Diabetes’ genetic variety

first_imgHarvard researchers have identified nine genetic variants that dramatically increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, adding to our knowledge of the disease’s underpinnings and providing a glimpse of its vast genetic diversity.Amit Majithia, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and a researcher at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, said the variants increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes sevenfold, but are very rare in the population, found in just one in 1,000 individuals.As significant, Majithia said, is the glimpse of genetic diversity in the single gene studied, called PPARG, which has been known to be associated with diabetes risk for 20 years.Despite the scientific familiarity with the gene, the project’s scan of the genomes of 20,000 people from various international populations revealed 53 mutations, only four of which had been previously described. Further experimentation showed that nine of the 49 remaining mutations caused changes in key proteins that increased the risk of type 2 diabetes.“These rare mutations are only seen in one in 1,000 individuals, but the effect on the individual is very strong because they increase risk by 700 percent,” Majithia said.Majithia believes that the current research has uncovered just the tip of the iceberg with respect to mutations in this gene aloneThe gene, which regulates the development of fat cells, encodes a protein made up of 500 amino acids. With 19 possible amino acids that could be plugged in at each position, there are nearly 10,000 possible mutations, Majithia said, making it highly likely that there are additional mutations — possibly many of them — that affect diabetes risk.The work, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by a team led by Majithia and David Altshuler, HMS genetics professor and the paper’s senior author. The team included researchers from the Broad, MGH, HMS, Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.The work, Majithia said, began as an effort to understand the role the PPARG gene plays in diabetes. A mutation had been found previously that decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. On the other hand, rare, familial mutations in the gene had been implicated in a severe malfunction in the development of fat cells and an increased risk of diabetes.The work also highlighted shortcomings in emerging computer-based methods of analyzing the risk presented by genetic mutations, Majithia said. As part of the work, the researchers applied computer algorithms to the 49 new mutations they found and identified them as either benign or damaging. On investigating further, the mutations classified as damaging by the computational algorithms did not show an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.That sent Majithia and colleagues to the lab to examine the mutations one by one, which revealed the nine harmful variants.Majithia plans to continue work to develop methods that can reveal which mutations in PPARG are harmful, in hopes of creating a comprehensive catalog of potentially harmful mutations that clinicians can consult when patients are tested for diabetes risk.“If there are ways to test every possible mutation up front, you can just look up the consequence of any mutation that may be found in the future,” Majithia said.last_img read more

