Inflammation affects our decision-making patterns, study suggests

first_imgShare The researchers were specifically interested in the relationship between pro-inflammatory cytokines and delay discounting. Cytokines are proteins produced by the immune system, while delay discounting is the tendency to take a smaller reward that is available immediately rather than a larger reward that will be delivered in the future.“So, we predicted that inflammation may play a mechanistic role in increasing present focus. We also have a recent paper published in Scientific Reports, that outlines our theoretical model in more detail,” Gassen said.The study of 161 undergraduates experimentally-induced higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines by exposing the participants to either photographs of disease, threatening photographs, or sexually arousing photographs. To ensure that this manipulation worked, the researchers measured the participants’ levels of proinflammatory cytokines via saliva samples.After being exposed to the images, the participants completed a 30-question survey designed to measure delay discounting.The researchers found that higher levels of cytokines predicted greater temporal discounting. Participants who had higher levels of inflammatory markers after being exposed to the images were more likely to choose smaller, immediate rewards rather than larger, later rewards.“Although we still have a lot of research to do in this domain, I think that there are two important takeaways for the average person,” Gassen told PsyPost.“First, it’s that we need to abandon this idea that the brain and body/immune system are two separate entities. The immune system plays a key role in regulating the nervous system and behavior, not only when you’re sick, but also under normal day-to-day conditions.”“A great example of this is with the phenomenon of sickness behavior. When you feel terrible because you have the flu, a bacterial infection, or whatever, those symptoms of fatigue, lack of motivation, and aches don’t come from the infectious agent itself, but from your immune system! Your immune system – primarily through changes in inflammation – makes you feel sick so that you stay home, rest, and recover. This is just one of the many examples of your immune system impacting your brain,” Gassen explained.“The second takeaway follows from the first. Given that what goes on in your body and immune system can impact your behavior, what you put in your body and what you do to take care of your body may influence how you think, feel, and act. With impulsivity, things like poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, etc., may contribute to present-focused decision-making by increasing levels of inflammation.”“Similarly, we may be able to help individuals with impulse control issues by improving their health. Although we have only just begun testing these possibilities in our recent work, they are interesting to consider,” Gassen said.The researchers statistically controlled for factors known to influence inflammation, including age, gender, race, physical activity, sleep, body mass index (BMI), stress, recent illness, and socioeconomic status. But like all research, the study includes some limitations.“One major caveat of the study in question is our lack of a true control group whose inflammation was not expected to increase after the experimental manipulation. This would have allowed us to see if those in the control group were behaving differently from the three other groups who saw an uptick in inflammation,” Gassen explained“We are following up on this in multiple experiments right now, and also have longitudinal studies planned to help us really understand the causal direction of the relationship between inflammation and present-focused decision-making.”The study, “Experimentally-Induced Inflammation Predicts Present Focus“, was authored by Jeffrey Gassen, Anastasia Makhanova, Jon K. Maner, E. Ashby Plant, Lisa A. Eckel, Larissa Nikonova, Marjorie L. Prokosch, Gary W. Boehm, and Sarah E. Hill. Share on Twitter Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Email New research provides some of the first experimental evidence that inflammatory processes influence our decisions. The findings, which appear in the journal Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, suggest that factors that promote inflammation may also contribute to impulsivity.“We initially became interested in this topic after beginning to explore the role of the body’s condition (e.g., hunger, health, etc.) on decision-making in a variety of domains, like interpersonal processes, risk-taking, and impulsivity,” said study author Jeff Gassen, a doctoral candidate at Texas Christian University and member of Sarah Hill’s Evolutionary Social Psychology Lab.“We developed a hypothesis that the immune system may play an important role in calibrating individuals’ behavior to their bodily state, given that the immune system both monitors the state of the body and can communicate with the brain. Specifically, inflammation increases when the body is threatened or in poor condition, a time when an individual needs to invest in what’s going on right now (whether it be rewards, opportunities, or taking steps to recover) and think less about the future.”last_img read more

