The oceans tallest waves are getting taller

first_imgWaves in the stormy Southern Ocean have grown an average of 30 centimeters since 1985. Email The ocean’s tallest waves are getting taller Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The frigid Southern Ocean is well known for its brutal storms, which can sink ships and trigger coastal flooding on distant tropical islands. Now, a new study suggests the biggest waves there—already the world’s largest—are getting bigger, thanks to faster winds attributed to climate change.Peter Ruggiero, a geophysicist at Oregon State University in Corvallis who was not involved in the study, calls the increase “substantial,” and says he is particularly concerned by evidence that the tallest waves are gaining height at the fastest rate. “If [those waves hit] at high tide, it could be potentially catastrophic.”For the past 33 years, global satellites have been collecting data on ocean waves—and the winds that drive them. By bouncing energy pulses off wave crests and measuring the time those pulses take to come back, instruments called altimeters aboard satellites can measure wave height—the taller the waves, the faster the signal returns. Other satellite instruments monitor changes in the reflectivity of the ocean surface, which is reduced by wind-generated ripples, to estimate the speed of ocean winds. But interpreting the data is difficult: Different satellites can give different estimates of wind speed, for instance. By Colin BarrasApr. 25, 2019 , 2:05 PMcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe iStock.com/Bobbushphoto To minimize those discrepancies, physical oceanographer Ian Young at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and mathematician Agustinus Ribal at Hasanuddin University in Makassar, Indonesia, compared information from different satellites and calibrated their data against an independent data set collected by a global network of buoys floating in the ocean. When they were done, two trends stood out: Since 1985, average ocean wind speeds in most of the world have increased between 1 centimeter and 2 centimeters per second per year, leading to increases in wave height in many places.In the Southern Ocean, the trends are particularly strong. For instance, although average wind speeds there have increased by 2 centimeters per second each year, the speed of the top 10% fastest winds has increased by 5 centimeters per second per year. And although average wave heights there have increased by just 0.3 centimeters per year, the top 10% highest has grown by an average of 1 centimeter per year—a growth of 30 centimeters since 1985, they report today in Science.The trends could be bad news for coastal communities, which face serious risks from sea level rise and extreme storm events, Young says. If oceanic winds are stronger and waves are taller, storms could be far more damaging.Young and Ribal have done a good job of cross-checking and double-checking data from the three different types of satellite instrument, says Ole Johan Aarnes at the University of Bergen in Norway. But, he adds, it might be “optimistic” to think that the data now contain no errors. Confirming the trends will likely require more work, he believes.The new paper doesn’t say definitively why wave height and wind speed is changing, although Young suspects a link with climate change. Ruggiero thinks that makes sense: He points out that a recent study in Nature Communications suggests higher global temperatures related to climate change are driving an expansion of the tropics—and an increase in wind speed there. “These are the secondary effects of climate change, not the obvious ones like sea level rise,” Young says. “This is where a lot of the research emphasis is now being placed.”last_img read more

Nepal floods death toll touches 28 16 still missing

first_imgBy PTI |Kathmandu | Published: July 13, 2019 3:21:53 pm Text message alerts prove life saver in flood-hit Nepal At least 10 persons sustained injuries and 16 others went missing in various landslide and flood incidents in the country since Friday, while a total of 50 persons were rescued, the bulletin said.Mainly provinces 1 and 2 have been affected due to the landslides and the heavy downpour. Deaths were reported from various districts, including Lalitpur, Kavre, Kotang, Bhojpur, Makanpur among others.Meanwhile, human resources and equipment from police offices have been mobilised in the areas affected by the rain-triggered disasters.“The works related to rescue operation have been intensified,” a senior Home Ministry official said.It is estimated that around 6,000 people have been badly affected by floodwaters that inundated their houses. People are obliged to stay in community buildings to save their life, My Republica reported. Related News UN provided support to over 31,000 Nepal families hit by floods Advertising nepal floods, Kathmandu floods, floods in nepal, nepal floods toll, nepal rains, nepal news, Members of Armed Police Force on a boat head to rescue residents at a flooded colony in Kathmandu, Nepal July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Navesh ChitrakarThe death toll from the Nepal floods caused by the monsoon rains on Saturday reached 28 with over 16 persons still missing, officials said. Advertising Heavy monsoon rains for the past few days have left many settlements at high risk of floods and landslides in several places in Nepal. Transportation has also been disrupted in all major highways.Rain-fed rivers have also started to erode embankments putting nearby settlements at high risk of flooding.“The rain-triggered disasters have caused havoc across the country killing at least 28 persons,” the Nepal Police said in its news bulletin. Nepal floods: Death toll touches 78; over 17,500 displaced Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Top American hospitals make it unduly confusing for patients to access medical

