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Facebook under fire over how data got into hands of a firm with Trump ties

CNN - 1 hour 47 min ago
Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic want answers after Facebook's latest controversy involving the 2016 election.

Pompeo set to meet with Tillerson

CNN - 1 hour 51 min ago
CIA Director Mike Pompeo will meet with outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department on Monday after the former was picked to be Tillerson's replacement.

Putin Wins Russia Election, and Broad Mandate for Fourth Term

NY Times - 1 hour 52 min ago
Voters came out in smaller numbers than the Kremlin had hoped, but the result showed that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia enjoys broad approval among the people.

N.C.A.A. Men’s Tournament: Syracuse Sneaks Past Michigan State

NY Times - 1 hour 59 min ago
A play-in team toppled the No. 3 Spartans in an ugly 55-53 victory. In other action, Purdue held off Butler in a game that came down to the final seconds.

Focus on body’s tiny ‘first responders’ may improve injury care

Futurity.org - 2 hours 4 min ago

While more people survive traumatic injuries than ever before, largely due to the work of first responders and specialized trauma teams, researchers argue that more focus should be directed at the first responders of the body’s immune system to improve care.

Traumatic injuries claim the lives of nearly 200,000 Americans each year and send 27 million to emergency rooms at a cost of $670 billion.

These minuscule first responders can overreact and spiral out of control—leading to death days or weeks after an injury.

Tiny cells and proteins react immediately when the body suffers an injury, to fight its effects on tissues and organs and to clear damage. But these minuscule first responders can also overreact and spiral out of control—leading to death days or weeks after an injury.

For those who survive, that overzealous immune response can worsen long-term disability, such as lasting cognitive defects from a traumatic brain injury or loss of limb function.

A new study that appears in Nature Immunology examines what prior scientific research has revealed about the intricate nature of response and overresponse.

Their conclusion: Immunology and trauma communities need to work more closely together to translate new knowledge into better patient care.

Looking at sepsis

Senior study author Peter A. Ward, a pathologist at the University of Michigan, says he hopes the analysis will prompt a similar response to what has happened in the field of sepsis.

Survival from that syndrome, in which the body’s immune response to infection turns into a disastrous inability to control the inflammatory responses body-wide, has improved in recent years.

Ward attributes those gains to better awareness of the clinical problem of trauma among providers and the public, and to evidence-based supportive care that helps tamp down the inappropriate immune response while boosting other functions and supporting failed organs such as the lungs.

But previous studies have shown sepsis survivors still have a much higher risk of dying after “recovery” than people similar to them who didn’t battle sepsis. The long-term effects of living through a massively overzealous immune response are still being studied.

The same thing appears to be happening in trauma, says Ward. Rapid and advanced trauma care saves the patient from immediate death, but patients still die of complications or live with long-term effects on their brains and organs.

“Post-trauma sepsis is very similar to traditional patterns of infectious sepsis, though the triggers are different,” Ward says. “We need to identify the extent to which some of the approaches that work in sepsis could work in trauma and protect against progression of inflammation.”

Distress signals

The new paper summarizes dozens of findings from basic research laboratories that study the immune response to trauma.

“We found then that a strong driving force of the adverse effects of sepsis was the complement system, which consists of the pro-inflammatory factors that contribute to the multi-organ dysfunction seen in sepsis,” Ward notes.

“We now know that in trauma, no matter what the starting location is in the body, the insult triggers activation of the same cell types, which start to produce the same pro-inflammatory factors.”

For the new paper, the authors gathered evidence from studies of trauma to three common sites: the head, chest, and abdomen.

The effects of trauma on the brain, lungs, and gut—and the immune response to each kind of trauma—differ greatly.

But the bottom line for all is that the release of “distress-signal” proteins (called cytokines, chemokines, and other “danger signals”) by first-responder immune cells can quickly overwhelm the ability of other immune system cells to clear the debris.

Could revving up immune system fight sepsis?

And that can cause those “cleanup” immune cells, such as T cells and B cells, macrophages and monocytes to shut down or even die—which means even fewer cells to respond to the microscopic cries for help coming from the trauma site. The distress-signal molecules also encourage clot formation, which can help stop blood hemorrhage but can also clog vessels and cause more damage.