News Scan for Feb 02, 2015

first_imgAs US measles cases top 100, Toronto reports 4 infectionsCalifornia officials today said they have confirmed 92 measles cases since December, 59 of which are linked to visiting Disneyland, bringing the US total to more than 100 cases, while Toronto has confirmed 4 cases not linked to each other or to travel outside the country.The update today from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) includes one new case since the agency’s previous update on Jan 30, in a child under 1 year old. Of the 59 cases linked to Disneyland, 40 involved people who likely contracted the disease in the park, and 19 cases involve contact with one or more of those primary cases—or with someone who had contact with a primary case.The earliest Disney-linked case-patient reported visiting the theme park in December.Establishing the exact number of outbreak-related US cases is difficult. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its total to 102 on Jan 30 in 14 states. Those numbers, however, include only cases since Jan 1, and it’s unclear how many of them are from California, because the CDC has not yet provided a state-by-state breakdown.The CDPH last reported Disney-linked measles cases in other states on Jan 28, at which point there were 13 in six states, plus a case in Michigan that was linked to travel to California but not to Disneyland. Some of those illnesses began before Jan 1. The CDC said that 92% of its 102 confirmed cases—94 cases—are linked to the Disney outbreak.In Toronto, meanwhile, Toronto Public Health (TPH) said the four lab-confirmed cases involve two children under 2 years old and two adults, all from different families. “No source case has yet been identified and there are no known links or contact between the cases,” TPH said in a news release today.The agency said it is following up with known contacts and anyone else who might have been exposed. A Toronto Globe and Mail story today said that none of the patients traveled recently outside the country.Feb 2 CDPH update Jan 30 CDC update Feb 2 TPH news release Feb 2 Globe and Mail story Saudi Arabia, Qatar report MERS casesOfficials announced a case of MERS-CoV in Qatar over the weekend, and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a new case today.The case of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) in Qatar involves a 55-year-old man who was hospitalized with fever and joint pain. Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health is screening the man’s close contacts for symptoms and reinforcing infection control practices in hospitals, the agency said.The new case, the country’s first of 2015, brings Qatar’s MERS-CoV total to 12.The Saudi case-patient reported today is a 62-year-old man from Hafoof who is in stable condition. The man has an underlying medical condition and had contact with MERs cases in the community. He did not have recent exposure to animals or to MERS patients in clinical settings, and he is not a healthcare worker.The Saudi MOH also reported a MERS-CoV death yesterday in an 80-year-old man from Riyadh whose case was previously reported. The man had an underlying health condition and was not a healthcare worker.The Saudi reports bring the nation’s MERS-CoV total to 846 cases. Six cases remain active, 475 people have recovered, and 365 have died.Feb 1 Qatari Supreme Council of Health update Feb 2 MOH update Feb 1 MOH update Chikungunya cases rise by more than 14,000 in ColombiaThe Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported 19,668 new cases of chikungunya in the Caribbean and Americas on Jan 30, and more than 14,000 cases occurred in Colombia, bringing the outbreak total to 1,182,857.The new total includes 1,155,354 suspected and 24,521 confirmed locally acquired cases and 2,982 imported cases of chikungunya. Colombia reported 14,009 new cases, bringing the country’s outbreak total to 127,370.Other areas with substantial increases in case numbers over the previous week include El Salvador, which reported 2,272 new cases, and French Guiana, with 2,209 new cases. The countries’ outbreak totals are 137,655 and 16,279 cases, respectively.PAHO also reported 3 new deaths related to chikungunya, all of which occurred in Puerto Rico, bringing the territory’s death total to 13. The outbreak fatality total is now 179.Jan 30 PAHO report Two H7N9 infections reported in China, 1 