Oxytocin nasal spray improves self-control in overweight men

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email Sharecenter_img Pinterest “Knowing the mechanisms of action of intranasal oxytocin is important to investigating oxytocin as a novel treatment strategy for obesity,” Plessow said. “This information may allow us to move forward to large clinical trials, identify who can benefit from the drug, and help optimize the treatment.”To demonstrate the study subjects’ ability to suppress impulsive behavior, the investigators administered a psychology research test called the stop-signal task. In this test, the subject sat in front of a computer and became trained to respond to a square symbol on the computer screen by pressing a designated left button on the keyboard and to a triangle by pressing a right button. After the subject became familiar with that task, he was told to not press a button when he saw a symbol but heard a beep (the stop signal). Because the beep occurred after the symbols appeared with a varying delay that was adjusted to each subject, the new task required the subject to control the behavioral impulse to respond, Plessow explained.Participants took the test on two occasions 15 minutes after they self-administered a dose of nasal spray in each nostril. In a randomly assigned order, one day they received oxytocin and another they received a placebo, or dummy drug. Neither participants nor the tester knew which treatment they received. The men ranged in age from 23 to 43 years and were overweight or obese (BMI ranging from 27.7-33.9 kg/m2).The study, which received pilot grants from the National Institutes of Health-funded Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center and Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard, had exciting results, according to Plessow. After receiving oxytocin, participants less frequently pressed the button when they were not supposed to. This demonstrated that they were acting less impulsively and exerting more control over their behavior after receiving oxytocin, she said.Plessow said more study is necessary to determine how oxytocin alters self-control and how important this mechanism is in regulating food intake since not all overeating relates to poor self-control. They also will need to test the drug in women.“Our preliminary results in men are promising,” she said. “Oxytocin nasal spray showed no strong side effects and is not as invasive as obesity surgery.” A single dose of oxytocin nasal spray, known to reduce food intake, decreases impulsive behavior in overweight and obese men, according to a preliminary study to be presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society’s 98th annual meeting in Boston.Oxytocin nasal spray (made by Novartis) is a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin, which is important for controlling food intake and weight. It is approved in Europe but not in the United States other than in clinical trials. Oxytocin is available in the United States as an intravenous or injectable drug (Pitocin) to induce labor.Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital reported last year that oxytocin nasal spray reduced intake of calories and fat at a test meal without affecting appetite, but they were not sure how the drug has that affect. Results of their new pilot study in 10 overweight and obese men suggest that one way oxytocin lowers food intake might be by improving self-control, said co-investigator Franziska Plessow, PhD, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a research fellow in the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.last_img read more

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Los Alamos National Laboratory: Battling COVID-19 With Expertise, Technology And Materials

