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By Jeff Clark Casey Research Europe owns a sizab

first_imgBy Jeff Clark, Casey ResearchEurope owns a sizable chunk of the world’s natural resources.Over the past few decades, however, EU countries have mostly imported their resources.Outlandish? Maybe.But it was simply easier, cheaper, and most importantly it avoided most environmental conflicts.Getting through government regulation and facing off eco-friendly groups is a time-consuming and outrageously expensive business… a fool’s errand.When you can simply import and let other countries deal with all the hassle, it made a lot of sense. But things change.When no one’s got a job, it truly focuses the political agenda.Europe’s job market is a mess. Demonstrators are crying out for action, for opportunity, for jobs.And mines employ a lot of people.The trend is reversing because of Europe’s sluggish economy and the real benefits of the increase in local jobs and the leap in tax revenue that mining projects bring.Of course, local economies benefit. Hotels are full of transient engineers and specialists, grocery stores feed the workers, and bars serve liquor to quench their dusty throats.Then, of course, the government got involved…Brussels, 2011.Seeing the benefits of the jobs, income-tax revenues, and all-around political advantages, a “Raw Materials Strategy” was initiated in 2008, then revised and updated in 2010, and again in 2011.The aim was to encourage sustainable supplies of raw materials from within the EU.It calls for policies in support of domestic mining.So far, so good…In September 2011, the European Parliament adopted the “EU Raw Materials Strategy,” a generally pro-mining document, though it’s sometimes criticized by the industry for being “too bureaucratic.”“It’s positive, of course, that the political climate in Europe is at least in theory becoming more supportive of mining” So on the one hand, the government says, “Sure, go ahead,” and spends years (and no doubt millions of euros) coming up with a plan, while the other hand slaps down a bunch of rules that stifles initiative, adds massively to production costs, and once more makes mining companies think twice before they put down the millions it takes to get started.Driller killers, indeed.Yet the gold mining sector in Europe represents 16,000 direct and indirect jobs as of 2009, and that is surely growing.So for the gold, the tax, the jobs, and for more than a few political careers, mining is right up at the top of the political agenda.And despite the regulation stranglehold governments put on mining companies, they are still reopening abandoned mines and are exploring entirely new areas.For investors, that’s very positive, exciting news.Europe’s New Gold RushIn Casey Research’s BIG GOLD, we’ve been talking a lot lately about the three main zones of metallogenic significance for gold in Europe: the Iberian Pyrite Belt; the Carpathian Arc; and the Baltic Shield.The first crosses from Portugal through southern Spain.The second stretches from the Czech Republic through Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and into Turkey.Number three, the Baltic Shield, traverses from western Russia through Finland, Sweden, and Norway.Europe’s gold mining contribution is approximately 1.2% of global mine production (though demand from the EU is roughly 15% of worldwide totals).Sweden, Finland, Spain, and Bulgaria are currently the largest gold producers in Europe. They mine about 640,000 million ounces of gold annually.Other countries with operating gold mines are Greenland, France, Greece, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, and the UK.Among the gold companies operating in the region are Eldorado Gold (EGO) in Greece and Romania; Agnico-Eagle (AEM) in Finland; and Gabriel Resources (T.GBU) in Romania, as well as other majors and juniors across the continent.Europe’s New Frontiers2011 was a banner year for European mining.Exploration expenditures were estimated to reach approximately €400 million (US$490 million), an all-time high. The largest share of those exploration dollars was concentrated in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Greenland.These countries, together with Poland, accounted for €288 million or two-thirds of total exploration expenditures last year.This is even more impressive when put into historical perspective.As you can see in the chart below, Nordic exploration spending has grown by almost four times in just ten years.[Source: Euromines.org]Both local and international companies are active in this region.Further, junior companies that we look at in detail in BIG GOLD are expanding rapidly; Euromines reports that in Sweden, for example, juniors account for some 50% of total exploration dollars being spent.Why has the attractiveness of the Nordic countries increased so dramatically?The area is largely underexplored, and its geological similarity to Canada, Australia, and West Africa makes the Baltic Shield a highly prospective place for new discoveries. Miners know what to expect and they already have the technology in place, so profitability for them and their investors comes that much sooner. These countries have well-developed infrastructure (roads and railways) and telecommunication.They have access to highly educated, trained, and experienced staff to support projects during all phases of mining is widely available.The attitude of both the public and politicians toward exploration and mining is generally positive, especially in the northern parts of the region, though anti-mine protests still take place. Since the area is not densely populated, the NIMBY (“not in my back yard”) factor is largely absent.Keeping the green lobby happy means keeping the mines open, operating, and creating a robust, investment-worthy business.Europeans tend to be very concerned about ecology, so environmental issues are closely watched and strictly regulated.Though most responsible miners make concerted efforts to reduce their impact on the environment, miners in Europe focus on this to a high degree.The divide between miners and environmentalists has shrunk over the past few decades due to advances in technology.But a bigger reason for the cooperation is the eroding economic situation. To a certain degree, politicians have been forced to find a more reasonable balance between conservation and the economic benefits mining can bring.Spain, for example, has its economic back to the wall, starting with a record unemployment rate of more than 24%.Astur Gold (V.AST) is working on getting the Spanish Salave gold deposit into production (which a previous company failed to do in 2005). The jobs it will bring no doubt add to the appeal; the company has received over 6,300 job applications.Management has received two of three environmental permits and hopes to finalize the third by year end. If the project is fully permitted, the economic impact on the area will be both immediate and dramatic.Will the Driller Killer Return?The biggest threats to mining in Europe are resource nationalism, significant skills shortages, and infrastructure access in certain areas (see first news item below).However, even on these issues, Europe is in a better position than many other areas.The continent has a strong tradition of transparent and stable laws, along with respect for private property, leaving few in support of outright nationalization.Western European countries also usually have well-developed infrastructure and an educated and skilled labor force.On the other hand, bureaucratic procedures, overregulation, and a dense population outside of the northern countries have worked to keep massive mine development across Europe from accelerating as it has elsewhere.Still, the carrot dangled by the mining industry looks awfully juicy…If Romania approves Gabriel Resources’ Rosia Montana gold mine, for example, the project is estimated to bring some US$30 billion of economic benefits to the country. The company hopes to mine 9.6 million ounces of gold and 51.5 million ounces of silver over 16 years. Eldorado’s Olympias and Skouries mines in the Halkidiki region will produce about 350,000 ounces of gold annually beginning in 2015. Management is spending €1.3 billion to develop the projects, which will create 1,800 jobs in a country where unemployment is close to 20%.Overall, the atmosphere for gold mining in Europe appears to be improving. Its importance is recognized in Brussels; even though only a few clumsy steps have been taken, the general attitude is making a positive shift.With the benefits mining can bring – more jobs and greater revenue – we think there will be fewer objections overall, especially in the more desperate countries. It won’t solve all their problems, but there’s no doubt it would relieve some of the fiscal pressure.From an investment point of view, it’s a region to watch. We fully expect to find increasing opportunities here.Jeff Clark is the senior editor of BIG GOLD, a monthly newsletter that follows the world’s best precious metals production and near-production companies. Jeff has recently completed a rather interesting special report – The Four Stocks I’m Buying My Mother – with details on precious metals stocks that are so undervalued he has recently begun buying them for his mother’s retirement account. Readers can receive the special report for no charge with a 90-day, risk-free trial subscription to BIG GOLD.last_img read more

