Before we talk about the action, here are the requisite power figures you need to know. On paper, the BMW should lose because it’s the weakest of the bunch with only 600 horsepower (448 kW) and 553 pound-feet (750 Newton meters) of torque. The AMG Merc doesn’t have much of an advantage with 603 hp (450 kW) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm), but the Panamera Sport Turismo boasts a cracking 680 hp (507 kW) and 626 lb-ft (849 Nm) of twist. However, the Porsche carries a weight disadvantage of around 880 pounds (400 kilograms) over the BMW. Can the Panamera’s power advantage and instant electric torque from the hybrid mill send it to victory in this three-way drag race? Spoiler alert: we already said that the mass makes a difference compared to the previous race, which incidentally the Porsche won. On paper, all three cars have virtually identical times to 100 km/h (62 mph) but as everyone knows, bench racing doesn’t automatically transfer to real life. Even the smallest advantage or disadvantage on the starting line can have a colossal difference at the other end of the track, and that – combined with the Porsche’s weight disadvantage – keeps it out of the top spot this time.As for how the race actually played out for all three contenders, we’ll leave that excitement to the video.Source: Top Gear More Porsche Racing Action Watch BMW i8 Race Porsche 996 Turbo, BMW M3 And Others We saw the same competitors a few months ago, but this time the outcome is different.Here’s an awesome bit of drag racing (on a closed airfield of course) to help you usher in the weekend. Top Gear lined up three super German machines for a friendly contest of speed, starting with the BMW M5. Next up is the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, and rounding out the trio is a Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. If the contestants seem familiar somehow, they should – Autocar did virtually the same race a couple months ago with one very notable difference. The Porsche in this lineup is the heavier Sport Turismo versus the sedan. And yes, that extra mass does make a difference. Source: Electric Vehicle News Watch Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Race BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 24, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Watch Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Take Down 6 Track Records
ChargePoint will be supplying Mercedes-Benz dealers with chargers ahead of the launch of the EQCDaimler selected ChargePoint to deploy charging solutions for retailers in Germany (Mercedes-Benz Cars, Vans and Trucks), which sounds reasonable as the German manufacturer has been a shareholder of ChargePoint since March 2017.Daimler is gearing up for the launch of Mercedes-Benz EQ electric cars, while ChargePoint is expanding in Europe, which all meshes. The deal includes:AC charging stations150 kW DC fast chargers ChargePoint news Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 16, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News “The deal includes the deployment of AC and fast chargers up to 150 kW at Daimler-owned properties beginning this year and into 2019. The charging solutions will be available for retailers of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Vans and Trucks. Daimler retailers across the country are increasingly investing ahead Daimler’s push into electric vehicles in the coming years.”Christopher Burghardt, Managing Director for Europe, ChargePoint, Inc. said:“Following a significant investment from Daimler last year, the two companies have continued to work closely on a wide range of strategic projects as both companies prepare for the mass adoption of electric mobility in Europe. As ChargePoint continues to scale in the midst of the most aggressive period of growth in its history, this agreement is another milestone in our ongoing partnership with Daimler.” ChargePoint To Install 2.5 Million Charging Points By 2025 Daimler Invests In ChargePoint For Expansion Into Europe ChargePoint Secures $240 Million In Series H Funding Source: Electric Vehicle News
Santiago Formula E Race Results: Spoiler Alert Sims was challenging Mortara for fourth place during the closing stages of the race when they came together at the tight Turns 8/9/10 chicane, with Mortara spinning around and falling behind the BMW Andretti driver as a result.More Formula E News After a brief battle with Audi’s Daniel Abt, Sims secured third on the road, but was given a post-race time penalty for the Mortara clash.Speaking before the results of a protest lodged by BMW was announced, Sims told Motorsport.com that: “Honestly, I didn’t feel a single thing – I didn’t feel contact. Perhaps it was the lightest of touches and that’s what spun him around.“I went to the stewards immediately, not to try and weedle my way out of the situation, but just to give my honest view that I genuinely didn’t feel any contact there.“We were very close, but I didn’t feel there was a touch. We’re looking at different camera angles because if I did touch him, fair enough, the penalty is what the penalty is. But that’s how I saw it.”BMW presented additional video and photo evidence on Sims’s behalf, but the protest was rejected.Sims maintained he did not feel any contact when approached by Motorsport.com after the protest outcome was revealed, but he accepted the decision.When asked for his view of the incident, Mortara, who ended up fourth in the final classification, said: “What happened, happened.“I don’t think it is that smart what he did but anyway, I think it was a bit a mistake from inside and he also paid the price, so in the end I’m happy with the fourth place and I’m not really thinking about what happened with Alexander.”Sims progressed from eighth on the grid to reach third in the extreme heat of the race, which was just his third FE start.“I really enjoyed it out there – it was challenging, we were obviously trying to manage the temperatures,” he said.“With the two FCYs it made it slightly less stressful but nevertheless, it was hot.“It was great fun to be honest – I had quite a few laps towards the end of the race on my own so we were just trying to manage the pace.“I’ve got to give full credit to the BMW engineers for doing a great job with all the work they did before the weekend anticipating the hot temperatures and in the race as well, giving me loads of information to let me do my job.”Sims has been in podium contention for the last two races, but although he has not achieved the high-profile result said he “put the frustration behind me very quickly”.“I keep pinching myself and saying it’s a lovely situation to be in, three races into Formula E and I should have had two podiums and potentially one win,” he continued. Let’s Discuss Formula E Attack Mode: Video The Technology Gains That Have Transformed Formula E Alexander Sims is adamant he did not hit Edoardo Mortara into a spin during last weekend’s ABB FIA Formula E Santiago E-Prix, but accepts the penalty he received for the incident. Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 31, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
