Everyone loves Eat Zagreb! – new Zagreb guest guide

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first_imgNew leadsč through Zagrebčto the gastro scene it is obligatory for touristsčka equipment for a quality stay in Zagreb, and afteržthey wanted him at home tooćand restaurant lovers New gastro guide Eat Zagreb, whose concept and design is signed by the Zagreb Superstudio, and for whose careful selection the gastronomic journalists and editors are responsible Željka Klemenčić i Mila Batinica, was promoted in the Croatian Design Superstore with fine snacks prepared by the restaurants included in the guide.The carefully designed Eat Zagreb guide, in addition to offering a wealth of information and useful recommendations about the Zagreb hospitality scene, also promotes local culture and makes a valuable contribution to encouraging tourism in the city of Zagreb and its surroundings. In addition to tourist visitors who certainly want to try the best that the city has to offer, the guide can be very useful for both domestic travelers and local fans of all kinds of cuisine.Whether it is a search for a particular local dish or an indigenous wine variety, or a desire for an experience to remember Zagreb – this guide contains affordable and practical insider information on the best city offer. Wide smiles were a sure sign of satisfied palates, but also customers, who will continue to explore and enjoy the gastronomic offer presented in the guide by trying over 80 different restaurants, bistros, cafes, snack bars, patisseries and other gastronomic locations of the metropolis and its surroundings.Guide Eat Zagreb is available at Croatian Design Superstore, and from next week at the Tisak Media outlets.last_img read more

World recognition to Croatian architects Nikola Bašić and Marko Murtić for the project of the D-Resort Šibenik hotel

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first_imgHotel D-Resort Šibenik designed by architect Nikola Bašić (architecture) and architect Marko Murtić (interior) has been nominated for the prestigious award “The International Hotel and property award” which selects the best design solutions of world famous hotels. D ‐ Resort Mandalina Šibenik is among the 7 finalists for the award at the world level and among the 4 in Europe, in the category of hotels with less than 200 rooms.The International Hotel and property award is an award from The Design Awards, the UK’s leading design magazine, which features open voting for design professionals but also for all readers, clients and users. From “The Design awards”, they say how they areaim to provide design reviews, talent recognition and opportunity creation. They are looking for places that inspire the senses in terms of design, and the main awards ceremony will take place on Friday, 16.09. at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice.The interior of the D ‐ Resort Mandaline is a rare example of the integration of architecture and interior, which has resulted in one perfectly integrated project. The main concept was the creation of its own, modern vision of Mediterranean architecture, completely redesigned and devoid of globalization, as well as globaltrends in the hotel industry. We have created our own vision of Mediterranean architecture with a sense of heritage that dominates the views of the city of Šibenik. White cement shaped in wooden molds was used as the basic material in the construction, which also served as a sculptural element in the exterior and interior. The design elements in the interior are made of raw cut oak whose texture, warmth and color are a well thought out contrast to the concrete walls. Sculptures, ceramic walls and art canvases further emphasize to visitors the feeling of being in a truly special place. Art is an integral part of the D-Resort, and this is recognized internationally.In EMUR STUDIO for this project, furniture, lighting fixtures and carpets were designed, designed and manufactured under the common name STUFF – a brand that emphasizes the uniqueness of D-Resort. “STUFF is a superior design brand designed to equip modern tourism and institutional interiors, but also private housing. I would like to mention that STUFF is a modern, but above all functional design of wide application made of very high quality materials. Our furniture has been used to decorate the interior of the D ‐ Resort Mandalina hotel in Šibenik, and for the needs of the hotel we have designed and produced more than 30 pieces of furniture.”, Said Marko Murtić, a famous Croatian architect and interior designer, who finalized the interior with the help of fellow architect Ana Aščić. The nomination as part of “The International Hotel and property award” and the entry into the company of the world’s best hotels is a confirmation of an excellent project that has been very popular among domestic and old tourists since its opening last summer.last_img read more