We see the potential in gold equities as we belie

first_img We see the potential in gold equities, as we believe the price of gold is going higher, but big investors with billions of dollars to pour into an market don’t. Their money, for the most part, is still on the sidelines. This phenomenon leads us to predict that someday these institutional investors will enter this sector en masse. Once the facts sink in and the institutional world becomes convinced gold and silver prices will maintain a sustainable uptrend, they’ll be much more attracted to the equities – and just as stubborn about changing their minds once they’re on board. Now, it’s possible this group may have to be beat over the head by relentlessly  rising precious-metals prices before they enter the industry. They’ll have to believe that, say, gold hitting $1,900 again isn’t a temporary fluke but a sustainable uptrend. I don’t know what price the metal would have to maintain or how long it would have to stay there before they jump on board, but given the above chart, I think it’s safe to say they won’t be the first to the party. I personally think it will be something along the lines of what we outlined in the recent Hard Assets Alliance letter. Whenever and however it happens, though, the stampede from institutional investors into this tiny industry will be sudden and dramatic, because they tend to have a herd mentality. No one wants to be left behind. Just like they don’t want to risk buying something all their colleagues are ignoring now, they’ll rush to own the popular and exciting investment when gold stocks have their day. The consequence of this will result in dramatically higher stock prices. How high? Well, this group loves to use price models, and fair value for Newmont Mining (NEM), based on its Reserves, would be about $200/share (it’s currently trading around $44). And that’s at $1,700 gold – as the spot price rises, the value of NEM will rise exponentially, since gold would be rising faster than costs, even when inflation kicks in. That is why I’m excited about the producers. It’s the first place the institutional world will turn when gold makes a sustained move higher. Come the day those investors believe gold is about to become part of the monetary system, that bonds are no longer a safe place for money, that inflation is about to get out of control, or whatever it might be that changes their paradigm, they’ll flood into our little market and push share prices higher by an order of magnitude. When this shift gets under way, we’ll already own the stocks that institutional investors will be clamoring to buy. Maybe we should thank them now. Bank and brokerage analysts know their products, too. But when it comes to helping you make an informed decision about where the gold market is headed, they have, as Rick Rule is fond of saying, a record unblemished by success. Every year major banks and brokerage houses provide their four-year forecasts for the gold price. The following chart documents the average price projection of 25 top analysts over the past seven years, many of whom specialize in the resource industry. I might suggest pushing away from your desk so that when your jaw drops it doesn’t hit the keyboard. Common sense dictates that when you need information or advice on something you’re unfamiliar with, you consult with a professional. That’s what people do, whether refinancing a home, choosing an insurance product, or fixing a broken heater. While professionals certainly have their own agendas, they still know more about their products or services than others, and can at least help them make more informed decisions. If institutional investors are largely absent from this market, why is gold rising every year? Gold is not a trading sardine for institutions. Gold is supported by strong physical demand from individuals around the world and from central banks. Read our take here. You can see that every year since 2007, bank and brokerage analysts have as a group predicted that gold would fall, sometimes dramatically, over the next four-year period. For example, in 2007 the consensus of all estimates was that gold would decline from $656 to $523 by 2011. Instead, the price rose 140% to an average of $1,572 that year. Similarly, they predict this year that gold will fall from $1,665 to $1,515 by 2017. Even if they thought gold would move higher the first year, their best guess was that it was ultimately headed lower. So far they’ve been wrong every time. For the most part, these are analysts who do nothing but study the resource markets all day long. It’s their job. No one gets it right all the time, but this kind of track record is embarrassing. The obvious lesson is for investors to ignore price predictions from the major banks and brokerage houses – they just don’t get it. I’m sure most readers of this publication already know that. However, there’s a much bigger implication of this data that may not immediately come to mind… Why would I as a fund manager or institutional investor buy a gold stock if my analysts tell me the price of gold is going to fall? Answer: I wouldn’t. If the price of the product a company sells is expected to decline over the next few years, would you buy the company’s stock? Its earnings are almost certain to fall. As a manager of millions (or billions) of dollars, you wouldn’t buy any investment with this kind of outlook. There’s more. These same banks and brokerages have also been predicting the price of oil will rise (almost) every year. While they’ve occasionally been right about that, it means that margins for the gold producers would be expected to fall, since roughly 10% of their costs are related to fuel. So again… Why would I as a fund manager or institutional investor buy a gold stock if my analysts tell me profit margins are expected to fall? Answer: I wouldn’t. It doesn’t matter that analysts have been consistently wrong. What matters is that if the institutional world believes the gold price is likely decline and/or that margins are likely to fall, they’re not going to stick their necks out and buy gold stocks. They could lose their bonuses or even their jobs if their analyst’s predictions came true and they’d bet against them. This could be the explanation for why hedge funds, institutional investors, and other large investors haven’t entered this market en masse and could account for the disconnect between the price of gold and the trajectory of gold stocks.last_img read more