Ford Mustang Mach-E, Emblem Trademarks Hint At Electrified Future Ford Confirms Mustang-Inspired Electric SUV Goes 370 Miles Per Charge “It’s an example of how we’re moving faster, working together differently and leveraging our five all-new flexible vehicle architectures. We came up with the concept in just 12 weeks using our new product creation process. Previous all-new vehicles could have taken years of research before receiving approval,” the company said in a statement about the upcoming model to Automotive News.In addition, the upcoming Ford Mustang-inspired electric crossover will have a high-performance variant, according to Baumbick. He didn’t offer any further info about what the company was planning for this more hardcore version, though.The new statement from Baumbick matches well with Executive Chairman Bill Ford’s earlier promise that the Mustang-inspired EV “is going to go like hell.”The latest info about the Mustang-inspired crossover tells us that the EV rides on a dedicated platform with similar dimensions to the current ‘Stang. Customers can choose between two range options, and the top one would offer a driving distance of around 373 miles (600 kilometers). On the inside, there would be a digital instrument panel and large infotainment display, and the tech would support over-the-air software updates. Look for the crossover to arrive in late 2020 or 2021. Ford promises to release more details about the EV in November, and we might finally learn the official model name there.Source: Automotive News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 18, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Ford came up with the new model in just 12 weeks.There will be a new, “affordable” Ford model available at dealers by 2022, but the company won’t offer any specifics about the vehicle yet. Jim Baumbick, the Blue Oval’s vice president of enterprise product line management, announced the new mystery product during a speech at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Auto Summit in New York, according to Automotive News.More Mustang Info Ford Says Electric Mustang-Inspired SUV Will Challenge Tesla Model Y Source: Electric Vehicle News
March Madness has arrived and over the next few weeks college basketball’s contenders will rise to the top over the pretenders. Sure, a cinderella team or two may emerge – after all anything can happen in 40 minutes of basketball – but the teams that make it to the Final Four will likely share the following traits: poise, discipline, focus and a bend-but-don’t-break attitude.In the spirit of the season ask yourself – are you a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act contender or pretender?An FCPA contender has a firm understanding of why the FCPA was enacted and is well-versed in FCPA legislative history. If you do not know the story of the FCPA, it is here.An FCPA contender has actually read the FCPA statute. If you have not, it can be found here (in 50 different languages).An FCPA contender has read every substantive FCPA judicial decision, after all there are not that many. If you have not read, at a minimum, the following cases you have some work to do: U.S. v. Liebo, U.S. v. Esquenazi, U.S. v. Carson, U.S. v. Lindsey Manufacturing, SEC v. Straub, SEC v. Steffen, U.S. v. Kay, SEC v. Mattson, U.S. v. Bourke, SEC v. Jackson, U.S. v. Castle, and SEC v. World-Wide Coin.An FCPA contender has studied every FCPA enforcement action. If you have not done so, all DOJ FCPA enforcement actions can be found here and all SEC FCPA enforcement actions can be found here.An FCPA contender has reviewed other information and sources of guidance relevant to the FCPA such as the SEC’s 1981 guidance concerning the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions (here), the DOJ’s and SEC’s 2012 FCPA Guidance (here) and DOJ FCPA Opinion Procedure Releases (here).An FCPA contender recognizes how foreign trade barriers and distortions are often the root causes of bribery and why the absolutist position of “just don’t bribe” is an uniformed fallacy and why even good, ethically sound companies are often the subject of FCPA enforcement or scrutiny.An FCPA contender understands how FCPA enforcement or merely FCPA scrutiny has many ripple effects (see here).An FCPA contender is well-versed on FCPA compliance best practices and benchmarking metrics such as the FCPA Guidance, the DOJ’s Principles of Prosecution of Business Organizations, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and the OECD Good Practice Guidance on Internal Controls, Ethics, and Compliance.In this season of contenders vs. pretenders, commit to being an FCPA contender. The above sources of information are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather comprise a solid core of FCPA legal authority as well as other sources of information or knowledge.
PetrofacIn connection with the company being mentioned in connection with the Uanoil inquiry, Petrofac recently disclosed:“Petrofac Limited (the “Company”) reports that it has concluded the independent investigation commissioned by the Board into allegations in the media related to the historical provision of services to the Company by Unaoil, a Monaco based company. The Board confirms that no evidence was found that any Director of the Company was aware of the alleged misconduct that is the subject of the allegations.The independent investigation has thoroughly investigated the allegations, based solely on the information available to the Company, and recognising their historical nature and wider context beyond Petrofac. The Company confirms that it engaged Unaoil for the provision of local consultancy services primarily in Kazakhstan between 2002 and 2009. The independent investigation did not find evidence confirming the payment of bribes.Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (FBD), with the support of forensic accountants KPMG LLP, carried out the independent investigation and reported to a sub-committee of the Board comprising the Chairman and three independent Non-executive Directors. The Board considers it appropriate to share the findings of the investigation with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and any other relevant authorities, and has noted the SFO’s general request for information in relation to its ongoing investigation into the activities of Unaoil.Petrofac enforces strict anti-bribery and corruption standards and a compliance programme focused on training, monitoring, risk management and due diligence. The programme mandates compliance with all anti-bribery and corruption and anti-money laundering laws, rules and regulations.”ReinstatedThis March 2016 post highlighted a U.S. Court of Federal Claims opinion involving a successful post-award bid protest based on Louis Berger Aircraft Services Inc.’s failure to inform the Navy of its parent company’s involvement in corruption and fraud (see here for the prior post highlighting the July 2015 FCPA enforcement action against Louis Berger Int’l Inc.).Recently, in this opinion the court reversed itself and ordered that its permanent injunction be lifted. In the words of the court:“It is neither the task nor the desire of the Court to conduct the Navy’s procurement process. Despite its reservations, the Court defers to the Government’s assertion that the Navy’s contract award is consistent with the goals of its anti-corruption program. As this case demonstrates, where the Court may disagree with the ultimate award determination, it will not substitute its judgment for that of the agency.”Regarding the 2015 FCPA enforcement action, the opinion states:“Addressing another of the Court’s primary concerns, the Navy considered whether Berger Group Holdings was “otherwise criminally charged” in connection with a 2015 deferred prosecution agreement against Louis Berger Aircraft Services’ sister corporation Louis Berger International. Previously the Court concluded that Berger Group Holdings was “otherwise criminally charged” under FAR 52.209-5 for two reasons: (1) the Department of Justice formally accused Berger Group Holdings of engaging in a long-term scheme to bribe foreign officials to win public contracts; and (2) the company’s conduct presented adequate evidence of irregularities seriously reflecting on the propriety of further Federal Government dealings. In the briefs leading to the Court’s March 2016 opinion, the parties contested the scope of the 2015 deferred