Republican Governors Push HHS For Health Law Implementation Details

first_imgVirginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, demanded information from the Obama administration. Also HHS announced $224 million in health-exchange grants to five states.  Politico Pro: RGA To HHS: Seriously, We Need Some AnswersThe chairman of the Republican Governors Association sent yet another letter to the Obama administration on Thursday, demanding answers to detailed questions the states have about implementing of the federal health care law. And while he was at it, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell took the opportunity to hammer the law on its shortcomings. “While [we] believe the best option is to fully repeal and replace the PPACA, states continue to confront numerous deadlines and face major policy decisions in the wake of the Supreme Court decision,” McDonnell wrote (Norman, 9/27).Modern Healthcare: $224 Million In Exchange Grants AwardedAs a Nov. 16 deadline approaches for states to submit their health insurance exchange plans, HHS announced that the total number receiving implementation funds has reached 34. The latest round of about $224 million in so-called establishment grants went to Arkansas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Minnesota, according to the HHS tracking site (Daly, 9/27).CQ HealthBeat: HHS Awards A Quarter-Billion Dollars More For Exchange GrantsEach of the entities except one — Arkansas — has notified HHS that they intend to operate their own exchange to offer coverage options to uninsured Americans and small businesses under the health care law. The awards bring to $2.2 billion the amount of money HHS has granted to states under the health care law for exchanges (Reichard, 9/27).An example of local coverage of the grant awards –  (St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Minnesota Gets $42.5M To Help Develop Health Insurance Exchanges With the new grant, the state has received a total of $71 million so far for its health exchange, which is intended to be a new marketplace for individuals and small business to buy coverage starting late next year. … The process in Minnesota has proved contentious, with business groups criticizing the administration of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton this summer for not releasing more details about the cost and governance of the marketplace (Snowbeck, 9/27). Republican Governors Push HHS For Health Law Implementation Details This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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State Roundup Feds Say Ariz Overbilled Them 12M On Medicaid

first_imgState Roundup: Feds Say Ariz. Overbilled Them $12M On Medicaid A selection of health policy stories from Arizona, Maryland, North Dakota, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas.Arizona Republic: Feds: Ariz. Overbilled Medicaid ProgramArizona failed to properly document efforts to enroll children in its Medicaid program for years and overcharged the federal government nearly $12 million, auditors found in a report expected to be released today. In addition to recommending that Arizona repay the federal government $11.7 million, the report by the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests the review of an additional $18.8 million as questionable billing. In a written response to the findings, state officials with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System acknowledged that they need to update the way work is documented, but they challenged the recommendation to have the state repay millions (Hansen, 1/27). Bloomberg: Obama Law Pits Insurance Giants Against Maryland Co-OpUnitedHealth Group Inc. and other U.S. health insurers will soon have company in Maryland: a nonprofit started by a county government that plans to sell coverage at rates as much as 30 percent lower than competitors. Backed by $65 million in federal loans, Howard County, a suburban area south of Baltimore, Maryland, will become the first municipality to establish a nonprofit, member-run health co-op to compete with commercial insurers under a provision in the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The Howard County co-op will sell individual and small group plans through the insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, created by the law to help extend medical coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans. It is among two dozen nonprofits to roll out coverage in 23 states starting in October, though the only one run by a local government (Wayne, 1/27).The New York Times: North Dakota Oil Boom Takes A Toll On Health CareThe patients come with burns from hot water, with hands and fingers crushed by steel tongs, with injuries from chains that have whipsawed them off their feet. Ambulances carry mangled, bloodied bodies from accidents on roads packed with trucks and heavy-footed drivers. The furious pace of oil exploration that has made North Dakota one of the healthiest economies in the country has had the opposite effect on the region’s health care providers.  (Eligon, 1/27).Los Angeles Times: St. John’s In Court Fight Over Failed Nurse Recruitment EffortNow the hospital is pursuing a court fight over this costly failure, saying it was the victim of fraud, bribery and unfair business practices. But the legal battle may also yield unflattering details about the inner workings of one of the area’s best-known hospitals, which recently saw a high-profile management shake-up (Terhune, 1/25).Boston Globe: Program Brings Dental Care To Children Without DentistsKyara Fortes hadn’t been to a dentist for about a year. So, when the 3-year-old and her mother stopped in to the offices of Brockton Area Multi-Services Inc. recently, she visited a tiny back office just big enough for a desk, a filing cabinet, and a collapsible dental chair. “Do all your teeth feel good? Can you eat all the foods that you like?” dental hygienist Carol Gilmore of Halifax asked, and the bright-eyed girl in pink nodded. “Go, ‘Ahhhh.'” … Gilmore is a public health hygienist, one of the first licensed under a program created in 2010 to improve access to dental care among low-income children and adults by giving experienced hygienists more authority to deliver preventive care without direct supervision from a dentist. The state Medicaid program covers dental care for children. Yet, each year, about 200,000 children enrolled in the program do not receive any care from a dentist, said Dr. Brent Martin, dental director for MassHealth (Conaboy, 1/28). MPR: Minneapolis VA Receives Grants For Woman’s HealthThe Minneapolis VA has received $217,000 in women’s health grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA officials say they will use the money to establish a new women’s health telepharmacy for women veterans in rural Minnesota. “With women veterans who are receiving care at one of our outlying community-based clinics … they would rather get care closer to home rather than drive all the way into Minneapolis,” said Erin Krebs, the women’s health medical director. The VA also plans to offer specialized nurse training and women’s health outpatient services (Mador, 1/27).N.C. Health News: New HHS Secretary Meets with Public Health Leaders Dr. Aldona Wos, the newly appointed state secretary of health and human services, addressed hundreds of North Carolina’s public health leaders yesterday, with a message to emphasize customer service. … “She gave us some charges, she gave us some things that we really do need to work on,” said state health director Dr. Laura Gerald. … “In these challenging economic times, we have to make sure that every dollar is spent on things that are going well” (Hoban, 1/25).The Texas Tribune: Legislators Can Carry Bills That Benefit Them Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a pharmacist and San Antonio Democrat, said she has no qualms about filing pharmacy-related bills. She has paid her dues, she said … she files pharmacy bills with the knowledge that she knows more about the industry than her colleagues, and the comfort that there is nothing she could pass that would recoup her state-induced losses (Ramshaw, 1/27). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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State Roundup Calif Inches To Budget Deal Iowas Medicaid Abortions May Need

