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Convalescent plasma: What you need to know

first_imgThe United States has issued an emergency authorization to use blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as a treatment against the disease.Is it safe and effective? Has President Donald Trump’s administration put political considerations ahead of the science? Here’s what you need to know. Is it safe and effective? The research into these questions is ongoing, but some early signs have been encouraging.In June, the Mayo Clinic analyzed the safety of plasma following transfusion in a group of 20,000 COVID-19 patients, finding extremely low rates of side-effects such as heart failure, lung injury, allergic reaction and death.”We concluded that the use of convalescent plasma was safe,” Dr Scott Wright, who led the study that was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, told AFP.Importantly, there was no sign of an effect called “antibody-dependent enhancement,” when antibodies that aren’t well suited to stopping a virus actually lead to more cells becoming infected.On the question of how well it works, all experts agree on the need for more clinical trials to compare plasma against standard care.Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of the World Health Organization, said a few smaller trials have reported their findings but “the results, in some cases, point to some benefit, but have not been conclusive.”Another study by Mayo Clinic — which was not a clinical trial and hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed — suggested plasma helped reduce death rates among hospitalized patients when given early and when the antibody levels were high. But there was no placebo, making it hard to read too much into the findings.It enrolled 35,000 patients and showed that those who received transfusions within three days of their COVID-19 diagnosis had an 8.7 percent death rate in the next week. Those who received plasma after four or more days had an 11.9 percent death rate.Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are meanwhile running a trial in which they are using plasma to immunize patients before they have a chance to get sick. Dr David Sullivan, who is leading this trial, compared it to an “immediate vaccine.”If it works, “we can tell people that if you’re high risk… you can get this early, and you don’t have to worry about going to the hospital,” he told AFP.Some scientists believe that while plasma might be useful right now, in the long-run it might be more advantageous to identify the best antibodies to COVID-19 then synthesize them in labs.These are known as “monoclonal antibodies” and they are being developed by biotech firms including Regeneron and Lilly.The advantages are that doctors know precisely what they are getting and can dose accordingly, and the drugs can be mass-produced.On the other hand, since the virus is continually mutating, antibodies that were produced in a lab to fight an older version might not be as effective as recently-harvested plasma. What is convalescent plasma? When a person has COVID-19, their body produces antibodies that fight the coronavirus. These proteins float in plasma, the liquid component of blood.The antibodies can be harvested from patients who have recovered and injected into the blood of others to help them fight the same infection. The idea isn’t new — so-called “passive immunization” — was first tried out against diphtheria in 1892 and later against the 1918 flu pandemic. Topics : Was the authorization politicized? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously issued emergency authorizations for antiviral remdesivir, after it was shown to have moderate efficacy against the coronavirus, and for the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which was subsequently reversed following safety concerns.Political commentators have questioned the timing of the FDA’s latest move as Trump lags in polls before the November election.Indeed, in making the announcement, both Trump and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn misrepresented a key statistic when they said that plasma reduced mortality rates by 35 percent.FDA spokeswoman Emily Miller later clarified on Twitter that the figure referred to the relative reduction in mortality risk for people who received high-levels of antibodies in the Mayo Clinic study compared to those who received low-levels.”It does undermine the credibility of the entire United States government and the administration but specifically these institutions,” said Dr Matthew Heinz, a physician in Arizona who served in former president Barack Obama’s health department.But Dr Daniel Hanley, who directs Johns Hopkins’ multisite clinical trials, said that early results had met the threshold for emergency approval. “One thing to emphasize is this information is coming in faster than it has in any other pandemic,” he told AFP.last_img read more

Where would you put your money when a NSW carpark costs the same as a QLD unit?

