No Smoking.


https://m.facebook.com/benefittherapy/posts/1871043669819399

Nike Is Launching A Pro Hijab Collection For Women Muslim Athletes Who Helped Design It.


http://m.indiatimes.com/news/world/nike-is-launching-a-pro-hijab-collection-for-women-muslim-athletes-who-helped-design-it-272970.html

In an unexplained case, brain activity has been recorded as much as 10 minutes after death.


http://www.sciencealert.com/brain-activity-has-been-recorded-as-much-as-10-minutes-after-death

Volcanoes Erupting All Over The World: Is Something Happening To The Earth’s Core?


Within the last few months, there has been a lot of talk regarding volcanic eruptions, whether it was regarding volcanoes that have recently erupted or those that are expected to erupt in the near future. Just last week, one of the most powerful volcanoes found within Europe erupted for the second time in the last year.

Volcanic eruptions occur when magmas rise through the cracks and weak points in the Earth’s crust. As the pressure builds below the surface, once an opening releases the pressure due to a plate movement, the magma explodes, causing a volcanic eruption. However, with so much volcanic activity taking place throughout the world, we must question why the Earth is releasing so much magma. What exactly is taking place beneath Earth’s crust that would suddenly cause this much activity?

Despite the fact that Mount Etna may have been one of the only eruptions to make headlines, the fact is, that volcanic eruptions are presently taking place all over the world. Volcano Discovery, a website which reports on volcanic activity throughout the world shows 35 volcanos that are currently erupting or have recently erupted.

Included in those that have recently erupted, or that are currently active, is the Barren Islandvolcano located in India. In 1991, the volcano erupted for the first time in over 150 years, and since then, it has erupted intermittently.

Iceland is also experiencing an increase in volcanic activity. Four of Iceland’s volcanos are now showing increased amounts of activity, that would indicate the likelihood of yet another eruption. Included in those are Katla , which is now experiencing more activity than it has seen in over four decades. Pall Einarsson, a geophysicist stated that “Katla has been unrestful since this autumn.”

The others that are showing more activity are Hekla, Grímsvötn and Bárðarbunga.

Mexico’s Colima volcano has also recently erupted in February. The massive 12,500-feet volcano in Tuxpan, western Mexico has experienced an increase in eruptive activity since last October. The volcano itself is located just 30 kilometers away from a residential area that has a population of around 300,000 people.

To top the list, Ethiopia’s “gateway to hell” has also seen a surge in activity within the past few months. While this particular volcano has been active for over 100 years, it recently began baffling scientists after a variety of cracks were detected on the surface of the volcano. On top of that, its lava lakes have begun to overflow, which in turn has caused it to begin oozing red-hot magma.

And to put it into perspective, take a look at the following graphs depicting activity which occurred in the previous century compared to our current activity.

major

major2

Obviously, this massive increase in volcanic activity is not just taking place within one region. Even Campi Flegrei, a super volcano in Italy, appears to be preparing for a massive eruption. If it does, millions of people could die, and a countless number of others would be left in devastation. For whatever reason, something strange and mysterious is taking place beneath the ground we walk on.

 Has Mother Earth decided to enact some sort of self-defense mode in response to our constant exploitation of her resources? While scientists have been searching for an explanation behind the upsurge in volcanic activity, some have theorized that the increase is a normal response to Earth’s natural shift. Others, however, believe that it could have something to do with other forms of climate change as well. As it stands, we can only speculate as to what could be causing this massive shift beneath Earth’s crust. But as scientists continue to research volcanos and their activity charted over time, perhaps they will be able to better understand what is causing our planet to violently react.

Top Five Digital Transformation Trends In Health Care


Technology is changing every industry in significant ways. To help frame how, I’m starting a new series discussing top trends in various markets. First up: health care.