“Responses that ordinarily are quite contained and limited, and will usually fade gradually, don’t diminish, which results in a spiraling cycle of overwhelming response,” says Ward. That can lead to direct damage to organs nearby or even ones far from the site of the injury.

Plus, other factors can make things even worse, such as infectious bacteria that can invade a body through broken skin, the insult of undergoing repeated operations to repair broken bones and torn tissues, medications that disrupt the body’s natural population of helpful microbes, and any underlying health issues the person had before getting injured.

In the long term

The long-term effects of trauma and sepsis often include a reduced overall immune response, or immunosuppression, because T cells and B cells can’t be replaced once they’ve died. This can put survivors at risk of repeat infection and more, collectively referred to as “immune-suppression.”

Research has not yet shown how to reverse this weakened state, although scientists are looking for options in the lab using animal models.

Another approach to balancing the innate immune response to trauma is to block the distress-signal molecules produced by the complement immune system. But the risk of going too far and interfering with lifesaving pathways that allow the body’s phagocyte cells to vacuum up infected or damaged cells is very real.

Adding trauma centers may actually cost lives

Clinical trials are also in the works to test drugs or antibodies that can inhibit pro-inflammatory proteins produced by the complement system, called C5A, have been studied in detail, but “testing these approaches will be quite tricky, and the clinical trials will need to be carefully crafted,” Ward says.

Source: University of Michigan

The post Focus on body’s tiny ‘first responders’ may improve injury care appeared first on Futurity.

People aren’t leaving church due to politics

Futurity.org - 2 hours 4 min ago

While politics may drive some people away from church, the actual number of departing parishioners isn’t that largeand those who do leave the pews are only marginally involved with the institution, a new study indicates.

“All we’re really seeing here is a little churn,” says Jacob Neiheisel, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo’s political science department and an author of the study, which appears in the American Journal of Political Science.

“People might attend for the sermons, the small group activities, or the social encounters. Churches are not one dimensional…”

“We don’t see people ensconced within the institutional framework leaving,” Neiheisel says. “These are people at the periphery so we don’t see religious sorting where people on the left are disproportionally becoming anti-religious while people on the right are doubling-down on religion.”

The findings provide new evidence that the limited turnover is not contributing significantly to political polarization.

“We don’t see the kind of polarization that worries us, which is so important because it links back to the broader concern we all share when we study polarization.” says Neiheisel. “If we’re not talking to one another on some level there’s a risk of breaking off into bubbles where people hear only the echoes of their own voice. When we start doing that we worry about things like opinion extremity and loss of tolerance. These are things that drive a contentious political environment.”

The researchers drew upon three sources for their study, using data from the 2012 Election Panel Study, the 2006 Franklin County Republican Primary Study, and the Portraits of American Life Study—about 3,000 individuals all told.

“We’re trying to figure out where politics matters and where it doesn’t in complex institutional environments,” says Neiheisel.

There’s a risk any time mismatched political beliefs surface among people involved with the same organization, a church for example. But Neiheisel says that churches and other “storehouses of democracy” are not merely places to discuss politics.

Is religion in the U.S. doing a vanishing act?

“There are many things to keep people engaged at church. People might attend for the sermons, the small group activities, or the social encounters. Churches are not one dimensional,” says Neiheisel. “So the people involved with their church still have access to the networks provided and the opportunities for building civic skills.”

Churches, like party identity, have historically been seen as “unmoved movers” where certain attitudes and beliefs are thought to be stable. These institutions aren’t themselves moved by the information environments, but rather drive attitudes and behaviors down the line.

Neiheisel says the new study’s argument dispels generalized notions that connect religion with what’s going on in politics, or that people would leave churches exclusively because of what’s happening in political circles.

“People think about organizational connections at a much more localized level,” says Neiheisel. “An issue could eventually evolve to the point where it seeps throughout the organization. We saw this during the civil rights movement when conservatives left Southern churches led by clergy educated at typically liberal seminaries.

“But as a broader systematic pattern the people who are leaving today are peripheral to begin with. Politics is not the primary driver behind people leaving religion. It’s demographics; it’s generational; it’s many other things.”

