Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano “Paul will be a big boost to us offensively. He’s one of the best players in college basketball now,” he said as the Cebuano guard replaces JK Casiño in the roster.Tiu shared he has been craving for Desiderio’s services when he was building up his Go for Gold squad, but coach Bo Perasol wanted all of his Fighting Maroons to focus on the team’s preparations for the upcoming UAAP Season 81.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Paul was actually one of the first persons that I wanted to get when we formed the team, but he had some obligations to do for his school,” he said.But desperate times call for desperate measures, and Tiu finally got the green light from Perasol just in time for the Scratchers to make their late rally to make it to the top six. GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer LATEST STORIES Desiderio will make his debut for go for Gold on Monday against Wangs Basketball-Letran.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netEyeing one last push in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, Go for Gold signed Paul Desiderio for the remainder of the conference.Scratchers coach Charles Tiu welcomed the arrival of the cold-blooded scorer from University of the Philippines in hopes of improving the team’s even 4-4 slate.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “I’m very grateful that coach Bo allowed him to play for us,” he said.The 21-year-old Desiderio averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in his fourth year in UP, leading the squad to a fifth place finish this past UAAP Season 80.He last saw action in the D-League for Cafe France back in the 2017 Aspirants’ Cup.Tiu said Desiderio is definitely a big addition to the team, but the problem will be his familiarity with the squad as he seeks to quickly blend in with J-Jay Alejandro, Matt Salem, ex-pro Jerwin Gaco, and young forward Justin Gutang.“The challenge will be to integrate him to our team. It will not be easy,” he said. “We have a system on offense and defense that he has to adjust to in two practices only. It will be very tough and honestly, it is a bit of a gamble to make a change this late with short preparation time. But we need to win the last three games to make the playoffs and it’s all or nothing.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Hotshots prepare for worst heading into Game 2
It’s time for Game 7, again.The Sharks will face off against the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night in a winner-take-all game to head to the Western Conference final against the St. Louis Blues, who won a Game 7 of their own Tuesday night.We turned to our Sharks beat writer Curtis Pashelka and his Denver Post counterpart Mike Chambers to lend their expertise as we sort through the matchups and possibilities in Game 7.Question: If Joe Pavelski is able to return from his head injury, what …
Welcome back to the rant! (This is an extended, multi-month rant, in case you were wondering.)Last month I introduced the “Change Toolkit,” a hierarchy of interventions with Mindset at the top (most effective type of intervention), followed by Processes, then Tools; Technologies (the perennial favorite) resides at the bottom – i.e., it is the least effective change lever in our toolkit for creating higher-performing homes. Homes with simple shapes are less expensive and perform betterIronically, simple building geometry has significant other benefits, not least of which is economy: simpler homes are less costly to build. Simpler homes also are much easier (and less expensive) to effectively insulate, air seal, and heat, and represent reduced likelihood of durability challenges such as moisture intrusion.Some of our most successful designers and builders of high-performance homes – unsurprisingly – embody these principles of simplicity and economy in their projects. The photos below show examples from South Mountain Company, ZETA Communities, and architect Steve Baczek. A design rantThis month’s installment in the rant is all about design. If you’re an architect, this is probably stuff you know, but that may not get your attention very often (or you’re diverted from it by those pesky clients).If you’re a building science geek, this is right up your alley – warm up your vocal chords for a great big Yeah! If you’re a builder, you may be ambivalent about it. We’ll see. RELATED ARTICLES High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 3High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 4High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 5 However, appeal more readily emanates from careful proportioning and quality materials, paired with simple, efficient building geometry. I highly recommend The Old Way of Seeing, by Jonathan Hale, in which he makes a compelling and scholarly case for this philosophy. Characteristics of traditional homesFirst I’d like to draw your attention to several types of what I’ll call “traditional homes,” shown in the image collage.These homes share some important characteristics. They are made:To fit the need (and no more)To be as comfortable as possible given available materials, ingenuity, and skillFrom materials at handUsing efficient geometriesWith low surface-to-volume ratiosThese are all excellent guidelines for the creation of high-performance and net-zero energy homes. Taste, of course, is personal, and some may find these designs too simple. And yet there is a market for these homes, all of which are speculative projects. In our quest for high performance we should not lose sight of the fact that “simple” doesn’t mean “ugly” or “boring,” and it’s an enormously powerful design strategy with multiple performance dividends.The appeal of a home, for some, may rely on elaborate ornamentation, but for many others rests in a sense of comfort and welcoming or spare elegance, either of which may be successfully executed in a simple building volume. Characteristics of traditional homesEven so, much of the U.S. landscape is populated by homes that are absent these principles, such as those pictured below. While I fully understand that “curb appeal” is a dominant driver in home design, I believe that production homes in particular fall prey to design clichés, too often relying on surface ornamentation and geometric complexity in their quest for appeal. RELATED ARTICLE High-Performance and Net-Zero Homes — Part 1
