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Researchers identify neural factors that predict adolescent alcohol use

first_imgUnderage drinking is common in the United States, with approximately two-thirds of 18-year-olds reporting alcohol use. Though illegal, the Centers for Disease Control says drinkers between the ages of 12 and 21 account for 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States.The adverse consequences of adolescent drinking are well-documented: higher rates of violence, missing school, drunk driving, driving with a drunk driver, suicide and risky sexual behavior. Alcohol consumption accounts for more than 5,000 adolescent deaths each year in the U.S.Individual consequences are no less onerous, with adolescent drinking contributing to memory, learning and behavioral problems, changes in brain development with long-lasting effects and greater likelihood for abuse of other drugs.A mix of social, psychological and biological mechanisms are believed to contribute to alcohol use during adolescence. Demographic risk factors include being male, having higher levels of psychological problems and associating positive outcomes with alcohol (i.e. drinking is fun).The authors note that past neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have suggested it might be possible to quantify the underlying behavioral mechanisms of risk for substance abuse. These include poorer performance on tests of executive functioning, comparatively less brain activation of working memory, inhibition and reward processing and less brain volume in regions associated with impulsivity, reward sensitivity and decision making.In the American Journal of Psychiatry study, 137 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 14 who were “substance-naïve” (97 percent had never tried alcohol) underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging of their brains. They were then assessed annually. By age 18, just over half of the youths (70) were moderate to heavy users of alcohol (based on drinking frequency and quantity); the remaining 67 study participants continued to be nonusers.The scientists employed a machine learning algorithm known as “random forests” to develop a predictive model. Random forest classification is capable of accommodating large sets of variables while using smaller study samples to produce consistently robust predictions.Among the findings, 12- to 14-year-olds were more likely to begin drinking by age 18 if:They were male and/or came from a higher socioeconomic backgroundThey reported dating, possessed more externalized behaviors, such as lying or cheating, and believed alcohol would benefit them in social settingsThey performed poorly on executive function testsTheir neuroimaging results indicated thinner cortices – the outer layer of neural tissue covering the brainThe authors said neuroimaging significantly increased predictive accuracy, both in terms of clarifying implicated brain morphology and noting the activation of 20 diffusely distributed brain regions involved in alcohol initiation.The study did not extend to the question of early marijuana use because only 15 percent of the sample reported eventually using marijuana more than 30 times, but the authors said it was possible that the reported risk factors for alcohol use also apply to marijuana and other illicit substances. They said further and larger studies are necessary.“The value of this particular study is that it provides a documented path for other researchers to follow, to replicate and expand upon our findings,” said Tapert. “Ultimately, of course, the goal is to have a final, validated model that physicians and others can use to predict adolescent alcohol use and prevent it.” Share on Twitter Share Pinterest Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have identified 34 neural factors that predict adolescent alcohol consumption. The list, based upon complex algorithms analyzing data from neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging studies, was significantly more accurate — approximately 74 percent — than demographic information alone.The findings are published in the current issue of American Journal of Psychiatry.“Underage alcohol consumption is a significant problem in this country,” said senior author Susan F. Tapert, PhD, professor of psychiatry. “Being able to identify at-risk children before they begin drinking heavily has immense clinical and public health implications. Our findings provide evidence that it’s possible to predict which adolescents are most likely to begin drinking heavily by age 18.”center_img LinkedIn Email Share on Facebooklast_img read more


NEWS SCAN: Poultry safety standards, global flu update, H5N1 vaccine trial, H7N7 outbreaks, European pandemic surveillance, immunomodulator study