prosecution agreement. The disagreement arose from the agreement’s definition of “company.” The deferred prosecution agreement defined “company” to include Berger Group Holdings. Then, it detailed the alleged misconduct perpetrated by the “company.” See, e.g., AR 1372-73. After analyzing new evidence not previously before the Court, the Contracting Officer concluded that Berger Group Holdings was not included in the definition of “company” and therefore Berger Group Holdings was not otherwise criminally charged under either definition.In a new declaration, one of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who oversaw the drafting of the criminal complaint and deferred prosecution agreement stated that Berger Group Holdings was not included in the definition of “company.” In fact, the Department of Justice did not “accuse Berger Group Holdings of any . . . crimes.” AR 1821-22. Also, the prosecutorial team evaluated Berger Group Holding’s reorganization of its subsidiaries that led to creation of the Louis Berger International. Contrary to the Court’s finding, the team concluded that Berger Group Holdings did not create Louis Berger International as a shell company in which to dump its criminal liabilities. AR 1821-22. The Department of Justice’s Criminal Division confirmed the prosecutorial team’s contentions. AR 3546.Algese argues that the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s explanation of the definition of “company” should be dismissed because other parts of the deferred prosecution agreement contradict it. Algese asserts that “company” encompasses more than just Louis Berger International because the deferred prosecution agreement mentions two Louis Berger Group executives’ culpable acts. However, the Contracting Officer decided that the 9 executives’ actions were properly attributable to Louis Berger International. Due to corporate restructuring, Louis Berger Group was collapsed into Louis Berger International. AR 1770; AR 3095, 3098. As the Department of Justice explained, it prosecuted Louis Berger International because it assumed all liability for the previous entity during the restructuring process. As previously explained, the Department of Justice did not intend to implicate Berger Group Holdings in its description of Louis Berger International’s misconduct.In vacating its prior judgment and remanding for further consideration, the Court expressly invited the Navy to reconsider the facts surrounding the 2015 deferred prosecution agreement. The Court instructed that if the Navy reached a different conclusion from that of the Court, the Navy must fully explain its basis for doing so. The Navy has complied with this instruction. While the Court may disagree if it were in the shoes of the Contracting Officer, it will not substitute its judgment for that of the Navy, recognizing that reasonable minds could reach differing conclusions. Watts-Healy Tibbitts, 84 Fed. Cl. at 258 (citing another source). Relying on new facts, the Contracting Officer considered relevant factors and articulated a rational basis for his conclusions that Berger Group Holdings was not formally charged and the parent corporation’s conduct did not present irregularities seriously reflecting on the propriety of further Federal Government dealings. Thus, Louis Berger Aircraft Services may not have had an obligation to certify that it or one of its principals was “otherwise criminally charged.” As a result, the Court must stay its hand and not disturb the Navy’s determination. See, e.g., PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector, LLP v. United States, 126 Fed. Cl. 328, 350-51 (2016) (collecting cases).Relatedly, the Contracting Officer’s revised responsibility determination properly weighed Louis Berger Aircraft Services’ misleading statement that Berger Group Holdings was not, and has not been, investigated, accused, or charged with any misconduct by the Government and is not subject to the 2015 deferred prosecution agreement. AR 1413. In its previous opinion, the Court concluded that this was a material misrepresentation. Algese, 125 Fed. Cl. at 443-44. Here too, the Contracting Officer carefully examined the facts surrounding the Court’s determination. The Navy asked Louis Berger Aircraft Services to address the issue on remand, and the awardee did so in a March 31, 2016 letter. AR 1971-72. The Contracting Officer concluded that Louis Berger Aircraft’s statement was “not viewed as misleading or a misrepresentation as the Navy already knew what the respective roles of the parties were in the 2015 [deferred prosecution agreement] from the prosecuting attorneys.” AR 1772-73. While the Navy’s explanation appears to address materiality instead of truthfulness, the Court “will uphold a decision of less than ideal clarity if the agency’s path may reasonably be discerned.” Colo. Interstate Gas Co. v. Fed. Power Comm’n, 324 U.S. 581, 595 (1945).To the extent Algese asserts Louis Berger Aircraft Services made other material misstatements, the Navy contends, and the Court agrees, that the Navy was fully aware of all pertinent facts before proceeding with its award to Louis Berger Aircraft Services. See, e.g., AR 2558 (Navy’s discussion of purported misrepresentations in awardee’s System Award Management certifications). The Navy disagrees that the statements were inaccurate, let alone material to its responsibility determination. Relying on new facts, the Contracting Officer reviewed relevant information and articulated a rational basis for his conclusion that Louis Berger Aircraft Services did not make material misstatements. That rational review process is all that is required for the Court to sustain the Navy’s conclusions. See Advanced Data Concepts, Inc. v. United States, 216 F.3d 1054, 1058 (Fed. Cir. 2000).”Reading StackMiller & Chevalier’s Latin America Corruption Survey is here.“More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents believe their country’s anti-corruption laws are ineffective, and about half (48%) say corruption is a significant obstacle to doing business. More than half (52%) believe they have lost business to corrupt competitors; of those, most (89%) say they did not report such misconduct to the authorities. 71% of those who did make reports say the government failed to investigate. These results are highly consistent with responses to the same questions in 2008 and 2012.”*****A good weekend to all. Scrutiny alerts and updates, reinstated, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday Roundup.Scrutiny Alerts and UpdatesOch-ZiffThe company recently disclosed the following regarding its long-standing FCPA scrutiny.