It’s unethical to mine metadata

first_imgIt’s unethical to mine metadata It’s unethical to mine metadata April 30, 2006 Regular Newscenter_img Such information is protected by the attorney-client privilege Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Lawyers sending electronic documents should take all reasonable steps to remove “metadata” from those documents, and recipient lawyers should refrain from looking for metadata if they reasonably know that such information is not intended for their eyes.The Bar’s Professional Ethics Committee is putting that advice in a proposed advisory opinion for comment by Bar members. The committee also issued a PAO on digital copying of paper legal records and addressed the propriety of an estate lawyer being named the beneficiary in a client’s bank account, among other matters at its April 10 meeting in Orlando.Metadata is hidden information that computer word processing programs keep with a document and can accompany it when it is electronically transmitted. Such information can include when the document was created, who has viewed it, a history of changes and comments made, and other information. In one case, a client’s e-mailed comments about the document were attached while it was being revised. Even though the comments were deleted from the final version, they were still contained in the metadata and able to be recovered by the recipient.That example and others prompted the Bar Board of Governors to ask the PEC to look at the issue both from the sending and receiving attorney perspective. The board also passed a resolution expressing its disapproval at “mining” metadata from electronically transmitted documents.PEC members found that lawyers sending digital documents have a responsibility to see that confidential information is protected.“It is the sending lawyer’s obligation to take reasonable steps to safeguard the confidentiality of all communications sent by electronic means to other lawyers and third parties and to protect from other lawyers and third parties all confidential information, including information contained in metadata, that may be included in such electronic communications,” the PAO says.As for receiving attorneys, the opinion holds: “It is the recipient lawyer’s concomitant obligation, upon receiving an electronic communication or document from another lawyer, not to try to obtain from metadata information relating to the representation of the sender’s client when the recipient knows or should know that the information is not intended for the recipient. Any such metadata is to be considered by the receiving lawyer as confidential information which the sending lawyer did not intend to transmit.”The opinion also says that law firms may have to seek out continuing training and education to ensure a technological understanding of how to strip metadata from transmitted documents.The opinion is reproduced in full beginning on page 24. The PEC will consider any comments from members at its June meeting. Making electronic copies of paper records is another issue referred by the Board of Governors to the committee. Several attorneys, concerned about preparing their offices for hurricanes, have asked the Bar about the propriety of switching paper records to digital data. The PEC found there were no Bar rules that prohibit lawyers from making electronic copies of paper records. But it also said safeguards must be observed. “The committee cautions lawyers that electronic files must be readily reproducible and protected from inadvertent modification, degradation, or destruction. The lawyer may charge reasonable copying charges for producing copies of documents for clients.. . . Finally, lawyers must take reasonable precautions to ensure confidentiality of client information, particularly if the lawyer relies on third parties to convert and store paper documents to electronic records,” the opinion says. “The committee encourages the use of technology, such as electronic file storage, to facilitate cost-effective and efficient records management. However, the committee is of the opinion that a lawyer is not required to store files electronically, although a lawyer may do so.” That opinion is also reprinted in full, beginning on page 25. On the estate attorney issue, the committee had a vigorous debate. The inquiring attorney said that an estate planning client had died and left him $18,000 by naming him as a beneficiary to a bank trust account with that sum in it. The client also named the attorney as her personal representative to her estate. The lawyer had originally contacted the Bar’s Ethics Department in 1999 when the client wanted to give him a $15,000 check as a gift. The Bar advised him in a staff opinion that he should not accept the check, since Bar rules prohibit attorneys from preparing estate documents that confer a benefit on them. The client then apparently put the money in a trust account, naming the attorney as beneficiary. When she died, the bank contacted the attorney and said it could only release the money to him. Committee member Martha Barrera warned that allowing the gift could create a loophole in Bar rules where an attorney could exert undue influence on the client for the attorney’s benefit. But committee member Skip Smith said there appeared to be no violation of Bar rules, which only prohibit an attorney from preparing an instrument from which he or she benefits. The committee first voted 7-14 to reject a modified version of a staff opinion saying the lawyer could not accept the money, and then rejected the unmodified opinion 6-14. Smith made a motion to draft a staff opinion saying while there was no Bar rule prohibiting the acceptance of the gift, it might cause a conflict with the attorney’s position as personal representative of the estate. It also said if the attorney had anything to do with setting up the account, then he could not accept the gift. That passed 18-5. On another issue, the committee declined to withdraw Ethics Opinion 77-30, which holds that an attorney hired to work for an entire county commission cannot represent one commissioner on an ethics complaint before the state Ethics Commission. Local governments had complained that could make them hire expensive outside counsel to handle frivolous complaints against local elected officials. The PEC appointed a subcommittee, which recommended retaining the opinion, but noted it applied to a specific set of facts and there might be a different conclusion under a different set of facts. The board approved upholding the opinion 19-0. The committee also addressed two separate inquiries on ancillary businesses. In one, a bankruptcy attorney wanted to be able to act as a mortgage broker when clients seek to get out of bankruptcy by refinancing their homes. The second involved an attorney with mainly an estate planning practice who wanted to set up an ancillary business to advise clients and sell them life insurance. The committee responded to both that the practices would be allowed as long as the lawyers can fully comply with rules on personal conflicts of interest and follow the requirements of the rules on business transactions with clients.last_img read more

Retirement ‘is harmful to health’

first_img Share Tweet Share HealthLifestyle Retirement ‘is harmful to health’ by: – May 16, 2013 15 Views   no discussionscenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Retirement can affect your mental health, the study suggestsRetirement has a detrimental impact on mental and physical health, a new study has found.The study, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a think tank, found that retirement results in a “drastic decline in health” in the medium and long term.The IEA said the study suggests people should work for longer for health as well as economic reasons.The government already plans to raise the state pension age.The study, which was published in conjunction with the Age Endeavour Fellowship, a charity, compared retired people with those who had continued working past retirement age, and took into account possible confounding factors.Philip Booth, programme director at the IEA, said the government should go further to deregulate labour markets and allow people to work for longer.No ‘normal’ retirement age“Working longer will not only be an economic necessity, it also helps people live healthier lives,” he said.Edward Datnow, chairman of the Age Endeavour Fellowship, said: “There should be no ‘normal’ retirement age in future. “More employers need to consider how they will capitalise on Britain’s untapped grey potential and those seeking to retire should think very hard about whether it is their best option.”The study suggests there is a small boost to health immediately after retirement, before a significant decline in the longer term.Retirement is found to increase the chances of suffering from clinical depression by 40%, while you are 60% more likely to suffer from a physical condition. The effect is the same for men and women, while the chances of becoming ill appear to increase with the length of time spent in retirement.BBC Newslast_img read more

Cricket News Sourav Ganguly As BCCI President: How Will His Equation With Head Coach Ravi Shastri Be?

