Category: ckdznyze

Lawyer examines police misconduct

first_imgIn his experience with civil rights law, lawyer Bill Goodman has worked with a number of clients who have been the victims of police misconduct.“You can force government to answer for what they do wrong, and what is unjust, and you can force people in power to answer for what they do wrong as well, and I think that’s an important rationale for doing some of the work that we do,” Goodman said in a lecture on police misconduct Monday. Goodman said in his line of work, he has seen ways to combat the issue of misconduct. “In the end there really is only one way to affect police misconduct, through methods that I can point to,” Goodman said. “I’m talking about training, supervision and discipline. Those are the things that I think will really alter the way that police behave and carry out their roles.” Beyond this, Goodman said he thinks the law is another important aspect of fixing the issues he sees nationwide. “Litigation, I think also is important, and it plays a role, but I think it points out the lapses in training, supervision and discipline,” Goodman said. Specifically, Goodman said he sees a real issue with racism in relation to stop and frisk laws in New York. “The theory in [stop and frisk] is meant to protect everyone equally,” Goodman said. “But Latino males, young males especially, and black males, they are being stopped constantly.”Goodman said he wanted to find a way to see if what he observed was actually what was going on statistically. “We wanted to go into the statistics and see if, statistically, we could prove that if you’re a young black or young Latino kid that you are more likely to be stopped and frisked, beyond a reasonable suspicion,” Goodman said. One of Goodman’s colleagues proceeded to go through the police records of instances of stop and frisk and found it was more likely that a young male minority was more likely to be stopped than a white male. “The police were saying, ‘You know of course we’re going to stop more black and Hispanic kids in the Bronx, because that’s where the crimes are happening,’” Goodman said. However, Goodman and his colleagues looked into the number of arrests made on those that were stopped. “For every 10 stop and frisks of minorities, there were three arrests,” Goodman said. “For every 10 stop and frisks of caucasian kids, there were eight arrests, which tells you that there’s a real basis for stop and frisk for a white suspect, but color was the only basis if you were a minority.”Goodman said this caused him and his colleagues to challenge law enforcement to take a harder look at the policies in place. “So we said, you know, you have to go back and retrain and say you can’t just stop and frisk based on color,” Goodman said. When he was watching dash cam tapes, Goodman said he saw clear examples of racism.“In my opinion, one of the major explanations for acquittals of some police, is that when the prosecutor shows the tapes to the jury, they never show the ones with the white motorists,” Goodman said. “And what does that show, when you put them side by side with ones of minority motorists? They show racism. They show clear racism.” This racism affects the outcomes of the cases, Goodman said. “If you take these tapes, every single one of these policemen should have been fired,” Goodman said. “And how many were fired? None of them. You see the power of racism in these videos, and how they affect the outcomes of these cases.” Goodman says he is seeing some progress being made, but not much. “What we’re seeing so much of now, with police misconduct with these shootings is these chiefs that are saying this is what we need to do and this is how we’re going to proceed, and I think we’re seeing some progress, but I guess it would just be a little, not a lot,” Goodman said. Tags: Civil Rights, law enforcement, police, police misconductlast_img read more

Giving inexperienced teachers more tools

first_imgSending beginning teachers back to school may not sound like a positive development, but from conversations reporter Chelsea Henderson had with some teachers with only a few years of experience, they are all in favor of more information about how to manage a classroom full of students from all sorts of backgrounds. A new online professional development course for teachers with five or fewer years of experience may provide help that will give those teachers more tools with which to deliver the massive amounts of information required by state standards.Superintendent Mark Porterie is eloquent when he says the education teachers receive when they are in college getting their education degree is geared for teaching students from “white picket fence” households. By that he means a fictional middle class suburban household with two parents where the children are read to daily and education is valued.There are some of those in Port Arthur. But there are also households where a single parent is working hard to raise children, work and keep the bills paid. There are also other households in which no one cares for the children at all. If they don’t get themselves up and off to school, no one will. The teachers in PAISD — and other districts as well — are expected to take all those children and successfully teach them the essential elements they are supposed to be learning for their grade level and subject matter.An online course may not be the total answer, but it will give the inexperienced teachers in PAISD more resources from which to draw to meet the challenge of educating all our children, no matter their background or home situation. The district deserves applause for making the program available. While the course is no substitute for the lessons learned from experience, it should give the teachers more tools to work with all the students who depend on them for an education. Next Uplast_img read more