first_imgNational Security Sciences Building at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANLLANL News: A multidisciplinary effortLos Alamos National Laboratory, like many of the Department of Energy national laboratories, is drawing on its rich history in the biological sciences to actively engage in the national effort to study, understand, and answer important questions about the COVID-19 outbreak. Areas covered include disease detection and diagnostics, epidemic modeling, disease prediction and forecasting, decision support, data collection and integration, and medical measures.“Over the last several weeks, the Laboratory has taken extraordinary steps to preserve the ability to execute our mission while assisting our surrounding communities, the state, and our nation during this demanding national emergency,” Los Alamos Director Thom Mason said. “Many are looking to the Laboratory for resources including our expertise, technology, and materials to help combat the COVID-19 virus.”Los Alamos is providing decision-support for business and government, Director Mason said.“We are also collaborating with other national laboratories in the Department of Energy complex to develop an alternative COVID-19 testing method and are evaluating the potential of advanced manufacturing, specifically 3-D printing, to produce scarce medical equipment,” Mason said.Los Alamos’ work in detection and diagnostics is being leveraged to optimize assays for detecting COVID-19 and bioinformaticians are looking at its close genetic relatives to analyze the virus’ evolutionary relationships to other viruses that have been studied. Epidemiological modeling centers are focusing on predicting disease spread to support decision making by government and health agencies. The modeling efforts relies on data collection, data integration, and experienced researchers who can answer questions for decision makers. Medical therapeutics efforts are focusing on ways to leverage our expertise in vaccine optimization, small-molecule discovery, and toxicity testing.A rich history in biological sciencesLos Alamos has decades of experience integrating expertise across biology, chemistry, theory, and engineering. This multi-directorate focus of the Laboratory started in 1945 with studies of radiation health effects, expanded to the impact of radiation on DNA, and went on to include the Human Genome Project in Los Alamos. The Laboratory started GenBank, which is now the repository of DNA used in COVID-19 research.Over the years, Los Alamos has also developed deep expertise in bioinformatics—the information science side of biology.DetectionDetection and modeling begin with understanding historical outbreaks. A Los Alamos database catalogues historic information for key outbreaks of nearly 40 different diseases. That information helps responders select the historic similarities to each new situation, even as an outbreak evolves over the first hours and days. “When an outbreak occurs, we can look at these tools and see if it’s matching what we’ve seen historically,” said Kirsten Taylor-McCabe, a biochemist and national security and defense program manager at Los Alamos. “If it’s not matching, it alerts us that something might be different. It also shows us what happened in the past that people used for mitigative actions, such as contact tracing, vaccination and therapeutic campaigns, and social distancing. Did they work well? What lessons learned can we take away from actions taken in past outbreaks?”Los Alamos has a long history in computational design assays, which assess or measure the presence of pathogens. Bacteria and viruses evolve over time and researchers learn more about their genomes on a daily basis. This information is utilized to optimize assays.“They erode over time,” Taylor-McCabe said. “We need to keep pace with that and deliver assays that will be functional for COVID-19 or for future outbreaks. For diagnostics, we’re trying to leverage ways that we understand the host’s innate immune system. How can we triage what’s going on in the field? How can we understand if you have a bacterial or a viral infection? At Los Alamos, these are the techniques we are trying to leverage for this COVID-19 outbreak.”TestingLos Alamos is leading a Department of Energy–wide laboratory working group on COVID-19 testing and participating in assessments of lab capabilities for near- and long-term testing requirements, both for public health and for the Los Alamos enterprise.COVID-19 modeling“Modeling the epidemic sheds light on its growth rate, time of origin, future case counts, and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies,” said Nick Hengartner, leader of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group at Los Alamos. “Realistic epidemic models enable decision makers to validate data quality and play what-if scenarios.”Virus spread“For modeling, we’re looking at the spread of disease. We’re looking at it globally, all the way down to the county level,” Kirsten Taylor-McCabe said. “So in New Mexico we’re looking at the county level, we’re looking at how the disease is spreading, what the forecasts are for when we will see a peak in cases, how many people might be hospitalized, how many people may be in the ICU, how many might need ventilators, both from no intervention scenarios all the way through to high intervention scenarios.”