first_imgVermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the public comment period on the Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the twelve Vermont segments of Lake Champlain until October 15, 2015. On August 14, 2015, EPA made the phosphorus TMDLs for the Vermont segments of Lake Champlain available for public comment. The comment period was set to expire on September 15, 2015. In response to requests for additional time, EPA is extending the comment period for 30 additional days, until October 15, 2015.  Further information and copies of the Lake Champlain TMDLs may be obtained on-line at is external) or by requesting a copy from the contact listed below.  Comments may be submitted via the US Mail or by email to the contact listed below.  Copies of the documents listed in the “References” section of the TMDLs may also be obtained from the contact below.  Following the close of the comment period, the EPA Regional Administrator will issue a final decision and transmit the final TMDLs to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation.    For further information or to submit comments please contact:  Stephen Perkins, Lake Champlain TMDL Project Manager U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1 – New England 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 Mail Code OEP06-3 Boston, MA 02109-3912 Phone: (617) 918-1501 Email: sends e-mail)last_img read more

first_imgThe former Westwood Christian Church property was purchased by the city and now is an integral part of planning for the future.The former Westwood Christian Church that is now owned by the City of Westwood has attracted some interest from congregations that might want to lease the building for the short-term, but the reason for choosing a lease partner must be secular, the city’s attorney said Thursday.The city agreed to purchase the church building and property along Rainbow Blvd. in early 2014 after Westwood Christian closed its doors. The church property is pivotal to future plans for the city because it adjoins Dennis Park and Westwood View Elementary School. The city has just started work on a comprehensive plan. A task force from the Urban Land Institute earlier had included the church property in a suggestion for redevelopment of the area, including the Entercom property, which is directly across the street from Westwood View.The majority of city council members said they would be agreeable to a short-term lease of the church building to offset some of the costs associated with the property. Mayor John Yé said the inquiries the city has received so far are from churches proposing a one to two year lease. Councilors want to retain ownership of the property because of its role in future development, but indicated a short-term lease would be acceptable while the comprehensive plan is being completed, estimated to take several months.Westwood City Attorney Ryan Denk said the city can lease the building to a church, but the criteria and reason for awarding the lease must be secular. “It needs to be objective,” Denk said. That is one reason the city will want to openly market the property or have a Request for Proposals (RFP) so secular groups could bid on a lease as well as church congregations, he said.The council agreed to develop terms for an RFP that will include a level playing field for proposals to be vetted.last_img read more

first_imgAfter tough loss, Gophers hope to ditch their troubles in the desert Matt AndersonDecember 7, 2004Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintA little more than 24 hours after coming off the mat on the short end of a 28-10 score against the top team in the nation, Minnesota’s wrestling team boarded a plane bound for Arizona.At 8 p.m. today, seventh-ranked Minnesota will wrestle a dual meet against No. 22 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., just two days after falling to No. 1 Oklahoma State.“It is going to be a little tricky with having a big dual at home, then traveling and having their first away dual meet for a lot of these guys,” assistant coach Joe Russell said. “We do know that’s an issue we’ve got to deal with.”Russell said the reason for scheduling such a difficult turnaround early in the season is to find out the level at which all the wrestlers are competing early in the season.Arizona State is coming off a fourth-place finish at the competitive Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday, and Russell said that Arizona State will provide a challenge for Minnesota with its strength in the middle weights.“They’re a very quality opponent,” Russell said. “In the middle weights, they’ve got ranked guys at (149 pounds), (157) and (165).”The middle weights proved to be a weak spot for Minnesota in the dual against Oklahoma State. In the five Sunday matches from 141 pounds to 174 pounds, the Gophers did not claim any victories and gave up bonus points in three of those bouts. Matt Nagel, a 165-pound junior, wrestled for close to eight minutes Sunday when he took No. 4 Johnny Hendricks to overtime before dropping the match 5-3, but he said he is not concerned about wrestling again two days later.