On October 26, first-time father Antwon Lee took his two-month-old son Debias King to get his first vaccinations. Lee, 29, said he was very nervous for the appointment, telling People Magazine that he “felt kind of scared a little bit,” as he knew the child was “going to go through some pain.” Before the visit, he also continually reassured his son that he could cry if he needed to.
When it came time for the vaccinations, Lee held his son in his arms and told the little boy to “stay strong,” while Shamekia Harris, Lee’s girlfriend, recorded the visit on her phone. Little Debias did cry as the nurse gave him his shots, but stopped soon afterward when Lee consoled him.
The video has since gone viral, with about 13 million views, 51 thousand likes, and 186 thousand shares as of Wednesday.
Sadly, Lee’s father, Anthony Lee, 57, died that same day due to complications from drinking. Lee explained to People that he was emotional and very close to his father, and that he later spoke to his son Debias about his hopes for the future.
“I talked to him like a grown up … I told him, before I leave, want to see him succeed,” Lee said.
Lee wishes that the video will remind others of the importance of fatherhood, “I want them to take care of their kids, because when you sign up for something, you have to stick with it,” he told People.
Lee, however, isn’t the only person to go viral for his vaccination video: In 2014, pediatrician Michael Darden gained attention for his unique approach to giving shots, and the video still doesn’t disappoint:
Researchers have shown that many thousands of people have been exposed to now largely-banned chemicals such as lead and PCBs at high enough levels to have harmed their brain function. Now there is growing concern about the impacts of exposures to many of the ‘new’ chemicals in our 21st century lifestyles.
Chemicals of concern include brominated flame retardants (BFRs), a group of chemicals added to furniture, electronics and building materials, per- and poly- fluorocarbons (PFCs), used for non-stick coatings or breathable coatings in everyday products including packaging and clothes. Some chemicals in these groups are being phased out, but similar chemicals remain in everyday use.
The study also points out the unpleasant reality that children are constantly exposed to a cocktail of chemicals, which can act together, something which is still largely ignored by chemical safety laws.
CHEM Trust proposes a range of policies that could help address this challenge, for example faster regulatory action on groups of similar chemicals, and development of new methods for identifying chemicals of concern. They also include advice for consumers on how to reduce their exposure.
Dr Michael Warhurst, Executive Director of CHEM Trust, said:
“The brain development of future generations is at stake. We need EU regulators to phase out groups of chemicals of concern, rather than slowly restricting one chemical at a time. We cannot continue to gamble with our children’s health.”
The report has been peer reviewed by two eminent scientists in the field, Professor Philippe Grandjean and Professor Barbara Demeneix.
Prof Barbara Demeneix (Laboratory of Evolution of Endocrine Regulations, CNRS, Paris) said:
“Chemical exposure is now at unprecedented levels, is multiple, ubiquitous, and present from conception onwards”
Prof. Philippe Grandjean (Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark), added:
“The current generation has the responsibility to safeguard the brains of the future” “I would insist that the Precautionary Principle must be applied in order to protect the next generation’s brains.”
For many of us in the UK, the annual ritual of putting the clocks back for daylight saving time can be accompanied by a distinct feeling of winter blues as autumn well and truly beds in. This might be felt as a lack of energy, reduced enjoyment in activities and a need for more sleep than normal. But for around 6% of the UK population and between 2-8% of people in other higher latitude countries such as Canada, Denmark and Sweden, these symptoms are so severe that these people are unable to work or function normally. They suffer from a particular form of major depression, triggered by changes in the seasons, called seasonal affective disorder or Sad.
In addition to depressive episodes, Sad is characterised by various symptoms including chronic oversleeping and extreme carbohydrate cravings that lead to weight gain. As this is the opposite to major depressive disorder where patients suffer from disrupted sleep and loss of appetite, Sad has sometimes been mistakenly thought of as a “lighter” version of depression, but in reality it is simply a different version of the same illness. “People who truly have Sad are just as ill as people with major depressive disorder,” says Brenda McMahon, a psychiatry researcher at the University of Copenhagen. “They will have non-seasonal depressive episodes, but the seasonal trigger is the most common. However it’s important to remember that this condition is a spectrum and there are a lot more people who have what we call sub-syndromal Sad.”