Stephen Schwartz Is ‘Writing Away’ on Houdini for Hugh Jackman; Chicago Premiere Planned Before 2014 Run

first_img Hugh Jackman The prolific composer/lyricist told the AP that he and an unnamed new librettist are “writing away on it” and that the pair has the entire first act of the musical written. They are hoping to stage a reading of the show in December. The musical’s director, Tony winner Jack O’Brien, gushed to Broadway.com about the score that Schwartz is creating for the show. “The two ballads Stephen has written, one that closes Act I and one that closes the show, are among the greatest things he’s ever written,” O’Brien said. “Hugh just kills with them. It’s vintage Schwartz, it’s gorgeous.” “I’m specifically writing for Hugh, in terms of what I think will sound good in his voice and what sorts of things will really help him to do the things that he does,” Schwartz said. “Where does he want to stretch himself? Where does he want to do something that he feels he has and we feel he has that he hasn’t really shown before?” Houdini is produced by Scott Sanders and David Rockwell, who will also design the show’s sets.center_img The man behind the music of two of Broadway’s biggest musicals right now (Pippin and Wicked) has another new musical coming down the pike, Houdini, starring Tony winner Hugh Jackman. According to a recent interview with the Associated Press, the musical may make a Chicago debut before landing on Broadway as part of the upcoming 2014-2015 season. View Comments Star Fileslast_img read more

Scott Plasma 6 triathlon bike speeds into a weekend at home with UCI-illegal design

