After 30 years, Honda is still not ready to commit to battery-electric vehicles.Honda started developing electric vehicles more than 30 years ago. In those three decades, the Japanese automaker made strides with battery-powered cars. But with each step, Honda reconsidered the potential of EV technology – and shifted its strategy away from pure EVs and toward hybrids. All the while, the company placed its biggest bets on the ever-receding future of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.More Honda EV News EV Comparison: 3 Flavors Of Honda Clarity: PHEV, BEV & Fuel Cell Source: Electric Vehicle News Honda Clarity PHEV Review After One Year Of Ownership Honda continues to take a portfolio approach to EV technology. That’s evident from its Clarity line of vehicles now on sale. It uniquely offers a choice of a plug-in hybrid, pure EV, and hydrogen fuel cell.In late 2018, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid became the top-selling PHEV in the United States. With its success – and Honda again promising new upcoming electric cars – let’s consider the company’s EV history and what the future might bring.Started Developing EVs: 1988Future Target: Two-thirds of European sales will be “electrified” vehicles by 2030Honda EV with the Longest Electric Range: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell with 366 milesPlug-in Cars (And Date of US Introduction):Honda EV Plus (1999)Honda Fit EV (2011)Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid (2013)Honda Clarity Line of Electric Cars (2017) PASTA team of four Honda engineers gathered at the company’s R&D center in April 1988. The turn of the century was still a dozen years away, but the team was already considering which technology held the most promise for the 21st century. “Electric operation was the most likely candidate in terms of alternative power,” said Junichi Araki, who led Honda’s first EV research team.The team, which had no experience in EV-related technology, had doubts if batteries could provide enough energy for decent range. Using a stripped down Honda CR-X and then a three-door Civic, the team built a series of prototypes that were presented to the company’s management team by October 1990. “At that meeting, I was convinced to continue the full-scale development of electric vehicles,” said Takefumi Hiramatsu, a research director. The team grew to 100 members.1993 Honda EVXThe timing was good. A month earlier, the first zero-emissions vehicle mandates were established by the California Air Resources Board. To sell cars in California, two percent of those purchases had to be zero-emission vehicles by 1998, rising to 10 percent by 2003. The race was on.After a series of rough prototypes emerge, Honda was able to exhibit the EV-X at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show. It was Honda’s first purpose-built electric car.That was followed by the CUV-4, an electric conversion of a Civic. A total of 10 cars were put on California roads for testing. Concerned about the durability of lead-acid batteries, Honda took the bold step of using nickel-metal hydride batteries, the first car company to make the switch.Honda CUV-4Honda’s First EVBased on 80,000 miles of real-world testing, Honda’s president Nobuhiko Kawamoto gave the go-ahead in January 1996 to create an original body design for Honda’s EV. In April 1997, newspaper reporters and television crews assembled at Takanezawa plant, Honda’s manufacturing facility for specialized small production runs. The cameras captured a single small unit of the EV Plus rolling off the line.The First EV Plus was produced in 1997.“There still are many issues at hand, including the battery,” said Kenji Matsumoto, head of the company’s development project. “But I can definitely sense the coming age of the EV.”The E.P.A. gave the Honda EV Plus a range rating of 81 miles – an achievement for the era. Power was modest at 66 horsepower and a top speed of about 80 miles per hour. The four-passenger compact was about a foot longer than today’s BMW i3 and 1,000 pounds heavier.The EV Plus’s surprising sticker price was $53,900, but Honda would only allow the car to be leased – at $455 a month for three years. Nonetheless, Honda found more than 100 customers in 1997, one year ahead of the California mandate’s deadline. However, 1998 California was already loosening its zero-emissions targets to include hybrids.1997 Honda EV PlusHonda produced and leased a couple hundred more EV Pluses in the following two years in California – and a handful in Japan and Europe. But with California regulators allowing hybrids to get ZEV credits, the pressure was off to sell a pure EV.On April 26, 1999, Automotive News reported that Honda had produced its last EV Plus and the “arrival this fall of Honda’s VV hybrid car hastened the end of EV Plus production in Japan.” The VV was the concept version of the Honda Insight hybrid. The company reclaimed and eventually destroyed its first EV.The Shift to Hybrids“We had limited production goals in mind from the beginning for EV Plus,” said Robert Bienenfeld, manager of alternative fuel vehicles sales and marketing for American Honda Motor Co. “It was not meant to be mass-market material. The real question, if we were to keep selling the EV Plus, would be, ‘Are we moving forward? Are we advancing the technology?’ And the answer would be ‘I think not.’”Compared to the limited production numbers for its first EV, Honda said that it would sell 5,000 Insights worldwide every year. The company’s shift from EVs to hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles became the strategy for the ensuing decades. Honda introduced the FCX Clarity fuel-cell sedan in 2006. By 2008, a couple of dozen California consumers were leasing the hydrogen-powered car.EV development was still simmering in the background. Tomohiko Kawanabe, Honda’s president of research and development, in 2010 said: “We are definitely conducting research on electric cars, but I can’t say I can wholeheartedly recommend them. It’s questionable whether consumers will accept the annoyances of limited driving range and having to spend time charging them.”A Toe in the WaterThe Honda Fit EV was unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.Against a background of rising fuel-economy standards, Honda unveiled an all-electric version of the Honda Fit at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Honda committed to making just 1,100 units over a 20-month period. Again, it was only available for lease.The small yet spacious five-passenger Fit was equipped with a 20 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack providing an estimated range of 82 miles. When placed into Sport mode, the Fit EV’s dashboard took on a red hue and upped its output to 123 horsepower and 189 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the popular EVs at the time – the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Smart ED – the Fit was the most fun to drive.Matt Walton received delivery of the first Honda Fit EV on July 20, 2012, at a dealership in Woodland Hills, Calif.The lease price was set at $389 a month and then dropped to $259, creating waiting lists at dealerships in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. But 20 months after Matt and Becky Walton received the first Fit EV, Honda announced that it had reached its sales quota and production would end earlier than expected.The Fit EV was not the only plug-in car produced by Honda in the early to mid-2010s. For three years, from 2013 to 2015, the company sold about 1,100 units of the Accord Plug-in Hybrid. The plug-in Accord was a spacious and capable mid-size sedan selling for $40,450. It offered 13 miles of all-electric range via a 6.7 kilowatt-hour battery pack. But unfortunately, the batteries were packed in the trunk where it reduced cargo space down to 8.6 cubic feet.The Honda EV-ster sports concept was displayed at auto shows throughout the world.In this period, Honda also introduced a series of funky concept EVs, including the 2009 EV-N retro-commuter, 2011 Micro Commuter mobility pod, and the bizarre 2016 NeuV that supposedly was capable of reading human emotions. The gem in the bunch was the 2011 Honda EV-Ster. The two-seat sports car, reminiscent of the classic Honda S2000, provided about 100 miles of range. It scooted to 60 miles per hour in about five seconds. (Honda revealed an updated EV sports concept in 2017.)PRESENTWith sales of the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid dwindling to a few units per month, Honda showed up at the 2015 Detroit auto show with yet another concept: the FCV. From 2008 to 2014, Honda had leased a total of 46 FCX fuel-cell vehicles so the FCV looked like it would be the next iteration of a hydrogen car. But then Honda announced there would be battery-electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the Clarity by 2018.A trio of Honda Clarity electrified vehicles.Deliveries of the Clarity Fuel Cell began in Southern California in December 2016. Those were followed by the launch of the battery-electric Clarity in August 2017, and the plug-in hybrid version four months later.While the fuel-cell and battery-electric variants are available only for lease in California (plus Oregon for the EV), the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is a 50-state vehicle. Sales of the fuel-cell Clarity are