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Roundup: Calif. Inches To Budget Deal; Iowa’s Medicaid Abortions May Need Gov. OK A selection of health policy stories from Colorado, Virginia, California, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Florida and Kansas.The Associated Press: State Laws Varied On Gun, Abortion LawsThe U.S. Supreme Court says women in America can terminate a pregnancy and that every citizen has an individual right to own a firearm, but those rulings have done little to settle political arguments over abortion and guns. The result is an uneven medley of state laws, which means that just how you can exercise those constitutional rights depends on where you live, and the differences often turn on whether a state is run by Democrats or Republicans (Barrow, 6/8).Stateline: Majorities Drive Sweeping, Divergent Changes Across StatesGun curbs? Colorado got it done. Driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for immigrants in the country illegally? Done. A new school-spending plan, an elections overhaul, Medicaid expansion? Done, done and done. Democrats, with a majority in both houses of the Colorado legislature after years of shared control, seized all they could in a whirlwind legislative session that Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll described as “historically productive.” …  Of course not all decisions have been darkly shaded in red or blue. In Colorado, lawmakers came together to tax and regulate marijuana, which voters last year approved for recreational use. … And in Virginia, legislators reached across the aisle to find billions in new revenue for long-needed transportation projects. Under a compromise with Democrats, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who championed the package, promised to expand Medicaid under certain conditions. However, he has since refused expansion (Malewitz, 6/10).Los Angeles Times: Negotiations Could Yield Health Care Deal In CapitolCounty officials and Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration are inching toward a compromise on health care funding. The potential deal is the result of intense negotiations, including face-to-face meetings, phone calls and late-night text messages (Megerian and York, 6/7).The Associated Press/Washington Post: In Iowa, Payments For Medicaid-Funded Abortions May First Need OK From Anti-Abortion GovernorIowa’s Medicaid program covers a small number of abortions each year due to rape, incest, fetal deformity or to protect a mother’s life. Currently handled by the state Department of Human Services, the Medicaid reimbursements cost the state less than $20,000 last fiscal year. The change in who approves the payment is a result of Iowa’s unusual political landscape (6/7). Philadelphia Inquirer: Cooper Health To Team With Houston Cancer CenterIn a move with potential to shake up the health care market in Philadelphia and beyond, Cooper University Health Care in Camden is expected to announce on Monday a partnership with the MD Anderson Cancer Center of Houston, one of the nation’s top-ranked treatment and research facilities. Cooper officials said they had signed a letter of intent to form the partnership with MD Anderson, which will manage a new $100 million cancer treatment center at Cooper’s hospital campus in Camden (Mondics, 6/10).Health News Florida: Who Forgot To Fix Compounding Law?The 2013 Legislature could have fixed a tiny gap in Florida law that blocks health officials from regulating hundreds of out-of-state compounding pharmacies that ship high-risk drugs into this state. But that didn’t happen. No bill was ever filed (Gentry, 6/7).Kansas Health Institute: State Officials Submit First Quarterly KanCare Report To FedsKansas officials this week made public their first quarterly report to federal authorities on the progress of KanCare, Gov. Sam Brownback’s initiative to move virtually all the state’s Medicaid enrollees into privately run managed care plans. The initiative was launched Jan. 1 with federal approval as part of a so-called Section 1115 Medicaid waiver intended to demonstrate that the Kansas plan can curb program costs while improving outcomes for the state’s more than 380,000 Medicaid beneficiaries (Shields, 6/7).California Healthline: DHCS Transparency Bill Moves ForwardThe Senate Committee on Health this week approved a bill that would set new standards of accountability and transparency at the Department of Health Care Services. AB 209 by Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) received unanimous committee approval Wednesday and now heads for a Senate floor vote, the step before it can be sent to the governor’s desk. The bill wants to hold the department accountable for problems that arise with patients moving to Medi-Cal managed care plans with stronger, measurable benchmarks, Pan said (Hart, 6/7).last_img read more

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DC Officials Plan 47M Medicaid Payback After Claims Processor Collapse

first_imgD.C. Officials Plan $47M Medicaid Payback After Claims Processor Collapse The collapse of a company that managed Medicaid claims in the District of Columbia — D.C. Chartered Health — left health care providers without any way to be reimbursed for care they gave under the District’s Medicaid program.The Washington Post: Deal Pending On Chartered Health Plan’s Unpaid BillsHealth care providers who have seen their bottom lines damaged by the collapse of D.C. Chartered Health Plan could be made whole by summer’s end under a plan detailed Thursday by city officials (DeBonis, 6/27).The Associated Press/Washington Post: DC Reaches Deal To Pay Back Health Providers After Collapse Of Medicaid FirmThe District of Columbia has reached a tentative deal to pay back health care providers who’ve been stuck with unpaid bills since the collapse of the company that managed the city’s Medicaid claims. Mayor Vincent Gray announced Thursday that hospitals and community-based health providers will be reimbursed for $47 million in unpaid claims by the end of August (6/27).In the meantime, Medicaid programs in other states make news –The Associated Press: Mississippi House Votes To Renew Medicaid, Set BudgetThe Mississippi House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to renew and fund Medicaid beyond this coming weekend, when the program has been set to expire. Bills also must pass the Senate, which is expected to act on today (Pettus, 6/27).The Lund Report: New Clinic Serves Medicaid Patients OnlyWhile Oregon Health Plan patients often report difficulty finding providers who will treat them due to low reimbursement rates, a physician in Umatilla County has bucked the trend – opening a clinic that serves Medicaid patients exclusively. The Pendleton Primary Care Clinic opened its doors in February and so far is open three days a week, staffed by Dr. Bruce Carlson, along with a nurse practitioner, receptionist and medical assistant (McCurdy 6/27).St. Louis Post-Dispatch: State-Owned Hospital Asked To Pay Back $21.4 Million In MedicaidAn audit released today said Missouri should return $21.4 million in federal Medicaid payments made to a state-owned children’s hospital in St. Louis County. The Federal Office of Inspector General report found Hawthorn Children’s Psychiatric Hospital on Pennsylvania Avenue near Pagedale failed for nearly five years to fulfill regulatory requirements to qualify for the federal Medicaid reimbursements (Cambria, 6/28).Los Angeles Times: Bill To Fine Big Firms With Workers On Medi-Cal Comes Up ShortA California proposal to fine large companies that have workers on Medi-Cal came up short in an initial vote in the Assembly amid strong business opposition. The proposed fines could reach about $5,000 per full-time employee who receives Medi-Cal, the state Medicaid program for the poor (Terhune, 6/27). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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State Highlights Medicaid For Former Foster Youth Free Clinic Expands In Va