first_img Source:https://www.yale.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 5 2018Many top hospitals in the United States are making it unduly confusing or expensive for patients to gain access to their own medical records, say researchers at Yale. Their study appeared on Oct. 5 in JAMA Network Open.Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, federal law has guaranteed patients access to their protected health information in a timely manner, in a patient’s preferred format, and at a reasonably low processing fee. In order to assess adherence to these guidelines, a team of researchers at Yale conducted scripted interviews with the medical records departments of 83 top-ranked U.S. hospitals across 29 states.Related StoriesMedi-Cal enrollment among immigrant kids stalls, then falls. Is fear to blame?Even when HIV prevention drug is covered, other costs block treatmentUniversal health care for New Yorkers? Not exactly”There were overwhelming inconsistencies in information relayed to patients regarding the personal health information they are allowed to request, as well as the formats and costs of release, both within institutions and across institutions,” said Carolyn Lye, first author on the study and a student at the Yale School of Medicine. “We also found considerable noncompliance with state and federal regulations and recommendations with respect to the costs and processing times associated with providing access to medical records.”On their record request forms, only 53% of the hospitals indicated an option for patients to acquire their full medical record; however, when asked over the telephone, all 83 hospitals stated that they were able to release entire medical records to patients. Also, as Lye indicated, the team found discrepancies between the information hospitals provided over the phone versus on their request forms about the possible formats (i.e. electronic, paper, in person) in which patients could request their records to be released, thus violating the federal regulation that hospitals must provide the medical record in whatever format a patient prefers. Finally, the researchers found that 58% of the hospitals had costs for releasing the records that were above the federal recommendation of $6.50 for medical records housed electronically, with one hospital charging as much as $541.50 for a 200-page record.”Stricter enforcement of the patients’ right of access under HIPAA is necessary to ensure that the medical records request process across hospitals is easy to navigate, timely, and affordable,” said Lye. “We are also in an era in which patients are participants in their own health care. Inhibiting access for patients to their own medical records with complicated, lengthy, and costly request processes prevents patients from obtaining information that they may need to better understand their medical conditions and communicate with their physicians.”last_img read more

Complexity of work environment limits nurses from achieving a healthy lifestyle

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 8 2018Changing multiple behaviors is difficult in high stress occupations with demanding schedules such as nursing, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and BehaviorResearch among nurses reports fewer than 10 percent meet physical activity guidelines and eat a healthy diet. The American Nurses Association underscored this issue by declaring 2017 as the Year of the Healthy Nurse. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that despite providing pedometers, a smartphone app, and access to a Facebook group, study participants were unable to change their diet and physical activity levels at the same time.”The complexity of nurses’ working environment limits the number of workplace programs to help them achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said lead author Luciana Torquati, PhD, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. “This study’s aim was to evaluate and understand key factors to overcome the barriers to creating programs to help them change unhealthy behaviors.”This study recruited 47 nurses working directly in emergency rooms, intensive care units, or inpatient facilities at two metropolitan hospitals in Australia. The majority were female and working full time, and more than half were working at least one overnight shift. An initial assessment of participants included body measurements and questionnaires about self-rated health, interest in adopting healthier behaviors, and available social support. Participants were requested to wear an accelerometer for seven consecutive days. The nurses were asked to set realistic health goals, focusing on small and sustainable changes to their diet and physical activity levels.Related StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useTo support their goals during the three-month intervention, a variety of tools were provided including a pedometer, smartphone app, and Facebook group. At the end of three months participants completed questionnaires, measurements were taken, and they were again asked to wear an accelerometer to track duration and intensity of physical activity. Similar data were gathered after six months to determine if any progress had been sustained.After the intervention, fruit and vegetable intake significantly increased, while physical activity slightly decreased. The feedback indicated it was easier to change diet than to become more physically active. The tools to facilitate change were only partially used by the nurses participating with very few posts made to the Facebook group or shared in the app. This resulted in social support among participants being lower than expected with minimal encouragement among colleagues.Some of the reasons given for not participating included lack of time, the material provided was not appealing, or they preferred an alternate weight loss program. Other feedback included having meal plans available and adding individual consultations to monitor progress. Nurses did feel that participation in the study increased their awareness of their eating habits and lack of physical activity.”There was a discrepancy between what nurses said they wanted during the study and what they were prepared to do,” said Dr. Torquati. “Future studies should take into consideration a person’s primary motivation plus readiness to change when creating strategies.” Source:https://www.elsevier.com/last_img read more