“As previously disclosed, since 2011, we have been investigated by the SEC and the DOJ concerning possible violations of the FCPA and other laws. While we are unable to predict the full scope, duration or outcome of the SEC and DOJ investigations, based on discussions with the SEC and DOJ, we believe that the government will pursue civil and criminal sanctions. We are in discussions with the SEC and DOJ concerning resolution of these matters. We accrued $200.0 million in the first quarter of 2016 in connection with the disclosed investigations and recorded an additional charge of $214.3 million in connection with the disclosed investigations for the second quarter of 2016. The probable estimated loss, which totals $414.3 million, may be subject to change based on the terms of any final settlement with the SEC and DOJ relating to those matters.”In a recent earnings call, Och-Ziff’s CFO stated:“Since our last call, we have entered into advance settlement negotiations with the government, pinpointing the exact timing of the settlement remains difficult but we are hopeful that we will be able to resolve this matter in the near term. I want to emphasize that we are doing everything we can to bring this process to closure in the best way we can for the business, our shareholders, our LPs and our employee.”General CableThe company first disclosed its FCPA scrutiny approximately two years ago and recently stated:“Government and internal investigationsWe have been reviewing, with the assistance of external counsel, our use and payment of agents in connection with, and certain other transactions involving, our operations in Angola, Thailand, India, China and Egypt (the “Subject Countries”). Our review has focused upon payments and gifts made, offered, contemplated or promised by certain employees in one or more of the Subject Countries, directly and indirectly, and at various times, to employees of public utility companies and/or other officials of state owned entities that raise concerns under the FCPA and possibly under the laws of other jurisdictions. During 2015, we substantially completed our internal review in the Subject Countries and, based on our findings, we increased our outstanding FCPA-related accrual to$28 million in the year ended December 31, 2015. At this time, we are in early stages of discussions with the SEC and DOJ regarding the terms of a potential resolution of the ongoing investigations, and based on these discussions, we believe the amount of total disgorgement of profits, including pre-judgment interest, required to resolve the investigation is in the range of $33 million to $59 million. As a result, we have increased our existing accrual as of July 1, 2016 by $5 million to $33 million, which represents the low-end of the range. The amount accrued solely reflects profits and pre-judgment interest that may be disgorged, and does not include, and we are not able to reasonably estimate, the amount of any possible fines, civil or criminal penalties or other relief, any or all of which could be substantial. The SEC and DOJ inquiries into these matters remain ongoing, and we continue to cooperate with the DOJ and the SEC with respect to these matters. At this time, we are unable to predict the nature of any action that may be taken by the DOJ or SEC or any remedies these agencies may pursue as a result of such actions. The amounts accrued and the additional range of reasonably possible loss solely reflect profits that may be disgorged based on our investigation in the Subject Countries, and do not include, and we are not able to reasonably estimate, the amount of any possible fines, civil or criminal penalties or other relief, any or all of which could be substantial. The SEC and DOJ inquiries into these matters remain ongoing. We continue to cooperate with the DOJ and the SEC with respect to these matters. At this time, we are unable to predict the nature of any action that may be taken by the DOJ or SEC or any remedies these agencies may pursue as a result of such actions.”Orthofix InternationalThe company disclosed the following concerning its additional FCPA scrutiny after it resolved a 2012 FCPA enforcement action regarding conduct in Mexico.“In 2012, the Company entered into definitive agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) and the SEC agreeing to settle a self-initiated and self-reported internal investigation of our Mexican subsidiary, Promeca S.A. de C.V. (“Promeca”), regarding non-compliance by Promeca with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA”). As part of the settlement, we entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with the DOJ and a consent to final judgment (the “Consent”) with the SEC. Under the DPA, the DOJ agreed not to pursue any criminal charges against us in connection with the Promeca matter if we complied with the terms of the DPA. The DPA took note of our self-reporting of this matter to the DOJ and the SEC, and of remedial measures, including the implementation of an enhanced compliance program, previously undertaken by us. The DPA and the Consent collectively required, among other things, that with respect to anti-bribery compliance matters we would continue to cooperate fully with the government in any future matters related to corrupt payments, false books and records or inadequate internal controls. In that regard, we represented that we have implemented and will continue to implement a compliance and ethics program designed to prevent and detect violations of the FCPA and other applicable anti-corruption laws, which includes a system of internal controls. We periodically reported to the government during the terms of the DPA and Consent regarding such remediation and implementation of compliance measures.In August 2013, during the terms of the DPA and Consent, the Company’s internal legal department was notified of certain allegations involving potential improper payments with respect to its Brazilian subsidiary, Orthofix do Brasil Ltda. The Company engaged outside counsel to assist in the review of these allegations, focusing on compliance with applicable anti-bribery laws, including the FCPA. Consistent with the provisions of these agreements, the Company contacted both the DOJ and the SEC Enforcement Staff in August 2013 to voluntarily self-report the Brazil-related allegations.On June 15, 2015, the Company and the DOJ agreed to extend the term of the DPA for two months (through September 17, 2015) to permit the DOJ additional time to evaluate the Company’s compliance with the internal controls and compliance undertakings in the DPA and to further investigate the Brazil-related allegations. On September 17, 2015, the DOJ extended the term of the DPA for an additional ten months (through July 17, 2016), stating that the Company’s efforts to comply with the internal controls and compliance requirements of the DPA during the first eighteen months of the DPA were insufficient. On July 17, 2016, the DPA expired. The terms of the DPA require that DOJ notify the court and file a dismissal of the underlying Promeca-related case within 30 days of such expiration. This dismissal was filed on July 28, 2016. Since the self-report regarding allegations in Brazil, the Company has cooperated fully with the DOJ’s investigation of those allegations.The Company also has fully cooperated with the SEC’s investigations of the allegations in Brazil. We are currently engaged in discussions with the SEC Enforcement Staff regarding a resolution of the Brazil-related allegations as they relate to the SEC’s jurisdiction. The Company has recorded a charge of $4.6 million in the second quarter of 2016 to establish an accrual, which the Company believes represents the minimum range of loss, in connection with a potential negotiated resolution to this matter. Based on information available at this time, the Company estimates that the final resolution to the matter could result in an additional loss of up to $1.5 million in excess of the loss accrued. The Company will continue to evaluate the accrual pending final resolution of the matter and the related settlement discussions with the government.”Dun & BradstreetThe company recently disclosed the following regarding its long-standing FCPA scrutiny focused on its China business:“As our investigation and our discussions with both the SEC and DOJ are ongoing, we cannot yet predict the ultimate outcome of the matter or its ultimate impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations. Based on our discussions with the SEC and DOJ, including indications from the SEC of its estimate of the amount of net benefit potentially earned by the Company as a result of the challenged activities, we continue to believe that it is probable that the Company will incur a loss related to the government’s investigation. The DOJ also advised the Company in February 2015 that they will be proposing terms of a potential settlement, but we are unable to predict the timing or terms of any such proposal. We continue to have follow-up meetings with the SEC and DOJ, most recently meeting with the SEC in June 2016 and with the DOJ in July 2016, and the parties are still discussing the evidence and other factors to help bring this matter to resolution. In our June 2016 meetings with the SEC, the SEC provided us with its current net benefit calculations, but has not indicated whether it will impose additional penalties. In accordance with ASC 450, an amount in respect of this matter has been accrued in the consolidated financial statements as of June 30, 2016. We are still in discussions with the DOJ to determine what range of penalties the DOJ might propose. Accordingly, we remain unable at this time to reasonably estimate the final amount or ultimate range of any loss, although it is possible that the amount of such additional loss could be material.”BarclaysThe company recent disclosed
