After clinic fiasco, brand-new technology helps secure frozen eggs and embryos

After the heartbreaking loss of thousands of eggs and embryos at an Ohio clinic previously this year, a fertility center in New York is revealing a brand-new step to safeguard the hereditary product. Research study out Tuesday demonstrates how the Columbia University Fertility Center determined that keeping an eye on the weight of storage tanks could supply much better security than just determining their temperature.Amber and Elliott Ash told CBS News ‘Meg Oliver they talked about the fact that they both wished to start a family on their really first date. After getting wed in 2013, they ultimately turned to IVF using sperm Elliott froze during a battle with bone cancer in his 20s. The Ashes now have a three-year-old kid named Ethan.They state it was always their objective to offer Ethan a biological brother or sister, however in March that became unattainable when the Ashes learned their embryos were harmed in a tank breakdown at a Cleveland area fertility center. “We do not have those embryos any longer, we lost those chances,”Elliot stated. In a March 8 statement, University
Hospitals said the tank experienced an”unexpected temperature variation “and excused the event. Less than three weeks later on, they sent out a letter to clients impacted by the malfunction claiming the” alarm system on the tank”designed to flag temperature modifications “was off.” “That event was a big wake up call to all of us, “stated Dr. Zev Williams, chief of infertility at Columbia University Fertility

Center. Shortly after the event in Cleveland, doctors at Columbia University Fertility Center in New york city started developing an extra layer

of security for their fertilization tanks.”We have the tank with the temperature level probe and the manual checks similar to every other tank. In addition– underneath each of the tanks is a special scale
that is continually keeping an eye on the weight of the tank,” Williams explained. A research study from Columbia reveals measuring the tank’s weight can detect problems more effectively than determining its temperature. If the tank’s nitrogen levels fall

, the weight will increase, triggering an alarm.Doctors at Columbia hope this brand-new system will help patients like Dana Severini avoid the distress suffered by the Ashes. The 36-year-old froze her eggs five years back. She is now 14 weeks pregnant and has two more embryos kept at Columbia.”It lets you have peace of mind that you do have a future,” Severini said. The Ashes belong to a class action claim against University Hospitals. University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center declined CBS News’most
current demand for comment.


Democrats Expect Big Gains In State Legislatures Across The Country

Democrats expect to make major gains in state legislatures across the country, reversing years of losses that have cost them federal power and given conservatives free rein in one-time Democratic strongholds.

The party expects to flip over 300 legislative seats, enabling it to take control of between six and eight legislative chambers, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which helps elect Democrats to state legislatures.

“We are not afraid of this fight. We took it on in 2017 and we’ll take it on again in 2018,” DLCC executive director Jessica Post said on a call with reporters on Thursday.

Democrats have the opportunity to take over the state Senate in New York, Colorado, Maine, Wisconsin, Arizona and New Hampshire, and state Houses in Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan, among other places.

The party has already flipped 44 legislative seats in off-year and special elections since 2016, including a November 2017 win in Washington state that put the state Senate in Democratic hands. Democrats now have unified control of state government in the Evergreen State.

The additional pickups on Tuesday would lay the groundwork for a strong showing in the 2020 elections, which will determine control of the redistricting process in the vast majority of states.

Democrats’ stunning blowouts at the state level in the midterm elections of 2010, the last census year, locked them out of redistricting in a host of states. The losses allowed Republicans to gerrymander Congressional seats and maintain an iron hold on the U.S. House for eight years.

In addition, dominance of governorships and state legislatures empowered Republicans to radically reshape policy in ways that provided them long-term political advantages ― not least in historically Democratic parts of the Midwest.

Manka Dhingra/Facebook
Manka Dhingra, right, speakers to voters in July 2017. Dhingra’s November 2017 win in a Washington state Senate election won Democrats unified control of state government.

Specifically, Republican governors and state governments have engaged in aggressive voter suppression tactics and prioritized gutting labor unions, which are typically an influential source of campaign cash and voter mobilization for Democrats.

“These weren’t your granddaddy’s Republicans,” said Tim Waters, political director of the United Steelworkers union. “The first thing they did is try to get their boot on our throat, because they see unions as the thing standing between them and their unfettered agenda.”

Since 2010 alone, Republican state governments have passed right-to-work laws, which bar unions from requiring dues payment from workers they represent, in five states: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia. (Missouri voters overturned a 2017 right-to-work law in an August referendum.)

In Iowa, which has been a right-to-work state since 1947, a Republican takeover of the state Senate in 2016 enabled them to cripple remaining bastions of union power. With unified GOP control, the state government severely limited public sector collective bargaining and barred state and local contracting rules that favored construction unions.

In an October interview in his Des Moines office, Iowa Federation of Labor president Ken Sagar said the stakes of the election were “critical” for Iowa’s embattled unions.

“We need to elect people who are supporting working families in order to fundamentally ensure the survival of the labor movement in this state,” Sagar said.

Election Day is on track to be a good day for Sagar: In addition to the prospect of retaking the state House, Democrat Fred Hubbell has a slight lead in public polling of the governor’s race.