first_imgJu1 1, 2011New pathogen standards for poultry processors take effectThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday announced that tougher new standards for preventing Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry processing plants take effect today. The new standards are the first to address Campylobacter. Though the standards are not requirements, the names of firms that don’t meet the Salmonella standard will be published online. The standards apply to plants that process young chickens and turkeys. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has estimated that the standards will prevent 5,000 Campylobacter illnesses and 20,000 Salmonella infections each year once they have been in effect for 2 years.Jun 30 FSIS noticeMar 17 CIDRAP News storyWHO: Flu season starting in Southern Hemisphere The 2011 influenza season is starting in at least one part of the Southern Hemisphere, according to today’s flu update from the World Health Organizations (WHO). Reports from South Africa note high flu activity, with more than 80% of cases over the past 2 weeks caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus and increasing levels of type B flu. Flu activity in New Zealand is low, as it is in much of Australia, but a recent increase in emergency department visits for influenza-like illness may indicate the beginning of the flu season there as well. Elsewhere, pockets of flu transmission exist in South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and tropical Asia. In the Dominican Republic, 2009 H1N1 flu levels have increased over the past 3 weeks, and in Bolivia, the incidence of H3N2 flu has increased over the past 8 weeks, now accounting for about 20% of clinical specimens tested. In West Africa, influenza B is showing moderate activity in Mali, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Flu activity in the United States was at a typically low summer level last week, with only 1% of visits to sentinel medical providers attributed to flu-like illness, according to today’s update form the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The national baseline cited by the CDC is 2.5% of visits.Jul 1 WHO influenza updateJul 1 CDC FluView reportMedicago’s plant-based H5N1 vaccine shows promise in phase 2 trialMedicago, a biotechnology company based in Quebec City, reported yesterday that final phase 2 clinical trial results showed that its plant-based virus-like particle H5N1 avian influenza vaccine induced a solid immune response and was safe and well tolerated. The company said in a press release that the first phase of the study involved 135 healthy volunteers and was designed to determine the optimal dose. In the second phase, 104 volunteers received two 20-microgram (mcg) doses or placebo, 21 days apart. Immune response was assessed 21 days after the last dose. Of adults aged 18 to 49 years who received the 20-mcg doses, 77% showed an immune response after the second dose. Half of them had a fourfold increase in hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) titer from baseline, and half showed seroprotective antibody titers. In the 50-to-60 age-group, 76% of subjects receiving the same dosage had an immune response after the second dose, with the same HI and seroprotective antibody titers as the younger group. Andy Sheldon, president and chief executive officer of Medicago, said in the statement that the similar efficacy in the two age-groups could offer an advantage over other vaccine technologies.Jun 30 Medicago press releaseH7N7 turns up on more German farmsAnimal health officials in Germany yesterday reported six more low-pathogenic H7N7 avian influenza outbreaks, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). They occurred at four farms in Saxony state and two farms in North Rhine-Westphalia state. In total the outbreaks sickened 20 birds, killed 1, and led to the culling of 27,337. The most recent round of H7N7 outbreaks began in May and has so far affected 16 farms.Jun 30 OIE reportLessons from European pandemic surveillanceA review of surveillance systems used during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in 27 European countries found that the systems were resilient and useful, but some countries’ systems had a hard time capturing data on severe respiratory infections. The findings were published yesterday in Eurosurveillance. The authors, from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), wrote that systems for tracking severe cases and deaths in many cases were introduced during the pandemic, which they said isn’t the best time to launch a new system, because resources are stretched. The group also noted that systems for sharing information from the first affected countries could be improved by protecting the security and confidentiality of the communication systems. They also suggested that revised pandemic plans include more seroprevalence studies to provide better information in real time. In an accompanying editorial, two public health experts, Dr Heath Kelly of the Victoria Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Australia and Dr Benjamin Cowling of Hong Kong University, said early estimates of the reproductive number in the United Kingdom may have been too high, for several reasons. Counting imported cases as locally acquired cases and selection bias could have led to overestimates, they noted. Also, the early estimates included a high proportion of infections in school-age children, a group that had a higher reproductive number than the general population. Another factor that could have led to overestimates was unrecognized transmission that occurred prior to testing. The two experts voiced support for the ECDC authors’ surveillance suggestions and said the improvements should e addressed before the next pandemic strikes.Jun 30 ECDC reportJun 30 ECDC editorialStudy: Immunomodulator inhibits cytokine storm in fluIn a mouse study, dampening the host’s immune response against influenza virus through use of the immunomodulatory drug AAL-R improved mortality rates over those accompanying oseltamivir treatment alone, according to a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) Jun 29. While oseltamivir alone reduced mortality rates by 50%, the immunomodulator reduced rates by 82% and, when combined with oseltamivir, reduced rates by 96% in mice infected with influenza A/Wisconsin/WSLH34949/09. AAL-R inhibits cellular and cytokine/chemokine responses to limit immunopathologic damage while maintaining host control of virus replication, the report says.Jun 29 PNAS studylast_img read more