limited by lack of availability of hydrogen stations, and the Clarity Electric is hobbled by offering only 89 miles of range on a single charge.2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in HybridHowever, the 2018 Clarity Plug-in offering 48 miles of all-electric range is a real contender. With the discontinuation of the Chevy Volt, the Clarity becomes the plug-in hybrid with the most all-electric range. It also claims a place in the market as a spacious mid-size sedan that provides more than enough electric range for daily commuting – and then it becomes a 42-mpg hybrid without range limitations.It’s currently the largest sedan sold by Honda. Unlike the Accord Plug-in Hybrid that preceded it, there’s no compromise on cargo space.These superlatives help explain why the Clarity Plug-in hybrid became the number one selling PHEV in December 2018. The base-level Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid starts at $33,400, not including a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Touring trim, which starts at $36,600, adds goodies like leather seats and navigation.2018 Honda Clarity ElectricIt’s easy to dismiss the other two Clarity versions. Yes, the fuel-cell offers an impressive 366 miles of range in a five-minute fill-up, but availability is limited to a few dealerships in California. The Clarity Electric, which leases in California and Oregon, has a compelling price of $199 a month. But its 89-mile range is a non-starter for most buyers.That leaves the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, which could be a leader in the space for a few years.FUTUREHonda continues to set meaningful goals for electrification. In 2016, Takahiro Hachigo, Honda’s chief executive, said Honda hybrids and other electrified vehicles would account for two-thirds of sales in Europe by 2025. Battery-EVs and fuel-cell cars are expected to represent 15 percent of Honda’s electrified cars, said Hachigo. (Today, Honda sells two conventional hybrids, the Accord and Insight.)The Honda Everus at the 2018 Beijing Motor ShowIn 2017, Honda created a new division dedicated to making fully electric vehicles. If Honda indeed starts getting serious about electric cars, it’s thinking more about China and Europe rather than the United States. Automakers need pure electric vehicles to compete in China, the world’s largest auto market.That explains why Honda unveiled the Everus all-electric concept at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, followed by the Everus VE-1 production version at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November. Think of the VE-1 as a curvier all-electric version of the conventional HR-V crossover with an aerodynamic fascia and charge port.Honda Everus VE-1The Everus VE-1 is being produced with Honda’s Chinese partner, GAC. Partnerships are integral to Honda’s future EV strategy. In June 2018, the company agreed with General Motors to develop smaller, more capable lithium-ion batteries. Honda also has a partnership with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), reportedly the world’s biggest battery maker.Nikkei’s Asia Review reported that the Honda-CATL partnership is expected to yield an all-electric version of the Honda Fit offering about 185 miles of range. Notably, Honda intends to sell 100,000 of the new Fit EV a year.Honda continues to roll out exotic EV and energy concepts, including next-generation ultra-fast charging, battery-swapping scooters, and a vehicle-to-grid system. But Honda’s most tangible plan is to put its Urban EV concept into full-scale production. The Urban EV, which was unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, bears a resemblance to the EV-N concept that Honda revealed a decade ago.Honda Urban EV ConceptThe cute and curvy all-electric concept was spotted (in four-door hatchback form) in testing in late 2018. Those sightings give credence to Honda enter production of the Urban EV as soon as 2019 – but probably only for the European market. Few details are known at this time, but there’s speculation that the Honda Urban EV will provide 200 miles of range using an entirely new dedicated electric platform. Honda Clarity PHEV: #1 Selling Plug-In Hybrid In U.S. In December 2018 Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
Source: Charge Forward Australia is already a huge market for Tesla Powerwall for many reasons. But now you can add one more: the South Australian government has approved Tesla’s home battery pack for an important subsidy worth ~%50 of the battery pack for up to 40,000 homes. more…The post Tesla Powerwall gets a massive boost in Australia with ~50% subsidy for up to 40,000 homes appeared first on Electrek.
