NTU Singapore uses 3Dprinted anatomical specimens for medical education

first_img Source:http://www.ntu.edu.sg/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 9 2018Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is pioneering the use of 3D-printed anatomical specimens for medical education in Singapore.Just last month, students at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), jointly set up by NTU Singapore and Imperial College London, started learning anatomy with 3D-printed specimens.A collaboration between LKCMedicine and NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, these 3D-printed specimens come in varying materials, colors, hardness and flexibility to mimic the properties of anatomical structures in a real human body – a first in Singapore.The made-in-NTU 3D-printed specimens are the latest example of NTU turning to innovative learning tools to prepare its medical students, as the medical education landscape shifts in tandem with the influx of digital technologies.LKCMedicine is also looking into other pedagogical approaches such as a medical tutor powered by artificial intelligence and a mobile app where virtual 3D animated specimens can be accessed. (See Annex A)Such innovative teaching tools are highlighted at the Transform Medical Education (Transform MedEd), an inaugural two-day conference that looks at how new pedagogical approaches and the latest technologies are shaping the future of medical education and healthcare practice.Jointly organized by LKCMedicine and Imperial College London School of Medicine, the conference provides a platform for local and international thought leaders to interact with educators, scientists and students. The interactive program will focus on the latest advances in the science and practice of medical education, and participants will share perspectives on how innovations in technology and pedagogy can transform the way health professionals learn.NTU President Professor Subra Suresh said, “As the boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological words become increasingly blurred, we should examine as to how we can use technology to break down the walls between classrooms and clinical learning environments. With digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, 3D printing, and augmented reality playing an increasingly significant role in medical care, we want to make sure that we continuously improve teaching and learning methods and their outcomes for students at NTU.”This means leveraging resources on the NTU Smart Campus and our strengths in areas of computing and computer science to integrate the latest technologies into our pedagogical approach, so that we can help train our medical students to become well-prepared, confident and capable doctors.”Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Provost (Education) at Imperial College London, said: “This international conference reflects Singapore’s status as a global hub for medical education.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaArthroscopy more accurate than MRI for chondral defects of the knee, study finds”From artificial intelligence to curriculum-mapping software, collaboration between Imperial College London and NTU is changing the way future doctors learn. We embrace the challenge of keeping pace with shifting global health priorities – from caring for aging populations to meeting the rising demand for personalized medicine.”As demonstrated at this conference, educators and industry stand ready with an abundance of ideas that will improve patient outcomes for the better.”Over the two days, there will be practical opportunities for participants to enhance their teaching skills and learn about the latest advances in medical education with hands-on workshops, facilitated discussions and presentations by internationally renowned medical educators.Invited speakers include Queen Mary University of London Professor of Medicine and Education Dame Parveen Kumar, who will challenge the conventions of textbook learning in medical education, LKCMedicine Visiting Professor Henk Schmidt who will present a research-informed view of How students learn in the healthcare setting, and IBM Asia Pacific Director of Healthcare & Social Services Ms Farhana Nakhooda, who will talk about augmented clinical intelligence as a new era in healthcare. (See Annex B)LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best said, “Our mission is to train a new generation of doctors who know how and when to use the latest technology, while never losing sight of what matters the most – the patient, who is at the heart of their care.”To prepare our students to become patient-centred doctors, we at LKCMedicine are harnessing the latest technologies from 3D printing to high-fidelity simulation to offer a modern and interactive medical education, while at the same time retaining the patient’s perspective and experience throughout our curriculum, right from the first few weeks of medical school.”Since it was established in 2010, LKCMedicine has employed innovative technologies and the best teaching practices to deliver a modern medical education.Moving away from the traditional lectures, LKCMedicine adopts the flipped classroom pedagogy, where students learn the course content online before class and face time with professors and classmates is devoted to collaborative learning. In 2013, the school pioneered the use of plastinated specimens, eliminating the need for traditionally preserved cadavers which are in short supply in Singapore.The first batch of LKCMedicine students graduated in 2017 and are now working in the various public hospitals in Singapore.last_img read more

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Scientists identify genetic mechanism that may play role in some obesity cases