“Because we have those physical models that are reasonably realistic and we can model them at low levels of geographic aggregation, it allows us to actually validate the data,” said Nick Hengartner. “One of the things that comes out is that we believe that we don’t see everyone who is sick at this time. That is something that our model is able to tell us. It’s also able to tell us if the mitigation strategies that we are implementing are working because we can compare what the models predict with the actual data that we are collecting.”Genetic research“Part of the modeling also uses the basic law of biology—evolution,” Hengartner said. “Things evolve, and by looking at how viruses evolve and putting them in context of related organisms, which is what a phylogenetic tree shows, we can make several conclusions. For example, we know now that COVID-19 is related to but not the same as the SARS virus. We can also see that COVID-19 evolves relatively slowly, which is good news.”The phylogenetic tree also shows close genetic neighbors or related viruses that have been found in bats and pangolins.“When we look at genetic-sequence similarity and we compare it to others, we see that this particular virus not only made use of point mutation, or very small genetic mutations, but it also rearranges its genome a little bit,” Hengartner said. “And looking at the patterns and how it has been rearranged and point mutations, we are very confident to say that this follows what we would expect from a naturally emerging and evolving organism.”Medical measures“One of the interesting proteins of the coronavirus is the crown—it’s those spikes,” Hengartner said, referring to the spiky protuberances that can be seen in microscopic images of the virus. “Those spikes matter because they attach themselves to the surface of a cell and then somehow inject the virus’s RNA into the cell and that’s how the infection happens. For that to happen, this attaching to the cell membrane, there are two receptors. It turns out that having two ways for the virus attach to itself to the membrane is actually not common, and one of these receptors is in the upper lung and the other one is in the lower lung,” Hengartner said.This may give a hint about how COVID-19 progresses as a respiratory disease.“Now that we know that it binds with those receptors, this provides us with an opportunity to say ‘well, are there any therapeutics that could mitigate or disrupt this kind of behavior?’” Hengartner said. “Just looking at the structure of the molecule gives us an idea about what kind of molecules or drugs we should be looking for.”Developing artificial human organs for drug testing“When we have these drug candidates, it would be fantastic to be able to test them rapidly in a human-based system, something that’s clinically relevant to the human,” Taylor-McCabe said. “Right now, drugs go through animal testing. At Los Alamos, we’re trying to bridge that gap with a human organoid platform that would better mimic what would happen within the human host. Our project includes an artificial human heart, lung, and liver. These are systems that would be able to screen some of the drug candidates that are out there.”Supporting vaccine development“People are feverishly trying to develop a vaccine and have already designed vaccines that are in testing phase, but at Los Alamos, we also want to look into the future,” Hengartner said. “One of the risks that we’ve recognized with this coronavirus is that there is an immense pool of other coronaviruses hiding in bats and pangolins and snakes and what not. We would like to come up with a strategy to protect us, not just against this particular strain, but maybe next year’s jump, too.”Los Alamos’ research in this area draws on its experience designing an HIV vaccine, which recently underwent human trials. HIV mutates extremely quickly, giving it a broad diversity that is difficult to address with a single vaccine. Los Alamos addressed that problem by creating a “mosaic” vaccine that is a patchwork of HIV genomes.With COVID-19, Hengartner said, “it doesn’t mutate that fast but we have a broad diversity, so if we can use similar mosaic strategies, we can start thinking about designing a vaccine that will protect us from future infections and outbreaks—and nip this one in the bud at the get-go.”Manufacturing“On the manufacturing side of the house, Los Alamos has been working in a DOE-wide working group, participating in assessments of how the labs can support the need for ventilators, masks, face-shields, and consumable parts for lab testing,” Kirsten Taylor-McCabe said. “We’re in the deep dive phase, trying to figure out how we can help and what is the best way that we can work with the commercial sector.”Research Collaborations with Los AlamosThe Biosurveillance Gateway is a Los Alamos website housing data about the pandemic and giving outside researchers an entry point for accessing Laboratory expertise in COVID-19 modeling, diagnosis, and decision support.“You can also look at who to contact for some of these efforts and submit questions, which we will triage and try to link you up to the scientists that are working in this area,” Taylor-McCabe said.Kirsten Taylor-McCabe is a biochemist and national security and defense program manager, and Nicolas Hengartner is leader of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.last_img read more