Find out the key features of tourist traffic in major emitting markets

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first_imgImportant and interesting research and conclusions, as well as additional market profiles, bring us the key features of tourist traffic in major emitting markets. Interestingly, the summer season as a travel time is most often mentioned in Germany, Italy and Poland, while the British mostly talk about the pre-season. Also, as stated in the document, tourists looking for sun and beach holidays, Croatia should emphasize the beauty of the landscape and the quality of accommodation.The material provides concise key information on the characteristics of individual emitting markets (with some variations in terms of data coverage with regard to the relevance of each market for the tourist result of our country, but also with regard to the general availability of market data), in order to support business decision-making processes. marketing investments of all entities operating in tourism. As part of the analysis, the markets are arranged in alphabetical order.”The following overview of key emitting markets is based on data from various relevant and verified domicile and international sources, as well as data obtained in the framework of market research conducted by the Croatian National Tourist Board. ” stand out from the CNTB. Be sure to study all the analyzes and research results as well as the market profiles well.Side dish: Key features of tourist traffic in major emitting marketsRelated news: CNTB announces new edition of “Market Profiles” for 2016last_img read more

Depicting is necessary for much of human communication

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first_imgLinkedIn “In L.A., they would have–” He leveled a finger at some imaginary nestlings and made a gun-cocking sound.As Clark notes, WG could easily have described the scene with the phrase “shot those falcons.” What he did instead was depict the scene with his finger, hand, head, eyes, and voice. The result included a depiction (leveling a finger and making a gun-cocking sound) in place of the phrase “shot those falcons.” Traditional accounts are unable to handle composites like this.What is depicting? In the theory developed in this paper, to depict something is to stage a scene. When WG leveled his finger at the imaginary falcons, he enacted a shooter in L.A. aiming a rifle at some falcons. And he did that so that his listener could imagine the scene vividly. Depicting is much the same as putting on a play in the theater or engaging in make-believe play.Depicting, according to Clark, is largely complementary to describing. To begin with, many ideas that are impossible to put into words are easy to depict. Tennis coaches don’t describe how to hold a racket or do a backhand return. They demonstrate it, and in living detail. Music teachers often correct their students by playing or singing what the students should have played or sung. And although it takes years for children to tell coherent stories, they have little trouble depicting stories in make-believe play. They readily enact Cookie Monster, Mother, cops and robbers–and play out what they do.Depicting is also effective for emotion, excitement, and empathy. In telling stories and passing on gossip, people not only describe, but dramatize what the protagonists said and did, often with passion and attitude. And in apologizing, people not only say “Sorry” but add facial gestures that depict their regret.The idea, then, is that depicting is a method of communication. Without depictions, talk would be flat, lifeless, and sometimes even impossible. Email Share When we think of language, we usually think of words, phrases, and sentences–strings of abstract symbols. In research over the past 50 years, cognitive and social scientists have developed extensive accounts of how people communicate with these symbols. But when people are face to face, they also communicate with actions that depict people, objects, and events. They create these depictions with their hands, arms, head, face, voice, and entire body, sometimes with other props but often without.In an article recently published Online First in Psychological Review, Herbert Clark argues that spontaneous depictions like these are missing from general accounts of how people communicate, and that is a major failing. Why? Because depicting is common in everyday conversation and depicting things is fundamentally different from describing things. Also, a great many utterances are “composites” of depicting and describing.Clark’s point is nicely illustrated in a report, from the New Yorker, of Hollywood director WG telling correspondent TF about having to stop filming in New York because of some falcons nesting on the ledge of a building:center_img Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Nature vs. nurture? Both are important, anthropologist argues

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first_imgEvolutionary science stresses the contributions biology makes to our behavior. Some anthropologists try to understand how societies and histories construct our identities, and others ask about how genes and the environment do the same thing. Which is the better approach? Both are needed, argues Agustin Fuentes, University of Notre Dame biological anthropologist.“Seeing bodies and evolutionary histories as things that can be measured separate from the human cultural experience is a poor approach and bad science,” Fuentes said. “Seeing cultural perceptions and the human experience as unconnected to biology and evolutionary history is equally misguided. Data from a vast array of sources tell us that we need an integrative approach to best understand what it means to become and be human.”In a forthcoming paper in the journal Current Anthropology, Fuentes builds on the extended evolutionary synthesis of biologist Kevin Laland of the University of St. Andrews and colleagues. “The extended evolutionary synthesis is basically an update of what we know about how evolution works,” Fuentes said. “Most people think ‘survival of the fittest’ is all that happens in evolution and that DNA and genes are all that really matters. Both counts are wrong. Evolution is an awesome mix of bodies, ecologies, behaviors, chemistry and history. We know more about how life works, and the range of systems that impact it, than ever before. Organisms are constructed in development, not simply ‘programmed’ to develop by genes. Things don’t ‘evolve’ to fit into environments. They co-construct and co-evolve with their environments.”Fuentes argues in the paper that anthropologists can, and should, combine evolutionary science, cultural analysis and ethnographic research.“In the extended evolutionary synthesis, what we think, feel and do can be as relevant as our DNA, the shape of our bones and the density of muscles … Many of those things are connected,” he said. “This makes evolution approaches to why humans do what they do more exciting and more accessible to a wide range of researchers, but it also makes our jobs a lot harder.“We need more collaboration across areas in anthropology, more interaction with those outside anthropology and the development of more complex, but much better, answers about being human.” Email Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Share on Facebook Share LinkedInlast_img read more

Can psychedelic drugs be used in the treatment of mental illness?