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by, Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.orgTweetShareShareEmail0 Shares Kavan Peterson, EditorYesterday I had a conversation with a contact from a Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) in my home state of Montana who was seeking advice on how to drive dramatic changes in dementia care practices in the state’s nursing homes. (QIO’s are independent state organizations chartered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to advocate for high quality health care by providers receiving federal funding.)She had seen Alive Inside and heard about my connection to the film (my mother runs one of the larger nursing homes in the state and has helped boost the film). Like so many other culture change advocates she saw this film as a clarion call for action.She called asking for advice about how best to leverage the film to get nursing homes to adopt new practices of dementia care that will help dramatically reduce the use of anti-psychotic prescriptions to treat Alzheimer’s and dementia statewide.Alive Inside has made it powerfully clear that the least — THE LEAST — providers can do is adopt the Music and Memory program and provide personalized music to those they serve. I don’t see how you can watch that film and not conclude that it is a criminal civil rights abuse to deny people living with dementia access to music.But music is just the beginning, the most basic, no-brainer approach. Beyond music there is an entire world of creative, arts-based and experiential models of dementia care and culture change that have potential to radically improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia, in nursing homes or any other environments.I shared a few ideas with my new friend and she promised to send me some new programs and ideas she had been investigating. Below are my top three suggestions and I would LOVE to hear other suggestions from readers:1) Connect with The Eden Alternative and begin trainings in Dr. Al Power’s Dementia Beyond Drugs. The QIO can’t do that alone, but I recommended she look into the CMP-funded statewide trainings The Eden Alternative recently provided in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.2) There is no substitute for the organization-wide culture change outlined by Eden’s and Dr. Power’s approach, but there are some amazing programs that providers can easily implement with life-changing results. One of my favorites is Anne Basting’s Timeslips. It’s a simple story-telling activity that provides a radical paradigm shift for participants away from a focus on memory and towards a focus on imagination. Coincidentally, Anne is in the final days of a major IndieGogo fundraiser to expand Timeslips and I urge all of our readers to visit her fundraiser page and chip in.3) Third, I suggested getting the community involved by visiting the I’m Still Here Foundation to learn about dozens of other innovative, community and arts-based movements nationwide providing non-pharmalogical approaches to living with dementia (including programs like this here in Seattle).That’s just the tip of the iceberg. What other programs would you suggest?Related PostsPutting the ‘Home’ in Nursing Homes: A Conversation with Barbara FrankThis Conversation is with Barbara Frank, M.P.A., the co-founder, with Cathie Brady, of B&F Consulting, whose mission is to help nursing homes to be better places to live and work. They often serve as faculty for learning collaboratives to improve staff stability, care outcomes, quality of life and overall organizational…Advances in Person-Centered Dementia CareIn 2001, the Institute on Medicine released a seminal report titled “Crossing the Quality Chasm” that described healthcare in America as impersonal and fragmented.LeadingAge: Enough is EnoughBy: Larry Minnix LeadingAge President and CEO What will it take for the nursing home to gain the respect it now deserves? The nursing home continues to be treated like the illegitimate child in the health care family. Yet, it is an essential part of every community. Just ask…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: alive inside Innovation Momentia TimeSlips
By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDAug 2 2018The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has warned the general population against reusing condoms after washing. Their tweet comes after a spark of fear of antibiotic resistant sexually transmitted infections.The experts say that condoms are meant to be used as barrier contraceptives and also protect both sexual partners against sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia etc. Reusing condoms after one use by washing them renders them ineffective the experts say.The CDC tweeted in July, “We say it because people do it: Don’t wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act”. Dr. Elizabeth Torrone, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention explained that reusing condoms is a form of its incorrect use and reusing these reduces their protective effects by causing them to slip, break or leak. Image Credit: Lemon Tree Images / Shutterstock Related StoriesNew research examines whether effects of alcohol/pregnancy policies vary by raceCannabis use during pregnancy may cause premature birthMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribingCondoms are meant to protect against unwanted pregnancy and STIs and breakage or leakage of condoms cannot protect an individual from any of these she said. Reusing a condom after a wash would also mean putting it on unrolled and wet. This would be anyway be quite a difficult task say experts and is most likely to lead to breakage. The washed condom with its weakened latex may be more likely to tear say experts.Another reason why used condoms need to be thrown away include emergence and rise of super gonorrhoea infections or gonorrheal infections that are resistant to the commonly used antibiotics. These strains can cause severe illnesses that are difficult to treat and may become potentially lethal.According to the CDC statistics from 2017 only around one third of Americans use condoms and even fewer use them correctly. An older study from 2012 in the journal Sexual Health found that 1.4 to 3.3 percent of the participants in the study were reusing a condom at least twice during a sexual encounter.The study from University of Kentucky was a general estimation of the situation among the general population. The CDC data show that there are over two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis recorded in 2016 and this makes right condom use even more imperative.Apart from using condoms for one time sexual encounter, the experts also recommend not storing condoms in wallets and be aware of their expiration dates. Further not more than one condom must be used at a time.