Brazil Chile Colombia Mexico

first_img Brazil Chile Colombia Mexico Peru Czech Republic Egypt Hungary Morocco Poland Russia S. Africa Turkey Europe, Middle East, Africa China India Indonesia Korea Malaysia Philippines Taiwan Thailand Asia Source: Bloomberg So, a rise in the Index implies an increase in the production of food, electricity, housing, and steel, and points to future global economic growth. As shown in the above chart, the BDI has doubled since early August and tripled year to date. A big slowdown in global economic activity doesn’t seem to be in the cards. A Good Story The facts, however, seldom present an obstacle that a good media story can’t overcome. Such was the case with the media-induced, emerging-market selloff ahead of the Fed’s anticipated “taper” announcement. The story—or at least a chapter from it—went something like this: Emerging markets are carrying big current account deficits… any twist of the Fed’s liquidity spigot will slow the flow of Western capital into emerging economies and aggravate the deficits… a rise in interest rates would ensue… higher rates will slow economic growth… better to sell emerging markets and their currencies ahead of these events. The sand in the ointment that lubricated the media jaws is that “emerging markets” is not a homogenized thing, but an array of countries with distinct economic and fiscal profiles. For a real-world perspective, let’s look at the 21 emerging markets as defined by the MSCI Market Index. Here they are, sorted by region, with countries that run a current account deficit shown in red, and those with a surplus shown in green: The skies were clear as we started final approach into Changi International Airport. Still several kilometers out in the Singapore Strait, dozens of container ships sat idle, tethered to the seabed, and seemed to stretch clear to Batam Island, part of the Indonesian archipelago. Each ship formed part of a nautical queue and waited its turn for cargo to be transshipped or offloaded at Singapore’s port terminals. Singapore is the world’s second-busiest port in terms of cargo tonnage, and number one for the transshipment of cargo. This volume of traffic and trade has turned the Singapore Strait into a major link in one of the world’s most strategic shipping lanes that connects the South China Sea with the Strait of Malacca, and all destinations west. The above anecdotal observation from my window seat aligns with recent action in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI). The BDI is an indirect measure of global supply and demand for shipping capacity. The index acts as a leading indicator in that it measures the demand for “dry” commodities (grain, coal, timber, ores) that are the raw materials used in intermediate and finished-goods manufacture. America’s Hmmm… I see a pattern here. The farther east you look, the greener it gets. It’s pretty obvious that most Asian markets were smeared as card-carrying members of the current-account-deficit club, a grossly inaccurate generalization. Indonesia, by the way, hiked interest rates in early September and revised its GDP estimate for 2013 lower to 6%, a growth rate that countries in the left and center columns of the table are yearning to achieve. Without Us, You’re Toast In 1965, Singapore, following a decade of strife to attain self-rule, became an independent nation. The thumb of British colonial occupation was lifted. The prognosis from the foreign press was immediate and unequivocal: Singapore was doomed. The only question was when. Britain had agreed to maintain its military bases in the country, the primary source of security and economic support for the fledgling country. The bases were a hundred-million-pound burden on the British treasury—closure was inevitable. A British withdrawal from Singapore was compared to the decline of the Roman Empire, where law and order collapsed as the Roman legions retreated and barbarians filled the vacuum. The latest round of emerging-market skepticism, concocted and perpetuated by an ill-informed Western media, embodies the nauseating ideal of Anglo-exceptionalism and is reminiscent of the “you can’t make it without us” conceit of the 20th century. Singapore is not an emerging market, of course, but it was, having clawed its way from backwater trading post in the hinterlands of the British Empire to today’s economic and financial powerhouse. Other Asian nations are following the path it trod, and intra-emerging-market export trends and demographics suggest that the region’s growth story is far from over.last_img read more

Dear Reader This is the last Metals Mining Mo

first_imgDear Reader, This is the last Metals & Mining Monday issue of the Casey Daily Dispatch you’ll be getting this year (we’ll be off for the holidays next Monday), so I wanted to report on 2014 and look forward to 2015. Happily, the news is better than one might imagine based on reading the headlines. Eritrea But first, I feel compelled to object to the recent spate of verbal and legal attacks on international mining companies operating in Eritrea and to encourage you to do the same. The issue is that the government has a “National Service” pseudo-law that compels not just a brief period of military service, but all men and women between 18 and 40 to accept government jobs as directed. I agree with the critics that this is a form of slavery that should be opposed on ethical grounds. It’s also enormously destructive economically and should be abolished immediately on practical grounds. This is no coincidence; contrary to Hollywood portrayals, evil is not good for business. I have been to the country, and I’ve visited several operating and dormant mines there. I’ve spoken with Eritreans who are ecstatic to have good jobs at modern facilities, with health clinics and other benefits. The truth is that miners do everything they can to avoid hiring National Service employees, precisely because slave labor is not productive, not diligent, not careful, and not good for business. And because the physical work of mining is for young people, Eritrea’s National Service drains the most important labor pool of eager, hardworking talent. This makes mining a force for positive change in Eritrea—the largest taxpaying force for economic and humanitarian sanity in the country, in fact. Canadian miners like Nevsun (NSU, NSU.TO) should be encouraged, not sued by misguided NGOs nor lambasted by misinformed politicians. I wish I had their contact information so I could set the record straight. But that’s the world we live in. Just don’t you be fooled by misleading headlines about slave labor in Eritrea’s private-sector mines. The implied image of prisoners in chains couldn’t be further from the truth, and the obstruction of the only major force for good in the country is completely counterproductive. Doug Casey Also, I should mention that Doug will be speaking at the Hong Kong Mines and Money show March 23-27, and the organizers are offering Casey readers a discount. On behalf of your Casey metals team, I wish you and yours very happy holidays and many more to come. Sincerely, Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 24.15 27.26 29.02 Gold Producers (GDX) 18.53 19.19 20.50 One Year Ago Rock & Stock Stats Last One Month Ago Oil 57.13 74.50 99.04 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 14,468.26 14,980.15 13,392.20 Silver 16.08 16.13 19.15 Gold 1,195.90 1,182.98 1,193.60 Silver Stocks (SIL) 9.10 9.69 10.57 Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Gold (SGE) 1,204.78 1,195.45 1,234.61 Copper 2.88 3.05 3.34 TSX Venture 676.54 782.45 887.17last_img read more