Around 10-15% of the population has sub-syndromal Sad. These individuals struggle through autumn and winter and suffer from many of the same symptoms but they do not have clinical depression. And in the northern hemisphere, as many as one in three of us may suffer from “winter blues” where we feel flat or disinterested in things and regularly fatigued.
One theory for why this condition exists is related to evolution. Around 80% of Sad sufferers are women, particularly those in early adulthood. In older women, the prevalence of Sad goes down and some researchers believe that this pattern is linked to the behavioural cycles of our ancient ancestors. “Because it affects such a large proportion of the population in a mild to moderate form, a lot of people in the field do feel that Sad is a remnant from our past, relating to energy conservation,” says Robert Levitan, a professor at the University of Toronto. “Ten thousand years ago, during the ice age, this biological tendency to slow down during the wintertime was useful, especially for women of reproductive age because pregnancy is very energy-intensive. But now we have a 24-hour society, we’re expected to be active all the time and it’s a nuisance. However, as to why a small proportion of people experience it so severely that it’s completely disabling, we don’t know.”
There are a variety of biological systems thought to be involved, including some of the major neurotransmitter systems in the brain that are associated with motivation, energy and the organisation of our 24-hour circadian rhythms. “We know that dopamine and norepinephrine play critical roles in terms of how we wake up in the morning and how we energise the brain,” Levitan says. One particular hormone, melatonin, which controls our sleep and wake cycles, is thought to be “phase delayed” in people with severe Sad, meaning it is secreted at the wrong times of the day.
Another system of particular interest relates to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety, happiness and mood. Increasing evidence from various imaging and rodent studies suggests that the serotonin system may be directly modulated by light. Natural sunlight comes in a variety of wavelengths, and it is particularly rich in light at the blue end of the spectrum. When cells in the retina, at the back of our eye, are hit by this blue light, they transmit a signal to a little hub in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus that integrates different sensory inputs, controls our circadian rhythms, and is connected to another hub called the raphe nuclei in the brain stem, which is the origin of all serotonin neurons throughout the brain. When there is less light in the wintertime, this network is not activated enough. In especially susceptible individuals, levels of serotonin in the brain are reduced to such an extent that it increases the likelihood of a depressive episode.
A 31-year-old man who helped to repair homes in Galveston, Texas after flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey was recently diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria and died on October 16th after being admitted to a hospital on October 10th, according to a statement released by health officials in Galveston on Monday.
He is the second person to die from flesh-eating bacteria since Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf Coast. Two weeks ago, a 77 year old woman died after a fall inside her flooded home in which she cut her arm and subsequently contracted the flesh-eating bacteria.
When the man initially presented to the hospital on October 10th, officials described an infected wound affecting the upper portion of his left arm.
A cut, scrape, puncture or any break in the skin may serve as a portal of entry for the dangerous bacteria, which then leads to destruction of blood vessels, fat, nerves and a white fibrous covering of the muscle known as the fascia. The infection then proceeds to enter the muscle, compromising blood flow and leading to death of the tissue.
Its important to realize that bacteria don’t actually digest the tissue, but instead produce a deadly toxin that is responsible for the extensive tissue damage.
As the bacteria enter the bloodstream, fever, chills and vomiting may rapidly develop, leading to a dangerous condition known as sepsis which is characterized by low blood pressure, rapid and difficult breathing and confusion.
Necrotizing fasciitis is a surgical emergency. Aggressive fluid resuscitation along with broad spectrum antibiotics must be started promptly with emergent preparation for surgery to remove or debride the affected area in order to contain the infection.
Persons with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cancer who are receiving chemotherapy are most at risk for complications, due to poor blood supply to skin, muscle and soft tissue from having such chronic conditions.