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: With the appointment of Sourav Ganguly as the new BCCI president, a new era in cricket administration has begun in India. Ganguly, who will be appointed as the new BCCI president on October 23, has gotten massive support. However, it will be very interesting to see how Ganguly’s equation with the current head coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri, will be. In 2016, Ganguly and Shastri had a major falling-out when the former India captain, who was part of the Cricket Advistory Committee (CAC), was tasked with selecting the new head coach of the team following the exit of Duncan Fletcher. Heading into the interview, everyone tipped Shastri to be the full-time head coach after he had a successful run as the Indian cricket team director. Ganguly, along with VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Sanjay Jagdale were tasked to appoint the coach. There were reports that Ganguly was not in favour of Shastri being the coach.Things took an ugly turn when there accusations from Shastri that a member of the committee, reportedly Ganguly, wasn’t present and that was disrespectful to the selection process. At that time, Shastri was vacationing in Bangkok. However, Ganguly hit back stating that Shastri was living in a ‘Fool’s paradise’ if he felt that he was responsible for him not being a coach. Anil Kumble was appointed the head coach but he resigned a year later after he termed his relationship with skipper Virat Kohli ‘untenable’ and Shastri returned.The relationship between Ganguly and Shastri never recovered. In one episode of Breakfast With Champions, Shastri revealed an incident when he taught a punctuality lesson to Ganguly by leaving him behind in team’s hotel in Bangladesh, after the former Indian skipper was late. However, Ganguly rubbished the claims. Also Read | Why Ganguly’s Tenure As BCCI President Will Last For Only Nine Months?A lot of water has flown under the bridge since the 2016 fiasco. Shastri and the Kohli duo have helped India establish a certain sense of dominance in all three formats. However, with Ganguly now at the top of the ladder and Shastri at the helm of the cricket team, it will be interesting to see how these two work together for the betterment of the Indian cricket side.last_img read more

Salah declared fit for Egypt clash against Russia

first_img0Shares0000Russia’s coach Stanislav Cherchesov says he knows how to stop Mohamed Salah © AFP / Giuseppe CACACESAINT PETERSBURG, Russian Federation, Jun 18 – Mohamed Salah has been declared fit ahead of Egypt’s crunch game against Russia on Tuesday and coach Hector Cuper is optimistic his star striker will play.But Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov believes the World Cup hosts have figured out a way to rein Salah in when the two sides meet in Saint Petersburg. Salah has scored 44 goals in a sensational first season for Liverpool and is keen to make his debut after missing the Pharaohs’ 1-0 opening game loss to Uruguay with a shoulder injury.“Salah is fit,” Cuper said on Monday. “We always carry out a last physical test before naming the line-up.“Today we will have a test for him to see how he is. I hope he will be fit to play, I’m sure he will be able to play. He is a central piece in our team.”Cherchesov, however, says Russia have a plan to thwart Salah, even if he is available.“The level he will be playing at only he and his coach knows but we have a mission and we will accomplish the mission,” Cherchesov said.“I trust in my team, I believe in my players and I will give you a simple answer: we are ready to do this and we will do this.”The bold promise highlights a new swagger that had been missing from the host nation’s team for much of the past year.Russia’s convincing win over the Saudis was preceded by a seven-match winless streak and a spate of injuries that wiped out almost the entire defensive line.But the men in red are now on the cusp of making their first knockout stage of a World Cup in post-Soviet history.The achievement would be a huge relief for both players and Russians who worried about being humiliated on the world’s biggest sporting stage.Standing in their way could be Salah, but his availability has been a headache for Egypt ever since he injured his shoulder during a tussle with Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos during the Champions League final last month.Ramos was accused of deliberately hurting Salah and it has been suggested opponents could target him again, particularly if his shoulder is not fully healed.“I saw only that Ramos was holding the cup,” Cherchesov said. “He did not do this on purpose, this is a contact sport, and as I understand it nobody injures people from other teams on purpose.“Salah will get better and bring happiness to fans of Egypt. Players like him only make tournaments better.”Russia’s veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev said he would rather focus on winning than any particular opposing player.“Would I prefer to see Salah play or not? I do not even know how to respond,” said Akinfeev. “I would prefer to see my team win.”Meanwhile, Russia’s early success has seen the number of Russians who say they will follow football rise from 52 percent to 64 percent, according to one poll.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more