Tag Archives: Research

Virtual Games, Real Connections | Pittwire | Instant News


Pitt Global Relations has lived up to its name by creating connections between Pitt students around the world.

In collaboration with Pitt Global Hub, the group recently had a match night in April connecting domestic and international students in Pitt. To keep COVID-19 safe, the organization provides US students with $ 15 GrubHub credit for dinners while virtually engaging with their peers.

Upcoming Pitt Global Events

Female voices in hip hop, French and German conversation clubs and more: Check out more events to come sponsored by Global Hub.

The evening began casually with the opportunity for the participants to unwind from their busy lives. As time starts to get closer, more faces appear on Zoom’s screen – some already with food, others still patiently waiting for delivery. The initial bonding occurs between bites as everyone discusses what they ate and where they got it. Many Forbes Avenue favorites, such as McDonald’s and Forbes Gyro, emerged, and thanks to the event’s remote nature, people also displayed their food from restaurants in Chicago, New York and elsewhere across the US. Abundant smiles and laughter fill the virtual space as simple questions about favorite foods become lively discussions about the origin of shawarma.

Karen Lue, manager of Pitt Global Hub, said it all went according to plan.

“It’s nice to have a communal element” that dinner provides, he says, because it gives participants a topic to talk about. Recognizing the difficulties this year has in the social life of international students, Lue wanted to plan fun events for students “to interact with people and relax,” especially between students near and far.

The breakout room where participants play games such as riddles and Pictionary deliberately features a mix of international and domestic students. Nicole Huang, a third-year computer science and international student, said she enjoyed playing games in the break room and was happy that “this event gives [her] opportunity to chat with different Pitt students. “He added,” Because of COVID, I haven’t had the opportunity to meet new people. “

As the prime manager of the Global Hub, launched in 2019, Lue has now been in a position much longer than directly. Even after the pandemic, he envisioned hybrid events like this becoming the new norm, especially for internationally oriented organizations like his. Last year’s result was that the hub has demonstrated the ability to accommodate speakers and attendees from around the world without travel and lodging costs.

Lue said she was excited to continue hosting the event, whatever it was, and emphasized that as always, “Anyone can attend.”

This story was written by Justin P. Jones, a student reporter for Pittwire.

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New Zealand is leading the world in eliminating fishing subsidies | Instant News


Two years after it came into effect, New Zealand has opened consultations on future membership of a free trade agreement called the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP is a high-quality free trade agreement that aims to support sustainable and inclusive economic development and is open to others to join as long as they meet the Treaty’s high standards.

The CPTPP is required to operate a science-based fisheries management system and is obliged to prohibit fishing subsidies that negatively impact overfishing stocks and subsidies for vessels fishing illegally.

The CPTPP is a valuable Agreement that has been in effect in New Zealand for two years. This brings together 11 countries whose combined economies make up 13.5 percent of the world’s GDP – for a combined value of US $ 10 trillion.

The first official requests to join the CPTPP have been received from the UK, and there are also indications from other countries that they may be interested in joining, which will require them to comply with all aspects of the existing Agreement.

For the seafood sector, what is interesting is that many countries have registered, knowing the requirements that will be applied to their fisheries.

New Zealand, and other countries with gold standard fisheries management regimes, believe that industrial fishing subsidies encourage overfishing. New Zealand has been at the forefront of global moves to eliminate fishing subsidies, which are estimated to sustain the countries’ fishing fleets with an estimated $ 48 billion annually.

In New Zealand, fisheries subsidies were abolished almost overnight in 1986, two years after communities of farming reeled from deregulation. The impetus was the government’s severe fiscal crisis which also included the devaluation and floatation of the New Zealand dollar.

The pain was tempered by a major change in New Zealand’s fisheries management regime. Rights-based management was introduced together with a transferable quota system (ITQ). A Quota Management System was born and those wishing to leave the industry were compensated through purchase payments.

New Zealand has lobbied the World Trade Organization (WTO) for years, unsuccessfully so far, to have subsidies removed to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

There are several subsidies that are considered beneficial, such as subsidies in the form of research grants, unemployment insurance or fisheries management, but those that help purchase boats or fuel do not.

New Zealand’s seafood sector proudly operates without fisheries subsidies and will continue to lobby globally for equal footing in the pursuit of healthy, sustainable oceans.

