G Adventures launches TailorMade tours March GNormous savings

first_imgTags: G Adventures, New Tours, Promotions << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by G Adventures launches ‘TailorMade’ tours & March G-Normous savings TORONTO — In response to agent feedback, G Adventures has launched a new range of tours called ‘TailorMade’.Featuring 11 destinations and sample itineraries priced from $1,219 per person, the tours come on the heels of a global survey in which 84% of 450 travel agent respondents reported an increase in requests for tailor-made travel and private tours. 44% of agents stated it as being “in high demand” while 40% said demand had increased in the past year.Bruce Poon Tip, founder, G Adventures, says there has been a distinct gap in the market for tailor-made travel solutions in adventure travel, specifically in the affordable and mid-market price ranges.“The flexibility of TailorMade means travellers can combine experiential travel with customization. While we’ve recognized an opportunity in the mid-range travel market, we’ll also be able to cater to higher-end tastes in transport, meals and accommodation,” he said.The 11 launch destinations for TailorMade travel in 2019 are Botswana, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador (including Galápagos), India, Laos, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, with two or three sample itineraries available for each as inspiration for travellers making a TailorMade request.G Adventures’ is in the process of expanding its sales team and assigning dedicated specialists who will work with travel agents and customers to design the ideal itinerary. Options will include bespoke transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, pace of travel and budget. Travellers can opt to select a sample itinerary and depart on their own date, amend a sample itinerary, or create a whole new itinerary with the help of their private travel consultant.More news:  Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksTailorMade tours are available for solo travelers or groups of nearly any size, and perfect for couples, families, friends, honeymooners, teams and affinity groups who enjoy G Adventures’ style of travel, but want to create an itinerary that caters to their unique needs.In other company news, throughout the month of March, agents can share special savings with clients as part of G Adventures’ ongoing ‘G-Normous’ promotion.The sixth-annual agent incentive, which launched in January and runs through April, is poised for a record-breaking year of sales across North America. Savings are available on select Active adventures all month long.By focusing on these ‘Active’ trips, the company aims to help agents boost sales while getting the word out about its nine newest active adventures for 2019. New offerings include multisport activities in Colombia, and trekking challenges and combination tours in South Africa, Tanzania and Nepal.There are now 70 Active options across 26 countries for adrenaline-seeking travellers.Throughout March, agents can also pass along a 15% discount on select Active-style tours with the promo code 19GA015ACT03. They can also earn extra cash and prizes for bookings when registered with the G-Normous incentive in Sherpa. The North American agent incentive program offers more than $100,000 in prizes, and runs from January through April.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerThe newest Active adventures in G Adventures’ 2019 lineup include: the 11-day ‘Colombia Multisport’ tour (Bogota to Medellin, from $2,405 per person); the 17-day ‘Colombia Multisport and Lost City Trek’ (Bogota to Santa Maria, from $3,110 per person); the eight-day ‘Tanzania Active Safari’ (roundtrip from Arusha, from $2,999 per person); the 17-day ‘Hiking South Africa’ tour (Cape Town to Johannesburg, from $2,752 per person); the 15-day ‘Trekking Langtang’ tour (roundtrip from Kathmandu, from $1,699 per person); and the 12-day ‘Kilimanjaro trek: Machame Route & Zanzibar Adventure’ (Moshi to Stone Town, from $3,999 per person, air separate).For more information about G-Normous, agents are encouraged to reach out to their local G Adventures Global Purpose Specialist and tune into the G-Normous Active Webinar on March 5 at 2pm ET.For more information about TailorMade tours, go to https://www.gadventures.com/travel-styles/private-travel/.center_img Travelweek Group Monday, March 4, 2019 Sharelast_img read more

