The second Tour of Croatia starts in Osijek

November 20th, 2020

first_imgThe start of the international cycling race Tour of Croatia will be marked on the main square of Osijek, Dr. Antun Starčević Square. One of the biggest sporting events in Croatia will start with the first stage from Osijek to Varaždin, and the race will end in Zagreb on April 24 after six stages. This year’s Tour of Croatia brought together 21 teams with more than 160 cyclists, and the biggest star is the British Mark Cavendish. Eight Croatian representatives, who drive for different teams, will also take part in the race.In six days, cyclists will cover more than 1000 kilometers, pass through about a hundred Croatian settlements, and 12 host cities are included in the race. The length of the first stage from Osijek to Varaždin is 235,1 kilometers with an altitude difference of only 120 hm and is the least demanding in the entire race. The second stage will start tomorrow (Wednesday) from the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and the finish will be in Split. After that, the race continues on Thursday with the Makarska – Šibenik stage, followed by the Crikvenica – Učka and Poreč – Umag stages, the only stage that will be run on a time trial. The Tour of Croatia will end on Sunday, April 24, with the last stage from Sveti Martin na Muri to Zagreb.The race will be broadcast live by HRT and Eurosport, and every evening it will broadcast summaries with the most exciting moments from the stages. The TV broadcast will be broadcast by a number of television stations from as many as 6 continents – in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia – some of which will also broadcast the Tour live.last_img read more

The draft law on amendments to the Law on Hospitality Activity was adopted

November 20th, 2020

first_imgHrvatski sabor usvojio je Prijedlog zakona o izmjenama i dopunama Zakona o ugostiteljskoj djelatnosti ističu iz Ministarstva turizma. Ovim izmjenama i dopunama produžuje se rok važenja privremenih rješenja izdanih temeljem Zakona o ugostiteljskoj djelatnosti,  i to do 31. prosinca 2020. godine.Time se omogućuje nastavak  obavljanja djelatnosti i pružanje ugostiteljskih usluga u domaćinstvu i na obiteljskom poljoprivrednom gospodarstvu onima koji su ishodili privremena rješenja s rokom važenja do 31. prosinca 2016. godine, a do toga datuma nisu u mogućnosti pribaviti dokaz o uporabljivosti objekta zbog toga što postupci legalizacije nisu završeni, kao niti usklađenje stvarnih vlasničkopravnih odnosa sa stanjem u zemljišnim knjigama.  U tom roku omogućilo bi se i podnošenje novih zahtjeva za izdavanje privremenih rješenja. Ovaj Zakon stupa na snagu prvoga dana od dana objave u Narodnim novinama.Prema prikupljenim podacima ukupno je izdano je oko 7.100 privremenih rješenja: oko 5600 rješenja izdanih na temelju podnesenog zahtjeva za pokretanje postupka ozakonjenja nezakonito izgrađene građevine, a oko 1500 rješenja izdanih za objekte za koje stvarno stanje na terenu nije usklađeno stanjem u zemljišnim knjigama. Broj izdanih trajnih rješenja iznosi oko 600, tj. oko 8,5% od ukupnog broja izdanih privremenih rješenja. Kako je izgledno da se postupci ozakonjenja nezakonito izgrađenih zgrada neće završiti do 31. prosinca 2016. godine, niti će se do toga datuma stanje u zemljišnim knjigama uskladiti sa stanjem na terenu, bez izmijene Zakona svi ugostitelji i pružatelji ugostiteljskih usluga u domaćinstvu i na obiteljskom poljoprivrednom gospodarstvu nakon 31. prosinca 2016. godine nebi  više imali pravnog temelja za legalno obavljanje ugostiteljske djelatnosti odnosno pružanje ugostiteljskih usluga, jer će sva navedena privremena rješenja po sili zakona prestati važiti.last_img read more