first_imgA selection of health policy stories from Virginia, Arizona, Missouri and Connecticut.Stateline: States Enroll Former Foster Youth In MedicaidAbout 26,000 young adults 18 to 22 years old are released from foster care each year and left to fend for themselves without state protections. The age that a young adult in foster care loses benefits varies across the states. The new health care provision for former young people without parents in the picture grants them full Medicaid coverage until age 26 in the state where they lived when they left foster care. For states, the trickiest part may be finding these young adults (Vestal, 4/30).The Associated Press: Free Health Clinic To Ramp Up Operations In Va. Now RAM organizers are hoping to help more Virginians without health care. RAM founder and former “Wild Kingdom” TV star Stan Brock announced at the Capitol on Tuesday that his organization is launching a two-year “Stop the Suffering” campaign aimed at providing more free health clinics in Appalachian states. The announcement comes as the General Assembly continues to debate whether to expand Medicaid eligibility. Like most other Southern states, Virginia has thus far rejected expansion (4/29).The Associated Press: McAuliffe Signs Va. Mental Health Reform BillVirginia officials are celebrating the signing of a mental health reform bill. Gov. Terry McAuliffe ceremonially signed the bill Monday at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville (4/29).The Associated Press:  Congressmen Want Phoenix VA Health Chief Removed A trio of Arizona congressmen on Tuesday called for the head of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care Center to step down amid allegations of gross mismanagement and neglect at the facility, the latest in a string of issues at VA hospitals across the nation. The call from Republican Reps. David Schweikert, Matt Salmon and Trent Franks comes after weeks of growing outrage about lapses in veteran patient care in Phoenix. They urged hospital director Sharon Helman and her leadership team to resign, saying in a letter that “drastic changes need to be made to ensure that this never happens again” (4/29).The Associated Press:  Former Health Care CEO Pleads Guilty To FraudThe former CEO of a southeast Missouri health center has pleaded guilty in federal court to fraud. Cheryl Ann White was chief executive officer of the nonprofit Southeast Missouri Health Network from 2004 to 2013. Prosecutors say the 56-year-old New Madrid resident falsified federal grant applications and used health center money to pay for a roof on a building she owned. She also admitted providing insider information to a contractor who built the center’s Bernie clinic and worked on several other projects (4/29).The CT Mirror: House OKs Nursing Home Transparency, Despite GOP TalkfestA sharply divided House of Representatives voted Tuesday night for new financial reporting rules on nursing homes that were proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at the request of a union ally, SEIU 1199 New England. The bill passed on an 86 to 57 vote, with seven Democrats joining every Republican present in opposition. The House GOP minority signaled its deep opposition to the Democratic governor’s bill and the administration’s refusal to negotiate by extending the debate to nearly eight hours. The measure, which now goes to the Senate, would create a Nursing Home Financial Advisory Committee to regularly examine the financial solvency and quality of care of nursing homes (Pazniokas, 4/29).The CT Mirror: CT Lawmakers Join War On Heroin, PainkillersWashington has turned its attention to the epidemic of heroin addiction and overdose deaths — including more than 250 in Connecticut last year — but there’s a limit to what the federal government and Congress can do, especially in times of tight budget constraints. Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing Tuesday to review growing concerns about heroin and prescription abuse. Some wanted more funds for law enforcement and treatment, others wanted to know which programs worked best, and a few members said they worried that Congress would drop the ball on the issue (Radelat, 4/29).The CT Mirror: Business Groups Question Malloy Health Reform Funding PlanGov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to hire nine workers to help develop a state-level health reform initiative isn’t, in itself, especially controversial. But the way the governor wants to pay for it — by imposing a new fee on health insurance policies — has drawn opposition from business groups. One has warned that the state could face a lawsuit if the measure passes. At issue is how the state would come up with $3.2 million for expenses and new staff to work on a project, known as the state innovation model, or SIM (Becker, 4/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Highlights: Medicaid For Former Foster Youth; Free Clinic Expands In Va.; Va. Mental Health Law Signedlast_img read more

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Companies Keep Paying Doctors As Experts Even If They Have Been Disciplined

first_imgCompanies Keep Paying Doctors As Experts, Even If They Have Been Disciplined For Misconduct ProPublica analyzed the disciplinary records for doctors in five states — California, Texas, New York, Florida and New Jersey — and then checked those records against data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on companies’ promotional and advisory payments to doctors. WBUR: ‘Don’t Worry Alone’: Hospitals Encourage Medical Residents To Seek Help For Depression  This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. In other news, hospitals are beginning to pay attention to the well-being of medical residents, hospitalists are gaining momentum and nurses have insights into the development of medical devices — Chicago Tribune: A Look At The Growing Specialty Of Hospitalist  Even those who are not doctors know the long, stressful hours physicians in training work during their intern and residency years. While there have been a number of studies on how those long hours affect patients, there’s been a push recently to investigate how the shifts affect the well-being of the medical residents. (Paiste, 8/24) A hospitalist is a doctor who focuses on work in the hospital, caring for patients and navigating an increasingly complex medical institution. Rather than focusing on an organ or a disease, the work revolves around the physical setting of care. Although hospitalists have been around in one form or another for years, the term “hospitalist” was coined in 1996 by Dr. Robert Wachter, chairman of the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, who has taken a lead in developing and promoting this evolving and growing specialty. (Sadick, 8/23) KQED: When It Comes To Medical Device Design, Nurses Are Doing It For Themselves (Video) Pharmaceutical and medical device companies are continuing to pay doctors as promotional speakers and expert advisers even after they’ve been disciplined for serious misconduct, according to an analysis by ProPublica. One such company is medical device maker Stryker Corp. In June 2015, New York’s Board for Professional Medical Conduct accused orthopedic surgeon Alexios Apazidis of improperly prescribing pain medications to 28 of his patients. The board fined him $50,000 and placed him on three years’ probation, requiring that a monitor keep an eye on his practice. Despite this, Stryker paid Apazidis more than $14,000 in consulting fees, plus travel expenses, in the last half of 2015. (Huseman, 8/23) ProPublica: Drug And Device Makers Pay Thousands Of Docs With Disciplinary Records  Anna Young is the CEO of MakerHealth and co-founder of MakerNurse, organizations dedicated to the idea that the most apt tools for treating patients are sometimes developed on the front lines, by those who work directly with patients. For generations nurses have been raiding hospital supply closets, modifying and repurposing standard equipment to better suit the needs of patients, Young says in a recently released TEDMED presentation. (McClurg and Brooks, 8/23) last_img read more