/ Public Release. This material comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.

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The British variant spread quickly, sparking debate about the launch of a US vaccination | Instant News


The coronavirus variant that flooded Britain is now the dominant form of the virus circulating in the United States, raising fears that it will lead to a surge in hospitalizations and deaths.

Variant B.1.1.7 represented approximately 44% of all COVID-19 cases over the last two week span estimated by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – four times as much as the next most common variant.

In Pennsylvania, it accounted for 28% of cases sequenced over a four-week span and 32.8% in New Jersey. Many of the newest cases have entered younger people and associated with youth sports.

Because variant B.1.17 has taken root in the US, the country faces a potential fourth wave, even as vaccinations are open to nearly all US adults. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations already started beating upwards and mortality also stopped decreasing.

Still, two new ones research offers some assurance that the variant may not be more severe than previous forms of the coronavirus. The study found B.1.1.7 to be more contagious but did not appear to lead to higher hospitalization and death rates – contrary to previous research.

In January, some English studies suggest that patients infected with variant B.1.1.7 have a higher risk of severe disease and death. At the time, the researchers said more data were needed to confirm their findings.

A new study, published in Lancet Infectious Disease, examined hospitalized samples of COVID-19 patients and found no association between variant B.1.1.7 and severe illness. However, patients infected with B.1.1.7 carried a higher viral load – a sign of increased transmission.

Another new study, published in Lancet Public Health, looking at the relationship between B.1.1.7 and the type and duration of COVID-19 symptoms. Again, the researchers found nothing to suggest that the variant worsened the patient’s symptoms.

With variants spreading rapidly in the US, vaccination is taking a higher priority. But nOr everyone agrees on the best way to do it.

Some experts believe the US should delay doses of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as part of efforts to get the initial dose in more people – as has been done in the UK. That will increase the number of people who have immunity to the virus.

A trio of health experts including Ezekiel J. Emmanuel, deputy director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, advocates following the British approach in an opinion printed by USA Today.

The snippet was printed before federal officials suggested a single-use suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We just need to adopt the sensible evidence-based policy used in the UK: Vaccinate as many people as possible with just one dose, delaying doses of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” they wrote. “After adopting this strategy, the UK has vaccinated 46% of the population and effectively avoided the second wave of B.1.1.7 which was highly contagious.”

They said the US needed to vaccinate about 40 million people to reach the same level as Britain, adding “it is our best hope to extinguish the fourth wave triggered by variant B.1.1.7.”

Recent research has shown that only one dose of the mRNA vaccine 80% effective and offers protection for about 12 weeks. They say this provides a window for more people to get vaccinated with the first dose.

Other experts agree with this approach, including Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and medical writer, said The New York Times. Gawande tweeted, “Getting as much vax as possible is now urgent.”

But several experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, opposes administering vaccines in a way that was not done during clinical trials.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the word last month the US will not follow the UK’s approach to vaccination.

He said the lower level of protection might encourage the development of new variants and foster distrust in vaccines. So far, there has been no evidence that the delay in the second shot led to more variants.

The UK is also under a tight lockdown in response to a spike in B.1.1.7 cases. There has been no talk of such a lockdown in the US.

The study published by The Lancet confirms that the B.1.1.7 variant spreads more easily than the previous form, although they did not consider it more virulent.

In the study The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers analyzed data on 496 people who had been hospitalized in London and tested positive for COVID-19. Genome sequencing showed that 198 patients had infections caused by variant B.1.1.7. Only 341 of the 496 patients whose samples were submitted for genome sequencing.

Overall, there was no significant difference in the rates of severe infection or death between patients with B.1.1.7 and other COVID-19 patients. The analysis showed that 36% of patients with variant B.1.1.7 infection experienced severe illness or death compared to 38% of other COVID-19 patients.

The investigators found patient B.1.1.7 had a higher viral load and tended to be younger and with fewer pre-existing medical conditions. This may represent “The spread and potential for increased transmission of this variant in the community or differences in the likelihood of hospital admission,” they wrote.

Although their findings contradict previous reports that the variant is more lethal, the investigators say the variant’s tendency to infect more younger people could be a “subtle hint” that the variant causes more severe disease “if patients with B.1.1.7 are present. hospitalized more often. “But they didn’t find this in their analysis.