Costa Rica targets undiscovered destinations at 35th annual Expotur

first_img Share By: Vawn Himmelsbach SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA — Costa Rica has built its tourism industry on ecotourism and soft adventure. But at this year’s 35th anniversary of Expotur, one of the most important travel marts in Latin America, the focus was on showcasing new consumer offerings.“We are very proud of what we have accomplished as a tourist destination,” said Maria Amalia Revelo, Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism, during a press conference. But, she added, “we know we still have a lot of work to do.”Organized by the Costa Rican Association of Professionals in Tourism (ACOPROT), this year’s travel mart featured 230 purchasers with delegates from 35 countries, showcasing many of the country’s micro, small and mid-size businesses.The U.S. and Canada are considered priority markets, bringing in the highest number of tourists, though ACOPROT is further developing the European market, as well as the South American countries of Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Tags: adventure, Costa Rica, tourism, undiscovered, wildlife Costa Rica targets ‘undiscovered’ destinations at 35th annual Expotur Built on public-private partnerships, Costa Rica’s tourism industry has, for the most part, taken a consistent strategy for the past 25 years.“It wasn’t easy — we took one step forward and two steps back. But in the end we managed to agree that sustainable tourism was going to help us as a country, and Costa Rica has been successful because we’ve been very consistent,” said Revelo (through a Spanish-to-English translator). “We don’t change strategies because a new government comes in.” Ecotourism has been a natural fit, since Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity, making it popular with nature-lovers, bird-watchers and conservationists. But while tourism is built around the country’s natural assets, “we have decided to try to add more value to other cultural aspects like gastronomy,” said Revelo.About one-third of tourists who come to Costa Rica by air are return visitors, she said. But many tourists go to the same places: Arenal volcano, the cloud forests of Monteverde and the beaches along the northern Pacific Coast.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWT“I think that our idiosyncrasy is what makes tourists fall in love with this country and this is proven by the data of people who come back to the country, and coming back at different stages of their lives,” said Revelo.That’s why the country’s national tourism strategy — along with local tour operators — is focused on promoting the ‘undiscovered’ areas of Costa Rica, particularly to repeat visitors, while maintaining its commitment to sustainability.One such area highlighted at this year’s Expotur was Puntarenas — both a city and a province — on the central Pacific Coast. As the gateway to Costa Rica’s Gulf Islands, it’s only a 90-minute drive from the capital, San Jose.Billy Johnson, marketing manager of Vista Los Suenos Adventure Park, was at Expotur promoting the Central Pacific region, which he says has a lot of offer Canadians. While there’s much to see in the popular tourist destinations of Costa Rica, he believes the central Pacific Coast is an untapped region, and in the past year his company started offering day tours (with a choice of activities) directly from San Jose.The adventure park offers ziplining, ATVing and horseback riding, but it’s only three kilometres from the beach so visitors can also take surf lessons. “That’s very different than going to a place in the mountains because you only will be doing those [mountain] activities,” said Johnson.Aside from soft adventure, the central Pacific Coast is quieter, naturally lending itself to nature-based resorts and activities. In Puntarenas, for example, there are plenty of wildlife sanctuaries — but without the crowds and long queues.Outside the city of Puntarenas, for example, is Natuwa Wildlife Sanctuary, which rescues, rehabilitates and releases scarlet and great green macaws back into the wild. But it also provides refuge for other animals, such as monkeys, tapirs, ocelots and sloths, many of which eventually return to their natural habitat. For visitors, it’s a chance to see these animals in a natural setting and support conservation work.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesIn Curú National Wildlife Refuge, on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, it’s relatively easy to spot white-faced monkeys, white-tailed deer, collared peccary, coati and tropical birds. These species live in the wild, but the refuge is managed sustainably to protect threatened and endangered forested habitats, such as mangroves and tropical forests.There are several walking trails throughout Curú, ranging from easy to difficult; Sendero Finca de Los Monos is considered one of the best trails for spotting birds and small mammals.The region also offers Costa Rica’s only private-island resort, located in the Gulf of Nicoya. Isla Chiquita is a glamping resort with 15 tent suites and one new master tent suite that opened in February. The resort works with Canadian travel agents and offers meal plans, according to resident manager Jason Barahona.Isla Chiquita is designed as a back-to-nature getaway with no motorized vehicles and access to eco-adventures on land and sea, from ocean kayaking to artisan fishing, sunset cruising and beach hopping. But it can also accommodate groups and even corporate events.Back on the peninsula is Tambor Tropical, an adults-only boutique beach resort that offers a quiet escape on Tambor Bay — one of the country’s premiere bird-watching locales.“The advantage of being a small destination is we can still locally try to build it without having anything too large,” said general manager Juan Carlos Cruz. Activities include bird-watching and a turtle rescue program. “We have released over the last two years 17,000 baby turtles, so we’re trying to do activities that are nature-oriented, but they also have to be feasible [for the local community].”Expotur takes place annually; this year, the travel mart received a certificate of carbon neutrality for the fourth consecutive year. Tuesday, May 28, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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first_img Comments   Share   “You know, I really didn’t pay too much attention to it,” he said. “My agent did a lot of the book work and for me; I’m just looking for the opportunity to come in and play and just get back to having fun.” Thomas, 26, is entering his fifth NFL season. He spent three-plus seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars after they chose him in the fourth round out of the University of Arizona in the 2009 NFL Draft. Midway through last season, the Lions gave up a fifth-round pick in 2014 to secure the services of Thomas, but he only caught five passes for 28 yards in nine games with Detroit.Following his release, Thomas said there were several teams interested, but Arizona, ultimately, was the place for him. “I just felt like it would be the best fit for me and my skill set,” he said. “Obviously, I was wanted a little bit as well, so it just worked out that I could be here and I’m thankful and grateful to be here.”Thomas is no stranger to the Grand Canyon State. He left UA as the Pac-10’s all-time leading receiver with 259 catches.“The irony of it is pretty amazing,” Thomas said about his return to Arizona. “It’s awesome, to be back. When I got here, I felt so much better with the sunny skies and just clear vision again just to come out here and be here, so it’s a good feeling.”Thomas’ presence makes the battle for the fourth and fifth wide receiver spots that much more interesting. Undrafted rookies Jaron Brown and Charles Hawkins, along with former ASU Sun Devil Kerry Taylor, have all been impressive at different times in camp. Thomas says the uncertainty at the position didn’t have much to do with his choice to sign with Arizona. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling GLENDALE, Ariz. — Well, that was quick.After being released by the Detroit Lions Monday, wide receiver Mike Thomas not only signed with the Arizona Cardinals, but was a participant in Tuesday’s practice at University of Phoenix Stadium.“You know, they gassed up the jet for me — no, I’m just kidding,” Thomas said when asked how he got to Arizona so fast from the Lions’ training camp in Allen Park, Michigan. “(The Cardinals) called first thing, we spoke this morning, I arrived and have been taking care of business since then.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Rep Leutheuser welcomes local pastor to lead House invocation

first_img14Sep Rep. Leutheuser welcomes local pastor to lead House invocation Categories: Leutheuser News PHOTO: State Rep. Eric Leutheuser welcomed Hillsdale United Brethren Church Pastor Lester Smith to the state Capitol to give today’s invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives. House tradition calls for a representative or a clergy member to begin each day’s session with a prayer. Speaker Tom Leonard joined them at the rostrum. Lester’s wife, Linda, was also in attendance.last_img

DOCSIS channel shipments reached 12 million in th

first_imgDOCSIS channel shipments reached 1.2 million in the second quarter, marking the first time the figure exceed 1 million in a single quarter, according to Infonetics Research.The new study claims that the combined CCAP and CMTS upstream and downstream DOCSIS channel shipments in Q2 easily beat last quarter’s record, and that “the velocity of the shift from CMTS to CCAP remains phenomenal.”“Global CCAP revenue jumped another 42% sequentially in 2Q14, as cable operators continued to shift spending to CCAP platforms in an effort to take advantage of their higher densities and lower per-channel prices,” said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research.Combined revenue for CCAP, CMTS, edge QAM, and CMC equipment reached US$411 million worldwide in 2Q, up 24% from the previous quarter, with Arris, Cisco and Casa Systems the dominant players in the CCAP, CMTS, and CMC market.Infonetics said that in North America, where the shift to CCAP is “most acute”, CCAP revenue increased 39% in Q2 quarter-over-quarter.last_img read more

Making money is first and foremost about backing t

first_imgMaking money is first and foremost about backing the right people.Next, it’s about timing.Casey Research readers have had great success by identifying, following, and backing up-and-coming stars. The best of the best in the business.          In this video, Louis James from Casey Research introduces you to two innovators of tomorrow.These are two people whom smart investors are following very closely.last_img