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 7 2019Obesity is a major public-health problem in the United States and around the world, with an estimated 650 million people suffering from the condition. One of the biggest challenges of this ever-worsening condition is figuring out why people become obese in the first place, and why some people are more vulnerable to obesity than others.Now, scientists at The Rockefeller University and collaborators have identified a genetic mechanism that may play a role in at least 10 percent of all obesity cases. The findings, which could help identify individuals with treatable forms of the condition, shed new light on the biology of the hormone leptin, which is produced in fat cells and controls hunger. The amount of leptin in the bloodstream, and how the brain responds to it, help determine how much weight a person will gain.The scientists report this week in Nature Medicine that, in mice, alterations in the cellular machinery that regulates leptin production can lead to a form of obesity treatable with leptin therapy. Evidence from human genetics studies further suggests that a similar mechanism may contribute to obesity in a subset of patients.How leptin is finetuned Discovered 25 years ago by Rockefeller scientist Jeffrey M. Friedman, the Marilyn M. Simpson Professor, leptin has been the subject of many thousands of studies exploring its structure and function. “We’ve learned a lot about leptin,” says Olof Dallner, research associate and lead author of the new report, “but we didn’t actually understand the basic biology of what regulates the leptin gene.”The gene coding for the leptin hormone is regulated by adjacent DNA sequences and regulatory factors that turn the gene on in fat cells, and that also controls the amount of leptin being made. As they explored this process, Dallner and his colleagues zeroed in on one of these regulatory factors, called a long non-coding RNA, or lncRNA, which they identified together with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania.When the researchers engineered mice without this specific lncRNA and fed them a high-fat diet, the mice became obese, but their fat cells produced significantly lower amounts of leptin. This unusual finding suggested to the scientists that the leptin gene could not express normal levels of the hormone without the lncRNA to help it along. In comparison, a group of unaltered control mice fed the same diet gained weight and produced the expected amount of leptin.Moreover, when these low-leptin mice were treated with injections of leptin, they lost weight–in other words, the hormone essentially cured them. And that, the researchers say, raises the exciting possibility that some humans whose obesity is caused by a similar genetic anomaly could also lose weight with leptin therapy. (A pharmaceutical form of leptin was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2014.)Related StoriesStudy: Treatment of psychosis can be targeted to specific genetic mutationStudy: Causes of anorexia are likely metabolic and psychologicalGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationThe fact that there may be obese people with such potentially leptin-curbing mutations was suggested by analyzing data from a large study, known as a genome-wide association study (GWAS), that included the complete genetic profiles of more than 46,000 people. Together with collaborators at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Rockefeller team found that people with alterations in the human version of the lncRNA had lower leptin levels.A potentially-treatable subtype of obesity The number of obese people whose disease may be the result of the dysregulation of the leptin gene is not known, Dallner says, but there is reason to believe it could contribute to as many as 10 percent of all obesity cases.For Dallner, who spent the better part of nine years working on the project, the heterogeneity of the obese population–the fact that different people are obese for different reasons–is the most interesting takeaway from the research. “The important part for me is that we set out to study the leptin gene in mice, and we ended up concluding that different mechanisms can cause obesity in humans,” he says.Most obese people, he explains, become resistant to leptin (which would normally curb their appetites) because they have a lot of fat. Fat cells produce high amounts of leptin and, as the hormone accumulates, the brain appears to stop responding to it.”But there is a large subset of humans who are obese and still are relatively low in leptin,” Dallner says. “We now think that many of them may have these or similar gene variants that affect the expression of the leptin gene. This gives them less leptin from an early age, making them a little bit hungrier than everyone else.”These people remain sensitive to the hormone, however, and early clinical studies have shown that obese people with low leptin levels do in fact lose a significant amount of weight when treated with leptin. But the possible mechanisms underlying such cases were not understood, until now.Dallner says that while the exact interplay between lncRNA and the leptin gene remains unclear, there is no doubt that the two are connected. “When we studied the lncRNA, we realized it was completely co-regulated with leptin. It’s expressed where leptin is expressed. When leptin is down the lncRNA is down, and vice versa. That was really the key moment, when I saw that and thought, ‘Something is really going on here.'” Source:https://www.rockefeller.edu/news/25265-scientists-identify-genetic-factors-may-cause-people-become-obese/last_img read more

