Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitter Email A pioneering study led by a research group at the University of Granada (Spain) compares, for the first time in the world, the brain functioning of aggressors against their partners or ex-partners to that of other criminals when they are exposed to images related to different types of violence.This research, whose findings have just been published in the prestigious journal of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, demonstrates the differences in brain functioning of batterers in response to images related to intimate partner violence (IPV). This study is one of the only three studies in the world to analyze the brain of batterers using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.Specifically, the study carried out by UGR has revealed that batterers -in comparison to other criminals- show a greater activation in the anterior cingulate cortex and in the medial prefrontal cortex, and a smaller reaction in the superior prefrontal cortex in response to images of intimate partner violence as compared to neutral images. Moreover, the direct comparison of images with different content of violence also supported a profile for brain functioning specific to batterers: there was involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex as well as a strong participation of the posterior cingulate cortex and the left angular gyrus in response to IPV images.These findings may explain some of the psychological alterations that batterers describe when they encounter their romantic partner, such as maladaptive coping strategies, problems with emotion regulation as manifested by obsessions about their partner, moods such as fear, anger or rage, fear of abandonment, and sudden affective instability in the form of anxiety.The professor of Personality, Evaluation, and Psychological Treatment at the University of Granada and principle coordinator of this research, Miguel Pérez García, has been researching for years the mental and cerebral functioning of batterers, as well as their recidivism profile. In his view, “the results of these studies could have important implications to better understanding violence against women, as well as the variables that are related to recidivism in batterers.”Neuropsychological sequelae of the victimsThe aforementioned studies make up part of a broad area of Neuropsychological research on Intimate Partner Violence. Within this area, the researcher at UGR, Natalia Hidalgo Ruzzante, leads a project on neuropsychological sequelae presented in female victims of IPV.“The women who have suffered intimate partner violence from their partner (or ex-partner) sustain a multitude of physical, psychological, neurological, and cognitive problems as a consequence of abuse. These negative effects can be caused by direct damage as a consequence of hits to the head; but also as indirect damage to the brain through cerebral alterations produced by psychological sequelae (most notably posttraumatic stress) and from the effect of cortisol in situations of chronic stress,” Hidalgo explains.The majority of existing research focuses on physical and psychological disorders, and there are very few studies that have evaluated how abuse can affect the brain of women who have suffered intimate partner violence. Nevertheless, the researcher at UGR indicates that it seems clear that these cognitive alterations bring about other associated difficulties in social and work functioning in the affected women.“An adequate neuropsychological evaluation could delineate the possible cognitive, emotional, and behavioral alterations caused by this brain damage. Currently, battered women are not routinely evaluated for the diagnosis of potential neuropsychological deterioration, and even less when the only precursor is having been a victim of psychological abuse (and not physical),” she explains.Currently, the efforts of this research group at UGR are focused on the development of batteries for cognitive evaluation and specific rehabilitation programs for neuropsychological sequelae in female victims of violence. Share LinkedIn
Additional H3N2v in pigs at Michigan county fairsTwo more Michigan county fairs, one in Cass County and one in Ingham County, are reporting variant H3N2 (H3N2v) influenza in pigs, according to a media release from the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department. No ill human contacts have been reported, according to state health officials. Twenty pigs tested positive for H3N2v at the Cass County fair, which took place from Jul 31 to Aug 6. More than 300 pigs were exhibited. The first pig tested positive on Aug 9.On Aug 6 one pig that was exhibited at the Ingham County tested positive for swine flu. Last month a pig at the Muskegon county fair also tested positive for H3N2v.Humans are at risk for swine flu if they come in close contact with infected pigs, but H3N2v usually causes only mild illness when transmitted