Chili pepper cocktail points to wide-awake surgery

first_imgImagine an epidural or a shot of Novocain that doesn’t paralyze your legs or make you numb yet totally blocks your pain. This type of pain management is now within reach. As a result, childbirth, surgery, and trips to the dentist might be less traumatic in the future, thanks to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) who have succeeded in selectively blocking pain-sensing neurons in rats without interfering with other types of neurons.The pint-sized subjects received injections near their sciatic nerves, which run down their hind limbs, and subsequently lost the ability to feel pain in their paws. But they continued to move normally and react to touch. The injections contained QX-314, a normally inactive derivative of the local anesthetic lidocaine, and capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers. In combination, these chemicals targeted only pain-sensing neurons, preventing them from sending signals to the brain.“We’ve introduced a local anesthetic selectively into specific populations of neurons,” explains HMS Professor Bruce Bean, an author on the paper, which appears in Nature today (Oct. 4). “Now we can block the activity of pain-sensing neurons without disrupting other kinds of neurons that control movements or nonpainful sensations.”“We’re optimistic that this method will eventually be applied to humans and change our experience during procedures ranging from knee surgery to tooth extractions,” adds Clifford Woolf of MGH, who is senior author on the study.Despite enormous investments by industry, surgical pain management has changed little since the first successful demonstration of ether general anesthesia at MGH in 1846. General and local anesthetics work by interfering with the excitability of all neurons, not just pain-sensing ones. Thus, these drugs produce dramatic side effects, such as loss of consciousness in the case of general anesthetics or temporary paralysis for local anesthetics.“We’re offering a targeted approach to pain management that avoids these problems,” says Woolf.The new work builds on research conducted since the 1970s showing how electrical signaling in the nervous system depends on the properties of ion channels, that is, proteins that make pores in the membranes of neurons.“This project is a perfect illustration of how research trying to understand very basic biological principles can have practical applications,” says Bean.The new method exploits a membrane-spanning protein called TRPV1, which is unique to pain-sensing neurons. TRPV1 forms a large channel, where molecules can enter and exit the cell. But a “gate” typically blocks this opening. The gate opens when cells are exposed to heat or the chili-pepper ingredient capsaicin. Thus, bathing pain-sensing neurons in capsaicin leaves these channels open, but nonpain sensing neurons are unaffected because they do not possess TRPV1.The new method then takes advantage of a special property of the lidocaine derivative QX-314. Unlike most local anesthetics, QX-314 can’t penetrate cell membranes to block the excitability of the cell, so it typically lingers outside neurons where it can’t affect them. For this reason it is not used clinically.When pain-sensing neurons are exposed to capsaicin, however, and the gates guarding the TRPV1 channels disappear, QX-314 can enter the cells and shut them down. But the drug remains outside other types of neurons that do not contain these channels. As a result, these cells fully retain their ability to send and receive signals.The team first tested the method in a Petri dish. Alexander Binshtok, a postdoctoral researcher in Woolf’s lab, applied capsaicin and QX-314 (separately and in combination) to isolated pain-sensing and other neurons and measured their responses. Indeed, the combination of capsaicin and QX-314 selectively blocked the excitability of pain-sensing neurons, leaving the others unaffected.Next, Binshtok injected these chemicals into the paws of rats and measured their ability to sense pain by placing them on an uncomfortable heat source. The critters tolerated much more heat than usual. He then injected the chemicals near the sciatic nerve of the animals and pricked their paws with stiff nylon probes. The animals ignored the provocation. Although the rats seemed immune to pain, they continued to move normally and respond to other stimuli, indicating that QX-314 failed to penetrate their motor neurons.The team must overcome several hurdles before this method can be applied to humans. They must figure out how to open the TRPV1 channels without producing even a transient burning pain before QX-314 enters and blocks the neurons, and they must tinker with the formulation to prolong the effects of the drugs. Both Bean and Woolf are confident they’ll succeed.“Eventually, this method could completely transform surgical and post-surgical analgesia, allowing patients to remain fully alert without experiencing pain or paralysis,” says Woolf. “In fact, the possibilities seem endless. I could even imagine using this method to treat itch, as itch-sensitive neurons fall into the same group as pain-sensing ones.”Research in the Woolf lab is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Research in the Bean lab is supported by NINDS and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.Harvard and MGH have filed patents on this technology platform.For a copy of the paper: [email protected]last_img read more

