University of Florida researchers say lupus treatment shows early promise | UF Health, University of Florida Health

A new treatment that may reverse the effects of the most common type of lupus has shown promising results after undergoing early testing by a team of researchers at University of Florida Health.

The findings of a two-year study that used human cells and mouse models were published Feb. 11 in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The new treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus involves regulating metabolism in cells that affect how lupus develops in the body. It has yet to undergo clinical trial in humans.

Lupus is an immune system disorder that prevents the body from distinguishing between harmful germs and healthy tissue. In lupus patients, proteins known as antibodies that are supposed to ward off viruses and bacteria instead attack healthy tissue. This causes inflammation and can lead to irreversible scarring, blood clots and kidney, lung and cardiovascular problems.

Just as diet has a major effect on overall health, nutrients affect immune activity at the cellular level. Now, UF Health researchers may have found a way to rein in lupus by changing the way cells in the immune system use energy. click below to read more Continue reading

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Scientists Cure Lupus in Mice with a One-Two Punch

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that knows no bounds and can damage any part of the body, from the skin to the joints to the organs.

There is no cure for lupus, a disease that flares up and then seems to disappear before returning again.

But researchers say they have discovered that by using a combination of two drugs that already exist, it’s possible to reverse lupus in mice.

In a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers from the University of Florida, Gainesville, have found that by inhibiting certain metabolic pathways in immune cells it’s possible to combat lupus in mice.

The most surprising result from this study was that the combination of the two metabolic inhibitors was necessary to reverse disease.

Laurence Morel, Ph.D., University of Florida College of Medicine

Each year, 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported across the country. The disease affects about 1.5 million Americans, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

via Scientists Cure Lupus in Mice with a One-Two Punch.

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The Internet Is Done With The Confederate Flag

A social media movement has built up around the hashtag #takedowntheflag. Following the murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, people are pushing back across platforms against the old, tired “it’s about Southern heritage” argument. And as of today, even South Carolina politicians (who have previously defended the flag) are set to call for its removal.

Widespread anger that the Confederate flag still flew in South Carolina’s state capital, Columbia, reached a boiling point after US and South Carolina state flags were lowered to half-mast in the wake of the killings. But not the Confederate flag, which is padlocked into place.

While the growing movement began on social media, it was galvanized by a searing article in The Atlantic by Te-Nehisi Coates, “Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now,” that has since been shared more than 300,000 times on Facebook. Coates wrote:

The Confederate flag’s defenders often claim it represents “heritage not hate.” I agree—the heritage of White Supremacy was not so much birthed by hate as by the impulse toward plunder. Dylann Roof plundered nine different bodies last night, plundered nine different families of an original member, plundered nine different communities of a singular member. An entire people are poorer for his action. The flag that Roof embraced, which many South Carolinians embrace, does not stand in opposition to this act—it endorses it.

via The Internet Is Done With The Confederate Flag.

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Tagg GPS Pet Tracker for dogs | Whistle

The world’s most popular GPS pet tracker

Tagg GPS Plus ensures your best friend can always be found, wherever they may roam. Track your dog’s location and monitor their activity levels wherever you are. Enjoy the peace of mind that your pup is always healthy and safe.

via Tagg GPS Pet Tracker for dogs | Whistle.

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John Oliver Confederate Flag video | BGR


Many people from the Southern United States sincerely believe the Civil War-era Confederate Flag is a symbol of Southern heritage and not of racism. However, many of those people probably aren’t aware that South Carolina in particular didn’t actually start flying the Confederate Flag outside its State House until 1962, when it was intended to be a direct rebuke to the Civil Rights movement. This is why to many more people the flag is a symbol of a desire to keep racial minorities as permanent second-class citizens.

John Oliver had a short segment on the Confederate Flag over the weekend that completely tore both it and its supporters into pieces.

“The Confederate Flag is one of those symbols that should really only be seen on t-shirts, belt buckles and bumper stickers to help the rest of us identify the worst people in the world,” Oliver said before describing how the flag could be used to easily screen out job applicants. “‘Oh, is that a Confederate Flag on your belt, LeAnn? Thanks, the nanny position has already been filled.’”

In the end, Oliver recommends lowering the flag to half mast… then lowering it all together… then taking it off the pole and putting it into a box that’s labeled, “Bad flag.”

via John Oliver Confederate Flag video | BGR.

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Jaguar adapts NASA tech to monitor brainwaves and avoid accidents

If you’re wondering how many projects Jaguar Land Rover’s developing in addition to its pothole and cyclist alerts, the answer is “quite a few.” In fact, the company has revealed that it’s working on several technologies, which can monitor your condition to prevent accidents, collectively called “Sixth Sense.” The most intriguing one in the list is “Mind Sense,” which was derived from a NASA tech used to enhanced a pilot’s concentration skills. Mind Sense aims to read your brain waves (amplified and filtered by software) using sensors embedded in the steering wheel. An on-board computer will then assess whether you’re alert enough to commandeer a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds. The steering wheel could be programmed to vibrate or the computer could issue a warning sound, in case you’re daydreaming or starting to fall asleep.

The automaker is also in the midst of putting together medical-grade sensors to embed in the driver’s seat, particularly for the Jaguar XJ luxury sedan. Those sensors will be in charge of making sure you’re fit to drive; it could, for instance, dim the lighting or play some music if it senses stress. In future cars with self-driving capability, it could detect whether you’re having a seizure or a heart attack and automatically take control of the steering wheel.

Jaguar wants to make sure its fancy infotainment system doesn’t distract you, as well, so it’s developing an upgraded version that can predict what you want to press before your fingers even reach it. It actually already has a prototype of a mid-air touch screen display that uses cameras to track your hands. In the future, the company plans to add ultrasonic feedback in order to trick your brain into thinking you’ve already touched the screen. Finally, the British company’s working on an accelerator pedal that provides haptic feedback. It could vibrate when you’re going over the speed limit, for example, or as a warning that you’re going to hit another vehicle.

via Jaguar adapts NASA tech to monitor brainwaves and avoid accidents.

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Cuba is getting island-wide WiFi hotspots next month

Cuba’s making it easier and cheaper for its citizens to get online by building out an island-wide network of WiFi hotspots. According to local paper Juventud Rebelde, the nation’s state-run telecommunications company will open up internet access in 35 locations that should be available from the start of July. The move will also cut the price of getting online in half, with an hour of connection pegged to cost $2 per hour. According to Cuba’s director of telecommunications, Luis Manuel Diaz, that’s still too expensive for the bulk of the island’s citizens. It’s hardly a surprise, either, since the cost of a Netflix subscription in the country is around a third of the average monthly wage.

It may be 2015 but that doesn’t mean that Cubans are going to enjoy Google Fiber-style speeds straight off the bat. In fact, users will have their speed capped to “1MB per user,” which we’re taking to mean 1Mbps, although that could just be an issue with the translation. There’s also going to be come issues with congestion, since the infrastructure can only cope with 50-100 users at a time.

The New York Times believes that could be an issue since there’s a growing number of younger citizens who own smartphones. In fact, Havana’s one existing hotspot, based in the workshop of a local artist, is described as being “constantly packed.” Then again, it’s a step in the right direction as the world’s biggest tech companies see the island as a rich seam of untapped potential.

via Cuba is getting island-wide WiFi hotspots next month.

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