Aug 27 2018By Dr Ananya Mandal, MDA new report has come up with alarming numbers of deaths due to drug overdose among Australians. The report states that common sedatives and sleeping pills may be responsible for over 142 deaths each month due to their overdose.Australia’s Annual Overdose report 2018 comes from the Penington Institute which states that over the last decade up to 2016, there have been 13,471 deaths due to unintentional drug overdose and these numbers have doubled with time. The drug overdose deaths have even exceeded deaths on the road, states the report. The Penington Institute started in 2014, is a not-for-profit, Melbourne-based drug and alcohol organisation.According to the researchers, the leading killer among drugs is legal pharmaceutical pain relievers. In most individuals a cocktail of substances are found in the blood stream when they overdose. Alcohol in combination with pain relievers and sleeping or anxiety relieving pills such as benzodiazepines is one of the most common combinations found in the cases of overdose deaths. Other combinations include alcohol, amphetamines, cannabis, heroin etc.Penington Institute’s chief executive John Ryan explained that drug overdose deaths are seen even among those who do not have a “drug problem”. He added that similar to opioid painkillers and alcohol, benzodiazepines such as diazepam and temazepam can depress the respiratory system. When combined, all three works to slow down breathing till the brain is deprived of enough oxygen. According to Ryan, that is the commonest reason behind the deaths due to overdoses.Related StoriesUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useNew research examines whether effects of alcohol/pregnancy policies vary by racePeople use executive control processes to ignore cues that signal something rewardingThe report goes on to add that the middle-aged Australians between ages 40 and 49 years are most likely to be affected. Those living in regional areas are also more at risk. At present men are more commonly dying of drug overdose but women are catching up rapidly finds the report. Wollongong was identified as the region where most cases of drug overdoses took place.The report showed that between 2002 and 2006 there were 554 deaths due to heroin overdose. This number jumped to 1,183 between 2012 and 2016, the report states. Amphetamine deaths too have risen from 298 to 1,237, says the report. Opioids such as fentanyl, pethidine and tramadol, have killed 55 individuals in the earlier period and 746 in the more recent times.According to Ryan, Australia was going the same path as United States where number of people dying of opioid overdose is huge. As a remedial measure he suggested more stringent control regarding access to drugs especially in the regional areas. He explained that in most regional areas, it may be difficult to find General Practitioners and pharmacists may be dispensing opioid substitution treatments. He said in a statement that at present not all families in Australia are affected with a drug overdose, but unless this trend is stopped, that might be a reality soon. He said, “As we approach International Overdose Awareness Day we encourage people to start having open and honest conversations about their drug use with their healthcare provider.” Source:http://www.penington.org.au/australias-annual-overdose-report-2018/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have discovered that cell metabolism plays an important role in the ability of cells to start a survival program called autophagy, an unwanted side effect of some anti-cancer drugs that helps some tumor cells dodge treatment and eventually regrow into new tumors.These findings, reported in the Aug. 28 online edition of the journal Cell Reports, provide new insights for ways to use cell metabolism to “pull the plug” on tumor cells that survive treatment, possibly leading to better treatments and outcomes for patients.”Cells adapt to nutrient starvation by increasing autophagy, where a cell basically eats itself and recycles cellular contents to support essential processes until nutrients become plentiful once again. This process is regulated by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and AMP-activated protein kinases (AMPK),” says Carol Mercer, PhD, research assistant professor in the Division of Hematology Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, and a member of both the Cincinnati Cancer Center and UC Cancer Institute. “Drugs that target mTOR or activate AMPK are being used in the clinic for some cancers, and are under active investigation for others, making it important to understand how they affect this tumor cell survival pathway.””We found that cell metabolism significantly influences the ability to begin autophagy, with mitochondrial complex I function being an important factor in the initiation, amplification and duration of the response,” she continues. “We show that the anti-diabetic drug phenformin, the anti-diabetic drug metformin, and genetic defects in complex I shift cell metabolism toward glycolysis and inhibit the ability of mTOR inhibitors to prompt autophagy. The opposite is also true, as a shift away from glycolysis and toward mitochondrial metabolism, enhances autophagy through a mechanism that involves increased phospholipid metabolism. Our data demonstrate the importance of metabolism in the regulation of autophagy, increase our understanding of clinically relevant drugs that are important for cancer, and suggest new strategies to increase or inhibit autophagy.”Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskMercer, principal investigator on the study, and her lab, worked primarily in cultured cells to understand how metabolism regulates autophagy, identifying strategies to manipulate this pathway to the patients’ advantage. This work was built on pre-clinical studies in animal models by Hala Elnakat Thomas, PhD, first author and research instructor in the department, who found that the combination of mTOR inhibitors were effective in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) but had the potential disadvantage of increasing autophagy.”Our data reveal the dynamic and metabolic regulation of autophagy and suggest new therapeutic strategies for cancer, neurodegenerative and mitochondrial diseases,” Mercer says. “We need to further explore the reasons this occurs and the implications for how the metabolic regulation of autophagy can be used in the clinic.” Source:https://www.healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/30214/
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 17 2018Soot and dust alters thyroid development in fetuses before they are born in smoggy cities, raising concern about health impacts later in life, new USC research shows.It means before a doctor cuts the umbilical cord or a parent hugs a baby or a sibling gazes at the newest member of the family, the caress of air pollution already reached the womb’s inner sanctum. The timing couldn’t be worse, as the researchers found that no matter when they checked, thyroid impacts were evident until the final month of gestation.This is one of the few studies to monitor air pollution effects on a developing fetus and the first to track pollution changes month by month on thyroid hormones. The newly published research paper appears in JAMA Network Open.”Air pollution is bad for adults and children and this study shows it may be bad for the fetus too, despite being protected in the womb,” said Carrie V. Breton, corresponding author of the study and associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Thyroid function is important for lots of elements of life and tweaking that in utero may have lifelong consequences.”USC scientists have been studying the health impacts of urban air pollution for a generation under the Children’s Health Study. It’s one of the world’s largest ongoing research efforts looking exclusively at how dirty air harms kids. USC is situated in the Los Angeles region, home to historically severe urban smog, an ideal laboratory to study air pollution health effects and environmental change across time.Since the effort began in 1992, various USC researchers have documented how air pollution contributes to school absences, asthma, bronchitis and lost-lung function. Conversely, as air quality has improved due to regulations and technology innovations, scientists have been able to track improvements in children’s health.In the new study, the research team focused on 2,050 newborns, people who had been enrolled in the Children’s Health Study previously. They selected them using birth data from the mid-1990s, when they were elementary school students at 13 Southern California schools. About 60 percent were white, 30 percent Latino and the remainder black or other races.The participants were included only if they had blood tests taken right after birth and had complete monthly exposure measures for air pollution throughout pregnancy. The scientists checked blood levels for total thyroxine (TT4), a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland.Related StoriesResearch finds link between air pollution and coronary heart disease in ChinaMany thyroid cancer patients have no choice about radioactive iodine, study revealsTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTThe researchers found that when exposure to PM2.5 increased by 16 micrograms per cubic meter of air (roughly the volume of a dishwasher), TT4 levels in blood increased 7.5 percent above average levels