Checkoff Watch: Using social media to get dairy’s story out there

first_imgMisled, uninformed and agenda-driven groups love to use social media to spread misinformation about how you farm and the milk you produce. The checkoff is doing something about that. Consumer confidence in milk and other dairy products is important to the success of American dairy farmers. New expectations about food grow while generations drift further from the farm. They demand more but know less.advertisementadvertisementThis is why the dairy farmer leaders of the checkoff have directed staff to take control of the dialogue, tell the positive stories and get into public conversations in a credible way.The checkoff’s industry-wide Consumer Confidence Program is built to shape and change consumer perception and behavior. To do so will require all of us working together along with friends and partners talking about topics important to consumers.We must show them, involve them in the story, connect emotionally and reach them in the many places they live on- and off-line. It requires transparency and being open, honest, candid and sometimes edgier than our conservative industry has ever been.The system to make the conversations oursWe’ve built a system over the last few years through which all content can be leveraged. The two biggest pieces are Dairy Good, which is where our stories live (and its social media properties), and “Where Good Comes From,” the umbrella theme for the whole industry to use. We’re asking our food service and health professional partners to adopt it as well.As part of the industry, we ask all of you to take that personal step, transparently, to get the conversations started and enter other conversations as advocates. It won’t always be easy, and sometimes it will feel painful because it will attract the anti-animal ag activists. But we’re ready for that.advertisementWe are generating entertaining and engaging content about dairy to share with consumers and thought leaders, in ways and in places that address how those audiences want to have dialogue. One example is “The Udder Truth,” a video series on the Dairy Good website and elsewhere, that launched in July, that uses real dairy farmers to bust common myths about dairy.We’re using a variety of methods to bolster consumer confidence in dairy, and we’ll keep looking for new ways. How you take part not only helps your operation; it helps all farmers. PDOn the webDairyGood – Click here or on its social media properties, such as Twitterto find the many ways the dairy checkoff is building and reinforcing consumer trust in you and your products.Dairy.org – Visit to learn more about your checkoff and find links to all your local promotion organizations.Your Dairy Checkoff in Action – The following update is provided by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff program on behalf of America’s dairy producers and dairy importers. DMI is the domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing sales of and demand for dairy products and ingredients.Test your answerWhere can you go to find dairy stories to share with consumers?ANSWER: Tell everyone you know to visit the Dairy Good website to find and share fun, compelling and shareable stories about what you do to reinforce consumer confidence in dairy.Local spotlightYour state and regional promotion organizations work with national and local partners to showcase dairy locally, recognizing the value of dairy farm families and moving more product. The following are some highlights of how these offices are reaching consumers through social media channels.advertisementUnited Dairymen of IdahoUnited Dairymen of Idaho (UDI) started a video blog featuring a registered dietitian. Here’s an example done during National Women’s Health Week.UDI also is encouraging its dairy farmers to use social media channels to give consumers a snapshot into their farm lives. Some examples include @jacksonfamilyfarm (Instagram) and Liberty Ranch LLC (Facebook).Western Dairy AssociationThe Western Dairy Association (WDA) continues to advance consumer confidence by sharing content through its social sites. The WDA created the “Stand Up for Ag” initiative and provides training for dairy farmers and other agricultural community members on how to use social media. The WDA also shares dairy farm videos on its Facebook page (Western Dairy Association) in addition to memes that convey positive farm messages.Arizona Milk ProducersArizona dairy farmers work hard to keep their cows cool in the summer by installing high-tech fans and misting systems. One dairy has a temperature gauge in the corrals that shows the outside temperature and shade temperature. Arizona Milk Producers shared an image of the cows in the corral on its social channels to prove, without a doubt, these cows are comfortable. The social posts reached almost 100,000 impressions, with many people praising farmers for their efforts.American DairyAssociation, IndianaA group of Indiana bloggers toured Kuehnert Dairy Farm in Fort Wayne. The bloggers got to see how technology such as robotic milking machines, cow brushes and feed pushers work on a modern family farm. The group also toured Prairie Farms Dairy to see how milk is tested, pasteurized, homogenized and bottled. The bloggers shared their experience on YouTube.last_img read more

Cinch Announces New Midwest Microwave SMP Terminations Series

first_imgCinch Connectivity Solutions, has announced the availability of new SMP Terminations that operate from DC to 18 GHz. The new Midwest Microwave SMP terminations expand their product offerings of higher frequency interconnects for the 5G market.The new SMP terminations operate up to 18 GHz, support the MIL-STD-348A standard interface, and are built to operate in extreme temperatures. They are suitable for use in 5G applications, test boards, and military or high reliability systems. The terminations are available in 50 Ohm impedance options.Midwest Microwave manufacturers passive coaxial microwave components that are known for their precision performance and high quality, meeting the precise requirements of the RF/Microwave industry. Its broad product portfolio includes: Attenuators, Precision Adapters, Terminations, DC Blocks, Power Dividers, Couplers, Equalizers, Phase Shifters, Connectors, Custom Cable Assemblies and Test Cables that are designed and manufactured for both commercial and military applications.Click here for more information on Midwest Microwave’s SMP terminations.last_img read more

