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segunda-feira, 14 de julho de 2014

Cai a venda de PC’s

ELDORADO DO SUL (RS) - A confluência infeliz da desaceleração da economia e da consolidação de aparelhos concorrentes deve desferir um golpe no principal mercado da americana Dell no País: a venda de PCs (desktops e notebooks). Segundo a consultoria IDC, a previsão é que as vendas de PCs tenham uma queda de 25% no País neste ano. Os primeiros resultados negativos já começaram a aparecer: só no primeiro semestre, a categoria teve uma retração de 28% nas vendas.

Segundo o analista Pedro Hagge, da IDC Brasil, a própria maturidade do mercado de PCs ajuda a explicar essa retração. À medida que já conquistou o computador, o consumidor tende a buscar outros produtos. Segundo a mais recente Pnad, pesquisa feita pelo Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), mais de 46% dos lares brasileiros já têm computador. O especialista diz que a presença dos tablets é bem menor, de cerca de 12%. Ou seja: essa segunda categoria tem bem mais espaço para se expandir.

O texto acima é uma parte de um artigo sobre a queda de vendas de PC’s no Brasil, e que segundo o IBGE, mais de 46% dos lares brasileiros já tem computador.

Mas há que se ressaltar que essa percentagem cai bastante no que se refere aos que usam um computador devidamente. Ter um computador em casa não significa que uma família ou pessoa o use de maneira adequada, o que acontece práticamente no mundo todo, e bem mais nos países emergentes.

domingo, 13 de julho de 2014

Alemanha 1–Argentina ZERO

 

         Estou procurando um tal de Lionel Messi, alguém o viu por aí?

Gostaria de parabenizá-lo por sua seleção ter perdido pelo resultado mínimo.

Parecido com este jogador aqui embaixo :

image

A propósito, parece-me que perder por 7x1 apresenta o mesmo resultado que perder por 1x0, ou 2x1, ou 3x2, etc…

A propósito daquele chinelo, Maradona….

Windswept Valleys in Northern Africa

Expedition 40 Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency posted this photograph of windswept valleys in Northern Africa, taken from the International Space Station, to social media on July 6, 2014.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) regularly photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located 200 miles above the surface. These photographs help to record how the planet is changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth and reservoir construction, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions.

Image Credit: Alexander Gerst/ESA/NASA

Cálculos renais e mudanças climáticas

As mudanças climáticas vão trazer mais dias de calor, provocando uma maior sudorese e desidratação nas pessoas, um fator chave para aumentar o risco dos cálculos renais, destacaram nesta quinta-feira cientistas que fizeram o estudo.

A pesquisa, publicada na revista Environmental Health Perspectives, encontrou uma relação entre dias quentes e pedras nos rins em 60.000 pacientes, que tiveram seus registros médicos analisados.

"Descobrimos que, à medida que as temperaturas diurnas sobem, há um rápido aumento da probabilidade de que os pacientes sofram de cálculos renais no transcurso dos 20 dias seguintes", disse Gregory Tasian, urologista pediátrico e epidemiológico do Hospital Infantil da Filadélfia e autor do estudo.

À medida que as temperaturas médias diárias subiram cerca de 10 graus Celsius, o risco de ocorrência de pedras nos rins aumentou em todas as cidades exceto em Los Angeles.

Além disso, os cálculos renais foram mais frequentes depois de três dias da ocorrência de uma onda de calor.

Os cálculos renais ocorrem quando substâncias como o cálcio e o fósforo alcançam uma concentração elevada demais na urina. Não ingerir uma quantidade suficiente de líquidos pode agravar o problema.

"Essas descobertas apontam para possíveis impactos na saúde pública relacionados à mudanças climáticas", disse Tasian.

"A prevalência de cálculos renais foi aumentando nos últimos 30 anos, e podemos esperar que esta tendência continue, tanto em quantidade como em extensão da área geográfica, à medida que aumentam as temperaturas diurnas", disse Tasian

sexta-feira, 11 de julho de 2014

On the link between periodontitis and atherosclerosis


Chronic oral infection with the periodontal disease pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, not only causes local inflammation of the gums leading to tooth loss but also is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. A study published on July 10th in PLOS Pathogens now reveals how the pathogen evades the immune system to induce inflammation beyond the oral cavity.

Like other gram-negative bacteria, P. gingivalis has an outer layer that consists of sugars and lipids. The mammalian immune system has evolved to recognize parts of this bacterial coating, which then triggers a multi-pronged immune reaction. As part of the "arms race" between pathogens and their hosts, several types of gram-negative bacteria, including P. gingivalis, employ strategies by which they alter their outer coats to avoid the host immune defense.