Simple inexpensive test quickly detects antibioticresistant superbugs

first_img Source:http://news.berkeley.edu/2018/10/15/new-test-rapidly-identifies-antibiotic-resistant-superbugs/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 16 2018When you get sick, you want the right treatment fast. But certain infectious microbes are experts at evading the very anti-bacterial drugs designed to fight them.A simple and inexpensive new test developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, can diagnose patients with antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in a matter of minutes. The technique could help doctors prescribe the right class of antibiotics for each infection, and could help limit the spread of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that kill as many as 700,000 people worldwide each year.”Health organizations around the world are supporting the development of tools that specifically identify pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics because there are limited tests available that can do it quickly,” said Tara deBoer, a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. “Our test is simple and gives us information on a short timescale.”The test, dubbed DETECT, spots the molecular signatures of antibiotic-resistant bacteria directly in urine samples. Unlike other techniques that are currently on the market, DETECT does not require expensive instrumentation and is simple enough to be applied in a point-of-care setting.”In theory, DETECT will allow you to diagnose antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in a doctor’s office just by collecting urine and mixing it with the DETECT reagents,” said Niren Murthy, a professor of engineering at Berkeley.”Drug-resistant infections are a silent pandemic that actually kill more people every year than Zika or Ebola,” said Lee Riley, professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. “The faster you can start the right drug, the better the chances of survival or avoiding complications.”The study, which was conducted as part of the Consortium for Research on Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria (CRARB) that includes Berkeley researchers in the College of Engineering and the School of Public Health, appears on the Oct. 18 cover of the journal ChemBioChem.Chopping up antibiotics Many common early-generation antibiotics, including penicillin, amoxicillin and ampicillin, are based around a molecular structure called beta-lactam that blocks bacteria from building cell walls, making it impossible for microbes to grow and reproduce.However, as use of these antibiotics has soared over the past 80 years, certain infectious bacteria including strains of E. coli, Salmonella and Shigella, have evolved to produce enzymes that chop up these antibiotics, called beta-lactamases, and rendering them useless.Related StoriesCannabis ingredient shows promise as potential antibiotic for superbugsMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribingAntibiotic susceptibility pattern of Enterobacteriaceae found in GhanaDETECT works by identifying the presence of beta-lactamases in urine samples. “What our technology does is detect the molecules that are actually breaking down the antibiotics,” deBoer said.While the basic technique for detecting beta-lactamases has already been developed, it is not sensitive enough to spot the relatively small concentrations of beta-lactamases in patient samples. For this technique to work, bacteria from a patient sample must first be cultured in a lab, which can take two to three days — long enough for a simple bacterial infection like a urinary tract infection to invade the kidneys or the blood.The DETECT technique uses an enzymatic chain reaction to boost the signal from beta-lactamases by a factor of 40,000, high enough to allow detection of the presence of these enzymes in urine samples. With DETECT, a patient who tests positive for an infection that is resistant to early-generation antibiotics can immediately be treated with a more powerful antibiotic or alternative agent.The team tested DETECT on 40 urine samples collected from patients suspected of having a urinary tract infection, and found that approximately one-quarter of them had antibiotic-resistant infections.”DETECT tells you not only who has antibiotic-resistant infections but also tells you who could be treated by early-generation antibiotics, allowing you to spare higher-end antibiotics and slow the spread of drug resistance,” Murthy said.From the lab to the doctor’s officeDeBoer is now collaborating with doctors and clinical lab specialists in hospitals to design easy-to-use DETECT-based devices catering to specific medical settings.”Everybody has different needs in the hospital,” deBoer said. “Right now we have a lot of designs, but what we are doing is allowing the intended use to define what the design is going to look like.”For example, diagnostic tools that work well in an out-patient clinic may not be as convenient for doctors working in an emergency department, deBoer said.With the help of UC Berkeley’s start-up incubator CITRIS Foundry, deBoer has co-founded a company, BioAmp Diagnostics, which is working to commercialize the technology into a rapid diagnostic device.The team is continuing to perfect its enzyme signal-amplification technique in hopes of soon being able to apply it to detect specific strains of bacteria as well as bacteria in the blood.”I think we are on the verge of having this applicable in a hospital setting,” Riley said.last_img read more

New artificial intelligencebased method predicts treatment effectiveness

first_img Source:http://www.uef.fi/-/tekoaly-ennustaa-hoidon-tehoa Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 16 2018How can a doctor predict the treatment outcome of an individual patient? Traditionally, the effectiveness of medical treatments is studied by randomized trials where patients are randomly divided into two groups: one of the groups is given treatment, and the other a placebo. Is this really the only reliable way to evaluate treatment effectiveness, or could something be done differently? How can the effectiveness of a treatment method be evaluated in practice? Could some patients benefit from a treatment that does not cause a response in others?Related StoriesMachine learning can be a modern approach in cognitive brain health assessmentUsing artificial intelligence to identify socially isolated prostate cancer patientsArtificial intelligence technique identifies new class of mutations behind autismA new method developed by Finnish researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital and Aalto University now provides answers to these questions. Using modelling, the method makes it possible to compare different treatment alternatives and to identify patients who will benefit from treatment. Relying on artificial intelligence, the method is based on causal Bayesian networks.According to Professor Emeritus Olli-Pekka Ryynänen from the University of Eastern Finland, the method opens up new and significant avenues for the development of medical research. “We can now predict the treatment outcome in individual patients and to evaluate existing and new treatment methods. With this method, it is also possible to replace some randomized trials with modelling,” Professor Emeritus Ryynänen says.In the newly published study, the researchers used the method to evaluate treatment effectiveness in obstructive sleep apnea; however, the method can also be applied to other treatments. The study showed that in patients with sleep apnoea, the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment reduced mortality and the occurrence of myocardial infarctions and cerebrovascular insults by five percent in the long term. For patients with heart conditions, CPAP was less beneficial.last_img read more