STF nabs key JMB leader from Chennai

first_imgKolkata: Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has arrested a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist from Chennai on Tuesday morning. The JMB member has been identified as Asadullah Shaikh alias Raja of Nityanandapur at Bhatar in East Burdwan.According to sources, following the arrest of four JMB members, police were trying to locate other members of the banned terror outfit. A few days ago, STF officials came to know that one of the top JMB leaders was hiding somewhere in Chennai. Immediately, a team was sent to Chennai, who got in touch with the local police. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaOn Tuesday morning, police identified the hideout of Shaikh. Soon, the STF team along with the support of local police, raided the place at Nilangarai, Thoriyapakkam in Chennai and were able to nab him. He was produced before the Judicial Magistrate, Alamdur, with an appeal for transit which was eventually granted. The court has allowed three days transit remand for Shaikh to be produced at the Kolkata Court. During preliminary interrogation, police came to know that Shaikh had rented the house in Chennai in order to hide. He had fled from his house in Bhatar immediately after the Khargaragarh blast, which took place on October 2 in 2014. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayPolice suspect that Shaikh was also involved in the Bodh Gaya blast. He was the closest person to JMB leader Kausar, who is one of the prime accused in the Khagragarh blast case. Kausar was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in August 2018 from Bengaluru. At that point of time, Shaikh was also hiding somewhere in South India. After the arrest of Kausar, he fled from his hiding place. Since then, Shaikh had taken shelter in Chennai and was living there. Locals in Bhatar claimed that before the Khagragarh blast they knew that Shaikh works in a brick manufacturing unit in Chennai. He used to come home once or twice a year.last_img read more

National Heritage Day with awards culture spanning two islands

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, October 10, 2016 – Today is a public holiday.  No longer Columbus Day, now National Heritage Day and there will be 42 people celebrated at the National Awards Ceremony this morning at 10 in Grand Turk on Parade Grounds.The list is long and filled with exceptional islanders who have added to the quality of life here in the TCI.  Two will get the Order of the TCI prize; four will receive the Cayos Medal for patriotism; there are 25 for the long service medal including four former chief ministers; four individuals will be medaled for meritorious service and seven will be bestowed the national Young Achievers medal.You can see the full list of honorees released on Friday to media at Magnetic Media TV.com.  Those named had also been Gazetted weeks before. Also today, a float parade from Grace Bay to the Blue Hills Jetty at 3pm.  Police advise that due to the motorcade and other events planned in Blue Hills; there will be a traffic detour as the road will be closed from the Blue Hills Jetty to old Smokey’s on the Bay on Bay Road from 11am to 11pm.  Motorists are asked to use Millennium Highway.Onsite there will be sail boat racing and domino tournament with the Premier’s Cup reward plus rip saw music and native show with live band performances by V6, Harbour Heights, Youth Vision, Lassie Doh Boys, Island Boys and Q Bank Links. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Minister Thompson – GB Should Be Centre for Arbitration in The Bahamas

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 22, 2017 – Grand Bahama – As the Government of The Bahamas continues its quest to make Grand Bahama the centre for industry and innovation, and the entrepreneurial hub, it is important to embrace new ways to resolve matters and maintain respect and peace among members of the community, according to Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson.The Minister’s remarks came during the opening of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Seminar, which was held at Pelican Bay Resort, Thursday, September 21, 2017.   The seminar was attended by local lawyers, business owners and executives of the Grand Bahama Port Authority.Minister Thompson told attendees that as with all new initiatives, local support is needed in order to be effective.   Therefore, he suggested partnership and cooperation among Grand Bahamians as a major component of Grand Bahama’s revitalization.“And it can all start here, at a seminar like this,” said Minister Thompson.  “Grand Bahama really should be the centre of arbitration for The Bahamas. I say that without a doubt.”As the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister for Grand Bahama, Mr. Thompson threw his full support behind ADR Bahamas and the role they play on the island of Grand Bahama, which, he pointed out, is a commitment to the resolution of disputes and issues by means other than litigation.He noted that there are always individuals seeking confidential, quick and convenient settlements.“As we all know sometimes waiting for a court appointment or going through the process can, at times, prove to be tedious,” noted Minister Thompson.   “Arbitration seeks to resolve disputes fairly and quickly.   The resolution is recognized as equivalent to a court decision, in most cases, and both parties can move and have their disputes dealt with.“It is my hope that ADR Bahamas will grow in popularity and eventually lead to an international arbitration centre that we seek to have operating here in Grand Bahama.   This will bring opportunities for Bahamians, as well as for the business community and those persons who wish to do business and invest in The Bahamas.”By: Andrew CoakleyPhoto Captions:OPENS SEMINAR – Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of The Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson was the guest speaker at the opening of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Seminar at Pelican Bay Resort, Thursday, September 21, 2017.  (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)ADDRESSING ‘ADR’ SEMINAR – While addressing attendees of the Alternative Dispute Resolution seminar on Thursday, September 21, 2017, Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson said that Grand Bahama should be the centre for arbitration in The Bahamas.  (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more