Categories: News,Tedder News State Rep. Jim Tedder today applauded the passage of the FY 2017 General Fund and School Aid budgets, calling them fiscally responsible and good for all students of Michigan.“As it has been in the past few years, we got the budget done far ahead of schedule,” said Rep. Tedder, R-Clarkston. “We’re increasing funding to education on all levels, making strides in infrastructure repairs and supporting veterans and first responders.”Rep. Tedder serves as the vice chair of the Committee on Workforce and Talent Development. He is also a member of the Committees on Education, Health Policy, and Communications and Technology.“I am most happy about the work that went into the school omnibus budget,” Rep. Tedder said. “We fought hard for the boilerplate language intended to improve services to the Oakland County Mental Health Authority. We also expanded the Healthy Kids dental program to under served children in Oakland County, as well as increased funding for adult foster care facilities for seniors.” 09Jun Rep. Tedder praises FY 2017 budget
BBC Trust chairman Rona Fairhead has called for the body she heads, which is charged with regulatory oversight of the BBC, to be scrapped and replaced with an external regulator after the public broadcaster’s Charter renewal in 2016.Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, Fairhead highlighted the “complicated area of governance is the oversight of financial and operational management and strategy” as the key area of consideration, and said that “the strongest case for more significant change is in this area of oversight, where a fault line continues to lie in the blurred accountabilities between the Trust and the Executive board”.Fairhead said that the Trust had worked with the executive board to “clarify the boundaries” between the pair and said she was “confident” that the existing regime could be make to work to the end of the current BBC Charter. However, beyond that, she said that the complete separation of regulation from management and the creation of a dedicated external regulator would be the best option. “Responsibilities for strategy, financial and operational management need to sit with the BBC Executive – to allow them to respond to a rapidly changing environment. Responsibilities for regulation and broader accountability need to sit at one remove. That way, there should be no possibility of vagueness or uncertainty about who will be held responsible for what, when the chips are down,” said Fairhead.“At a minimum, we would want to propose some reform of the current model. To keep the Trust as part of the BBC but to be much more specific, in any future Charter, that its responsibilities were focused more clearly on regulation and accountability, with strategy and oversight left to the Executive Board. But the cleanest form of separation would be to transfer the Trust’s responsibilities for regulation and accountability to an external regulator. And that’s an approach we want to explore further. I think it’s the front-runner.”She said the external regulation model would require the BBC to set up a stronger unitary board, with an independent chairman and a majority of non-executive directors, while the external regulator would have responsibility for “all matters of regulation and those matters of licence fee payer representation which require a broader, more regulatory perspective”.Fairhead said she had some concerns about the culture Select Committee’s call for a Public Service Broadcasting Commission with wider responsibility, as this would not have authority to set BBC service licences, while “carving up the licence fee” could weaken “the direct line of ownership and accountability that runs between the public and the BBC”.Fairhead has attracted media attention recently over her role as a non-executive director of scandal-hit bank HSBC. The BBC Trust has said there was no conflict of interest between her roles at the two organisations and that the Trust had no input into BBC coverage of events at HSBC.Delivering his own speect at the Oxford Media Convention, digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said the government would not launch a debate on BBC governance and the Charter Review ahead of the general election, “except to confirm that we ‘heart’ the BBC”.“We want to see a BBC that is fit for the digital age, able to fulfil the many roles that the BBC has done so successfully for many years – not just great content, but education and training, technical innovation, and a huge and irreplaceable contribution to civic society,” he said. Vaizey also said that a digital single market across the EU would benefit the UK, which is home to over 500 broadcasters. “Major companies like Discovery, Disney and Viacom not only employ thousands of people here, they are major investors in UK content. We want to give them reasons to continue to invest here,” he said.