“It’ll just be a little bit of a boost for me,” Nagel said. “I think it’ll help me get back to the way I’ve been wrestling. I let (Hendricks) dictate those first two periods.”This season’s early schedule has provided Minnesota with the opportunity to wrestle against a variety of stylistically different opponents.The Gophers faced East Coast wrestlers at the Mat Town Invitational in Pennsylvania and will square off against Pac-10 grapplers tonight.“Those guys wrestle more on the edge, they’re generally not as well-conditioned as Big Ten guys,” 125-pound senior Bobbe Lowe said. “They’re a lot more technical and (strategic) – kind of like East Coast guys – but they won’t ride as much.”Because the Sun Devils are traditionally a competitive Western wrestling team, tonight should be a test that will help the Gophers down the road.“I think it’s good for when NCAAs come up at the end of the season,” Nagel said.last_img read more

first_imgPoor shooting leads to Gophers lossRedshirt freshman center Ashley Ellis-Milan was just 1-of-9 from the field. Paul CordesDecember 11, 2006Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrint;AMES, Iowa – After upsetting No. 25 Nebraska last Tuesday, the Minnesota women’s basketball team headed to Iowa State with some momentum, but Iowa State slammed the door on that in a hurry.With the Gophers top two guards held in check, their centers in foul trouble and poor shooting by everyone, Minnesota went down 67-57 in front of 11,559 fans at the Hilton Coliseum on Saturday.Coach Pam Borton said she was hoping her team would play better than it did coming into Saturday’s game.“We didn’t play with a sense of urgency tonight like we did at Nebraska,” she said. “Our lack of offensive execution really hurt us. I thought we took some bad shots and had too many empty possessions especially when we were only down by six.”The Gophers shot just 30 percent from the floor in the first half and missed six of seven from three-point range.The Cyclones’ defense forced Minnesota to take a lot of rushed shots and the Gophers rarely had an open look.Minnesota (8-3 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) also had some troubles in the paint early. Redshirt freshman center Ashley Ellis-Milan, who came into the game averaging 10.1 points per game, picked up two fouls in the first two minutes, which kept her on the bench for a good part of the game. Even when she did get in, she was unable to catch fire and shot 1-of-9 from the field.“Its fun to be able to draw those fouls,” Iowa State redshirt freshman center Rachel Pierson said. “That’s something that won’t usually show up in the stats but after a game like this you see how important something like that is.”But luckily for Minnesota, the Cyclones had their own first half troubles.Iowa State (7-1, 0-0 Big 12) took 15 three-pointers in the first half and hit just three of them, but still managed to go to the locker room up 31-28. “We got discouraged early on,” Gophers freshman guard Brittany McCoy said. “We weren’t able to contain them and we didn’t answer with some big shots.”The problems continued into the second half for Minnesota.The Cyclones dominated the glass in the second half to become just the second team to out-rebound the Gophers this season, with the 49-44 edge.After a 9-0 Iowa State run, Minnesota found itself down by 15 with 5:37 left. But the Gophers were able to battle back and pull within six points with 1:28 to play.But three missed shots and just one rebound later, Minnesota found itself on the losing end of things.“They beat us at our own game with rebounds.” Borton said. “When we closed to six, we couldn’t put the ball in the basket. They had four people under the basket and they did a great job just giving us one shot (per possession).”The Gophers won’t see an opponent for two weeks now as the team prepares for finals, but Minnesota certainly won’t be using the next 13 days as a break.Ellis-Milan said the days leading up until the Gophers’ game versus North Dakota are going to be crucial and will say a lot about the team.“These next 13 days of practice will be big for us,” she said. “We need to work really hard on every aspect of our game over the break, and I think we’ll be fine.”last_img read more

first_imgHormone signals that modulate feeding and exercise are in fact believed to be closely linked. Endurance running capacity in mammals, particularly humans, is thought to have evolved to maximize the chances of finding food. This study suggests that leptin plays a critical role both in regulating energy balance and encouraging behaviours that are “rewarding” for the person’s metabolism, i.e., engaging in physical activity to find food.The researchers studied voluntary wheel running in mice in cages. These mice can run up to seven kilometres a day. In a laboratory, the physical activity of normal mice was compared with that of mice who underwent a genetic modification to suppress a molecule activated by leptin, STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription-3). The STAT3 molecule is found in the neurons that synthesize dopamine in the midbrain. This “mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway” is a like a motivational highway in the brain.