A reckoning with the devastation of state-level Democratic power and the rank-and-file disinterest that drives it has been a decade in the making. From 2009 to 2014, Democrats lost over 900 state legislative seats, only beginning to rebound in 2015.

When it comes to governorships, the party hit a low point in mid-2017 when it controlled just 15 of the country’s governors’ mansions. Republicans currently have 26 “trifectas,” or states where they control both legislative chambers and the governorship; Democrats merely have eight.

The Democratic turnaround in state-level elections this year is the product of a collective realization among donors, activists and elected officials that states can no longer be ignored. Many grassroots Democratic donors eager to pitch in were lured in by the knowledge that, unlike hyper-expensive congressional contests, smaller donations have an outsize impact in state legislative races.

As a result, the DLCC, long the most overlooked of national party committees, had a banner fundraising cycle, spending a record $35 million on legislative races.

The Democratic Governors Association also raised a record $121 million this cycle, putting the party in strong position to flip upwards of six governorships.

To buttress official party resources, a staggering number of outside funders and activist groups have cropped up since the 2016 election to assist in the less glamorous work of flipping GOP-held state legislative seats.

The super PAC Forward Majority has spent $9 million to elect Democrats in over 120 seats in six states, the bulk of it on digital advertising and direct mail.

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group founded by former Attorney General Eric Holder, raised nearly $11 million in 2017 with the goal of influencing the post-2020 redistricting processes. NDRC employs a multi-pronged approach that includes litigation and the development ballot initiatives, of which elections are just one part, but it is spending $750,000 on a field organizing effort with For Our Future, a joint venture of organized labor and liberal billionaire Tom Steyer.

The digital startups Sister District and Flippable enable nationwide Democratic activists to volunteer time and money to winning state legislative seats across the country.

A whole lot of people have found religion on state legislatures, but unfortunately they stop at gerrymandering. That’s just the beginning. Daniel Squadron, Future Now Fund

And Tech for Campaigns has marshaled the resources of Democratic tech professionals to build technology and performvolunteer digital work for state legislative campaigns. This year, the group has dispatched volunteers to 117 campaigns in 17 states, including 25 campaigns in Arizona alone, where the group effectively runs digital organizing for state House and Senate Democrats.

The Future Now Fund, a new PAC that is spending $4 million on key legislative races in Arizona, Michigan, Maine, North Carolina and New Hampshire, has formed a direct partnership with Tech for Campaigns in Arizona. The anger over school funding and pay that prompted a massive teachers strike in April has given Democrats a shot at flipping the state Senate there.

“One of the major challenges at the state legislative level is getting high-quality work since the profit just isn’t as high for consultants. Tech for Campaigns fills that gap,” said Daniel Squadron, executive director of Future Now.

Squadron is an evangelist for caring about state legislature races beyond the impact they have on gerrymandering.

“A whole lot of people have found religion on state legislatures but unfortunately they stop at gerrymandering. That’s just the beginning,” he said, noting the disproportionate impact states have on labor rights, environmental rules, women’s rights and antitrust regulation.

To that end, Future Now also has a nonprofit arm that embeds itself in state legislatures after elections are over to provide policy and political expertise for Democratic lawmakers.

The vast majority of state legislatures are part time and have small staff budgets, putting Democrats at a disadvantage against well-funded conservative and corporate front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Future Now has successful solicited 388 candidates and legislators to pledge support for their seven goals: “good jobs,” “affordable quality health care,” lifelong education, campaign finance reform and political transparency, civil rights, infrastructure investment and a clean environment.

In many state legislative races, however, the most influential players are the same Facebook-based, anti-Trump Resistance groups powering congressional campaigns.

That’s certainly true in the North Hills suburbs just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Emily Skopov, a former screenwriter for “Xena: Warrior Princess,” has mounted a surprisingly competitive challenge against Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai. 

It’s hard to find a stronger embodiment of the post-2010 Republican hegemony in state legislatures than Turzai. Turzai famously boasted in June 2012 that passage of the state’s voter ID law would “allow” Republican Mitt Romney to defeat then-President Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.

Until Skopov released an internal poll in October showing her within striking distance, though, she had trouble getting the official Democratic Party organs and labor unions in greater Pittsburgh to take her bid seriously. 

Women for the Future (WTF) Pittsburgh, a progressive PAC and field organizing outfit founded by, among other women, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner, was one of her earliest and most consistent champions. Two weeks ago, Skopov also got a boost from the Forward Majority super PAC, which purchased a 6-figure digital ad buy blasting Turzai for his coziness with lobbyists and corporations.

“The reason why these races are becoming what they are is not because of the Democratic Party,” Skopov told HuffPost in an interview at her campaign headquarters in Wexford. “It’s because of the people on the ground who live here who recognized that there should be no such thing as a small race.”

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Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dead At 65

Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers sports teams, has died of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family has confirmed.

He was 65.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” Paul’s sister, Jody, said in a statement. “While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.

“Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us ― and so many others ― we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.” 

Allen received treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009 and overcame the disease at that time. He revealed earlier this month he’d been diagnosed once more and intended to fight it.

“I learned recently that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that I was treated for in 2009 has returned,” Allen said in a statement on Oct. 1. “My team of doctors has begun treatment of the disease and I plan on fighting this aggressively.