No one can dispute technology’s ability to enable us all to live longer, healthier lives. From surgical robots to “smart hospitals,” the digital transformation is revolutionizing patient care in new and exciting ways. That’s not all. National health expenditures in the United States accounted for $3.2 trillion in 2015—nearly 18% of the country’s total GDP. It’s predicted that the digital revolution can save $300 billion in spending in the sector, especially in the area of chronic diseases. Clearly there is value—human and financial—in bringing new technology to the health care market. The following are just a few ways how.

Telemedicine

Even back in 2015, 80% of doctors surveyed said telemedicine is a better way to manage chronic diseases than the traditional office visit. Why? Telemedicine offers patients and health care providers both a new wave of freedom and accessibility. For the first time, a patient’s care options are not limited by geographic location. Even patients in remote areas can receive the highest quality of care, providing they have an internet connection and smart phone. Telemedicine can also save both time and money. Patients no longer have to schedule their days around routine follow-up visits (and long office waits). Instead, they can hop on a conference call to get the prescription update or check-up they need.

Nowhere has telepresence been more useful than in the mental health field. Now, those seeking emotional support can find access to a therapist or counselor at the click of a button, often for far less than they would pay for a full office visit. Internet therapies, for instance, “offer scalable approaches whereby large numbers of people can receive treatment and/or prevention, potentially bypassing barriers related to cost, location, lack of trained professionals, and stigma.” Telemedicine makes it possible.

Mobility And Cloud Access

Have you ever played phone tag with your doctor while waiting for important test results? It’s so nerve-racking! That’s why mobility and cloud access have been such a tremendous help in increasing accessibility for patients and doctors alike. By 2018, it’s estimated that 65% of interactions with health care facilities will occur by mobile devices. Some 80% of doctors already use smartphones and medical apps, with 72% accessing drug info on smart phones on a regular basis. Gone are the days of paper charts and file rooms. Hospitals, insurance companies, and doctor’s offices are now storing patient medical records in the cloud, with patients able to access test results online 24/7.

Given HIPAA laws relating to patient privacy, it’s probably no surprise this has also led to an increased focus on data protection and security. According to one report, “the black-market value of medical data is greater than even that of financial information.” Believe me when I say: No industry is more focused on virtualization security right now than health care.

Wearables And IoT

I remember the days when going into the local grocery store and getting my blood pressure read at one of those prehistoric machines seemed exciting. Imagine: A machine that helped me manage my own well-being without setting foot in a doctor’s office. Now, mobile devices as small as my cell phone can perform ECGs, DIY blood tests, or serve as a thermometer, all without even leaving my house. With help from automation, patients can even be prompted to check their weight, pulse, or oxygen levels, and enter results into mobile patient portals. Even better: They can transmit the results to my doctor in real time. Those details, when entered regularly, can help predict one’s risk for heart disease and other illnesses, ultimately saving lives. This is far more than cool. It’s life-saving.

Artificial Intelligence And Big Data

Big data is king in the digital world, and health care is no exception. Yes, it can be gathered to measure customer satisfaction. But perhaps more importantly, it can be used to automatically identify risk factors and recommend preventative treatment. Even more exciting: with the rise of the Internet of (Medical) Things (IoMT), mobile and wearable devices are increasingly connected, working together to create a cohesive medical report accessible anywhere by your health care provider. This data is not just useful for the patient. It can be pooled and studied en masse to predict health care trends for entire cultures and countries.

Empowered Consumers

All of the above have led to an entirely new trend in healthcare: patient empowerment. While many of us have come to associate health care with high costs and long waits, patients are now in the driver’s seat, with better access to higher-quality doctors, and higher satisfaction rates overall. It’s a healthy new way to look at health care, and one that holds promise for all of us with easy access to the digital landscape. My blood pressure is already lowering just imagining the possibilities.

House GOP Releases Plan to Repeal, Replace Obamacare


Proposed legislation would dismantle much of Affordable Care Act, create refundable tax credit tied to age and income

  House Republicans took a step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare Monday, releasing their new ‘American Health Care Act’ plan. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday has the details.

House Republicans on Monday released a detailed proposal that marks their first attempt in the new Congress to unite fractious GOP members behind a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and deliver on a central campaign promise by Republicans.