Study details prevalence of PTSD in Vietnam War women vets

November 19th, 2020

first_imgPinterest LinkedIn Share on Facebook Among the 4,219 women (48.3 percent) who completed a survey and telephone interview, 1,956 served in Vietnam, 657 were near Vietnam and 1,606 served in the United States. Most of the women who served in Vietnam and in the United States were in the Army, while most of the women who served near Vietnam were in the Air Force. Women in Vietnam were more likely to be nurses.The lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 20.1 percent for women in Vietnam, 11.5 percent for women near Vietnam and 14.1 percent for women in the United States. The prevalence for current PTSD active within the past year was 15.9 percent for women in Vietnam, 8.1 percent for women near Vietnam and 9.1 percent for women stationed in the U.S., the study reports.Wartime exposure increased the odds of PTSD, especially exposure to sexual harassment and job performance pressure, according to the results. Sexual discrimination or harassment, which is not thought of as a unique war zone exposure, was higher among deployed women and related to PTSD in every model of analysis.The authors acknowledge their findings differ from another national study of PTSD among Vietnam-era women veterans. They also note nonrespondents to the study, including those who have died, may have had a different PTSD prevalence. “Because current PTSD is still present in many of these women decades after their military service, clinicians who treat them should continue to screen for PTSD symptoms and be sensitive to their noncombat wartime experiences,” the study concludes. Emailcenter_img Share Women who served in Vietnam have higher odds of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than women stationed during that era in the United States, and this effect appears to be associated with wartime exposures including sexual discrimination or harassment and job performance pressures, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.During the Vietnam era, approximately 5,000 to 7,500 American women served in the U.S. military in Vietnam, at least 2,000 were stationed at nearby bases in Japan, the Philippines, Guam, Korea and Thailand, and 250,000 were in the United States. Most of the deployed women were nurses, although others filled clerical, medical and personnel positions. Although women were excluded from combat, women in Vietnam were still in a war theater and many of those stationed near Vietnam were exposed to casualties and other stressors.Kathryn Magruder, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Charleston, S.C., and coauthors report the main findings from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cooperative Study 579, the Health of Vietnam-Era Women’s Study (HealthVIEWS). Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Study: Controlling parents create mean college kids

November 19th, 2020

first_imgLinkedIn Share Email Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img College students whose parents lay on the guilt or try to manipulate them may translate feelings of stress into similar mean behavior with their own friends, a new study by a University of Vermont psychologist has found.Those students’ physical response to stress influences the way they will carry out that hostility – either immediately and impulsively or in a cold, calculated way, concluded Jamie Abaied, a UVM assistant professor of psychological science.Building on her previous research on the effects of various parenting styles on college-age children, Abaied looked at the link between “parental psychological control” and the young adults’ relationships with peers. Her study, published by the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, involved 180 mostly female college students and was a collaboration with Abaied’s graduate research assistant, Caitlin Wagner, the lead author on the paper. Share on Facebook Even after they leave home as legal adults, college students often still depend on parents for financial, as well as emotional, support. Some parents will nit-pick and find fault or threaten to withdraw affection (or money) as punishment or to force a desired outcome. With today’s technology, parents can exercise that control wherever their kids go – with texts, email and social media keeping them in constant contact.“You can do that from far away,” Abaied says. “You don’t have to be in person to manipulate your kids’ thoughts and emotions.”The result can stunt their budding independence, Abaied concluded. “We need to be really mindful of how influential the parents are.”College students are less studied in relation to parental control, Abaied says, though psychologists have long recognized that heavy-handed parents trigger “relational aggression” in their children. Relational aggression involves a relationship with a friend or loved one and actions that harm feelings or damage social status: exclusion from a social event, rumor-mongering, backstabbing or public embarrassment.With younger children, one might not invite another to a birthday party. Adolescents might try to embarrass or ostracize a peer, as in the “Mean Girls” movie about a high-school outsider who infiltrates then obliterates a popular female clique.Abaied’s study is unique in that it factored physiology, specifically the physical response to stress, in the way the student carries out relational aggression. In her UVM lab, Abaied and her researchers attached sensors to the students’ fingers to measure miniscule changes in sweat. Perspiration indicates the ramping up of the sympathetic nervous system – along with an elevated heart rate and increased oxygen flow – as the body’s adaptation to perceived stress, also known as the “fight or flight” response.In carefully crafted interviews, researchers asked the students to describe a painful event involving a close person, perhaps an argument with a roommate or a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and recorded their sweat levels. “Basically, we were trying to get them to relive” the difficult experience, Abaied says, “just to get their bodies to demonstrate their stress response to us.”Those who perspired more, indicating “high arousal,” got more upset. They were more hot-tempered and likely to react quickly with less thought – the types who hit the “send” button on a nasty email right away.Those who sweated less, with “blunted arousal,” stayed cool and collected and were more likely to think through an aggressive response. “If you’re calm, you can be strategic and planned in your aggression,” Abaied says. “You can really use your aggression to control your relationship and stay dominant over your peers.”To determine the level of parental control, the students completed a questionnaire. Higher control correlated with higher aggression. Less-controlling parents created less aggression, Abaied says.“It seems like good parenting protects them,” she says of college students. “Good parenting prevents them from being aggressive in their peer relationships.”last_img read more