Caroline Attardo Genco, from Boston University School of Medicine, USA, in collaboration with Richard Darveau, at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, USA, and colleagues focused on the role of a specific lipid expressed on the outer surface of P. gingivalis, called lipid A, which is known to interact with a key regulator of the host's immune system called TLR4. P. gingivalis can produce a number of different lipid A versions, and the researchers wanted to clarify how these modify the immune response and contribute to the ability of the pathogen to survive and cause inflammation -- both locally, resulting in oral bone loss, and systemically, in distant blood vessels.

They constructed genetically modified strains of P. gingivalis with two distinct lipid A versions. The resulting bacteria produced either lipid A that activated TLR4 (called "agonist") or lipid A that interacted with TLR4 but blocked activation ("antagonist"). Utilizing these strains, they demonstrate that P. gingivalis production of antagonist lipid A renders the pathogen resistant to host bacterial killing responses. This facilitates bacterial survival in macrophages, specific immune cells that normally not only gobble up the bacteria but also "digest" and kill them.

When the researchers infected atherosclerosis-prone mice with the P. gingivalis TLR4 antagonist strain, they found that this exacerbates inflammation in the blood vessels and promotes atherosclerosis. In contrast, the ability of P. gingivalis to induce local inflammatory bone loss was independent of lipid A variations, which demonstrates that there are distinct mechanisms for induction of local versus systemic inflammation.

The researchers conclude, "P. gingivalis modifies its lipid A structure in order to evade host defenses and establish chronic infection leading to persistent systemic low-grade inflammation." They go on to state that "uniquely among gram-negative pathogens, P. gingivalis evasion of TLR4-mediated host immunity results in progression of inflammation at a site that is distant from local infection by gaining access to the vasculature."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PLOS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Connie Slocum, Stephen R. Coats, Ning Hua, Carolyn Kramer, George Papadopoulos, Ellen O. Weinberg, Cynthia V. Gudino, James A. Hamilton, Richard P. Darveau, Caroline A. Genco. Distinct Lipid A Moieties Contribute to Pathogen-Induced Site-Specific Vascular Inflammation. PLoS Pathogens, 2014; 10 (7): e1004215 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004215

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world's first neural device to restore memory


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory.

The Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week.

The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. TBI, in particular, has affected 270,000 military service members since 2000.

The goal of LLNL's work -- driven by LLNL's Neural Technology group and undertaken in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Medtronic -- is to develop a device that uses real-time recording and closed-loop stimulation of neural tissues to bridge gaps in the injured brain and restore individuals' ability to form new memories and access previously formed ones.

The research is funded by DARPA's Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program.

Specifically, the Neural Technology group will seek to develop a neuromodulation system -- a sophisticated electronics system to modulate neurons -- that will investigate areas of the brain associated with memory to understand how new memories are formed. The device will be developed at LLNL's Center for Bioengineering.

"Currently, there is no effective treatment for memory loss resulting from conditions like TBI," said LLNL's project leader Satinderpall Pannu, director of the LLNL's Center for Bioengineering, a unique facility dedicated to fabricating biocompatible neural interfaces. "This is a tremendous opportunity from DARPA to leverage Lawrence Livermore's advanced capabilities to develop cutting-edge medical devices that will change the health care landscape."

LLNL will develop a miniature, wireless and chronically implantable neural device that will incorporate both single neuron and local field potential recordings into a closed-loop system to implant into TBI patients' brains. The device -- implanted into the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus -- will allow for stimulation and recording from 64 channels located on a pair of high-density electrode arrays. The entorhinal cortex and hippocampus are regions of the brain associated with memory.

The arrays will connect to an implantable electronics package capable of wireless data and power telemetry. An external electronic system worn around the ear will store digital information associated with memory storage and retrieval and provide power telemetry to the implantable package using a custom RF-coil system.

Designed to last throughout the duration of treatment, the device's electrodes will be integrated with electronics using advanced LLNL integration and 3D packaging technologies. The microelectrodes that are the heart of this device are embedded in a biocompatible, flexible polymer.

Using the Center for Bioengineering's capabilities, Pannu and his team of engineers have achieved 25 patents and many publications during the last decade. The team's goal is to build the new prototype device for clinical testing by 2017.

Lawrence Livermore's collaborators, UCLA and Medtronic, will focus on conducting clinical trials and fabricating parts and components, respectively.

"The RAM program poses a formidable challenge reaching across multiple disciplines from basic brain research to medicine, computing and engineering," said Itzhak Fried, lead investigator for the UCLA on this project andprofessor of neurosurgery and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. "But at the end of the day, it is the suffering individual, whether an injured member of the armed forces or a patient with Alzheimer's disease, who is at the center of our thoughts and efforts."