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Property’s finest celebrated at Property Awards 2018

first_imgDeveloper of the YearBallymore Property Deal of the YearWrenbridge Sport – York Community Stadium Financier of the YearBlackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies (BREDS) Personality of the Year: Alison Nimmo, The Crown Estate All the award winners hit the stage at the end of the Property Awards 2018Source: @richhookPWThe evening was a celebration of the very best the industry has to offer, including the first-ever winner of our new Irvine Sellar Award: chief executive of the Canary Wharf Group, Sir George Iacobescu. It was certainly a night to remember, also headlined by two new entrants into our Hall of Fame, Helical’s outgoing chair Mike Slade and The Crown Estate’s Alison Nimmo, who was also crowned as the Property Personality of the Year 2018.See the full list of winners below ahead of full highlights in next week’s print edition: Investment Agency Team of the YearCBRE Property Company of the YearDerwent London PropTech Company of the YearProperty Partner Property Fund Manager of the YearLegal & General Investment Management Occupier of the YearBloomberg Retail and Leisure Agency Team of the YearLunson Mitchenall Niche or Regional Agency Team of the YearMetis Real Estate Advisors Industrial Agency Team of the YearSavills Property Newcomer of the YearRestoration London Groupcenter_img Young Personality of the Year: Savannah de Savary, Built-ID The Placemaking AwardEcoWorld Ballymore – London City Island Professional Agency Team of the YearKnight Frank – PAM Team Property Wellbeing AwardCEG The Irvine Sellar Award, sponsored by WSP, celebrates an entrepreneurial individual or company that has shaken up the market in the past year with a groundbreaking project or initiativeSource: Rex Shutterstock/Alan Davidson/SilverhubIrvine Sellar Award Winner – Sir George Iacobescu CBEIt is no exaggeration to say that George Iacobescu has done as much as anyone to change the face of London. Born in Romania in 1945, Iacobescu studied engineering at Bucharest University before escaping the rule of Nicolae Ceauşescu in 1975 and establishing a career in the property industry in Canada. By the late 1980s, he had become vice-president of Olympia & York, in which capacity he moved to London in 1988 to oversee the construction of Canary Wharf.Iacobescu stayed with the project after the developer went into administration in 1991, working first as construction director, then deputy chief executive of the Canary Wharf Group when it formed in 1995, before taking the top job in 1997. For more than two decades, he has presided over what is now unquestionably one of the greatest business districts in the world. 2018 Hall of Fame inducteesMichael Slade (Helical)Industry heavyweight Mike Slade announced his intention to step down from his role as non-executive chairman at Helical, after 34 years with the company, earlier this year.One of the property industry’s most colourful figures, Slade joined the board as an executive director in 1984, and was appointed chief executive in 1986 and chairman in 2016.Also known for his love of sailing and his 100ft yacht Leopard, at the helm of Helical, Slade transformed the group into a major force in the commercial property industry from the steel rebar group it was when he took over. He is President of Land Aid, the property industry charity, a Fellow of the College of Estate Management, Fellow of Wellington College, a Trustee of Purley Park charity and Sherborne School Foundation and Vice Admiral of the Marie Rose Trust. In April 2017, he was appointed Chairman of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s Clinical Care and Research Centre Appeal to build a £50m global cancer treatment and research centre at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.Ahead of his final departure from Helical in July, he enters our Hall of Fame.Alison Nimmo (The Crown Estate)Alison Nimmo’s background is in major development projects. In previous roles, she worked on the regeneration of Manchester city centre following the IRA bombing in 1996 and more recently, before becoming chief executive of The Crown Estate in 2012, she oversaw the planning and development of the Olympic Park.As chief executive of The Crown Estate, she has put her experience to good work, driving the completion of the largest development pipeline in the business’s history. This has helped deliver some impressive financial results. In 2016-17, The Crown Estate notched up a total return of 8.1%, well ahead of the IPD/MSCI benchmark return of 4.4%.Delighted our CEO, Alison Nimmo, has been awarded@PropertyAwards personality of the year & hall of fame-thank you! https://t.co/57DOfhMNuA— The Crown Estate (@TheCrownEstate) April 17, 2018 Property Entrepreneur of the YearAppear Here . Office Agency Team of the YearJLL Award CategoryWinner Corporate Deal of the YearGLP – GLP acquisition of Gazeley M7 Real Estatelast_img read more

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Riverhead Football Player Signs With Saints

first_imgEthan Greenidge at left tackle during a Villanova University game against Towson University. Independent/Courtesy Villanova Athletics/Media Relations-Towson University game.Riverhead’s Ethan Greenidge’s dream of playing in the NFL is alive.Despite going undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft April 25 to 27, the offensive tackle agreed to a free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints.Greenidge, who was a four-year starter at Villanova University, was member of the Riverhead teams that reached consecutive League II Long Island championship games in 2012-13. He played 40 games at left tackle and three last season on the right side.The Flanders native was named a STATS Football Championship Subdivision Preseason All-American and to the Colonial Athletic Association Football Preseason All-Conference Team. One of the top linemen in CAA Football, he was noted for providing the Wildcats with size and strength up front and possessing “quality lineman skills.” For his efforts in 2018, Greenidge was named to the CAA All-Conference second team.The 6-4 lineman helped the Villanova’s offense rank third in the CAA with 221 first downs in 2018. The offensive line was instrumental in the Wildcats finishing the year with averages of 25 points per game and 369.5 yards of total offense per contest. The team surpassed 400 yards of offense six times in 11 games.Following the 2018 campaign, Greenidge was invited to participate in the 95th annual East-West Shrine Game held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. Greenidge appeared in the game as a reserve offensive lineman for the East squad. He then earned an invitation to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in March, but did not participate in that or Villanova’s Pro Day because he was recovering from a torn labrum in his shoulder he suffered midseason. He played through the injury and underwent surgery in late January after the Shrine game. The injury may have been a factor in why he went undrafted. He is expected to be cleared for football activities in mid-May.desiree@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