to people.Aug 12 Van Buren/Cass District Health Department releaseStudy sheds more light on deadly MRSA complications in flu patientsIn an ongoing investigation into why secondary methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are often so fatal to patients with flu, researchers who did lab studies on mice found that flu infection alters the antibacterial response of white blood cells, prompting them to damage patients’ lungs instead of the bacteria.The team from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Albany Medical College described their findings today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM).In an earlier study, one of the researchers had found mice with flu were susceptible to MRSA because the infection seemed to suppress the ability of macrophages and neutrophils to kill bacteria by releasing hydrogen peroxide and suppress other reactive oxygen species.In the new study, researchers found that in coinfected mice, reactive oxygen species released by macrophages and neutrophils induced the death of inflammatory cells in the lungs, damaging surround tissue, according a press release today from Rockefeller University Press, the publisher of JEM. Also, they found that inhibiting NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2), the enzyme that produces reactive oxygen species in macrophages and neutrophils, reduced lung damage and when added to antibiotics, improved survival of the mice.Keer Sun, PhD, study coauthor and assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said in a press release, “Our results demonstrate that influenza infection disrupts the delicate balance between Nox2-dependent antibacterial immunity and inflammation. This not only leads to increased susceptibility to MRSA infection but also extensive lung damage.” He said treatment that targets both MRSA and reactive oxygen species may yield important benefits for flu patients who have MRSA pneumonia.Aug 15 J Exper Med abstract Aug 15 Rockefeller University press release
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A House of Lords committee has criticised the government for introducing legislation heavily reliant on delegated powers, questioning a bill which would enable ministers to create new criminal offences ‘by regulation’ instead of being subject to ‘full and proper’ parliamentary scrutiny.The constitution committee, which assesses the impact of a public bill, also investigates wider constitutional issues, publishing reports with recommendations principally aimed at the government.In its report on the Children and Social Work Bill, which has its second reading today, the committee says the bill’s provisions appear to continue a ‘trend’ of introducing legislation ’that leaves much to the subsequent discretion of ministers’.The report states: ’We regret that, despite the concerns expressed in the past by this and other committees, the government continues to introduce legislation that depends so heavily on an array of broad delegated powers’.The bill would give the government power to appoint a regulator or create a new regulatory body for social workers in England. The committee says it would expect the creation of a ’significant’ statutory body ’to be enacted by primary legislative provision to enable proper parliamentary scrutiny’.The government would also be able to, through regulations, create new criminal offences. Again, the committee says the creation of criminal offences, ’whether or not punishable by imprisonment’, should be subject to ‘proper and full’ parliamentary scrutiny.The committee also asks the government to clarify whether a new child safeguarding practice review panel will be able to ‘compel’ the submission of material subject to legal or medical privilege.Committee chair Lord Lang of Monkton said the bill ’continues a worrying trend’ in which parliament is asked to agree legislation ’that is lacking in crucial details’ that allow government proposals to be properly scrutinised.He said: ’Our political system relies on parliament having the ability to scrutinise legislation through the full multi-stage process in both houses. The government’s reliance on legislating by regulation undermines that and risks poorly constructed proposals becoming law.’The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, Psychoactive Substance Bill, Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill and Childcare Bill are cited by the committee as examples of ’vaguely worded legislation that left much to the discretion of ministers’.Lang said changes giving the secretary of state ‘significant’ powers to establish a social work regulator and create new, ’currently undefined’ criminal offences should be set out in primary legislation so that they can be ‘debated, scrutinised and improved’.’Instead, by giving the minister the power to make these changes by regulation, there is a risk parliament will again be denied its proper role in holding the government to account,’ he added.
