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first_imgDestination Holiday and Travel Show , the largest and longest-running tourism fair in the UK, is being held for the 22nd time from 4 to 7 February in London.The Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board performs at the Destinations Holiday and Travel Show for the sixth time, and every year, including this year, it performs together with the Split-Dalmatia, Šibenik-Knin, Zadar and Lika-Senj County tourist boards. The joint performance of the tourist boards proved to be very successful and financially acceptable, because it is certainly better to share the costs and be present, than to stay in the office and wait for guests.Photo: Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist BoardIn order for tourists to come to your tourist destination, you must first invite them, and before that you must have quality content. However, at the same and similar fairs, it is important to stand out among the competition and attract attention, so that the trip to the fair would be financially justified. For many years, the British have been the most loyal and numerous guests of both the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the city of Dubrovnik, and in 2015 they generated over 14% of the total tourist traffic in the County.”Dubrovnik is connected by direct flights to several airports in the UK, and to London throughout the year thanks to British Airways. Visitors from Great Britain are delighted with our offer, and by participating in this fair we would like to thank them for their loyalty and encourage them even more to come again.”- points out Ivona Bilač Nikolić from Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist BoardLast year’s fair was visited by 38.688 visitors, which represents a growth of 3,2% compared to 2014, and in the competition and the fight for the attention of each guest, over 300 exhibitors from around the world are represented.last_img read more

first_imgAccording to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer report, 2016 million international travelers were recorded in the first four months of 348 (January-April), which is 18 million more tourists than in the same period last year, an increase of 5,3 how much. Also, it is estimated that the growth moment, which was 2015 percent at the level of the year in 4.6, will continue this year as well, which is confirmed by the data for the first four months.The results show a strong desire and motivation to travel, said Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, adding that tourist destinations around the world, despite all the challenges, continue to show growth and that tourism is a dynamic and resilient economic sector. ” Despite great results and trends, the tragic events associated with terrorism remind us that stability and security are major challenges for all. We need to better connect and work together to know how to deal with all challenges”The UNWTO forecasts that annual growth in international travelers will be at 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, as long-term forecast is that tourism will grow at rates of 2010 percent from 2020 to 3,8. The biggest winners, ie the region with the highest growth, is the Asia-Pacific region, which in the first four months has a growth of 9 percent, Africa with a growth of 7 percent, Europe with 4 percent.UNWTO estimates that about 500 million tourists will travel abroad between May and August 2016, accounting for about 41% of this year’s total international tourist arrivals.last_img read more

first_imgMinister of Tourism Gary Cappelli and State Secretary Frano Matušić are in Russia, Moscow, on the occasion of the MITT International Tourism Fair, where the tourist offer of the Republic of Croatia is presented, the Ministry of Tourism points out.Minister Cappelli is staying in Moscow on the occasion of the MITT International Tourism Fair, where he visited the stand of the Croatian Tourist Board and held a briefing with representatives of the Russian media that cover tourism. On that occasion, the Minister informed the press about the current activities for 2017 in Croatian tourism, with an emphasis on this year’s investments in the tourism sector, ie the opening of about 50 new and newly renovated hotels on the Adriatic and on the continent.Speaking about the continent, the Minister emphasized the importance of developing tourist products that are interesting to tourists throughout the year, with an emphasis on health, nautical and bike and gastro tourism, which are very popular in Russia. “This year, a little more than 800 million euros will be invested in Croatian tourism, and the opening of new hotels in the entire area of ​​our country will certainly contribute to the additional growth of the quality of the offer and service in tourism. Especially important to us is the development of health tourism, which has great tourist potential, but also other tourist products that are interesting to tourists throughout the year, such as nautical, cultural, gastro tourism. Croatia is a beautiful country and is waiting for you to discover it in full size. In addition to the beautiful coast, where Russian tourists are loyal guests, I invite you to visit the continent, taste our indigenous gastronomic offer and get to know the rich culture and tradition”, The Minister pointed out.During his stay in Moscow today, Minister Cappelli also met with Mikhail Vladimirovich Degtyarev, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs in the Russian Duma and the Russian Parliament, with whom he discussed current cooperation between Russia and Croatia. Minister Cappelli emphasized the importance of Russia as a tourist market and expressed his desire