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New EVs in EU emit pedestrian noise starting today London mulls futuristic

first_imgThe European Union rule which requires new electric cars to emit a noise for pedestrian safety goes into effect today. What does that mean for the EV industry as a whole? more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post New EVs in EU emit pedestrian noise starting today, London mulls ‘futuristic’ e-bus noises appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

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Porsche Taycan Prototype Impresses Us With Silence At Goodwood Video

Friday Roundup

first_imgQuotable, on offense, scrutiny alert, to FCPA Inc., and resource alert.  It’s all here in the Friday roundup.QuotableThis article in The Recorder reports on a recent public event in which Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell spoke.  According to the article:“Caldwell also said the Criminal Division would cut down on its use of deferred prosecution agreements, which she said had become the ‘default’ means to resolve corporate cases. ‘Deferred prosecution agreements were a bit overused.’ Instead, Caldwell told the audience to expect more declinations from the government, which would let companies, individual targets and the public know when an investigation is being closed without charges.”Glad to see that Caldwell agrees that DPAs have become a default means to resolve cases and overused –  central themes of my 2010 article “The Facade of FCPA Enforcement” and my 2010 Senate FCPA testimony.On OffenseThis prior post highlighted Canada’s 2013 enforcement action against Griffiths Energy International Inc. (“GEI”) under Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (“CFPOA”) for allegedly bribing Chad’s Ambassador to Canada, Mahamoud Adam Bechir and his wife Ms. Nouracham Niam.According to this recent article in the Calgary Sun Bechir and Niam are going on offense.  The article notes:“The former Chadian ambassador to Canada and his wife have launched a $150-million lawsuit claiming “false” bribery allegations against them have sullied their reputation. Mahamoud Adam Bechir and his spouse, Nouracham Niam, are suing law firm Gowlings Lafleur Henderson LLP, partner Kristine Robidoux and the current corporate owner of Griffiths Energy International (GEI) Inc. In a statement of claim filed in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench the couple say claims by Griffiths it paid a $2-million bribe to the wife’s company were untrue.”Scrutiny AlertStaying north of the border, as noted in this report,“MagIndustries Corp., a China-backed Canadian potash company, said it has formed a special committee to look into allegations some of its officers and employees have breached the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. Canadian police visited the company’s head office in Toronto with a search warrant on Jan. 22 in connection with the allegation, MagIndustries said Thursday in a statement. “No charges have been laid in connection with this investigation and MagIndustries has no knowledge of any such breach and will be cooperating fully with the authorities,” the company said. MagIndustries, controlled by Evergreen Resources Holdings Ltd. according to data compiled by Bloomberg, is developing the Mengo potash mine in Republic of Congo.”To FCPA Inc.It happens so often it is difficult to keep track of, but I try my best.In the latest example of a DOJ FCPA enforcement attorney departing for FCPA Inc. Ropes & Gray announced that “Ryan Rohlfsen, senior trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section” who was as “part of an elite group of federal prosecutors responsible for the global enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)” has joined the firm as a partner.Resource AlertMy former law firm, Foley & Lardner, recently announced “Foley Global Risk Solutions.”  As stated in the release:“Foley & Lardner LLP announced today the launch of Foley Global Risk Solutions – a new cost-effective service offering designed to help companies operating overseas comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Foley GRS is an innovative, web-based service offering that provides businesses with a fully integrated FCPA compliance solution. The product, which relies on cutting-edge technology, will be offered for a fixed annual subscription fee. […] Foley GRS is the first-of-its-kind integrated legal services solution using a technology-based platform that delivers a comprehensive, closed-loop program that includes risk assessments, current and periodically updated policies and procedures, training for employees, regular communications, and most importantly, access to legal advice and counseling on FCPA issues that arise during the course of business operations.”*****A good weekend to all.last_img read more

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Scores of Texas Lawyers Advise in 44 Billion Kinder Morgan – El

first_imgNot a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Bracewell Giuliani, Baker Botts, Vinson & Elkins and Weil, Gotshal & Manges played key legal advisory roles in Kinder Morgan Inc.’s $44 billion series of acquisitions that energy M&A experts say is the largest oil and gas transaction since Exxon’s 1999 merger with Mobil for $74 billion . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Remember me Passwordcenter_img Lost your password? Usernamelast_img read more

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Frank Branson Gruber Hurst and Beckmen Law Score Record 71 Million Win

first_imgThe two lawyers and their firms scored a record $61-plus million win in Fisher County when the jury determined a group of business partners conspired to cut their clients out of a lucrative mineral rights leasing deal . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Lost your password? Password Remember mecenter_img Username Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

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Shannon Gracey Adds Estate Planning Expert

first_img Lost your password? Remember me Brian Hall has joined the firm’s Dallas office as a partner . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Usernamecenter_img Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

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Doctors gut feelings play key role in medical decision making finds study