Young black gay men are more likely to have HIV infection than

first_img Black MSM reported the lowest number of sexual partners overall. Black MSM tested for HIV more frequently but were more likely to have a detectable HIV viral load if HIV positive. Black MSM were more likely to report not having close relationships with their sexual partners. Black MSM were more likely to report hazardous marijuana use, while white MSM were more likely to report high levels of alcohol problems. Black MSM experienced greater levels of stigma, victimization, trauma and childhood sexual abuse. The study’s findings suggest current HIV prevention efforts are effective in reducing risky sexual behaviors and promoting awareness about the importance of HIV testing among black MSM.”Overall, young black MSM do not report higher rates of HIV risk behaviors like condomless sex,” said Ethan Morgan, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern’s Institute of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing and a co-author on the study. “But aspects of their social networks align with increased HIV risk. By learning more about young black MSM’s social networks, we can better understand what drives such persistent racial disparities in HIV — and close that gap.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 5 2018Young black men who have sex with men (MSM) are 16 times more likely to have an HIV infection than their white peers despite more frequent testing for HIV and being less likely to have unsafe sex, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.The study was recently published in the Journal of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes.If these rates persist, one out of every two black MSM will become infected with HIV at some point in their lives, compared to one in five Hispanic MSM and one in 11 white MSM, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”We have known from prior studies that this paradox exists — black young MSM engage in fewer risk behaviors but have a much higher rate of HIV diagnosis,” said senior study author Brian Mustanski, professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. “Our study illuminates how HIV disparities emerge from complex social and sexual networks and inequalities in access to medical care for those who are HIV positive.””Their social and sexual networks are more dense and interconnected, which from an infectious disease standpoint makes infections transmitted more efficiently through the group,” Mustanski said. “That, coupled with the higher HIV prevalence in the population, means any sexual act has a higher chance of HIV transmission.”The study is the largest and most comprehensive to assess why these disparities exist. It analyzed young black MSM’s social networks, such as past sexual partners, as well as measures of stress, past trauma and stigma. The authors used data from RADAR, a project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that identifies drivers of HIV infections on multiple levels, including sexual partner and relationship characteristics, network dynamics and community-level factors. The study collected data from 1,015 MSM between the ages of 16 and 29 living in the Chicago metropolitan area.Related StoriesReprogramming cells to control HIV infectionHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsAmong the study’s key findings about racial disparities in HIV infection:center_img Source:https://www.northwestern.edu/last_img read more

Study looks at trends over time in oral antibiotic prescribing by dermatologists

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 17 2019This study looked at trends over time in oral antibiotic prescribing by dermatologists using commercial insurance claims data for almost 986,000 courses of oral antibiotics prescribed by nearly 12,000 dermatologists.Overall, between 2008 and 2016, there was a decrease in antibiotic prescribing (from 3.36 to 2.13 courses per 100 visits with a dermatologist) and much of that decline came from a decrease in extended courses of antibiotics prescribed for acne and rosacea. However, prescribing of postoperative antibiotics after surgical visits increased (from 3.92 to 6.65 courses per 100 visits) and researchers suggest that practice be evaluated. The possibility of misclassification of diagnoses related to antibiotic prescriptions exists in this observational study. Source:https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/trends-over-time-in-antibiotic-prescribing-by-dermatologists/last_img read more

Study examines hospital readmissions for women with postpartum psychiatric diseases

first_img Source:http://www.smfm.org/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 12 2019According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 15% of women develop postpartum depression. Postpartum psychiatric diseases occur on a continuum and extreme manifestations are life-threatening and require hospitalization. Yet, until recently, the timing for postpartum psychiatric readmissions was not well understood by obstetric care providers or mental health professionals.In a study to be presented on February 16, 2019, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, researchers will unveil findings that detail the timing of postpartum psychiatric readmissions. Unlike postpartum readmissions for medical or obstetric complications, psychiatric readmissions were least likely to occur in the first 10 days after discharge. Instead, psychiatric readmissions take place later in the postpartum period.Related StoriesHave cancer, must travel: Patients left in lurch after hospital closesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infectionsThe study also demonstrated that women with a psychiatric diagnosis at the time of delivery were nearly 10 times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for a psychiatric condition in the postpartum period. Younger women (15-19 years old), women with multiple gestations, low-income women, and women utilizing public insurance (Medicaid/Medicare) are also at a significantly increased risk of readmission.”Our research suggests that the standard postpartum visit may not be appropriate for certain women,” said Alexander Friedman, MD, MPH, author of the abstract and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Obstetric care providers should be aware of the risk factors for psychiatric readmissions and work to optimize postpartum care for at-risk women.”The research was done using the Nationwide Readmission Database from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It examined medical records from 17.2 million births from 2010-2014.last_img read more

Researchers develop smart pill bottle to keep drugs safe

first_img Source:https://discovery.kaust.edu.sa/en/article/833/smart-pill-bottle-keeps-drugs-safe Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 6 2019Low-cost, stretchy sensors can be assembled inside the lid of a drug container to help monitor patient safety.A smart pill bottle that sends wireless alerts when it detects tampering, overdose or unsafe storage conditions is just one of many potential health applications for new sensor technology being developed by a team at KAUST.Digital technology offers opportunities to improve traditional approaches to issues threatening human health. For example, networks of tiny wearable sensors deployed in hospitals can be used to track influenza outbreaks in real time. But the high costs associated with electronic manufacturing means that these sensors aren’t available where they’re needed most—to the low-income populations that suffer disproportionately from epidemics.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyArtificial DNA can help release active ingredients from drugs in sequenceMuhammed Hussain, doctoral student Sherjeel Khan and colleagues are working to make sensors more accessible using cheaper materials. For example, they recently demonstrated that it is feasible to create temperature and humidity sensors from paper bydrawingcircuits with conductive ink.The team has now developed a stretchy sensor—an anisotropic conductive tape with a range of touch-sensitive applications. Assembled by sandwiching tiny silver particles between two layers of adhesive copper tape, the new material is nonconductive in its normal state. But when pressed by a finger, the double-layered tape makes an electrical connection that sends a signal to an external reader.”Similar devices have been used in flat panel displays,” explains Khan, “but we’ve made them simple to build and easy to use by almost anyone.”The researchers used their technology to create a smart pill bottle to help fight the problem of prescription drug abuse. After 3D-printing a lid that uses light-emitting diodes to count the number of pills dispensed, they taped paper-based humidity and temperature sensors to its underside. The bottle was then sealed with an outer layer of conductive tape that acts as a touch sensor.If someone attempts to break into the bottle, or the insides become dangerously moist, a flexible control module inside the bottle analyzes the signals and delivers warnings to cell phones via a Bluetooth connection. The conductive tape could be used on its own or as part of a modular sensor system, and so Hussain envisions it could help groups looking for quick tests of innovative health sensors.This sensor development that is easy to build also opens up broader possibilities for researchers. “If you give researchers a ‘do it yourself opportunity,’ there is a good chance they will use it to expand the horizon of electronics and empower humanity with better technology,” Hussain adds.last_img read more