in babies. When exposure to PM10 increased by 22 micrograms per cubic meter, TT4 levels increased by 9.3 percent, according to the study. They did not see the same increases associated with other air pollutants, such as ozone or nitrogen dioxide.Moreover, exposures during months three to seven of pregnancy were most significant for PM2.5, which are typically sooty particles 20 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. PM10 exposure during one to eight months of pregnancy was associated with significantly higher newborn TT4 concentrations. PM10 are airborne particles, 10 microns in diameter, which often comes from dirt dust and pulverized road grit.The findings show that the fetal thyroid gland seems particularly susceptible to airborne particulate, especially during early- to mid-pregnancy, according to the study. It’s consistent with previous studies by other researchers that show industrial chemicals, tobacco smoke and indoor air pollution impact the thyroid gland.However, the study did not assess the health effects of the air pollution exposures. Thyroid hormones are critical for regulating fetal growth and metabolism and play important roles in neurodevelopment. Even subtle changes in maternal thyroid function during pregnancy have been associated with reduced fetal growth and cognitive deficits in children, with detrimental effects observed for both low- and high-levels of thyroid hormones, the study found. Also, the study only looked at one hormonal pathway associated with the thyroid gland, which the authors acknowledge is a limitation.Nonetheless, the findings underscore that air pollution penetrates deeply within the human body to reach the most vulnerable people of all — unborn babies. Breton said it’s a wakeup call not only for smoggy places like California and the United States, but rapidly industrializing cities around the world.”There are several places around the world where air pollution is skyrocketing,” Breton said. “This is another example of an environmental exposure that affects early development in subtle ways, and we don’t know the health consequences.” Source:https://www.usc.edu/
In the early 14th century, a nun named Joan of Leeds faked her own death to escape the house of St. Clement by York. She enjoyed an entirely different kind of life after slipping away from the convent. Scholars in the United Kingdom recently translated a letter that the Archbishop of York wrote about the nun’s scheme, which used a “dummy” and a bogus burial. “Her story has been unearthed by researchers at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, which are part of a £1 million project to put the 14th century registers of the Archbishops of York online,” according to Church Times.After her “burial,” Joan was evidently revealed to still be very much alive in the secular world, to the horror of church leaders.Joan of Leeds, a nun of St Clement’s Priory in York, ordered to return to that house, having left the convent by pretending to be dead and a model of herself buried in her place.“She now wanders at large to the notorious peril to her soul and to the scandal of all of her order,” the highly disapproving Archbishop of York William Melton wrote about Joan in a record book dated 1318.The Archbishop continued: “Having faked her death and, in a cunning, nefarious manner, turning her back on the observance of religion that she previously professed, and having turned her back on decency and the good of religion, seduced by indecency, she involved herself irreverently and perverted her path of life arrogantly to the way of carnal lust and away from poverty and obedience.”University of York historian Sarah Rees Jones, who is leading the digitizing project, told HuffPost that her team isn’t sure if Joan ever returned to the convent ― either willingly or because she was forced.Specific mention of ‘Johannes de Ledes’ from Melton’s Register.Presumably fed up with her life as a nun, Joan faked “a bodily illness” and “pretended to be dead.” With the help of some accomplices in the convent, she successfully tricked the heads of her Benedictine convent into thinking she was dead. A lookalike dummy was buried “in a sacred space” among actual dead members of her order.The letter doesn’t describe what Joan’s dummy looked like or was made of. Sarah Rees Jones has a theory that she may have filled a shroud with dirt or sand and arranged for its burial.Rome, Italy – May 1, 2009: A group of nuns in traditional habits walking in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood.Rees Jones told the Church Times: “There are several cases of ‘runaway’ monks and nuns from various religious houses in the registers. But we don’t always get as much detail as this, and we don’t always have the full story. Women often entered convents in adolescence, and such changes of heart about their vocation were not uncommon.”While the archbishop said that her goal was a life of “carnal lust,” Joan’s motives are not known for sure.“This may mean no more (in modern terms) than enjoying the material pleasures of living in the secular world (abandoning her vow of poverty), or it may mean entering into a sexual relationship (abandoning her vow of chastity),” said Rees Jones to Live Science. “We do know that other religious [people] abandoned their vocations either to marry or to take up an inheritance of some kind.”Scribe writing old documentCases of runaway nuns were not unknown in the medieval era. Some of them entered convent life in their early teens. History.com reveals that many women had trouble finding decent work to support themselves and faced difficulty finding a husband if their family couldn’t provide a good dowry.Rees Jones went to say that survival in those days could be hard and one great benefit of living in a religious structure was that you always had bed and board..Read another story from us: The World’s Oldest Nun who Defied the Nazis and Sheltered Jews“From archaeology, we can tell that people living in religious houses, even quite small ones like the one that Joan of Leeds lived in, had probably on average a better standard of life than the ordinary run-of-the-mill people outside of the religious life,” she said. The high rate at which women died in childbirth was also a factor in why nuns might typically live a little longer than the average woman.
By Reuters |Sydney | Published: June 30, 2019 8:15:44 am Related News Post Comment(s) “I will just be measured in what I say because that is all about using the best opportunities we have right now to, to inform ourselves about where Alek is and what his safety is and where he is being held, in what conditions,” he told reporters on Saturday evening.Morrison said numerous world leaders had offered help to find Sigley and bring him home.When asked if U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) presented an opportunity for the Americans to make representations, Mr Morrison said he would not allow the issue to be taken up with other agendas.“We’re going to work with everybody to secure Alek’s safety and the best way we can do that is doing it quietly, effectively, working with our partners,” he said. Australian government close to securing enough votes for $110 billion tax cut plan Scott Morrison sworn in as Australia’s prime minister Advertising Advertising The treatment of foreign citizens by the secretive North has long been a contentious issue.American student Otto Warmbier died in 2017 after being detained in North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel room. Australia’s election surprise sends shares to 11-year peak Morrison said the plight of Alek Sigley (above) had been raised with him by world leaders attending the Group of 20 summit in Osaka including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (AP)The Facebook page of an Australian man missing in North Korea reappeared then disappeared again on Saturday hours before Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia is still trying to find out what has happened to him. More Explained Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach It had disappeared again on Saturday by 2 p.m. Sydney time (0400 GMT) and remained down on Sunday morning.Sigley’s Twitter account has remained online and members of the public have posted messages of support there.The missing man’s last posts on his Twitter and Facebook profiles are from Monday, June 24, and his family has not heard from him since Tuesday.Speaking from the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, Prime Minister Morrison said he had spoken to Sigley’s family and said Australia was still trying to find out what happened to him. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising Alek Sigley, one of only a handful of Western students in the secretive country, has been missing for several days.His family had taken down his social media accounts to prevent unnecessary speculation online.Sigley’s Facebook page reappeared overnight, but it is not known who reinstated it, or why. “This is, not allowing this to be taken up into other agendas, it’s not about that, it’s simply for me, about Alek’s safety. Sorry.”The 29-year-old Australian moved to North Korea to study for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang, and also ran a small tour company specialising in educational trips to North Korea.Sigley has been an unusually active social media user for someone living in North Korea, updating his social media accounts with photos and blog posts about benign subjects such as food and fashion.