Our research has again highlighted the urgent need for making the programme more patient-focused. We want to see self-sampling being made available as well as more flexible locations for women to attend. It is vital women have more control otherwise we will see attendance continue to fall and diagnoses of this often-preventable cancer increase.”Robert Music, CEO, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jan 21 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A UK survey of more than 2,000 young women has shown that many delay or avoid having a smear test due to feeling scared, vulnerable, embarrassed or not being in control. Image Point Fr | ShutterstockThe survey, which was conducted by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, also revealed that many women are put off by the thought of being examined by a stranger.Current estimates show that cervical screening rates are at the lowest they have been in two decades, with around one-third of women aged between 25 and 64 not complying with the NHS recommendations that women aged 25 to 49 have a smear test every three years and those aged 50 to 64 have a test every five years.Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is now launching a campaign #SmearForSmear as part of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (running from 21st to 27th January) in an effort to address the decline in screening rates and recognise the wide range of new issues that seem to be contributing to the problem. Smear tests provide the best protection against cervical cancer yet we know they aren’t always easy. We want women to feel comfortable talking to their nurse and asking questions. It’s not making a fuss and there are many ways to make the test easier. Please don’t let your fears stop you booking a test.”Robert Music, CEO, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Source:Smear test fears causing hidden health crisis for Millennials The survey data revealed that of 2,005 women aged 25 to 35, almost half (46%) regularly delayed or avoided taking up their invitation to have a smear test. The reasons those women gave included feeling scared (71%), vulnerable (75%), embarrassed (81%) or as if they would not be in control (67%).When asked what led them to miss or delay a test, 69% said the thought of having an intimate area examined by a stranger made them feel uncomfortable; 58% said they feared pain and 31% said they were unaware what the test would entail.The data also revealed that almost 30% of the women would feel awkward asking the nurse to stop or saying the procedure was hurting, 18% would feel uncomfortable asking what the nurse is doing, and 19% would not share their concerns with the nurse.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 19 2019The results, published in JACC, have implications for patient prognosis, since detection of this marker can prompt intervention to prevent irreversible damageEvery year, 4 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Europe. Advances in cancer treatment sometimes come at the cost of major adverse effects, and one of the most prominent is cardiotoxicity. Myocardial toxicity affects as many as 25% of patients undergoing treatment with commonly used anticancer drugs. The effects of this damage can be severe, condemning the cancer survivor to chronic heart disease and even causing premature death.Now, . researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have identified a very early marker of cardiac damage in patients undergoing therapy with anthracyclines, a family of drugs commonly used to treat cancer. This finding will enable the early diagnosis of the cardiotoxicity associated with this group of widely used chemotherapy drugs.The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and was coordinated by Dr. Borja Ibañez, Clinical Research Director at the CNIC and a cardiologist at the Fundación Jiménez Díaz. As Dr. Ibañez explained, the results have important implications for therapy because the detection this drug-induced damage at very early stages will permit “the implementation of treatments to prevent further deterioration in heart function and a clinical management more closely adapted to the needs of each patient.” The identified marker is affected much earlier than any of the markers used in current clinical practice.This valuable discovery was possible thanks to a new pig model of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity developed by the CNIC team. The pig is an especially useful experimental model in cardiovascular research because the pig and human hearts are very similar.Challenges in cardio-oncologyDr. Ibáñez described three major challenges in cardio-oncology: to identify the mechanisms underlying the cardiac damage associated with these highly effective anticancer treatments; to diagnose myocardial damage early (currently, damage is often detected only after it is irreversible); and to develop specific cardiotoxicity treatments based on an understanding