And it’s not contributing largely to further polarization, notes Neiheisel.

Some Americans consult religion about science questions

“That’s important,” he says. “When we hear only our own voice we start to think there’s no such thing as a legitimate opposition. It reminds me of what people often heard after the 1968 presidential election: ‘I know no one who voted for Richard Nixon; I don’t know how he could have won.'”

Additional contributors are from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Denison University.

Source: University at Buffalo

The post People aren’t leaving church due to politics appeared first on Futurity.

Doors-off chopper tours were the rage. Not anymore

CNN - 2 hours 4 min ago
You're soaring 2,000 feet above Manhattan's sparkling East River, the distant skyline glistening at dusk as your feet dangle from the side of a whirring doors-off helicopter.

Changing schedules take a toll on medical interns

Futurity.org - 2 hours 20 min ago

This year’s crop of graduating medical students will soon find out what hospital they’ve “matched” to for the residency training they’ll start this summer. A new study suggests the changing schedules they’ll have to endure as residents may take a heavy toll on sleep, physical activity, and mood.

The results come from the first phase of a study on the effects of medical training. Researchers asked new doctors to wear Fitbit activity trackers around-the-clock and sent them mood-tracking text messages every day for the months immediately before and after they started their residency. The researchers call it “digital phenotyping.”

On average, the 33 doctors in the pilot study lost 2 hours and 48 minutes of sleep a week after their residency training began because of high workload and frequent changes in their schedules that wreaked havoc on their sleep patterns. They got 11.5 percent less physical activity than before residency began, and their average daily self-reported mood score dropped 7.5 percent. The study covered the two months before residency began and the first six months of the first, or intern, year of training.

The demands of residency appeared to stack up. When they had a shorter sleep time one night, the participants’ moods suffered more the next day, and they slept even less the following night.

The study also reveals the effect of the frequent changes in work schedules that medical interns experience as they rotate among training settings.

They got less sleep and had lower mood levels when their sleep schedule changed more than three hours from one rotation to the next—for instance, shifting from overnight hospital duty to outpatient clinics. These changes lasted well beyond the first few days.

Sleepy and stressed

The new results, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, shed light on a phenomenon senior author Srijan Sen and his colleagues have studied for years.

Past studies based on questionnaires have shown a high risk of depression among medical residents, which researchers have attributed to loss of sleep, high stress, and demanding schedules.

To look at the issue on a much larger scale, the team has recruited more than 500 of this year’s graduating students from more than 80 medical schools to take part in the study.

Researchers are seeking 1,500 to 2,000 more participants; interested students can learn more at the Intern Health Study website.

“Though we expected the start of internship to affect sleep, mood, and activity, quantifying the extent and nature of the effects in real time really highlighted the magnitude of changes,” says Sen, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. “The relationship between sleep and mood is clearly bidirectional, but it appears that sleep affects mood the next day more than mood affects sleep.”

Bed times

When the training physicians experience the dramatic shift to an earlier wake-up time to start their clinical duties in the hospital, most do not compensate by going to sleep much earlier the night before, Sen says.

The system of asking interns to get to the hospital in the predawn hours so they can be ready to inform senior residents and attending physicians about patients during morning rounds dates back more than a century.

But with modern knowledge about circadian rhythmsthe natural patterns of sleep and waking, it may be time to update that practice, Sen says. Or at least, it’s time for residency programs to reduce interns’ schedule swings back and forth from early duty to later duty.

“Interns’ schedules change day to day and month to month as they rotate through different shift times and settings, and with recent national changes in their work-hour limits, these dramatic changes in work and sleep time have become more profound. We hope this research will help inform residency programs as they design their interns’ schedules.”

Night shifts

Long-term night-shifts by all kinds of workers can negatively affect mental and physical health and work performance because of the disruption in circadian rhythms, other studies show.

But the body can adjust somewhat to long-term night work. Changing from day shift to night and back in rapid succession, as medical interns do, appears to create much stronger negative effects on sleep, physical activity and mood, the study suggests.

For better patient care, prevent nurse burnout

The new study also finds that shifting to a later start is much easier than shifting to an early morning start—another observation that could help residency programs schedule their shifts.