fatalChina’s Guangdong province has reported two more H7N9 avian flu infections, in a 48-year-old man who died from his illness and a 9-year-old girl, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said in a Jan 31 statement.The patients are from two different cities, the man from Jieyang and the girl from Shanwei. The CHP said the girl is hospitalized in stable condition.The new infections lift the global H7N9 case total to 541 cases, according to a case list maintained by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.Jan 31 CHP statement FluTrackers H7N9 case listMeanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday confirmed two Canadian H7N9 cases that were previously reported by Canadian officials and involve a wife and husband from British Columbia. The two developed their illnesses after returning from travel in China, where they were exposed to live poultry.The woman got sick on Jan 14 and first saw a physician the next day. She was placed on antiviral therapy after initial tests were positive for influenza A. Additional tests confirmed H7N9 on Jan 26.Her husband, who has underlying medical conditions, started having symptoms on Jan 13 and sought care the same day. On Jan 19 he was prescribed antiviral medication, and tests confirmed his H7N9 infection on Jan 29. Neither patient was hospitalized, and both have recovered; they have agreed to self-isolate.Feb 1 WHO statement Cholera declined overall during 2014 in Haiti, Dominican RepublicBoth Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic reported big overall declines in cholera cases in 2014 compared with 2013, but both countries had increases late in the year, according to a Jan 30 update from PAHO.Haiti had 27,753 cholera cases and 296 deaths in 2014, which represented decreases of 53% and 50% from the previous year’s levels, PAHO reported. But weekly cases were sharply higher in the fall than in the rest of the year.From weeks 37 to 47, or about mid-September to late November, the average weekly count was 918 cases, versus a weekly average of 251 cases for the first 36 weeks of the year, the report said. Cases dropped in December.Haiti has been battling cholera since the fall of 2010. Investigators concluded that United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal inadvertently brought the pathogen into the country.The Dominican Republic reported a total of 597 suspected cholera cases for the year, with 10 deaths, PAHO reported. That was a 69.5% drop in cases and a 76% decline in deaths from the 2013 numbers.Through most of the year the country had only a few cases per week, but the numbers surged from weeks 46 through 49, or early November to early December. Week 48 brought more than 130 cases, according to a PAHO graph.Dominican officials have reported 16 suspected cases so far this year, the report said.In other observations, the update said Mexico had 14 cholera cases last year, 13 of them in the state of Hidalgo.Also, in early January Canada reported a cholera case in a person who had recently traveled to Cuba, PAHO reported. Cuban authorities were investigating the source of the infection. Jan 30 PAHO update Study finds no safety concerns over MMR vaccine in adultsA federal study reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases found no new or unexpected safety concerns over administering the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine in adults.The review covered 3,175 reports of events after MMR vaccination logged in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database from Jan 1, 2003, through Jul 31, 2013. It was conducted by scientists from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration.Of those events, 168 (5.3%) were classified as serious, including 7 deaths. The most common signs and symptoms for all reports—serious and not—were fever (19%), rash (17%), pain (13%), and joint pain (13%).The authors also noted that at least 131 pregnant women received the MMR vaccine even though it is contraindicated for this group. Most of the women received the vaccine during their first trimester, and 38% reported at least one adverse event.The investigators wrote, “We did not detect any new or unexpected safety concerns for MMR vaccination in adults.” They added that the finding of vaccination in pregnant women indicates a need for provider education.Jan 30 Clin Infect Dis abstractlast_img read more