Hyundai Kona Electric Gets Priced In U.S: SEL, Limited, Ultimate Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 15, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News More details are expected to be released soon, but if Hyundai is following the same path as in other markets, the “Ultimate” will be the first trim level available. That variant starts at $44,650, while the “Limited” begins at $41,150. The most affordable trim, the SEL package, has a base price of $36,450 .Hyundai and John Hopkins have a history together. The automaker has donated over $2 million for cancer research there via its Hope On Wheels program. That includes $500,000 for grants toward pediatric cancer research this past September.Whether this means the floodgates will open and sales will begin in the other so-called ZEV states — California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont — remains to be seen, but we expect they will be starting shortly, if not right away. Apparently, this first shipment arrived at port about a week ago. If you’re interested in the car and don’t live in one of those states, it may be possible to arrange for its purchase through your local dealer. Just don’t expect them to carry inventory.While electric vehicles are, of course, more environmentally-friendly than their gas-guzzling cousins, this particular Kona Electric, we understand, will be going to a home that gets most of its energy from renewable sources. The doctor is not new to electric vehicle ownership, having already owned an EV for the past seven years.There should be more details on the way and we’ll update this post as we get them. Hyundai Kona Electric Road Trip From Los Angeles To Las Vegas: Video Will be powered at least partly with renewable energy.It’s finally happening. After months of watching the Hyundai Kona Electric being dispatched to other territories, the first U.S. delivery has taken place. In a small ceremony yesterday at The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, the pediatric oncologist who leads his department had his all-electric crossover handed over.More with the Hyundai Kona Electric 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric, Edmunds Editors’ Choice Best EV: Video
An electric utility in Vermont is launching a new trial program with the goal to “make traditional meters obsolete” by using Tesla Powerwalls to track energy usage on top of the other benefits of Tesla’s home energy battery pack. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8COKnXNH-EThe post Tesla Powerwall to replace meter in new trial program with electric utility appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward
Remember me Lost your password? Password Username A quarter-century ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act required businesses to provide access to patrons in wheelchairs, including accessible parking spaces, curb cuts and ramps. The law left it to individuals to enforce the law. That provision turned the ADA into a cottage industry for lawyers who recruit clients from independent living facilities or disability rights groups and file lawsuits by the thousands against businesses with bathroom mirrors too high or ramps too steep – ultimately settling for several thousand dollars per case. One Texas man alone, represented by an Austin law firm, has filed more than 300 suits over . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.
May 30 2018Bottom Line: Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy and for infants and children is the focus of two studies, an editorial and a patient page.Why The Research Is Interesting: Vitamin D is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and research suggests it may have other potential health benefits.What: A randomized clinical trial of 975 healthy infants in Finland reports no difference in bone strength or incidence of infections at age 24 months when infants were given a higher daily dose of supplemental vitamin D (1,200 IU) compared with the standard dose (400 IU).Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeNew curriculum to improve soft skills in schools boosts children’s health and behaviorAuthors: Sture Andersson, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, and coauthorsWant to embed a link to this study in your story? Links will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0602(doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0602)What: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 24 randomized clinical trials examined vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy on several infant outcomes including small for gestational age, fetal or neonatal death, and congenital abnormality.Authors: Shu Qin Wie, M.D., Ph.D., of University of Montreal, Canada, and coauthorsWant to embed a link to this study in your story? Links will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0302(doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.0302) Source:https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/studies-examine-vitamin-d-supplementation-in-pregnancy-for-infants-children/
Source:https://brighterworld.mcmaster.ca/articles/new-insight-into-huntingtons-disease-may-open-door-to-drug-development/ Jul 10 2018McMaster University researchers have developed a new theory on Huntington’s disease which is being welcomed for showing promise to open new avenues of drug development for the condition.Huntington’s disease is caused by a mutation in the gene that makes the protein called huntingtin. A team of researchers led by McMaster has found there is a unique type of signalling coming from damaged DNA, that signals huntingtin activity in DNA repair, and that this signalling is defective in Huntington’s disease.A study developing the new hypothesis was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).”The concept was that if we applied the signalling molecule back in excess, even orally, this signalling can be restored in the Huntington’s disease mouse brain,” said Laura Bowie, a PhD student in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster. “The net result was that we fixed the modification of huntingtin not seen in mutant huntingtin in Huntington’s disease.”Using this hypothesis, the study team discovered a molecule called N6-furfuryladenine, derived from the repair of DNA damage, which corrected the defect seen in mutant huntingtin.”Based on dosing by different ways of this molecule in mouse Huntington’s disease models, Huntington’s disease symptoms were reversed,” said Bowie. “The mutant huntingtin protein levels were also restored to normal, which was a surprise to us.”Ray Truant, senior author on the study, has dedicated his career to Huntington’s disease research and how mutation leads to Huntington’s