In Case You Missed It… Tonight at 8 pm ET leg

first_img In Case You Missed It… Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, legendary speculator Doug Casey will host an exclusive FREE training webinar called “Doug Casey’s Biggest Speculation in History.” Doug’s never done anything like this before. But right now, he’s more interested in this rare investment situation than any other—and he’s so convinced this is something you need to do, that for the first time, he has put together this extended free training for you. Click here to register immediately. — Justin’s note: Yesterday, I told you why every government in the world is nervous about bitcoin…and why it’s set to move even higher from here. Today, I’m continuing this theme by sharing a new interview featuring Teeka Tiwari, one of the best cryptocurrency analysts in the world.Below, Teeka tells Palm Beach Daily analyst Nick Rokke why he underestimated bitcoin and why you should add some to your portfolio today. He also reveals where he thinks bitcoin’s price is headed in 2018… Nick: Who attends a cryptocurrency party? Teeka: This one had a lot of young entrepreneurs. But these weren’t your typical, foolhardy young entrepreneurs. These were really sophisticated guys. What was different about these guys from other entrepreneurs I’ve seen in the past is they already have existing businesses. One young man I met has 300,000 users on his blockchain application. Another person had 200,000 people on his platform. This is a big difference from the deals we’ve seen so far, which have been little more than a good idea and a white paper. The quality of projects coming to market in 2018 is very high. Nick: What does that mean for investors? Teeka: It means there will be a lot more opportunities to profit from cryptocurrencies. And the big boys are taking notice. They’re excited about these new projects. Over 1,700 people attended this conference. And most of them were from hedge funds, venture capital firms, family offices, and endowment funds. These are all people who are slinging around billions of dollars. And they’re all excited about investing in the cryptocurrency market. They wanted to meet these young entrepreneurs. That’s the biggest thing I noticed… the amount of institutional demand for cryptocurrencies that’s out there. I vastly underestimated how badly institutions want to get into this space… vastly underestimated. Justin’s note: As I mentioned, Teeka is one of the world’s leading crypto experts. He’s traveled the world and met with the top insiders to learn as much as he can about the booming crypto market. And his boots-on-the-ground research has helped his subscribers make life-changing returns following his recommendations. He currently has five crypto plays in his Palm Beach Letter portfolio, with an average gain of 3,270%. But don’t worry if you haven’t bought cryptos yet. There’s still time to get rich off this boom. You can learn how by enrolling in Teeka’s Crypto Millionaire Master Plan. This crash course teaches you everything you need to know about cryptos. Click here to get started. Nick: How’s that possible? You’ve been talking about the tidal wave of money coming into cryptos all year. Teeka: It’s not going to be a tidal wave… It’s going to be the biggest ocean of money in the history of the world. And that money hasn’t even hit the markets yet. The opportunity in cryptos is just beginning. But back to your question. Here’s why institutional demand is much bigger than I initially thought… These institutional investors will be able to trade the new bitcoin futures contracts later this year. But that’s not the same as owning physical bitcoin. Right now, they can’t own bitcoin because of an issue called “custody.” You see, these large funds can’t hold onto their own investments. Most of them have contracts that state a third party will hold onto their assets as a custodian. This rule is in place to protect investors from potential fraud. So, these funds have institutions like Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs have “custody” of their investments. There are no institutional-grade custodians for cryptocurrencies yet. They need that piece in place before they can put money to work in the actual bitcoin market. Think about it being the difference between owning a futures contract on gold and actually owning gold bars. A futures contract can be held in a brokerage account whereas a gold bar needs to be held in a physical vault. As I said, right now there are no bitcoin “vaults” approved for institutional use. The good news is that will change next year. A slew of new companies is rising up to meet the custody challenge. Once custody is in place, the stage will be set for institutions to trade in the physical bitcoin market. And when that happens, billions—or even trillions—of dollars will be flowing into the space. And I hope everyone has an allocation to bitcoin before this money flows in. The move is going to be huge. Nick: What will all this institutional money do for the price of bitcoin? Teeka: I recently told my Palm Beach Confidential subscribers that bitcoin will reach $25,000 next year. And I am very confident it will reach that point. Some analysts at the conference project a bitcoin price of $300,000 by 2022. That’s not unreasonable. So, my price may be on the conservative side. Nick: Thank you for talking to us again, T. Have fun in Bogotá. Teeka: No problem. Recommended Link Silicon Valley Rocket Scientist’s December 19th Prediction Could Lead to 35,000% Growth Watch him lay out his bold prediction in full detail here.center_img — Nick Rokke, analyst, The Palm Beach Daily: T, you just left Consensus in New York… It’s one of the biggest cryptocurrency conferences in the world. What was it like? Teeka Tiwari, editor, The Palm Beach Letter: The energy there is incredible. It’s exciting. And all these guys want to network… get to know each other, and talk cryptos. It’s a new field and there are no established players yet. And if you’re not out there networking, you’re going to be left behind. I only planned to stay one night… But I stayed longer. I kept getting invited to private events hosted by hedge funds and initial coin offering (ICO) projects. I find some of my best ideas at these events. One party I attended was hosted by Mike Novogratz. He’s the manager of the biggest crypto hedge fund in the world. And he was one of the first Wall Street guys to realize the importance of cryptos. A couple years ago, Mike invested $500,000 in ether when it was under $1 per coin. He’s been following the space for a while. So, I wasn’t going to turn down an invite to his party. Reader Mailbag Today, a reader weighs in on cryptos: FREE EVENT TONIGHT: Doug Casey’s #1 Speculation for 2018 Tonight, legendary speculator Doug Casey is holding an emergency briefing to reveal “the biggest speculation in history”… It’s about a trend that could make you a lot of money in 2018… and Doug’s giving away the names of three stocks from his watchlist to all attendees… Click here to register for free. Recommended Link Hi. I am new to all this. I have never really invested on my own. I have looked into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The reason I am interested in this is the world wants to go to a cashless society so digital currency makes sense in a way. I really have no retirement and am looking for something.—Calvinlast_img read more