first_imgJul 23 2018Many technology companies are working on artificial intelligence systems that can analyze medical data to help diagnose or treat health problems. Such systems raise the question of whether this kind of technology can perform as well as a human doctor.A new study from MIT computer scientists suggests that human doctors provide a dimension that, as yet, artificial intelligence does not. By analyzing doctors’ written notes on intensive-care-unit patients, the researchers found that the doctors’ “gut feelings” about a particular patient’s condition played a significant role in determining how many tests they ordered for the patient.”There’s something about a doctor’s experience, and their years of training and practice, that allows them to know in a more comprehensive sense, beyond just the list of symptoms, whether you’re doing well or you’re not,” says Mohammad Ghassemi, a research affiliate at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). “They’re tapping into something that the machine may not be seeing.”This intuition plays an even stronger role during the first day or two of a patient’s hospital stay, when the amount of data doctors have on patients is less than on subsequent days.Ghassemi and computer science graduate student Tuka Alhanai are the lead authors of the paper, which will be presented at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society conference on July 20. Other MIT authors of the paper are Jesse Raffa, an IMES research scientist, and Roger Mark, a professor of health sciences and technology and of electrical engineering and computer science. Shamim Nemati and Falgun Chokshi of Emory University are also authors of the study.How to measure feelingsDoctors consider a huge number of factors — including symptoms, severity of illness, family history, and lifestyle habits — when deciding what kinds of exams to order for their patients. In addition to those factors, Ghassemi, Alhanai, and their colleagues wondered whether a doctor’s “gut feelings” about a patient also plays a role in their decision-making.”That gut feeling is probably informed by a history of experience that doctors have,” Ghassemi says. “It’s sort of like how when I was a kid, my mom could just look at me and tell that I had done something wrong. That’s not because of something mystical, but because she had so much experience dealing with me when I had done something wrong that a simple glance had some data in it.”Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesTo try to reveal whether this kind of intuition plays a role in doctors’ decisions, the researchers performed sentiment analysis of doctors’ written notes. Sentiment analysis, which is often used for gauging consumer attitudes, is based on computer algorithms that examine written language and tally positive or negative sentiments associated with words used in the text.The researchers performed their analysis on the MIMIC database, a collection of medical records from 60,000 ICU patients admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston over a 10-year period. This database includes doctors’ notes on the patients as well as severity of illness, diagnostic imaging exams, and several other factors.The researchers wanted to determine what, if anything, the doctors’ notes added on top of the information available in the medical records. They computed sentiment scores from the notes to see if there was any correlation with how many diagnostic imaging tests the doctors ordered for patients.If medical data alone was driving doctors’ decisions, then sentiment would not have any correlation with the number of tests ordered. However, the researchers found that when they accounted for all other factors, the doctors’ sentiments did indeed help predict how many tests they would order. This effect was strongest at the beginning of a patient’s hospital stay, when doctors had less medical information to go on, and then declined as time went by.They also found that when doctors felt more pessimistic about a patient’s condition, they ordered more testing, but only up to a certain point. If they felt very negatively about the patient’s condition, they ordered fewer tests.”Clearly the physicians are using something that is not in the data to drive part of their decision making,” Alhanai says. “What’s important is that some of those unseen effects are reflected by their sentiment.”Sentimental machinesNext, the researchers hope to learn more about just what factors contribute to doctors’ gut feelings. That could potentially lead to the development of artificial intelligence systems that could learn to incorporate the same information that doctors are using to evaluate patients.”The question is, can you get the machine to do something like that? It would be very interesting to teach the machine to approximate what the doctor encodes in their sentiment by using data not currently captured by electronic health systems, such as their speech,” Alhanai says. Source:http://news.mit.edu/2018/doctors-rely-gut-feelings-decision-making-0720last_img read more

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For nursing home patients breast cancer surgery may do more harm than

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Liz Szabo: lszabo@kff.org, @LizSzabo Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Surgery is a mainstay of breast cancer treatment, offering most women a good chance of cure.For frail nursing home residents, however, breast cancer surgery can harm their health and even hasten death, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery.The results have led some experts to question why patients who are fragile and advanced in years are screened for breast cancer, let alone given aggressive treatment.The study examined the records of nearly 6,000 nursing home residents who had inpatient breast cancer surgery the past decade. It found that 31 to 42 percent died within a year of the procedure. That’s significantly higher than the 25 percent of nursing home residents who die in a typical year, said Dr. Victoria Tang, lead author and an assistant professor of geriatrics and hospital medicine at the University of California-San Francisco.Although her study doesn’t include information about the cause of death, Tang said she suspects that many of the women died of underlying health problems or complications related to surgery, which can further weaken older patients. Patients who were the least able to take care of themselves before surgery, for example, were the most likely to die within the following year. Dementia also increased the risk of death.It’s unlikely that many of the deaths were due to breast cancer, which often grows slowly in the elderly, Tang said. Breast cancers often take a decade to turn fatal.”When someone gets breast cancer in a nursing home, it’s very unlikely to kill them,” said study co-author Dr. Laura Esserman, director of the UCSF breast cancer center. “They are more likely to die from their underlying condition.”Yet most patients in the study got sicker and less independent in the year following breast surgery.Among patients who survived at least one year, 58 percent suffered a serious downturn in their ability to perform “activities of daily living,” such as dressing, bathing, eating, using the bathroom or walking across the room.Women in the study, who were on average 82 years old, suffered from a variety of life-threatening health problems even before being diagnosed with breast cancer. About 57 percent suffered from cognitive decline, 36 percent had diabetes, 22 percent had heart failure, 17 percent had chronic lung disease, and 12 percent had survived a heart attack.The high mortality rate in the study is striking because breast surgery is typically considered a low-risk procedure, said Dr. Deborah Korenstein, chief of general internal medicine at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.The paper provided an example of how sick, elderly people can suffer from surgery. An 89-year-old woman with dementia who underwent a mastectomy became confused after surgery and pulled off all her bandages. Health care workers had to restrain her in bed to prevent her from pulling off the bandages again. The woman died 15 months later of a heart attack.Surgery late in life is more common than many realize. One-third of Medicare patients undergo surgery in the year before they die, according to a 2011 study in The Lancet. Eighteen percent of Medicare patients have surgery in their final month of life and 8 percent in their final week.Nearly 1 in 5 women with severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, get regular mammograms, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerThe new study leaves some important questions unanswered.The paper didn’t include healthier nursing home residents who are strong enough to undergo outpatient surgery, said Dr. Heather Neuman, a surgeon and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. These women may fare better than those who are very ill.Esserman and Tang said their findings suggest doctors need to treat breast cancer differently in very frail patients.”People think, ‘Oh, a lumpectomy is nothing,'” Esserman said. “But it’s not nothing in someone who is old and frail.”In recent years, doctors have tried to scale back breast cancer therapy to help women avoid serious side effects. In June, for example, researchers announced that sophisticated genetic tests can help predict which breast cancers are less aggressive, a finding that could allow 70 percent of patients to avoid chemotherapy.The Medicare database used in this study didn’t mention whether any of the patients had chemotherapy, radiation or other outpatient care. So the UCSF researchers acknowledged that they can’t rule out the possibility that some of the women suffered complications due to these other therapies. In general, however, authors noted that only 6 percent of nursing home residents with cancer are treated with chemotherapy or radiation.The authors said doctors should give very frail patients the option of undergoing less aggressive therapy, such as hormonal treatments. In other cases, doctors could offer to simply treat symptoms as they appear.The new study raises questions about the value of screening nursing home residents for breast cancer, Korenstein said. Although the American Cancer Society hasn’t set an upper age limit for breast cancer screening, it advises women to be screened as long as they’re in good health and expected to live at least another decade.Residents of nursing homes generally can’t expect to live long enough to benefit from breast screening, Korenstein said.”It makes no sense to screen people in nursing homes,” Korenstein said. “The harms of doing anything about what you find are far going to outweigh the benefits.”KHN’s coverage of these topics is supported by John A. Hartford Foundation and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundationlast_img read more