“Mice that do not have the STAT3 molecule in the dopaminergic neurons run substantially more. Conversely, normal mice are less active because leptin then activates STAT3 in the dopamine neurons, signalling that energy reserves in the body are sufficient and that there is no need to get active and go looking for food”, explained Maria Fernanda Fernandes, first author of the study.And is leptin as important for motivation to be active in humans? Yes. “Previous studies have clearly shown a correlation between leptin and marathon run times. The lower leptin levels are, the better the performance. Our study on mice suggests that this molecule is also involved in the rewarding effects experienced when we do physical exercise. We speculate that for humans, low leptin levels increase motivation to exercise and make it easier to get a runner’s high”, summed up Stephanie Fulton.Mice, humans and mammals in general are thought to have evolved to increase the return on effective food acquisition behaviours. Ultimately, hormones are sending the brain a clear message: when food is scarce, it’s fun to run to chase some down. Pinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn The joy of running. That sense of well-being, freedom and extra energy that runners often experience is not just a matter of endorphins. A study at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) shows that the “runner’s high” phenomenon is also caused by dopamine, an important neurotransmitter for motivation.“We discovered that the rewarding effects of endurance activity are modulated by leptin, a key hormone in metabolism. Leptin inhibits physical activity through dopamine neurons in the brain”, said Stephanie Fulton, a researcher at the CRCHUM and lead author of an article published today in the journal Cell Metabolism.Secreted by adipose tissue, leptin helps control the feeling of satiety. This hormone also influences physical activity. “The more fat there is, the more leptin there is and and the less we feel like eating. Our findings now show that this hormone also plays a vital role in motivation to run, which may be related to searching for food”, explained Stephanie Fulton, who is also a professor at Université de Montréal’s Department of Nutrition.center_img Email Share Share on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgStudy highlights limits of mandated MRSA surveillanceA 2007 state law in Illinois mandating active surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients failed to reduce MRSA prevalence, according to a study yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.The Illinois law, the first of several passed in the United States, requires hospitals to screen ICU patients for MRSA colonization and place those who test positive for MRSA in contact precautions. While the “search and isolate” strategy has been used to control MRSA during outbreaks, its role in controlling MRSA in non-outbreak settings is more controversial. To evaluate the law’s impact, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and three Chicago hospital systems invited all hospitals in Chicago with more than 10 ICU beds to participate in regional point prevalence surveys for MRSA colonization.In total, 25 hospitals and 3,909 adult ICU patients participated in the point prevalence surveys over eight survey periods (2008 to 2013). Of the 3,909 patients, 432 (11.1%) were found to be colonized with MRSA, and the prevalence of MRSA colonization prevalence did not change significantly from year 1 to year 5 of the study period; year-over-year relative risk for MRSA colonization was 0.97. In addition, roughly 4 in 10 MRSA-colonized ICU patients were not in contact precautions at the time of cross-sectional surveys.”Our findings highlight the limits of legislated MRSA active surveillance as a strategy to reduce MRSA colonization burden among ICU patients,” the authors write.Dec 7 Clin Infect Dis study Controlling ESBL carriage on hospital wardsAn analysis of two studies demonstrated a low acquisition rate of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) in 14 Dutch hospitals after contact precautions were used for all ESBL-E carriers.Writing in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Dutch investigators detailed their analysis of data from 2011 through 2014 involving perianal cultures. In both studies, staff employed contact precautions for all ESBL-E carriers. The analysis involved patients hospitalized for more than 2 days.The team determined that the absolute risk acquiring ESBL-E rectal carriage ranged from 2.4% to 2.9%, with an ESBL-E acquisition rate of 2.8 to 3.8 acquisitions per 1,000 patient-days. In addition, 28% of acquisitions were attributable to patient-dependent transmission.The authors conclude, “The low ESBL-E acquisition rate in this study demonstrates that it is possible to control the nosocomial transmission of ESBL in a low-endemic, non-ICU setting where Escherichia coli is the most prevalent ESBL-E and standard and contact precautions are applied for known ESBL-E carriers.”Dec 7 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol study Report details first European outbreak involving certain resistance geneThe first report of a certain drug-resistant strain of beta-lactamase–producing bacteria in Europe points to endoscope