Dangerous brain parasite invades host cell maintains steady nutrient supply

first_img“Pathogens that live and grow inside of cells face special challenges,” Sullivan said in a statement. “Intracellular pathogens have to replicate without raising alarms, but to grow, they need to pilfer nutrients from the host. Our study shows that Toxoplasma gets additional nutrients simply by hijacking a starvation response already built into the host cell,” he added. Findings can help modify treatmentsThe results may pave the way to formulate treatment modalities for Toxoplasmosis, and other intracellular infections. Plus, identifying proteins like CGN2, which are vital for parasite growth and proliferation, may show promise in formulating new drugs to curb parasitic infections and treat other intracellular pathogens.Toxoplasmosis can occur in people exposed to the feces of an infected cat, eating undercooked and contaminated meat, and through blood transfusion. Though humans may not manifest signs and symptoms of infection, the parasite can be tremendously dangerous for vulnerable individuals of the population, including pregnant mothers.In fact, infection during pregnancy may lead to serious complications, such as stillbirth or miscarriage. Infants born with the infection are at a heightened risk of jaundice, seizures, liver enlargement, and eye infections. In worse cases, the infant may manifest mental disability or hearing loss. Hence, preventing exposure to common sources of the parasite is important during pregnancy.The National Institutes of Health funded the study, which was published in the journal PLOS Pathogens. Journal reference:Regulation of arginine transport by GCN2 eIF2 kinase is important for replication of the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii , Augusto L, Amin PH, Wek RC, Sullivan WJ Jr (2019) Regulation of arginine transport by GCN2 eIF2 kinase is important for replication of the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. PLOS Pathogens 15(6): e1007746. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1007746 This image shows increased expression of an arginine transporter (CAT1, green) in host cells infected with Toxoplasma parasites (nuclei stained blue). Image Credit: Indiana University By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSNJun 20 2019A team of researchers has found that a dangerous type of parasite that affects the brain, maintains a stable supply of essential nutrients as it replicates in the host cell. In an unexpected turn of events, the body itself delivers food to the harmful predator.The researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine found that Toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled parasite that can infect animals, including humans, invades the host’s cells, requiring a lot of resources. The parasite gets most of the nutrients intended for the cell, rapidly depleting host nutrient supply. Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of Toxoplasmosis, is one of the most common parasitic infections worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 11 percent of the population, 6 years old and above, have been infected with the parasite.Moreover, more than 60 percent of some populations across the globe acquired the infection at some point in their lives. Most of the cases occur in locations that have humid and hot climates, and lower altitudes, providing an environment conducive for oocyte survival. Toxoplasma gondii. Image Credit: fotovapl / Shutterstock Activation of the integrated stress responseRelated StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaAlternate cell growth pathway could open door to new treatments for metastatic cancersNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryThe researchers led by Leo Augusto, a postdoctoral fellow, in collaboration with Ronald Wek, a molecular biology professor, and Bill Sullivan, a microbiology professor, found that cellular starvation of essential nutrients triggers a stress response, known as the integrated stress response (ISR), that occurs in the first two hours of parasite infection.Nutrient starvation stimulates the integrated stress response (ISR) through the process of phosphorylation that involves an essential translation factor, eIF2 (eukaryotic translation initiation factor). As a result, this decreases global protein synthesis parallel to the preferential translation of gene transcripts linked to stress adaptation, including encoding the transcription factor ATF4 (CREB2). This triggers genes that control amino acid metabolism.Host cells sense their nutrients being depletedThe researchers used many mutant host cells to determine that GCN2, a type of protein, becomes stimulated and activated as the parasites proliferate and consume the cell’s arginine supply. As the cell’s supply decreases, they mapped what happened after the activation of the protein. They discovered that the host cells invaded by Toxoplasma gondii produce more CAT1, an arginine transporter, on the cell’s surface. As a result, the body senses the depleted arginine supply. The arginine transporter attracts more arginine, hence, the parasite continues to consume the nutrients it needs to survive.The study findings suggest that host cells have the ability to feel when their nutrients are not enough for their needs. Unaware of the parasites invading then, they try to provide more arginine supply to make up for the depleted supply. Rapid depletion of essential nutrients in host cellsThis new study shows that the parasite is auxotrophic for many nutrients such as tryptophan, arginine, and purines. This means that the organism has an additional nutritional growth requirement, and it gets the nutrients from the host. Due to the higher demand for nutrients in the host cells due to the invasion of the parasites, rapid depletion of essential nutrients alerts the body. The body, in turn, stimulates bodily processes to compensate with the depleted nutrient supply. Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular, parasitic protozoan that causes the disease toxoplasmosis. Diagram of Toxoplasma structure. Image Credit: Designua / Shutterstocklast_img read more