UN SG thanks CARICOM, African Union for leading Permanent Memorial Initiative

first_img Chair of the Permanent Memorial Committee and Permanent Representative of Jamaica’s Mission to the UN, H.E. Courtenay Rattray who moderated the proceedings noted that the unveiling represented a dream and vision that has become a reality, since at first the memorial was nothing more than a mere thought. He described the occasion as being glorious, solemn and happy. He also used the opportunity to thank UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for his “unwavering support” from the moment the General Assembly decided to erect the memorial. Prime Minster of Jamaica the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller who also spoke at the unveiling said it was an honor for Jamaica to be at the forefront of the initiative as a CARICOM Member State. She said she was proud that the countries of the Caribbean Community took the lead in the initiative along with the African Union.  She said she hoped the memorial would be used to say no to racism, discrimination and intolerance. Freedom was not gifted to us but was earned by the sweat, blood and tears of our fore-bearers, the Jamaican Prime Minister said. The memorial aims to remind visitors of the complete history of slavery, urging them to acknowledge the tragedy and its legacy, and to heighten awareness of the current dangers of racism, prejudice and slavery’s lingering consequences that continue to impact the descendants of slavery’s victims today. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Details from the permanent memorial in acknowledgement of the tragedy and in consideration of the legacy of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Wednesday thank the Caribbean Community and African Union for their role in the initiation and creation of a permanent memorial to honor victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. The Memorial which is called the Ark of Return  was unveiled Wednesday in a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters. Rodney Leon, an architect of Haitian descent, living and working in New York, is the creator and designer. In his remarks at the ceremony Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said the memorial would stand to honour the memory of fifteen million men, women and children who were forced to cross the Atlantic ocean on Slave ships. He said it also helps to acknowledge the collective tragedy that befell millions of people and ensures that we never forget.  He said he hoped it would be a call to action against modern day slavery in the form of  human trafficking. Finance Ministers Meet to Refine ‘Single Ambitious Menu’ for… You may be interested in… Coronavirus Will Cost Global Tourism at Least $1.2 trillion Jul 2, 2020 Aug 31, 2020 Jul 9, 2020 A close-up of details from the permanent memorial in acknowledgement of the tragedy and in consideration of the legacy of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz Sep 9, 2020 Address ‘Unprecedented’ Impact of Coronavirus on Latin… New Guidelines aim to Dismantle Barriers Blocking People… ‘Ark of Return’ to be unveiled todayThe United Nations will unveil the Ark of Return at its headquarters in New York this afternoon as the world marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The Ark of Return is a Permanent Memorial in honour of victims of slavery and…March 25, 2015In “CARICOM”Six UN Member States handover cheques for Slave Trade MemorialSix United Nations Members States have confirmed contributions to a Permanent Memorial to Honour the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade last Friday 26, September.  At a high-level ceremony, held  recently at United Nations Headquarters, representatives of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Senegal and Spain handed over symbolic…September 29, 2014In “CARICOM”Jamaica’s Prime Minister joins UN Secretary-General to remember victims of slavery – Flashback  Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (2nd right) participates in the unveiling of the “Ark of Return” – the Permanent Monument to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade at the UN Visitors Plaza, New York on Wednesday, March 25. With the Prime Minister are (from…March 28, 2015In “Event”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more


Jim Chick Named President of MasterCraft

first_imgWith more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  SAN DIEGO — Robert Pierce, owner and CEO of MasterCraft, a manufacturer of off road, racing, performance and recreational seats and mounting hardware, has announced the hire of Jim Chick as president. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Chick has built a career that spans nearly three decades in the specialty automotive aftermarket having held key positions with such industry leaders as Mr. Gasket, Mickey Thompson Tires and Trail Master Suspension Products. “As a former off-road racer, Jim Chick brings not only his comprehensive managerial and profitability experience to MasterCraft, but a genuine enthusiasm for off-road sports,” says Pierce. “We’re extremely excited about where his leadership and marketing skills will take the company.” “To be part of the team of the most recognized name in off-road seating is fantastic”, says Chick. “I’m anxious to begin setting the forward looking strategies and tactics for the customer base and expanding the product assortment for racers and enthusiasts alike”. _______________________________________ Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business. last_img read more