The Lancet Public Health Study is based on data from 36,920 COVID-19 positive people who used the COVID-19 Symptoms Study app between September 28 and December 27. These researchers, from the US and UK, also looked at COVID-19 surveillance data from the UK

They found that when the variant spread to different regions, there was no change in COVID-19 symptoms or duration. They also found no change in admission to hospital. And less than one percent of app users end up reinfected 90 days after their initial infection, indicating that the current vaccine offers adequate protection against the variant.

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The lucky escape exposes Australia’s biosecurity weaknesses | Instant News


Traces of foot and mouth disease and African swine fever found in packages of illegally imported pork have revealed how easily a devastating disease can enter Australia if the biosecurity system is not repaired.

“Fortunately, in this case the infringing product was detected at the border, but all it takes is one package missed to put Australian farmers’ productivity, profitability and ultimately market access at serious risk,” said NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar.

Mr Mahar said there was little doubt that Australian agriculture remained vulnerable to pest or disease attacks as biosecurity systems became increasingly outdated and continued to be underfunded.

“The entry of new pests and diseases has the potential to bring many agricultural industries to their knees, not only harming farmers and society but the economy as a whole.

“Biosecurity is the key to controlling domestic weeds and pests and most importantly, maintaining and expanding our export markets.

“The cost of a single pest or disease outbreak is estimated to be conservatively in excess of $ 50 billion.”

Last year, the Government failed to implement the biosecurity import levies recommended by the Biosecurity Charges Steering Committee. In the run-up to this year’s Federal budget, the NFF is asking the Government to direct $ 400 million over four years toward expanding and modernizing Australia’s much-needed biosecurity system.

“This commitment will ensure sufficient long-term funding for a national biosecurity system, targeting risk-creating activities and communications to give our trading partners confidence in Australia’s pest and disease free status.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the devastating effects that a biosecurity outbreak can have,” Mahar said.

The NFF is also supporting new funding for the development of a long-term trade strategy; climate change research; implementation of the National Agricultural Manpower Strategy and the revival of regional food and fiber manufacturing. See the NFF’s 2021-2022 Federal Budget Submission here.

/ Public Release. This material comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.

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‘Common’ treatment-related harm in New Zealand – the Otago study | Instant News


Older people and those prescribed multiple drugs are most at risk of exposure to treatment-related harm, a new study from the University of Otago shows.

The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, reviewed the electronic records of 9,076 randomly selected patient records from 44 general practices in New Zealand in an attempt to identify and explain all treatment-related hazards.

Dr. Sharon Leitch.

Lead author Dr Sharon Leitch, senior lecturer in the Department of Public Practice and Rural Health, said while the study found the dangers associated with treatment were “common, most are minor and thought to be preventable”, nearly 20 percent of the hazards are preventable and that area needs to be addressed.

In the three years from 2011 to 2013, 7,308 out of 9,076 patients had undergone treatment by a general practitioner. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of these recipes caused damage.

Damage was assessed as minor (such as rash or vomiting), moderate (such as untreated anemia, poor diabetes control), severe (including renal failure, pulmonary embolism or morphine overdose) and death.

Most of the damage was minor (80 percent), but one in five was moderate or severe and in three cases fatal. Eighteen patients were admitted to the hospital.

“This is an area we need to try to address through targeted patient safety initiatives.

“Medicine can be both harmful and healing. This study highlights the importance of taking medication only when needed and reinforces the need for alertness and care even in routine medication use, ”said Dr Leitch.

Patients most at risk for treatment-related harm are older, and those who have multiple consultations and multiple prescriptions. Patients between the ages of 60 and 74 were twice as likely to have been injured, while those over 75 were three times as likely.

“Identifying these patients can help inform joint decision-making when prescribing and targeting risk monitoring. Patients should discuss any concerns about their medication and health with their healthcare provider. Sometimes it is useful to include whanau in the discussion. “

This is the first time such research has been conducted.

“We did this research to find out what is happening in general New Zealand practice, to determine the risks posed by treatment in the real world.

“Treatment safety is a health care priority – we want to help patients, not hurt them. “General practice has been considered a safe place for patients, without much research in this area,” said Dr Leitch.

Read the full journal article published in the British Journal of General Practice

/ Public Release. This material comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.

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