first_imgGlynis Auction Properties head Glynis Austin said there was “amazing affordability in Brisbane”.One of her listings was a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment at 54/8 Dunmore Terrace in inner city Auchenflower which was listed for around $500,000.“Easy proximity to the CBD, the perfect lifestyle choice,” she said — plus it comes with a car space and has a balcony with views to Brisbane River. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK It is a tandem spot meaning it can’t really be split between two buyers, but the site is in Sydney’s high demand financial precinct. (Source: Findacarpark). This car space in Sydney is on the market for $475,000. (Source: Findacarpark). But while renters were willing to pay more for a car space in NSW (averaging $80,300 versus $49,852 in Queensland), the Sunshine State was clearly a much better investment option, according to data from the firm.NSW car spaces average $424 a month while the QLD spaces were not just significantly cheaper but also drew much more rent averaging $528 a month.“If you had to invest in a carpark and you had to choose what’s the best return, NSW or QLD, the reality is the best return on investment for carparks comes from Brisbane.”Mr Armstrong said the higher rents came because the Brisbane City Council had not allocated enough parking in planning stages with the supply of on-street carparks very limited.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago The outdoor deck at 54/8 Dunmore Terrace, Auchenflower, looks bigger than most car spaces, tandem or otherwise. As well, he said, there were not many carparks available for purchase with their own titles in Brisbane.“So whatever carparks out there are getting snapped up, albeit much cheaper than Sydney but demand is much higher. The yield in NSW is 6 per cent, which is high as an asset class, but in QLD you are getting around 13 per cent.”.The carpark in Sydney listed for $475,000 was in the city’s financial district near Wynyard station with 24/7 access. The space was actually a tandem one so it could fit two cars “close to the Australian Stock Exchange and Australia Square”. The two bedroom apartment at 54/8 Dunmore Terrace, Auchenflower in Brisbane is on the market for offers around $500,000. “Very rarely do owners sell a car spot by itself in this building and very rarely are car spots by themselves (that is, not attached to an apartment) available to be purchased on separate title,” was how it was listed.In contrast, a Brisbane car park was listed for $45,000 in the Watkins Medical Centre in Spring Hill with easy access to nearby hospitals and the CBD.“Access to the upper level space is restricted by a remote operated boom gate, so you’ll never need to worry about someone taking your space.” Francis Armstrong, founder of, said average Brisbane car space yields were beating Sydney hands down. Picture: Andrew HenshawSAY what you will about Origin but NSW supporters are deserting their state in droves for QLD; unsurprising given a Sydney carpark costs the same as a two-bed Brisbane unit.An inner Sydney carpark was listed for $475,000 — and the price can only go up according to experts given severe supply shortages in the city. The price was a whopping 10 times more than the cost of buying a city carpark in Brisbane and about the same price as several two bedroom units currently on the market in inner Brisbane. Craig Bellamy’s mega-profit home sale First racecourse residents move in Gold mine found in backyard Between those two white lines is a car space worth $45,000 in Brisbane. (Source: Findacarpark) Francis Armstrong, founder of website Findacarpark which lists car spaces for sale and rent, told The Courier-Mail that limited on-street parking in both Sydney and Brisbane had forced prices up.“Is it worth it? Yes, because in Sydney they charge $70 a day for carparks … All the car parks that have been sold for just ridiculous amounts have been leased out within 48 hours,” he said.last_img read more

Pieridae Energy closes acquisition of Shell’s Alberta assets

first_imgWaterton sour gas processing plant; Image courtesy of ShellCanadian LNG project developer Pieridae Energy has closed its acquisition of all of Shell’s midstream and upstream assets in the southern Alberta Foothills for CAN $190 million ($144.6M).The acquisition is in accordance with the terms of the amended and restated purchase and sale agreement from October 7, 2019. The initial sale agreement was signed in late June.Further to the $10 million deposit paid at signing the agreement, Pieridae paid CAN $165 million on closing to Shell.Pieridae satisfied the balance of the purchase price of CAN $15 million by the issuance of 15.2 million common shares to Shell.Pieridae’s CEO Alfred Sorensen said: “We are very pleased to close this transformational acquisition as it secures the majority of the natural gas needed, once developed, to supply the first train at our Goldboro LNG facility for at least twenty years.“We will now complete our negotiations with KBR for a fixed price contract to construct the Goldboro LNG facility so that we can then proceed to complete the project financing and final equity raise and make a final investment decision.”In the first six months of 2019, the bought assets produced approximately 28,634 boe/d consisting of approximately 119 mmcf/d of natural gas, 5,656 bbl/d of natural gas liquids and 3,163 bbl/d of condensate and light oil.Pieridae also acquired three deep cut, sour gas processing plants – Jumping Pound, Caroline, and Waterton – with a combined capacity of approximately 750 mmcf/d, a 14 percent working interest in the Shantz sulfur forming plant, and approximately 1,700 kilometers of pipelines.Explaining its rationale for the acquisition, Pieridae said that the assets align well with its existing Central Alberta properties, providing further consolidation of the productive Alberta and British Columbia conventional Foothills natural gas pools.last_img read more