Europe 2020 Fundraiser Underway At Century Bank

first_imgFrom left, Los Alamos High School students Matt Kuehn, Katie Herrmann, Abby Beus and Sophie Mamula invite the community to buy coffee to support the annual educational trip to Europe. The fundraiser is underway until 5 p.m. today at Century Bank in the Smith’s Marketplace shopping center. Christmas crafts are available for free as well. Courtesy photolast_img

The ASCO Dry Ice Reformer A700R

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

What’s new in schools

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletterslast_img read more

SCALDIS orders crane ship with 4,000 tonnes hoisting capacity

first_imgThe contract with STX Offshore & Shipbuilding for the construction and delivery of the ship was signed at the end of February 2012 and HLPFI understands that the design was developed in-house on the basis of the extensive experience that Scaldis has accumulated hoisting heavy objects in challenging offshore conditions. The keel is scheduled to be laid in February 2013, with delivery scheduled for spring 2014.Scaldis says that it is ordering this ship with one eye on the further support and expansion of its services, including the installation of offshore infrastructure and decommissioning activities in deep water for the oil and gas industry and the installation of offshore wind farms. In addition, Scaldis reports that the ship can also be used for any type of heavy lifting work in challenging situations, such as the construction of bridge components and clearing shipwrecks.The provision of a helipad in combination with accommodation for 78 people means Scaldis is capable of providing a varied range of additional services, it says.A few specific characteristics make this new crane ship unique in its field, claims Scaldis. It has two Huisman cranes each with a lifting capacity of 2,000 tonnes, based on a design by Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam. The ship also has extra carrying capacity of 3,000 tonnes.The cranes can be moved by 25 m on the ship which allows the deck to be used to transport and then relocate cargo at a later stage.The ship and the cranes are an integrated design which allows the maximum load to be hoisted in significant wave heights of up to 1.5 m. In these circumstances, the freeboard is not less than 3 m anywhere on the vessel. In standby or transport modes, significant wave height can be as much as 7.0 m.It is also worth noting that the maximum load can be lifted in water depths of just 5.0 m.The four azimuth thrusters and the DP2 system allow installation work to be conducted in deeper water without the use of anchors. This guarantees flexibility and efficiency and also means that work can be carried out in zones where many pipelines and cables already lie on the seabed, says Scaldis.Importantly for Scaldis, a powerful and rapid ballast system can follow the hoisting operation exactly, allowing jobs to be completed quickly and continuously.The ship will be equipped with a so-called ‘moonpool’ for the purposes of operating a separate ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) for inspecting and supervising installation work on the seabed. Finally, the presence of heavy fenders allows containers to be loaded/unloaded at sea.Scaldis is an offshore marine contractor specializing in offshore transportation and installation works. Its core expertise is in marine heavy lifting, although it supports many other marine related projects with its fleet; including: Civil construction work; Oil and Gas projects; Renewables/environmental developments; Decommissioning/deconstruction activities; Heavy lifting involved in salvage-related operations.  www.scaldis-smc.comlast_img read more

London Crossrail gets the go-ahead

first_imgPRIME Minister Gordon Brown gave the go-ahead for London’s long-awaited Crossrail project on October 5, with details of the funding package announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling four days later. The total cost was put at up to £16bn, allowing for inflation during construction and inclusive of land, compulsory purchase and contingencies. The government will provide more than £5bn, with London businesses contributing ‘broadly’ a third through a variety of mechanisms including a supplementary business rate to fund £3·5bn of debt. The projected operating surplus will meet the remaining third of the costs. Direct contributions have been agreed with some of the key beneficiaries along the route, with property company Canary Wharf Group making a ‘significant contribution’. It will be responsible for building the Isle of Dogs station in Docklands. The City of London Corporation will make a contribution from its own funds, and will ‘assist in delivering additional voluntary contributions’ from the largest London businesses. Operator of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports BAA plc has also agreed in principle to make a financial contribution. The parliamentary bill to secure powers for construction is expected to receive Royal Assent in summer 2008, with enabling works to begin the following year and construction in full swing by 2010. When Royal Assent is received, Transport for London will become the sole owner of Cross London Rail Links Ltd, the project promoter which is currently a joint venture between TfL and the national Department for Transport. TfL will let the operating concession, and will be responsible for setting the timetable and service standards. TfL sees Crossrail’s key role as relieving London Underground, particularly the small-profile Central Line, while Mayor Ken Livingstone’s statements have focused on the Heathrow Airport — City of London — Docklands axis. With TfL aiming to provide a common high-frequency service standard across all modes in London, integration with existing commuter flows into Paddington and Liverpool Street stations is likely to prove a significant issue. Freight operators have already expressed concern over the potential loss of capacity.Crossrail in detail Crossrail will provide an east-west heavy rail link across central London, bringing commuters into central London without the need to change onto crowded Underground services at mainline termini, and providing faster access between the financial districts and Heathrow Airport. At the heart of Crossrail are twin 6 m diameter tunnels which will be bored from Paddington station in the west across central London with six underground stations. Services will link Maidenhead to the west of London with Shenfield in the east, with a western branch to Heathrow Airport and an eastern branch to Abbey Wood. From Maidenhead to Paddington the trains will follow the existing Great Western Main Line, while east of Stratford the trains will use the Great Eastern Main Line. The branch from Whitechapel will serve the business area of Canary Wharf before tunnelling under the Thames to connect with the Southeastern network at Abbey Wood. In the longer term services are likely to be extended west to Reading, and an extension at the eastern end to connect with High Speed 1 at Ebbsfleet has featured in previous plans. The total route length is 118·5 km, which will be electrified at 25 kV AC 50 Hz. While Crossrail will be built to a UK mainline loading gauge, Cross London Rail Links has confirmed it will not be suitable for double-deck stock because the increased cost of tunnelling and rebuilding existing lines would be disproportionate to the extra capacity gained. A dedicated fleet of trains will be acquired, with the first services expected to run in 2017 and ramping up incrementally over 12 months. DfT says the line will bring an additional 15 million people within 60 min of London’s key business areas and ‘be commercially self-sustaining once operational’, carrying a predicted 200 million passengers a year.last_img read more