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first_imgPsychedelic drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin and ketamine have been rediscovered by researchers in neuroscience and psychiatry. A recent review in the Journal of Psychopharmacology highlights the distinct therapeutic effects of psychedelics, as well as the current re-evaluation of their use in the treatment of addiction, anxiety in terminally ill patients, depression, cluster headaches and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).A psychedelic drug is a psychoactive drug whose primary action is to alter cognition and perception. Since the discovery of LSD in 1943, psychedelic drugs have been of major scientific interest. Despite clinical psychedelic research coming to a standstill in the mid-1970s (due to regulatory restrictions), an increase in methodological quality standards, neurobiological method and neuroimaging, as well as interest in the interest of the neurosciences in subjective experience, has meant a re-emergence of interest.The review by Tomislav Majić (Charité University Medicine, Berlin), Timo Schmidt (Free University Berlin) and Jürgen Gallinat  (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf), looked at current clinical research and re-evaluated former and recent concepts of where and how psychedelic substances exert their therapeutic effects. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Email Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn Share Key findings included that ketamine is effective in the treatment of substance addiction, both through the psychedelic experiences and it’s enhancing of personal meaning and spiritual significance. Ketamine has also been used to produce short-term anti-depressive effects in major depression and bipolar disorder, through its altering of perception (It has also been proposed as a treatment option for affective disorders based on its pharmacological effects).LSD has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of alcohol abuse when used in combination with therapy.Psilocybin, the main component of so-called magic mushrooms, has been recently shown to be effective in the treatment of anxiety in cancer patients, not by reducing pain, but by inducing feelings of strengthened rapport and relationships with close relatives and friends. Recent research has also highlighted the therapeutic use of LSD and psilocybin in treating cluster headaches. Interestingly, it was reported that the therapeutic effects appear to be completely independent of the psychedelic experience.The review reported converging evidence suggesting that serotonergic neurotransmission plays a key role in the mechanism of these psychedelic drugs – the neurotransmitter serotonin is thought to play an important role in the brain relating to mood, anxiety and happiness.The findings of the review concluded that psychedelic drugs are unique in the sense that they: have neurochemical and pharmacodynamics effects (e.g. in the treatment of depression and possibly OCD); support various types of psychotherapy (e.g. in the treatment of terminal illness); can be used to treat headaches or other pain syndromes; and they often result in spiritual experiences through which they can assist in therapy (e.g. in the treatment of substance addiction). Furthermore, in contrast to traditional psychiatric drugs, they are only to be taken once or a few times.The review highlights the potential for psychedelic drugs to be used in clinical settings, although more research is required to develop a deeper understanding of their therapeutic effects and how they work.last_img read more

Microdosing reduces depression and mind wandering but increases neuroticism, according to first-of-its-kind study