to further improve cooperation, implement joint projects and increase tourist traffic. “Croatia and Russia are friendly countries and that is why it is extremely important to maintain quality cooperation. Russia is a very important tourist market for Croatia and our wish is to return to the level of tourist traffic when we were visited annually by about 200 thousand Russian guests.”The Minister pointed out and added that tomorrow at the meeting with the Deputy Minister of Culture of Russia, in charge of tourism Alla Manilov, they will discuss the possibilities of organizing a day or month of Croatian culture and tourism in Russia. President Degtyarev mentioned that he had previously visited Croatia, which he liked very much, and that he supported all activities and efforts to further strengthen cooperation between Russia and Croatia.Last year, tourists from Russia made 119,7 thousand arrivals (+ 7%) and 879,1 thousand overnight stays, which is at the level of the year before, but in the first two months of this year there was a growth of about 20 percent. Russian tourists spend most nights in hotels and household facilities. The most visited counties are Istria (328,7 thousand), Split-Dalmatia (192 thousand) and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (102 thousand), ie Poreč, Umag, Dubrovnik, Rovinj and Opatija.Related news: MOBILE APPLICATION FOR RUSSIAN MARKET PRESENTED: CROATIA, FULL OF LIFElast_img read more

first_imgFifteen years ago, an odd mutant fruit fly caught the attention and curiosity of Dr. Ravi Allada, a circadian rhythms expert at Northwestern University, leading the neuroscientist to recently discover how an animal’s biological clock wakes it up in the morning and puts it to sleep at night.The clock’s mechanism, it turns out, is much like a light switch. In a study of brain circadian neurons that govern the daily sleep-wake cycle’s timing, Allada and his research team found that high sodium channel activity in these neurons during the day turn the cells on and ultimately awaken an animal, and high potassium channel activity at night turn them off, allowing the animal to sleep. Investigating further, the researchers were surprised to discover the same sleep-wake switch in both flies and mice.“This suggests the underlying mechanism controlling our sleep-wake cycle is ancient,” said Allada, professor and chair of neurobiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He is the senior author of the study. “This oscillation mechanism appears to be conserved across several hundred million years of evolution. And if it’s in the mouse, it is likely in humans, too.” Email Share Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Better understanding of this mechanism could lead to new drug targets to address sleep-wake trouble related to jet lag, shift work and other clock-induced problems. Eventually, it might be possible to reset a person’s internal clock to suit his or her situation.The researchers call this a “bicycle” mechanism: two pedals that go up and down across a 24-hour day, conveying important time information to the neurons. That the researchers found the two pedals — a sodium current and potassium currents — active in both the simple fruit fly and the more complex mouse was unexpected.The findings were published in the Aug. 13 issue of the journal Cell.“What is amazing is finding the same mechanism for sleep-wake cycle control in an insect and a mammal,” said Matthieu Flourakis, the lead author of the study. “Mice are nocturnal, and flies are diurnal, or active during the day, but their sleep-wake cycles are controlled in the same way.”When he joined Allada’s team, Flourakis had wondered if the activity of the fruit fly’s circadian neurons changed with the time of day. With the help of Indira M. Raman, the Bill and Gayle Cook Professor in the department of neurobiology, he found very strong rhythms: The neurons fired a lot in the morning and very little in the evening.The researchers next wanted to learn why. That’s when they discovered that when sodium current is high, the neurons fire more, awakening the animal, and when potassium current is high, the neurons quiet down, causing the animal to slumber. The balance between sodium and potassium currents controls the animal’s circadian rhythms.Flourakis, Allada and their colleagues then wondered if such a process was present in an animal closer to humans. They studied a small region of the mouse brain that controls the animal’s circadian rhythms — the suprachiasmatic nucleus, made up of 20,000 neurons — and found the same mechanism there.“Our starting point for this research was mutant flies missing a sodium channel who walked in a halting manner and had poor circadian rhythms,” Allada said. “It took a long time, but we were able to pull everything — genomics, genetics, behavior studies and electrical measurements of neuron activity — together in this paper, in a study of two species.“Now, of course, we have more questions about what’s regulating this sleep-wake pathway, so there is more work to be done,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgEmail Pinterest Share on Twitter Depression is a major public health burden, affecting millions of people worldwide and costing the US alone over $200 billion per year. The most common treatments for depression are cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and antidepressants. However, 1 in 5 patients with depression do not respond to any intervention, and many relapse.