Major contract award for LGV Est Phase 2

first_imgFRANCE: RFF has awarded a major civil works contract for Phase 2 of LGV Est européene, the high speed line connecting Paris with Strasbourg. The 7∙5 km Lot 47 is to be built by the Dodin Campenon Bernard Construction joint venture including Spie Batignolles, Vinci and Cegelec under a contract worth €184∙3m.Lot 47 includes one of the major structures on Phase 2, the 4 km twin-bore Saverne tunnel under the Vosges mountains. There is also a 270 m viaduct over the course of the Haspelbaechel.With work now underway on lots 41, 42, 43A and 44, RFF hopes to award the remaining five civil works contracts for Phase 2 by the start of 2011. Running for 106 km from Baudrecourt to Vendenheim, the new line will cut Paris – Strasbourg journey times by a further 30 min.last_img read more

At least 15 killed by suicide bomber in a Kabul polling…

first_imgSuicide attack kills at least 95 in Kabul At Least One Killed In Nigeria Suicide Bombing Suicide bomber kills at least 72 in Pakistancenter_img At least 15 people were killed on Saturday in a suicide bombing at a polling booth in Kabul as Afghans voted in parliamentary elections.Among those killed were ten civilians and five policemen, while more than 25 others were left with injuries.The attack was staged by a lone suicide bomber, who tried to force his way into the polling station.Saturday’s attack was the first major attack in a day marred by disruption, and an election shadowed by violence and unrest.Relatedlast_img read more

Egypt TV host suspended over obesity comments

first_imgEgypt to host AFCON 2019 A popular and controversial Egyptian television talk show host has been suspended from appearing in the media for a year over remarks she made on-air about obesity among Egyptian women.Egypt’s media regulator said Reham Saeed breached professional standards by using words and phrases that were clearly offensive to women in Egypt.Ms. Saeed’s programme on a private television channel, Al-Hayah TV, had already been suspended after saying overweight Egyptian women were “burdens to their families and the state’’.Her remarks were in line with a recent anti-obesity drive by the Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, but they set off a storm of criticismMs. Saeed told her fans last week via Facebook and Instagram, that she was quitting her job as a TV anchor because of the backlash.The National Council for Women (NCW) has filed a complaint against Saeed after she humiliated obese people in a talk show “Sabaya with Reham Saeed” on Al-Haya T.V. channel saying “obese people are dead. They are burdens on their families, burdens on the state. Fat people cause an eyesore.”The NCW said that the talk show episode stirred Egyptian women’s resentment as it contains inappropriate phrases, calling for taking all legal required measures, according to a statement from the council. Egypt picked to host 2021 Handball World Cup Related Egypt school head suspended over mosque attack simulationlast_img read more