Gases in the Glass Industry

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img


XPO Logistics and BOC sign fuel deal

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img


Minister: Krk LNG Project More Realistic than Ever Before

first_imgThe long-delayed LNG terminal project on the northern Adriatic island of Krk in Croatia is way more realistic now than it was ever before due to the crisis involving Ukraine and Russia, Croatia’s Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak said in a statement last week.“For a couple of months we have been trying to convince potential partners and the European Commission that this LNG project is a project of common interest for the South Eastern Europe and its gas supply,” the minister said.This crisis involving Ukraine and Russia showed Croatia was right when asking the EU Commission to get involved in the project and to provide financing, Vrdoljak said.“We are currently finalizing the documentation for the LNG terminal and we hope that the EU Commission will decide before the end of this year whether it will provide part of the funding for the project and if so, in what manner,” he added.[mappress]LNG World News Staff, April 17, 2014; Image: mingo.hrlast_img read more


Tenders invited for additional O&M at Swansea’s tidal lagoon

first_imgTidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc will today begin the tendering process for three main operations and maintenance (O&M) contract packages to support the £1billion Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.Having previously named General Electric and Andritz Hydro as preferred bidders to manage the operations and maintenance of the lagoon’s turbines and power generation facilities, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc now seeks Tier 1 contractors to take on the day-to-day running of the lagoon facilities outside of the main power generation plant.The three contract packages being tendered are:Lagoon Maintenance: including maintenance of the lagoon wall, turbine housing structure and mariculture park, as well as maintenance dredgingPublic Realm Infrastructure Maintenance: including maintenance of the visitor buildings; boating centre and research laboratory; roads, car parks, landscaping and lighting; potable, foul and surface water system; 11kV supplies; IT & telecoms infrastructureGeneral Facilities Management Services: facilities management for day-to-day operational activities such as public access control, security, transport, cleaning and waste disposalThe contracts are together valued at ~£4million per annum. Successful contractors will be selected via a competitive two-stage pre-qualification and formal invitation to tender process which begins this summer.Gerwyn Tumelty, Operations & Maintenance Manager for Tidal Lagoon Power: “The creation of these packages brings a clear focus to the non-power generating assets which are needed to safely operate the world’s first tidal lagoon power plant and make the most of its potential for multi-functional use.“The tendering process will ensure the right levels of competition, innovation and skill is sourced from the supply chain and will maximise local jobs for the future.  This is just the beginning of a home-grown industry that expert analysis suggests has the potential to contribute £3.1bn to UK GDP in each year of asset operation.” Roger Evans MBE, Chair of the Tidal Lagoon Industry Advisory Group: “The creation of these O&M packages provides yet another opportunity for local and national companies to register their interest in being a part of a major £1billion investment in Wales.  It builds on the clear intentions already given by the project’s major delivery partners to maximise opportunities for a British workforce, partners and supply chain in the construction of the lagoon.”Julie Williamson, Chairman of the Federation of Small Business in Swansea Bay: “We have worked closely with the developer from the outset to understand opportunities for local businesses. The announcement of the tier one contractors, CHEC, GE and Andritz, Laing O’Rourke and local civil engineers Alun Griffiths, now creates the platform for local businesses to take their role in the supply chain, creating jobs and developing expertise in this exciting new industry. This project represents a fantastic opportunity for our members and the broader business community in Swansea and Wales. It is incredibly exciting to see it all now coming to fruition.”As well as registering at Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay’s website, the companies interested in securing work with Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Plc should also register at information source and procurement portal set up by the Welsh Government, where all major tender opportunities will be listed, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay’s press release reads.[mappress mapid=”535″]last_img read more


Green Deal: It’s not too late to save jobs

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more


Vibration resilience

first_imgTHEextension of Line 3 from Ethniki Amyna to Plakentia runs through a densely-populated area, and some sections of the tunnels were bored beneath residential buildings or other structures. An elastically-supported trackform was specified to help minimise ground-borne vibrations.Attiko Metro awarded the trackwork contract to Stedef and Sateba, specifying the use of twin-block sleepers, rubber mountings and resilient pads. In addition to material properties such as water absorption and resistance to rail creep, the specification for the insert pads required a static stiffness of 13 to 22N/mm and a dynamic stiffness of 23 to 37N/mm. Each pad measures 660 x 230 x 12mm. After exhaustive tests, Attiko Metro decided to adopt Sylomer insert pads supplied by Getzner. The tests included an assessment of residual deformation 24h after the load had been removed, and permanent deformation. This was limited to a maximum of 35% of the original thickness, but the tests found that permanent deformation of a Sylomer pad was less than 3%.last_img read more