“Previous animal and human brain imaging studies have suggested that psilocybin may have effects similar to other antidepressant treatments,” says Professor David Nutt, senior author from Imperial College London “Psilocybin targets the serotonin receptors in the brain, just as most antidepressants do, but it has a very different chemical structure to currently available antidepressants and acts faster than traditional antidepressants.” [1]The trial involved 12 patients (6 women, 6 men) with moderate to severe depression (average length of illness was 17.8 years). The patients were classified as having treatment-resistant depression, having previously had two unsuccessful courses of antidepressants (lasting at least 6 weeks). Most (11) had also received some form of psychotherapy. Patients were not included if they had a current or previous psychotic disorder, an immediate family member with a psychotic disorder, history of suicide or mania or current drug or alcohol dependence.Patients attended two treatment days – a low (test) dose of psilocybin 10mg oral capsules, and a higher (therapeutic) dose of 25mg a week later. Patients took the capsules while lying down on a ward bed, in a special room with low lighting and music, and two psychiatrists sat either side of the bed. The psychiatrists were present to provide support and check in on patients throughout the process by asking how they were feeling. Patients had an MRI scan the day after the therapeutic dose. They were followed up one day after the first dose, and then at 1, 2, 3, and 5 weeks and 3 months after the second dose (figure 1).The psychedelic effects of psilocybin were detectable 30 to 60 minutes after taking the capsules. The psychedelic effect peaked at 2-3 hours, and patients were discharged 6 hours later. No serious side effects were reported, and expected side effects included transient anxiety before or as the psilocybin effects began (all patients), some experienced confusion (9), transient nausea (4) and transient headache (4). Two patients reported mild and transient paranoia.At 1 week post-treatment, all patients showed some improvement in their symptoms of depression. 8 of the 12 patients (67%) achieved temporary remission. By 3 months, 7 patients (58%) continued to show an improvement in symptoms and 5 of these were still in remission. Five patients showed some degree of relapse (figure 4).The patients knew they were receiving psilocybin (an ‘open-label’ trial) and the effect of psilocybin was not compared with a placebo. The authors also stress that most of the study participants were self-referred meaning they actively sought treatment, and may have expected some effect (5 had previously tried psilocybin before, table 1). All patients had agreement from their GP to take part in the trial. They add that patients were carefully screened and given psychological support before, during and after the intervention, and that the study took place in a positive environment. Further research is now needed to tease out the relative influence of these factors on symptoms of depression, and look at how psilocybin compares to placebo and other current treatments.Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Philip Cowen, MRC Clinical Scientist, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, says: “The key observation that might eventually justify the use of a drug like psilocybin in treatment-resistant depression is demonstration of sustained benefit in patients who previously have experienced years of symptoms despite conventional treatments, which makes longer-term outcomes particularly important. The data at 3 month follow-up (a comparatively short time in patients with extensive illness duration) are promising but not completely compelling, with about half the group showing significant depressive symptoms. Further follow-ups using detailed qualitative interviews with patients and family could be very helpful in enriching the assessment.” Psilocybin – a hallucinogenic compound derived from magic mushrooms – may offer a possible new avenue for antidepressant research, according to a new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry today.The small feasibility trial, which involved 12 people with treatment-resistant depression, found that psilocybin was safe and well-tolerated and that, when given alongside supportive therapy, helped reduce symptoms of depression in about half of the participants at 3 months post-treatment. The authors warn that strong conclusions cannot be made about the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin but the findings show that more research in this field is now needed.“This is the first time that psilocybin has been investigated as a potential treatment for major depression,” says lead author Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Imperial College London, London, UK. “Treatment-resistant depression is common, disabling and extremely difficult to treat. New treatments are urgently needed, and our study shows that psilocybin is a promising area of future research. The results are encouraging and we now need larger trials to understand whether the effects we saw in this study translate into long-term benefits, and to study how psilocybin compares to other current treatments.” [1]center_img Share on Facebook Share LinkedInlast_img read more