first_img— — • These stocks soared because Trump made it his mission to revive the U.S. coal industry… Trump did this for a couple of reasons. Number one, he wants to bring back coal mining jobs. He also believes that a strong domestic coal industry “protects our national security, public safety, and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters.”But don’t worry if you missed out on this big move in coal stocks.That’s because Trump could soon spark another big rally in energy stocks… and this one could blow the move we saw in coal stocks out of the water.I’ll show you how to position yourself for this in a minute. But first, let me tell you what Trump’s up to…• On June 1, Trump issued a controversial directive…He told Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to ensure that coal-fired and nuclear power plants stay open.I say “controversial” because many people don’t think Trump should be supporting coal over cleaner energy sources. Other critics warned that the move could raise energy prices.Still, I expect Trump to follow through on this.That’s because the White House has already instructed the Department of Energy (DOE) to place a two-year moratorium on nuclear power plant closures. The Trump administration is also considering a plan that would direct regional transmission companies to buy power from coal and nuclear plants.Trump’s calling for these measures because he wants to ensure a reliable energy source and to “promote the national defense and maximize domestic energy supplies.”If this goes through, it would be an unprecedented intervention by the federal government into the domestic energy market. It would also likely have massive implications for one commodity. And no, not coal. Recommended Link Recommended Link Why the Next Mega Bull Market Is NOT in StocksDr. Steve Sjuggerud says that another, hidden Melt Up is just beginning. Prices are as cheap today as they were in 1991. Full details here… Trump Declares National Emergency President Trump has mobilized his entire Administration to battle this problem by declaring it a National Emergency under federal law. And Congress just approved $6 billion to fight it. Now a company is joining the battle by tackling one of the biggest problems our country has ever faced. In the past, companies in this niche saw peak gains of 95,800%, 63,400%, even 216,100%. Could this new company be the next to ride this unique wave? Get all the details here before it’s too late. • I’m talking about uranium… The primary fuel used in nuclear power plants.It’s also one of the world’s most dependable energy sources. Unlike many renewable energies, it’s a form of base power. It provides power around the clock. It doesn’t matter if the wind’s blowing or if the sun’s shining.Uranium is also one of the world’s cheapest sources of energy.• Because of these advantages, uranium accounts for about 20% of America’s power needs… But get this… The United States only produces about 7% of the uranium it uses.The rest comes from abroad. And about one-third comes from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, which is problematic for obvious reasons.In short, America’s uranium supply is incredibly fragile. This is why Trump’s putting U.S. nuclear energy “first.”In his eyes, it’s a matter of economic and national security. And I expect Trump to do a lot more for the nuclear energy industry in the coming years.• Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy are calling for major reforms to America’s uranium industry… Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy are two of America’s biggest uranium producers.Recently, they asked the U.S. Commerce Department to radically rethink its uranium policies. Specifically, they requested that 25% of all U.S. uranium be purchased from U.S. producers for national security reasons. That’s about three times more uranium than U.S. producers currently provide. They also think that U.S. agencies should be required to buy all uranium from domestic sources. • Now, companies lobby for changes like this all the time… Often their requests fall on deaf ears.But I think Trump will take this request seriously. After all, he’s already shown a serious commitment to reviving the country’s nuclear power.And here’s the thing…• Trump won’t have to do much for uranium to skyrocket… Again, that’s because uranium is already dirt cheap.It’s down 83% since 2007. And it’s down about 34% over the past three years. That makes it the worst-performing major commodity, according to Palisade Research.More importantly, the uranium price is now below the industry-wide cost of production. This means the typical uranium producer is losing money.This isn’t sustainable. Sooner or later, the price of uranium will rise. And when it does, watch out. We could have a “rip your face off” rally on our hands.But don’t just take my word it…• Doug Casey’s extremely bullish on uranium, too… A few days ago, Doug said in an interview that “uranium may be my single favorite commodity.”Doug also said that now’s a better time to buy uranium than it was before the last major bull market.Keep in mind, the price of uranium soared from $10 to $140 during the last bull market. The best uranium stocks went 20-to-1 or 50-to-1. Some even went 100-to-1.So, consider speculating on uranium stocks if you haven’t yet.The safest way to do this is with the Global X Uranium ETF (URA). It allows you to bet on a basket of uranium stocks, which is less risky than buying individual stocks.Just understand that uranium stocks are extremely volatile.Blue-chip uranium stocks can swing 5% or more in day. Junior uranium stocks can move 20% or more.If you can’t handle that volatility, you should stay on the sidelines. And if you’re willing to speculate, don’t bet more money than you can afford to lose. Use stop losses. And take profits when you get them.Regards, Justin Spittler Lima, Peru June 20, 2018P.S. Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno is also bullish on uranium. He’s dedicated a section of his portfolio to the best uranium plays he’s found. And all are still buys today. You can access these names—and all of Nick’s research on the sector—with a subscription to Crisis Investing. Reader MailbagAre you planning on investing in uranium? Let us know your thoughts on this idea—and any questions or suggestions you have for the Dispatch—right here. By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch“America First.”Donald Trump has been pledging this since the campaign trail. And unlike some of his promises, Trump’s stayed true to these words.He’s already put America first when it comes to trade, national security, immigration, and most recently outer space.Now, you might not agree with these policies. But the Dispatch isn’t about politics. It’s about making money.And you can’t deny that Trump’s “America First” approach has helped spark some huge market moves.Just look at this chart. It shows the performance of the VanEck Vectors Coal ETF (KOL) compared to the S&P 500 since Trump’s inauguration.You can see that KOL rose up to 49% at its peak after Trump’s inauguration… compared to a 27% peak gain for the S&P 500.last_img read more

With guest host John DonvanFor several months th

first_imgWith guest host John Donvan.For several months, the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was in limbo. Its budget expired and Congress took no action to reauthorize it. Then, relief came as part of the bill that ended the government shutdown last week.But the future of another vital health service remains uncertain. The more than 10,000 community health centers that treat low-income Americans have not seen a funding reauthorization.The centers, funded by the Affordable Care Act, retain bipartisan support, The Hill quotes Republican Senator Tom Cole saying “I certainly didn’t support Obamacare but I think one of the good provisions was the expansion of the community health centers … I think they’re a wonderful model. They’re a much cheaper way to deliver care to people that really need it. So, again, I think there is a commitment there to find a solution.”What will become of the centers where an estimated one in 13 Americans gets care?GUESTSJames Macrae, Associate Administrator, Bureau of Primary Health Care,Health Resources and Services Administration,U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesLeighton Ku, Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington UniversityDan Hawkins, Senior VP of Public Policy & Research,National Association of Community Health CentersKim Wagenaar, Chief Executive Officer, Cabarrus Rowan Community Health CentersFor more, visit https://the1a.org.© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio. Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.last_img read more