“I am very grateful for the support I’ve received from my family and friends. And I’ve appreciated the support of everyone on the teams and in the broader community in the past, and count on that support now as I fight this challenge.”

In 2010, Allen pledged to give away the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes, highlighting climate change, epidemics and ocean health as of particular concern, in addition to research into brain cancers, dementia and other diseases. 

“I believe that those fortunate to achieve great wealth should put it to work for the good of humanity,” he said at the time. “Ultimately, my greatest satisfaction comes from working to make our world a better place.”

According to Forbes, he has donated $2.6 billion, roughly 11 percent of his $20.3 billion net worth.

Allen’s current company, Vulcan Inc., vowed Monday to stay the course on its founder’s initiatives. 

“Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal,” Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf said in a statement.

“Today we mourn our boss, mentor and friend whose 65 years were too short ― and acknowledge the honor it has been to work alongside someone whose life transformed the world.”

Allen’s Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, who met Allen when they were children near Seattle, also released a heartfelt statement.

“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen,” Gates said. 

“Paul loved life and those around him, and we all cherished him in return. He deserved much more time, but his contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy will live on for generations to come. I will miss him tremendously.”

Tributes from Allen’s other endeavors, including his NFL and NBA teams, poured in Monday on social media:

Allen is survived by his sister, two nephews and a niece.   

This article has been updated with a statement from Bill Gates.

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Can New Innovation Address the Rape Kit Backlog?

This past January, a woman was walking along a road in Tumwater, Washington when a guy pulled her into the woods and raped her. This rape might not have happened had police rapidly processed evidence from the sexual attack examination– or “rape set”– from another Tumwater rape the previous summer season. Since it took almost 6 months for specialists to analyze and match the DNA, the suspect had the opportunity to assault again.

“It sounds ridiculous that we can send out somebody to the moon, however how long does it take to evaluate a rape package? Begin.”

It’s not uncommon. In order to have the finest possible chance at finding and prosecuting an enemy, victims need to submit to an invasive test as soon as possible, since the evidence rapidly degrades. Many survivors say they hope the proof will help avoid another sexual attack. In reality, there is a significant stockpile, and samples can sit untested for weeks, months, or even years. In the United States alone, an estimated 225,000 rape packages wait for analysis. And the backlog isn’t only unjustified, it’s pricey: A 2018 research study from scientists at Stanford University approximates the cost of each assault to both the victim

and society at$435,419. Advocates have long pressed to end this stockpile. “It sounds ludicrous that we can send someone to the moon, however for how long does it take to test a rape package? Come on,” says Ilse Knecht, director of policy and advocacy at the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national nonprofit, founded by actress Mariska Hargitay, that focuses on sexual assault, domestic violence, and kid abuse.

Such grievances are not brand-new, but advances in forensic DNA technology and robotics recommend that the rape kit backlog might lastly be enhancing. A strategy optimized by criminalists at the Oakland Authorities Department in California, for instance, makes it faster and easier to differentiate in between the assailant’s and victim’s cells. And thanks, in part, to new robotic devices, Ohio officials just recently processed almost 14,000 backlogged rape packages in 7 years and identified more than 300 serial rapists.

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The enhanced technology has come to a vital time, as advocacy efforts like Joyful Heart’s End The Backlog– which works to get rid of the U.S.’s backlog through research study, awareness, and policy reform– are spurring legal changes and pressing police to check old proof. At the same time, the brand-new tools are producing mountains of hereditary information, and without individuals to get in all of that information into pertinent databases, compose reports, and look for perpetrators, more efficient processing might just move the backlog downstream. Activists likewise argue that new processing strategies will do little to remedy predispositions in which rape kits get rapid processing, and which don’t.

Still, the improvements have activists enthusiastic that the brand-new technology will go a long method toward reversing longstanding injustices.

“It’s undeniable now that the right thing to do is to evaluate rape sets,” Knecht said. “We are taking truly hazardous people off the streets by doing so.”

In the 1970s, Chicago authorities sergeant Louis Vitullo and activist Marty Goddard developed the first rape sets. The sets have stayed basically the very same ever since: A box, vials, swabs, and bags. A physician swabs the skin, mouth, anus, and genitalia; scrapes under fingernails; gathers clothing; and combs though hair, searching for anything that might indicate the assailant. Then, the inspector loads up the evidence in a box to keep at the health center or send out to a police station or a lab. There, a professional analyzes the proof, which today consists of drawing out DNA to find hereditary clues that might help police identify potential suspects.

There is a substantial backlog, and samples can sit untested for weeks, months, and even years.

Thanks to greater public awareness, legislation, and funding, there has actually been an uptick in research study on rape kit technology. In the last eight years, scientific papers on rape kits have actually increased by approximately 60 percent, and the focus has shifted from protocols, policy, and authorization, to approaches for finding, cleansing, and determining DNA– especially DNA in sperm.

For rape sets, among the most critical and time-intensive actions is separating DNA from the assaulter and the victim. Because of this, researchers such as Helena Wong and Jennifer Mihalovich, both criminalists at the Oakland Authorities Department in California, frequently focus on establishing techniques that assist automate this procedure without diminishing the precision of the outcomes.