The proposed legislation would dismantle much of the 2010 law known as Obamacare and create a new tax credit tied to an individual’s age and income, aimed at helping Americans buy insurance if they don’t get it at work.

It is unclear how much the plan will cost or how many people could potentially lose health insurance under the changes as the proposal doesn’t provide an estimate.

 The proposed plan would end the requirement that most Americans have health coverage or pay a penalty, a provision long derided by Republicans, and a mandate that larger employers provide health insurance to workers. It also would repeal most of the health law’s taxes starting in 2018 and freeze funding in 2020 for the 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the law.

The bill is a political gamble for House Republican leaders. The party and President Donald Trump ran for office on promises to repeal and replace the health law. Republicans have said their plan is aimed at decreasing costs and boosting choice for consumers. But to do so, their proposals would likely provide coverage for far fewer people than the ACA, according to a number of research reports.

“Working together, this unified Republican government will deliver relief and peace of mind to the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

 “Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.)

Earlier versions included provisions opposed by both conservative and centrist Republicans, whose support for the now-altered bill will be crucial.

House Republican leaders hope the package will be passed by Congress by mid-April.

 Mr. Trump praised the bill on Tuesday morning, writing on Twitter, “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster—is imploding fast!”

In a statement Monday night, White House press secretary Sean Spicer called the bill “an important step toward restoring health care choices and affordability back to the American people.”

“President Trump looks forward to working with both Chambers of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Mr. Spicer said.

The legislation would provide tax credits to people who don’t get coverage through their job, replacing the subsidies the ACA gave to a narrower set of lower-income people to help them afford insurance policies. The ACA subsidies are also tax credits—advance credits paid to insurance companies to lower the cost of health-insurance premiums.

The proposal wouldn’t kill the ACA’s exchanges where people can obtain insurance, but far fewer people are expected to use them because the subsidies that reduce premium costs would no longer exist. Those subsidies are only available now to people who obtain coverage through the state and federal ACA exchanges.

The refundable tax credits have been a thorny issue for Republicans. Conservative Republicans vowed not to support an earlier draft that would have provided the tax credits regardless of income.

Under the House GOP proposal released Monday, the refundable tax credits would be tied to age, with people under 30 eligible for a credit of $2,000 a year, increasing steadily to $4,000 for those over 60. The size of a tax credit would grow with the size of a family, but would be capped at $14,000.

To assuage the concern among conservative lawmakers that the credits would be available to wealthy Americans, the tax credits would start to shrink for individuals making more than $75,000 or households making more than $150,000. For every $1,000 in income over $75,000, the tax credit would be reduced by $100.

In a sign GOP leaders’ changes may have assuaged some conservative concerns, Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R., N.C.) said in a statement Monday night that the bill reflects “the right direction.” Mr. Walker, who had opposed an earlier version of the bill, said his group of conservative lawmakers would meet Tuesday evening to review it closely.

In a provision sure to draw resistance from moderate Republicans in the Senate, the House proposal would bar federal funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides reproductive-health services to women.

The bill also maintains the ACA’s Medicaid expansion temporarily. Sixteen Republican governors lead states that chose to expand Medicaid under funding provided by the health law, and they have been pressuring GOP leaders not to repeal the extended federal funding outright.

The GOP plan aims to appease their concerns by leaving the expansion untouched through the end of 2019. After that, funding would begin to be reduced in an attempt to make up for the revenue lost by repealing the taxes contained in the existing health law.

Beginning in January 2020, the federal government would transition into a system in which a set amount of funding would be sent to the states each year. The move is expected to save the federal government significant money over time but could result in fewer people having insurance coverage.

Bruce Siegel, president and chief executive officer of America’s Essential Hospitals, an association of public and nonprofit hospitals, urged Congress to wait for a Congressional Budget Office evaluation, or score, of the bill before taking action. “Without a CBO score, there are too many unknowns and too great a risk of coverage losses without affordable alternatives for many Americans,” he said.

Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia sent a letter Monday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) expressing concerns over the House’s approach to overhauling the Medicaid program in an earlier draft of the bill.

“We believe Medicaid needs to be reformed, but reform should not come at the cost of disruption in access to health care for our country’s most vulnerable and sickest individuals,” the four lawmakers wrote.

Ms. Capito said Monday night that the House’s health-care plan was “moving in the right direction,” but that she needed to look at it more closely before backing it. She said she worried that the tax credit might not be generous enough for low-income individuals. “My understanding is that it’s on the low side.” she said.

House Republicans ducked one fight by deciding not to change the popular tax break on health plans that people get through their employer.

Instead, they are planning to pay for the bill by allowing the ACA’s taxes to remain in place until the start of 2018. They also would allow the tax on expensive employer health plans to kick in on Jan. 1, 2025, instead of being repealed. Congress already had voted to delay the tax until 2020.

That could prove unpopular with conservative Republicans, who wanted to get rid of all of the 2010 health law’s taxes immediately.

The House GOP bill also would expand health savings accounts aimed at helping people save money for health costs.

The proposal would also end a special executive compensation limit that the 2010 law applied to health insurers. That law prevented companies from deducting more than $500,000 in pay to executives. Other companies face a $1 million limit, but that cap doesn’t apply to performance-based compensation.

The bill, which was largely completed over the weekend in closed-door meetings with the White House and GOP leadership, is expected to be voted on in House committees this week.

To pass the bill, Republicans can’t lose more than two GOP votes in the Senate and 22 in the House, assuming no support from Democrats.

House Republicans took a step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare Monday, releasing their new ‘American Health Care Act’ plan. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday has the details.

House Republicans on Monday released a detailed proposal that marks their first attempt in the new Congress to unite fractious GOP members behind a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and deliver on a central campaign promise by Republicans.

The proposed legislation would dismantle much of the 2010 law known as Obamacare and create a new tax credit tied to an individual’s age and income, aimed at helping Americans buy insurance if they don’t get it at work.

It is unclear how much the plan will cost or how many people could potentially lose health insurance under the changes as the proposal doesn’t provide an estimate.

 The proposed plan would end the requirement that most Americans have health coverage or pay a penalty, a provision long derided by Republicans, and a mandate that larger employers provide health insurance to workers. It also would repeal most of the health law’s taxes starting in 2018 and freeze funding in 2020 for the 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the law.

The bill is a political gamble for House Republican leaders. The party and President Donald Trump ran for office on promises to repeal and replace the health law. Republicans have said their plan is aimed at decreasing costs and boosting choice for consumers. But to do so, their proposals would likely provide coverage for far fewer people than the ACA, according to a number of research reports.

“Working together, this unified Republican government will deliver relief and peace of mind to the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

 “Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.)

Earlier versions included provisions opposed by both conservative and centrist Republicans, whose support for the now-altered bill will be crucial.

House Republican leaders hope the package will be passed by Congress by mid-April.

 Mr. Trump praised the bill on Tuesday morning, writing on Twitter, “Our wonderful new Healthcare Bill is now out for review and negotiation. ObamaCare is a complete and total disaster—is imploding fast!”

In a statement Monday night, White House press secretary Sean Spicer called the bill “an important step toward restoring health care choices and affordability back to the American people.”

“President Trump looks forward to working with both Chambers of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Mr. Spicer said.

The legislation would provide tax credits to people who don’t get coverage through their job, replacing the subsidies the ACA gave to a narrower set of lower-income people to help them afford insurance policies. The ACA subsidies are also tax credits—advance credits paid to insurance companies to lower the cost of health-insurance premiums.

The proposal wouldn’t kill the ACA’s exchanges where people can obtain insurance, but far fewer people are expected to use them because the subsidies that reduce premium costs would no longer exist. Those subsidies are only available now to people who obtain coverage through the state and federal ACA exchanges.