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first_imgEmail Share on Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest A new exploratory study has attempted to systematically measure the psychological changes produced by microdosing — or taking very small amounts of psychedelic substances on a regular basis. The findings, which appear in PLOS One, suggest that microdosing can improve several aspects of psychological functioning — but the effects are not necessarily what people expect.“Over the last few years there has been intense media interest in microdosing. There are thousands of news stories and personal accounts online that describe a wide range of benefits associated with microdosing but there is very little scientific evidence on the topic. We wanted to see whether these claims were justified or whether the effects of microdosing could be explained by expectations or placebo,” said study author Vince Polito, a research fellow at Macquarie University.The researchers recruited 98 microdosers, who provided daily ratings of their psychological functioning over a six week period. The participants, who microdosed LSD, psilocybin and mescaline, also completed a comprehensive questionnaire at the start and end of the six week period.center_img Share Share on Twitter There were several positive short-term effects. The participants reported heightened levels of connectedness, contemplation, creativity, focus, happiness, productiveness, and wellbeing on days they microdosed. The researchers also observed some long-term effects. Depression decreased and attention increased during the six week period, but neuroticism slightly increased as well. People with high levels of neuroticism are more likely to experience negative emotions. There were no significant changes in mindfulness, mystical experience, positive personality traits, creativity, sense of agency or overall quality of life from the beginning to the end of the study.“This was very preliminary research, so our findings need to be taken cautiously. But we found indications that microdosing had a range of effects. We found reductions in depression, stress and mind wandering; and also increases in focused attention. We also found an increase in the experience of unpleasant emotions so the effects of microdosing appear to mixed,” Polito told PsyPost.The researchers conducted an additional study with 263 participants to compare microdosers’ expectations to the actual effects experienced by participants in the main study.“We also looked at people’s beliefs around microdosing and found that although people did have strong predictions about what they thought would happen, these beliefs did not match the actual psychological changes we saw when we tracked the experience of microdosers. This indicates that it was not just expectations that explain our results,” Polito said.In particular, the participants expected that neuroticism would decrease rather than increase. They also expected that creativity, wellbeing, and mindfulness would increase.“Because microdosing is illegal in most parts of the world we had to adapt our study design. This was not a direct, lab-based experimental investigation of microdosing. Instead we systematically tracked the experiences of people already microdosing using an anonymous online system,” Polito explained.“This means that our results rely on the accuracy and honesty of participants’ reports. As such these results highlight some important possible effects of microdosing but more careful follow up research is needed to confirm these findings.”The study, “A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics“, was authored by Vince Polito and Richard J. Stevenson.last_img read more

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Pandemic vaccine, Tamiflu resistance, Santa’s risk factors, cutting sermons

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first_imgNov 18, 2009British patients skeptical about H1N1 vaccineLess than half of British patients who have been offered the pandemic vaccine accepted it, Reuters reported today. The findings were based on a poll of 107 family doctors conducted by Pulse magazine. Reasons included fear of side effects and views that the virus is mild. The doctors reported even less acceptance among pregnant women, a high-risk group. The UK government said it’s too early to speculate on vaccine uptake rates.http://www.reuters.com/article/healthcareSector/idUSLI10514020091118Nov 18 Reuters storyCanada reports few serious reactions to vaccineWith 6.6 million doses of H1N1 vaccine given so far, Canada has seen only 36 serious adverse reactions, according to Dr. David Butler-Jones, the country’s chief public health officer. He said one person died of an anaphylactic reaction, but it was not yet certain if the vaccine caused it, CTV News reported. Serious events have also included fevers and convulsions. Butler-Jones said 20% of Canada’s 31 million people have been vaccinated, which he called the highest proportion of any country.http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091117/adverse_091117/20091117Nov 17 CTV News reportGlobal Tamiflu-resistant cases detailedIn a review of the global cases of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant H1N1 reported thus far, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said the patients have been geographically dispersed and not linked and the viruses were all susceptible to the other common antiviral, zanamivir (Relenza). Of the 32 cases detailed, two factors may have played a role: reduced immunity and preventive antiviral therapy (prophylaxis). Three cases had no known history of exposure to oseltamivir.http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/activities/sciadvice/Lists/ECDC%20Reviews/ECDC_DispForm.aspx?List=512ff74f-77d4-4ad8-b6d6-bf0f23083f30&ID=683Nov 18 ECDC reviewSanta groups air pandemic flu concernsSanta workers and volunteers are seeking ways to prevent novel H1N1 infection during the holiday season, the Associated Press (AP) reported. One trade group urged its members to use hand sanitizer and take vitamins and the public to keep sick children home. The president of another group asked state lawmaker to consider prioritizing Santa for H1N1 vaccine, given that many are exposed to sick children and are obese, which has been identified as a high-risk condition.Shortening sermons to fight fluSaudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs has told Muslim preachers to keep their sermons short because of concern that the H1N1 virus may spread in crowded mosques, Deutsche Presse-Argentur (DPA) reported today. The ministry also instructed imams to use sermons to dispel rumors about how the virus spreads and to urge the faithful to observe good hygiene to prevent infection.http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/health/news/article_1514053.phpNov 18 DPA reportlast_img read more