“You have epithelial cells– those are the cells that line the mouth, the vagina, and the rectum– and after that you have sperm,” Mihalovich states. “And we know when we’re taking a look at that evidence that they’re going to be blended together.”

To separate the attacker’s contribution, experts typically add enzymes to the mixture that disintegrate all but the sperm heads, which are protected by a robust cell wall. In the traditional process, the analyst separates these components with a centrifuge, which spins so quickly that the liquid elements press against the container wall and separate by size and density like a supercharged top-loading washing maker. The process takes numerous rounds, but even then, some non-sperm DNA gets left behind, muddying the outcomes.

Instead of that time-consuming process, Wong and Mihalovich use an enzyme that can “chew up all of the epithelial cell DNA and not touch the sperm due to the fact that they have that durable cell wall,” Mihalovich says. Lastly, when all the epithelial DNA is gone, the analysts add another chemical that disintegrates the sperm cell, so they can get at that reward sperm DNA.

This “selective degradation” process is appropriate for automation. “For our sexual assault cases, we can do up to 96 samples in eight hours,” Mihalovich states. Without the improvements, “We would require to have 6 scientists doing that manually.” Plus, while the robotic is working, Wong says she is totally free to do other things.

Far, the approach is working– it’s permitted the group to procedure 243 rape sets in less than a year, eliminating the laboratory’s rape set stockpile. The Oakland group says they have actually also been helping other Bay Location labs in the strategy, including those in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

University of Connecticut genome researcher Bo Reese discovers the work interesting and well-done. “What’s good is they centered it around the automated liquid dealing with robotics,” she states, “all of which are little enough and low-cost enough that a lot of laboratories will have them.”

And experts are discovering other ways to simplify DNA analysis for rape sets. In a paper published in July in Forensic Science International: Genes, scientists at The George Washington University describe an approach for confirming sperm in a sample with antibodies that look for out and attach to sperm cells. It requires just a small sample of evidence and no washes, purifications, or separations between steps, which suggests that, just like the Oakland team’s method, it may be possible to combine it with robotics to evaluate big batches at once.

It’s not just sperm that can out a sexual lawbreaker. Criminalists can identify attackers with DNA left in the survivor’s saliva if checked early enough, and even imprints of skin. Automation innovation is improving too. Soon, Reese states some laboratories will have the ability to process as numerous as hundreds of countless samples at when.

These advances are vital. In 2017, an independent research firm employed by the U.S. Department of Justice discovered that ineffective laboratory methods were a key driver of the backlog. The report also confirms that prioritizing quick rape package processing is very important to closing cases. Reese likewise sees them as an important advance. “The technology advances, in my opinion, are terrific.”

Still, activists argue that science alone can’t resolve all the issues with rape kits. Rather, they argue, the stockpile is an outcome of a complicated interplay amongst innovation, policy, history, and predisposition. In January, a research study of rape set processing in Detroit published by researchers at Michigan State University and Harder and Business Community Research discovered that while absence of resources contributed to the significant stockpile, gender, race, and socio-economic stereotypes were also highly in play. Authorities were less likely to evaluate sets of ladies with low social status due to the fact that of the false assumption that they were less reliable as witnesses, the researchers discovered. Police likewise often presumed rape victims were associated with sex work, the researchers discovered, and tried to “‘nudge them’ out of the system and dissuade them from continued pursuit of their report.”

A 2018 report from Stanford University approximates the expense of each attack to both the victim and society at $435,419.

Sometimes, processing advances might just be creating a new stockpile as the experts who translate the data get inundated with reports. “Imagine you’re at your desk,” Reese states, “and instead of getting one every couple of days, you now get 96 at one time.”

Employing individuals to analyze the reports also takes loan, as does robotic laboratory equipment, tracking systems, and training for nurse examiners and forensic analysts. This fall, Louisiana State University although states can request federal grant cash, some jurisdictions aren’t willing to put in the time or make the investment.

According to End the Backlog, states like Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Carolina currently have no inventory of untested rape sets, no required or earmarked statewide financing to check them, and no way for victims to find out where their package remains in the procedure. In local reports, police authorities in South Carolina and Nebraska point out uncooperative victims, known suspects, and guilty pleas as possible reasons not to process a rape set, despite evidence that mandated screening has actually helped to fix cold cases. Without policy regulations or funds to resolve the backlog, and even numbers on the number of and the length of time unprocessed kits wait, experts have actually limited capability to embrace more effective innovations. In spite of these barriers, science and innovation are assisting determined states including Oregon, Texas, and Hawaii make genuine progress. In the end, anything that helps experts turn

the kit into usable information is a win– especially in cases like the attack in Tumwater, Washington, where a faster analysis could have prevented another attack. “Each single one of these packages represents a survivor who has actually gone through a dreadful experience, “Knecht states,”and after that has done everything that society inquired to do.

“Jenny Morber works a freelance science journalist on an island near Seattle. Her work has appeared in Popular Science, Discover, Glamour, and National Geographic, to name a few publications.