Anyone can get hernias especially after abdominal surgery

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 21 2019Anne Rhodes is back to doing what she loves after being treated for a hernia at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. Frankly, a hernia wasn’t even on her radar.”I had a lot of misconceptions about hernias,” Rhodes said. “I thought it was just something you got when you tried to lift something too heavy.”A hernia is a common medical condition that occurs when part of an internal organ or tissue pushes through a weak area of muscle, creating a bulge.After having colon resection surgery, Rhodes, a Montgomery native, develop a such a bulge on the left side of her stomach.”A friend of mine who works in the medical field told me that I had a hernia,” Rhodes said.Most hernias occur in the abdomen, between the chest and the hips, and they can develop in men, women and children, often from a combination of muscle weakness and straining, like lifting something heavy. Some people are born with weak abdominal muscles and therefore may be more likely to develop a hernia. The most common treatment for a hernia is surgery to repair the opening in the muscle wall. Untreated hernias tend to keep growing, often causing pain and health problems.Rhodes scheduled an appointment with Britney Corey, M.D., and Abhishek Parmer, M.D., both assistant professors in the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, and had her hernia repaired on March 4, 2019.Corey says that people with a prior incision or operation in the abdominal area are at higher risk for developing a hernia. Any factors that put increased pressure on those areas like obesity and pregnancy, as well as factors that weaken your tissues or decrease wound healing, such as diabetes and nicotine use, will increase your risk. And sometimes people form hernias and we just don’t know why.”Britney Corey, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, UAB Related StoriesBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemCorey says that, if someone is pregnant and develops a hernia, individualized care is recommended, with surgery typically put on hold until after pregnancy.”Future pregnancies may put the hernia repair at risk,” she said.Parmar says treating patients with hernias is like having a chess match. It takes a thoughtful approach to think about the downstream effects.”The real art of hernia care at UAB is that we really try to keep the whole picture in mind and consider how hernia surgery might affect a patient, not just immediately, but for the rest of their life,” he said. “We consider the whole patient and, with the help of many other doctors, try to give patients the best chances of succeeding with surgery. That’s one of the benefits of being at an academic institution like UAB.”Once diagnosed with a hernia, patients are usually referred to a surgeon. Post-surgery, patients may stay in the hospital for a few days or go home the same day of the procedure.”Patients usually can resume normal activities quickly, with lifting restrictions for two to six weeks,” Corey said.Rhodes, a retired librarian, said her care at UAB was top-notch, and now she is able to do things that she loves again, like swim 40 laps at her local pool.”I thought my care was wonderful,” she said. “Dr. Corey and Parmar were very professional, informative and intentional.” Source:University of Alabama at Birminghamlast_img read more

Researchers discover new neurotoxin that selectively targets mosquitoes

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 28 2019Researchers at the universities in Stockholm and Lund, in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, have found a new toxin that selectively targets mosquitoes. This can lead to innovative and environmentally friendly approaches to reduce malaria. The results are presented in an article published in Nature Communications.Botox (Botulinum neurotoxins) and the toxin causing tetanus belong to the same family of proteins and are among the most toxic substances known. Previously this family of toxins has been believed to only target vertebrates such as humans, mice and birds. But now, researchers have found a toxin which targets the group of mosquitoes that are responsible for transmitting malaria. Related StoriesMalaria free status for Algeria and ArgentinaMalaria drug may help those with hereditary hearing loss finds studyGM fungus kills 99% of mosquitoes in Malaria-endemic region of AfricaHe leads the joint research group from the two Swedish universities that has discovered the new neurotoxin in close collaboration with Sarjeet Gill’s research group at the University of California.”PMP1 makes it possible to reduce the prevalence of malaria in a new and environmentally friendly way. Because these toxins are proteins, they do not leave any artificial residues as they decompose. PMP1 may also be developed into biological insecticides designed to target other selected disease vectors or pests”, Pål Stenmark says.Today, insecticides and mosquito nets treated with insecticides are the main means of combating the spread of malaria, but new methods of combating malaria mosquitoes must be developed constantly as mosquitoes become resistant to most toxins over time.”We found PMP1 in a bacterium from two threatened habitats: a mangrove swamp in Malaysia and the forest floor in Brazil. It shows just how important it is to protect these treasure chests of biological diversity”, Pål Stenmark says. Source:Stockholm UniversityJournal reference:Stenmark, P. et al. (2019) A neurotoxin that specifically targets Anopheles mosquitoes. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10732-w. We have discovered a neurotoxin, PMP1, that selectively targets malaria mosquitos, demonstrating that this family of toxins have a much broader host spectrum than previously believed.”Pål Stenmark of Stockholm University and Lund Universitylast_img read more

Google parent tops big spenders on Washington lobbyists

In this Feb. 1, 2016, file photo, electronic screens post prices of Alphabet stock at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York. Google parent Alphabet Inc. outspent all other companies on lobbying Washington bureaucrats and politicians in 2017, a year in which it and other tech giants were hauled before legislators probing Russian influence in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) Google finds Russian-financed content: Washington Post Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Google parent tops big spenders on Washington lobbyists (2018, January 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-google-parent-tops-big-spenders.html The search giant doled out $13.6 million on lobbying firms like Prime Policy Group and Gephardt Group, edging out the $13.2 million spent by AT&T, which is facing government opposition to its takeover of Time Warner Inc. for $85 billion. The figures were compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.Lawyers from Google, Facebook and Twitter were grilled by lawmakers the week of Nov. 1 for not preventing abuse of their platforms by Russian agents masquerading as Americans.Alphabet’s spending actually fell 12 percent compared to 2016, but AT&T also cut back. Google parent Alphabet Inc. outspent all other companies on lobbying Washington bureaucrats and politicians in 2017, a year in which it and other tech giants were hauled before legislators probing Russian influence in the 2016 election. read more