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Pinterest A study conducted at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that there were fewer drivers killed in car crashes who tested positive for opioids in states with medical marijuana laws than before the laws went into effect. The study is one of the first to assess the link between state medical marijuana laws and opioid use at the individual level. Findings will be published online in the American Journal of Public Health.Researchers analyzed 1999-2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from 18 U.S. states that tested for alcohol and other drugs in at least 80 percent of drivers who died within one hour of crashing. They looked at opioid positivity among drivers ages 21 to 40 who crashed their cars in states with an operational medical marijuana law compared with drivers crashing in states before those laws went into effect. There was an overall reduction in opioid positivity for most states after implementation of an operational medical marijuana law.“We would expect the adverse consequences of opioid use to decrease over time in states where medical marijuana use is legal, as individuals substitute marijuana for opioids in the treatment of severe or chronic pain,” explained June H. Kim, MPhil, a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and lead author. Emailcenter_img LinkedIn Share on Twitter Among the 68,394 deceased drivers, approximately 42 percent were fatally injured in states that had an operational medical marijuana laws, 25 percent died in states before an operational law went into effect, and 33 percent died in states that had never passed a medical marijuana law.In 1996, California was the first state to pass a voter-initiated medical marijuana law. Since then, 22 additional states and the District of Columbia have enacted their own medical marijuana laws either by voter initiatives or through state legislation.“The trend may have been particularly strong among the age group surveyed because minimum age requirements restrict access to medical marijuana to patients age 21 and older, and most medical marijuana patients are younger than 45,” noted Kim. According to the authors, they would expect to see similar reductions in opioid use among older cohorts if medical marijuana is increasingly embraced by older generations.“This study is about the possible substitution relationship between marijuana and opioids. The toxicological testing data for fatally injured drivers lend some suggestive evidence that supports the substitution hypothesis in young adults, but not in older adults,”said Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, Mailman School professor of Epidemiology, the founding director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia, and senior author.“As states with these laws move toward legalizing marijuana more broadly for recreational purposes, future studies are needed to assess the impact these laws may have on opioid use,” noted Kim.Co-authors are: Julian Santaella-Tenorio, Katherine M. Keyes, Deborah Hasin, and Silvia S. Martins with the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health; Christine Mauro and Julia Wrobel with the Department of Biostatistics, Mailman School of Public Health; and Magdalena Cerda` with the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis.last_img

first_imgShare Previous research efforts in neuroscience have generally relied on separate devices: needles to inject viral vectors for optogenetics, optical fibers for light delivery, and arrays of electrodes for recording, adding a great deal of complication and the need for tricky alignments among the different devices. Getting that alignment right in practice was “somewhat probabilistic,” Anikeeva says. “We said, wouldn’t it be nice if we had a device that could just do it all.”After years of effort, that’s what the team has now successfully demonstrated. “It can deliver the virus [containing the opsins] straight to the cell, and then stimulate the response and record the activity — and [the fiber] is sufficiently small and biocompatible so it can be kept in for a long time,” Anikeeva says.Since each fiber is so small, “potentially, we could use many of them to observe different regions of activity,” she says. In their initial tests, the researchers placed probes in two different brain regions at once, varying which regions they used from one experiment to the next, and measuring how long it took for responses to travel between them.The key ingredient that made this multifunctional fiber possible was the development of conductive “wires” that maintained the needed flexibility while also carrying electrical signals well. After much work, the team was able to engineer a composite of conductive polyethylene doped with graphite flakes. The polyethylene was initially formed into layers, sprinkled with graphite flakes, then compressed; then another pair of layers was added and compressed, and then another, and so on. A member of the team, Benjamin Grena, a recent graduate in materials science and engineering, referred to it as making “mille feuille,” (literally, “a thousand leaves,” the French name for a Napoleon pastry). That method increased the conductivity of the polymer by a factor of four or five, Park says. “That allowed us to reduce the size of the electrodes by the same amount.”One immediate question that could be addressed through such fibers is that of exactly how long it takes for the neurons to become light-sensitized after injection of the genetic material. Such determinations could only be made by crude approximations before, but now could be pinpointed more clearly, the team says. The specific sensitizing agent used in their initial tests turned out to produce effects after about 11 days.The team aims to reduce the width of the fibers further, to make their properties even closer to those of the neural tissue. “The next engineering challenge is to use material that is even softer, to really match” the adjacent tissue, Park says. Already, though, dozens of research teams around the world have been requesting samples of the new fibers to test in their own research. Pinterest Share on Facebook LinkedIncenter_img For the first time ever, a single flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical, and chemical signals back and forth into the brain, putting