of the underlying mechanism, and thus replace the nonspecific and generally ineffective treatments in current use.In the JACC study, animals received increasing doses of the anthracycline drug doxorubicin over 10 weeks. This strategy allowed the accumulation of the drug in the heart muscle without major exposure of other organs.Using the sophisticated latest-generation magnetic resonance imaging technology available at the CNIC, the research team was able to study a range of parameters on a weekly basis, and thus identify indicators of damage much earlier than changes in any of the markers used in current clinical practice. Philips scientist Dr. Javier Sánchez-González, joint leader of the study, explained that in this way, “we found that the first parameter to show any alteration is T2 mapping, which indicates the presence of edema–an accumulation of water-, and this finding was later confirmed by histological studies.”Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyAs first author Carlos Galán-Arriola explained, “this edema occurs because doxorubicin begins to damage the mitochondria inside the heart muscle cells, the cardiomyocytes, and this damage triggers edema within these cells.” Mitochondria are the ‘power generators’ inside our cells, and permanent damage to them leads to severe and irreversible malfunctioning of the cardiac muscle.The JACC study confirms that T2 mapping is altered much earlier than any other known parameter in current use, occurring even before any local or regional alterations to cardiac contractility. The availability of such an early cardiotoxicity marker could help physicians identify patients who tolerate anthracycline treatment even at high doses. As Dr. Ibañez explained, in this patient group, “cancer recurrence could be treated with anthracyclines at the high doses that are the most effective.” In other patients, “development of this marker at a low cumulative anthracycline dose could be an indication for preventive cardioprotective therapy or an adjustment to the chemotherapy regimen.”While these results are very promising, Dr. Ibáñez emphasized that they await confirmation in patients. The research team has already launched a clinical study in collaboration with the Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz. This study forms part of the MATRIX project, which aims to develop innovative treatments for the cardiotoxicity associated with cancer. “We will soon recruit 100 lymphoma patients whose chemotherapy regimen includes high-dose anthracyclines. Before each chemotherapy cycle, these patients will have an advanced MRI scan, including novel sequences developed by the research team, and will be monitored very closely.”The results of the JACC study may help to prevent the severe secondary effects experienced by cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Moreover, the study may also open the way to new therapies based on mitochondrial transplantation. “This is an innovative and radical treatment proposed in the MATRIX project; patients will be transplanted with their own healthy mitochondria to replace those damaged by the cancer therapy. This approach has not been tried before and would represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of cardiac disease.” Source:https://www.cnic.es/
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 28 2019Advances in genetics and genomics have taught us that every single tumor is different, and yet most standard therapies treat them all in the same way, limiting the effectiveness of treatments offered to many cancer patients.In recent years, exciting advances have resulted in an emerging range of immunotherapies that broadly stimulate the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. These treatments artificially inhibit the natural ‘braking’ system in the body’s immune system to allow it to target antigens produced by the tumor – those originating from mutations in the cancer.But many people are not yet able to benefit from these cutting-edge treatments. This is largely because many types of cancer have a low number of genetic mutations, meaning that they produce only a few antigens – structures that can be targeted by the body’s immune system.The EU-funded GAPVAC project undertook the first clinical trial to design and manufacture actively personalized vaccines (APVACs) – a new type of immunotherapy approach, unique in that it is much more closely tailored to the characteristics of each patient’s immune system and their specific tumor than existing treatments.GAPVAC researchers targeted glioblastoma – an aggressive brain cancer – because conventional therapies are largely ineffective, cause unpleasant side effects, and are not at all personalized. The five-year survival rate for this cancer is currently just 6 %.’When we conceived the idea of the GAPVAC trial years ago, people said it was logistically close to impossible,’ says project coordinator Norbert Hilf of Immatics Biotechnologies in Germany. ‘The complexity of the processes involved and the translation of such a concept into the clinical setting was unprecedented.’Pioneering, personalized treatmentIn December 2018, the team published the results of the GAPVAC trial in Nature, revealing that the phase 1 study had successfully demonstrated promising clinical courses as well as the safety and feasibility of precisely tailoring immunotherapy to the characteristics of patients’ individual tumors and immune systems.Fifteen patients with glioblastoma took part in the trial, with GAPVAC researchers analyzing each tumor’s specific mutations, its molecular make-up, and each patient’s ability to mount an immune response.