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Video Take a whirl above the massive LIGO gravitational wave detector

first_imgEinstein’s general theory of relativity turns 100 this year! Find out more in a special issue from Science. After decades of effort, physicists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) say they’re on the verge of detecting ripples in space and time called gravitational waves. Such waves would be set off when, for example, two neutron stars or two black holes merge. Their detection would open a new window on the cosmos and fulfill perhaps the most spectacular prediction of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Fly above the massive LIGO interferometer in Livingston, Louisiana—which has a twin in Hanford, Washington—and learn how physicists will search for those tiny, elusive signals.last_img read more

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Visits to bat caves may up risk of spreading infectious diseases in

first_imgIn West Africa, humans have eaten rats, monkeys, and bats for millennia—especially when other food sources are scarce. Yet this “bush meat” can make people sick, particularly when what’s for dinner is smoked bat. The winged creatures host more than 65 known human pathogens, including the Ebola virus, coronavirus (which causes SARS), and rabies, among others. Little is known, however, about how the various diseases, known as zoonoses, jump from bats to people, in part because how often, how, and why the two interact with each other is not well understood. Now, a new study suggests that they come in contact with one another frequently and for a variety of reasons. In three rural towns in Ghana between 2011 and 2012, researchers surveyed about 1270 people to learn more about their interactions with bats. They found that about 65% of respondents reported some contact with the creatures. About 37% said they’d been bitten or scratched by the animals or exposed to their urine—all possible routes of exposure to the viruses. And nearly half said they visited bat caves frequently, for reasons ranging from hunting to conducting religious activities to fetching water to “recreation.” Only 17% said they came into contact with bats in their normal living or work environments. About 45% of those surveyed reported eating bats, mainly sourced directly from the caves where bats roosted in drowsy clusters, the researchers report online today in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The researchers also note that roasted or fried bats (pictured) were widely observed in the local markets. Eating properly cooked or smoked meat isn’t thought to spread the pathogens. But hunters and those who prepare the raw meat for consumption or sale—and come into direct contact with the animal’s blood and fluids—are at risk. Continued efforts to understand the behaviors that bring humans into contact with bat-borne zoonotic pathogens could provide insight into stemming future outbreaks, the researchers say.last_img read more

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Funding shift for Zika helps NIH but more research money requested

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Some $510 million of that $589 million will come from unspent funding originally meant for the Ebola outbreak response. Donovan said the funding shift will help support “immediate, time-critical activities such as mosquito control, lab capacity, development of diagnostics, and vaccines, supporting affected expectant mothers and babies, tracking and mapping the spread and effects of Zika infections in humans, and other prevention and response efforts.”Obama administration officials are still pushing Congress to approve the nearly $2 billion emergency Zika funding request both for that outbreak and to replenish the shifted Ebola funds. Fauci says NIAID specifically would get about $130 million of that money. Some of that money he says could backfill funding NIAID had previously shifted to Zika from malaria, flu, and tuberculosis research. “If we don’t get all of the Zika money, that is when things start getting hurt,” he says.Republicans have argued that the administration should rely on existing funds, at least for now. “We are pleased to hear today that federal agencies are heeding our call,” top House of Representatives Republicans led by Representative Hal Rogers (R–KY), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a 6 April statement after the White House announcement. Congress will continue to monitor the “changing needs” that the situation presents, the lawmakers said. Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The White House’s decision this week to shift $589 million in unspent Ebola response funding to fighting Zika won’t require cutting any Ebola research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But the Obama administration still is requesting more help from Congress to both fund Zika efforts and replenish money shifted away from Ebola, says Anthony Fauci, the head of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Maryland.Fauci tells ScienceInsider that $47 million of the shifted funds will go to NIAID to support Zika research. None of that will come from Ebola research at NIAID, which has already spent its roughly $238 million share of Ebola response funding that Congress approved last year, according to Fauci. But he also sounded a cautionary note about the new Zika support. “That’s not enough to last me very long,” Fauci says. “We can start the work, but we can’t finish what we need to do.”Shaun Donovan, head of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C., revealed on 6 April that his group had “identified” more than half-a-billion dollars in government funding that could be “redirected” to Zika, calling the step necessary after the Republican-controlled Congress didn’t act on a White House emergency funding request earlier this year. The White House had sought nearly $2 billion to combat Zika virus, which mosquitoes have spread rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean.last_img read more

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Dramatic twists could upend patent battle over CRISPR genomeediting method