contamination, according to a study yesterday in Eurosurveillance.Researchers examined 29 isolates of OXA-48–like beta-lactamase–producing bacteria from 23 patients collected in France from October 2012 through May 2014, 21 of which remained susceptible to imipenem and meropenem, which complicated their detection. Of those 21 isolates (12 from Escherichia coli and 9 from Klebsiella pneumoniae), all co-produced the cephalosporinase CMY-4 resistance gene, and 60% of them co-produced the extended-spectrum beta-lactamase resistance gene CTX-M-15.”The results of this analysis led us to do an epidemiologically investigation of this dual outbreak,” the authors wrote. “An endoscope was identified as the possible source of the outbreak in that the investigation showed that 17 patients had direct contact with the endoscope, while five (Patients 10, 11, 13, 14 and 16) were considered as secondary cases through patient-to-patient transmission on a clinical ward.”Dec 7 Eurosurveill report Inappropriate antibiotics shown costly for Enterobacteriaceae infectionsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Dec 7A nationwide study of US patients with Enterobacteriaceae infections suggests that inappropriate empiric therapy (IET) is associated with higher 30-day readmission rates and is costlier than adequate treatment.The retrospective cohort study, published yesterday in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, looked at all adult patients admitted to 175 US hospitals from 2009 through 2013 with urinary tract infection (UTI), pneumonia, or sepsis as the principal diagnosis. IET was defined as failure to administer an antibiotic therapy active in vitro against the culture-confirmed pathogen within 2 days of admission.To understand the full economic impact of IET among patients with Enterobacteriaceae infections, the researchers sought to explore the direct costs associated with antibiotics prescribed and those attributable to delaying adequate treatment, and to examine rates of hospital readmission at 30 days.Among the 40,137 patients diagnosed as having Enterobacteriaceae infections, 4,984 (13.2%) received IET. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) was more frequent in patients given IET (13%) than non-IET patients (1.6%). While the proportion of total hospital costs represented by antibiotics were similar among IET and non-IET patients (3.3% vs. 3.4%), each additional day of inadequate therapy added $766 to the total cost of hospitalization. And while 30-day readmission rates were above 20% in both groups, they were significantly higher in the IET patients compared with the non-IET patients (25.6% vs. 21.1%).The authors of the study, which was co-authored by two employees and two consultants of primary sponsor The Medicines Company, say the findings are significant because they suggest the additional costs and worsened outcomes associated with IET may outweigh concerns about using newer, more expensive broad-spectrum antibiotics. “Given the known improvement in the chances of survival with immediate appropriate treatment, this serves as further compelling evidence to start broadly and de-escalate as necessary,” they write.  Dec 6 Antimicrob Resist Infect Control study Study evaluates quick response to Candida auris infectionOriginally published by CIDRAP News Dec 7A small quasi-experimental study yesterday in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology describes efforts to limit dissemination of Candida auris at a New York hospital after the fungal pathogen was identified in a patient.The patient, a 59-year-old woman with metastatic colon cancer, was found to have C auris in her bloodstream 6 days after admission to the hospital and remained colonized until her death on day 21 of hospitalization. On day 7, the patient and her roommate were placed on enhanced contact precautions and moved to private rooms, and their former room was terminally cleaned with peracetic acid–hydrogen peroxide (PA-HP) and ultraviolet (UV) light. In addition, hospital staff moved all patients in the oncology ward to terminally cleaned rooms.Sampling of the index patient and other patients on the ward, along with environmental sampling, was conducted, and 180 samples (48 from 18 different patients, and 132 from 32 different surfaces) were collected. C auris was isolated from 3 of 132 surface samples on days 8, 9, and 15 of ward occupancy but from no patient samples. Isolates from the environment and the case-patient were genetically identical and most closely related to the 2013 India CA-6684 strain, indicating the source of the environmental contamination was the case-patient, who likely acquired the pathogen from another New York hospital.Although the authors can’t say whether the timely feedback from the referral laboratories, cleaning with PA-HP and UV, and high hand hygiene compliance on the ward limited the spread of C auris, the pathogen was isolated from fewer surfaces and patients than noted in prior reports. They say the response is noteworthy for the multifaceted interagency approach taken and for the extensive attempt at environmental assessment.Dec 6 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol study Improper antifungal prescribing not