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Crucial oxygen supply in question

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

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Brooks Instrument – New GF81 MFC

first_imgSubscribe Get 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.last_img

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Emerson introduces continuous gas analyser

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

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Air Products’ new dew point monitoring system

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

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Konecranes to Supply STS and RTG Cranes to Port of Houston (USA)

first_imgIn May 2013, Konecranes received an order worth USD 56 million (EUR 43 million) from the Port of Houston Authority (PHA) in the US. The order includes four Super Post Panamax STS (Ship-to-Shore) cranes and three RTG (Rubber Tired Gantry) cranes. These will be the biggest Konecranes STS cranes ever built. The STS cranes will be shipped to to PHA’s Barbours Cut Terminal in late 2014 and supplied during the first quarter of 2015, while the RTGs will be delivered to Bayport Terminal in spring 2014.The Port of Houston Authority is the largest container port in the Gulf of Mexico. It is responsible for eight cargo terminals and one cruise terminal along the Houston Ship Channel and handles millions of tons of cargo a year. Konecranes delivered its first RTGs to PHA in 2003 and at present PHA has 49 Konecranes RTGs in its fleet.”We have a long history with Konecranes,” said Roger Guenther, the Port Authority’s Deputy Executive Director, Operations. “We expect the cranes to be of the highest quality and productive for decades to come.””We have worked hard with our customers to get the availability figures above the current industry norm. We are very pleased that PHA chose Konecranes equipment,” says Juha Aatola, Konecranes’ General Manager, STS Cranes.Since the 1970s, the Barbours Cut Container Terminal has become one of the premier container handling facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. The terminal is presently undergoing a major modernization project, which will allow for continued efficient container and cargo handling in the terminal.The Bayport Terminal opened in January 2007 and is today the most modern and environmentally sensitive container terminal on the U.S. Gulf. When fully developed, this state-of-the-art terminal will have a total of seven container berths with the capacity to handle 2.3 million TEUs a year.The STS cranes ordered are semi-automated and come with Konecranes’ AC frequency control system. They include the latest features, such as the Ship Profiling System, the precision controlled Trim/List/Skew system and LED lights for improved eco-efficiency. The cranes can serve ships of Super Post Panamax size, ie. container ships that are 22 containers wide. They have a lifting capacity of 66 tons, an outreach of 64 meters and have twin lift operation for maximum handling capacity.[mappress]Konecranes, June 27, 2013last_img read more

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Small firms optimistic about year ahead, research reveals

first_imgSmall law firms have faced ‘unprecedented pressure’ but are largely optimistic about their prospects in the year ahead, exclusive research conducted by Wesleyan for Lawyers in association with the Gazette has revealed. A survey of 129 firms, mainly small practices with fewer than 10 partners, showed that 57% have seen their fee income shrink in the past 12 months, with more than a quarter reporting a drop of more than 10%. Nearly half the firms questioned have made redundancies, and almost a third have cut staff working hours, while 13% have closed at least one UK office. However, despite a bleak 12 months, the research indicated that solicitors expect a more favourable business environment in the year ahead, with 55% of respondents predicting a rise in fee income in the next year. Of these, more than a third expect fee income to grow by more than 10%, while only one-fifth think it will fall. The research also pointed towards a tailing off of redundancies in the profession, with 68% of firms not intending to reduce headcount in the year to come, compared with 16% planning further job cuts. One-fifth intend to increase the number of equity partners. Firms expect some upturn in property and commercial work, but will also seek to derive more fee income from other practice areas. Forty percent expect to do more family work in the next year, and nearly a third plan to do more criminal defence work. Respondents also showed a greater appetite for merger activity, with 15% reporting that they plan to make an acquisition in the year ahead; only 3% acquired another firm in the previous year. In terms of finance, 72% of firms said they would have to borrow money to meet the cost of professional indemnity insurance, and 40% said they would need outside finance to fund practising certificate costs. Three-quarters expect their insurance premiums to go up, with 20% braced for a rise of more than 10%. More than two-fifths described their bank as ‘unhelpful’, but only 14% intended to change bank.last_img read more

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