Source:https://www.ualberta.ca/science/science-news/2018/december/testing-for-alzheimers-disease Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 13 2018University of Alberta scientists have identified three biomarkers for detecting mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease in saliva samples. The research has promising results for application in a clinical setting.The research team combines expertise in metabolomics from Liang Li, professor in the Department of Chemistry, and neurodegenerative disorders from Roger Dixon, professor in the Department of Psychology. “All projections point to an impending and staggering global impact of neurodegenerative disease and dementia,” said Dixon of the critical importance of this research.Related StoriesStudy highlights the need for larger Alzheimer’s drug trials that intervene much earlierSleep decline in one’s 50s, 60s increases risk of Alzheimer’s diseaseHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionLi and Dixon examined saliva samples from three sets of patients, those with Alzheimer’s disease, those with mild cognitive impairment, and those with normal cognition. Using a powerful mass spectrometer, the pair examined more than 6,000 metabolites–compounds that are part of our body’s metabolic processes–to identify any changes or signatures between groups.”In this analysis, we found three metabolites that can be used to differentiate between these three groups,” said Li. “This is preliminary work, because we’ve used a very small sample size. But the results are very promising. If we can use a larger set of samples, we can validate our findings and develop a saliva test of Alzheimer’s disease.”A saliva test would prove useful in clinical settings for its ease and non-invasive nature. It also has the potential to detect neurodegenerative diseases earlier on, allowing for early intervention.”So far, no disease-altering interventions for Alzheimer’s disease have been successful,” explained Dixon. “For this reason, researchers are aiming to discover the earliest signals of the disease so that prevention protocols can be implemented.”Another added benefit of identifying these biomarkers is the ability to conduct efficacy testing for treatments. “Using the biomarkers, we can also do testing to see what types of treatments are most effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease–from diet to physical activity to pharmaceuticals,” added Li.
Source:http://cincytechusa.com/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 18 2018Eccrine Systems, Inc., an advanced sweat sensor company, today announced that a key patent, US10136831, has been issued to Dr. Jason Heikenfeld, Co-Founder & CSO, and prominent University of Cincinnati researcher. The company holds exclusive rights to the UC patent.The patented invention covers the use of on-body sweat devices that are capable of electronically correlating two or more measurements of an analyte with the time at which the analyte emerged in newly excreted sweat. Without the use of the invention it is likely not possible to correlate sweat analyte data trends with chronological blood values or similar physiological measurements. Heikenfeld developed his invention over four years ago at a time when continuous on-body measurement of sweat analytes was at its inception. Heikenfeld is a well-known scientific leader of the wearable sweat sensor space with many of its most prescient and important advances to his credit.Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustBlood based test using AI and nanotechnology devised for chronic fatigue syndromeA1c blood test found to be unreliable in diabetes diagnosesThe company uses Heikenfeld’s invention to time correlate the data derived from its sweat sensor devices, including data and algorithms that will define the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of medications that are excreted in locally stimulated sweat. “Non-invasive medication monitoring is a great example of the utility of Jason’s invention,” says Dr. Gavi Begtrup, CEO of Eccrine Systems. “You can’t devise an on-body device to derive a sweat pharmacokinetic curve, and then correlate that curve to a drug’s blood PK curve, without using this invention. This is a big deal given the estimated $500 billion dollar annual healthcare cost of non-optimized medication therapy, a significant portion of which can result from individual PK differences that cause failed treatment outcomes.”
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 18 2018Researchers who have undertaken the first systematic review of into the use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines (TCAM) in Sub-Saharan Africa found its use is significant and not just because of a lack of resources or access to “conventional medicine”.Researchers from the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia conducted what they say is the first empirical study into TCAM in the region. The paper “Traditional, complementary and alternative medicine use in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review”, in the journal BMJ Global Health, looked at 180 studies on TCAM use in the region between 2006 and 2017.”Health departments and governments across the region must acknowledge that TCAM is here to stay and seek to understand the challenges and opportunities this presents for health care,” says University of Sierra Leone lecturer and UTS doctoral candidate Peter Bai James, who led the study.Their review found relatively high use of TCAM alone, or in combination with conventional medicine, in the general population and for specific health conditions such as pregnancy, cancer and malaria.TCAM use – especially TCAM products – was “significant”, the researchers found, with up to 94% of the population in Nigeria and Ethiopia and an average of just under 60% across the studies. The researchers acknowledged the available articles came from just four countries and were not always of the highest quality, highlighting the need for further public health research in this area.Biological-based therapies such as herbal therapy were the most common TCAM used in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by faith-based healing methods (prayer/spirituality) and mind-body therapies (massage, traditional bone setting, relaxation, meditation and yoga).”TCAM is used due to its perceived low cost, alignment … with sociocultural, religious and spiritual values, and dissatisfaction with conventional health-care,” the researchers say.Related StoriesNutritional supplements offer no protection against cardiovascular diseases, say researchersChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionAre physical examinations by family doctors still needed?Users in the general population were found to be more likely to be of low socioeconomic and educational status.Most users failed to disclose their use of these medicines to their health-care providers because they feared they would receive improper care as a result, because of health-care providers’ negative attitudes to TCAM, and because health-care providers didn’t inquire.The review indicated a relatively low prevalence of self-reported adverse effects compared with that reported outside Africa, but the researchers noted this might be related to the tendency not to disclose use.”TCAM product safety regulation across Africa is still a challenge as many countries … lack adequate regulatory framework to ensure the safety and quality of TCAM,” the paper says. “The systematic collection and analysis of TCAM safety data is crucial in order to protect patients and the public at large.”Leading author Peter Bai James of ARCCIM at UTS says discussions around TCAM use globally are often based on assumptions.”Assumptions about use in Sub-Saharan African have shaped lots of existing WHO and NGO policy,” he says, and among those assumptions is the belief that its use is because of poor access to “conventional medicine”.”But our research shows that even as conventional health services become more prevalent, TCAM use also increases,” he says.”TCAM is often an afterthought in health policy discussions in Sub-Saharan Africa and that should not be the case. Our research has highlighted the critical role TCAM continues to play in providing primary healthcare across the continent.”TCAM use in Sub-Saharan Africa is here to stay. Health departments and governments across the region must recognize this and conduct further research to understand the role of TCAM within their populations and consider the challenges and opportunities of TCAM within the wider health-care system.” Source:https://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/our-research/complementary-and-integrative-medicine/news/traditional-and