Flood waters harboring bacteria (from sewage), along with dirty surfaces or debris contacting the victim’s initial cut or injury, likely led to the onset of this aggressive and deadly infection. As a general rule, it’s best to keep all cuts or blisters covered with a dry gauze and waterproof type dressing if there is any potential to come in contact with floodwater or dirty surfaces or debris.
The CDC describes about 700-1,110 cases annually in the U.S., the result of an active surveillance and reporting network that is set up to monitor such aggressive infections.
Cases of typhoid and cholera, invasive and aggressive diarrheal illnesses typically associated with floods in developing countries, never materialized after the hurricane, according to data from the CDC. In addition, cases of tetanus, which can develop from heavily contaminated wounds after soil exposure, have generally not been a concern with such flooding in the U.S., as supported by data from the CDC.
“Necrotizing fasciitis is caused by strep group A (flesh-eating bacteria) or anaerobic bacteria which thrive in areas without oxygen,” said Debra Spicehandler, MD, Co-Chief of Infectious Diseases, Northern Westchester Hospital. ”Antibiotics are important but swift surgical debridement is necessary. The cases caused by strep release a toxin which can also cause systemic effects and organ failure leading to mortality.”
Open heart surgery appears to be safer in the afternoon because of the body’s internal clock, scientists have said.
The body clock – or circadian rhythm – is the reason we want to sleep at night, but it also drives huge changes in the way our bodies work.
The research, published in the Lancet, suggests the heart is stronger and better able to withstand surgery in the afternoon than the morning.
And it says the difference is not down to surgeons being tired in the morning.
Doctors need to stop the heart to perform operations including heart valve replacements. This puts the organ under stress as the flow of oxygen to the heart tissue is reduced.
The doctors and researchers looked for complications including heart attacks, heart failure or death after surgery. They found:
54 out of 298 morning patients had adverse events
28 out of 298 afternoon patients had adverse events
Afternoon patients had around half the risk of complications
One major event would be avoided for every 11 patients operated on in the afternoon
One of those involved in the research, Prof Bart Staels, from the Institut Pasteur de Lille, told the BBC News website: “We don’t want to frighten people from having surgery – it’s life saving.”
He also said it would be impossible for hospitals to conduct surgery only after lunch.
But Prof Staels added: “If we can identify patients at highest risk, they will definitely benefit from being pushed into the afternoon and that would be reasonable.”
Obesity and type 2 diabetes have been shown to increase the risk of complications after surgery.
Heart health is already known to fluctuate over the course of a day.
The risk of a heart attack or stroke is highest first thing in the morning, while the heart and lungs work at their peak in the afternoon.
Dr John O’Neill, from the UK Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said: “Scientifically it is not hugely surprising, because just like every other cell in the body, heart cells have circadian rhythms that orchestrate their activity.
“Our cardiovascular system has the greatest output around mid/late-afternoon, which explains why professional athletes usually record their best performances around this time.”
Imagine a future in which, rather than using symptoms to identify a disease, your genes, metabolism, and gut microbiome inform how your individual health is managed. This is the vision of precision medicine.
Traditional medicine uses symptoms to diagnose diseases, and drugs to treat these symptoms. But precision medicine aims to turn this concept on its head.
By identifying the factors that predispose a person to a particular disease and the molecular mechanisms that cause the condition, treatment and prevention strategies can be tailored to each individual.
So, how do we get from traditional to precision medicine? Advances in genetics and molecular analysis techniques have been a deciding factor, as has getting patients involved with managing their own health.
However, is precision medicine going to revolutionize how we treat all medical conditions, or will it be the privilege of a select few?
Innovation drives precision medicine
To the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “[P]recision medicine is a revolutionary approach for disease prevention and treatment that takes into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology.”
Launched by President Barack Obama in 2015, the Precision Medicine Initiative “will pioneer a new model of patient-powered research that promises to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.”