disease. His lab was the first to show that normal huntingtin was involved in DNA repair.Truant argues that the traditional and controversial amyloid/protein misfolding hypothesis, where a group of proteins stick together forming brain deposits, is likely the result of the disease, rather than its cause.Related StoriesAntioxidant precursor molecule could improve dopamine levels in Parkinson’s patientsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerHe said he considers this paper the most significant of his career.”This is an important new lead and a new hypothesis, but it is important for people to know this is not a drug or cure,” said Truant, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster.”This is the first new hypothesis for Huntington’s disease in 25 years that does not rely on the version of the amyloid hypothesis which has consistently failed in drug development for other diseases.”Huntington’s disease is a hereditary, neurodegenerative illness with devastating physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. Worldwide, approximately one of every 7,000 people can develop Huntington’s disease. Currently there is no treatment available to alter the course of the disease.The study is an original and important contribution to the field of neurodegeneration, says Yves Joanette, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging.”This research shows how complex and diverse the routes to neurodegenerative processes in the brain can be,” said Joanette. “This study will inspire not only research on Huntington’s disease, but also in some of the contributing processes to the development of many other neurodegenerative diseases.”Bev Heim-Myers, CEO of the Huntington Society of Canada, said: “The Huntington Society of Canada is proud to support such leading edge research.””Innovative research initiatives, such as the work led by the team in Dr. Truant’s lab, including PhD student Laurie Bowie, has the potential to transform HD research. The answers we find for Huntington’s disease will likely lead to better understanding of treatments for other neurological diseases and it is important that we continue this cross-talk amongst neurodegenerative diseases.”
Source:http://investors.alnylam.com/news-releases/news-release-details/alnylam-receives-positive-chmp-opinion-onpattrotm-patisiran Jul 27 2018Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has adopted a Positive Opinion recommending marketing authorization of patisiran for the treatment of hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (hATTR amyloidosis) in adults with stage 1 or stage 2 polyneuropathy. If approved by the European Commission (EC), the medicine will be commercialized under the brand name ONPATTRO™.”We are delighted with this positive opinion, and today’s recommendation by the CHMP takes us one step closer to bringing RNAi therapeutics, an entirely new class of innovative medicines, to patients around the world,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. “Our hope with patisiran is to transform the treatment of hATTR amyloidosis for the patients living with this devastating disease.”Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cell”hATTR amyloidosis is a progressively debilitating disease that often impacts patients and their families in the prime of their lives,” said Theresa Heggie, Head of Europe, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. “We are ready to launch patisiran following the EC decision, and hope that it will help to meet the pressing need for new treatment options for patients living with hATTR amyloidosis in Europe.”The CHMP positive opinion is based on the evaluation of the effects of patisiran in patients with hATTR amyloidosis and its safety profile as demonstrated in the APOLLO Phase 3 study. The SmPC recommended by the CHMP includes data from APOLLO primary and secondary endpoints, as well as exploratory cardiac endpoints. The results of the APOLLO study were published July 5, 2018 in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).The European Medicines Agency reviewed patisiran under the accelerated assessment procedure that is granted to medicines that the CHMP believes are of major interest for public health and therapeutic innovation. A CHMP positive opinion is one of the final steps before marketing authorization is granted by the European Commission. The European Commission will now review the CHMP recommendation to deliver its final decision, applicable to all 28 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Patisiran is currently under priority review as a Breakthrough Therapy with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with an action date of August 11, 2018. Regulatory filings in other markets, including Japan, are planned for mid-2018.
Source:https://www.centogene.com/about-centogene/article/centogene-and-evotec-sign-global-strategic-partnership.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 27 2018CENTOGENE today announced that Evotec AG and CENTOGENE AG entered into a global strategic collaboration agreement for joint drug discovery projects, developing compounds to treat rare genetic diseases. CENTOGENE and Evotec initiated the collaboration to develop a strategic high-throughput platform for testing novel small molecules in rare hereditary metabolic diseases.The collaboration brings together Evotec’s leading induced pluripotent stem cell (“iPSC”) platform and broad drug discovery capabilities with CENTOGENE’s unique medical and genetic insights. In particular, detailed genotype-phenotype data enables rapid biomarker development using patient primary cells.Related StoriesResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Healthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionDr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: “The collaboration between Evotec and CENTOGENE is focused on developing iPSC-based patient-derived disease models and suitable biomarkers for rare genetic diseases. A perfect match between highly complementary platforms and companies with the potential to open a new chapter in the translatability of pre-clinical discovery efforts into clinic benefits.””The identification and development of innovative small molecules to treat rare, hereditary conditions is particularly challenging because of the absence of adequate cellular models and the general lack of specific biomarkers to monitor the different diseases. With this innovative collaboration between Evotec and CENTOGENE, we can accelerate the development of new drugs. CENTOGENE is fully committed to explore any given opportunity to discover new ways of helping patients and their families, together with its partners,” said Dr Arndt Rolfs, Chief Executive Officer of CENTOGENE.
