Study ‘opens gate’ to understanding depression

first_imgLinkedIn Pinterest “Clinicians who treat depression tend to work on a trial-and-error basis, whereas this model could give them a more systematic and effective method for making decisions about treatment,” said Andrea K. Wittenborn, associate professor in MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies and lead investigator on the study. “Most importantly, this model provides a method for personalizing treatment to each unique patient.”Depression is likely caused by multiple biological, psychological, social and environmental drivers, and these factors often overlap, such as cortisol hormone levels going up in response to stress from troubled relationships or economic hardship. Yet most previous research on depression focused on only one or two factors, and not how the many factors intersect and unfold over time.Wittenborn and colleagues analyzed nearly 600 scientific articles on depression and incorporated the major drivers of depression discussed in the research into a complex model that essentially diagrams how one driver affects another. Depression drivers range from sleep problems to social isolation to inflammation of the brain.Study co-author Hazhir Rahmandad, an MIT scholar, is an expert in a process called system dynamics that’s more common to engineering and business. The team used this approach to create a comprehensive model of depression. While future research is needed to further validate the model, it’s a vital first step in better understanding depression and potentially improving care for the illness.Thanks to the findings, therapists or even patients one day could plug depression triggers into a smartphone app and receive a recommendation for the most appropriate treatment.Despite decades of intervention, research and public awareness efforts, depression remains a remarkably destructive public health problem that costs the United States more than $210 billion a year, Wittenborn said. While psychotherapy and antidepressants help some people, response varies widely and only leads to meaningful improvement for about half of patients.“This model opens the gate to understanding depression as it relates to the whole person and all of his or her experiences,” Wittenborn said. “It helps us understand how depression varies by person – because we know depression varies widely across people, and we think that has something to do with why treatment is not always effective.” Share on Twitter A new scientific model that incorporates the myriad drivers of depression could lead to more precise treatment for an illness that affects 350 million worldwide.Developed by scientists at Michigan State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the model provides a better understanding of depression and the foundation for creating a pioneering tool to attack the complex disorder.A paper outlining the research team’s findings is published online in the journal Psychological Medicine.center_img Share on Facebook Share Emaillast_img read more

New homes will be good news for Redditch Shopping Centre

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

MSI: Major Gains in Crude Tanker Market to Be Limited

first_imgThe crude tanker market is forecast to experience a limited winter upturn, as only the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) sector showed any sizable movement in October, with spot earnings on TD3 increasing sharply to around USD 40,000/day, according to Maritime Strategies International (MSI).Spot activity in other segments mostly moved sideways, although one year T/C estimates have seen some improvement in the sector, suggesting an improvement in sentiment. As a result, expectations of a relatively muted winter upturn remain intact but policy decisions are looming large.“Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections isn’t likely to have a huge effect on the market in the near-term unless it destabilises the US economy,” Tim Smith, MSI Senior Analyst, said.He added that in the longer-term there is “clear risk to shipping should protectionist policies be imposed, whilst domestic energy production in the US could be further encouraged as red tape is removed.”For the fourth quarter VLCC upswing to be maintained, the market will need to see substantial draw from Asian demand. A renewed surge in Chinese buying implies further constructive conditions, but having attained levels close to its expected forecasts and given pressure from fleet growth, any major gains “are likely to be limited and brief.”An improvement in the VLCC market should also be viewed as a positive lead indicator for Suezmax spot earnings if it can be sustained. Suezmax and Aframax freight markets have lagged VLCCs in winter upturns in recent years, but encouragingly Aframax spot markets have seen some sharp upward movements in the first half of November, MSI said.The MSI Suezmax spot rate forecast sees modest improvement across the three-month horizon, predicated on seasonal demand and through the remainder of 2016 is likely to see substantial upside, which should also pull up T/C rates. By March though spot market earnings are expected to have returned below USD 20,000/day.last_img read more

Bar at ‘rock bottom’, declares Browne

first_imgThe morale of the publicly funded bar is at ‘rock bottom’ and careers advisers are telling would-be barristers to steer clear of legal aid, according to the bar’s chief. Speaking at a debate on legal aid, Desmond Browne QC said barristers around the country are ‘totally demoralised’ due to pressures in relation to fees, competition and uncertainty over proposed reforms. He said the best barometer of this is the decline in the number of pupillages on offer this autumn in chambers doing publicly funded work. In Birmingham, he said, they were ‘non-existent’. Browne said the number of able young people who want to come to the bar and do legal aid work had not diminished, but they are being deterred by tutors and careers advisers. Browne was addressing the all-party parliamentary group for legal and constitutional affairs. Legal aid minister Lord Bach and Law Society president Paul Marsh also contributed. Only two peers and no MPs attended the debate.last_img read more