first_imgScott’s all-new Plasma 6 triathlon bike is ready to fight for Ironman Worlds glory. But since this year’s Kona race was cancelled for the first time in over forty years, you’ll have to settle for going fast on the bike leg at home this year. Much like we’ve seen in modern aero road and other recent tri bikes, the new Plasma takes integration to a new level, without losing the fit adjustability that will make sure riders are fresh enough after 180km on the bike to run a marathon…All-new 2021 Scott Plasma 6 carbon triathlon bikec. Scott, photos by Pushing LimitsAll-out aerodynamics is the name of the game in tri bikes, without the UCI looking over your shoulder. So Scott says their four-year Plasma update project set out to “simply build the fastest bike the triathlon world has ever seen”. The result of more wind tunnel time was deeper integration, expanded on-bike aero storage, and maximized cockpit adjustability to dial in each rider’s position on the bike.Aerodynamic testing & optimizationphoto by Gee MilnarThe triathlete them self makes up much of the aero drag of the rider+bike, but also changes how the wind actually flows over the bike. So more than just using CFD or wind tunnel testing of the bike itself, the Scott Plasma 6 was developed from the absolute beginning with a rider aboard for real world aero performance.By now we all have a sense for what is aero. Keeping the front end aero is tricky, but it seems the wisdom is either to have the downtube almost touching the front tire, or kept far away from front wheel turbulence.The Plasma 6 chooses the latter, since even slightly turning the wheel induces big turbulence losses. Extending the frame horizontally back from the deep fork crown, the narrow & deep downtube is said to minimize drag better, even while turning or in varying wind conditions.Rear wheel cutouts with the tire tucked in close are a sure way to decrease drag over the rear end of the bike, but with varying wheel & tire setups, it’s hard to be so precise without risking tire rub. So Scott gives the bike a 6-position adjustable rear dropout to dial that tire in close.Integrated Storage & AdjustabilityThe UCI-friendly Scott Plasma 5 TT bike was already big on storage integration, but now the tri-only 6 takes it to the next level – taking advantage of deeper hollow frame sections and an add-on tail storage trunk. Inside the junction behind the headtube, a 575ml or 620ml hydration pocket means racers can drink without leaving their aero tuck or impacting crucial front-end aerodynamics, while a box between the aero bars keeps snacks at easy reach too.Then, a bottom bracket storage box is actually a removable 400ml squeezable polypropylene gel bottle that you can fuel from on the go. And the tail fin trunk extends storage space out back for spares or tools, both conveniently smoothing airflow over otherwise turbulent areas of the bike.The seatpost head of course offers tons of fit position adjustability, sliding on long rails. But it also incorporates a rear mounted bottle (or two) on a telescoping post that can be slid closer or further away from the rider’s body for an optimized aero position, close to the butt.Developed from the Syncros component side of Scott, a widely adjustable Creston iC TRI base bar & E1 Carbon extensions setup insures a wide range of possible positions – from elite pros to age-groupers. 2x Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee describes the new Plasma 6’s fit & integration as making, “no compromises when it comes to nutrition or storage. Being able to stay on the aero bars during fueling makes the system even faster… In short, yes it is faster!”Scott Plasma 6 Tri – Tech detailsBeyond aero & fit optimization, the new carbon Scott Plasma 6 uses top-spec HMX carbon to keep weight in check with all that surface area. Total claimed weight for the top-spec build is just 9.6kg. The 1.25-1.5″ deep aero fork with its aero fork tips and shrouded brake also get ultra hi-mod HMX carbon construction.All cable routing is fully internal. The bike only seems to support electronic drivetrains, but can be run with or without a front derailleur. The flat mount, disc brake only tri bike gets  12mm thru-axles and a PF86.5 bottom bracket2021 Scott Plasma 6 – Pricing & availabilityScott Plasma 6 PremiumOnly two complete triathlon build versions are available of the new Scott Plasma 6 bike for now. The top 15,000€ green Plasma 6 Premium gets a SRAM Red AXS build with Zipp 808 NSW wheels.Scott Plasma 6 RCAnd I guess you could call it more accessible, the 9000€ Plasma 6 RC opts for Ultegra Di2 & Syncros Capital 50mm deep carbon wheels. Both are available for pre-order through your Scott dealer, with delivery slated for the start of December 2020.Scott Plasma 6 framesetA 7000€ Plasma 6 frameset should also be available, in the same full five size range (XS-XL.)photo by Pushing LimitsScott-Sports.comlast_img read more