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Marijuana use has dropped among most teens after legalization

first_img Source:https://news.wsu.edu/2019/03/15/teens-report-using-marijuana-less-often-legalization/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 18 2019Only one group of teenagers used marijuana more often after retail sales were legalized in Washington than they did before – high school seniors who work 11 or more hours per week, according to new research led by a WSU College of Nursing professor.Marijuana use went down significantly among 8th and 10th graders after legalization, and among 12th graders who didn’t work. It stayed nearly even for high school seniors who work less than 11 hours per week.The research on marijuana use and employment, led by WSU College of Nursing Assistant Professor Janessa Graves, appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health.Washington was one of the first states to approve legalization of marijuana for retail sale, with recreational cannabis stores opening in mid-2014.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTIn secret, seniors discuss ‘rational suicide’The authors were interested in knowing whether legalization in Washington made a difference in marijuana use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders who work in jobs that don’t include household chores, yard work or babysitting. They used data from the state’s biennial Healthy Youth Survey from 2010 and 2016 in their study.No matter what grade the students were in, those who worked 11 or more hours per week reported using marijuana more often than their non-working peers.Post-legalization, 4.8 percent of non-working 8th graders reported using pot within the last 30 days, while 20.8 percent of their working peers did. Among 10th graders, 13.9 percent reported using marijuana within the last 30 days in 2016, versus 33.2 percent of 10th graders who worked 11 or more hours per week. The difference for 12th graders was 20.5 percent non-working, versus 36.7 percent working.”Kids who work more often use substances, that’s not a shock,” Graves said, noting other studies have shown the same result. Teenagers who work usually come into contact with adults who aren’t their coaches, teachers and parents, and they are often exposed to adult substance use. In addition, working teens have more disposable income than their non-working peers, the study notes.So what’s a parent of an older teen to do?”Kids learn a lot by working, in terms of responsibility,” Graves said. “But there are also pretty good data showing that kids who work engage in adult-like behaviors earlier. I would say this for any parent of working kids: It’s important to know the quality of management and supervision at your child’s job. Be thoughtful about the quality of a particular workplace.”The study also suggests that employers could take action by advertising and enforcing zero-tolerance policies of adult employees providing substances or endorsing substance use to their adolescent co-workers.last_img read more

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Prophylactic cranial irradiation used as standard approach for patients with NSCLC

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 19 2019Prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI), a technique used to prevent the clinical development of brain metastases, is established as a standard approach for many patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) after initial therapy. While studies established that PCI decreases the incidence of brain metastases for patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC), there is no established indication for its use for such NSCLC patients.Cumulative brain metastases (BM) rates are high for patients with LA-NSCLC. NRG Oncology conducted the NRG-RTOG 0214 trial to address this high incidence of brain metastases and determine if the addition of PCI following primary treatment improved overall survival (OS) in patients with LA-NSCLC. This trial also evaluated changes in disease-free survival (DFS) and brain metastases rates. At 5 and 10 years, PCI did not improve survival in patients with stage III LA-NSCLC without progression of disease after therapy, however, DFS increased and BM rates decreased considerably, thus providing important information that could benefit future trials. The long-term update of this trial was recently published in JAMA Oncology.Patients in NRG-RTOG 0214 were randomly assigned either to observation or to receive PCI in 2Gy per fraction over five days a week up to 30Gy. This occurred at 291 institutions globally. Patients in the PCI study arm were followed beginning at 3 and 6 months from the start of PCI, then every 6 months for 2 years, then yearly. Brain imaging with MRI or CT was performed at 6 and 12 months, then yearly340 patients were evaluable at 5 and 10 years. OS rates on the study arm that received PCI were not statistically better than the observation arm (HR=0.82, p= 012, 10-year rates: 17.6% and 13.3%, respectively), however, DFS improved significantly (HR=0.76, p= 003, 10-year rates 12.6% vs. 7.5% for PCI vs. observation) as well as BM rates (p=0004, 10-year rates 16.7% vs. 28.3% for PCI vs. observation). Patients in the PCI study arm were 57% less likely to develop BM than those in the observation arm (HR=0.43, 95% CI=0.24-0.77).Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairA subgroup analysis of 225 patients on this trial who did not have surgery of their primary lung tumor exhibited statistically significant differences in OS, DFS, and BM rates between the PCI treatment arm and the observation arm. This analysis suggests PCI may prolong OS in this subgroup, as the median survival time of 2.3 years on the PCI arm compared favorably to 1.9 years on the observation arm (p=0.027). Multivariable analysis within this patient population suggests PCI may effectively prolong OS (HR=0.73, p=004) and DFS (HR=0.70, p=001), and decreases BM (HR=0.34, p=0002).”As the incidence of brain metastases rise in patients living longer with improved control of loco-regional and distant disease, the need to establish an accepted means of prevention of brain metastases remains important. Researchers need to identify the appropriate patient population and a safe intervention on future trials,” stated Alexander Sun, MD, of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and corresponding author of NRG-RTOG 0214. Source:https://www.nrgoncology.org/News/Research-Results/Prophylactic-Cranial-Irradiation-Improves-Disease-Free-Survival-and-Brain-Metastasis-Rates-for-Locally-Advanced-Non-Small-Cell-Lung-Cancerlast_img read more