tied to death in Candida blood infectionsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Dec 7Inappropriate antifungal therapy did not have an impact on mortality in patients with Candida bloodstream infection (CBSIs), according to a study yesterday in BMC Infectious Diseases.Researchers in Mexico looked at patients admitted to two referral tertiary centers in Mexico City from June 2008 to July 2014 with a blood culture positive for Candida. CBSIs represent 10% of all bloodstream infections, and mortality is high (46% to 75%). The purpose was to evaluate the impact on mortality of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute’s (CLSI’s) updated clinical breakpoints for antifungal therapy for the most common Candida species. The breakpoints were updated in 2012.Overall, 149 episodes of CBSI were included for analysis. The most frequent species identified were C albicans (40%), C tropicalis (23%), and C glabrata complex (20%). According to the 2012 CLSI breakpoints, 8.7% of the patients received inappropriate antifungal therapy. The 30-day mortality among CBSI patients was 38%.In multivariate analysis, severe sepsis (odds ratio [OR], 3.4) and cirrhosis (OR, 36) were independently associated increased 30-day mortality, while early central venous catheter removal and previous antifungal therapy were associated with decreased 30-day mortality. Inappropriate antifungal therapy, as defined by the 2012 CLSI breakpoints, was not associated with 30-day mortality (OR, 0.19).”Mortality in CBSI remains high due to disease severity and comorbidities such as cirrhosis at the time of diagnosis,” the authors conclude. Dec 6 BMC Infect Dis study Sanofi ends development of experimental C difficile vaccineOriginally published by CIDRAP News Dec 4Drugmaker Sanofi Pasteur says it’s discontinuing clinical development of an experimental vaccine for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).In a Dec 1 press release, the company announced that, following a planned interim analysis of early results from the phase 3 Cdiffense clinical trial, an independent data monitoring committee concluded that the study was unlikely to meet its primary objective. The trial was designed to test the efficacy and safety of a toxoid vaccine in a subpopulation at risk of CDI. The vaccine stimulates the immune system to fight toxins generated by C difficile bacteria.The company said data from all vaccinated volunteers in the trial will continue to be analyzed for more information and shared with the scientific community.CDI is a leading cause of diarrhea in hospital patients and one of the most common healthcare-associated infections. According to the CDC’s most recent estimates, C difficile is responsible for nearly half a million infections among US hospital patients annually, with approximately 29,000 patients dying within 30 days of infection.Dec 1 Sanofi press releaselast_img read more

first_imgData from a phase 2 clinical trial show promising results for a new drug designed to prevent Clostridioides difficile infections.In an article in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, researchers from Synthetic Biologics of Rockville, Maryland, report that the oral beta-lactamase enzyme ribaxamase, when given to patients with lower respiratory tract infections in conjunction with intravenous ceftriaxone, reduced the incidence of C difficile by 2.4 percentage points compared with placebo—a 71% relative risk reduction.The authors of the study, which was funded, designed, and conducted by Synthetic Biologics (developer of ribaxamase), say the findings support continued clinical development of the drug.Ribaxamase is designed to reduce C difficile risk by limiting the collateral damage caused by broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotics. Once in the gut, these antibiotics disrupt the natural balance of the gut microbiome and pave the way for opportunistic C difficile bacteria to spread. Ribaxamase works by degrading excess intravenous beta-lactam antibiotics that are excreted into the upper gastrointestinal tract, without interfering with the efficacy of the drugs.Risk reduction, safety concernsIn the double-blind, multicenter randomized trial, patients older than 50 years with moderate-to-severe lower respiratory tract infections were recruited from 84 sites in the United States, Canada, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Serbia. After screening for inclusion in the study, the patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive either 150 milligrams of ribaxamase or placebo during ceftriaxone treatment, and for 72 hours after treatment.The trial investigators chose ceftriaxone because, among beta-lactams, it is highly excreted in bile and confers a particularly high risk of C difficile infection. The trial also focused on older patients, because they tend to be more vulnerable to C difficile infections.The primary end point of the study was a diagnosed C difficile infection in patients who had received at least one treatment dose, either during the treatment or for 4 weeks following treatment. Safety outcomes were also assessed.A total of 413 patients were enrolled in the study, with 207 patients assigned to receive ceftriaxone plus