Lawmakers talk access

first_img Lawmakers talk access Access Commission brings its story to the Legislature Senior Editor C harles McBurney is a member of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, an eclectic array of 27 leaders from all branches of government and the business world. But on this February day, the Republican legislator and attorney from Jacksonville chaired the House Judiciary Committee and invited his legislative colleagues to ask questions of Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Bar President Greg Coleman.Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, an attorney, asked Labarga’s opinion of the biggest challenge the new commission faces. “Obviously, funding is an issue, but it can’t just come from government,” Labarga answered. “It has to come from the business community, the Bar association, all segments of society. That, obviously, is going to be the biggest challenge.”Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Palm Springs, also an attorney, said, “I think our access to civil justice is a reflection of our standards and morals as a society. I think this issue is probably bigger than most people think.. . . One of the five factors you talked about was resources. I think we all have to admit that is probably the biggest barrier to access.. . . It looks like some states swallowed the pill and saw fit to fund access, pro hac vice fees and IOTA accounts and all of that.“As the commission moves into this and tries to tackle the resource issue, what have been the most successful ways of providing resources to access to civil justice? And, noting that the IOTA accounts are not stable and [revenue generated from the accounts] have dropped precipitously over the last couple of years, are there other, more stable areas of revenue the commission is going to examine?”Noting that the commission’s first meeting was only two weeks earlier on January 16 and they’ve been “pretty much bombarded with tons of information about what other states have done,” Labarga said all ideas are up for discussion.“Texas, for example, they are heavy on taxpayers and the Texas Legislature provides some funding for their system,” Labarga said, referring to $17.6 million funding for legal aid last year.“Perhaps that may not be a fit here in Florida. But we are looking at other ways to fund this. Funding is always going to be an issue, obviously. I’m hoping our commission will come up with ideas on how to do it, how to streamline things so it doesn’t cost as much, so we don’t have to pay a lawyer $600 an hour to do the work. Hopefully, this study will come up with some great ideas.”Kerner gave what he called a “suggestion as a new practitioner. I think in years past, the information of the law has been closely guarded. It used to be in books, and it’s hard to read those books. Over time, with technology, this information has been put out there. Defending a foreclosure may not be as difficult as a lay person thinks, for example.. . . So I hope the commission embraces such things as Google Scholar and putting them in an easy-to-use format.”Labarga replied: “We will look at everything. But bear in mind, forms only get you into court.. . . Once the person gets into court, there is still court procedure, hearing rules.. . and the person is going to have to cross-examine witnesses, call witnesses, subpoena witnesses, and make closing arguments. And the judge can’t help.”The chief justice recalled a time from his trial judge days in a foreclosure case.“I felt kind of bad for the folks and I started to tell them they could do this and that. And suddenly I get a sarcastic remark from the bank lawyer saying, ‘Judge, why don’t you just go over and sit at the table with them?’ Judges have to be very careful.. . . That’s why we need to have a live lawyer present.”When it was Coleman’s turn at the podium, he said, “To Rep. Kerner’s point, back in the heyday before interest rates fell through the floor, $70 million was being generated through the IOTA trust accounts. So, when you compared that to the $500 million of free time that lawyers give [a reported 1.9 million hours multiplied by Florida’s median rate of $250 an hour], then it’s only a drop in the bucket.. . . At its height, it’s only serving 20 percent of the indigent.“We have a problem,” Coleman said. “Again, I look at it completely as a societal problem. The problem and the struggle are primarily in the area of family law practice. A staggering number. In Florida, 85 percent of the family law cases have at least one pro se, or self-represented, litigant in each case.“So they wander into this system that’s designed for lawyers. It’s not designed for the average citizen. It’s a frustrating system for them. It’s an aggravating system for them. They get depressed. They get anxious. It costs them productivity at work. A recent TaxWatch study says that for every dollar in access that is spent, you get a $4 benefit in the business community.”Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, an attorney and college professor, serves on the Bar’s Vision 2016 commission looking at the future of the legal practice. She asked how to use paraprofessionals and technology to help with access to civil justice.“I think lawyers often are not utilized to their highest level, and we don’t rely on paraprofessionals as much as we should,” she said.“Interestingly, some of this is going on in other areas of the country,” Coleman said. “In Washington state right now. . . they have paralawyers, somewhere between a paralegal and a lawyer. . . this new system where they sort of carved out paraprofessionals, paralawyers, whatever you want to call them, and they are not under the supervision of a lawyer. They have their own regulatory oversight by the court, and they are allowed in certain limited areas to meet with clients, to discuss issues, to write letters, to draft documents — all without supervision of a lawyer.“Now, is that a good thing or a bad thing? To be quite honest, I don’t know. Time is going to tell. But I think creative thinking around the table will come up with some suggestions like this, and like Chief Justice Labarga said, we’re going to look at them all.”Rep. Wood said, “Following up on this thinking outside the box, let’s just take the family law area. Do you see any constitutional prohibitions against creating courts. . . like small claims courts, where we encourage citizens to appear unrepresented?. . . . Maybe we need to be result-oriented rather than process-oriented, in terms of our strategies.”“I can tell you that one of the business leaders asked me a question after the meeting. He said, ‘You know, it seems to me that you all carved out small claims and made it simple,’” Coleman said, explaining how it’s a simplified way for people to resolve disputes under a certain threshold of money and about 85 percent settle in mediation on the first day.“He asked if we should look at coming up with a simpler way to deal with the lower-value estates and divorce and family law matters. Pick a number. If you have a marital estate of less than $50,000, whatever the number is, and try to think about simplified forms, simplified process, looser rules of evidence, things like that. That would require significant change, from a rule perspective, and from the court’s perspective. But I think those types of creative suggestions and thoughts are on the table.”Wood, who has been a member of the Bar since 1978, said, “My biggest observation is the lack of knowledge of our citizens is really the great barrier to access to justice.. . . Law is knowledge. It’s not about having a good lawyer. It’s having knowledge of your legal rights.”Labarga said, “That is one area that I agree with you 1,000 percent. A lot of people don’t even know they have a claim.”Lawyers need to be educated, too.As Coleman relayed, a recent Florida Bar poll asked if there is an access to justice problem for the citizens of Florida.“Sixty-six percent either think there’s no access problem or don’t know,” Coleman said. “Our lawyers. That’s a problem. That’s my problem. I have to get them educated. Then we need to educate the public and say, ‘Here are some technological resources you can use to educate yourself so you don’t get yourself in a bind.’”McBurney closed the hour-long meeting saying, “I anticipate at some point there will be consideration of some legislation, maybe not even this session.. . . We appreciate your input, and in the meantime, stay tuned.” March 1, 2015 Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Regular Newscenter_img Lawmakers talk accesslast_img read more