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Not drinking water may increase childrens consumption of sugary drinks

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 22 2019Kids and young adults who drink no water throughout the day may consume twice the amount of calories from sugary drinks than those who drink water, according to Penn State researchers.Asher Rosinger, assistant professor of biobehavioral health and director of the Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab, said the results — published today (Apr. 22) in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics– underscore the importance of children having free access to clean water.”Kids should consume water every single day, and the first beverage option for kids should be water,” Rosinger said. “Because if they’re not drinking water, they’re probably going to replace it with other beverages, like sugar sweetened beverages, that are less healthy and have more calories.”According to Rosinger, sugar-sweetened beverages includes soda, sweetened fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened tea and coffee drinks. They do not include 100 percent fruit juices, drinks sweetened with zero-calorie sweeteners, or drinks that are sweetened by the consumer, like coffee or tea brewed at home.Rosinger added that while other research has shown an overall decline in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, there are still subpopulations of kids in the U.S. who are more likely to consume sugary drinks. He and his collaborators wanted to better understand how many kids drink water on a given day, how many do not, and how their caloric intake from sugar-sweetened beverages differ.The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative data set that includes information on 8,400 children between the ages of two and 19. Data included information about the children’s water and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, as well as calories from sugary drinks and the percent of total calories coming from sugary drinks.Related StoriesGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeResearch reveals genetic cause of deadly digestive disease in childrenRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaAfter analyzing the data, the researchers found that on a given day, about 20 percent of children reported drinking no water. Additionally, those children consumed almost twice as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages — about 200 calories total — than children who did drink water.Rosinger said that while an extra 200 calories may not seem like a lot, it can add up quickly if someone is drinking sugar-sweetened beverages on a regular basis.”What you have to remember is that an extra 3,500 calories equals one pound of weight gain,” Rosinger said. “So if you’re not compensating for those extra calories, then over a month, you can potentially gain a pound. Over several months, that could add up.”Additionally, the researchers found that while the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that no more than 10 percent of a person’s daily calories should come from added sugars, the children who did not drink any water on a given day tended to exceed this limit from sugary drinks.Rosinger said that while urging people to drink water is important, there are many reasons why kids may not drink any or enough water during the day.”It’s important to note that in parts of the U.S., some people may not trust their water due to lead or other contamination,” Rosinger said. “Water insecurity is a growing problem in the U.S., so we need to keep that in mind as important context, especially when it comes to parents who may be giving their kids soda or juice because they distrust the water.”In the future, Rosinger wants to explore possible interventions to help boost water intake in children.Hilary Bethancourt, a postdoctoral scholar in the Water, Health, and Nutrition Lab in biobehavioral health, and Lori A. Francis, associate professor of biobehavioral health, collaborated on this research. Source:https://news.psu.edu/story/569568/2019/04/22/research/not-drinking-water-may-boost-kids-consumption-sugary-beverageslast_img read more