first_imgFrom the outset, the case has hinged on whether it was “obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art” to do what Broad Institute researcher Feng Zhang and colleagues did with CRISPR, based on prior publications by UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna, working with Emmanuelle Charpentier, then of Umeå University. Specifically, Doudna, Charpentier, and their team reported in the 28 June 2012 online issue of Science that they had taken a CRISPR system used by bacteria to thwart reinfections with viruses and created an artificial version that showed the components needed to edit genes. Zhang’s group reported in the 15 February 2013 online issue of Science that CRISPR worked in eukaryotes. To prove that Zhang was “inspired” by Doudna’s work, the latest bevy of documents submitted by UC includes an earnest email (see below) he sent to her the day before his Science paper appeared that suggests they might collaborate in future. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) UC attorneys have argued that the move from prokaryotes to eukaryotes was obvious, and insisted that Zhang’s lab’s subsequent refinement of a key component in the CRISPR system—a variation of an enzyme known as Cas9—also was obvious. In the original studies by Doudna/Charpentier and Zhang, everyone used a Cas9, known as spCas9, derived from Streptococcus pyogenes. Zhang’s group reported in the 1 April 2015 online issue of Nature that it used a Cas9 derived from a different bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. They noted that this Cas9, known as saCas9, was smaller and could easily be packaged into an adeno-associated virus.Practically speaking, Zhang’s saCas9—with an adeno-associated virus serving as a vector—allows CRISPR to work in vivo, as opposed to simply in test tubes. This is key to using CRISPR for gene therapy to, say, repair a mutation that causes sickle cell anemia or hemophilia. In contrast, to get spCas9 inside of cells, researchers have to rely on techniques that work fine in vitro but not in vivo.Independent researchers, in depositions filed on behalf of the UC claims, insist that it would have been obvious to Zhang and other researchers to use saCas9, because it was a known, smaller variant of spCas9. The Broad Institute, however, contends that there were more than 600 equally small or smaller versions of Cas9 when Zhang selected saCas9, which it says “provides a surprising combination of benefits.”In last week’s filing, attorneys for the Broad Institute asked patent officials to remove two of its issued patents that focus on saCas9 from the original case, as well as two other patents (and a few affiliated claims in other patents) that describe techniques for enabling the CRISPR-Cas9 construct to target the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell.Now, all sides are waiting to see how patent officials will rule on these motions—and speculating on what impact any decision might have on the bank accounts of the institutions and researchers who have a stake in this decidedly high-stakes battle. Meanwhile, Cellectis announced it now has “an umbrella patent” that its CEO, Andre Choulika, says “covers most of the gene editing procedures done with a nuclease,” including those based on CRISPR-Cas 9, TALENs, zinc fingers, and many meganucleases. Yesterday, PTO granted a patent that claims gene inactivation by the use of chimeric restriction endonucleases to the Pasteur Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. Choulika and Richard Mulligan are the co-inventors, and Cellectis has an exclusive license to the patent.The patent describes a method for introducing DNA changes by causing breaks in the DNA using molecules dubbed chimeric restriction endonucleases and the subsequent cellular repair processes called homologous recombination and nonhomologous end joining. It covers any endonucleases that target more than a dozen DNA bases and consist of two molecular components that do not occur naturally together, Choulika says. “This technology is universal as it can be applied to any types of cells, including human, animal, plant cells or micro-organisms,” Cellectis said in a press release.Other companies are already disputing Cellectis’s claim. And Sherkow doesn’t agree that CRISPR-Cas9 technologies come under its patent. “I think Cellectis is taking an overly generous view of both the validity and scope of its new patent,” he says. “And given the state of the chimeric restriction endonuclease art prior to the patent’s 1999 date, there are some serious doubts as to its validity. We’ll see what Cellectis does with it.”With reporting by Elizabeth Pennisi.Updated, 10/7/2016, 3:15p.m.: This story has been updated to clarify the details of the work reported in the 28 June 2012 online Science publication. The 9-month-old patent battle over CRISPR, a novel genome-editing tool that could have immense commercial value, has taken two surprising twists. Last week, attorneys for the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the research organizations vying for CRISPR rights, submitted motions that could let it win even if it loses. And yesterday, a new player in the drama, a French biopharmaceutical company called Cellectis, may have made the whole fight moot, revealing it has just been issued patents that it says broadly cover genome-editing methods, including CRISPR. The Broad Institute, a marriage between Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holds 13 CRISPR patents that are under fire from the University of California (UC) and two co-petitioners. This past January, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) said it would review the patent claims in what’s known as an interference proceeding. That has triggered an epic legal battle over CRISPR intellectual property (IP) that centers on the Broad Institute’s issued patents and a patent application from UC that’s still under review.On 28 September the Broad Institute asked patent office officials to separate four of its issued patents from the case. The Broad Institute’s move could be a “huge development” if patent officials rule in its favor, says Jacob Sherkow, a patent specialist who works at New York Law School in New York City and has closely monitored the case. “Prior to this, it was my impression that this was an all or nothing affair: Whoever was going to win would control the most important aspects of the CRISPR patent landscape,” Sherkow says. But if the Broad Institute wins its request to separate the four patents from the larger case, he says “there may be a way for both sides to walk away with a little IP in their pockets.” Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

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Debate erupts over plan to create another online destination for biology preprints

first_imgYet bioRxiv.org, launched in 2013 with backing from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has grown considerably in popularity and many of its fans took to Twitter to question the purpose of the proposed Central Service. The Central Service is meant to be an aggregator from the different preprint sites that have arisen over the past few years. For example, some biology preprints get submitted to arXiv.org, the long-established site that caters more to the physical sciences, whereas others go to sites such as PeerJ. And ASAPbio notes that many prominent publishers are considering their own preprint sites. “Preprint entities in biology are more likely to expand rather than collapse into one source,” it concludes in a blog post about the potential benefits of an aggregator such as the Central Service. we should just put our resources behind @biorxivpreprint and hit the ground running https://t.co/RIWVfivzNo— Alexander Arguello (@NeuroMinded) February 13, 2017 There is no need to reinvent wheel. BioRxiv exists…and *fully* and *completely* meets needs of field. @pathogenomenick @NatureNews— Richard H. Ebright (@R_H_Ebright) February 13, 2017 A plan to create a new repository for biomedical and biology preprints has earned the endorsement of nearly a dozen major science funders, including government agencies, major foundations, and research charities. But it also has sparked a debate about whether an existing preprint repository, bioRxiv.org, should be the natural home for such material.Although it has no confirmed funding for the effort, the nonprofit group ASAPbio today announced a request for applications to build what it calls a “Central Service” for preprints (papers that have not yet been accepted by a journal or undergone peer review).  Together with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the European Research Council, the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Wellcome Trust research charities, and other science funders, ASAPbio released a consensus set of principles and requirements for the proposed repository. For example, the repository must have a scientist-led independent governing board, the groups say, and be free for those submitting and reading preprints. Totally agree. Not sure why we’re discussing the creation of a central preprint repository when we already have one. https://t.co/o9GLdrKIfb— Daniel MacArthur (@dgmacarthur) February 13, 2017 Sergei25/shutterstock Publishing their papers in journals, such as these lining a library’s shelves, is still the goal of most biologists, but more and more are depositing early versions, or preprints, in online repositories. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Jessica Polka, director of ASAPbio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says that last suggestion could ultimately be the decision if bioRxiv’s founders respond to the call for applications. “bioRxiv is providing a great service to the scientific community,” she wrote in an email to ScienceInsider. “bioRxiv could either respond individually or as part of a consortium to potentially become the central service.”One goal of the new repository is to have preprints in a more easily read, and searchable, format than the typical PDF submitted to bioRxiv.org and its competitors. Polka envisions creating a software program that would convert standard word-processing program files into more computer-friendly online content. That’s a laudable plan, if a recent twitter survey is any indication. Two-thirds of the 266 respondents said they wanted bioRxiv.org preprints in a non-PDF format more easily readable on a phone. Debate erupts over plan to create another online destination for biology preprints By John TravisFeb. 13, 2017 , 4:45 PM No need for this: we have bioRxiv. Discovery is easy. It’s on bioRxiv. https://t.co/70e2OJMMZD— Nick Loman (@pathogenomenick) February 13, 2017 Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Do you want BioRxiv articles to be available in formats beside PDF (eg HTML) to make them readable on a phone?— Torsten Seemann (@torstenseemann) February 12, 2017last_img read more