LLNL's work on the Restoring Active Memory program supports President Obama's Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative.

"Our years of experience developing implantable microdevices, through projects funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), prepared us to respond to DARPA's challenge," said Lawrence Livermore Engineer Kedar Shah, a project leader in the Neural Technology group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Drinking alcohol provides No heart health benefit, new study shows

 

July 10, 2014

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.


Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health.

Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.

The new research reviewed evidence from more than 50 studies that linked drinking habits and cardiovascular health for over 260,000 people. Researchers found that individuals who carry a specific gene which typically leads to lower alcohol consumption over time have, on average, superior cardiovascular health records. Specifically, the results show that individuals who consume 17 percent less alcohol per week have on average a 10 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure and a lower Body Mass Index.

"These new results are critically important to our understanding of how alcohol affects heart disease. Contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health," says co-lead author Michael Holmes, MD, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of Transplant Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "For some time, observational studies have suggested that only heavy drinking was detrimental to cardiovascular health, and that light consumption may actually be beneficial. This has led some people to drink moderately based on the belief that it would lower their risk of heart disease. However, what we're seeing with this new study, which uses an investigative approach similar to a randomized clinical trial, is that reduced consumption of alcohol, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may lead to improved cardiovascular health."

In the new study, researchers examined the cardiovascular health of individuals who carry a genetic variant of the 'alcohol dehydrogenase 1B' gene, which is known to breakdown alcohol at a quicker pace. This rapid breakdown causes unpleasant symptoms including nausea and facial flushing, and has been found to lead to lower levels of alcohol consumption over time. By using this genetic marker as an indicator of lower alcohol consumption, the research team was able to identify links between these individuals and improved cardiovascular health.

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Medical Research Council, and was an international collaboration that included 155 investigators from the UK, continental Europe, North America, and Australia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

quinta-feira, 10 de julho de 2014

Ranavirus predicted to be potential new culprit in amphibian extinctions

 

July 9, 2014

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)

Amphibian declines and extinctions around the world have been linked to an emerging fungal disease called chytridiomycosis, but new research from shows that another pathogen, ranavirus, may also contribute. In a series of mathematical models, researchers showed that ranavirus, which causes severe hemorrhage of internal organs in frogs, could cause extinction of isolated populations of wood frogs if they are exposed to the virus every few years, a scenario that has been documented in wild populations.


Dead and dying wood frog tadpoles showing skin shedding and hemorrhages in their well-developed legs and around their throats, from a pond in Brunswick, ME, in June 2013 where an estimated more than 200,000 tadpoles died in less than 24 hours. In the study, extinction was most likely to occur when the tadpole was exposed to ranavirus at frequent intervals in small populations.

Amphibian declines and extinctions around the world have been linked to an emerging fungal disease called chytridiomycosis, but new research from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) shows that another pathogen, ranavirus, may also contribute.

In a series of mathematical models, researchers showed that ranavirus, which causes severe hemorrhage of internal organs in frogs, could cause extinction of isolated populations of wood frogs if they are exposed to the virus every few years, a scenario that has been documented in wild populations.

The most widely distributed amphibian species in North America, wood frogs have been shown to be highly susceptible to ranavirus infection, particularly as tadpoles. But little research has been done into how ranavirus affects frogs at all stages of their life cycle -- from egg to hatchling to tadpole to metamorph, the stage when they emerge as frogs. Little is also known about how the infection could hasten extinction in entire populations.

The study, published in the journal EcoHealth, investigates the effect of ranavirus on the entire life cycle of wood frogs in demographically isolated populations, where there is no movement of frogs into the population from surrounding areas.

The study used mathematical simulations based on long-term data sets from wild populations of wood frogs in eastern United States and laboratory data on the effects of ranavirus. It determined that the life stage during which a frog was exposed to ranavirus was one of the most important factors in determining extinction and declines.

Extinction was most likely to occur when the tadpole or metamorph was exposed to ranavirus at frequent intervals in small populations. Under the worst-case scenario, extinction could occur in as quickly as five years with exposure every year and 25-44 years with exposure every two years.

The egg stage had a 57 percent survival rate when exposed to ranavirus, which was high enough to prevent extinction. Scientists speculate that eggs have a greater survival rate than other stages because they are protected by a thick gelatinous membrane that may serve as a structural barrier or contain anti-viral properties.

"Just as the chytrid fungus has decimated frog populations, the results of our study suggest that ranavirus infection too could contribute to extinction of amphibian populations that are demographically isolated," said lead author and NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow Julia Earl.

Amphibians are already considered the most imperiled of vertebrates, and a third of amphibians are threatened or endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the main international body that assesses the conservation status of species.