Erasing unpleasant memories with a genetic switch

November 19th, 2020

first_imgLinkedIn Share Researchers from KU Leuven (Belgium) and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (Germany) have managed to erase unpleasant memories in mice using a ‘genetic switch’. Their findings were published in Biological Psychiatry.Dementia, accidents, or traumatic events can make us lose the memories formed before the injury or the onset of the disease. Researchers from KU Leuven and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have now shown that some memories can also be erased when one particular gene is switched off.The team trained mice that had been genetically modified in one single gene: neuroplastin. This gene, which is investigated by only a few groups in the world, is very important for brain plasticity. In humans, changes in the regulation of the neuroplastin gene have recently been linked to decreased intellectual abilities and schizophrenia. Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Email Share on Facebook In the reported study, the mice were trained to move from one side of a box to the other as soon as a lamp lights up, thus avoiding a foot stimulus. This learning process is called associative learning. Its most famous example is Pavlov’s dog: conditioned to associate the sound of a bell with getting food, the dog starts salivating whenever it hears a bell.When the scientists switched off the neuroplastin gene after conditioning, the mice were no longer able to perform the task properly. In other words, they showed learning and memory deficits that were specifically related to associative learning. The control mice with the neuroplastin gene switched on, by contrast, could still do the task perfectly.Professor Detlef Balschun from the KU Leuven Laboratory for Biological Psychology: “We were amazed to find that deactivating one single gene is enough to erase associative memories formed before or during the learning trials. Switching off the neuroplastin gene has an impact on the behaviour of the mice, because it interferes with the communication between their brain cells.”By measuring the electrical signals in the brain, the KU Leuven team discovered clear deficits in the cellular mechanism used to store memories. These changes are even visible at the level of individual brain cells, as postdoctoral researcher Victor Sabanov was able to show.“This is still basic research,” Balschun adds. “We still need further research to show whether neuroplastin also plays a role in other forms of learning.”last_img read more

Smokers’ memories could help them quit

November 19th, 2020

first_imgShare Email Rather than inciting fear, anti-smoking campaigns should tap into smokers’ memories and tug at their heartstrings, finds a new study by Michigan State University researchers.Advertisers often use nostalgia-evoking messages to promote consumer products, and that tactic could be just as effective in encouraging healthy behaviors, argue Ali Hussain, a doctoral candidate in the School of Journalism, and Maria Lapinski, professor in the Department of Communication.“A lot of no-smoking messages are centered around fear, disgust and guilt,” Hussain said. “But smokers often don’t buy the messages and instead feel badly about themselves and the person who is trying to scare them.” Share on Twitter LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Pinterest According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease in the United States, accounting for one of every five deaths. Smoking rates have declined, but in 2015, 15 of every 100 adults were active smokers.Despite the health risks, a key hurdle for health communicators is rejection and avoidance of messages, Lapinski said.Hoping to find a solution, researchers conducted a study of smokers, ages 18 to 39, exposing some to a nostalgic public service announcement Hussain created and some to a control message.Those who viewed the PSA reported greater nostalgic emotions and displayed stronger negative attitudes toward smoking, especially women.Starting with images of childhood memories, the PSA script includes phrases such as, “I remember when I was a boy” and “I miss the simplicity of life, being outside on a warm summer night,” making references to familiar smells and tastes from bygone days. It ends with the narrator remembering when someone introduced him to cigarettes and a call to action.So why did it work?Nostalgia-themed PSAs play off consumers’ most cherished and personal memories, so they feel more engaged, the researchers said. And that nostalgic thinking influences attitudes and behaviors.“Our study, which to our knowledge is first of its kind, shows promise for using nostalgic messages to promote pro-social behaviors,” Lapinski said. “We know that policy and environmental changes have an influence on smoking and this study indicates persuasive messages can influence smoking attitudes.”The study is published in Communication Research Reports.last_img read more