Northwest Crane skids to success

first_imgThe transformer weighed 118,607 lbs (54 tonnes) and measured 22.9 ft x 8.7 ft x 12.6 ft (7 m x 2.7 m x 3.8 m). To move the component, Northwest Crane also utilised Hydra-Slide’s Hydra-Pac synchronous hydraulic power unit, oak timber mats, jacks, and other rigging gear.Jimmy McClung, project manager at Northwest Crane, said: “The site provided very limited access for the work and was sloped significantly. As such, we had to account for the variation in height in our slide track support plans. However, as always, we had to execute each stage of the job one step at a time; our first task was to receive the transformer at the site on third-party trucking equipment.”He continued: “We had to jack it up from the trailer, install the slide track, slide it 50 ft (15.2 m) to align with the pad, jack it up to remove the slide track equipment, and jack the transformer down onto the pad.”www.hydra-slide.com www.northwestcraneservice.comlast_img read more

Ombud enforces in duplum rule

first_imgMomentum Life didn’t apply the TCF principle – Treating Customers Fairly – when an insured’s loan of R5 319 grew to R55 487 – more than 10-fold – by ignoring the in duplum rule. Momentum refused to pay a claim after a policyholder was killed in an apparent hijacking because he didn’t disclose his medical history. The Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance (OLTI) upheld Momentum’s decision but after public outrage the insurer reversed its decision and amended its life policies.It seems they haven’t learned from the TCF principle.The in duplum rule is intended to protect debtors from exploitation, which is why the ombud, Judge Ron McLaren, ordered Momentum to adjust the balance reducing the amount owed because of accrued interest.The in duplum rule stipulates that interest must not be more than the unpaid capital sum and interest on a debt will cease to run when the arrear interest is equal to the outstanding principal debt.The insured said that in 1983 he took out a life policy with the Southern Life. In 1999 he borrowed R5 000 but did not remember making any arrangements with Southern Life to repay the loan separately as he assumed that his monthly premium would be adjusted to incorporate the monthly loan repayment. However, Southern Life, which has since merged with Momentum, did not tell him he had to make a separate payment for the loan amount, and there was no communication between 1999 and 2017, and though his monthly premium continued he forgot about the policy. On July 3 2017, when he asked about another life policy taken with Southern Life in 1997, he was told for the first time that the loan had not been paid and had accrued interest of R48 000 over the years.He wrote to Momentum saying he wanted to settle the loan amount and asked that the interest be waived since he had not received any correspondence from Southern Life or Momentum who said they had no records of the 1999 loan, but in 1991, there was a previous loan which stated, among others, that interest on the loan will be 18% a year, or any other rate that Southern Life may institute. However, interest will be calculated annually in advance and is payable on granting of the loan and then within 30 days of the policy’s anniversary date.Momentum said the 1999 loan “would have been granted on the same basis” as the 1991 loan. During 2007 and 2008, the complainant was told that the loan had not been repaid.Although Momentum said it sent quarterly statements and annual statements, which reflected the debt, they were not informed that the complainant changed his address; that it “cannot be held responsible for the loan status of his policy” and that it “cannot waive the interest as the money was borrowed from external sources”, not the policy.The ombud said the in duplum rule applied to the debt arising from a loan or advance granted from January 1 1999. Momentum said in duplum applied to interest which was in arrears. “An interest-bearing loan allows the risk benefits to remain intact while there is a residual value in the policy to fund the loan. The loan debt increases as interest accrues to the balance. Borrowers can repay all or part of the loan debt at any time. If the debt becomes equal to or greater than the cancellation value of the policy, then it is cancelled. It was not in the client’s interest to cancel the policy as cancellation causes substantial reduction inthe benefits, and attracts early termination charges,” Momentum said, and added it was entitled to claim the interest on the unpaid loan.The adjudicators agreed that the in duplum rule was applicable to any debt which arose out of a policy loan granted after January 1 1999. The rule was not limited to “interest which is in arrears”, as argued by Momentum.Adjudicators said Momentum had to apply the in duplum rule and adjust the loan balance.Judge McLaren quoted several cases which ruled that the purpose of the in duplum rule was to protect debtors against exploitation by lenders who permit interest to accumulate. The ombud said there appeared to be little doubt that the insurer allowed the interest to accumulate, knowing that its investment was safe. “The loan agreement provided for the payment of interest. The complainant failed to pay any amount of interest, which, in the words of the 1999 loan agreement, became ‘payable on the granting of the loan and then within 30 days of each anniversary date of the policy’. But Momentum did not take any steps to recover the interest. “Instead, the amount of that interest was advanced as a further loan, causing the original loan to grow from R5 319 in 1999 toR55 487 in 2018. “The insurer cannot escape the consequences of the in duplum rule by relying on the addition of the arrear interest to the loan. “Instead of collecting that arrear interest, Momentum, since the inception of the policy, added it to the capital sum.“Such an accumulation of interest offends against the in duplum rule,” Judge McLaren said.“Fairness demands that the protection of the in duplum rule should be extended to the complainant,” the ombud ruled.Visit www.ombud.co.za or phone 086 010 3236.last_img read more