Disease may be playing a role in amphibians' extinction. Since the 1990s, chytridiomycosis, which has been called the worst disease affecting vertebrate animals in recorded history, has caused massive die-offs and species extinctions across the world, particularly in Australia, the Caribbean, and North, Central, and South America.

Ranavirus infections in amphibians have been known since the 1960s, but it wasn't until the 1980s when they were associated with large-scale mortality and disease.

Once exposed to ranavirus, in susceptible species like wood frogs, mortality can be as quick as three days. Transmission can occur through water, direct contact and when tadpoles scavenge other dead and infected frogs. There is no cure or treatment for the disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julia E. Earl, Matthew J. Gray. Introduction of Ranavirus to Isolated Wood Frog Populations Could Cause Local Extinction. EcoHealth, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s10393-014-0950-y

10 Easy Ways to Slash Sugar from Your Diet

 

Sugar is added to practically everything on grocery store shelves. Slash your intake with these smart tips.

eat-less-sugar

Credit: Getty Images

 

Cut the sweetness  by Jessica Migala

You may not be eating Oreos by the roll or guzzling cans of Coke, but that doesn't mean sugar's absent from your diet. You're likely eating sugar throughout the day without even realizing it, says Amari Thomsen, RD, owner of Chicago-based nutrition consulting practice Eat Chic Chicago. Sugar is added to foods that don't even taste all that sweet, like breads, condiments, and sauces. And it adds up: although the American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day (or about 100 calories), most of us take in double that. (One note: we're talking about added sugar, not the naturally occurring sugars found in dairy and fruit.) A high-sugar diet boosts your odds of tooth decay, heart disease, and diabetes, not to mention weight gain. Slash your sugar intake now with these 10 expert tips.

Next: Read food labels

» View All

Link  : http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20809521,00.html?xid=healthyliving07092014

Record levels of solar ultraviolet on Earth's surface measured in Bolivia


Licancabur volcano.

A team of researchers in the U.S. and Germany has measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on Earth's surface. The extraordinary UV fluxes, observed in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator, are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life.

The results are being published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Environmental Science.

"These record-setting levels were not measured in Antarctica, where ozone holes have been a recurring problem for decades," says team leader Nathalie A. Cabrol of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. "This is in the tropics, in an area where there are small towns and villages."

The measurements were made in the southern hemisphere summer of 2003 and 2004, using instruments developed for the European Light Dosimeter Network (Eldonet). They were undertaken as Cabrol's team was investigating high altitude Andean lakes as part of an astrobiology study of Mars-like environments. Dosimeters were deployed on the summit of the towering Licancabur volcano (altitude: 5,917 meters) and at nearby Laguna Blanca (altitude 4,340 meters). The combination of a midday sun near the zenith, as well as the high elevation of these sites, produces higher irradiance levels because of naturally low ozone in such locations. But these intensities of short-wavelength UV-B radiation (280 -- 315 nm) are unprecedented.

"A UV index of 11 is considered extreme, and has reached up to 26 in nearby locations in recent years," notes Cabrol. "But on December 29, 2003, we measured an index of 43. If you're at a beach in the U.S., you might experience an index of 8 or 9 during the summer, intense enough to warrant protection. You simply do not want to be outside when the index reaches 30 or 40."

The intense radiation coincided with other circumstances that may have increased the UV flux, including ozone depletion by increased aerosols from both seasonal storms and fires in the area. In addition, a large solar flare occurred just two weeks before the highest UV fluxes were registered. Ultraviolet spikes continued to occur -- albeit at lower intensity -- throughout the period of solar instability, and stopped thereafter. While the evidence linking the solar event to the record-breaking radiation is only circumstantial, particles from such flares are known to affect atmospheric chemistry and may have increased ozone depletion.

"While these events are not directly tied to climate change, they are sentinels of what could occur if ozone thins globally," Cabrol says. "The thinner and more unstable the ozone, the more prone we will be to this kind of event."

High UV-B exposure negatively affects the entire biosphere, not just humans. It damages DNA, affects photosynthesis, and decreases the viability of eggs and larvae. For these reasons, it is important to keep a close watch on UV flux levels.

"While this unsettling record might be the result of a 'perfect storm' of events, it could happen again," says Cabrol, "because the factors that caused it are not rare. What we need is more monitoring of the ozone changes in these areas. These fluxes, which are comparable to those of early Mars, are occurring in a populated area."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Frontiers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nathalie A. Cabrol, Uwe Feister, Donat-Peter Häder, Helmut Piazena, Edmond A. Grin and Andreas Klein. Record solar UV irradiance in the tropical Andes. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 2014 DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2014.00019