Emergencies at the big game New technology may help police find those

first_img Engineers create social media infrastructure for emergency management Credit: Purdue University Ebert and his research team created an online platform, called the Social Media Analytics and Reporting Toolkit, to help first responders better monitor areas of natural or human-made disasters.On game day, Purdue police can monitor the browser-based platform to see filtered social media content related to key words and geographic regions.The platform technology allows first responders to select key words and themes, such as various types of medical incidents or crimes, which are then visually displayed and highlighted on a map as they are talked about on social media within a specific geographic area.”Users have told us our technology is easy to use and allows them to clearly see and monitor what is going on within a specific area,” Ebert said. “Practically everyone is on social media these days, so there is a rich amount of data available.” Purdue’s technology also allows users to set up customizable email alerts for relevant key words within a specified time frame. “This is a giant leap for social media analytics tools,” said David Ebert, director of Purdue’s Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments center by the Department of Homeland Security and the Silicon Valley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Police departments and first responders can use the social media posts to reach people in need of assistance, including medical emergencies, disaster emergencies or criminal activity. During the start of football season, it can be used to find fans having heat-related medical issues.”The platform also has applications for monitoring traffic, finding victims when hurricanes make landfall, analyzing school threats and helping with security at major speeches or visits by people of note.”We use the technology during special events to build word clouds based on the type of event,” said John Cox, Purdue’s police chief. “We use it during dignitary protection details where there could be a threat of violence or there is a history surrounding the subject of the dignitary’s visit.” Provided by Purdue University Medical emergencies for fans during athletic events can quickly turn into life-or-death situations. That’s why as another Boilermaker football season gets underway, Purdue University researchers are using technology to help police monitor emergency and public safety information on game day. Citation: Emergencies at the big game? New technology may help police find those situations quicker (2018, August 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-emergencies-big-game-technology-police.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Purdue University researchers have developed a social media analytics tool to help police monitor emergency and public safety information on game day. Credit: Purdue Universitylast_img read more

Facebooks Zuckerberg says he is not considering resigning

first_img Citation: Facebook’s Zuckerberg says he is not considering resigning (2018, November 21) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-facebook-zuckerberg-resigning.html Top MEP says Zuckerberg ‘must’ face European Parliament This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Embattled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday he has no plans to resign, sounding defiant after a rough year for the social platform. Explore furthercenter_img © 2018 AFP Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing a new firestorm over the social network’s handling of Russian misinformation efforts in the 2016 US election season “That’s not the plan,” Zuckerberg told CNN Business when asked if he would consider stepping down as chairman.He also defended Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who has drawn criticism over her handling of the social media giant’s recent crises.”Sheryl is a really important part of this company and is leading a lot of the efforts for a lot of the biggest issues we have,” said Zuckerberg.”She’s been an important partner to me for 10 years. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done together and I hope that we work together for decades more to come.”Facebook has stumbled from one mess to another this year as it grappled with continuing fallout from Russia’s use of the platform to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which user data was harnessed in a bid to help candidate Donald Trump, and a huge security breach involving millions of accounts.Most recently, an investigative piece published last week by The New York Times said Facebook misled the public about what it knew about Russia’s election meddling and used a PR firm to spread negative stories about other Silicon Valley companies and thus deflect anger away from itself.”It is not clear to me at all that the report is right,” Zuckerberg said of the Times article.”A lot of the things that were in that report, we talked to the reporters ahead of time and told them that from everything that we’d seen, that wasn’t true and they chose to print it anyway.”Zuckerberg also defended his company against the broader wave of flak it has taken this year.”A lot of the criticism around the biggest issues has been fair, but I do think that if we are going to be real, there is this bigger picture as well, which is that we have a different world view than some of the folks who are covering us,” he said.”There are big issues, and I’m not trying to say that there aren’t… But I do think that sometimes, you can get the flavor from some of the coverage that that’s all there is, and I don’t think that that’s right either.”last_img read more

Facebooks controversial Portal video chat device gets browser games It may not

first_img Facebook says Portal device not for snooping Citation: Facebook’s controversial Portal video chat device gets browser, games: It may not matter (2018, December 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-facebook-controversial-portal-video-chat.html Explore further Meanwhile, however, if you took a chance on the controversial video-calling device, Facebook is rewarding you with new features.Released Friday, such features start with a wider range of content, from ABC News, CNN and a CNN brand known as Great Big Story. A new custom web browser will let you watch YouTube videos, get cooking ideas from AllRecipes.com and stream Monday Night Football. A set of Facebook Instant Games, meanwhile, are also being made available, including versions of Battleship, Disney Tsum Tsum and Words With Friends.You also gain manual control over the camera inside Portal that automatically pans and zooms to show everyone in a room. This top-requested feature, Facebook says, will let you focus on one person.Facebook is also adding more Story Time titles for the kids and adding various augmented reality special effects for when you’re on a call.You can also now to listen to music from iHeartRadio while on a Portal call, something you’ve already been able to do with Spotify Premium and Pandora.And finally, you call family members by their nickname, as in “Hey Portal, call Dad” or “Hey Portal, call my wife.”Portal buyers ought to be pleased that the product appears to have gotten significantly better. Though, it’s hard to imagine that any of the new features will change the minds of consumers who have been dead set against buying Portal, with its very slick follow-me camera and always-listening microphone.The Portal 10-inch, high-definition display (720p) costs $199, and the 15-inch Portal + with 1080p screen goes for $349. Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img It’s been five weeks since Facebook brought its Portal to market—and, yes, another day with another privacy-related apology from the world’s largest social network. ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Report Snap fires 2 execs after alleged sexual misconduct