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsResearchers report how a popular antidepressant drug could rewire the brainStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sMost patients were given two different vaccines – APVAC1 and APVAC2 – starting at different times. Like all cancer vaccines, they aimed to stimulate T-cells in the patient’s immune system to attack the tumor.The APVAC2 vaccine was composed predominantly of antigens unique to each patient, mainly peptides – short chains of amino acids – carrying mutations highly specific to their tumor. These antigens had been identified through next-generation DNA sequencing and individually manufactured for each patient – a process which takes about six months and is relatively expensive.The APVAC1 vaccine, however, was designed using a ‘warehouse approach’ that lies somewhere between off-the-shelf vaccines and tailor-made mutated antigens as used for APVAC2.GAPVAC researchers pre-manufactured over 60 peptides identified to be highly relevant antigens, in many cases, for glioblastoma and incorporated them into vaccines, creating a mixture of up to 10 antigens for each patient. The advantage of this approach is that it can be delivered more quickly and cost effectively than APVAC2 which requires fully personalised vaccine manufacturing.Although the sample size was too small to claim any clinical effects on the patients treated, the survival data were encouraging, and both vaccines drove excellent immune responses in the patients. Researchers also found vaccine-induced immune cells exactly where they were needed – in the tumor of a patient.Blueprint for the futureThe GAPVAC project has been vital to developing the concept and processes behind the active personalisation of cancer treatment. Following in its path, the partners of the GAPVAC consortium are undertaking further steps in the development of tailor-made immunotherapy. For example, the coordinating company, Immatics, has used GAPVAC as a blueprint for its ACTolog trial – an adaptive cell therapy that employs the active personalisation concept.’The GAPVAC trial can be seen as a blueprint for personalised therapy concepts in general,’ says Hilf. ‘We’re currently discussing follow-up projects to further improve the magnitude of the immune response and to shorten the process time.’ Source:http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/printversion_en.cfm?id=/research/headlines/news/article_19_02_27-1_en.html?infocentre&item=Infocentre&artid=49930
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019Biomedical engineers at Duke University have developed a low-cost, portable optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanner that promises to bring the vision-saving technology to underserved regions throughout the United States and abroad.Thanks to a redesigned, 3D-printed spectrometer, the scanner is 15 times lighter and smaller than current commercial systems and is made from parts costing less than a tenth the retail price of commercial systems — all without sacrificing imaging quality.In its first clinical trial, the new OCT scanner produced images of 120 retinas that were 95 percent as sharp as those taken by current commercial systems, which was sufficient for accurate clinical diagnosis.The results appear online on June 28 in Translational Vision Science & Technology, an ARVO journal.In use since the 1990s, OCT imaging has become the standard of care for the diagnosis of many retinal diseases including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, as well as for glaucoma. However, OCT is rarely included as part of a standard screening exam since machines can cost more than $100,000 — meaning that usually only larger eye centers have them. OCT is the optical analog of ultrasound, which works by sending sound waves into tissues and measuring how long they take to come back. But because light is so much faster than sound, measuring time is more difficult. To time the light waves bouncing back from the tissue being scanned, OCT devices use a spectrometer to determine how much their phase has shifted compared to identical light waves that have traveled the same distance but have not interacted with tissue.The primary technology enabling the smaller, less expensive OCT device is a new type of spectrometer designed by Wax and his former