New Technology is Helping Those with Hearing Loss

It often seems that technology is improving at such a rapid-fire pace it’s hard to keep up. Once upon a time nearly every house in Tucson had a metal antenna on its roof, and nowadays people throughout Arizona stream movies on their smartphones. It’s hard to believe these changes have occurred in little over a generation! Advanced technology isn’t just the domain of entertainment; it’s also had an impact on the world of health care. In fact, patients with hearing loss in Tucson may soon benefit from some incredible technological breakthroughs that are taking place in London.

Smart Caption Glasses: A Boon for the Hearing Impaired

It sounds a bit ironic, but a device made for the eyes will actually benefit individuals with poor hearing. Making their debut last week at the National Theater in London, these “smart caption glasses” use Augmented Reality (AR) to provide live subtitles for audience members with hearing loss. Currently available at no charge for those attending the play “War Horse” or the musical “Hadestown,” they’ll be available for use for all shows beginning in 2019.

The smartglasses work by displaying dialogue in real time as the actors say it, relying on software that follows live speech and responds to certain stage directions, such as lighting changes, to ensure the subtitles show up in the right place. The words are then sent to the glasses via Wi-Fi. This allows audience members wearing the glasses to react to important moments, such as jokes, at the same time as everybody else.

The benefits of this technology are plentiful. Off-stage monitors or dialogue cards force patrons to look away from the action, moving between the actors and the words, which is distracting and a less immersive experience. Having the words displayed on patrons’ smartphones, an early alternative idea, would have been equally problematic. In the end, the smartglasses, whose technology took two years to perfect, won out.

How Much do They Cost?

Each pair cost $1,050, and with the theater purchasing 50 initially, that represented a pretty big capital investment. But according to audiologists, one in six Britons experiences hearing loss – numbers similar to those in Arizona and throughout the United States – so it seemed like a smart and forward-thinking decision.

If you’re hard of hearing and think a pair of smartglasses would be really cool the next time you see “Hamilton,” we concur, sir. But don’t get your hopes up; it’s going to take some time for smart caption glasses to cross the pond and catch on elsewhere. In the meantime, be content in the knowledge that as fast as technology is advancing, there are sure to be continued breakthroughs for those with hearing loss in Arizona.


Ohio PD testing brand-new innovation to catch speeders

By Denise G. Callahan
Dayton Daily News

NEW MIAMI, Ohio — Chauffeurs through New Miami might have observed an unmanned lorry snapping their photo. The vehicle is clocking their speed, however it isn’t tagging people for tickets– yet.The village is testing a new speed-enforcement vehicle. The new automobile, which would need an officer be stationed anywhere it is positioned, could replace hand-held speed cameras cops have been using however that have actually not proven reliable, Village Lawyer Dennis Adams informed the Journal-News. The small, cash strapped town is

still clenched in litigation with about 3,300 speeders over the original pole-mounted speed cameras that were considered unconstitutional in 2014. A judge has ruled the town needs to repay the speeders an approximated $3.2 million.”We had problems with some of the picture quality, “Adams said about the hand-held cameras authorities have actually been using to capture speeders where the speed limit drops coming out of Hamilton to 35 mph, just past the bridge on U.S. 127.” If we would spot 100 offenses, when we went back to go through those the reviewing officer wouldn’t be able to check out the plate. There were months that we would possibly have to dispose 50 percent of the infractions since the plates weren’t noticeable. “The brand-new speed-enforcement vehicle now being checked likewise has its defects, Adams stated, so the village is still

debating whether to use it. He said no tickets have actually been provided from the speed-enforcement car because authorities are still working to get it in the finest position to do its job. He stated they are still utilizing the hand-held speed detectors while they evaluate the automobile.” The devices the new supplier has supplied us is advanced than the equipment we had,”Adams stated.”The devices on the white automobile is something we are evaluating to ensure it’s dependable, it’s accurate, prior to we decide whether it’s going to be used. “Adams said the town isn’t purchasing the car; rather, it would become part of the vendor bundle similar to the hand-held units are with Blue

Line Solutions. Since the village re-booted its speed cam program in 2016– retired Judge Michael Sage purchased completion of the speed program in 2014– 19,787 citations were released through May.The village’s share of the essentially automatic$95 ticket under the program is 65 percent, or $61.75. Since June, the village had actually collected$783,969 from the speed cams.

The village has actually acquired $309,592 in legal fees safeguarding this case, a bill taxpayers are footing because insurance coverage doesn’t cover this kind of litigation.Josh Engel, among the speeders’lawyers stated this whole suit has to do with the stability of the speed cam programs. “The problems with the brand-new system just underscore the need for due procedure both in the brand-new system and

under the old system that Judge Sage discovered was unconstitutional,”Engel said.”The purpose of due procedure is to ensure the precision and reliability of results.”Last month Judge Michael Oster ruled the town can pay out the estimated$ 3.2 million judgment, plus interest, over ten years. He likewise ruled a statutory 3 percent interest charge is proper. He still should render a final judgment in the case and then it will return to appeals court level, according to the lawyers involved.