France tests high speed Wi-Fi

first_imgFOR A six-month experimental period Wi-Fi access is being made available to passengers on trains operating at up to 300 km/h between Paris, Bordeaux and Pau. The trial was launched in November by Clic TGV, a joint venture of 11 transport and telecoms firms and content providers.A total of 15 trainsets have been equipped with radio hubs, webservers and associated communications networks. Wi-Fi access is free of charge for passengers using their own equipment; alternatively portable computers can be hired at a cost of €8 from Cinétrain stalls at departure stations. Clic TGV is linked to national operators’ GSM networks, and the project forms the first phase in the development of specifications for a wider on-board radio data network. If the six-month trial is successful and proves popular, the service will be extended to other routes.Following successful tests at Paris Nord, the Wi-Fi Gare project has established local radio networks within Paris Montparnasse, Bordeaux Saint-Jean, Lille Flandres, Lille Europe and Pau stations. As well as providing public internet access these networks will enable SNCF to transmit real-time train running information and details of local services. Cinétrain, FranceReader Enquiry Number: 123last_img read more

Don’t believe the hype about Hyperloop

first_imgPolicymakers around the world have been beguiled by the prospects of Hyperloop technology providing a paradigm shift in inter-city transport, potentially at the expense of rail investment. However, Gareth Dennis sounds a note of caution about the technical and commercial hurdles facing this ‘fifth mode of transport’.,Gareth Dennis is a Permanent Way Engineer for an international design consultancy. Based in York, he leads the local section of his professional institution, as well as being a lecturer in track systems at the UK’s National College for High Speed Rail.The much-vaunted Hyperloop, sometimes described by its proponents as the ‘fifth mode of transport’, uses the premise of pods travelling through evacuated tubes to offer high speed inter-city transport. . The concept was first attributed to US-based technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, and independent backers are popping up across the globe, amid huge amounts of publicity.On paper, the concept is a clever one, extrapolating Newton’s First Law to remove as much air resistance as possible to reduce the required motive force to achieve the desired speeds. The technology itself is not revolutionary, simply comprising a pod elevated and driven forwards by magnetic levitation in a tube pumped to a near-vacuum.Some progress has been made by the various competing Hyperloop developers. Virgin Hyperloop One, for example, has built a 500 m ‘DevLoop’ test ring in the Nevada desert, where it has demonstrated the technological union of maglev and vacuum tube. Acceleration, top speed, the pressurised cabin environment and associated emergency arrangements are all very similar to those utilised in commercial air travel. But for all the attention lavished upon Hyperloop, there are fundamental problems that must be overcome before any commercial application is realistic.Straight, undergroundSteel wheel high speed rail can have a design speed of up to 400 km/h, and it is common for curves to be 10 km or more in radius. Whilst Hyperloop will probably permit tighter curves than a railway, it aspires to a design speed of up to 1 100 km/h.As with conventional railway alignments, Hyperloop will rotate the plane of its guideway as curvature increases to reduce the forces on passengers. Yet it seems unlikely that a guideway could be tilted enough to avoid a near-straight alignment, with inertial forces on passengers being comparable to those in a jet aircraft. This in turn is likely to mean the tubes would be underground in most applications.Switches pose another huge technological hurdle. Indeed, even after almost 200 years of railway development, these components still go wrong quite regularly. Passing trains impart huge forces on the underlying track, resulting in rapid degradation of the steelwork. The mechanism that moves the switch can be complex and cumbersome, while managing detection and the interface with the railway control system can also be challenging. In this context, it is fanciful to think Hyperloop developers could overcome these complex requirements first time around, not to mention at six or seven times the operating speed of the fastest steel wheel railway.The vacuum tube concept also throws up some technical gremlins. Thermal expansion effects on the tubes can be managed by using materials with a reduced thermal expansion coefficient and by constructing expansion joints between each tube segment. However, these expansion joints would have to be strong enough to withstand the pressures from the vacuum within, increasing their cost greatly.In an emergency, or in the case of a pump failure, the tube would have to be returned to atmospheric pressure: all this requires is a valve controlling the ingress of air. The problems start when the vacuum needs to be restored. With regular airlocks, you could not run a pod at speed from a vacuum into a section at atmospheric pressure. At 1 000 km/h, this would be akin to driving a car into a concrete block.But if pods have to sit and wait for the correct pressure conditions to be achieved mid-service, delays could be considerable: the Hyperloop One test tube needs 4 h to return to a vacuum over a 500 m alignment. Undoubtedly there will be more powerful pumps in any commercial specification, but this is still technology requiring radical development.Energy and capacityJapan’s Chuo Shinkansen maglev is likely to use approximately three times more energy per seat energy than steel wheel high speed rail. While Hyperloop’s vacuum tubes will remove almost all aerodynamic friction, reducing the motive power needed to reach and sustain high speed, there will be almost no aerodynamic drag, increasing the power required to slow the pods down. The likely power consumption of the pumps maintaining the vacuum conditions must be considered on top.Yet it is passenger capacity which is arguably the most fundamental challenge. Using the UK’s planned High Speed 2 as a benchmark, high speed rail capacity can be nearly 20 000 passengers per hour per direction, assuming 18 trains/h over a double track alignment, each with 1 100 seats. If a Hyperloop pod had 50 seats for example, then to match HS2’s capacity 400 pods would need to depart every hour at a 9 sec headway. Assuming the same number of seconds to alight from a Hyperloop pod as a train, 23 tubes would be needed to match HS2’s throughput.None of this is to dismiss entirely Hyperloop’s prospects. Indeed, the eager and exceptional minds in organisations like VHO will doubtless continue their quest for answers. But we should not yet claim that Hyperloop could replace steel wheel rail, which is far from the outdated mode some would assert. For the foreseeable future, Hyperloop is likely to remain a technological experiment meriting private backing, rather than public funding.last_img read more

