysphasia affects many people in the UK, including a large number of elderly patients.“The condition can also occur after a stroke or a head injury, or affect people with dementia.“Dysphagia needs to be carefully managed, especially in settings such as hospitals and care homes.“Identifying and establishing a set of exercises to reduce the number of elderly people suffering from dysphagia is really important.”Shamir recommends using a swallowing aid which can ease the passage of medicines down the throat, such as Med-Easy.He said: “For the elderly population as well as difficulty swallowing food, problems with swallowing medication can also cause considerable harm.“Using a swallowing aid is really important because such liquids wrap themselves around the medication which means that rather than resting on the tongue, the tablet is suspended in the formula and therefore free to flow down the oesophagus with ease.“It is chemically passive, therefore compatible to take with almost any medication.”Med-Easy can be used with medical pills, tablets and liquid-filled capsules, as well as vitamin preparations and food supplements.You simply place the medication on the spoon provided, add 10ml of Med-Easy and then swallow.Source: https://www.chemist-4-u.com/ Jul 31 2018A new study has revealed people naturally lose muscle and function in the throat as they age, making it harder for food to move from the mouth to the space above the food pipe. Shamir Patel, Chemist-4-Ulast_img read more

The bill is designed to be a follow-on to the now-expired America COMPETES Act, which set policy for an array of U.S. science agencies, including DOE and the National Science Foundation (NSF). But instead of tweaking COMPETES, which expired last year, the science committee’s Republican majority opted to write two separate bills: one covering DOE; and a second bill, known as FIRST (Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology), covering NSF and the other research agencies. Both are “authorizing” bills, which mean they can set policy and suggest spending levels, but don’t actually appropriate funding (authorized funding levels are often higher than what Congress actually approves).Republicans have made no secret of their plans to do a separate energy reauthorization, which had been called the EINSTEIN (Enabling Innovation for Science, Technology, and Energy in America) Act. But panel Democrats today complained that the final draft of the 102-page bill, which includes provisions from EINSTEIN, wasn’t actually circulated until late Friday. On Monday, the full committee announced Lummis’s subcommittee would “mark up” that draft today; such markups usually involve lawmakers offering and voting on proposed changes to the draft before sending it to the full committee.Democrats immediately objected to what they considered inadequate notice, and at a closed meeting yesterday urged the majority to postpone the scheduled markup. When that request was denied, they came to today’s public session loaded for bear. The brief meeting was punctuated by a series of parliamentary maneuvers that allowed each side to claim victory—and resulted in a colossal defeat for the legislative process itself.The markup, scheduled for noon, began at 12:11 p.m., and Representative Alan Grayson (D–FL) immediately complained that such a tardy start was a violation of House rules and should invalidate the proceeding. His point of order was ultimately rejected by a vote of 4 to 2. But it signaled what was to come.In her opening statement, Lummis said the bill would foster innovation by boosting DOE’s science budget, set needed priorities by shifting money from redundant areas to those of greater national need, and reduce the country’s deficit by cutting DOE’s “bottom line” for R&D by $230 million. The bill, she said, would return the agency to a “common sense, sustainable path” and reverse the “unchecked” growth in alternative energy programs by the Obama administration.The panel’s top Democrat, Representative Eric Swalwell (D–CA), saw things quite differently. The bill, he said, would “decimate” the budget for renewable energy, “slash” funding for biological and environmental research, and apply “ideological considerations, not science,” to the type of research DOE could support. But he saved his strongest language for the process itself. “There are plenty of ways that you and I, Madam Chair, could have worked together in a thoughtful and deliberative way to create legislation that would lay out a bipartisan framework to secure our country’s energy future,” he stated. “[U]nfortunately, that is not how the Majority has chosen to proceed.”After hearing additional criticism from the full committee’s ranking member, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX), Lummis set the stage for debate on the bill by asking for unanimous consent to waive a required reading of the full text. Normally, such requests are approved unanimously. This time, however, Democrats withheld their approval, a move that could have tied up the subcommittee for hours as the clerk read aloud the long bill.“I think we should use our time to discuss our differences,” Lummis pleaded. But Swalwell insisted that the bill deserved “to see the light of Congress.” In a drastic response to the Democratic ploy, Representative Randy Weber (R–TX) moved that the markup be adjourned, a motion that passed by a party line vote of 6 to 4. At 12:33 p.m. Lummis called it a day.With that action, Democrats could claim success in obstructing what they labeled a “dysfunctional process” on a bill that they viewed as “a step backwards” for DOE research. But Lummis appeared unfazed. The bill, she noted, will now simply move on to the full committee without debate or action by the subcommittee, at a date to be determined.