HM Judiciary is set to reassess some of its proposals for regulating the fast-expanding ‘McKenzie friend’ sector after a consultation on banning fee recovery received ‘large numbers of responses’.The Gazette understands that an update will be posted on the judiciary’s website later today announcing that the Judicial Executive Board has decided to set up a further working group to review its original proposals in light of ‘a large number of responses, covering a broad range of issues’.In February last year, the judiciary proposed banning fee recovery by McKenzie friends and recommended that unqualified advisers sign up to a code of conduct. It also suggested that the courts’ approach to McKenzies should be legally codified.The consultation closed in June last year. Since then the judiciary has been unable to give a firm date for publishing a response, saying only that submissions were still being considered.Today’s update is the first update on the proposals.Last week, the Gazette reported that an update was expected more than one year after the response window closed.A judiciary spokesperson told the Gazette: ‘A large number of responses were received to this consultation paper, covering a broad range of issues. The Judicial Executive Board has decided to establish a further judicial working group to review the original proposals in the consultation paper in the light of these responses. That group will report to the board in the first instance.’Law Society president Joe Egan said: ‘We welcomed the original report, particularly the proposed prohibition through court rules of the recovery of fees as a workable alternative to seeking and enforcing an outright ban. The “number of responses” seems scarcely to explain why it has taken the best part of two years to follow up what was a very good report, but we take the announcement as a sign of progress and look forward to hearing more.’Paid McKenzie friends have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. In 2015 a former nightclub bouncer was barred from acting as a McKenzie after calling a lawyer a ‘lying slag’. More recently, another paid McKenzie friend, David Bright, was jailed for perverting the course of justice in a family court.
The European Commission is expected to announce its verdict on Alstom’s restructuring plan on July 7, two days ahead of the company’s annual general meeting.Discussions on the restructuring of the company have continued since the basis of an agreement was brokered between French Minister of Finance Nicolas Sarkozy and European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti in May (RG 6.04 p369), much of the debate focusing on what partnerships Alstom must agree to in the future. While the Commission wanted a firm commitment, Chairman & Chief Executive Patrick Kron confined his comments on this in Alstom’s annual report filed on June 17 to a statement that ’we intend to implement, within the next four years, industrial partnerships to ensure our future development’.Alstom had announced on May 26 that it would not make any significant acquisitions in the transport sector within Europe over the next four years, and that it would dispose of businesses represent €1·5bn in sales. These include the locomotive factory in Valencia and the company’s transport activities in Australia and New Zealand.Alstom announced on June 11 that it had signed an agreement to co-operate in the manufacture of locomotives with CNR Datong Electric Locomotive Co in China. This was signed in Paris by Alstom Transport President Philippe Mellier, Cui Dianguo, President of China Northern Locomotive & Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corp, and Datong President Shi Xiaoding in the presence of French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Vice-Premier of China Zeng Peiyan.
PORTUGAL: Having called tenders in March last year for an €18·5m upgrading of the 11 km between Elvas and the Spanish border as part of the first phase of the proposed South International Corridor, infrastructure manager Infraestruturas de Portugal provided further details of the work programme in early January at a community meeting in Santiago do Cacém, east of Sines.The SIC programme is intended to provide a more direct route for freight traffic between the port of Sines and the Spanish network at Caia, west of Badajoz. This forms part of the pan-European Atlantic Corridor and the EU’s TEN-T network. The initial phase of work worth €54m involves resignalling and level crossing closures on IP’s Sines – Lisboa – Évora line to permit operation of 750 m long freight trains; the railway through Santiago do Cacém is to be grade separated. Subsequent phases of SIC are covered under IP’s Ferrovia 2020 investment plan and would see the rehabilitation and electrification of the 79 km between Évora and the Spanish border crossing at Elvas/Caia at a projected cost of €626m, of which €369m would come from EU funding. The Sines – Elvas/Caia route would be fitted with dual-gauge sleepers to permit future adoption of 1 435 mm gauge once connecting routes are completed in Spain.The upgrading is intended to allow the operation of up to 51 750 m long freight trains per day from Sines, an increase on the present maximum of 36 trains of 400 m in length.