ICEID COVERAGE Research continues on shielding workers from airborne pathogens

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first_imgJul 14, 2010 ATLANTA (CIDRAP News) – The early response to the H1N1 pandemic exposed ongoing sore points regarding protection of workers in healthcare and other settings during epidemics or bioterrorist attacks, and federal researchers today highlighted current efforts to address some of the concerns.They covered emerging issues such as a need for more surge capacity for airborne-pathogen isolation units and possible enhancements for guidance on responding to anthrax attacks in workplace settings. The experts presented their updates in a panel discussion at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID).Kenneth Mead, PhD, a senior research engineer at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, said the nation needs a way to quickly boost surge capacity for airborne isolation units such as negative-pressure rooms. In preparing his doctoral dissertation on the topic, he said he found that 40% of hospitals lack engineered airborne isolation rooms, which typically cost between $30,000 and $40,000 to construct.For example, the state of Nevada has said it has 307 airborne isolation unit beds for its population of 2.5 million, along with 4 million tourists who visit the state each month, he reported.Adequate protection of healthcare workers is a crucial issue in planning response to major public health events, Mead said. He referred to a study of healthcare workers in New York during the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) episode that revealed that only 24% would report to work.Current airborne isolation units in hospitals are designed more to protect the hospital environment than the workers or the people being treated in the rooms, Mead said. The systems are based on dilution ventilation, which, because it is so slow to reduce harmful aerosols, doesn’t provide a meaningful level of protection.Mead’s dissertation led him to explore ways to cheaply and quickly surge airborne isolation areas in emergency settings. He said current options such as creating a big “hot zone” isolation area or simply transferring patients aren’t always practical or worker-friendly.He explored two other possibilities: creating a “zone within a zone” that replaces the fabric curtain around a patient’s hospital bed with plastic and installing a portable HEPA filter within the area, and a ventilated headboard that captures pathogens before they have the chance to disperse.Field studies at four hospitals showed both options were effective at reducing airborne pathogens, Mead said, and now NIOSH is developing prototypes that are inexpensive and portable for further testing.Meanwhile, Kenneth Martinez, PhD, a scientist with the Department of Defense, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is supporting research to assess if current anthrax-control protocols in open office environments, such as those that contain cubicles, could be improved.In a simulated open office setting, scientists have conducted letter-opening simulation trials using spores of Bacillus atrophaeus, an anthrax surrogate, to gauge how quickly workers are exposed and to what extent, Martinez reported. They’re exploring whether having the worker who opens the letter wait 5 minutes before leaving the building reduces exposure of other workers. He said so far the waiting period doesn’t appear to make a difference.Scientists are also gauging exposure during emergency response for both the first responders and the letter opener, Martinez said. So far the group has found that spraying the worker with a corn oil substance is effective at preventing spores from re-aerosolizing.See also: ICEID home pagehttp://www.iceid.org/last_img read more