At my babys sixmonth appointment a few months ba

first_imgAt my baby’s six-month appointment a few months back, I got a one-pager from the pediatrician titled “Starting Solid Foods.””It is critical that the baby develop a taste for rice cereal at the beginning, to offset the loss of iron from formula or breast milk,” it reads.Sounds serious. Then come the all caps: “THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF FEEDING GIVE RICE CEREAL ONLY.” That is followed by advice to introduce pureed vegetables before fruits so the baby doesn’t develop a sweet tooth.I obediently went out and bought some sand-textured baby cereal. (Organic, of course.)”Oh no, we’re not doing that.” My spouse pointed me to a parenting book we had on the shelf. “There’s no need for cereals alone; they are bland and bulky and their iron benefits are overstated,” it reads. “The idea that you should introduce vegetables before fruits to avoid creating a sweet tooth is just an unfounded myth. A carrot has virtually the same amount of sugar as an apple.”Welcome to early parenthood’s barrage of contradictory advice. It tends to be detailed, with convincing internal logic. “Studies” are often invoked. And the stakes feel so high — like, if I do this wrong, will my baby be malnourished or end up a picky eater or not succeed in life somehow?Enter Brown University economics professor Emily Oster and her new book, Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, From Birth to Preschool. It’s the follow-up to her first book, Expecting Better, a deep look at the data behind pregnancy advice, which has a bit of a cult following. (I am in this cult.)In her new book, Oster ticks through big and small parenting dilemmas. She uses her training as an economist to look at the relevant research for each of them and to assess how much stock we should put in the findings.”What I do in the book is actually try to comb through these studies and figure out which of them are giving us the best information,” Oster says. “So then you can make these choices having the best information, not just the first thing that comes up when you Google it at 3 o’clock in the morning.”OK, so what about my solid-food dilemma? Yea or nay on rice cereal? Veggies first?”It turns out there isn’t any evidence to suggest that is a particularly important way to introduce foods or not,” she says. The answer to this one: You do you. Keep the food mushy, and don’t stress about it too much.This wasn’t my only point of confusion that this book cleared up, even though I’m nearly four years into parenthood. Here are a few of my personal takeaways.Nipple confusion is not a thing — you don’t need to wait three weeks after birth to give a pacifier or bottle. (This makes me feel better about giving my firstborn a pacifier on day two.)Baby milestones have a wide normal range, so don’t obsess. (Still vaguely worried that by nine months my baby should be clapping.)Breastfeeding does not help mom lose weight. (Crushed.)A lot of the other takeaways are kind of nuanced. They don’t give you a clear-cut answer, so much as information to help you make your own decision. One reason for that is designing a good study of the risks and benefits of a parenting decision is really hard. Take, for example, Chapter 4: “Breast Is Best? Breast Is Better? Breast Is About the Same?” Oster provides a path through the maze of conflicting advice by sifting out the convincing studies from the questionable ones.”Most of the studies on this are done by comparing the kids whose moms breastfeed to the kids whose moms don’t,” Oster says. “The issue with that is that the kind of moms who breastfeed are different than the moms who don’t, on average. So, in the U.S. in particular, moms who breastfeed tend to be better educated, higher income, more likely to be married.”(It’s unclear why that demographic breastfeeds more, Oster says, but the timing for the trend is connected to the public health push away from formula that began in the 1970s.) Now, let’s say you want to find out the impact of breastfeeding — and not of these demographic differences — on things like IQ and obesity.”When we narrow in on some studies that are better — like, for example, studies that compare siblings, where one sibling is breastfed and one sibling is not — those studies do not show the same kinds of impacts on long-term things like obesity or IQ,” Oster says.For the record, she found that there are some health benefits to breastfeeding, but they’re more limited than the hype. If it works for you and your family, Oster concludes, great; if not, formula is a good option.So, even if you’ve made a decision about how to introduce solids and whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed, there are so many other ones to make! What about baby nap schedules, how to potty train or the financial impact of choosing a nanny versus day care versus staying at home?As an economist, Oster advocates for taking some of the angst out of it. When making a parenting decision, she says, “Step one is to kind of really figure out what the best evidence says about the choice.” Look for randomized studies and big sample sizes.”But then there’s a really important second step, which is to combine that with what is going to work for your family,” she says.For instance, when she first brought her baby daughter home, she knew the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby sleep in your room, ideally for the whole first year, as part of its safe infant sleeping environment guidance.”My husband did one day with our older daughter, and he was like, ‘I can’t believe it’s making those noises.’ He just couldn’t do it. He wouldn’t sleep,” she says. Room sharing for a full year was just not workable for her family.With Cribsheet, Oster is trying to make parents less confused, more confident in their choices and less judgmental of other parents who make different choices. Reading the book makes that feel surprisingly achievable. Laying out the research really strips these decisions of their drama, and you end up wondering why it all felt so overwhelming in the first place.When the time came to break out the solid foods with my baby, we did mashed sweet potato. A few months into it, emboldened by Oster’s book, we’ve gotten adventurous: This weekend at our Seder, baby even had a bit of brisket smushed up with horseradish. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Snapchat Introduces a Group Video Call Feature

first_img April 6, 2018 1 min read Next Article Plus, 82Labs raises $8 million, and a self-care startup raises $5 million. –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Snapchat introduced a new video group chat feature. This new addition will let you chat with 16 of your closest friends and do a voice call with up to 32 people. Getting started is simple. You tap the video icon in the group chat or start a call with a few people and then invite new friends to join.The hangover recovery drink from 82Labs has raised $8 million. This special morning-after recovery drink has vitamins, electrolytes and an herbal medicine called DHM that apparently makes your hangover magically go away. The new funding is from Altos Ventures, Slow Ventures, Strong Ventures and Thunder Road Capital.A self-care startup called Shine raised $5 million in series A funding. Shine is a free service that sends you a daily text to help you thrive. It sends quotes, research-backed articles and actionable advice to help you start your morning off right. Shine has 2 million active users to date. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now »center_img News and Trends Snapchat Introduces a Group Video Call Feature VIP Contributor Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Venturer Snap Introduces A Group Video Call FeaturePlus, 82Labs raises $8 million dollars, and a self-care startup raises $5million dollars!last_img read more

Twitter Retweets Can Now Contain Photos Videos GIFs

first_img Image credit: via PC Mag Twitter Retweets Can Now Contain Photos, Videos, GIFs New Twitter features roll out at a snail’s pace, with the memorable big changes being the increase in character limit and the switch from stars to hearts. This week we got a smaller, but still significant change to retweets. It’s now possible to retweet with a photo, video, or GIF attached.As The Verge reports, retweeting until now has been limited to two options: a simple retweet of the original tweet, or you could retweet with a comment. It’s that second option which is being expanded to allow the inclusion of media. So clicking “Retweet with comment” will now allow you to embed a photo, a video, or a GIF.For now, the retweet tweak is limited to Twitter on Android, iOS, or the Twitter mobile website. Desktop users don’t have access to it yet and these new media-rich retweets will look a little strange on desktop until that’s fixed. Even so, it’s sure to be a welcome update by users who’d rather not be limited to text when sharing someone else’s tweet with their followers.From Twitter’s point of view, the change proved quite challenging because it was difficult to get the layout right without things looking confusing. Stacking media can make the stream of information look muddled, so Twitter needed it to be very clear how the media was linked between the two tweets. This was achieved by placing the original tweet in a smaller box below the retweet, but also indented from it. That way the retweet looks more prominent, but it’s visually quite clear it’s a response to the indented tweet below.Retweeting with media is already being used and some major brands are taking full advantage, including Game of Thrones. It’s one of those features that will soon become a natural part of retweets and we’ll all forget how limited retweeting used to be. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Add to Queue The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. This story originally appeared on PCMag Senior Editor Next Article center_img It’s a relatively small change for users, but apparently a really challenging new feature for Twitter to implement and get right. May 7, 2019 Twitter 2 min read Apply Now » Matthew Humphries –shareslast_img read more