Adolescents more economically rational than young adults, researchers find

first_imgPinterest Such simple rules are the mental shortcuts people take in decision-making — often to their benefit — as they age and gain more experience. Most adults apply the “don’t drink and drive” rule, for example, to avoid getting in a car with someone who’s been drinking. In contrast, teens may more carefully weigh this decision.“Adolescents are going to be more likely to use cost-benefit analysis than the (simple rules) that adults use. That can get these kids into a lot of trouble,” Huettel said.In the new study, participants were presented with three scenarios (A, B, and C) and asked to pick the best one. Each scenario contained a set of outcomes that could lead to winning or losing different sums of money.For example if the subjects picked scenario A, they had a one-third chance of winning, say $6, one-third chance of winning $4, and a one-third chance of losing $4. Scenarios B and C each came with their own chances to win or lose three different dollar amounts.Young adults — who were 22 years old, on average — used simple rules. As they completed more trials, they counted the number of wins and losses in each scenario and picked the one with the most wins, ignoring the dollar amount of each potential gain or loss.Adolescents, on the other hand, accounted for the magnitude of the potential win or loss and chose scenarios to minimize loss.“I was surprised by how consistent the effects were,” Huettel said. “Pretty much everywhere we looked, adolescents were the ones who looked more economically rational.”Tracking the participants’ eyes as they completed the task gave clues about how they were processing the information. Adolescents consistently viewed almost all the possible outcomes of their choices throughout the experiment.In contrast, young adults looked at almost everything initially, but as the experiment progressed they started to ignore information that wasn’t useful to them. They also spent less time than adolescents viewing each outcome, the study found.Other research has shown that adolescents aren’t necessarily more risk-seeking but that they are more sensitive to good outcomes compared with adults. Teens also place more value in social interactions and approval.Huettel’s group is studying the role of peers in adolescent decision-making, while tracking eye movements and brain activity. This research, and the new study, may inform new ways of coaching adolescents to make smarter decisions, Huettel said. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img Share Teenagers are irrational and make bad decisions. Or do they? A new Duke study finds that adolescents ages 10 to 16 can be more analytical in their economic choices than many slightly older young adults.Published online in the October-December issue of Cognitive Development, the study suggests not only that society should give adolescents more credit for rationality but also that parents should help children hone their cost-benefit analysis skills in making real-life decisions.“The new results point to the idea that we should not think of adolescents as being irrational,” said corresponding author Scott Huettel, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. “What’s different about them is they don’t use simple rules as effectively.” LinkedInlast_img read more