graduate student Sanghoon Kim. Traditional spectrometers are made mostly of precisely cut metal components and direct light through a series of lenses, mirrors and diffraction slits shaped like a W. While this setup provides a high degree of accuracy, slight mechanical shifts caused by bumps or even temperature changes can create misalignments.Wax’s design, however, takes the light on a circular path within a housing made mostly from 3D-printed plastic. Because the spectrometer light path is circular, any expansions or contractions due to temperature changes occur symmetrically, balancing themselves out to keep the optical elements aligned. The device also uses a larger detector at the end of the light’s journey to make misalignments less likely.Related StoriesResearch identifies new approach to staving off the detrimental effects of agingRetina can restructure itself following gene therapyResearchers conclude that EnChroma’s glasses do not improve results of color-blind participantsTraditional OCT machines weigh more than 60 pounds, take up an entire desk and cost anywhere between $50,000 and $120,000. The new OCT device weighs four pounds, is about the size of a lunch box and, Wax expects, will be sold for less than $15,000.”Right now OCT devices sit in their own room and require a PhD scientist to tweak them to get everything working just right,” said Wax. “Ours can just sit on a shelf in the office and be taken down, used and put back without problems. We’ve scanned people in a Starbucks with it.”In the new study, J. Niklas Ulrich, retina surgeon and associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, put the new OCT scanner to the test against a commercial instrument produced by Heidelberg Engineering. He performed clinical imaging on both eyes of 60 patients, half from healthy volunteers and half with some sort of retinal disease.To compare the images produced by both machines, the researchers used contrast-to-noise ratio — a measure often used to determine image quality in medical imaging. The results showed that, by this metric, the low-cost, portable OCT scanner provided useful contrast that was only 5.6 percent less than that of the commercial machine, which is still good enough to allow for clinical diagnostics.”I have been very impressed by the quality of images from the low-cost device — it is absolutely comparable to our standard commercial machines,” said Ulrich. “It obviously lacks some bells and whistles of our $100k+ OCT scanners, but allows for accurate diagnosis of structural retinal disease as well as monitoring of treatment success. The setup is quick and easy with a small footprint, allowing the device to perform well in smaller satellite offices. I hope that the development of this low-cost OCT will improve patients’ access to OCT technology and contribute to saving sight in North Carolina as well as nationally and worldwide.”Wax is commercializing the device through a startup company called Lumedica, which is already producing and selling first-generation instruments for research applications. The company hopes to secure venture backing in the near future and is also negotiating potential licensing deals with outside companies.”There’s a lot of interest from people who want to take OCT to new parts of the globe as well as to underserved populations right here in the U.S.,” said Wax. “With the growing number of cases of diabetic retinopathy in places like the United States, India and China, we hope we can save a lot of people’s sight by drastically increasing access to this technology.” Source:Duke UniversityJournal reference:Song, G. et al. (2019) First Clinical Application of Low-cost OCT. Translational Vision Science &Technology. doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.3.61. Once you have lost vision, it’s very difficult to get it back, so the key to preventing blindness is early detection. Our goal is to make OCT drastically less expensive so more clinics can afford the devices, especially in global health settings.”Adam Wax, professor of biomedical engineering at Duke
The statement includes a dozen shareholder proposals—all of which are opposed by the company’s board of directors—as well as disclosures of the company’s executive compensation, changes coming to its board and more.In an accompanying letter to shareholders, Amazon chairman and chief executive Jeff Bezos challenges other major employers to match or exceed the company’s new $15-an-hour pay floor.Median pay, CEO ratioThe median total compensation, meaning half were paid more and half were paid less, for Amazon employees worldwide in 2018 was $28,836, up $390 from 2017, according to the proxy statement.In the U.S., where Amazon’s new $15-an-hour minimum wage took effect Nov. 1, the median was $35,096—a new metric reported for 2019. The company said the new wage floor would benefit more than 250,000 Amazon full- and part-time employees and more than 100,000 seasonal workers.The filing notes that Amazon also provides medical