Dealing With Internal Security Threats

first_img May 6, 2003 –shares Technology Next Article Add to Queue 4 min readcenter_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It’s often the internal, not external, threats that pose the greatest risk to your network. Are you prepared for the worst? Dealing With Internal Security Threats Q: How easily could a nontechnical internal employee hack my company’s network?A: With all the recent press regarding the sharp rise in Internet-based external threats, is it any wonder that internal threats continue to be overlooked? Many companies today continue to focus the majority of their budgets and effort on “external” penetration and denial of service (DOS) risks. Regardless of the source, you will consistently find that internal security breaches continue to lead to external breaches by a significant majority. In fact, the risk of internal attacks is very likely to rise in the coming year due to the growth, sophistication and ease of use of hacking tools available online.For years, security professionals have commonly communicated the vulnerabilities of operating systems and network services–such as Web, e-mail, ftp and telnet–to the public in many forms. In order for would-be hackers or disgruntled employees to take advantage of these published vulnerabilities, they’d have to create application code or scripts after studying the notes of a select group of experts who originally discovered and documented the vulnerability. Taking advantage of these security holes would require a level of knowledge beyond that of many common IT administrators and the majority of nontechnical individuals. Hence, the most common threats from nontechnical internal employees have mostly been limited to a matter of improperly managed permissions, weak authentication and other administrative-level issues.Over the past year, the number of precoded exploit applications has been on the rise. The more sophisticated hackers are now writing and publishing applications that nontechnical individuals can use on UNIX or Windows PCs. These exploit applications can scan internal networks for vulnerable servers and then perform a specific exploit against the selected target.The most common type of attack used by these new applications is DOS attacks that crash production servers with little or no way to track the source of the problem. Crashing a server is a significant issue since it not only affects productivity, but can also corrupt data, causing integrity issues. The need is apparent for constant attention to security patches and fixes as well as internal auditing and/or intrusion detection systems.Internal auditing is one critical aspect of a security plan that can reduce the risk associated with these new attack tools. However, many internal-auditing projects, if they are being done at all, focus on high-level policy issues like weak passwords, directory and file permissions, and disaster-recovery procedures. Often, it is only the external audits that commonly test for the actual operating system and network service vulnerabilities being exploited by this new age of hacking tools. It is vital that the IT managers evaluating security-auditing vendors be sure that internal-auditing vendors provide a comprehensive analysis of the operating system and application vulnerabilities. Without this analysis, these new risks to business continuance and data integrity may go undetected until they directly affect the bottom line.Many managers assume that nontechnical employees do not pose a significant risk to business continuance from an information security standpoint. Unfortunately, because of the easy access to more sophisticated exploit tools, that assumption is costing business today in terms of service outages and lost revenue. Know your risks and remediation requirements by performing an internal audit before your company becomes the next victim.Michael Bruck is the founding partner of BAI Security, an 8-year-old information security consulting firm. Bruck leads his security team with a successful 16-year background in IT management and senior engineering positions. He is also the developer and author of best practices that are becoming standards in the information security consulting business. He can be reached via www.baisecurity.netor by e-mail at mbruck@baisecurity.net.The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, not of Entrepreneur.com. All answers are intended to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied upon after consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney or accountant.last_img read more

Hillary Clinton on Why Failure Should Not Hold You Back

first_img Entrepreneur Staff Hillary Clinton on Why Failure Should Not Hold You Back 2 min read November 9, 2016 Nina Zipkin Add to Queue Image credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan Next Article Goalscenter_img Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares The Democratic candidate provided valuable advice in her concession speech. In a graceful concession speech in New York City on Wednesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton brought her historic campaign to a close with some valuable advice about how to contend with failures and setbacks in the course of your career.After thanking her family, her running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, her campaign staff and volunteers across the country, Clinton reflected on what she had learned in her decades of service.Related: 5 Ways to Get Going Again After You’ve Survived a Setback”I’ve had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones,” she said. “Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”Clinton also encouraged unity.Related: Why True Entrepreneurs View Setbacks As Opportunities”I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future,” she said. “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.”She wrapped up her speech emphasizing the importance of continuing to work hard, pursue every dream and opportunity and have the strength and courage of your convictions.No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, that’s advice we can all take to heart. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

CopacinoFujikado Helps Brands Navigate LGBTQ Marketing Beyond Pride Month

first_img Brand Pride GuideCopacino+FujikadoLGBTQ+ communityMarketing TechnologymicrositeNews Previous ArticleStepStone Acquires Majority of US Technology Provider AppcastNext ArticleCalendar-Based Scheduling Now Available for Geopointe on Salesforce AppExchange, the World’s Leading Enterprise Cloud Marketplace Copacino+Fujikado Helps Brands Navigate LGBTQ+ Marketing Beyond Pride Month Globe NewswireJuly 2, 2019, 5:52 pmJuly 2, 2019 Seattle Creative Agency’s LGBTQ+ Employees Spearhead Pride GuideCopacino+Fujikado, an independent creative agency in Seattle, Washington, announces the launch of its first-ever Brand Pride Guide, entitled “Rainbow with a Cause.” The guide takes the form of a microsite and offers tips to brands around how to use Pride flags and their respective colors in internal and external communications, generating increased awareness across the advertising and marketing industries beyond Pride Month.“We wanted to do something coming off of Pride that reflected our personal queer identities and our identity as an agency, while educating our peers on how to reach the LGBTQ+ community in an authentic way,” said John Line, Senior Account Director at Copacino+Fujikado.Marketing Technology News: Digital Communication Tools Leave Many Workers Feeling Squeezed out by Tech-Savvy Colleagues“As a queer person in advertising, I continually see my community asking brands to do better, but I rarely see an industry perspective on how to help brands make that progress,” said Caroline Henry, Senior Copywriter at Copacino+Fujikado. “We all know slapping a rainbow on your logo doesn’t cut it; you have to communicate exactly how you’re helping the LGBTQ+ community 365 a year.”“Rainbow with a Cause” aims to do just that, helping brands navigate marketing to the LGBTQ+ community in an authentic way. It covers the history of Pride, correct Pride flag usage, and how to ensure your brand’s efforts steer clear of  “Rainbow-Washing,” or using the Pride flag purely for publicity or profit, year-round. As the guide states, “LGBTQ+ consumers are savvy and painfully aware when a brand doesn’t dive any deeper than a pretty glitter exterior.”Marketing Technology News: Selligent Marketing Cloud Study Reveal Digital Marketers Struggle to Deliver Consistent Omnichannel ExperiencesThe idea originated from Copacino+Fujikado’s LGBTQ+ employees and came into fruition with the help of the agency’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative group, EDGE, which stands for Empowering Diversity and Growing Equity. Founded in 2018, the initiative aims to empower everyone at Copacino+Fujikado and create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture at the agency, in its work, and beyond.Marketing Technology News: LivePerson Wins 2019 Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough Awardlast_img read more