Mother arranged sex work for teenage daughter

first_imgStuff 25 May 2020Family First Comment: Oh how kind…“The woman would stand outside the bedroom or toilet block, to ensure her daughter’s safety,”When you legalise, you normalise, and all of society is harmed.A woman who helped her teenage daughter get paid for sex used the payments for groceries and school supplies.The Marlborough woman, who cannot be named, helped her daughter, who was aged under 18, get paid for sex on four occasions between January 1 and March 3.She did this by messaging her contacts to arrange appointments for her daughter to meet with clients, a police summary of facts said.On two occasions the clients visited the woman’s home, which she shared with her daughter and other children, and on two other occasions she met them at the public toilets in Brayshaw Park, in Blenheim.The woman would stand outside the bedroom or toilet block, to ensure her daughter’s safety, the summary said.After the daughter had been paid, she would give the money to her mother, who would use it for things such as groceries, school supplies and weekend entertainment for her children.READ MORE: read more


first_imgFood & DiningLifestyle Tiramisu. by: – June 16, 2011 Directions:If ladyfingers are soft, toast them in a 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir water, 3 tablespoons brandy and coffee granules in a small bowl until the granules are dissolved. Brush over the flat side of the ladyfingers.Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine reconstituted egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heatproof mixing bowl that will fit over the saucepan.Set the bowl over the simmering water and beat with an electric mixer at low speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue beating over the heat for about 3 minutes more. (The mixture should form a ribbon trail.) Remove the bowl from the heat and beat until cool and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.Beat mascarpone and cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy. Add about 1 cup of the beaten whites and the remaining 1 tablespoon brandy; beat until smooth, scraping down the sides. Fold in the remaining whites.Line the bottom and sides of a 3-quart trifle bowl or soufflé dish with ladyfingers, flat sides toward the center. Spoon in one-fourth of the filling and top with a layer of ladyfingers. Repeat with two more layers of filling and ladyfingers, arranging the fourth layer of ladyfingers decoratively over the top, trimming to fit if necessary. Top with the remaining filling. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.Before serving, sprinkle the tiramisù with chocolate shavings and dust with confectioners’ sugar.Ingredient Note: Dried egg whites are pasteurized—a wise choice when making meringue toppings that may not reach 160°F (the temperature at which eggs are considered “safe”). You’ll find them in the baking or natural-foods section of most supermarkets. Reconstitute according to package directions. Tip: To make chocolate shavings: Place a block of chocolate (2 ounces or larger) on wax paper and microwave on Defrost until slightly softened but not melted, 15 to 30 seconds. Use a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler to shave off curls. If the chocolate gets too hard to shave easily, warm it again.Recipe source: eatingwell Share Tweet 36 Views   no discussions Tiramisu.Here’s how we make our luscious Tiramisù with about a third of the fat and half the calories of most versions: we layer coffee-and-brandy-soaked ladyfingers with an ultra-light egg-white custard combined with rich mascarpone cheese and lower-fat Neufchâtel cheese.This healthier version of the triflelike dessert would pass muster in any Italian café.Recipe Nutrition:Per serving: 213 calories; 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g mono unsaturated fat); 29 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 0 g fiber; 70 mg sodium; 55 mg potassium.Ingredients:8 ounces ladyfingers (60 ladyfingers)1 cup water4 tablespoons brandy, divided1 tablespoon instant coffee (preferably espresso) granules2 tablespoons dried egg whites (see Ingredient Note), reconstituted according to package directions3/4 cup sugar1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar4 ounces mascarpone cheese (1/2 cup)4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened1 cup chocolate shavings (see Tip)Confectioners’ sugar for dusting Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Police Blotter 11-8-19

first_imgBatesville Incident Report (14)Decatur County EMS Report (10)Decatur County Fire Report (10)Decatur County Incident Report (16)Decatur County Jail Arrest Report (14)last_img