The Secret About Birth Control Pills That Every Woman Needs To Know

Nine percent of women of reproductive age take the Pill worldwide. What most of them don’t know is that the seven placebo pills taken in the final week of the four-week cycle are unnecessary. That’s right – you do not have to have your period at all. Instead, you can take the Pill continuously for as long as you like. (Although it is always a good idea to check in with your health provider first.)

“It’s not actually necessary to take a break from the contraceptive pill for a withdrawal bleed, it doesn’t do any harm to skip this break or take the combined oral contraceptive pill continually,” Karin O’Sullivan, the Clinical Lead at FPA, a sexual health charity based in the UK, told IFLScience. “In fact, many women already do this when they go on holiday or if they tricycle packs.”

“Providing it is safe for women to take the combined oral contraceptive pill and there are no medical contraindications then it is safe for women to use any of the pill taking regimes,” O’Sullivan added, whether that is traditional (with regular breaks), tricycling (a break every three packs), extended (no breaks), or flexible (taking breaks but not falling into one of the previous categories). There is no biological evidence that “giving your body a break” makes any difference. There is no build-up of hormones and when you stop taking the Pill, the effects are immediately reversible.

Let’s get things straight. The period you get when you’re on the Pill is not really a period at all. It’s a withdrawal bleed. This is the body’s response to the sudden drop in hormones that occurs when you stop taking the active pills and switch to the placebo pills. The difference between the withdrawal bleed and a regular period is that when on the Pill, the uterine lining (endometrium) doesn’t have the chance to build up. It remains thin. This makes the bleed lighter than a regular period – and much less necessary.

“I sometimes describe that as the difference between shag rugs, and a normal period to indoor-outdoor rugs when you’re on the Pill,” Susan Wysocki, Editor in Chief of journal Woman’s Health Care, former President and CEO of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners, and President of iWoman’s Health, told IFLScience.

However, even if you do decide to take the Pill continuously, you may experience what is called break-through bleeding – that is bleeding or spotting between periods. This is not harmful, O’Sullivan says, but some people may choose to take a break and then resume the Pill again after a few days (flexible regimen). If you decide to persevere, these symptoms may dissipate with time.

“Breakthrough bleeding typically decreases over time, however, as your body adjusts to the new regimen,” the Mayo Clinic explains, before adding “If breakthrough bleeding becomes heavy or lasts more than seven days in a row, contact your doctor.”

But back to the placebo pills. If they are unnecessary, why do we have them and where did the idea come from in the first place?

It’s an infuriatingly complicated blend of social, economic, political, and even religious factors that hark back to the 1960s when the Pill first became available for reproductive purposes.

Today, affordable and easy-to-use pregnancy tests are a quick hop and a skip away at your local CVS store. This means a pregnancy scare can be quelled (or confirmed) within an hour of noticing a late period. There are also ultrasounds that can date a pregnancy to the week it was conceived. That was not the case 50 years ago. The break (and later, the placebo pills) were designed to trigger a withdrawal bleed and reassure the user that she was not pregnant in the absence of instant pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.

“There was a practical reason for designing the pill three weeks on, one week off but there really wasn’t a biological necessity for it from the perspective of birth control pill,” said Wysocki, who is also a former member of the American Sexual Health Association Board of Directors.

“The myth is that you must have bleeding when you’re taking oral contraception when in fact that was just engineered into the pill for these other reasons.”

It was also decided by the makers of the Pill that the addition of the withdrawal bleed would help woman accept their product as a form of contraception by making it feel more “natural”. They felt that women wanted to have periods, and would be uncomfortable with a birth control method that stopped them. Clearly, there weren’t very many women in the room.

“Studies have consistently shown that when women are told there are no harmful effects from not having a period while on the Pill, especially with regards to fertility, they choose to have less frequent periods or eliminate them entirely,” Nitu Bajeka, ObGyn and co-founder of Women for Women’s Health UK, wrote in an article for HuffPost.

But it was not just the women who needed convincing that the Pill was natural. One of the creators of the Pill, John Rock, was a devout Catholic.

Rock himself had made a living teaching women how to manage their fertility cycle depending on whether or not they wanted to have children, performing hysterectomies and talking openly to his patients about sex, even the unmarried women – all of which was surprisingly progressive for the period. At the same time, he was aware of the deep-rooted social conservatism within the Catholic Church. As anyone who knows even the tiniest bit about Catholic dogma will tell you, contraception is considered a sin.

There was, however, a loophole. That is that a married couple would not be sinning if there was a natural reason keeping them from falling pregnant. (Hence the rhythm method.) Rock thought that if the Pill – which was, after all, just a top-up of hormones already produced in the body – could be marketed as “natural”, it might just win the approval of the Catholic Church. Historical spoilers: it didn’t, but it was still another reason for introducing a seven-day break and withdrawal bleed.  

Over the past five decades, there have been developments in technology and progress on the sexual freedom front that would appear to make the placebo pills irrelevant. But even brands like Seasonale (which sells packs of 84 active pills to take continuously) include placebo pills. In the case of Seasonale, a withdrawal bleed is triggered four times a year, once per season.

There may no longer be the religious, social, and practical motivation, but there is another reason for sustaining the placebo myth – economic. Blame the insurance companies.