Purdue engineers develop tiny glutamate sensors for spinal cord injuries

first_img Source:https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q1/implant-to-better-track-brain-chemical-gone-rogue-after-neurotrauma.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 28 2019Your chances of getting a nasty migraine increase following a spinal cord injury, thanks to a chemical messenger in the brain that spikes to toxic levels, past studies have suggested.For treatment to get any better, researchers need to catch that split-second spike in action and closely follow its path of destruction.Purdue University engineers have built a tiny, flexible sensor that is faster and more precise than past attempts at tracking this chemical, called glutamate. The sensor, an implantable device on the spinal cord, is primarily a research tool for testing in animal models, but could find future clinical use as a way to monitor whether a drug for neurotrauma or brain disease is working.The group’s work appears in a forthcoming issue of Biosensors and Bioelectronics.”When you feel like you’re running a fever, it doesn’t matter when you check your temperature – it will probably be the same for several hours. But a glutamate spike is so fast that if you don’t capture it at that moment, you miss the whole opportunity to get data,” said Riyi Shi, a professor of neuroscience and biomedical engineering in Purdue’s Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.Impact, such as from a car accident or tackle in football, can injure the spinal cord – also injuring the nerve structures that transport glutamate, which sends signals to excite nerve tissue for performing functions such as learning and memorizing.Damaged nerve structures means that loads of glutamate leak out into spaces outside of cells, over-exciting and damaging them. Brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, also show elevated levels of glutamate.Devices so far either haven’t been sensitive enough to detect glutamate, fast enough to capture its spike or affordable enough for long-term research projects.Purdue researchers are addressing these issues through implantable sensors that they have 3D printed and laser-micromachined – processes that are already used regularly in the lab and industry. A YouTube video is available at https://youtu.be/hyn9SM1wdz0.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to help”We wanted to create a low-cost and very fast way to build these sensors so that we can easily provide researchers with a means to measure glutamate levels in vivo,” said Hugh Lee, a Purdue assistant professor of biomedical engineering, who focuses on implantable microtechnologies.The technique allows researchers to rapidly change the size, shape and orientation of the sensors and then test in animal models without having to go through the more expensive process of microfabrication.Measuring levels in vivo would help researchers to study how spinal cord injuries happen, as well as how brain diseases develop.”How big of a problem is a migraine? Is too much glutamate really behind the pain, or is it that the system that cleans up glutamate is down?” Shi said.The researchers implanted the device into the spinal cord of an animal model and then injured the cord to observe a spike. The device captured the spike immediately, whereas for current devices, researchers have had to wait 30 minutes to get data after damaging the spinal cord.In the future, the researchers plan to create a way for the biosensors to self-clear of inflammatory cells that the body recruits to protect itself. These cells typically form a fibrous capsule around the biosensor, which blocks its sensitivity.The technology could also allow for implanting more sensors along the spinal cord, which would help researchers to know how far glutamate spreads and how quickly.The researchers have filed a patent application for this device with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. The work was supported by the Global Research Outreach program of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, the National Institutes of Health, and sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation under grant CNS-1726865.This research aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the university’s global advancements made in health, longevity and quality of life as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.last_img read more

Living transplant donors also need longterm monitoring to prevent adverse events

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 11 2019While organ transplant recipients receive continual care as the end-stage treatment to their condition, attention also should be given to living donors, who can suffer from hypertension, diabetes and other disorders after donation, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.As reported online April 12, 2019, in JAMA Network Open, by aggregating data from publicly available clinical studies, the researchers found that nearly one in seven kidney donors experienced a potentially adverse event that may be related to their donation.”Our findings are significant for the transplant community,” said co-senior author Minnie Sarwal, MD, PhD, professor of surgery, medicine and pediatrics at UCSF. “We want to encourage donation, yet making the process more transparent for outcomes and safer by improved monitoring for donors, which does not exist long term, also appears to be of critical importance.”Solid organ transplant is the preferred treatment for most end-stage organ diseases, and about 6,000 adults in the United States and 30,000 worldwide are living donors annually. However, some living kidney donors develop postoperative kidney failure and enter the organ donation system as potential recipients on the transplant waiting list, and this group also is at increased long-term risk for cardiovascular and end-stage renal disease, as well as all-cause mortality, compared to matched nondonors eligible to donate.In the new paper, Sarwal and her colleagues analyzed 20 clinical transplant studies compiled between 1963 and 2016 and housed in ImmPort, a clinical and molecular data repository hosted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to review 9,558 donors, referring to their final data set as “ImmTransplant.” To validate the study’s accuracy, they used data collected from 1987 to 2016 and stored in the U.S. national transplant registry maintained by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network administered by the United Network for Organ Sharing.While no recorded events occurred in 85.3 percent of donors, the most common adverse events were hypertension (806 cases, 8.4 percent), diabetes (190, 2 percent), proteinuria (171, 1.8 percent) and lack of bowel movements post-surgery (147, 1.5 percent). Relatively few events (269) occurred in the first two years after donation, and of the 1,746 events occurring from two to 40 years after, 1,575 cases (90.2 percent) were nonsurgical.Related StoriesNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsU.S. transplant programs are required to follow up with donors for only two years after transplant.Further, the researchers found that living kidney donors can experience renal or cardiovascular issues that increase their likelihood of renal failure without first experiencing intermediate events. Complications or conditions soon after donation also may not be predictive of long-term renal function or vice versa. As such, long-term systematic renal monitoring and routine regular checkups for living kidney donors is recommended.Sarwal said this study supplements ongoing research while a nationwide registry is being established to improve the recruitment, awareness, education and long-term health management of potential living donors, per an initiative launched after a June 2016 White House organ donation and transplant summit.Demographic characteristics from the study also can provide insights into donation patterns and potential strategies to better inform living donors, said Sarwal, treasurer of The Transplantation Society, an organization whose goal is to provide global leadership in transplantation.For example, a spike was found in living kidney donations among U.S. women whose age was in the childbearing range (age 25). As kidney donation increases the risk of hypertension and preeclampsia in pregnancies, living donors in this age range should be better informed and counseled.”We hope these findings supplement well-informed discourse for living organ donation among potential donors, recipients, clinicians, researchers and the public,” said lead author Jieming Chen, PhD, a former postdoctoral researcher at UCSF now with Genentech. “We’ve curated the transplant datasets in ImmPort as an initial proof of concept of its utility and applications so that the collection, curation and secondary analyses of other publicly available transplant data can be built on.” Source:https://www.ucsf.edu/last_img read more

Doctoral thesis focuses on the role of oxidative stress in Wolfram syndrome

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 29 2019In the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tartu, the first animal testings were conducted using antioxidant peptides designed and synthesized by scientists in Tartu, which may reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress also develops with a rare incurable genetic disease called Wolfram syndrome and it is studied profoundly by scientists all over the world.Doctoral candidate of the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine at the University of Tartu, Rando Porosk, explained that oxidative stress is a condition where the reactive species, such as free radicals, dominate over the antioxidant defense system, and this may cause tissue damage as a result, for example. Source:Estonian Research Council Related StoriesStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgeryDogs and cats relieve academic stress and lift students’ mood, according to a new studyGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”In his doctoral thesis titled “The Role of Oxidative Stress in Wolfram Syndrome 1 and Hypothermia”, Porosk studied the role of oxidative stress in the case of mild hypothermia or reduced body temperature as well as rare Wolfram syndrome. The latter is caused by a wolframin gene defect which also causes diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optical nerve atrophy and neurodegenerative disorders. A person suffering from this syndrome has diabetes as well as he/she will be blind and deaf.According to the doctoral candidate, there is knowledge of Wolfram syndrome in the case of wolframin deficiency, as intracellular endoplasmic stress, as well as oxidative stress occurs. “We described the level of oxidative stress more profoundly than ever before in the model of mice suffering from Wolfram syndrome constructed by us and showed how the antioxidant UPF peptides designed by us decrease oxidative stress in various tissues.”In Porosk’s doctoral thesis, the animal model has been described better when compared with earlier ones. This animal model can now be used in further research for describing Wolfram syndrome. “Profound description of metabolism provides information for further studies on a protein with hitherto unknown biofunction which is also wolframin that causes Wolfram syndrome. This way, its biofunction can be described even more profoundly.”The mild hypothermia is used quite a lot in clinical practice for avoiding tissue damage. Right now, it is not exactly known what the protective hypothermia mechanism is about. “We showed in the research that mild hypothermia causes a stress response in various cell lines,” said Porosk in conclusion.center_img Oxidative stress is the cause for concern primarily for those whose organism has more reactive species or whose antioxidant defense system is weaker. Deficient defense system may also result from the scarcity of certain vitamins.”Rando Porosk, doctoral candidate of the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine at the University of Tartulast_img read more