Free demo here

first_imgFree demo here The Turkish lira is in free fall… Two weeks ago, it announced a series of measures that it hopes will bring liquidity and support the country’s banking system. (You can read more details on these measures in this Dispatch.)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also asked Turkish people to get rid of their U.S. dollars and euros:If there are dollars under your pillow, take these out… immediately give these to the banks and convert to Turkish lira and, by doing this, we fight this war of independence and the future.In other words, Erdoğan wanted Turks to sell dollars to keep the lira from plunging.But many people did the exact opposite. In fact, my Turkish friend told me—at the height of the lira’s sell-off—that “all her friends were exchanging lira for dollars.”But that’s not all they were buying. I know because I was just in Turkey… We know this because trading volumes on major Turkish crypto exchanges surged during the lira’s recent crash.According to CoinMarketCap, trading volumes on BTCTurk soared 131% when the lira was falling. Paribu, another Turkish crypto exchange, saw a 108% spike in trading volume.This tells us many Turkish people took shelter in bitcoin and other cryptos. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. I spent about three weeks in Istanbul. I also visited Turkey’s gorgeous southern coast.That was enough time for me to truly experience Turkey’s currency crisis.You see, one dollar was worth about 4.8 lira when I showed up in Turkey. Three weeks later, one dollar was worth 7 lira.This means that the lira’s value plunged 31% against the dollar in less than a month. Put another way, the dollar strengthened 46% against the lira over the same period.Now, I didn’t mind this as a tourist. Everything from meals to cab rides got cheaper by the day.But the lira’s plunge hammered everyday Turkish people, like my friend. Things got so bad that the Turkish central bank stepped in… “I don’t buy anything from Amazon anymore. I buy everything from AliExpress now. It takes two months to get here, but I save about $1.”My friend Canset told me this recently. Now, you might be wondering why she’s using AliExpress—an online retail service based in China—to purchase her everyday items.She’s doing this because the money in her wallet is losing value rapidly.You see, my friend lives in Turkey, which is in the middle of a currency crisis.Of course, you’d already know that if you have been reading the Dispatch. I wrote about the situation here and here. It’s a major story we’re following closely—and it’s another reason why you should bet on cryptocurrencies today.I’ll explain why in a moment, but first let me recap what’s happening in Turkey. Of course, Turkey isn’t the only country where desperate people have turned to bitcoin… Just click here Recommended Link Turks have been embracing cryptocurrencies for years… In fact, the market research firm Ipsos recently conducted a survey on crypto ownership across 15 countries. And it found that 18% of Turks own some form of cryptocurrency. That’s double the European average of 9%.That’s impressive. But crypto ownership in Turkey should keep rising.I say that because the same survey found that 53% of Turks believe digital currencies will be the dominant online payment method in the future. And 51% expect the value of cryptocurrencies to rise over the next year.This is a big deal. Many Turks also loaded up on cryptocurrencies… This year the lira has fallen 38% against the dollar. That’s a staggering decline. Only the Venezuelan bolívar and Sudanese pound have fared worse this year.This is why my friend is changing how she shops. If she doesn’t, she could run out of money.She’s certainly not alone, either.People all over Turkey are under pressure. You can almost feel the tension in the air. It tells me more Turks will take refuge in cryptos if the lira keeps falling… — So consider speculating on cryptos if you haven’t yet. Bitcoin is a good place to start.Just remember that bitcoin and other cryptos are extremely volatile. As always, never bet more money than you can afford to lose. And you should use stop losses and take profits as they come. Regards,Justin SpittlerBudapest, HungaryAugust 27, 2018Reader MailbagToday, we see that not everyone agrees with Doug Casey’s take on the Alex Jones ban…Doug, you have gotten completely off topic with Alex Jones. All you say, and others as well, about Jones’ content and his delivery is correct. But ask yourself this question: How did this cabal all of a sudden come together? All of a sudden the technocrats and the media in unison attacked Jones. Feel sorry for Jones… NOT! As of Monday, he was the No. 1 news app. CNN, who had held that title for years, was destroyed. Why? Because you and the public jumped on his band wagon. Jones is a gate keeper for the Israeli agenda… and where did you get this that he was somehow a 9/11 truther?You need to re-examine your information, Mr. Casey. He argues all of the time whether the narrative was wrong and Israel was a haymaker of this false flag agenda. This was not to destroy Jones, as you and others portend. It was to drive the insouciant to his site to take the alt net to its extreme. Please take a different look to see what he has been and still is. You are as dead wrong as all who have fallen for the scam of the century. —RichardAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.In Case You Missed It…Have you seen these strange-looking metal poles in your city? Most people have no idea what they’re for. But in just a few short years, these towers could completely upend the entire $479 billion smartphone industry… and make well-positioned investors rich. But together they could light a serious fire under the bitcoin price. It’s also possible that bitcoin (or some other crypto) could emerge as a medium of exchange in one of these places. That would let the world know that cryptos aren’t just another speculative vehicle. They’re a legitimate threat to paper money. Relative to the dollar, the Venezuela bolívar has lost 99.99% of its value this year. The Argentine peso is down 40% on the year. The South African rand is down 12%. These are enormous declines. They’re the kind that push people to take shelter in bitcoin. NASDAQ calls it: “The biggest investment opportunity in years.” The Smart Phone Killer1000x faster, 1000x more capacity, plus the power to download a 2-and-a-half hour movie in one second. Get positioned by October 1, and you could pocket a sweet $150k profit. Of course, skeptics will be quick to point out that bitcoin hasn’t been a good store of value this year.It’s down 52% on the year versus the lira’s 38% decline. Not only that, many lesser-known cryptos are down 80% or more this year.I won’t dispute those numbers. But let’s not forget that cryptos are coming off an incredible rally.The bitcoin chart below says it all.You can see that bitcoin’s still up 2,874% over the past three years. And yes, that includes its recent crash.You’ve also got to remember that bitcoin’s been here before. You see, bitcoin has crashed 30% or more 11 other times since 2010. Each time, it bounced back stronger.You can’t say the same about the lira, which has been in steady decline. In fact, it’s lost 70% of its value against the dollar since the start of 2013. — Recommended Link Now, I’m not saying any of these countries could push bitcoin to new highs on their own… That would obviously be extremely bullish for the crypto market… President Trump Gives Order to Locate New Type of FuelRecently, President Trump signed an executive order that mandates the Interior Department to begin mapping the country to locate America’s “Brandt Oil” reserves.“Brandt Oil” is a new, clean super fuel that’s so powerful, less than two gallons worth contains enough raw energy to power your house for nine years. So it’s no surprise “Brandt Oil” applications are going mainstream.And just like any new energy revolution, early investors are minting millions. Already we’re seeing investors bag rare gains as high as 2,343%, 3,750%, and even 4,628%.To get the full story on exactly what “Brandt Oil” is – and why it’s making investors so much money right now…last_img read more

Every week in Murfreesboro Tenn Zibin Guo guide

first_imgEvery week in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Zibin Guo guides veterans in wheelchairs through slow-motion tai chi poses as a Bluetooth speaker plays soothing instrumental music.”Cloudy hands to the right, cloudy hands to the left,” he tells them. “Now we’re going to open your arms, grab the wheels and 180-degree turn.”The participants swivel about-face and continue to the next pose. Guo, a medical anthropologist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has modified his tai chi to work from a seated position. Even though many of the participants are not wheelchair-bound, using the mobile chairs makes it easier for them to get through a half-hour of movement.The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has given $120,000 in grant money to Guo to spread his special wheelchair tai chi curriculum. He started in Chattanooga, and has expanded his class offerings to Murfreesboro.This idea of going beyond prescriptions — and especially beyond opioids — in dealing with different sorts of pain and trauma has become a focus of the VA nationally.In Tennessee, nearly a quarter of all VA patients with an active medical prescription were on opioids in 2012. That number is now down to 15 percent, but that’s still higher than in most other parts of the country.According to a national survey from 2015, nearly every VA hospital now offers some kind of alternative health treatment — like yoga, mindfulness and art therapy.Guo is teaching people in a half dozen VA hospitals in Florida, Texas, Utah and Arizona to use his version of tai chi. He believes the focus on breathing and mindfulness — paired with manageable physical activity — can help ease a variety of ailments.”When you have a good amount of body harmony, people tend to engage in proactive life,” he says, “so that helps with all kinds of symptoms.”In addition to making a vet feel better physically, the VA also hopes these alternative therapies might help ease symptoms of conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.Thomas Sales, of Nashville, Tenn., says his latest panic attack caught him by surprise. “Night before last, when we had the thunderstorm,” he says. “The thunder is a big trigger for some people.”It’s been 25 years after Sales fought in the first Gulf War with the Navy Special Warfare Command, and he still has panic attacks regularly.”You’ll find yourself flashing back to being out there with the fellas, and you’ll just kind of snap,” he says. “And I found myself, for some reason, thinking about doing the breathing techniques [from tai chi], and doing the ‘heaven and earth,’ and then breathing deep and slow.”Sales says he knows it must look crazy to some people when he reaches to the sky and then sweeps his arms to the ground. There was a time when he would have agreed. Most of the patients in this class had some skepticism going into the tai chi program. But Vietnam veteran Jim Berry of Spring Hill, Tenn., says he’s now convinced of its value.”My daughter sent me a t-shirt that sums it up,” he says. “Tai chi is more than old folks chasing trees.”Berry credits meditation and tai chi with helping him quit smoking. “No cigarettes for three months now,” he says.Zarita Croney, a veteran with the National Guard, says tai chi has helped her with chemical dependency. She now makes the nearly two-hour drive from Hopkinsville, Ky., to Murfreesboro each week, and has reduced her use of pills for pain.”My whole life … revolved around, ‘Oh shoot, when can I take my next pill?’ ” Croney recalls. “I’ve gone from about 90 percent of my day being on my bed to being able to come out and be social.”The VA has been aggressively trying to wean vets off high-powered opioids — using prescription data as a key measurement to judge how its hospitals across the country are doing with that goal.The VA acknowledges that there’s little evidence at this point that tai chi or mindfulness therapy or acupuncture will ease PTSD or addiction, though recently there has been research into the quality of life benefits of tai chi among the elderly.But physicians say they suspect many of the opioisa aren’t always helping veterans either, and the drugs carry more risks.Aaron Grobengieser, who oversees alternative medicine at the VA hospital in Murfreesboro, says tai chi won’t replace medication. But it might help reduce prescriptions, and the agency plans to start measuring that.”I believe this is going to be an avenue,” he says, “to really help address that group of folks [who are] looking for ways to manage those types of conditions without popping another pill.”This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership with Nashville Public Radio and Kaiser Health News. Copyright 2018 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit Nashville Public Radio.last_img read more

Doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Health have develop

first_imgDoctors at Wake Forest Baptist Health have developed an iPad app that assists in colon cancer screening tests. The software puts some decision-making power into patients’ hands. It’s called mobile Patient Technology for Health – or mPATH-CRC for short. It lets patients “self-order” a colon cancer screening test while they’re in the waiting room. Colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., but over one-third of those eligible to be screened don’t get the test.The National Cancer Institute has awarded $1.6 million in grant funds for further testing of the technology in clinics across North Carolina and Kentucky.Dr. David Miller is a professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and a leading researcher on the study. “What this grant funding will let us do is figure out how to get this iPad intervention — which we know works, we know it doubles the chance that people will complete colon cancer screening tests — and actually get it put into routine use in primary care practices,” says Miller.Miller also says that the mPATH-CRC application is an extension, not a replacement, for a physician’s advice.last_img read more

Testing the Open Source Waters

first_img –shares If you don’t remember to save your Write files in a .doc format, or PDF, then non-OpenOffice users who you send your files to won’t be able to read them. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Testing the Open Source Waters Register Now » Lastly, since OpenOffice was created as a group effort and built by volunteers, its how-tos and help files are sometimes difficult to find and understand.Overall, OpenOffice provides users with a versatile office suite. Many small-business owners will find that the office suite is a gateway to the larger world of open source software. For instance, when you find that OpenOffice doesn’t offer an Outlook-like e-mail service, you might soon discover Mozilla Thunderbird, another open source program that looks and acts very much like Outlook. Soon you may begin wondering why so many thousands of your business’s hard-earned dollars went to software suites, when similar software is available for free on the internet.Donald Carroll is the founder of Calvary Copywriting in Kansas City, Missouri. Specializing in the peculiarities of small to mid-sized businesses, Donald takes pride in helping the little guys fight big competition. OpenOffice 1.2 also has a database function built in. This can be used to create bibliographies, contact lists, address books and other functions you’d expect from a relational database.Though it’s easy to learn how to use the programs–and easy on any company’s budget–OpenOffice does have some drawbacks:The database program in version 1.2 is extremely difficult to learn. I also came across compatibility issues with some of my Windows software that wouldn’t allow for the creation of databases through OpenOffice. There’s an Access-like database for OpenOffice 2.0, called Base; however, it’s still in Beta version, so some functions don’t work. And at this point, Base doesn’t have an “import” function, which many Access users find useful. It was my fault–I admit it. I was cleaning my computer’s file system, trying to speed it up a bit, when poof! My computer died. I was able to bring it back to life, but I lost a lot of programs I had to reinstall. Unfortunately, at some point during a move six months earlier, I had lost my Microsoft Office disk and now was in a bit of a jam: I was working on a project for a client, the deadline was coming up quickly, and it was too late to go to the store to buy another copy.That’s when I turned to Google. On a hunch, I searched for “Alternatives to Microsoft Office” and there I found OpenOffice.org. A quick read of OpenOffice’s website revealed a program that’s intended to be similar to Microsoft Office in look and feel, and that can read and save files in the Microsoft Office format, among others.Here’s the kicker: OpenOffice is free. Regardless of how many workstations you use the program on, it’ll never cost your company a penny. Compare that to the cost of licensing Microsoft Office Professional for just five workstations: According to a sales associate at the online retailer CDW, that’ll cost you upwards of $2,000.Being convinced–and desparate–enough to give it a try, I went through the download and install procedures, which took only a few minutes using my cable modem. I was very pleased with what I found. There’s a “Word”-like program, called Write, for drafting documents. There’s also a spreadsheet program, called Calc, that’s very similar to Excel and a presentation program called Impress that’s similar to PowerPoint. There’s also a program called Draw, which is comparable to Paint.After I became more familiar with OpenOffice, I discovered many useful features that other business owners will appreciate:Write is the OpenOffice equivalent of Word. It’s highly functional, very intuitive and has utilities for saving documents directly to PDF format, which allows for easy web publishing or portability between platforms, something Word doesn’t offer. Mail merge, table maker, object manipulation, various wizards and the ability to create your own templates are also available in Write. Next Article 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Impress presentations can be saved directly as a Macromedia Flash file, for easy uploading to your company’s website. In PowerPoint, this can only be done by using a separate and expensive program for converting PowerPoint documents to Macromedia Flash format. Add to Queue Technology July 28, 2005 Calc is similar in almost every way to Excel, but Calc files, unlike Excel files, can be saved directly to PDF, thus saving you the time and expense of having to use a separate program–Adobe–to turn the text document into a PDF. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Is free software really worth it? One business owner describes his first experiences with OpenOffice. Donald Carrolllast_img read more