Flu Scan for Dec 26, 2013

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first_imgStudy finds new clues behind severe H7N9 infectionThe severity of H7N9 influenza infection is linked to high cytokine levels, and some patients appear to have a genetic marker that correlates with more serious outcomes, according to a research team from China and Australia. The group reported their findings in the Dec 23 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).They examined cytokine and chemokine levels in plasma samples of 18 patients who were hospitalized in Shanghai with H7N9 infections. They also looked at bronchoalveolar lavage samples from three of the patients and conducted genetic sequencing tests on blood and lung samples.When they compared the clinical courses with the test results, they found that H7N9 severity was associated with higher levels of cytokines and chemokines, a pattern seen with other types of influenza infections, such as H5N1. They showed that cytokine levels were 100- to 1,000-fold higher in plasma than in lungs, and the authors said hat plasma levels may provide a “window” for assessing cytokine damage in infected lungs. The researchers also identified a genotype that related to more severe clinical outcomes: IFN-induced transmembrane protein-3 (IFITM3).Peter Doherty, PhD, laureate professor at the University of Melbourne and lead author of the study, said in a Dec 23 press release that predicting how flu affects individuals could provide keys to managing the disease and allocating health resources. “We are exploring how genetic sequencing and early identification can allow us to intervene in treating patients before they become too unwell. As new cases of influenza emerge in the Northern Hemisphere, we try to keep a season ahead and prepare to protect the most vulnerable in our community,” he said.In other developments, Hong Kong’s government today said an 80-year-old man hospitalized in early December with an H7N9 infection has died, according to a Reuters report. His case is one of two H7N9 cases recently imported into Hong Kong from the mainland city of Shenzhen and is now Hong Kong’s first fatal case. The man’s death pushes the number of fatal H7N9 cases to 48. Overall, 146 cases have been reported, all with links to mainland China, where the disease is thought to be spreading to people from infected market poultry.Dec 23 PNAS abstract Dec 23 University of Melbourne press release Dec 26 Reuters story CDC alerts health providers about H1N1 patterns, treatmentThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) advisory to healthcare providers on Dec 24 that said it has received a number of reports of severe respiratory infections in young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus.The CDC said multiple hospitalizations and some deaths have been reported and the virus seems to be following a pattern seen during the pandemic months when it caused more illness in children and young adults. It warned that if the 2009 H1N1 virus—now considered a seasonal strain and covered in all flu vaccine formulations—continues to circulate widely, children and middle-aged adults may shoulder much of the burden.The agency reported that so far there is no sign of significantly increased virulence or transmissibility, but the CDC will continue to watch for changes in the virus’ genetic sequences and in disease surveillance systems. Some people who have had severe H1N1 infections this year had underlying medical conditions such as pregnancy and obesity, but others did not.The CDC urged health providers to recommend seasonal flu vaccination, and it encouraged them to consider antiviral treatment as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected flu who has a severe, complicated, or progressive infection or is at higher risk for complications.Texas and a handful of other south-central states are the nation’s flu hot spots to date, according to the most recent surveillance report from the CDC. Clusters of severe respiratory illnesses have surfaced at some Texas hospitals. The 2009 H1N1 virus has been confirmed in some of the patients, and some deaths have been reported, especially in the area around Houston.Dec 24 CDC HAN notice Dec 20 CIDRAP News story “Texas cluster part of rising H1N1 activity in state, nation” H5N2 on Chinese poultry farm leads to culling of 125,000An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza on a poultry farm in northeastern China has resulted in the culling of 125,700 birds, according to a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) notice posted Dec 21.The farm is located in the city of Baoding in Hebei province, about 140 kilometers southwest of Beijing. Symptoms of the disease began showing up in the farm’s chickens Dec 17, and about 4,000 chickens died.Samples from the diseased birds were confirmed as H5N2 by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory. The farm has been placed under quarantine and disinfected. Dec 21 OIE report Dec 23 NBC News item on the outbreak H7N1, H7N7 avian flu strains strike South African ostrich farmsThree outbreaks of low-pathogenic H7N1 avian influenza have been reported on commercial ostrich farms in Australia, according to an OIE notice posted Dec 24. They represent the most recent events in an outbreak that began in October.The farms are located in Eastern Cape province. Sixty-four cases of subclinical infection have been confirmed among the 2,906 susceptible ostriches on the farms, for a morbidity rate of 2.20%. No birds have died of the disease or been culled. The farms have been disinfected and put under quarantine.In another development in South African avian flu, a case of H7N7 avian flu has been reported in an ostrich on a commercial farm in Western Cape province. The farm has 1,005 susceptible birds, for a morbidity rate of 0.10%, according to a Dec 23 OIE follow-up report on the outbreak, which was first reported in February.Dec 24 OIE report on Eastern Cape farms Dec 23 OIE report on Western Cape farmA related OIE follow-up report, this one pertaining to an outbreak of low-pathogenic H7 avian flu in South Africa beginning at the end of July, reported no new cases. The outbreak involved indigenous wild birds and an exotic parrot kept in captivity. The previous report noted 4 cases among 2,000 susceptible birds, for a morbidity rate of 0.20%.Dec 23 OIE report on South African birds Testosterone-regulated genes may suppress flu-vaccine response in menThe body’s response to influenza vaccine may be influenced by testosterone-regulated genes, helping to explain why men often show a less-robust response to vaccines, in particular influenza vaccines, than women, according to a study released Dec 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).In the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)–funded study, researchers from Stanford University used a systems analysis approach to study antibody responses to the 2008-09 trivalent seasonal flu vaccine (TIV) in 53 women and 34 men of different ages.The authors found that the women, compared with the men, had elevated antibody responses to TIV and elevated expression of inflammatory cytokines. They traced the weaker responses in men to a tendency toward high expression levels of a cluster of genes that participate in lipid biosynthesis and that have been found previously to be up-regulated by testosterone.The men with the highest levels of testosterone and most elevated expression of the gene cluster had the weakest antibody responses to the TIV. In their discussion, the authors note that from an evolutionary perspective, the immunosuppressive effects of testosterone may act as a homeostatic mechanism to, for example, protect against the potentially deadly cytokine storm that can occur in healthy males in the presence of pandemic influenza. Dec 23 PNAS study Dec 23 NIAID news release on the studylast_img read more