Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 29 2018Blood pressure readings of 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher taken at home can be used to diagnose hypertension in white, black and Hispanic U.S. adults, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.”Until now, recommendations for diagnosing high blood pressure with measurements done at home were primarily from Japanese and European studies,” said Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D., study author, professor of medicine and hypertension director at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “We didn’t know if these recommendations actually applied to U.S. adults.”Researchers analyzed large multi-ethnic studies that compared home blood pressure to clinic measurements of primarily young and middle-aged adults in Dallas, Texas and Durham, North Carolina. In 420 participants in the North Carolina clinic, high blood pressure readings (130/80) were confirmed with similar readings at home. In 3,132 participants in the Dallas study, researchers determined risks of stroke, heart attack and death associated with a clinic systolic blood pressure reading of 130 mm Hg. During the 11-year follow up, researchers also determined that people with high blood pressure levels measured at home had the same heart disease risk as people with similar levels measured by medical professionals.Related StoriesBlood pressure self-monitoring can help patients with hypertension to stick with exercise programMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersVongpatanasin added that the findings correlate with the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology 2017 blood pressure guideline.”It’s important to measure blood pressure at home because clinic readings might not reflect a person’s true blood pressure. Some people have higher readings in the clinic because of the ‘white coat’ phenomenon, while studies have shown that others – especially, blacks – have lower blood pressure readings in the clinic than at home,” she said.This study included adults aged 30 to 65 years old from two U.S. cities, so the findings might not apply to younger or older people or adults in different geographical areas, she said.With the definition of high blood pressure set at 130/80 mm Hg, nearly half (46 percent) of U.S. adults have high blood pressure. Researchers have found that at least 30 percent to 45 percent of U.S. adults with hypertension monitor their blood pressure at home.The American Heart Association recommends consumers follow the proper technique when measuring blood pressure: be still and rest quietly for at least 5 minutes before measurements; avoid caffeine or cigarettes in the half hour before your reading; keep both feet flat on the floor; and avoid talking during the test. At least two readings should be taken one minute apart in the morning before taking medications and in the evening before eating. Ideally, blood pressure readings should be taken during one week beginning a few weeks after a change in the treatment regimen and during the week before a doctor’s visit. Source:https://newsroom.heart.org/news/home-monitoring-confirms-clinic-diagnosis-of-high-blood-pressure?preview=3656
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 9 2019Scientists at The University of Toledo investigating improvements to a commonly used chemotherapy drug have discovered an entirely new class of cancer-killing agents that show promise in eradicating cancer stem cells.Their findings could prove to be a breakthrough in not only treating tumors, but ensuring cancer doesn’t return years later — giving peace of mind to patients that their illness is truly gone. Taylor and Dr. L.M. Viranga Tillekeratne, a professor in the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry in the UToledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, reported their findings in a paper recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.Cancer stem cells are an intriguing target for researchers because of their potential to re-seed tumors.When doctors remove a tumor surgically or target it with chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy, the cancer may appear to be gone. However, evidence suggests that a tiny subpopulation of adaptable cancer cells can remain and circulate through the body to seed new metastasis in far-off locations.Those cancer stem cells, Taylor said, are similar to dandelions in a well-manicured lawn.”You could chop the plant off, but it will drop a seed. You know the seeds are there, but they’re hiding,” he said. “You pull one weed out and another comes up right after it. Cancers can be like this as well.”Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerThe small molecule they have isolated appears to lock on to those stem cells and kill them by blocking their absorption of an amino acid called cystine.UToledo was awarded a patent for the discovery late last year.For Tillekeratne and Taylor, uncovering a new class of therapeutic molecules could prove to be an even larger contribution to cancer research than the project they initially envisioned.”At present, there are no drugs that can kill cancer stem cells, but people are looking for them,” Tillekeratne said. “A lot of drugs are discovered by serendipity. Sometimes in research if you get unexpected results, you welcome that because it opens up a new line of research. This also shows the beauty of collaboration. I wouldn’t have been able to do this on my own, and [Taylor] wouldn’t have been able to do it on his own.”Tillekeratne has received a three-year, $449,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute to continue testing the effectiveness of the newly identified therapy.Because the molecules so selectively target cancer stem cells, it’s possible they could ultimately be paired with other chemotherapy drugs to deliver a more comprehensive treatment.However, the researchers have found their agents show stand-alone promise in treating sarcomas and a subtype of breast cancer known as claudin-low breast cancer, which represents up to 14 percent of all breast cancers and can be particularly difficult to treat. Source:University of ToledoJournal reference:Taylor, W.R. et al. (2019) Small-Molecule Ferroptotic Agents with Potential to Selectively Target Cancer Stem Cells. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42251-5. Not all cancer cells are the same, even in the same tumor. There is a lot of variability and some of the cells, like cancer stem cells, are much nastier. Everyone is trying to figure out how to kill them, and this may be one way to do it.”Dr. William Taylor, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, UToledo College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
© 2018 AFP Summer is the ideal time for breaking out a bottle of rose, but fans of French wine might think twice after millions of bottles were found to contain less costly Spanish tipple instead. Explore further ‘Question of price’Tensions have long simmered between winegrowers on either side of the Pyrenees, with French producers often accusing their Spanish rivals of unfair competition.In recent years French protests have blocked Spanish trucks from bringing their wine into the country, with demonstrators emptying their loads onto highways.Production surpluses in Spain have pushed down prices there, making the country’s wines a better deal for consumers—and a tempting substitute for some French distributors.”It’s a question of price,” Jerome Despey, a winegrower in the southern Herault region and member of the FNSEA agricultural union, told AFP.The two countries’ agriculture ministers met in Paris last summer to try to end the conflict, leading to a series of measures aimed at limiting price volatility, Despey said.Price increases across Europe following weather-related grape harvest shortfalls last year have also helped ease tensions.”We need to keep up the pressure with these inspections so this kind of thing can’t happen again,” Despey said, urging the government to impose stricter labelling rules.Delphine Geny-Stephann, France’s junior economy minister, said she had asked the fraud agency “to continue carrying out regular inspections in the sector.” French winemakers emptying wine from a Spanish truck during a protest Le Boulon, ten kilometres forms the French-Spanish border, in April 2016 French farmers block refineries over palm oil imports 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. Citation: France sees red after Spanish rose wine found in domestic bottles (2018, July 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-france-red-spanish-rose-wine.html French investigators found that millions of bottles of rose actually contained Spanish wine France’s consumer fraud agency confirmed Monday that 70,000 hectolitres—the equivalent of 10 million bottles—of Spanish rose were falsely labelled as French vintages by hundreds of producers in 2016 and 2017.According to French daily Le Parisien, which first reported the findings, Spanish rose sold in bulk at the time for just 34 euro cents ($0.40) a litre compared with 75 to 90 cents for French rose.”We were alerted to the ‘Frenchification’ of Spanish wine at the end of 2015,” the consumer agency’s Alexandre Chevallier told the paper.”So we launched an inquiry at all levels, from producers to importers to restaurants and distributors,” he said.Twenty-two percent of the businesses subjected to controls in 2016 and 15 percent in 2017—a total of 743 establishments—were cited for trying to present the foreign wine as French, he explained. Some blatantly passed it off as French, as was the case for bottles showing drawings of French-sounding but fictitious castles, or wines sold by the glass in some restaurants.Others were more subtle, putting “Produced in France” on the front label but “European Community wine” on the back, or embellishing bottles with national symbols like the heraldic lily or a ribbon in the blue, white and red of the French flag.Misleading wine drinkers is no small matter in France: producers could face fraud lawsuits that carry penalties of up to two years in prison and 300,000 euros in fines.
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