It may be true that the majority of gynecological professionals agree that it is not only perfectly safe to take the active pills continuously but preferable to do so, particularly if a health condition like endometriosis or dysmenorrhea are involved. Even a woman with milder menstrual symptoms might benefit from skipping her period altogether. But it also becomes more expensive. A woman can ask her doctor or family planner for additional packs of the Pill so that she can take them back to back, but most likely she will be the one hit with the extra cost. 

“If you’re using four weeks of pill instead of three weeks of pill, at the end of the year you’re down two packs,” Wysocki said. “It’s an economic issue.”

“It’s not generally going to be offered as a first choice. The first choice is going to be whatever an insurance company and national health service etcetera is going to pay for.”

The placebo pill is not the only birth control myth that just won’t disappear. As a study earlier this year revealed that contrary to popular belief, the Pill does not affect a woman’s preference in male partner.

You may want to take an occasional break from the Pill if that’s what you feel is right for you, but it’s good to know you don’t need to. As always, if you are thinking about making a change to your medication, it is a good idea to speak to your health provider first and make sure you are taking the right pill for you.

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4 Ways to Prevent the Pitfalls of Adopting New Technology

Modern upstarts and corporate giants share a common goal: Lead the digital evolution. Research from Gartner shows just how important this is, noting that 56 percent of the surveyed CEOs linked improved profit margins to digitalization. Yet knowing this fact and acting upon it are two very different things.

A huge barrier to implementing more tech is the inherent culture shock involved. Not everyone delights in a changing status quo; in fact, most people resist digital shake-ups. As a consequence, careful tactical planning is a must when transitioning to any new technologies, whether your company is large or small.

Turning to Tech Without Turning Off Employees

Even if your business desperately needs to take a quantum leap forward by moving to a cloud-based system, adding a robust CMS, or otherwise employing digitally enhanced processes, you can’t move all at once. Getting every team member’s buy-in involves serious consideration and a ton of forethought.

At the same time, you can’t afford to overlook technology and keep putting upgrades and overhauls on the back burner. Otherwise, you’ll risk getting too far behind your competition, as well as potentially losing market share or top talent eager to work more efficiently.

The key to balancing between these two realities is to move forward consistently but without your foot pressed too hard on the gas.

Here’s how to map out a successful route to getting team members adjusted to a tech transformation.

1. Make the route visible.

No one should leave work on a Friday and come in on a Monday to totally new workflows he or she knew nothing about. That’s a recipe for disaster and perhaps a corporate mutiny.

Your responsibility is to take control of the changes with a schedule that everyone can see and understand. Be ambitious, but at the same time, be reasonable about your timetables. Gather insights from individuals you can trust to gauge how best to make the changes. You may even want to check in with other business leaders for advice.

Your workers need to know the “why” behind any changes you make. Just because you have a good handle on how a particular technology will benefit your corporation doesn’t mean your employees will immediately see the big picture.

In order to succeed, every person on your payroll must realize how new technologies will foster better years (and profits) ahead. Michael Hadley, CEO of iCorps Technologies, a strategic IT consulting company, advises, “Explaining the business goals and desired outcomes of the migration-and the imminent payoff for employees-will help generate goodwill toward the process.”

As a side note, some workers may be uncomfortable asking questions in front of their peers. Establish an open-door policy so they can make inquiries and you can build trust.

3. Designate a digital champion.

Although you may become a point person for your business’s digital transformation, you shouldn’t be its only cheerleader. Counterintuitively, neither should your chief technology officer or chief digital officer. The person best suited to communicate your messaging is none other than the chief marketing officer.

This makes perfect sense from a logical standpoint. Marketers are, by trade, effective communicators. They’re accustomed to helping others see the value in services and products. Accordingly, you’ll want to tap your marketing gurus and turn them into tech evangelists.

4. Tailor your team training.

Not all training applies to all personnel. Your IT staff is likely to have a shorter learning curve than your customer service personnel when it comes to navigating even the more intuitive software. Therefore, you have to strategize how to roll out digital changes in a way that’s customized but doesn’t take forever.

Be sure to adopt training methods that incorporate a variety of learning styles. For instance, some people do better with self-guided tutorials, and others prefer being able to ask an on-site instructor for help. In many cases, the providers you partner with will offer initial and ongoing support-and the latter is just as integral to your overall success as the former.

As long as technology progresses, you’ll need to keep up with its pace. The closer you stay to the front of the pack, the easier it will be to remain competitive, disrupt stragglers, and attract tech-savvy job candidates.


New technology to minimize patient falls from bed

The technological era is well and truly here. In spite of some progress, the aged-care market is mostly yet to realise the potential that innovation can bring to not only facility management however, more significantly, residential care.

This institutional hold-up in adjusting to brand-new innovation has seen Melbourne-based company Sleeptite, and its CEO Cameron van den Dungen, embark on a journey with one aim in mind– to develop innovation that will see Australia become a world leader when it concerns increasing the quality of health care offered to its elderly.