UK: The process of appointing contractors to supply slab track, electrification and tunnel ventilation systems for the Phase 1 London – Birmingham and Phase 2a Birmingham – Crewe sections of High Speed 2 was formally launched by project promoter HS2 Ltd on January 30.The Lot 1 Track & Overhead Catenary System contract worth an estimated £1·55bn covers the construction of precast slab track on the open air sections of the route and precast or in situ slab track in tunnels. HS2 Ltd is to award a separate contract for design of the slab track, which would be novated to the winner of the construction contract. Ballasted track would be used within depots and at interfaces with the conventional infrastructure network.HS2 Ltd has awarded SNCF Réseau a contract to prepare overhead catenary design information which will be made available to bidders for the Lot 1 contract. The chosen contractor would be responsible for design of the masts and gantries, within constraints set by HS2 Ltd.Lot 1 also includes the construction of temporary railheads at West Ruislip and Calvert, a permanent infrastructure maintenance depot at Calvert and infrastructure maintenance bases at Stone and West Ruislip. The contractor would be responsible for running the construction railway until the end of dynamic testing.The £330m Lot 2 contract for the Tunnel & Lineside M&E & Tunnel Ventilation works covers design, installation, testing and commissioning of fans, lighting, handrails, fire safety equipment and alarms. Nine tunnels totalling 40 km of bored and 8·8 km of cut and cover are planned for Phase 1. Large axial fans are envisaged for the longer tunnels and jet fans in the shorter tunnels.Requests to participate in the two tenders should be submitted by March 21. HS2 Ltd expects to issue invitations to tender in October. ‘We’re looking for the smartest, most cost effective solutions that the industry has to offer’ said CEO Mark Thurston. The High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill 2017-19 was due to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on January 30.
The Haden Triplets – Petra, Rachel and Tanya – will release their new album The Family Songbook on 24th January 2020 via Trimeter Records/Thirty Tigers.Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, the Triplets are the children of bassist Charlie Haden, who changed jazz’s trajectory alongside Ornette Coleman beginning in the 1950s. Family Album is the follow-up to their 2014 self-titled album.For the album The Haden Triplets have mined their heritage and recorded recently unearthed songs by their grandfather, Carl E. Haden, who was a friend to the Carter Family and Porter Wagoner. The sisters’ uncle Carl Haden Jr passed the songs to them. The Family Songbook also includes Every Time I Try by the triplets’ brother Josh, best known as the force behind the genre-bending indie band Spain. Other songs on the album include a cover Kanye West’s Say You Will and Americana standards like Wayfaring Stranger, I’ll Fly Away, Wildwood Flower and Pretty Baby.The new video for Every Time I Try is a tribute to country music TV programmes circa the fifties and latter decades and features a cameo by the actor Nick Offerman.The Family Songbook is produced by Woody Jackson.The Haden Triplets will be in tour in 2020, including The Big Ears Festival and Stagecoach.
Amber Status signifies that there is a limited capacity available, and action is necessary in order to meet projected demand. Medical Director Kenneth Donaldson is asking the public to consider the best point of first contact when seeking medical assistance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInDumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary (DGRI) moved down from ‘Red Status’ to ‘Amber Status’ at 2 pm today.The new hospital in Dumfries was put on ‘Red Status’ on Wednesday in response to an extremely high level of emergency department referrals and GP referrals.Medical Director Dr Ken Donaldson said: “Continuing hard work by staff and support from the public has put us in a position now where we can move down from Red Status to Amber Status.“We’re extremely grateful to all the efforts by staff to deal with a situation which has seen us experience a dramatic increase in admissions as part of a national surge. Many have gone above and beyond the call of duty, taking on additional shifts and altering their duties.“We are also very happy that the public have shown support, and been open to our request to consider the best first point of help for medical issues.“However, while we have moved down to Amber Status we are not being complacent. We are continuing to work hard to ensure we have the capacity in place to cope with demand, and the increased numbers of respiratory issues and cases of flu.”And we would continue to ask that people give thought to the best first point of contact when seeking medical assistance, with support available from the likes of community pharmacies as well as GP practices.”Red Status is part of the hospital’s escalation protocol, and can be enacted when a department is faced with the prospect of admission numbers exceeding available capacity. Red Status ensures that this situation is communicated to the entire health board, and allows the freeing up of capacity in beds and staffing from other areas.