Data from the Fitbits in the two months before the interns began their training showed variation among their patterns of sleep and activity. Those who tended to be “night owls” before the internship began had a harder time than those who were “morning larks” with naturally early wake-up times.

Some advice

As for this year’s graduating students and soon-to-be interns, Sen offers some advice.

“Try to stick to the same sleep-wake schedule throughout a rotation and go to sleep earlier than you naturally would when your schedule demands an early start time to reduce the effects of sleep deprivation and the risk of mood changes and depression,” he says.

He also hopes that hospitals will recognize the importance of their physicians’ sleep schedules for their own health and patient safety.

10 ways health care team training benefits patients

“We’re learning more and more that sleep and circadian timing play a role in our mental and physical health. We need to see this as a national priority, not just for physicians in training but even for those in practice—for instance, those who stay up late to finish entering information and orders into electronic health record systems at home or have other administrative burdens outside of clinical care hours.”

Are you a graduating medical student? Learn more about the study—and if you’re eligible to participate—here.

Additional authors of the study are Johns Hopkins Medicine. Funding for the study came from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Michigan.

Source: University of Michigan

The post Changing schedules take a toll on medical interns appeared first on Futurity.

Putin wins 6 more years in power, exit polls show

CNN - 2 hours 29 min ago
Vladimir Putin is set to extend his power in Russia for another six years after winning Sunday's presidential election with the majority of the vote, exit polls show.

An African Leader Lauded For A Too Uncommon Move — Peacefully Leaving Power

NPR All Things Considered - 2 hours 38 min ago

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's first female president, stepped down in January in the country's first democratic transition in 75 years. She talks with Michel Martin about her legacy.

Footbridge built to save lives. Instead, 6 are dead

CNN - 2 hours 40 min ago
Isabella Carrasco heard it before she saw it.

Austin bombs were 'meant to send a message,' authorities believe

CNN - 2 hours 41 min ago
Authorities continue to chase hundreds of leads in an effort to find the person responsible for three package bombs that have rocked Austin, Texas, this month, killing two and injuring two others.

Saudi Prince Will Court Trump In Visit — And Tech Execs And Hollywood Too

NPR All Things Considered - 2 hours 49 min ago

Mohammed bin Salman is coming to the U.S. this week. His ongoing PR campaign seeks to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy and reset its image abroad, but some of his actions have undermined that goal.

Cirque du Soleil performer dies after fall during show

CNN - 2 hours 50 min ago
A Cirque du Soleil performer died Saturday night after he fell during a performance in Tampa, Florida.

Surviving Mass Shootings Draws Two Floridians Together

NPR All Things Considered - 2 hours 54 min ago

Neema Bahrami, survivor of the 2016 Pulse shooting, Annabel Claprood, a sophomore at a Parkland high school where 17 were killed last month, and others have found common purpose in shared experiences.

#2020Vision: Banking bill shows left's divides; Warren and Sanders prep joint event; staffing up the quiet campaign

CNN - 3 hours 3 min ago
Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:

More Than A Job: Home Care For A Mom With Alzheimer's Disease

NPR All Things Considered - 3 hours 3 min ago

Celina Raddatz worked in eldercare for about 30 years, until her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she quit her job to take care of her. Now Raddatz works as a paid caregiver for her mother.

(Image credit: Xavier Vasquez/NPR)

'We Cannot Be Afraid Of The Truth': New Orleans Mayor On Confederate Statues

NPR All Things Considered - 3 hours 4 min ago

Mayor Mitch Landrieu's new book seeks to inform readers about the monuments, which became political lightning rods in recent years. For Landrieu, the decision was to remove four statues in his city.

As Expected Vladimir Putin — Who Has Led Russia For 18 Years — Wins 6 More

NPR All Things Considered - 3 hours 11 min ago

There was never any doubt that the presidential election in Russia would give Putin another term, and on Sunday he received an overwhelming victory over the seven other candidates allowed to run.

Facebook: Firm Working With Trump Campaign Stole 50 Million Users' Data

NPR All Things Considered - 3 hours 15 min ago

Cambridge Analytica has been suspended by Facebook for harvesting information from millions of users. NPR's Michel Martin speaks with former Facebook product manager Antonio Garcia Martinez.

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