Sleeptite and its partners are establishing a system that will inform carers to locals at threat of falling need to a resident leaving their bed voluntarily, or unintentionally, allowing quicker response times. Non-invasive, medical-grade sensors in bed linen products will feed details into a main interface informing carers to motions or potential areas for concern, so they can direct their energies to the people most in need at the correct time.

The Sleeptite program will provide nurses and carers higher insight into the real-time health and wellbeing of homeowners, while also supplying center managers with reporting metrics that will assist benchmark houses. “We need to equip the important carers with systems that enable them to out-perform any aged-care worker that has actually preceded them,” van den Dungen stated.

Origins of an idea

Joining the family business, Forty Winks Hawthorn, in 2008 van den Dungen took a trip the world investigating what new innovations were giving the bedding industry. He found a passion that took him back to his family roots– his Oma owned private aged-care homes across Melbourne when the household initially immigrated to Australia from the Netherlands in the 1950s.

“When I took a look at how brand-new technology was being introduced to a bed room setting I realised many of it wasn’t being created to have a tangible effect on a user’s state of sleep, more as a point of distinction in between brands. This line of thinking led me to examine how innovation might genuinely benefit an individual’s general wellbeing,” van den Dungen said.

Eventually, it was a connection with a team of acclaimed scientists at RMIT University in Melbourne that turned a passion into reality and saw Sleeptite granted a $1.7 million federal government grant through its CRC-P program earlier this year.

“Meeting the team at RMIT was a video game changer for me. The flexible distance sensing units they had created and were continuing to develop implied we were closer to attaining my purpose than even I had actually probably realised just months earlier,” van den Dungen stated.

Sensing movement, minimizing falls

Now Sleeptite and RMIT are taking the existing technology and developing flexible distance sensors that can be embedded in products that sit external to the human body while still providing medical-grade monitoring of a person’s vital signs.

The program includes not only developing the sensors however a vast innovative production project, also lack Melbourne by another Sleeptite partner, Sleepeezee, as the technology is gotten of the lab and adapted to real-world circumstances and environments.

The research study group at RMIT is equally excited about the potential of Sleeptite and how the technology they have actually been developing for almost 7 years will be making a difference to some of Australia’s many susceptible individuals.

“When you start developing these technologies you constantly hope that a person day it will leave the lab and be taken into a real-world environment and I couldn’t be more excited about the effect this technology will have,” lead researcher Associate Teacher Madhu Bhaskaran stated.

Partner Professor Sharath Sriram echoes Bhaskaran’s belief: “We are surrounded by innovations that make life easier, however there are few that make it much better and this is what makes the Sleeptite program so unique,” he stated.

Sleeptite intends to have the first phase of the Sleeptite program in field trials by early 2019.

Sleeptite CEO Cameron van den Dungen (l), signed up with by Australian Program Partners RMIT & & Sleepeezee. Image credit: © Mark Dadswell

Top image: Lead scientist Partner Professor Madhu Bhaskaran reviewing sensor. Image credit: © Mark Dadswell.


New technology secures contributed human hearts throughout travel

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC)– Every 10 minutes somebody is contributed to the nationwide transplant waiting list and according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 3,800 individuals in America need a brand-new heart.Once a person makes their way to the top of the transplant list, it’s vital the heart makes it to the recipient securely.

Now Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has a new method it’s protecting hearts while in transit: by utilizing the Paragonix SherpaPak, a temperature-controlled transplant device.It’s a 20-pound

container that connects to Bluetooth on your phone, secures the heart with layers, and keeps the heart uniformly cold.Jonathan Philpott is the first surgeon at the medical facility to transplant one of the hearts brought in the SherpaPak. He said the managed temperature is necessary since if a heart gets too cold, it can damage the tissue.” It’s a significant issue and many people getting the hearts do not comprehend this is a problem,” Philpott said.The new heart went to Norfolk citizen and mommy Gwenisha Collins. Collins stated she ended up at Sentara due to the fact that her heart was operating at five-percent of its full function. Register for the day-to-day In the NOW Newsletter Register for the daily In the NOW Newsletter Something

went incorrect. This e-mail will be provided to your

inbox once a day in the afternoon.

Thank you for signing up for In the NOW Newsletter. Please attempt once again later.” I developed cardiomyopathy in my eight months of pregnancy with my youngest

kid,” said Collins.She invested more than a month-and-a-half in the health center

. When a donor heart was flown in to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Doctor Philpott offered fortunately to his patient.” I simply jumped up and resembled,’ What?!’ I remained in shock,” said Collins.Philpott stated within a week of the transplant, Collins was out of the health center since her heart was moved in such good condition.He discussed that transplanted hearts are often” shocked” after being removed from the donor and transferred.” I’ve never seen a heart get up like this, and my 15 years of doing

heart hair transplant, “he said.This controlled environment made all the difference for recipients like Collins. Now Philpott hopes the SherpaPak will make it so organs can be carried farther distances past a four-hour limit.” I’m hoping that this gadget is going to permit us to extend and

then increase our radius, and that’ll assist us grow our program and serve more of the patients here in Hampton Roads.

” This brand-new device also is providing clients and mothers, like Collins, an included layer of security to her second possibility at life.” I feel so blessed and honored to have actually been able to discover a donor,” she said.Follow 13News Now on

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