How the Russian government used disinformation and cyber warfare in 2016 election

first_imgThe Soviet Union and now Russia under Vladimir Putin have waged a political power struggle against the West for nearly a century. Spreading false and distorted information – called “dezinformatsiya” after the Russian word for “disinformation” – is an age-old strategy for coordinated and sustained influence campaigns that have interrupted the possibility of level-headed political discourse. Emerging reports that Russian hackers targeted a Democratic senator’s 2018 reelection campaign suggest that what happened in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election may be set to recur. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: How the Russian government used disinformation and cyber warfare in 2016 election – an ethical hacker explains (2018, July 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-russian-disinformation-cyber-warfare-election.html This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. As an ethical hacker, security researcher and data analyst, I have seen firsthand how disinformation is becoming the new focus of cyberattacks. In a recent talk, I suggested that cyberwarfare is no longer just about the technical details of computer ports and protocols. Rather, disinformation and social media are rapidly becoming the best hacking tools. With social media, anyone – even Russian intelligence officers and professional trolls – can widely publish misleading content. As legendary hacker Kevin Mitnick put it, “it’s easier to manipulate people rather than technology.”Two sets of federal indictments – one in February and another in July – allege in detail how a private company linked to Putin and the Russian military itself worked to polarize American political discourse and sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Cybersecurity experts in the U.S. knew that the Russian intelligence agencies were conducting these acts of information warfare and cyberwarfare, but I doubt they had any idea how comprehensive and integrated they were – until now.Russia’s propaganda machine duped American votersThe operation was complex. What is publicly known now is perhaps most easily understood in two pieces, the subjects of separate federal indictments. First, a billionaire Russian businessman and Putin associate allegedly assembled a network of troll factories: private Russian companies engaging in a massive disinformation campaign. Their employees posed as Americans, created racially and politically divisive social media groups and pages, and developed fake news articles and commentary to build political animosity within the American public. Second, the Russian military intelligence agency, known by its Russian acronym as the GRU, allegedly used coordinated hacking to target more than 500 people and institutions in the United States. The Russian hackers downloaded potentially damaging information and released it to the public via WikiLeaks and under various aliases including “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0.”Online trolls manipulated your opinionsThe people involved did not fit the stereotypical picture of internet trolls. One leading Russian troll factory was a company called the Internet Research Agency, reportedly with all the trappings of a real corporation, including a graphics department to create incendiary images, a foreign department dedicated to following political discourse in other countries and an IT department to make sure trolls had reliable computers and internet connections. Employees, mostly 18 to 20 years old, were paid as much as US$2,100 a month for creating fake social media accounts and blogs to distribute disinformation to Americans.They were employed to take advantage of deepening political polarization in the U.S. The Russians saw this as an opportunity to stir up conflict – like poking a stick into a beehive. These trolls were instructed to stir up racial tensions, stage “flash mobs” and organize activist campaigns – sometimes announcing events for opposing groups at the same times and locations. One ex-troll told a Russian independent TV network that his job included writing incendiary comments and creating fake posts on political forums: “The way you chose to stir up the situation, whether it was commenting [on] the news section or on political forums, it didn’t really matter.” In 2015, well before the 2016 election, the troll-factory network had more than 800 people doing this kind of work, producing propaganda videos, infographics, memes, reports, news, interviews and various analytical materials to persuade the public.America never stood a chance. Outside forces pushed the American people farther apart. Credit: Delpixel/Shutterstock.com Provided by The Conversation Explore further An interview with an ex-Russian troll. Focusing on social mediaIt’s no surprise that these Russian trolls spent most of their time on Facebook and Instagram: Two-thirds of Americans get at least some news on social media. The trolls spread out across both platforms, seeking to encourage conflict on any topic that was getting a lot of attention: immigration, religion, the Black Lives Matter movement and other hot-button issues. When describing how he managed all of the fake social media accounts, the ex-troll said: “First, you gotta be a redneck from Kentucky, then you need to be a white guy from Minnesota, you’ve slaved away all your life and paid your taxes, and then 15 minutes later you are from New York posting in some Black slang.”Then, the indictments reveal, the GRU entered this increasingly fraught online political discourse.The GRU joins inLike another significant political scandal, the GRU effort allegedly started with a break-in to Democratic National Committee records – but this time it was a digital burglary. It wasn’t particularly sophisticated, either, using two common hacking techniques, spearphishing and malicious software.As the July indictment details, starting in March 2016, Russian military operatives sent a series of fake emails, disguised to look real, to more than 300 people associated with Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. One of the targets was Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, who fell for the scheme and unwittingly handed over more than 50,000 emails to the Russians.Around the same time, the Russian hackers allegedly began searching for technical vulnerabilities in the Democratic organizations’ computer networks. They used techniques and specialized malicious software that Russians had used in other hacking efforts, including against the German Parliament and the French television network TV5 Monde. By April 2016, the hackers had gained access to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee systems, exploring servers and secretly extracting sensitive data. They located a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer who also had privileges in the Democratic National Committee systems, and thereby got into the Democratic National Committee networks too, extracting more information. When the Democratic National Committee realized there was unusual data traffic in its systems, the group hired a private cybersecurity firm, which in June 2016 publicly announced that its investigation had concluded that Russia was behind the hacking. At that point, the Russians allegedly tried to delete traces of their presence on the networks. But they kept all the data they had stolen.Opposing Hillary ClintonAs early as April 2016, the GRU was allegedly trying to use the Democrats’ confidential documents and email messages to stir up political trouble in the U.S. There is evidence that the Russian government, or people acting on its behalf, offered key people in the Trump campaign damaging information on Clinton.In July 2016, the indictments say, the GRU began releasing many of the Democrats’ documents and email messages, mainly through WikiLeaks, an internet site dedicated to anonymous publishing of secret information. All of this effort was, according to the indictments, set up to undermine Hillary Clinton in the eyes of the American public. Putin definitely wanted Trump to win – as the Russian president himself acknowledged while standing next to Trump in Helsinki in July. And the trolls were instructed to go after her savagely: A former Russian troll said, “Everything about Hillary Clinton had to be negative and you really had to tear into her. It was all about the leaked email, the corruption scandals, and the fact that she is super rich.”The indictments describe in detail how information warfare and cyberwarfare were used as political tools to advance the interests of people in Russia. Something similar may be set to happen in 2018, too. Facebook says Kremlin-linked ads ready for public view, but House hasn’t released themlast_img read more