The refundable tax credits have been a thorny issue for Republicans. Conservative Republicans vowed not to support an earlier draft that would have provided the tax credits regardless of income.

Under the House GOP proposal released Monday, the refundable tax credits would be tied to age, with people under 30 eligible for a credit of $2,000 a year, increasing steadily to $4,000 for those over 60. The size of a tax credit would grow with the size of a family, but would be capped at $14,000.

To assuage the concern among conservative lawmakers that the credits would be available to wealthy Americans, the tax credits would start to shrink for individuals making more than $75,000 or households making more than $150,000. For every $1,000 in income over $75,000, the tax credit would be reduced by $100.

In a sign GOP leaders’ changes may have assuaged some conservative concerns, Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R., N.C.) said in a statement Monday night that the bill reflects “the right direction.” Mr. Walker, who had opposed an earlier version of the bill, said his group of conservative lawmakers would meet Tuesday evening to review it closely.

In a provision sure to draw resistance from moderate Republicans in the Senate, the House proposal would bar federal funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides reproductive-health services to women.

The bill also maintains the ACA’s Medicaid expansion temporarily. Sixteen Republican governors lead states that chose to expand Medicaid under funding provided by the health law, and they have been pressuring GOP leaders not to repeal the extended federal funding outright.

The GOP plan aims to appease their concerns by leaving the expansion untouched through the end of 2019. After that, funding would begin to be reduced in an attempt to make up for the revenue lost by repealing the taxes contained in the existing health law.

Beginning in January 2020, the federal government would transition into a system in which a set amount of funding would be sent to the states each year. The move is expected to save the federal government significant money over time but could result in fewer people having insurance coverage.

Bruce Siegel, president and chief executive officer of America’s Essential Hospitals, an association of public and nonprofit hospitals, urged Congress to wait for a Congressional Budget Office evaluation, or score, of the bill before taking action. “Without a CBO score, there are too many unknowns and too great a risk of coverage losses without affordable alternatives for many Americans,” he said.

Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia sent a letter Monday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) expressing concerns over the House’s approach to overhauling the Medicaid program in an earlier draft of the bill.

“We believe Medicaid needs to be reformed, but reform should not come at the cost of disruption in access to health care for our country’s most vulnerable and sickest individuals,” the four lawmakers wrote.

Ms. Capito said Monday night that the House’s health-care plan was “moving in the right direction,” but that she needed to look at it more closely before backing it. She said she worried that the tax credit might not be generous enough for low-income individuals. “My understanding is that it’s on the low side.” she said.

House Republicans ducked one fight by deciding not to change the popular tax break on health plans that people get through their employer.

Instead, they are planning to pay for the bill by allowing the ACA’s taxes to remain in place until the start of 2018. They also would allow the tax on expensive employer health plans to kick in on Jan. 1, 2025, instead of being repealed. Congress already had voted to delay the tax until 2020.

That could prove unpopular with conservative Republicans, who wanted to get rid of all of the 2010 health law’s taxes immediately.

The House GOP bill also would expand health savings accounts aimed at helping people save money for health costs.

The proposal would also end a special executive compensation limit that the 2010 law applied to health insurers. That law prevented companies from deducting more than $500,000 in pay to executives. Other companies face a $1 million limit, but that cap doesn’t apply to performance-based compensation.

The bill, which was largely completed over the weekend in closed-door meetings with the White House and GOP leadership, is expected to be voted on in House committees this week.

To pass the bill, Republicans can’t lose more than two GOP votes in the Senate and 22 in the House, assuming no support from Democrats.

Compromise needed on smartphone encryption


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/compromise-needed-on-smartphone-encryption/2014/10/03/96680bf8-4a77-11e4-891d-713f052086a0_story.html?utm_term=.7c19724d93ef

Can Salted Doorknobs Prevent Superbug Infections? 


https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/03/salt-vs-superbugs/518427/

How economics killed the antibiotic dream


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38828079

Liver transplant pioneer Thomas Starzl dies aged 90


 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39174779