US Charges Nine People in 30 Million Insider Trading Scheme

first_img Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul J. Fishman (2nd L) speaks during a news conference in Newark, New Jersey. –shares U.S. prosecutors have charged nine people over their alleged roles in a hacking scheme to obtain corporate press releases before they were made public, which they said generated more than $30 million of illegal trading profit.Prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York made public an insider trading indictment charging four traders: Vitaly Korchevsky, a former hedge fund manager from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania; Vladislav Khalupsky, of Brooklyn and Odessa, Ukraine and Leonid Momotok, of and Alexander Garkusha of Georgia.An separate indictment made public in New Jersey charges Ivan Turchynov and Oleksandr Ieremenko, two alleged computer hackers who live in Ukraine; Pavel Dubovoy, a trader from Ukraine; and Arkadiy Dubovoy and his son Igor Dubovoy, traders from Georgia.Authorities said that starting around February 2010, hackers infiltrated the networks of press release distributors Business Wire, MarketWired and PR Newswire, and gained access to corporate news such as financial results before it became public.According to the indictments, the news was then passed to traders who made illegal trades in stocks and options based on the stolen information, with foreign shell companies being used to share the rewards.Authorities said the scheme resulted in illegal profits on such companies as Acme Packet Inc, Align Technology Inc (ALGN.O), Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), Dealertrack Technologies Inc (TRAK.O), Dendreon Corp, Edwards Lifesciences Corp (EW.N), Panera Bread Co (PNRA.O) and Verisign Inc (VRSN.O).Charges brought against the various defendants include securities fraud, and conspiracies to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.A press conference to discuss the charges is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. EDT in Newark, New Jersey. A spokeswoman for the FBI said five of the defendants have been arrested.The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought a related civil lawsuit charging many more defendants, and alleging that the thefts resulted in more than $100 million of illegal profit. It is seeking civil penalties and asset freezes, as well as the recoupment of illegal profits.The criminal case marks the first U.S. prosecution alleging a securities fraud scheme using hacked inside information.It is also the largest known suspected case of hacking that resulted in insider trading.None of the press release distributors or companies whose securities were traded were criminally charged. Business Wire is a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc(BRKa.N).Until now, the SEC had brought only a handful of civil cases against individual hackers.In 2007, the agency filed a civil case against a Ukrainian trader named Oleksandr Dorozhko, accusing him of hacking into IMS Health Holdings Inc (IMS.N) and stealing information on earnings that he used to make profitable options trades. In 2010, a federal court ordered Dorozhko to pay $580,000.(Writing by Mica Rosenberg and Supriya Kurane; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Alden Bentley) Image credit: Reuters | Eduardo Munoz U.S. Charges Nine People in $30 Million Insider Trading Scheme Reuters August 11, 2015 3 min read Hackers This story originally appeared on Reuters Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Register Now »last_img read more

CoSchedule Launches Marketing Suite to Transform the Way Marketers Work

first_imgThe Family of Agile Marketing Tools Helps Marketers Publish More Work, Complete Projects on Time and Prove Value to StakeholdersCoSchedule, the fastest-growing marketing platform on the Inc. 5000 list and recognized on Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms, announced its new CoSchedule Marketing Suite . The Marketing Suite helps marketers stay focused, deliver projects on time and make their team happy.The strategic shift to build a unified marketing platform is the company’s direct response to marketers’ feedback and frustration with disconnected toolsets that cause marketing teams to waste time coordinating work rather than completing it.“We surveyed more than 3,000 marketers, and they unanimously shared the need to get more work done in less time,” said Garrett Moon, co-founder and CEO of CoSchedule. “The pressure for this productivity pushes them to adopt new technologies and processes. But in reality, we hear this only leads to siloed tools and teams. They’re frustrated. At CoSchedule, we call this ‘makeshift marketing.’ It’s the wasted effort marketers spend coordinating projects, managing spreadsheets and cobbling together single-function tools.”Marketing Technology News: Verve Releases SDK 4.0 To Supercharge The Revenue-Generating Power Of In-App InventoryThe CoSchedule Marketing Suite brings together a work management, content marketing, social media management and digital asset management toolset built upon a marketing calendar foundation. This family of agile tools is designed to provide unprecedented visibility into marketing operations with a single source of truth for all marketing activities.“Our mission is to end makeshift marketing, so we decided to build a completely new way for marketers to work,” said Moon. “The CoSchedule Marketing Suite brings together all the tools that marketers need on a daily basis and puts them in one place. It’s a monumental step and an exciting evolution for CoSchedule and our customers.”Marketing Technology News: Gigapaces Partners with Tableau to Accelerate Machine Learning and Data VisualizationCoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar is the cornerstone of the Marketing Suite. The platform includes four additional product offerings that build off the calendar.Content Organizer is content marketing software to drive strategy and growth.Social Organizer is social media management software to empower marketers with everything they need from publishing to measurement.Work Organizer is team collaboration software designed to help marketers manage and automate workflows.Asset Organizer is brand new digital asset management software designed to organize digital assets and share files with stakeholders.Promoting the value proposition “the only way to organize your marketing in one place,” CoSchedule saw it necessary to add new functionality into the platform to fulfill its promise. The Social Organizer includes all-new Social Conversations Inbox monitoring capabilities for engaging with followers, which makes the software a complete social media management solution. Asset Organizer is an entirely new product to the company as well, making the Marketing Suite a complete marketing project management solution.“Prior to CoSchedule, we were using tons of different tools,” said Sadie Rudolph, public relations director at Flint Group and long-time CoSchedule customer. “We were jumping from product to product and none of the things we were doing were working together. Because everything wasn’t in one place, I didn’t have a lot of visibility into what our team was working on.Marketing Technology News: Invoca Survey Finds Over Half of Consumers Only Offered Automated Communications By Brands Feel Frustrated When They’re Unable to Speak with a Live Person“The CoSchedule Marketing Suite lets us know what everyone is working on and when it’s going to get done, and it’s allowed us to consistently meet our deadlines,” said Rudolph. “Because we have visibility into every project, we’ve been able to drastically reduce wasted effort and produce more content.” Content Marketing PlatformsCoscheduleCoSchedule Marketing SuiteGartnerMagic QuadrantMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleAmperity and Snowflake Partner to Help Joint Customers Power Customer 360 InitiativesNext ArticleConstant Contact Unveils New WooCommerce and Shopify Offerings at 2019 Internet Retailer Conference CoSchedule Launches Marketing Suite to Transform the Way Marketers Work PRNewswireJune 28, 2019, 4:52 pmJune 28, 2019 last_img read more

New mobile apps may simplify complex genomic and biome data

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 10 2018Spurred by the rapidly expanding use of in-home tests for “omic” – genomic and microbiomic – data for humans, pets, and even homes themselves, university researchers have begun tackling the difficult challenge of making the results interactive and understandable to non-experts.While misinterpreting a pet’s lineage or the tracks of a cockroach across a kitchen countertop may or may not carry large financial consequences, scientific literature brims with examples of incorrect or misinterpreted omic home-test results that prompted expensive and unnecessary follow-up medical tests. Already, more than 5 million reports of genetic and microbiome (the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in and on our bodies) have been delivered as a result of such direct-to-consumer tests, and in some cases the emotional toll can be as consequential as the financial.Supported by a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, NYU Tandon School of Engineering Associate Professor Oded Nov, an expert in human-computer interaction, leads the research project with Associate Professor Orit Shaer of Wellesley College. The team is working with the Open Humans Foundation platform to fashion user studies en route to first-of-their-kind tools that he hopes industry will widely adopt.Related StoriesGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaNew strategy may strengthen gut-brain communicationWarning issued by FDA after patient dies following fecal transplantThe team is developing mobile apps to allow users to share results and curated medical news with others within their families or a community interested in the same disease, for example. In the process, the researchers plan to design and test best practices for communicating and interacting with complex genomic and biome data.In addition, the researchers will build an UbiqOmic space to test volunteers’ understanding of data presentation and interaction tools. They will also conduct a longitudinal study in three households, whose members will self-monitor for allergens or undesired food ingredients – and perhaps discover how changing these ingredients affects their own microbiome and those of other people in the household. As part of NYU Tandon’s ITEST summer program supported by the NSF, Nov will engage New York City middle and high school students and teachers in the project.Nov, a member of the NYU Tandon faculty in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation, has long focused on human-computer interaction and social computing. He holds degrees from Tel Aviv University, the London School of Economics, and Cambridge University. His many honors include a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, as well as grants from Google, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative.The NSF Division of Information and Intelligent Systems granted $500,000 for the research, which NYU and Wellesley College share equally.Source: http://www.poly.edu/news/new-apps-take-confusion-out-genome-and-microbiome-home-testslast_img read more

