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Professor evaluates influenza vaccine

first_imgVaccines are arguably one of the most important lines of defense against the spread of influenza, a common seasonal virus that can have uncommonly nasty effects in elderly individuals with compromised immune systems. Contrary to conventional wisdom, however, a recent study by assistant professor of biological science Benjamin Ridenhour found that in a comprehensive analysis of people ages 65 and over, the influenza vaccine was only about 20 percent effective, underscoring the need for better flu vaccines. Previous studies by researchers in the field focused on different age groups for determining the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, and extrapolation led to an overstatement of the usefulness of the annual influenza vaccines in the elderly population, Ridenhour said. Individuals from this age group account for most of the roughly 25,000 people who die each year from influenza in the United States alone, Ridenhour said. “Normally the influenza vaccine – going with what the party line is – is about 60 percent effective, which is not great but definitely better than nothing,” Ridenhour said. “One of the big issues there is that this 60 percent number has come from studies of people that are between the ages of 20 and 65, and less than five. “So there are two age groups that we haven’t done a lot of studies on: one of those age groups is the elderly, 65 and over, and the other is the intermediate five to 18 year-old age group. There’s more concern for the elderly group because these are the people that die from flu.” Ridenhour’s novel findings hinged on access to a comprehensive, centralized database of health records from Ontario, Canada that also recorded all vaccinations received by individuals, he said, unlike the largely undocumented vaccination process in the United States.   “It turned out that going to Ontario was great because we had data as far back as 1993, so we had approximately 15 years of data that we looked at,” he said. “It encompassed all the elderly individuals in Ontario, so that’s a really nice facet of the study – you don’t have to worry about selecting a special sub-population, we got everybody.” Ridenhour said the low level of flu vaccine success in the elderly population that emerged from the data demonstrates how urgently improvement in the vaccine is needed. Part of his current research efforts focuses on strategies for developing a vaccine that would protect against the actual strain of influenza confronted by population, instead of an across-the-board estimated strain. “There are ways that you can predict the future and improve vaccine effectiveness,” he said. “Part of it has to do with where you pick your vaccine strains from because of the way flu circulates around the globe. If you pick your vaccine strains from different places they represent different snapshots in time, so if you pick from the right places you can predict what it will be the next time. “Doing that, you can actually come up with some of these strategies where you can produce two to three alternative vaccines that have multiple strains in them and you can produce higher vaccine effectiveness in the population as a whole by doing that.” Aside from researching development strategies for an improved vaccine, Ridenhour’s next step will be to investigate the environmental factors that play a key role in the spread of influenza, he said. “Right now our focus is going to stay in Canada, and we’re going to try and take the data we have and look at other factors that might be causing illness,” he said. “The effects of the environment are much less studied. It’s hard at the basic level to figure out how effective a vaccine is. Adding in other complicated factors, such as environmental ones, makes it even more difficult. But we have this great data set that we can actually do this with.” In the meantime, the best way to improve the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine is to improve coverage and have more people vaccinated, Ridenhour said. Typically only 30 to 40 percent of Americans go out and get vaccinated each year, which allows the flu to circulate more freely in the population. “Despite low effectiveness numbers, everybody should definitely go out and get vaccinated,” Ridenhour said.last_img read more


Africana Studies bulletin board vandalized

first_imgAn Africana Studies department bulletin board displaying quotes by political commentator Ann Coulter was defaced with red paint over Easter weekend.University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) was investigating the incident as an act of vandalism.The bulletin board, which remains outside the office on the third floor of O’Shaughnessey Hall, contains several of Coulter’s comments on issues such as race, gender and religion, displayed under the heading “Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Hate: There is a difference.” Gayle Wilson, the administrative assistant and office coordinator for the Africana Studies department, said an unknown person painted messages responding to specific pieces of the board and painting messages such as “What exactly is PC?” and “Don’t be bullied by the ‘Happy Police.’” Wilson said the board, which two student office employees made, was put up the day before Coulter’s April 10 talk. She said the defacement occurred by the time a coworker walked by the display April 21. Wilson learned of the vandalism the following day and called NDSP. In a statement to The Observer, Rev. Hugh Page, chair of the Africana Studies department, said he was “deeply saddened” by the incident. “Such action is clearly inconsistent with the values we espouse as a community of faith and learning,” he said. “I want to congratulate the students and staff whose creative energies are reflected in the board, which seeks to raise awareness. … Their work is resonant with a long and honored tradition of social engagement among Africana artists.”  Emily McConville | The Observer The Africana Studies bulletin board, which was vandalized over Easter weekend, will remain on display until the end of the year.Africana Studies Club president Alex Rice said she was disappointed with the perpetrator’s unwillingness to participate in reasoned dialogue about the issues the bulletin board raised. “I wasn’t angry, I would say. I was more disappointed than anything because the Africana Studies department really prides itself on trying to start dialogue,” Rice said. “What happened — an obvious act of vandalism — it wasn’t trying to start dialogue or hear the other side. “It was really, we don’t agree with you; we’re going to say so in a very disrespectful manner.” Alex Coccia, student body president emeritus and Africana Studies major, said the discipline is “an inherently socially and politically active experience.”“Given this reality within Africana Studies, it is unfortunate that the display was vandalized,” he said. “We have to be willing to see the world as it was, because our current environment is a product of that world. We cannot ignore these facts when we engage in discussions about rhetoric and how it utilizes historically volatile connotations.“Speaking more loudly than other voices, the verbal equivalent of painting over the Africana Studies display, does nothing to further constructive dialogue,” Coccia said. “There is nothing wrong with engaging in a heated debate, in fact, heated debates are more powerful than cold, calculated analytics, because they evoke the passions of a community. … But even in disagreement, we cannot disparage or disrespect.” Rice said the incident was a topic at this month’s Finally Friday, a monthly discussion series hosted by the Africana Studies Club.She said the group, which included students and faculty, discussed ways to improve the quality of dialogue about race and speech on campus and increase the amount of discussions with people on multiple sides of an issue. She said the consensus among the attendees was that the board should remain on display until the end of the year.  Tags: Africana Studies, Ann Coulter, Free speech, vandalismlast_img read more