into practice an idea first proposed two years ago. With some tweaking to further improve its biocompatibility, the new approach could provide a dramatically improved way to learn about the functions and interconnections of different brain regions.The new fibers were developed through a collaboration among material scientists, chemists, biologists, and other specialists. The results are reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience, in a paper by Seongjun Park, an MIT graduate student; Polina Anikeeva, the Class of 1942 Career Development Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Yoel Fink, a professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Gloria Choi, the Samuel A. Goldblith Career Development Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and 10 others at MIT and elsewhere.The fibers are designed to mimic the softness and flexibility of brain tissue. This could make it possible to leave implants in place and have them retain their functions over much longer periods than is currently possible with typical stiff, metallic fibers, thus enabling much more extensive data collection. For example, in tests with lab mice, the researchers were able to inject viral vectors that carried genes called opsins, which sensitize neurons to light, through one of two fluid channels in the fiber. They waited for the opsins to take effect, then sent a pulse of light through the optical waveguide in the center, and recorded the resulting neuronal activity, using six electrodes to pinpoint specific reactions. All fof this was done through a single flexible fiber just 200 micrometers across — comparable to the width of a human hair. Email Share on Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgIn another experiment, the researchers trained a computer, using a learning algorithm, to match names to faces. In this experiment, which included over 94,000 facial images, the computer was also significantly more likely (54 to 64 percent accuracy) to be successful than random chance (50 percent accuracy).This manifestation of the name in a face might be due to people subconsciously altering their appearance to conform to cultural norms and cues associated with their names, according to Zwebner.“We are familiar with such a process from other stereotypes, like ethnicity and gender where sometimes the stereotypical expectations of others affect who we become,” said Zwebner. “Prior research has shown there are cultural stereotypes attached to names, including how someone should look. For instance, people are more likely to imagine a person named Bob to have a rounder face than a person named Tim. We believe these stereotypes can, over time, affect people’s facial appearance.”This was supported by findings of one experiment showing that areas of the face that can be controlled by the individual, such as hairstyle, were sufficient to produce the effect.“Together, these findings suggest that facial appearance represents social expectations of how a person with a particular name should look. In this way, a social tag may influence one’s facial appearance,” said co-author Ruth Mayo, PhD, also from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “We are subject to social structuring from the minute we are born, not only by gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, but by the simple choice others make in giving us our name.” LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img Share If your name is Fred, do you look like a Fred? You might — and others might think so, too. New research published by the American Psychological Association has found that people appear to be better than chance at correctly matching people’s names to their faces, and it may have something to do with cultural stereotypes we attach to names.In the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, lead author Yonat Zwebner, a PhD candidate at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the time of the research, and colleagues conducted a series of experiments involving hundreds of participants in Israel and France. In each experiment, participants were shown a photograph and asked to select the given name that corresponded to the face from a list of four or five names. In every experiment, the participants were significantly better (25 to 40 percent accurate) at matching the name to the face than random chance (20 or 25 percent accurate depending on the experiment) even when ethnicity, age and other socioeconomic variables were controlled for.The researchers theorize the effect may be, in part, due to cultural stereotypes associated with names as they found the effect to be culture-specific. In one experiment conducted with students in both France and Israel, participants were given a mix of French and Israeli faces and names. The French students were better than random chance at matching only French names and faces and Israeli students were better at matching only Hebrew names and Israeli faces. Pinterestlast_img read more

