Day: January 9, 2018

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment – Science Daily

“We are all very excited about how this new drug-delivery system can potentially help patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as many other diseases,” Langer says.

“To put other drugs onto the system is significantly easier because the core system remains the same,” Kirtane says. “All we need to do is change how slowly or how quickly it will be released.”

To overcome that, the researchers designed a new version in which the backbone of the star structure is still a strong polymer, but each of the six arms can be filled with a different drug-loaded polymer. This makes it easier to design a capsule that releases drugs at different rates.

Tests in pigs showed that the capsules were able to successfully lodge in the stomach and release three different HIV drugs over one week. The capsules are designed so that after all of the drug is released, the capsules disintegrate into smaller components that can pass through the digestive tract.

Early Scandinavians adapted to living at high latitudes because they had mixed heritage children – The Independent

“In the bigger picture we see this constant process of people moving to Scandinavia,” he said.

The results of this study were published in the journal PLOS Biology.

Professor Jakobsson said their results show the waves of immigration that lead to the formation of modern populations.

“You have two groups coming together and the mix of all these low pigmentation variants, and what we see is an increase in low pigmentation variants in Scandinavia – more than you would get from just mixing gene pools,” said Professor Jakobsson.

To understand the genetic history of the region, scientists sequenced the genomes of seven hunter-gatherers excavated across Scandinavia, all of which lived between 9,500 and 6,000 years ago.

The scientists think that TMEM131, a gene associated with physical performance, could have emerged and been sustained in the Scandinavian population as an adaptation to cold conditions.

SpaceX Says Its Rocket Did Not Doom Zuma Spacecraft – Defense Daily Network

Defense Daily Network

SpaceX Says Its Rocket Did Not Doom Zuma Spacecraft
Defense Daily Network
SpaceX insisted Jan. 9 that its Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which lifted off two days earlier with the U.S. government's secretive Zuma payload, was not to blame for the apparent failure of the mission.Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief

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Astros’ World Series trophy begins 100-city tour at Texas Capitol –

“I predict another,” Abbott said to fans’ applause in the ornate Governor’s Reception Room. “I think they’re just now getting started.”

He was at the Capitol with four friends, all of them in Astros orange Championship t-shirts and jerseys.

AUSTIN — The Houston Astros’ World Series Championship trophy began a 100-city tour around Texas on Tuesday, with a stop in the governor’s office at the Texas Capitol that drew hundreds of fans.

“We took off work and drove in from Waco for this. Wouldn’t miss this chance for anything in the world,” said Jarrett Zamora, 31, who said he has been a diehard ‘Stros fan since he was in grade school in Houston.

Check the current tour schedule here.

Jason Wooden, the Astros’ vice president for marketing, said Austin is one of 100 Texas cities where the trophy will be on display in coming weeks.

Orlando Pride Midfielder Dani Weatherholt Inks New Contract – Orlando City SC (press release) (blog)

Orlando Pride Midfielder Dani Weatherholt Inks New Contract
Orlando City SC (press release) (blog)
Orlando Pride has signed midfielder Dani Weatherholt to a new contract. Per team and league policies, terms of the contract were not announced. “We're delighted to have agreed to a new deal with Dani,” Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Dani

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Another Illinois Medicaid shake-up threatens hospitals – Crain’s Chicago Business

“It’s a challenging environment in health care,” he said, ticking off a host of financial pressures that hospitals face. “We are working diligently to collect the input from our diverse membership and to move this program forward with significant reforms.”

The revamp could drastically alter the hospital landscape in Illinois. In the new hospital assessment program, more money would follow the patient and hospitals would be paid based on Medicaid services they provided in 2015. At the same time, a special fund would help hospitals saddled with lots of vacant beds to close or convert to facilities that might be needed more, such as an urgent care center or a behavioral health hospital.

For years, nearly every Illinois hospital has paid into a pot of money that helps the state bring in more federal dollars. But the program, effectively a tax on hospitals, is dated and doesn’t reflect how much the health care industry has changed.