first_imgThis Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, file photo shows the Snapchat app. The Wall Street Journal reports Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, that Snap recently fired two executives after one allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a contract worker. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) Citation: Report: Snap fires 2 execs after alleged sexual misconduct (2019, January 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-snap-execs-alleged-sexual-misconduct.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Snap to lose chief financial officer, its 2nd in a year Explore furthercenter_img © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Snap recently fired two executives after one allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a contract worker. The newspaper says an outside investigation found that Snap’s head of global security, Francis Racioppi, fired the contractor after their relationship ended. The Journal attributed the news to unnamed people familiar with the matter. Racioppi and his superior, the head of human resources, were asked to leave the company following the investigation.The firings follow a series of high-profile executive departures from Snap. Finance chief Tim Stone left earlier this week after less than a year at the company.Los Angeles-based Snap Inc. had no comment on the Journal report. The two executives couldn’t be reached for comment. The Journal quoted Racioppi denying wrongdoing.last_img read more

Air Canada to buy tour operator Transat for Can520 million

first_img Explore further © 2019 AFP Air Canada says it is buying tour operator Transat Canada’s flagship airline Air Canada announced Thursday it has reached a deal to buy tour operator Transat for Can$520 million (US$396 million) in cash or Can$13 per share. Citation: Air Canada to buy tour operator Transat for Can$520 million (2019, June 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-air-canada-transat-can520-million.htmlcenter_img The deal unanimously supported by Transat’s board still requires regulatory and shareholder approvals. It come after 30-day exclusive negotiations between the two carriers.In accepting Air Canada’s terms, Transat effectively brushed off Montreal real estate developer Groupe Mach’s rival bid at Can$14 per share.In a statement, Air Canada said it intends to “preserve the Transat and Air Transat brands and maintain the Transat head office and its key functions in Montreal.””Travelers will benefit from the merged companies’ enhanced capabilities in the highly competitive, global leisure travel market and from access to new destinations, more connecting traffic and increased frequencies,” it said.Transat offers vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel under the Transat and Air Transat brands to about 60 destinations in the Americas and Europe.The company was co-founded by Francois Legault, who is the current premier of Quebec.It made its inaugural flight in 1987 from Montreal to Acapulco and grew into Canada’s third largest airline, with 5,000 employees.The acquisition is expected to be completed in early 2020. Private equity firm buys Canada’s WestJet airline This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Portugals Socialists extend lead before October election poll

first_img Related News World 09 Jul 2019 Spain’s Socialists won’t seek to form government if lose July votes LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s ruling Socialists extended their lead over the opposition in an opinion poll released on Friday three months before a parliamentary vote, putting them closer to winning a majority after years of solid, if slowing, economic growth.The survey by ICS/ISCTE pollsters for Expresso weekly and SIC television channel put the centre-left Socialists of Prime Minister Antonio Costa at 38% of voting intentions, up 1 percentage point from the previous poll in March. The main opposition Social Democrats were far behind on 23%, having dropped two points, and their traditional allies from the conservative CDS-PP were on 5%, a sharp 3 points lower. The two parties had governed together before the last election in 2015, presiding over a period of tough austerity they had to impose under an international bailout. AdChoices广告The poll also showed the Socialists, whose combination of fiscal discipline with economic growth has won praise from Brussels and ratings agencies, may have more options this time if they fail to clinch a majority. Although growth has slowed somewhat since 2017, which marked the strongest expansion since the turn of the century, it is still expected to outpace the euro zone’s average, and the government expects to post the country’s first budget surplus in at least 45 years in 2020.In the current legislature, the Socialists had to rely on the backing in parliament from two far-left parties, the Left Bloc and the Communists, the former being more prone to compromise than the latter.With the Bloc rising to 11% of voting inventions, their support alone, be it via a deal in parliament or a coalition, would be enough for the Socialists to have a majority in the house, even considering the poll’s margin of error of 3.5%.The threshold for a parliament majority can vary but usually 42% of the vote would be sufficient.The Communist party was not far behind on 8%, meaning it could also become the Socialists’ single, if less likely, ally.Another potential kingmaker is the People-Animals-Nature party (PAN), which has recently won a seat in the European Parliament after garnering 5% of the vote in May on a wave of concern about climate change and the environment.The opinion poll put PAN at 4% of voting intentions for the Oct. 6 election.The pollsters surveyed 801 people between 15 and 27 of June. (Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne) {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} World 11 Jul 2019 Portugal PM says open to new alliance with far left World 29 Apr 2019 Spain’s Socialists ahead in election but no clear winner as voting ends – opinion poll Related Newslast_img read more