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Trumps Labour Secretary Acosta resigns amid Epstein case

first_img Related News World 09 Jul 2019 Trump defends cabinet member Acosta embroiled in Epstein sex-abuse case World 10 Jul 2019 U.S. Labor Secretary Acosta says Epstein crimes ‘horrific’ “Alex called me this morning and wanted to see me,” Trump told reporters. “I just want to let you know this is him, not me.”Acosta’s resignation is effective in seven days. Trump named Deputy Labour Secretary Patrick Pizzella as the acting secretary of Labour.Acosta has served in Trump’s cabinet since April 2017 and from 2005 through 2009 was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. It was there that he handled Epstein’s first case involving sex with girls, which resulted in a punishment that critics say was far too lenient.”Mr. Acosta now joins the sprawling parade of President Trump’s chosen advisors who have left the administration under clouds of scandal and corruption, leaving rudderless and discouraged agencies in their wake. Taxpayers deserve better,” Democratic U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said in a statement.Epstein, a billionaire hedge fund manager, pleaded not guilty to new federal charges in New York this week. Epstein had a social circle that over the years has included Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew.Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had called on Tuesday for Acosta to resign.DEFENDING HIS CASEAcosta responded to the criticism on Tuesday with tweets saying Epstein’s crimes were “horrific” and that he was glad prosecutors were moving forward based on new evidence and testimony that could “more fully bring him to justice.”On Wednesday Acosta held a news conference to defend his handling of the deal, which allowed Epstein to plead guilty to a state charge and not face federal prosecution. Acosta said Epstein would have had an even lighter sentence if not for the deal.Acosta would not say if he would make the same decision regarding Epstein now, considering the power of the #MeToo movement that led to the downfall of several powerful men publicly accused of sex crimes by women. U.S. prosecutors in New York on Monday accused Epstein, 66, of sex trafficking, luring dozens of girls, some as young as 14, to his luxury homes and coercing them into sex acts.Democratic U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee who has called on Acosta to testify on the Epstein matter, said in a statement: “Secretary Acosta’s role in approving the extremely favourable deal for Jeffrey Epstein raises significant concerns about his failure to respect the rights of the victims, many of whom were children when they were assaulted.”The federal prosecutors in New York said they were not bound by the deal arranged by Acosta, which allowed Epstein to plead to a lesser offence and serve 13 months in jail with leave during the day while registering as a sex offender. In February, a federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled that the 2007 agreement violated the victims’ rights. Epstein’s case and Acosta’s role in the plea deal had come under scrutiny earlier this year after an investigation by the Miami Herald.The Epstein case came up during Acosta’s Senate confirmation hearing but the Republican-majority Senate approved him in a 60-38 vote. He is the latest top Trump administration official to depart under a cloud. The heads of the Interior, Justice, State and Health departments have also either been fired or resigned, among other top staff during Trump tenure so far.Acosta, the son of Cuban refugees and the first Hispanic member of Trump’s Cabinet, previously served on the National Labour Relations Board and in the U.S. Department of Justice under Republican President George W. Bush. (Reporting by Nandiat Bose; additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by David Alexander and Jeff Mason; Editing by Bill Trott) Related Newscenter_img WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned on Friday amid fresh scrutiny of his handling of the sex abuse case against financier Jeffrey Epstein, becoming President Donald Trump’s latest adviser to leave the administration in controversy.Acosta, joining Trump at the White House before the president left for a trip to Wisconsin, said he did not want to be a distraction to the administration’s work because of his leadership of the Epstein case more than a decade ago.”As I look forward, I do not think it is right and fair for this administration’s Labour Department to have Epstein as a focus rather than the incredible economy we have today,” Acosta said.Trump, who has fired numerous cabinet and other administration officials during his 2 1/2 years in the White House, said it was Acosta’s idea to step down. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} World 10 Jul 2019 Trump backs U.S. Labor chief Acosta, says will look into matter amid Epstein caselast_img read more

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