Hospitals that largely depend on Medicaid dollars would be prioritized. But in Roseland’s case, some might still lose money going forward.

So far, a sticking point among lawmakers, lobbyists and the Rauner administration is how much additional money Illinois can spend on Medicaid, and therefore ask federal CMS to match. An analysis by Matt Werner Consulting found that Illinois could spend at least $500 million more, including the match from D.C.

Roseland, for example, contributes $3.8 million to the hospital assessment program each year, yet gets back about $23 million. That represents nearly half of the hospital’s total budget.

Report: 18 states may introduce sports betting bills in 2018 – New Orleans CityBusiness (blog)

It also listed states where the introduction, much less adoption, of a sports betting bill is considered unlikely: Tennessee; Alabama; Arkansas; Texas; Kansas; Nebraska; North and South Dakota; Wyoming; Utah; Idaho; Alaska and Hawaii.

The report listed 11 states as having a good chance of enacting sports betting bills this year: Massachusetts; Rhode Island; New York; New Jersey; West Virginia; Ohio; Michigan; Illinois; Oklahoma; Kentucky and Indiana.

The court is expected by June to decide New Jersey’s case, which seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting by any state that did not meet a 1991 deadline to legalize it. States and private companies in the U.S. and abroad are already moving quickly to position themselves for a favorable ruling.

States listed as likely to introduce a sports betting bill are: Massachusetts; Rhode Island; New York; New Jersey; West Virginia; South Carolina; Georgia; Florida; Illinois; Michigan; Iowa; Minnesota; Louisiana; Mississippi; Oklahoma and California. Indiana and Kentucky already have introduced bills.

The U.S. Supreme Court this year will decide a case brought by New Jersey that seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting in all but four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. A favorable ruling in that case could open the floodgates in terms of states adopting a new form of gambling.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which tracks gambling legislation nationwide, says that’s just the minimum; the firm predicts more than 30 states could introduce sports betting bills.

California wildfire prevention map may not be ready until next fire season – San Francisco Chronicle

The new rules govern how often utilities must inspect their equipment in the field, how far tree branches must be kept from electrical lines and how the companies prioritize safety-related repairs.

An early version of the map drew complaints because it didn’t mark as high-risk an area of the Sierra Nevada foothills that had already suffered a massive wildfire — the Butte Fire of 2015. Finalizing it has taken longer than expected. The previous schedule extension was granted on Oct. 6, just two days before the Wine Country fires began.

That effort began after a devastating series of wind-driven fires, sparked by power lines, ravaged San Diego County and other parts of Southern California in 2007. The commission finally approved the rules ten years later, after deadly blazes struck the Wine Country in October and Southern California in December. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of most of last fall’s fires, though they are looking into whether power poles and lines impacted by high winds played a role.

The California Public Utilities Commission, which adopted the new fire safety rules in December, will vote Thursday on extending until July the deadline for completing the map, whose last draft was released by the commission in November. The current deadline is Sunday, Jan. 14.

The map has been developed by staff members of both the commission and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, working along with representatives of the utilities and independent technical experts. They have studied wind speeds, vegetation types, seasonal patterns and the way different plants burn under different conditions.

“We’ll continue to work with the commission and adjust our plans if need be,” Doherty said.

Sources: Alabama chosen over North Carolina for $1.6B Toyota-Mazda plant – Triangle Business Journal

Triangle Business Journal

Sources: Alabama chosen over North Carolina for $1.6B Toyota-Mazda plant
Triangle Business Journal
Multiple sources close to the situation tell the Birmingham Business Journal and Triad Business Journal that Alabama has been chosen as the home of a new manufacturing plant for Toyota-Mazda. A megasite west of Huntsville is expected to be announced as
North Carolina loses out on major Toyota-Mazda
Toyota, Mazda to Build $1.6 Billion Plant in Alabama: SourcesU.S. News & World Report

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