Why there are no limits to your willpower

first_imgShare Psychologists conventionally thought that people who thought their willpower was limited could become more productive by conserving their energies and being selective in how they self-regulated their behaviour. There has also been a belief that glucose intake can quickly restore someone’s belief that they can keep going, and that the waning of focus is mainly a product of fatigue.Job’s research has overturned both of these assumptions. In her study, students with increasing course demands who thought their willpower was limited procrastinated more, ate more junk food and reported excessive spending compared with students who thought they had no limits on their willpower.The research also showed that students who believed there were no limits to their willpower benefited from more demanding circumstances. These students appeared to perform better when having to work on several assignments due in close together. It seems as if they responded to increased pressure with greater engagement, whereas those who thought their willpower was limited found it more difficult to stay focused on a task and manage their independent study effectively as the demands increased. The evidence suggests that this difference is not influenced by academic ability.Other research has shown that adults in work suffer the same kinds of negative consequences from holding a limited theory of willpower and that this also produces lower subjective well-being. It appears that these people don’t strive much towards their own personal goals – which would suggest they are much less likely to have “grit”.Grit and self-regulationGrit relates to a person’s ability to take ownership of a goal and strive toward it, even when difficulties and setbacks occur. It is associated with what’s called “cognitive control”, or “self-regulation”, the capacity to keep focus where you want it to be.There is evidence that the same part of the brain which is used in self-regulatory behaviour is also used for managing harmful emotions. So the more grit a person has, the more likely they will be able to manage those emotions of frustration, discouragement and anger which can overwhelm a person’s thoughts.Much research on grit has been concerned with identifying its characteristics and studying its relationship to performance – both academic and at work. The American psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth has shown how grit is an effective predictor of strong academic achievement, successful performance at work, and that people with more grit are less likely to drop out of teaching and military training.What is less understood is how to help people who think they have a limited amount of willpower to change – and help those with low levels of grit become more gritty.It takes time for someone’s grit to positively change. Developing other approaches to learning helps considerably. Research I am concluding in several schools also shows that organisational values and a school’s ethos appear to contribute to how children both approach learning and develop a sense of agency in their studies.The more we begin to see that we can learn effectively and believe that our effort and stamina is not exhaustible, the more we develop resilience in the face of challenges.One of the reasons we need to consider all these different approaches to learning together is because a sense of purpose is closely related to their development. People who have clearer long-term goals and positive aspirations for the future are better at growing resilience.The recent research on willpower helps to show that we don’t need to and shouldn’t give in to self-imposed limits. This isn’t to say we can’t take a break during a busy work or study period. But that’s not because we’ve exhausted or depleted our powers to focus and achieve. The best way to stay engaged and increase our sense of well-being is to keep in mind the goals which inspire us and our inexhaustible resources to achieve them.By Nigel Newton, PhD Candidate & Assistant Researcher, University of BristolThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Share on Facebook Pinterest We’ve all experienced those moments when we’ve been working really hard on a task, finally finish and feel like a well-deserved break so we grab a coffee and relax for a few moments. What goes through your mind next? Do you believe you’ve reached as far as you can go that day, or do you feel energised for the next task, believing that your powers to keep focused are not depleted?Research led by psychologist Veronika Job at the University of Zurich and others shed valuable light on the question of willpower and a person’s beliefs about it. Job found that if people believe their willpower is limited – and that they have a certain amount of it that will be used up – it will impact on their performance, particularly when they feel under pressure.Their research was based on the “limited theory” of willpower, in which some people believe it is limited and needs to be replenished. However, others believe the opposite – that willpower is not limited and that they can activate it when they want to.center_img Email Share on Twitter LinkedInlast_img read more