*Clarification, 11 June, 3:24 p.m.: This story clarifies that the name of the bill is now the DOE Research and Development Act of 2014. Comity on the science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives reached a new low today.Twenty-two minutes after the committee’s energy panel convened to start the process of debating and approving a bill to reauthorize the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) research and development programs, Representative Cynthia Lummis (R–WY) gaveled the session to a close without taking any votes on the proposed legislation. It was the latest—and most graphic—illustration of how partisan distrust has crippled the committee’s ability to do its job.The subject at hand was the DOE Research and Development Act of 2014 to provide guidance to DOE’s sprawling research programs, which are the major source of funding for the U.S. physical sciences and energy studies. Its controversial provisions include sharp cuts to climate change research and restrictions on how findings from that research can be used to shape federal environmental policies. At the same time, it proposes a 5.1% spending increase next year for DOE’s Office of Science, well above the administration’s 0.8% request for 2015. 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first_imgAn animal model that closely mimics a disease in humans gives a huge boost to researchers attempting to combat it. But those developed to date for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has caused nearly 900 cases of disease in humans since emerging in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has killed about one-third of these people, all have serious shortcomings. Although the virus is thought to jump into humans from camels, it’s still unclear whether it causes illnesses in dromedaries. (Besides, camels aren’t exactly known to be cooperative lab animals.) And rhesus macaques, arguably the best model yet developed, rarely develop severe or lethal cases of the disease like humans do. Now, researchers who helped developed the rhesus model think they may have found a much better one: marmosets. They have evidence that MERS-CoV behaves much the same way in these New World monkeys as it does in humans: copying itself to high levels, spreading widely through the lungs, and causing life-threatening pneumonia. What’s more, marmosets and humans have identical amino acids in a critical region of the receptor that MERS-CoV uses to infect cells, they report today in PLOS Pathogens. The development of the marmoset model could have a “major impact” in the search for drugs and vaccines against MERS-CoV, the scientists say.last_img read more

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Country Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Peter Rowe, who heads the Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and was one of 15 committee members, had high praise for the process and the product. “This is a phenomenal report,” Rowe said, noting that it had unanimous support. “It has the best summary of the evidence that I’ve ever read.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration sponsored the IOM study and report.Systemic exertion intolerance disease does not exactly roll off the tongue. IOM committee member Ronald Davis, a biochemist who heads the genome center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, says the group considered about 100 options. “Boy, did we  struggle with that,” he said. “It’s hard to come up with a good name, and I don’t think this is a perfect name.”But Davis thinks its essential to do away with chronic fatigue syndrome. “My son is sick with it, and when I tell people, they say, ‘I had that once,’ because they were tired once,” he said. “ME is a better name, but there are no real data that fit the name.”Davis hopes the report will convince all clinicians that they can diagnose the disease and that it is real. “I hope it will get rid of those who may not believe it,” Davis said. “They’ll have to keep it to themselves. It’s incompetence and it’s malpractice.”The new diagnostic criteria build on what are known as the Canadian Consensus Criteria, first put forward in 2003. But the report offers a distinct, simpler definition that focuses on “the central element of this disorder,” said committee chair Ellen Wright Clayton at “public release event” held at IOM this morning. “The essence of this disorder is that if patients with this disorder engage in exertion—cognitive, emotional, physical, whatever—that their symptoms are made much worse and often for a prolonged period of time,” said Clayton, a law professor at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The name, she said, reflects this. “We want to name it for what it is,” she said. “This is what the patients experience.”The committee was  “struck by the relative paucity of research” that has gone into SEID. “Remarkably little research funding has been made available to study the etiology, pathophysiology, and effective treatment of this disease, especially given the number of people afflicted,” the report noted. (It cited estimates that said between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans have chronic fatigue syndrome or ME, but Davis points out that some popular diagnostic criteria have far too liberal definitions of the condition.)The report recommends that a multidisciplinary committee review the diagnostic criteria for SEID within 5 years. Rowe says they may want to review the name, too. “We don’t believe it’s going to be the name forever, but it’s a step forward,” he says. A committee convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has proposed a new name for a condition known variously as chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis. The unwieldy new moniker: systemic exertion intolerance disease, or SEID. In a report released today, the committee also suggests a new set of diagnostic criteria for SEID.After reviewing more than 9000 scientific studies, hearing testimony from experts, and soliciting input from the public, the committee concluded that “the name ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ has done a disservice to many patients,” calling it  “stigmatizing and trivializing.” Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), they noted, “does not accurately describe the major features of the disease.”At least 20 sets of diagnostic criteria exist, the committee noted, which has confused patients, clinicians, and their families, as well as researchers studying the disease. The proposed diagnostic criteria are more focused on “the central symptoms” such as a reduced or impaired ability to work and study, malaise after exertion, and “unrefreshing” sleep.  The report, “Beyond Myalgic Encephalitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness,” runs 235 pages.last_img read more

first_imgLarson notes that France recently has experienced “anxiety” about suspected but unproven links between the hepatitis B vaccine and multiple sclerosis and, separately, the human papillomavirus vaccine and side effects like fatigue in girls. France similarly had strong reservations about a flu vaccine quickly made to combat the pandemic of H1N1 in 2009. “There was a furor that the government bought so much of that vaccine and a worry that it was made too quickly and couldn’t be safe,” Larson says.The survey, conducted between September and December 2015, also asked respondents whether they thought vaccines were effective, important for children, and in keeping with their religious beliefs.Russians had the greatest skepticism about the importance of vaccines for children: 17.1%. Bosnia and Herzegovina had the most serious doubts about the effectiveness of vaccines, with a whopping 27.3% of respondents expressing a “negative sentiment.” Both numbers were about three times higher than the global average.Religious beliefs were trickier. In Mongolia, where about half the population is Buddhist, with the rest aligned with other faiths, 50.5% of respondents said vaccines were not compatible with their religion; that was about three times higher than the global average. But Larson said a deeper analysis found that where a person lived had more influence on their attitudes about vaccines than their particular faith. “That particularly struck me,” Larson says. “It wasn’t about any particular religious dogma, but it was very much embedded in politics and localness.”In the United States, 8.8% questioned the importance of vaccines for children, 13.5% were not convinced they were safe, 9.6% had doubts about effectiveness, and 10.5% had concerns because of their religious beliefs.Larson says some unfounded safety concerns about vaccines persist because people are searching for clear causes to maladies like multiple sclerosis and autism that current science cannot fully explain. “People are also fed up with the didactic that says: You should just get vaccinated because it’s good for you,” Larson says. One concrete step public health officials could take is to invest more in educating health care workers about the risks and benefits of vaccines, she says. “We need to get our heads around the fact that we’re never going to get 100% compliancy,” Larson says. “We’re struggling to keep it where it is.” The French had less confidence in the safety of vaccines than the residents of 66 other countries recently surveyed by researchers.A team lead by anthropologist Heidi Larson of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine conducted what it contends is “the largest survey on confidence in immunization to date,” interviewing more than 65,000 people. As the researchers report online in EBioMedicine today, 41% of respondents in France disagreed with the assertion that vaccines are safe. On average, just 12% of respondents in other nations disagreed with this statement.“I didn’t expect France to be as negative as it was,” says Larson, who runs The Vaccine Confidence Project, a nonprofit that monitors public concerns about immunization. At the other end of the scale, only 0.2% of the respondents in Bangladesh had similar safety misgivings. 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first_img These eggs are putting a new spin on how shells get their shape L. BRIAN STAUFFER Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Once highly sought after for their beauty, common murre eggs are giving scientists a new explanation for egg shape. MONTPELLIER, FRANCE—“Which came first?” might be the question most often asked about eggs and birds. But a close second is “Why are eggs shaped the way they are?”Now, two research groups have weighed in with an answer—and it challenges a different explanation of egg shape that received a lot of attention last year.Eggs come in a dizzying array of sizes and shapes, including nearly symmetrical spheres and more elongated, conical forms. And researchers have long debated which biological forces help shape shells. They’ve proposed a number of ideas: Certain egg shapes help more of them pack into a nest, others let oxygen more effectively reach developing chicks, and still others prevent them from rolling away from nests. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emailcenter_img A surprisingly simple explanation for the shape of bird eggs Related Last year, a study led by Princeton University evolutionary biologist Mary “Cassie” Stoddard of 50,000 eggs from 1400 species from across the bird family tree came up with another answer: The demands of flying led to the evolution of longer, more asymmetrical eggs. Headlines around the world heralded the discovery.But some researchers were skeptical. The findings “touched a nerve” and raised questions, says Tim Birkhead, an evolutionary biologist at The University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom who has studied birds for decades and spent years working with mathematicians to come up with a better way to measure egg shape. Buried in the study was the finding that flight ability accounted for just 4% of the variability in egg shape. Such a low percentage is typical of large, complex studies and is still significant, Stoddard says. But for Birkhead, it was a signal that his team should intensify its search for another explanation.Now, it is offering one: that incubation conditions—including where nests are located and how parents incubate the eggs—are far more important than flight in explaining the evolution of egg shapes.Birkhead made his case here this week in a talk at the Second Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology that focused on studies of the common murre (Uria aalge), a bird known in the United Kingdom as the guillemot. Its eggs have been coveted by collectors since the 1840s for their beautiful variation in color and pattern.The common murre’s pear-shaped egg “is an extreme in that it has both a most asymmetrical and most elliptical” shell, explains Mark Hauber, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana who studies the bird. It nests on narrow rock ledges in densities of up to 70 individuals per square meter, laying a single bluish, variegated 100-gram egg directly on the ledge.During a visit to one of these nesting ledges, Birkhead was struck by the possible role of shell shape in preventing murre parents from losing their eggs. To test the idea, he stashed two kinds of eggs—a common murre egg and an elliptical egg laid by a close relative called the razorbill—in different places on the cliff. Then he observed which was less likely to roll away. By Elizabeth PennisiAug. 22, 2018 , 10:00 AM Cracking the mystery of egg shape The murre eggs proved much more stable than the razorbill eggs, especially on steep slopes. And his team got similar results when they tested the idea back in the laboratory, timing how long it took murre and razorbill eggs to topple off ever-steeper surfaces, covered with sandpaper to mimic the cliff’s rough surface.Overall, the more pointed the egg (defined by a longer distance between the widest and narrowest parts), the longer it resisted rolling, Birkhead reported at the meeting and today in The Auk. Such a shape doesn’t slow eggs that are rolling away; instead, it keeps eggs from starting to roll in the first place, he emphasizes. By lying on its long axis, a murre egg makes contact with more of the ground, so it’s more likely to remain on the ledge, even as parents switch places and temporarily stop holding the egg with their legs, Birkhead adds. “For [common murres], egg shape allows them to be on those steeper slopes,” says Michael Antolin, an evolutionary biologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins who was not involved with the work.In a second study, Birkhead and his colleagues assessed the relationship between egg shape and incubation site in 30 species including murre relatives and penguins, which produce a wide variety of egg shapes and sizes. They also evaluated the potential role of egg and clutch size, the mode of embryo development, and the parent’s posture while “sitting” on the nest. They concluded that the incubation site explains a whopping two-thirds of the variation in egg shape, although incubating posture also plays a role, they reported Tuesday in Ibis.Meanwhile, at the City University of New York, Hauber and graduate student Ian Hays at Hunter College in New York City were also evaluating the protective role of egg shape in common murres and their relatives. They first devised a way to precisely assess more complex aspects of shell shape, such as curvature and change in pointedness. Then they designed model eggs based on 380 real eggs from 11 species, including common and thick-billed murres—all of which they filled with a silicon “yolk.” Finally, using a 3D printer, they made 27 eggs of various shapes and tested how they moved on slopes of different steepness.On fairly flat slopes, conical eggs were less likely to roll in a straight line. Thus, on steep slopes, a moving egg was more likely to circle and stay on the ledge, Hauber and Hays report today in the Journal of Experimental Biology. In contrast, elongated eggs rolled relatively easily on steep inclines, as did more symmetrical eggs.“Using 3D-printed eggs is a clever idea,” Birkhead says, although he’s skeptical that models truly mimic a real egg’s behavior.Both groups appear to arrive at the same conclusion: that the need to stay put is a “more feasible” explanation for egg shape than flight ability, says Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, who was not involved with the work. “It’s critical [that birds] do something so the egg doesn’t tumble down,” she notes.Citing the broad sampling in her work, Stoddard stands by her conclusions. However, she adds that smaller taxonomic groups like the murres and their relatives “do not always follow the rules that emerge at the global scale.”And Brennan gives a lot of credit to Stoddard for “firing up” research on egg shape. “It’s been a long-standing puzzle for centuries” that’s still not completely solved. And who knows, she adds, how the egg question might be answered next year.last_img read more