Glen Cove Hit-and-run Driver Sought

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A hit-and-run driver struck and wounded a 63-year-old woman in Glen Cove on Friday afternoon, police said.The victim was crossing Cedar Swamp Road at the corner of Alexander Place when she was hit by a vehicle and the driver fled the scene at 3:19 p.m., Glen Cove city police said.The victim was taken to North Shore Manhasset Hospital, where she is being treated for non-life threatening head and shoulder injuries.Police said a witness followed the suspect and wrote down the first three letters of the license plate, which were FJL.  The vehicle is described as a bluish green Honda, possibly a mid-1990s four-door sedan with after-market tires with sliver rims.  The driver was described as a Hispanic woman wearing her hair in a pony tail.Glen Cove police ask anyone with information regarding this crash to call them at 676-1000.last_img read more


13 personal finance experts share their favorite money-saving tricks

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Elyssa Kirkham, GOBankingRatesThere are thousands of ways to save money and make more of it, but chasing after every single tip will likely just make you overwhelmed rather than rich.That’s why it’s helpful to find out what the experts say are the best ways to save and earn more.GOBankingRates put the question to 13 experts on everything personal finance, business, and entrepreneurship:“In your opinion, what’s the easiest way to save money or to make money?”From how to save with every paycheck to taking your career or business venture to the next level, here’s what the experts had to say. continue reading »last_img


CUNA backs bill raising HMDA reporting requirements threshold

first_imgLegislation to raise the threshold for Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting requirements for small institutions, including many credit unions, has the full support of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO, wrote to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) Monday in support of his Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act.Emmer’s bill would raise the threshold that triggers HMDA reporting requirements to 100 closed-end and 300 open-end mortgages, up from the current threshold of 25 or more closed-end mortgage loans.“This would provide much needed relief, particularly to smaller credit unions, which is why we strongly support the legislation,” Nussle wrote.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized new HMDA reporting requirements in October 2015, significantly increasing the amount of data mortgage lenders will have to provide. The CFPB’s rule calls for many more data points than are required by Dodd-Frank, and the CFPB also extended these reporting requirements for home equity lines of credit. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


3 ways to improve employee performance

first_imgAs a boss, you’re never rooting for an employee to fail. If there are employees on your team that are struggling, it’s in your best interest to help them turn things around. While replacing employees and training new ones is sometimes necessary, you can save a lot of time and money if you can prevent having to do that. Here are three ways you can help your employees improve their performance.Clarify: If you know an employee is struggling in a certain area, be honest and direct so they can understand the issue and get to fixing it. Don’t beat around the bush or try to soften the blow. If the message isn’t clear, then you’re not doing the company or the employee any favors. Also, listen to any issues the employee might have with completing their tasks. There could be an underlying issue you’re not aware of that may lead to an easier fix to the problem they’re having.Provide: As a manager, it’s your job to provide your staff with the tools they need to achieve success. Whether it’s technology, man-power, or motivation, find out what each of your employees needs in order to accomplish their goals. When training employees, make sure they’re given a clear idea of what success looks like so they can start off on the right path.Reward: If an employee feels unappreciated or overlooked, it can be difficult for them to stay motivated, and when motivation is gone, job performance will take a major hit. Let your employees know when they’re doing well, and provide incentives for their successes. You don’t have to provide a promotion or raise every time an employee does well, but letting them know when they do a good job and making it known that success can lead to career advancement is a great way to motivate them to be consistently excellent. 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more


Big Heron swoop

first_imgWould 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 newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img