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Latin Americas lost histories revealed in modern DNA

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) THE CAPTURE OF THE SPANISH GALLEON ‘NUESTRA SEÑORA DE COVADONGA’, 20 APRIL 1743, CLEVELEY, JOHN THE YOUNGER (1747–86)/SHUGBOROUGH HALL, STAFFORDSHIRE, U.K./NATIONAL TRUST PHOTOGRAPHIC LIBRARY/BRIDGEMAN IMAGES Email By Lizzie WadeApr. 12, 2018 , 2:00 PM Este artículo está disponible en español.AUSTIN—If you walked the cobblestone streets and bustling markets of 16th and 17th century Mexico City, you would see people born all over the world: Spanish settlers on their way to mass at the cathedral built atop Aztec ruins. Indigenous people from around the Americas, including soldiers who had joined the Spanish cause. Africans, both enslaved and free, some of whom had been among the first conquistadors. Asians, who traveled to Mexico on Spanish galleons, some by choice and some in bondage. All these populations met and mingled for the first time in colonial Latin America.Historical documents describe this cultural mixture, but now international teams of researchers are enriching our view by analyzing the genomes of people today. Aided by sophisticated statistics and worldwide genetic databases, they can tease apart ancestry and population mixing with more nuance than ever before. The results, reported at a meeting here this week and in a preprint, tell stories of Latin America that have been largely forgotten or were never recorded in historical documents. From the immigration of enslaved Filipinos to that of formerly Jewish families forbidden to travel to the colonies, hidden histories are emerging. 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Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country “It’s helping us to recognize the ways that really fine-scale historical experiences and practices have left this deeply significant imprint on our genomes,” says Deborah Bolnick, an anthropological geneticist at the University of Texas here. Juan Esteban Rodríguez, a graduate student in population genetics at the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO) in Irapuato, Mexico, initially planned to study a recent thread in the global tapestry that is Mexican ancestry. Starting in the 19th century, many Chinese immigrants moved to Mexico to construct railroads in the country’s northern states. Growing up near the U.S. border, Rodríguez knew this history well, and he wanted to see whether he could identify the Chinese immigrants’ genetic contribution to the modern Mexican population.But when he searched a database of 500 Mexican genomes—initially assembled for biomedical studies—and sought genetic variants more common in Asian populations, he found a surprise. Some people from northern Mexico did have significant Asian ancestry, but they weren’t the only ones. Rodríguez discovered that about one-third of the people sampled in Guerrero, the Pacific coastal state that lies nearly 2000 kilometers south of the U.S. border, also had up to 10% Asian ancestry, significantly more than most Mexicans. And when he compared their genomes to those of people in Asia today, he found that they were most closely related to populations from the Philippines and Indonesia.Rodríguez and his adviser, Andrés Moreno-Estrada, a population geneticist at LANGEBIO, turned to the historical record to figure out who these people’s ancestors might be. They learned from historians who study ship manifests and other trade documents that during the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish galleons sailed between Manila and the port of Acapulco in Guerrero, carrying goods and people, including enslaved Asians. Although historians knew of this transpacific slave trade, the origins of its victims were lost. Once they landed in Mexico, they were all recorded as “chinos”—Chinese, says Moreno-Estrada, who will present the work this weekend at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) annual meeting here. “We’re uncovering these hidden stories of slavery and people who lost their identities when they disembarked in a whole new country.”Other researchers study the legacy of another marginalized group in colonial Mexico: Africans. Tens of thousands of enslaved and free Africans lived in Mexico during the 16th and 17th centuries, outnumbering Europeans, and today almost all Mexicans carry about 4% African ancestry. The percentage is much higher in some communities, says geneticist María Ávila-Arcos of the International Laboratory for Human Genome Research in Juriquilla, Mexico. She found that in Afro-descendent communities in Guerrero and Oaxaca, many of which remain isolated, people had about 26% African ancestry, most of it from West Africa.Other data also suggest a strong African presence in colonial Mexico. Bioarchaeologist Corey Ragsdale of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and his colleagues examined skeletons for dental and cranial traits that tend to be more common among Africans. They estimated that 20% to 40% of the people buried in cemeteries in Mexico City between the 16th and 18th centuries had some African ancestry, as they will present this weekend at the AAPA meeting. “It could be that Africans played as much of a role in developing population structure, and in fact developing the [Spanish] empire, as Europeans did,” Ragsdale says.Ávila-Arcos hopes to use genetic data to trace the ancestors of those in her study back to specific West African groups or regions. She’s also found significant Asian ancestry in some of her volunteers, likely an echo of communities once formed by enslaved Africans and Asians on the Pacific coast.Some Europeans carried hidden histories with them to colonial Latin America. A preprint recently posted on the bioRxiv server used genetic data from more than 6500 people born in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru to tease apart how specific Native American groups and multiple populations from the Iberian peninsula contributed to modern genomes. “It’s undoubtedly the most comprehensive genetic analysis of Latin American populations to date,” Ávila-Arcos says. (The authors declined to comment because the paper has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.) One striking finding was that genetic variants common in the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa, and especially in Sephardic Jews, show up all over Latin America, in nearly a quarter of the individuals sampled.The authors, led by geneticists Andrés Ruiz-Linares of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and Garrett Hellenthal of University College London, trace a significant portion of this ancestry to conversos, or Jews who converted to Christianity in 1492, when Spain expelled those who refused to do so. Conversos were prohibited from migrating to the Spanish colonies, though a few are known to have made the trip anyway. But widespread Sephardic ancestry in Latin America implies that migration was much more common than records suggest.For Ragsdale, the work serves as a reminder that even migrations scientists think are well understood can contain surprises. “The way we think about colonization is simplified,” Ragsdale says. “We’re missing a lot of subtleties here.”last_img read more

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