benefits starting the first day on the job, retirement contributions, parental leave for mothers and fathers and career-development programs—benefits that are not included in total compensation calculations.Bezos’ compensation in 2018 was unchanged. The world’s wealthiest person collected a salary of $81,840 and the company spent $1.6 million on personal security arrangements.Neither the shareholder letter nor the proxy statement made reference to Bezos’ divorce from MacKenzie Bezos, which will diminish his ownership stake but not his voting rights.Jeff Bezos owns 16 percent of Amazon as of Feb. 25. When the divorce is finalized, MacKenzie Bezos is expected to own 4 percent, which would make her the fourth-largest owner of Amazon behind Bezos, The Vanguard Group and BlackRock.Amazon’s CEO pay ratio—a required disclosure of the top executive’s pay compared to that of the median employee—was 1-to-58 in 2018. It was 1-to-59 in 2017. ©2019 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: Amazon reveals what typical U.S. worker makes after its minimum-wage bump (2019, April 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-amazon-reveals-typical-worker-minimum-wage.html The median pay of Amazon employees in the U.S. was just over $35,000 last year, the company disclosed for the first time in its 2019 proxy statement Thursday. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Other senior Amazon executives receive much more than Bezos, mostly in the form of stock awards. The CEOs of Amazon’s two biggest business units—Andy Jassy of Amazon Web Services and Jeff Wilke of the worldwide consumer—each received total compensation of over $19.7 million.Senior Vice President Jeff Blackburn received $10.4 million and chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky received $6.9 million.The CEO pay ratio for Wilke, whose organization includes the warehouses and logistics operations where Amazon’s lowest-paid employees work, works out to about 1-to-684.A barrage of proposalsAmazon faced an unprecedented barrage of shareholder proposals related to environmental, social and corporate governance issues as part of a coordinated strategy by activist investors affiliated with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Of the 15 proposals, 12 were included in the company’s 2019 proxy statement and will come up for a vote.The board of directors recommends votes against all of them. The proposals, in brief, call for: – An annual report on environmental and social impacts of food waste from the company’s operations. – An amendment to the corporate bylaws to allow shareholders of 20 percent of Amazon stock to call a special meeting. The present threshold is 30 percent. – A prohibition on sales of facial-recognition technology to government agencies unless the board concludes after a review using independent evidence that the technology “does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of civil and human rights.—An independent study of the privacy and civil-rights implications of Amazon’s facial-recognition technology, Rekognition. – A report on Amazon’s efforts to address hate speech and sale of offensive products. – An independent chair of the board of directors. Bezos is presently board chair and CEO. – A management review of sexual-harassment policies and assessment of whether additional policies are needed. – A public report describing Amazon’s plans for disruptions caused by climate change and reductions in its companywide dependence on fossil fuels. – A description of minimum qualifications to be a board member and disclosure of each board nominee’s “skills, ideological perspectives, and experience presented in a chart or matrix form.—A report on Amazon’s “global median gender-pay gap,” including risks related to recruiting and retaining women employees. – A report assessing the feasibility of including sustainability metrics such as social and environmental considerations, and diversity of senior executives, into senior executive compensation plans. – An end to “formula swapping—the Amazon practice of counting shareholder votes differently for management proposals than for shareholder proposals. Instead, all nonbinding matters would be decided by a simple majority of votes cast for or against an item.Alberg steps down after 22 yearsTom Alberg, a co-founder of Seattle venture-capital firm Madrona Venture Group and Amazon’s longest-tenured board member apart from Bezos, will not stand for re-election at the annual meeting, Amazon disclosed in the proxy.Alberg, 79, placed an early bet on Bezos and his plan to sell books on the internet in 1995. “I was very skeptical,” he told The Seattle Times in a 2015 interview. “I mean, I like bookstores.”Alberg recounted being impressed with Bezos and his “very coherent business plan.” He backed the company as part of an initial $1 million funding round.The meeting is set for Wednesday, May 22, at Fremont Studios in Seattle. Explore further Amazon worker’s median pay in 2017: $28,446