Source:https://elifesciences.org/for-the-press/963a7d2e/temperature-model-predicts-regional-and-seasonal-virus-transmission-by-mosquitoes Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Scientists have built a model that predicts how temperature affects the spread of Ross River virus, a common mosquito-borne virus in Australia, according to a report in the journal eLife.The research demonstrates the importance of using temperature to predict epidemics of mosquito-borne diseases and could help public health bodies prepare for the impact of climate change on the spread of tropical diseases worldwide.”Scientists are realizing that warmer temperatures mean longer mosquito seasons and mosquitoes entering new regions where it was previously too cold for them to survive,” says senior author Erin Mordecai, Assistant Professor in Biology at Stanford University’s School of Humanities and Sciences, US. “Warm temperatures also speed up the biological processes that help mosquitoes spread viruses. But working out the precise effect of temperature on different stages of mosquito growth and spread of viruses is tricky, because so many factors are involved.”Australia and the Ross River virus (RRV) offer an ideal opportunity to study the effects of temperature on disease transmission. RRV infects between 2,000-9,000 people each year in Australia and causes long-term joint pain and disability. Most people live in cities ranging in latitude from the north to the south of the country. Each season, as the temperature rises, RRV epidemics move from the subtropical north to temperate south.The team used two species of mosquito most responsible for RRV outbreaks in Australia to build a model using laboratory data on traits such as mosquito growth, survival, bite rate and infectiousness in response to different temperatures. “Our model correctly predicted that RRV is endemic across tropical Northern Australia year-round, and is seasonally epidemic in the cooler regions of Southern Australia,” explains Sadie Ryan, Associate Professor of Medical Geography at the University of Florida, US, and second author of the study. “When human population data was added into the model, its prediction of seasonal patterns matched recorded human cases of RRV.”Related StoriesAntibiotics can wipe out early flu resistance, study findsNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccineVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyThe model determined that the optimal temperature for RRV spread was 26°C (80°F) and transmission would be limited at temperatures below 17°C (63°F) and above 32°C (89°F), which matches current patterns of disease. Mosquito lifespan was the most important temperature-dependent factor limiting transmission, and fertility and survival were prohibiting factors at temperatures that were too low or high for transmission. As transmission is limited by temperatures that are too cold and too hot, it may increase in some locations as a result of climate warming, while decreasing in others.”Our study provides strong evidence that temperature drives infection patterns at the continent-wide and seasonal levels,” says first author Marta Shocket, Postdoctoral Scientist in Stanford’s Biology Department. “In the short term, our work will help researchers build better statistical models for RRV which can be used to make more specific predictions based on climate change. In the long term, it should help mosquito control agencies better plan for the future and may provide further evidence of the need to combat climate change.”