Grand 1905 Queenslander sold for $3.3m after auction

first_imgBeautifully maintained home. Perfect for the hot summer to come. 56 Victoria Ave ChelmerMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours ago It has all the elements of the best examples of Queenslanders.Agent Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige confirmed it had passed in at auction for $3.2m on Saturday and then subsequently sold for $3.3m.He had marketed it as a “grand landmark Queenslander” in one of Chelmer’s prestigious high-side streets 6km from the Brisbane CBD.“Full of character with its soaring 14ft high ceilings, timber floorboards, VJ walls and ceilings, picture rails, decorative timber work, hallway arch, ornate fireplace and sash windows, this timeless home offers all the charm of its heritage past with all the conveniences of modern family living.” Classic decor in the kitchen. Kathy and Rod O’Connell at the home in Chelmer that they have since sold for $3.3m after it passed in at auction for $3.2m. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter.A GRAND Queenslander built circa 1905 has fetched a massive $3.3m after it had passed in at auction last weekend.The five bedroom, three bathroom, double car garage property called Arcadia was at 56 Victoria Avenue, Chelmer and comes complete with pool, floodlit tennis court on a massive 2,704sq m block. Heritage features have been retained throughout the home.Those conveniences included state of the art European appliances by Neff, Gaggenau and Miele in the kitchen, a master bedroom connects to a retreat that comes with a fireplace and can be opened up to the rest of the family as well.last_img read more


ABP to introduce ‘carbon budget’ for asset managers

first_imgShe made clear, however, that the scheme would still divest holdings if engagement ultimately failed.At present, ABP has approximately €100bn invested in listed companies.Meijer reiterated that the scheme wanted governments to follow “stable policies” for the long term.“We want a pleasant and liveable world for our participants,” she said, “and this requires measures against climate change.”She called for the abolition of government subsidies for fossil-fuel energy, as well as a more effective means of pricing carbon.She also demanded “fair competition” between fossil and renewable energy.“Only then can we invest a larger share of Dutch pension assets in a way that counters climate change and contributes to a better world,” she said. ABP recently announced that, over the next five years, it plans to double its current €29bn stake in companies providing “solutions” to social and environmental problems, such as water scarcity, flooding, commodity shortages and waste processing. This commitment includes a fivefold increase in sustainable-energy investments to €5bn. ABP, the €345bn pension fund for Dutch civil servants, is to introduce a “carbon budget” for asset managers as a means of cutting equity-holding CO2 emissions by 25% over the next five years.Speaking at the climate summit in Paris, José Meijer, the scheme’s vice-chair, said ABP would add the carbon budget to the financial target and risk budgets for asset managers.By reducing ABP’s carbon allowance annually, the scheme hopes to encourage asset managers to tackle carbon emissions at polluting companies, as well as prioritise investments in “clean” companies.Meijer said ABP would redouble efforts to engage with companies that had the potential to increase their sustainability significantly.last_img read more


The Misled Compound with motocross track at Jimboomba hits the market

first_imgUpstairs is parent’s retreat.Mr Sue-See said he would enjoy it if a buyer could keep the motocross track, but said it was not a deal-breaker.“I’d love it to be (bought by someone who would keep the tracks), but if I have to flatten the jumps, I will, if it’s going to be a problem for anyone.” The feature walls are a concrete render.Mr Sue-See started renovating the two-level house about six months ago, and has completed everything himself apart from the electrical and plumbing work.“I was a concreter and now I’m a builder,” he said.“Everyone thinks the walls are wallpaper, but it’s actually a concrete render I’ve done myself.” MORE: HISTORIC QUEENSLAND WEATHER OBSERVATORY HITS THE MARKET The recently built lean-to.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus15 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market15 hours agoThere is also a recently built lean-to, which has downlights, fans and a built in barbecue, which is perfect for gatherings.“We’re known for our Christmas party,” Mr Sue-See said. The house at 104-114 Mona Drive, Jimboomba, has hit the market.THIS property has been more than just a home for Karl Sue-See.It has been the place where he has fostered a motocross community, with his 4.19ha property known at “The Misled Compound”.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenThe Misled Compound hits the market01:25“We sponsor kids (for motocross), the ones that don’t get help,” Mr Sue-See said.“They come out to train.“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do — give kids the help I didn’t get.”Now it is up for sale. An inground trampoline and a half-pipe is every child’s dream. There benches in the kitchen were custom made.Mr Sue-See also custom-made the polished concrete benches in the kitchen, which adds to the house’s industrial vibe.The main level of the house has two bedrooms, a study, an open-plan kitchen and dining that leads to a deck, a rumpus and lounge. Upstairs is the master suite. There is a foam landing pit for practising jumps.Mr Sue-See’s property at 104-114 Mona Drive, Jimboomba, is only a 45 minute drive from Brisbane’s CBD and has everything for adrenaline seekers, from a motocross track with jumps and a foam landing pit, to a half-pipe, mini basketball court and an inground trampoline.last_img read more