Tuition to increase by 3.5 percent next year

first_imgNaylee Nagda | Daily TrojanUndergraduate tuition at USC will increase from $53,448 to $55,320 for the 2018-19 school year, University officials confirmed in a statement emailed to the Daily Trojan. Tuition will increase by $1,872, or 3.5 percent. In 2017, the University increased tuition from $51,422 to $53,448, a 3.93 percent or $2,006 increase. This year’s tuition hike is the lowest increase since the 1969-70 school year,  according to a statement emailed from the University to the Daily Trojan. “USC’s financial aid pool continues to be the largest in the country, with annual percentage increases that are larger than tuition increases,” the University wrote. “With two-thirds of USC students receiving financial aid, this substantial pool of aid helps drive down the average net cost of attendance to $32,892.”Provost Michael Quick said tuition costs go to providing students with valuable educations.“Our students receive access to superior faculty, classes and programs, internships and career services, and they are more than ready to graduate to become the leaders in their chosen fields,” Quick said in a statement to the Daily Trojan.However, some student leaders want to see more transparency regarding how their money is spent.“I think the common sentiment felt among students is that people aren’t happy because we don’t know where that money is being spent,” Undergraduate Student Government president-elect Debbie Lee said. Lee said that while it is unrealistic to get the University to freeze tuition costs, they are working to increase transparency by encouraging the University to publish a line-item budget of where tuition is distributed. “We want students to know that we are working with the administration for tuition transparency so they know where their money is going,” USG vice president-elect Blake Ackerman said. USC had the ninth most expensive tuition rate in the country for the 2017-18 school year according to the U.S. News and World Report, ranking among other universities and elite liberal arts colleges.last_img read more

Dr. Iglesias’ guide to breast cancer awareness

first_imgDr. Arthur Iglesias, Radiation Oncologist at North Shore Medical Center Dr. Iglesias’ guide to breast cancer awarenessby Tanya RagbeerAs part of its Breast Cancer Awareness Month features, Caribbean National Weekly had a conversation with Dr. Arthur Iglesias, a Miami-born, Cuban-American Radiation Oncologist at North Shore Medical Center. He spoke candidly about the disease and cancer screening.“I think it all starts with educating the community,” said Dr. Iglesias. “I think everyone holds a certain stereotype of the doctor, they’re scared of being examined and we don’t realize it, but what happens is that patients are placed in a very vulnerable situation because you meet this individual for the first time and you are divulging your life history to that person and after that, you have to remove all of your clothes to let this person examine you.”Iglesias believes that younger people are more open and self-aware, but understands that when dealing with an older generation who are more private, it becomes difficult.Fear of Potential Diagnosis“You find something suspicious in your body and the first thing that we say, and me included, it has happened in my life, I’m talking from personal experience. The thought is, ‘I’m too young and it can’t happen to me’, or ‘yeah it looks like it, but I’m sure it will go away’.”As humans, our first response to something that we find, that we are not happy with, is denial. Iglesias thinks the onus is on the medical community to open up and to educate.“If you find something suspicious, we are here to help you to find out if what you have is indeed something, and if it is, by detecting it early it will help your treatment and will avoid problems later on, or make something that could be potentially endangering to your life less fatal.”Early detection is very importantBe AwareLocate the problemContact your physicianGet treatment earlyCaribbean people“My father got diagnosed five years ago with cancer. His first response was, ‘I have something abnormal but I’m not going to do anything about it’. Many older Caribbean men respond this way to inconsistencies in the body,” Iglesias reasoned.“The younger population also has the idea that, ‘I’m too young for this, nothing’s going to happen’.”Iglesias wants to break the barrier by educating the community, teaching people about early detection and prevention.Breast cancer awareness“My advice is getting you to know your body, being aware of what abnormalities are presented. Self-breast exams are beneficial because if you feel anything abnormal, you can detect it early and subsequently be evaluated by a physician that can also confirm the abnormality and do further workup and management.”The American Cancer Society recommends regular screening besides regular examinations, following up with your physician on a regular basis.  Cancer screening typically starts around the age bracket of 40-44 for women. That does not take away the fact that younger women should also be aware of what is going on. Mammography typically starts at age 40, but for younger women, he recommends:Close monitoring with a physicianSelf-examLook at your breast in the mirror to see if there are any skin abnormalitiesExamining your breastsThe American Cancer Society has some guides on how to do a proper breast exam, so you can have an early diagnosis.Cancer RiskBreast cancer awareness is key. The other thing to be aware of is cancer risk.Does my Mom have it?Did my Grandmother have it?These factors may put you at a higher risk, so it becomes important, and there are ways of talking to your physician in order to get the proper guide for health management.RecommendationsFor women, an average breast cancer risk (women who do not have a previous history), the American Cancer Society recommends screening starts:Age 40-44, and it’s typically done yearly45-54 should get it every year55 and older should get it every other year“Now, if there is an abnormality on an exam, it becomes more important,” Iglesias warned.If something abnormal is felt on the breast or the axilla (the area on the body directly under the joint where arm connects to shoulder), it should get evaluated immediately so that the doctor can get the appropriate tests.Dr. Arthur Iglesias will be giving a free lecture on Breast Cancer Awareness, on October 26 at North Shore Hospital on Cancer Screening and Management Options.last_img read more