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 14 2018Resistant hypertension affects 12 percent to15 percent of patients treated for high blood pressure according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. The statement, published in the Association’s journal Hypertension, provides a comprehensive overview of how to diagnose and treat the condition based on a review of available scientific information.Patients are diagnosed with resistant hypertension when they need three or more medications to treat high blood pressure but still have blood pressure that exceeds the goal for hypertension established in 2017 in the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guideline for hypertension. In addition, patients whose blood pressure achieves target values on four or more different types of blood pressure lowering medication are also considered to have resistant hypertension.The 2017 guideline specifies blood pressure below 130 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) for the top number or 80 mmHg for the bottom number as the goal. Resistant hypertension is more often found among African-Americans, men, older adults and, people who are obese, or those who have diabetes, peripheral artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea or other conditions.”Because several conditions can mimic resistant hypertension, a correct diagnosis is essential so as not to over medicate. Asking a patient who has previously been prescribed blood pressure lowering drugs whether they take them correctly is a good place to start, because not taking medications properly will result in poorly controlled blood pressure that could appear to be resistant hypertension,” said Robert M. Carey, M.D., chair of the statement writing group and professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center.The statement notes that 50 percent to 80 percent of people who should be taking blood pressure lowering medications don’t take them correctly because the regimen may be expensive and have unwanted side effects, which can result it poorly controlled blood pressure.In addition, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen and some prescription medications, such as oral contraceptives may also raise blood pressure, so healthcare providers should ask patients if they are using these medications.Another condition that can mimic resistant hypertension is the “white coat effect,” when blood pressure is higher in the doctor’s office than at home because the patient is anxious. To rule out the “white coat effect,” patients should measure their blood pressure at home using a portable monitor or by wearing a device that can measure blood pressure at specific intervals over the course of a day.Once the physician has confirmed a diagnosis of resistant hypertension, healthcare providers should work with their patients to help them improve their lifestyle. Eating a DASH-style diet, that emphasizes eating fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry and fish while limiting red meat and foods high in added sugars and salt has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure. Patients should also aim for a healthy body weight and get enough physical activity to help lower blood pressure.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancer”Some people with resistant hypertension may be extremely sensitive to salt in their diet,” said Carey. “In one of the studies we reviewed, when salt intake was significantly lowered in people with resistant hypertension, blood pressure promptly went down.”Drinking too much alcohol and tobacco use are also lifestyle factors that affect blood pressure.Once a clear diagnosis of resistant hypertension is made, healthcare providers have a variety of medication regimens to help their patients. By definition, the patient will already be taking three different classes of antihypertensive drugs, including a long-acting calcium channel blocker (CCB), an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) which interacts with the renin-angiotensin system and a diuretic (so called “water pills”). The healthcare provider can then customize a medication regimen based on the individual characteristics of the patient to make sure they are taking the most effective medication for their situation. If blood pressure remains uncontrolled, a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRS), which blocks a hormone associated with blood pressure called aldosterone, can be added to help lower blood pressure.Carey said it is also important to screen patients for secondary hypertension, an underlying condition that can cause high blood pressure. Treating patients for secondary hypertension can often cure them. Secondary hypertension frequently arises from a condition called primary aldosteronism, a disorder of increased aldosterone secretion, which is found in about 20 percent of patients with resistant hypertension. Other major causes of secondary hypertension include chronic kidney disease and renal artery stenosis, a narrowing of one or more arteries that carry blood to the kidneys.”Patients with high blood pressure are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, heart failure and stroke, and their prognosis deteriorates further if they have resistant hypertension,” said Carey. “It is extremely important to get blood pressure down by whatever means one can, because study after study has shown the negative outcomes from pressures that remain elevated above the target level.”The new statement replaces an earlier statement on the topic published in 2008 and is based on a review of over 400 research studies by the writing committee. The major changes from the 2008 statement are that the criteria for defining resistant hypertension have become more specific, the recognition that sleep deprivation contributes to lack of blood pressure control, the importance of lifestyle change to prevent and treat resistant hypertension.In addition, there are new evidence-based recommendations from recent studies that suggest healthcare providers consider substituting the diuretics chlorthalidone or indapamide (water pills) for the more commonly prescribed diuretic hydrochlorothiazide and to consider adding spironolactone, a medication that reduces the effect of aldosterone, to the antihypertensive drug regimen.Source: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/diagnosing-and-treating-resistant-hypertension
Forget the Loch Ness monster: Scotland was once home to a swimming reptile the size of a motorboat. Scientists have discovered the country’s first known ichthyosaur, a large marine creature that lived during the Middle Jurassic period about 170 million years ago. The fragmentary specimen—dubbed Dearcmhara shawcrossi by researchers who describe it online today in the Scottish Journal of Geology—is named after amateur collector Brian Shawcross, who found the fossils on the shores of Scotland’s rugged and picturesque Isle of Skye. (Dearcmhara, pronounced “jark vara,” is Scottish Gaelic for “marine lizard.”) The ichthyosaur, pictured here in an artist’s reconstruction, was about 4 meters long and hunted fish and smaller reptiles in the then-warm seas around Skye, which has some of the world’s best preserved Middle Jurassic sediments.