ribaxamase and 206 assigned to the placebo group. One patient in the ribaxamase group withdrew consent, so the modified intention-to-treat population had 206 patients in each group. Overall, two patients in the ribaxamase group (1.0%) met the criteria for C difficile infection, compared with seven patients (3.4%) in the placebo group (risk reduction 2.4 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.6 to 5.9, P = 0.045)­.The trial results also showed a significant reduction in the risk of colonization with vancomycin-resistant enterococci in the ribaxamase group at the end of treatment and at the end of the 4-week follow-up period, a finding the authors say indicates the drug’s ability to protect the gut microbiome from other opportunistic pathogens. In addition, the lower respiratory tract infection was cleared in similar numbers of patients in the two groups, which suggests that ribaxamase did not reduce the effectiveness of the ceftriaxione.The safety analysis found that 84 patients (40.8%) in the ribaxamase group and 91 (44.2%) in the placebo group reported adverse events, with most being mild or moderate. But serious adverse events were more numerous in the ribaxamase group than the placebo group (16% vs. 10.2%), as were deaths. Fatal adverse events were recorded in 11 patients (5.3%) who took ribaxamase, compared with 5 of the patients (2.4%) who took the placebo.The investigators believe this imbalance in deaths is connected to the patients’ medical history. They note that six of the patients who died in the ribaxamase group died of cardiac-associated causes, compared with one patient in the placebo arm, and a post-hoc analysis found that the ribaxamase group had more than twice the number of patients with pre-existing cardiac-associated disorders than did the placebo group (23 patients vs. 10). None of the deaths was considered related to the drug.In April 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew the breakthrough drug designation for ribaxamase because of the death imbalance in the trial. A planned phase 3 trial, which will evaluate efficacy of the drug in a broad patient population with a variety of infections treated by different beta-lactam antibiotics, is expected to address those concerns. The FDA gave Synthetic Biologics the go-ahead for the phase 3 trial in November 2018 and is currently reviewing the protocol for the trial.Prevention before cureDepending on what happens in the phase 3 trial, ribaxamase could be the first drug on the market for the prevention of C difficile, a difficult-to-eradicate bacterium that has become one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections in the United States and is labeled an “urgent threat” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the most recent studies, C difficile causes more than 450,000 infections each year in US hospitals, is associated with nearly 30,000 deaths, and costs the US healthcare system more than $5 billion annually.Drugs like fidaxomicin and bezlotoxumab, along with fecal microbiota transplantation, have shown promise in reducing recurrent C difficile infections, which occur in approximately 20% of patients. Cutting down on the incidence of recurrence would help reduce the overall burden of the disease.But as infection control specialist Simon Goldenberg, MBBS, argues in a commentary that accompanies the study, finding a way to prevent C difficile infection in the first place, and lessen the gut microbiome disruption caused by many antibiotics, would get to the root of the problem.Goldberg writes, “However, the old maxim that prevention is better than cure is particularly germane in this case. Protecting the gut microbiota from the deleterious effect of antimicrobials initially, rather than seeking to restore it after the damage has been done, seems to be the most effective strategy.”Other potential options for preventing C difficile include vaccines. Pfizer is currently conducting a phase 3 trial for PF-06425090, a vaccine that works by neutralizing the two main disease-causing toxins produced by C difficile.See also:Mar 15 Lancet Infect Dis studyMar 15 Lancet Infect Dis commentarylast_img read more

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first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump, Netanyahu are on similar pathsThere are many similarities between the political situation in the United States and Israel.Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. He has been accused of providing regulators with millions of dollars as bribes to a leading Israeli website for favorable coverage of the prime minister and his family.He also wanted rough treatment of his political adversaries. It is ironic that Fox News supplies Trump with the latter at no charge.Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit indicted Netanyahu for trading official favors, accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu even called the investigations and indictment a “witch hunt,” although Mr. Mandelblit belonged to the same party (Likud) and was Netanyahu’s cabinet secretary and closest adviser. Mr. Mandelblit said that the indictment of the prime minister was necessary because “Law enforcement is not a choice. This is not a choice of left or right. This is not a matter of politics.”It is about time that Attorney General William Barr stop debasing his position as AG by playing politics and acting as Trump’s private attorney. Do your job.Mark MarkovitzNiskayunaRetirees will regret loss of ObamacareThe Affordable Care Act: Republicans hate it and many Democrats don’t understand it.The truth is before the Affordable Care Act, Americans with “pre-existing conditions” had to pay unbelievable premiums for health insurance. Both young and old had to pay these high premiums, and companies like Mutual of Omaha, Travelers, Blue Shield and many others were making profits that were immeasurable.In my own case, my wife and I, after retiring before we turned 65, found that because we had minor pre-existing conditions, we had to pay upwards of $10,000 in premiums, and each of us had a $5,000 deductible before the insurance kicked in.Many of our friends were in the same boat once they stopped working. Many worked for companies that paid for their health insurance, and unionized workers received theirs through their union’s insurance and pension funds.Again, once retired, these same workers had to fend for themselves once COBRA ended. What senior citizen made it to retirement without some kind of pre-existing conditions? That hernia, back problem,or carpal tunnel injury, no matter how slight, is a “pre-existing condition.”The Affordable Care Act put an end to those with pre-existing conditions paying exorbitant premiums, as the Act’s best part was the provision that insurance companies had to accept them and couldn’t charge more than those without them. Many of those complaining about the Act had better pray it stays in effect. If the ACA gets repealed the “pre-existing conditions” provision goes away. God help us.Gary Philip GuidoRotterdamI see why evangelicals are drawn to TrumpA thought struck me as I was once again thinking about the seeming contradiction in the Christian evangelical acceptance of Trump as a heroic leader — or even a legitimate leader and patriot— and traditional Christian values.An epiphany: Their entire lives are spent trying to make the utterly ridiculous plausible. This explains their acceptance of an all-powerful and good god, who nonetheless allows horrible evil and injustice in the world, and the self-proclaimed ‘chosen one,’ whose personal, business and political history are a sordid story of corruption and racism.Anthony J. SantoRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Schenectady homeless assistance program Street Soldiers dealing with surge in needEDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people togetherEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformslast_img read more

first_imgThe JDT Lab at Guild Hall is a place for new plays to be showcased, free to the public, and often featuring out-of-towners. But on Sunday, October 20, JDT Lab in the John Drew Theater, presents a first full-length play, “Kingdom of the Spirits,” by one of our own, JZ Holden.She has written for the Southampton and East Hampton Press, Dan’s Papers,, and Hamptons Magazine, and was the editor of The Montauk Pioneer. She created the first green magazine of the Hamptons, Ecothink. But she also ventured into the world of fiction with her novel “Illusion of Memory,” which was published in 2013, and a short story, “Summer Love,” which was part of the Long Island Noir collection.Holden previously showcased a one-act, “Last Chance” at the Writer’s Lab at Guild Hall 15 years ago, but this is her first go at a full-length play, intriguingly based on her own background.Set in Berlin, “Kingdom of the Spirits” tells the tale of a Jewish nightclub owner in the midst of Hitler’s rise to power, who is warned by her lover, who is now a powerful Nazi general, that she must leave Berlin. No longer able to protect her, he has conceived of a way for her to escape, but she only agrees to it if he promises to protect her family.“The political climate of war and its psychological landscape is the place where ‘Kingdom of the Spirits’ takes place, misinformation is rife, collaboration and collusion are temptations too difficult to dismiss, and death is one poor decision away” reads the description on the website. It “is a story about the price we pay for forbidden love, betrayal, political complicity, and ultimately, survival.”“I had a great aunt whose life was saved by a Nazi general,” Holden told The Independent. “She owned a nightclub in Berlin during the Weimar and into the Nazi era. This play is very loosely based on her. And when I say loosely, I mean it,” she said.“I know the real names of her lovers and read books about them as part of my research,” Holden continued, “but know nothing about what really happened. So, I made it up.”Holden lives on Shelter Island and is married to the cartoonist, writer, and Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner Jules Feiffer, who was recently honored at Guild Hall with a reading of his play “A Bad Friend” to celebrate his 90th birthday. “Kingdom of the Spirits” can be seen on Sunday, October 20, at 7 PM. Tickets are free, but reservations are strongly suggested. Visit Guild Hall’s website, or call the box office at Sharelast_img read more