Italian Serie A Wrap (Monday): Bologna Fightback Against Hellas To Take Points

first_imgRelatedItalian Serie A: Juve Strengthen Title Bid With Bologna Win As Milan Continue Indifferent FormDecember 18, 2017In “Europe”Serie A Review: Napoli Wrestle Top Spot From Juventus With Bologna Win As Milan Edge Lazio In Big ClashJanuary 29, 2018In “Europe”Serie A Review (Monday): Genoa Heap Further Relegation Misery On Hellas VeronaApril 24, 2018In “Europe” Bologna have moved into the top 10 in the Italian Serie A after they produced a fightback to edge Hellas Verona in a five-goal thriller played at the Stadio Bentegodi.Former Torino and AC Milan forward Alessio Cerci gave Hellas a 12th minute lead before they were pegged back nine minutes later courtesy Mattia Destro’s strike. Uruguay international defender Martin Caceres scored for the home side to take the lead again but a stunning second half fightback from Bologna plunged Hellas into further trouble in their bid to avoid relegation.With Hellas leading 2-1 from the first half, Nigerian substitute Orji Okonkwo and Godfed Donsah of Ghana scored in two second half minutes to help Bologna take the maximum points at stake with a 3-2 win.The comeback victory was enough to push Bologna into 10th position with 17 points while Hellas Verona remain in the bottom three (19th spot) with 6 points to show from the first 13 games of the season.last_img read more

Alex Smith injury update: Redskins planning for QB to miss entire 2019 season, report says

first_imgSmith suffered a horrific injury when he was sacked in Washington’s Nov. 18 game against the Texans. He immediately underwent surgery to repair his broken tibia and fibula, then had complications from an infection. He was hospitalized for several weeks.While some analysts raised the prospect the 34-year-old quarterback had suffered a career-ending injury, the Redskins have remained optimistic he would play again, even if not in 2019. Now, it seems they are looking beyond next season for his potential return. Related News Last Monday, Smith attended a Wizards home game sporting a massive leg brace, his first public appearance since his injury.Alex Smith spotted at the Wizards game, his first public appearance since leg surgery 👀#Wizards #Redskins— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 21, 2019 Eagles reportedly give Nick Foles $1M bonus despite his missing incentive goalcenter_img The Redskins are preparing to play the 2019 season without quarterback Alex Smith, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday.Rapoport noted sources told him the Redskins “believe he’ll miss the entire season with his broken leg issues and are acting accordingly. If he’s ready, they will be pleasantly surprised.”last_img read more