Breakthroughs in molecular biology have been key to getting precision medicine off the ground.
Next-generation DNA sequencing is now routinely used to identify genetic mutations that drive specific cancers, and biomarkers that predict disease risk or how well a person will respond to a particular treatment are increasingly becoming reality in medical practice.
Cancer is the one area wherein precision medicine seems to be making significant headway. New therapies seek to target the specific cellular pathway that is being exploited by a cancer, with the view to making short the life of the tumor.
This approach is already being employed in clinical trials to treat patients with melanoma who have a mutation in the BRAF gene, as Medical News Todayreported recently.
CISOs need to be thinking about their answers to critical questions the CEO is likely to pose.
Information Security Media Group asked seven security experts what questions they believe CEOs should be asking CISOs, and what information CISOs should arm themselves with to be prepared to provide answers. Following are eight questions and the experts’ suggested responses.
We have been investing in cybersecurity for a few years now. Would you say our organization is secure?
Israel Bryski, vice president, technology risk, Goldman Sachs: To pre-empt this question, the CISO should have a conversation early on with the CEO to determine the organization’s risk appetite. This will allow the CISO to align and prioritize security initiatives accordingly.
We are in the business of information and technology risk management, so the “Are we secure?” question is somewhat misguided. The question should be: “Are we managing risk according to our risk profile?” To answer this, the CISO should be able to easily demonstrate, based on a recent risk assessment, how the various cybersecurity initiatives and projects are in fact reducing risk, shrinking the attack surface of the organization and aligning the security program with the firm’s overall risk profile.
We have a board meeting next week. Can you talk about cybersecurity in a way they will understand?
Mischel Kwon, former director of US-CERT and deputy CISO for the Department of Justice; currently CEO of MKACyber: CISOs should be able to confidently say “absolutely” to this question. They should be able to speak with the board in a very businesslike way and articulate what they are doing with the company’s money and how they are protecting the company and its assets.
The key to being able to speak to the board is to base their program on a business-focused model. That business model shows their capability founded on their maturity, and that maturity is based on the probability of detecting specific types of attacks. These are the type of attacks that are most likely to happen to them, and this is the risk to the business, its goals and its reputation that these attacks bring.
Do you have enough money to do what you need to do?
Tim Youngblood, CISO, McDonald’s: Depending on where CISO sits, this can be a hairy topic. That can be a difficult conversation to say “I’m not getting enough.” It’s not easy if the CIO is in the room.
The best way to answer that is, “We may have current risks we are really well-funded to address, but there may be future risks we’ll need to fund and we still have some work to figure that piece out.”
A CEO is not going to write you a blank check. The CEO is going to look at the CFO and CIO and say, “The CISO needs money. You take it out of your budget and make it happen.” There is not an extra pot of money waiting for anyone, so making the clear case for why it is needed is key.
Is this really worth the investment?
Heath Renfrow, CISO at U.S. Army Medicine: The best thing a CISO can do when asked this question is have multiple options they can present to the CEO. Explain to them: Here’s the full issue. This is the total cost to fix this issue. This is what we believe the cost will be if this issue doesn’t go away and how much it will be should the vulnerability be exploited.
As an example, we didn’t know not know where our protected health Information and personal identifying information resided across all systems when I first got to Army Medicine. It would be a huge HIPAA concern if we got hit on that, or if there was a leak or a violation. It could have cost millions of dollars and many jobs. I tied in the overall cost and broke it down to how much it would be per end-user device to address it and it came out to be an about $3.43 per end-user device. Then I tied in all the results of HIPAA violations in the past few years and the fines associated with them. You get your senior leaders attention real quick with that approach.
Rick Howard, CSO, Palo Alto Networks, adds: Questions like this are sure to arise as corporate leadership attempts to understand the business risk associated with a cyberattack. As a result, CIO/CISOs should be prepared to explain the total cost of a potential breach. Everything from business disruption and loss of customers to consequential legal fees and remediation can rack up the bill more quickly than leadership may realize.