first_imgShare Share on Facebook LinkedIn Share on Twitter Emailcenter_img Pinterest A new study provides evidence that income inequality is related to racial bias in the United States. The research, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that higher income inequality was associated with higher rates of anti-Black bias among Whites.“Around 2010-2011 it seemed to me that social science research was converging with rising popular opposition to inequality, suggesting that inequality may lead to a variety of social harms,” said study author Paul Connor (@PaulrConnor), a PhD candidate in social psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.“I saw this a promising and potentially important topic to investigate. After beginning my graduate program, I realised that although a number of researchers had theorised about a relationship between inequality and racial bias, this hypothesis hadn’t been vigorously tested, and the data required to do so was available. I thought it would make for a neat and interesting project.” Connor and his colleagues compared state-level measures of income inequality to racial bias data from 1,554,109 White people who completed the Implicit Association Test at Harvard’s Project Implicit website.The IAT measures differences in the time taken to categorize faces, depending on whether they are paired with positive or negative words. Faster responses to certain pairings are thought to reflect a stronger automatic association between the concepts.“We observed a small but significant within-state relationship between income inequality and White Americans’ explicit anti-Black racial bias in the United States from 2004-2015. In other words, in years when states were relatively more unequal, their White residents were also more likely to report feeling warmer toward Whites than Blacks, and to report preferring Whites to Blacks,” Connor told PsyPost.The study uncovered a positive relationship between income inequality and explicit racial bias — but not implicit racial bias. White people living in more unequal states were more likely to agree with the statement “I strongly prefer European Americans to African Americans” but they were not more likely to have a higher racial bias score on the IAT.The researchers also failed to find evidence that income inequality was related to searches for the N-word on Google.“The most important caveat is probably that these effects were small. Our data suggests that there may be a relationship between inequality and explicit racial bias, but it definitely does not suggest that inequality is a primary cause of racial bias, or that racial bias is a primary effect of income inequality,” Connor explained.“Instead, our data suggests that there is a robust downward trend in these measures of racial bias over time in the USA that appears relatively unrelated to inequality. Also, while the data seems more consistent with inequality affecting racial bias, it’s important to note that we cannot rule out alternate causal direction, that racial bias may play a role in producing greater inequality.”The researchers noted that even though the effect sizes were small, such effects can accumulate and become meaningful in large enough numbers.The study, “Income Inequality and White-on-Black Racial Bias in the United States: Evidence From Project Implicit and Google Trends“, was authored by Paul Connor, Vasilis Sarafidis, Michael J. Zyphur, Dacher Keltner, and Serena Chen.last_img read more

first_imgJan 29, 2010H1N1 still active in some global regionsAlthough pandemic flu has declined in most of the Northern Hemisphere, transmission remains active in some regions of North Africa, eastern and southeastern Europe, and South and East Asia, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. Global H1N1 deaths now total at least 14,711. Novel H1N1 remains dominant in most nations, according to a separate WHO update, but in China 49% of flu isolates are the seasonal B strain. Other countries are detecting some seasonal flu, too.http://www.who.int/csr/don/2010_01_29/en/index.htmlJan 29 WHO weekly updateUS flu activity stayed low last weekH1N1 flu activity stayed at about the same low level last week as the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. No states had widespread cases; five had regional activity. Five flu-related deaths in children were reported. The share of medical visits ascribed to flu-like illness was 1.7%, below the national baseline of 2.3%, but the fraction of deaths due to flu and pneumonia remained above the epidemic threshold. All but two tested viruses were novel H1N1.http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/?date=012910Jan 29 CDC weekly flu updateFlu down, vaccine availability up at collegesFlu activity at US colleges declined again after leveling off the previous week, the American College Health Association (ACHA) reported. The attack rate was 2.3 per 10,000 students. Though the number of vaccinated students was around 9%, the ACHA reports some encouraging signs. Some institutions are reporting vaccine uptake rates exceeding 25% to 30%. Vaccine availability has improved, with 86% of campuses reporting that they have it.http://www.acha.org/ILI_Project/ILI_Surveillance.cfm/?date=012910ACHA report for week ending Jan 22Vaccine from 1918, 1976 strains may fend off novel H1N1In an experiment to learn more about pre-existing immunity, researchers found that mice vaccinated with 1918-like and classical (from 1976) swine flu vaccines had complete protection against pandemic H1N1, according to a study in PLoS Pathogens. In contrast, vaccines based on more recent seasonal H1N1 strains afforded only partial protection. The authors say their findings underscore the importance of having people under age 35 receive the pandemic vaccine.http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1000745Jan 29 PLoS Pathog articleChina denies vaccine-miscarriage linkChina’s government denied a link between H1N1 vaccine and miscarriages after an official said “several” miscarriages occurred among 10,000 pregnant women who had been immunized, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. The official added the miscarriages were coincidental and that most were seen in women in their first trimester. He emphasized that global experience so far shows the vaccine is safe and effective in pregnant women, who are at high risk for flu complications.http://www.mysinchew.com/node/34657Jan 29 AFP storylast_img read more