R3HAB and Ella Vos release new track Exhale

first_imgR3HAB has teamed up with singer/songwriter Ella Vos for new single Exhale.The electronic ballad combines dance and indie-pop, and features soft, rolling basslines and dreamy soundscapes. Watch the lyric video below:Exhale is a departure from R3HAB’s usual sound and it’s his first official collaboration with Vos. He remixed her popular single White Noise in 2017. The single follows R3HAB’s Alive with Vini Vici and his remix for James Arthur’s Treehouse. The song is out worldwide via CYB3RPVNK in partnership with AWAL.“After I remixed Ella’s White Noise we built a relationship that has lead us to this original release of Exhale. Ella’s amazing vocals were all I needed to build a great production around. I am very proud of the result and can’t wait for the world to Exhale with us.” -R3HABR3HAB – aka Dutch/Moroccan artist Fadil El Ghoul – has established himself as a leader at the forefront of modern electronic music over the last seven years. In 2017, R3HAB independently released his debut album Trouble through his imprint CYB3RPVNK, which amassed over a half-billion streams globally.Fans can see him on the following tour dates this year:Oct 17 – Club Hohhot – Shenzhen, ChinaOct 18 – Superface – Shenzhen, ChinaOct 28 – The Grand Boston – Boston, MAOct 29 – Shrine Nightclub – Mashantucket, CTNov 08 – Fox Theater – Oakland, CANov 09 – Harbour Convention Centre – Vancouver, CanadaNov 10 – EDC Orlando – Orlando, FLNov 15 – Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CANov 16 – Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WANov 22 – Rebel – Toronto, CanadaNov 23 – The Bomb Factory – Dallas, TXNov 29 – Great Hall-Avant Garder – Brooklyn, NYNov 30 – Echostage – Washington, DCDec 14 – Djakarta Warehouse Project – Jakarta, IndonesiaDec 20 – StereoLive – Houston, TXDec 24 – Marquee – New York, NYJan 18 – Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, ILFeb 08 – Electric Brixton – London, United Kingdomlast_img read more

18.2 million people now on antiretroviral therapy, UN agency says

first_imgA UNAIDS report released on Monday in Namibia shows that 18.2 million people are now on antiretroviral therapy.The latest figures show that an additional one million people have accesses treatment in just six months (January to June 2016).“If these efforts are sustained and increased, the world will be on track to achieve the target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at the launch.Released ahead of World Aids Day, which falls on Dec. 1, the new report said that people are particularly vulnerable to HIV at certain points in their lives and calls for a life-cycle approach to find solutions for everyone at every stage of life, he added.However, the UN agency also warned that 15-24 years of age is a highly dangerous time for young women.Meanwhile, the report also said that the life-extending impact of treatment is working. In 2015, there were more people over the age of 50 living with HIV than ever before — 5.8 million.last_img read more