News Scan for Mar 24, 2015

first_imgMERS sickens 3 more in Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported three more MERS-CoV cases today, including the second one from Mecca this year, along with one death in a previously reported case.Two of the new MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases are in foreigners, a 42-year-old man who got sick in Mecca and a 20-year-old man whose infection was detected in Jeddah. Neither are healthcare workers, and the younger man had contact with suspected or confirmed MERS cases in the community. Both are hospitalized in stable condition.The third patient is a 55-year-old Saudi woman from Arar, located in the northern part of the country near the border with Iraq. She is also listed in stable condition. She didn’t have contact with suspected cases in the community and is not a healthcare worker.The MOH said it would include more information on exposure history in its weekly MERS-CoV update, which usually comes out early in the week. The agency adopted a policy of including less exposure information in its daily updates last week.The patient who died is a 61-year-old man from Riyadh who had underlying medical conditions.In addition, the MOH noted three MERS-CoV recoveries, all of them involving foreign healthcare workers who got sick in Riyadh. They are a 37-year-old man and two women, 48 and 51.The new cases and death lift Saudi Arabia’s MERS-CoV totals to 964 infections, 416 of them fatal. The new cases would boost the global total from the disease to 1,109 cases, according to a list kept by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.Mar 24 MOH statement FluTrackers MERS-CoV case list Emergent wins US contract to perfect adjuvanted anthrax vaccineEmergent BioSolutions Inc. has won a $31 million contract from the US government for advanced development of its adjuvanted anthrax vaccine, called NuThrax, which officials hope will provide protection with fewer doses than the three required for the company’s licensed anthrax vaccine.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the 30-month contract in a press release yesterday. NuThrax consists of the licensed vaccine, BioThrax, paired with the adjuvant CPG 7909.The funds will be used to support clinical studies, product development, and manufacturing to fuel phase 3 safety studies with larger groups than previous studies, HHS reported.”Anthrax remains a national health security threat, and we’re striving to develop an anthrax vaccine that affords immunity sooner and with fewer doses,” said Robin Robinson, PhD, director of HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). “If it works, this vaccine may help achieve better preparedness at a lower cost.”Previous studies of NuThrax indicate that two doses are sufficient to protect against anthrax, according to HHS.In a statement today, Emergent said a phase 2 study in 2014 tested the safety and immunogenicity of two and three doses of NuThrax for postexposure prophylaxis against anthrax. The results, presented at a meeting last month, warranted further study of a two-dose schedule.The Gaithersburg, Md., company noted that earlier development of NuThrax was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The agency is continuing to fund NuThrax activities, having awarded Emergent a $29 million contract last September for development of a dry formulation of the vaccine, which would eliminate the need for refrigeration.The HHS statement said, “NuThrax represents the successful transition of a vaccine from early development under NIAID into advanced development under BARDA and resulted from more than six years of collaboration on the vaccine’s development between the two HHS agencies.”Mar 23 HHS press release Mar 24 Emergent press release Related Sep 9, 2014, CIDRAP News item MSF urges action to boost access to new TB drugsAction must be taken to ensure that two tuberculosis (TB) drugs approved in 2012 and 2014 are administered to patients with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) who desperately need them, Doctors without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres, or MSF) said today in an issue brief and press release marking World TB Day.Fewer than 1,000 people worldwide have been able to access the drugs, bedaquiline (made by Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) and delamanid (by Otsuka), MSF said. It treats people in more than 20 countries for DR-TB.The agency said, “Two facts should be front and center: that the glacial rollout of these new drugs has cost too many lives already, and that our frustration must be galvanized into action.”MSF’s issue brief looks at causes of the slow rollout and makes recommendations that apply to TB-endemic nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), drug manufacturers, donors, and global health professionals in general.Earlier this month, MSF and 88 other groups signed a call to action urging key global health stakeholders to form a consortium to help increase use of the new drugs in DR-TB treatment. In response, the WHO will convene a meeting next month in Geneva to address the issue.Mar 23 MSF news release Mar 23 MSF issue brief Northern Hemisphere flu declining but still elevatedFlu activity in the Northern Hemisphere remained elevated through Mar 8 with H3N2 dominant, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported in its weekly update yesterday, but some countries in Asia, Europe, and North Africa reported high levels of 2009 H1N1.Influenza activity in North America was decreasing but remained above threshold levels, while circulation in Europe appeared to have peaked in many nations, the agency said. Flu activity also decreased in northern Africa and the Middle East, with H1N1 predominant, except in Egypt, where H3N2 co-circulated with influenza B.H3N2 predominated in the temperate countries of eastern Asia, while in western Asia, H1N1 and influenza B dominated. Patterns varied in tropical Asia, with H1N1 predominant in Bhutan and India, H3N2 predominant in Hong Kong, and, and flu B predominant in southern China.Flu activity remained low in tropical nations of the Americas and in the Southern Hemisphere.FluNet reporting showed that about two thirds of recently tested specimens have been influenza A. Of the “A” strains, two thirds were H3N2. Of the influenza B strains, 97% belonged to the Yamagata lineage, which matches the “B” strain in trivalent vaccines.Mar 23 WHO weekly flu update Mar 23 WHO FluNet summarylast_img read more

Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Feb 14, 2020

first_imgUK partners with Nigeria to battle antimicrobial resistanceThe United Kingdom yesterday announced the launch of a partnership with Nigeria, worth £10.7 million, to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by improving public health surveillance, upgrading laboratory equipment, and training technicians.The program will be operated by the Fleming Fund, a UK Aid program that helps low- and middle-income countries battle AMR, the fund said in a news release. The fund is managed by the UK Department of Health and Social Care in partnership with Mott McDonald, the fund’s grant management agent.The Fleming Fund has appointed Development Alternatives Incorporation (DAI) to support Nigeria’s AMR surveillance system, in collaboration with the Nigerian AMR coordination committee and other partners.Project activities in Nigeria to date include investment in 18 laboratories across the country and the appointment of 10 professional fellows who are being trained in data management, microbiology, epidemiology, and biosafety to help fight AMR, according to the release.Feb 13 Fleming Fund press release BD announces contract to help fight AMR in developing countriesIn a related development, the medical technology company BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.) yesterday announced a $6 million contract with the Fleming Fund, the British aid program that helps low- and middle-income countries fight antimicrobial resistance.Under the contract, BD said it will provide diagnostic equipment and informatics systems to help diagnose infections and guide physicians to prescribe and use antibiotics appropriately. The company is based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.More than 70 labs in 19 countries will be provided with equipment to quickly detect bacteria and fungi in clinical specimens and blood and to test antimicrobial susceptibility, along with products for microbiology data management, the company said in its press release.The program is funded by the United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Care.”The Fleming Fund works to support 24 countries in the development of AMR surveillance systems, using the World Health Organization’s ‘One Health’ approach,” the BD release said. “One of the core activities for the Fleming Fund country grant program is to strengthen clinical bacteriology laboratories in order to identify and perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) on priority pathogens.”Feb 13 BD press releaselast_img read more

‘Library Conversations’ Virtual Gatherings Oct.15 – Dec. 17

first_imgLIBRARY News:“Library Conversations” is a continuing series of virtual gatherings for adults offered by the Los Alamos County Library System. The latest series began at 7 p.m. today and runs through Dec. 17, with a break at Thanksgiving. The conversations vary from horror to novel writing to music to poetry.Within the series is a mini-series with adult services librarian Elizabeth Rivera leading discussions of short stories of new Lovecraftian or cosmic horror available freely on the Internet. This evening’s story is The Adventurer’s Wife by Premee Mohamed; Oct. 29, An Ocean of Eyes by Cassandra Khaw; Nov. 12, The Opera Singer by Priya Sridhar; and Dec. 10, The Litany of Earth by Ruthanna Emrys.Other Library Conversations for the winter quarter are Horror Read Alouds Oct. 22, The Craft of Writing Nov. 5 and 19, Winter Music Dec. 3, and Winter Poetry Dec. 17.More information about the programs is available on the library catalog. Information is updated occasionally, so check back to see about programs of interest.All events start at 7 p.m. via Zoom at https://zoom.us/j/99841410756. Questions about Library Conversations and other programs may be emailed to libweb@lacnm.us or call the library 2-6 p.m. weekdays at 505.662.8250.last_img read more