CMS ignores federal judge ruling to approve Medicaid work rules in Utah

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 29 2019Less than 48 hours after a federal judge struck down Medicaid work requirements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday gave Utah permission to use those mandates.CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in her approval letter that requiring Medicaid enrollees to work was allowed because it helps make them healthier.”Therefore we believe an objective of the Medicaid program, in addition to paying for services, is to advance the health and wellness needs of its beneficiaries, and that it is appropriate for the state to structure its demonstration project in a manner that prioritizes meeting those needs,” she wrote.Verma’s stance runs directly counter to U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg, who in twin rulings Wednesday said work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky are illegal under the 1965 Medicaid law. Boasberg said several times that promoting health was not the objective of Medicaid, despite that opinion from Verma and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.In his Kentucky ruling, Boasberg wrote that using health as an objective would be “arbitrary and capricious.”Promoting health, he added, is “far afield of the basic purpose of Medicaid: ‘reimbursing certain costs of medical treatment for needy persons.'”Verma noted that Utah is structuring its program somewhat differently than other states.Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said the Trump administration is “doubling down” by allowing a state to add work requirements.”This is such a remarkable example of sticking a finger in the eye of the court,” Rosenbaum said. “We will see what happens. Because when you disrespect a court, it can backfire.”CMS’ approval also allows Utah to cap enrollment if the state runs out of money.Health experts said Utah’s letter clearly shows that the Trump administration plans to appeal Boasberg’s decision.In addition to Kentucky, Arkansas and Utah, CMA has approved Medicaid work requirements in Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin.Verma’s approval was for an application that Utah made in 2018. It will partly expand Medicaid to cover all adults under the poverty level ($12,490 for an individual this year). Enrollees will be asked to make some job searches but they will not be required to report a certain number of hours of work.In November, Utah voters approved a ballot measure calling for the expansion to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $17,200) as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.Related StoriesMedicare going in ‘right direction’ on opioid epidemicPodcast: KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Is ‘Medicare for All’ losing steam?Persistent poverty endangers health in 20% of UK childrenState officials expect about 90,000 people to gain coverage under the expansion approved Friday. About 150,000 people would have been covered under the plan approved by voters.The plan approved Friday will require Utah to pay a bigger portion of the costs for the new enrollees because they will enter Medicaid under the traditional program and the state will get a 70 percent contribution from the federal government to cover their care. If the state had expanded to 138 percent of poverty, the federal government would have paid 90 percent of the costs.November’s vote raised concerns among state officials, who have opposed Medicaid expansion for years. They have opted instead to prepare another request to CMS that seeks the full 90 percent funding for the new enrollees. But to secure that, Utah is offering to accept unprecedented annual limits on federal and state spending.Allison Hoffman, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said getting a federal judge to accept the premise that Medicaid is improving health is vital to getting work requirements through the courts. Federal officials “need a judge to buy that,” Hoffman said. “They are going to fish for a different jurisdiction to push this opinion.”What’s most compelling about the Utah approval, Hoffman said, is how the state legislature ignored the will of voters who approved the referendum. “The legislature is blocking what people voted for … and it appears to be an anti-democratic move.” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Protein found in the eye can protect against diabetic retinopathy

first_imgPeople with diabetes have a high risk of developing complications due to extended periods of elevated glucose levels. These complications could include nerve damage, kidney disease, and eye disease. But a rare subset of people who have had insulin-dependent diabetes for more than 50 years have avoided such complications. For 15 years, Joslin researchers have tracked these individuals as part of the Medalist Study. They noted that 35 percent of patients avoided retinopathy, even when they had elevated glucose levels.Dr. King and his team deduced that these patients must have something endogenous-;or created by their own body that are neutralizing the toxic effects of high glucose levels. This new study aimed to build on this observation, to determine which molecules could be responsible for the protection of the eye.They took biosamples from the eyes of Medalists -; both from living patients during surgery and from people who had donated their eyes postmortem. They then characterized the many proteins that were present, to determine if any proteins were elevated more in the protected eyes than in eyes of people who developed retinopathy.They recognized that RBP3, a protein only made in the retina/eye, was elevated. To determine if this was indeed the protective factor they were looking for, they constructed experiments to compare normal versus increased expression of RBP3 in mouse models. Mice with increased RBP3 expression were protected from developing diabetic retinopathy.Next, the researchers injected pure RBP3 into the vitreous of the eyes of mice in the early stages of retinopathy. The infusion of RBP3 reversed the damages done by early eye disease. They also discovered that diabetes seems to reduce the expression of RBP3 in eye in many subjects, which could explain why its protective effects are limited to only some patients.Related StoriesEye research charity funds development of ‘organ-on-a-chip’ to fight glaucomaStudy reveals a revolutionary way to treat eye injuries, prevent blindness’Eye-in-a-dish’ model helps scientists to uncover ‘surprising’ AMD gene variant”If we could find out what’s causing the decrease of RBP3 in the retina in the first place, we could design some kind of treatment to maintain its production, allowing all diabetic patients to have an endogenous protection against eye disease,” says Dr. King.RBP3 is found in all eyes. Normally, it is used to regenerate a certain type of vitamin A in the eye that powers sight-giving rods and cones. But when the eye is exposed to high glucose levels, RBP3 changes its role.”It appears to decrease the toxic effects of high glucose levels that exist in diabetes by reducing the entering of glucose into several important retinal cells by inhibiting the actions of a glucose transporter, GLUT-1.” says Dr. King.Understanding these mechanisms may allow researchers to develop a targeted treatment to fight early-stage retinopathy. Currently, severe retinopathy can be addressed by the Joslin-developed treatments of either laser photocoagulation or VEGF inhibitor injections.”We are interested in how we can treat diabetic eye disease at its earliest stages before it gets to the severe forms,” says Dr. King.One surprising finding from this study showed that RBP3, while it mainly resides in the eye, can also be detected to some degree in the bloodstream. Dr. King and team have planned follow-up studies to determine if RBP3 levels in the bloodstream correlate with severity of diabetic retinopathy. If they do, this circulating RBP3 could become a biomarker that doctors can use to screen for retinopathy during regular lab tests.”That could be a very important screening tool for family or internal medicine doctors who are not experts at examining the eye,” says Dr. King. “Right now, all people with diabetes have to be sent to ophthalmologists to really give us a sense of the status of their eyes with regard to diabetes. So, if this could be a general screen, we may be able to catch more cases of retinopathy earlier in the disease course.”Joslin and its Beetham Eye Institute have a strong history of developing treatments for retinopathy. This discovery brings them a step closer to prevention of the devastating complication.”This has the potential to become equally as important as our previous discovery of VEGF as critical for diabetic proliferative disease or severe diabetic eye disease,” King says. Source:Joslin Diabetes Center Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 4 2019Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center have shown that a protein found in the eye can protect against and potentially treat diabetic eye disease. At high enough levels, Retinol Binding Protein 3 (or RBP3) prevents the development of diabetic retinopathy. If introduced early enough in the development of the disease, RBP3 was shown to reverse the effects of the complication in rodent models of diabetes. These results are reported today in Science Translational Medicine. The level of RBP3 in the eye’s vitreous and retina are higher in people who don’t progress to diabetic eye disease than in those who do. Building on that observation, we saw that if you overexpress RBP3 by molecular methods [in animal models], you can prevent the onset of diabetic eye disease. And when we injected RBP3 itself into the vitreous of diabetic rats, we reversed some of the early changes of diabetic eye disease.”George King, Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center and senior author on the paperlast_img read more

Scientists reveal insights into how a common Alzheimers risk gene disrupts brain

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 27 2019Insights into how a gene that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease disrupts brain cells have been revealed by scientists.Brain tissue from people with Alzheimer’s showed that a protein called clusterin builds up in vital parts of neurons that connect cells and may damage these links.Scientists say the findings shed light on the causes of the disease and will help to accelerate the search for a treatment.The study, led by Professor Tara Spires-Jones at the University of Edinburgh, focused on synapses – connections between brain cells that allow the flow of chemical and electrical signals. These signals are vital for forming memories and are key to brain health, experts say.Related StoriesResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsResearchers showed that synapses in people who had died with Alzheimer’s contained clumps of clusterin, which could contribute to dementia symptoms. These synapses also contained clumps of amyloid beta, the damaging protein that is found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.People with a common risk gene, called apolipoprotein E4, had more clusterin and amyloid beta clumps in their synapses than people with Alzheimer’s without the risk gene.Those without dementia symptoms had even less of the damaging proteins in their synapses.The discovery was made using powerful technology that allowed the scientists to view detailed images of more than one million synapses. Individual synapses are around 5000 times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.Synapse loss in Alzheimer’s disease was previously established, but the clumping of damaging proteins together in synapses was unknown until now because of difficulties in studying them due to their tiny size.Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting around 500,000 people in the UK. It can cause severe memory loss and there is no cure.Professor Spires-Jones, Programme Lead at the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: We have identified another player in the host of proteins that damage synapses in Alzheimer’s disease. Synapses are essential for thinking and memory, and preventing damage to them is a promising target to help prevent or reverse dementia symptoms. This work gives us a new target to work towards in our goal to develop effective treatments.” Source:University of EdinburghJournal reference:Spires-Jones, T. et al. (2019) Clusterin accumulates in synapses in Alzheimer’s disease and is increased in apolipoprotein E4 carriers. Brain Communications. doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcz003.last_img read more

Researchers find a way to divide patients with ulcerative colitis into groups

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 29 2019Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found a way of using gene expression conserved across species to divide patients with the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis into two distinct groups. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications, and the researchers hope that the method can also be used to subdivide other autoimmune diseases.Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the colon and rectum. It manifests itself differently in patients, and only 50 to 60 per cent respond to the treatment with so-called biological drugs.There is therefore a need to divide patients into different groups so that new pharmaceutical targets can be identified and treatments tailored accordingly.Such a grouping has now been presented by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in a study published in Nature Communications. We’ve managed to divide patients with ulcerative colitis into two molecularly distinct groups using a method that we believe can be used for other diseases too.”Study’s corresponding author Eduardo Villablanca, associate professor at the Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet (Solna) Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasThe researchers first used openly accessible data on gene expression – transcription data – from colon biopsies from 102 patients with ulcerative colitis. But the variation between patients proved too great to break the patients down into meaningful groups.They then hit on the idea of excluding irrelevant genes in the patient material by only looking at genes whose expression is changed in both humans and mice. To do this, the group analyzed gene expressions in colon biopsies from a mouse model with ulcerative colitis. They found 57 genes in common from the mouse and patient material.Using these 57 genes, the researchers were able to identify two groups of patients, which they term UC1 and UC2. UC1 patients are characterized by the higher expression of genes involved in the recruitment of neutrophils, which are a type of immune cell. Over 87 per cent of the patients in this group also responded poorly to treatment with two of the most widely used biological drugs for ulcerative colitis. About 60 per cent of the patients in the UC2 group, however, responded to this treatment.”We demonstrate the principle that it’s possible to combine datasets from mice and humans to group previously indistinguishable patients,” says Dr Villablanca. “The results provide new knowledge on inflammatory bowel diseases and can contribute to the more tailored treatment of ulcerative colitis.” Source:Karolinska InstitutetJournal reference:Czarnewski, P. et al. (2019) Conserved transcriptomic profile between mouse and human colitis allows unsupervised patient stratification. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10769-x.last_img read more

Karnataka crisis 4 MLAs leave Renaissance hotel in Mumbai

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 18:45 IST BC Patil (seen in centre in black shirt) was among four MLAs who left the hotel on Friday afternoon (ANI photo | File)Moments after Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy sought to move trust vote in the assembly, four out of 10 MLAs staying at the Renaissance hotel in Mumbai left the premises. BC Patil was among the MLAs who left the hotel.They were spotted leaving the hotel in a car towards Siddhivinayak temple. However, their destination could not be confirmed.Congress and JD (S) have issued a whip to their MLAs asking them to attend the ongoing budget session in the assembly or face action. However, the MLAs have said that the whip is not applicable as they have already resigned as legislators.But, Supreme Court has directed Speaker Ramesh Kumar to maintain status quo on the resignations tendered by 10 rebel MLAs, who had moved the court against him. The court asked the speaker not take any decision on resignation or disqualification until the court has had time to go through all the facts in the matter.Read | Why is Karnataka government always in jeopardy?Read | Karnataka crisis: CM Kumaraswamy seeks floor test, says he is ready for anythingRead | Karnataka crisis: No decision on rebel MLAs till July 16, SC tells SpeakerWatch | Karnataka crisis: Rebel MLAs return to MumbaiFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byArshi Aggarwal Next Karnataka crisis: 4 MLAs leave Renaissance hotel in MumbaiFour MLAs, including BC Patil, were spotted leaving the hotel in a car towards Siddhivinayak temple. However, their destination could not be confirmed.advertisementlast_img read more

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Diallo was totally at fault for the third, Im small potatoes, Trump seemed convinced. gun control and immigrationproved to be empty threats.” and of “prefer[ring] NSF’s funding to come without having to answer questions from Congress or the taxpayers. Earlier, Avenue Street, such a strong quake was not anticipated for the region. read more