When choosing your next move, your brain is always ready for plan B

November 19th, 2020

first_img“Because you’ve already specified these two plans in the brain, you can readily switch between and implement each one more quickly if you need to,” says Gallivan. “This makes your reaction time quicker. So if the goalie were to move one way or the other, you could more quickly launch the alternative plan.”Neuroscientists have long debated which comes first–the decision about which target to act on or the movement plan. Although previous studies have shown activations for multiple potential targets in the sensorimotor regions of the brain, this activity could either encode the visual locations of the targets or the motor plans required to act on the targets. On a hockey rink (and in everyday life), motor decisions happen so fast that it’s proved extremely difficult to disentangle these two processes.However, Gallivan and his colleagues devised a task that separated visual targets from the movements needed to reach them. In the experiment, 16 volunteers were asked to steer a cursor towards one of two targets, but the catch was that they had to start the movement before finding out which of the two targets they’d have to pick. “When you’re forced to launch an action without knowing which target is going to be selected, people simply launch actions that are right down the middle, between the targets,” says Gallivan. The question was: Was the motor cortex averaging the distance between targets or splitting the difference between two potential movement plans?Unbeknownst to the volunteers, there was a critical hidden feature to the task. At first, the position of the cursor matched the position of the hand exactly, but with each repetition of the task, the cursor slipped a little bit more out of sync with the controller. Because the change was so gradual and because the controller was covered so that the volunteers couldn’t see their hand, people unconsciously compensated for the controller-cursor mismatch by appropriately altering their hand movement. By the end of the experiment, the difference between the movement path needed to reach the target and the trajectory of the cursor on the screen was 30 degrees.When the researchers analyzed the data, they found that the volunteers’ “down the middle” hand movements were the average of the movement paths needed to reach the two potential targets, not the average between the two target positions on the screen. “The faithful relationship between the two really surprised us,” says Gallivan. “The spatial averaging behavior is not strategic or deliberate, and it’s not linked to target locations.”This finding supports the idea that the brain perceives the world as a series of possible actions and objects to interact with. Having immediately available backup plans likely has tangible benefits, but researchers are still looking into what those benefits are. Gallivan’s lab also plans to follow up with fMRI studies to see what motor encoding looks like in the brain. Share on Twitter Pinterest Share on Facebook LinkedIncenter_img Share Email Whether we’re navigating a route to work or browsing produce at the grocery store, our brains are constantly making decisions about movement: Should I cross the street now or at the intersection? Should I reach for the red apple or the green apple? When you’re presented with two options, your brain’s motor neurons prep for both possibilities before you’ve decided which action to take, say researchers in a study published February 14 in the journal Cell Reports.“The brain is continuously translating visual targets into actions that can be performed on those targets,” says study co-author Jason Gallivan, a neuroscientist at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. “Even outside your conscious awareness, your motor system appears to always be operating in the background, coming up with these potential actions.”For example, imagine a hockey forward speeding across the ice towards the goal. As the forward approaches, he must dodge the other team’s defense and find an opening to shoot the puck past the goalie. The forward sees two openings. Within a split second, neurons in the hockey player’s motor cortex fire and encode the muscle commands needed to take both of the two possible shots. Both plans of attack are primed and ready to go. The forward decides on one target, but suddenly, one of the other team’s defenders appears out of nowhere, blocking the shot. Without missing a beat, the forward’s sensorimotor system pivots to the already-encoded plan B. He takes the shot.last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Pandemic steps at WHA, flu in the ED and on campus, lupus and flu vaccine, frog Salmonella update

November 18th, 2020

first_img Researchers find high genetic diversity of pandemic H1N1 on campusResearchers who conducted a phylogeographic analysis of pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza at the University of California, San Diego, found relatively low levels of on-campus transmission but high genetic variation in virus samples. They studied samples collected from October though November 2009 and found that complete viral genome sequences revealed between 24 and 33 independent introductions of pandemic H1N1 onto the campus. The also found “extensive spatial mixing, such that there was little geographical clustering by either student residence or city zip code.” For example, students who were ill on the same day and lived in the same dorm had phylogenetically distinct lineages of the virus. They conclude that the virus is characterized by “a remarkable spatial fluidity, and which is likely to impede community-based methods for its control, including class cancellations, quarantine, and chemoprophylaxis.”May 18 J Virol abstract May 19, 2011 WHA committee takes action on pandemic topicsOver the past 2 days, a committee at the World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting in Geneva moved forward two items related to pandemic influenza: (1) a final report on the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) performance during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and an assessment of how the International Health Regulations (IHRs) functioned and (2) an influenza virus-sharing and pandemic preparedness agreement. At a press briefing yesterday, Harvey Fineberg, MD, who headed the independent pandemic review committee and is president of the Institute of Medicine, said that during committee discussion yesterday member states warmly received the report and unanimously adopted a resolution sending it to the full WHA. They also asked that progress on the report’s recommendations be reviewed in January at the WHO’s executive board meeting. Yesterday the WHA committee began discussing the virus-sharing agreement, then finished its deliberations today. Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman, told CIDRAP News that the report, which was finalized by a working group on Apr 16 after more than 3 years of deliberation, passed out of committee to go to the full WHA. He said 37 countries spoke, and nearly all were extremely positive about the agreement. The WHA is scheduled to discuss the fate of the remaining stocks of smallpox virus tomorrow. The meeting runs through May 24.May 18 audio archive of Fineberg press conference African Americans with lupus have higher immune response to flu vaccineAfrican Americans who have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) had a higher antibody response to influenza vaccination than did European American SLE patients, according to a study today in Arthritis & Rheumatism. A low antibody response was also linked to treatment with prednisone, a history of hemolytic anemia, and increased disease flares. US researchers studied 72 SLE patients before vaccination and at 2, 6, and 12 weeks post-vaccination, and 72 control patients without SLE. The control group showed greater increase in total antibodies compared with all SLE patients, but among SLE patients, African Americans were three times more likely to be in the top half of antibody response than were European Americans. Patients taking 10 mg/day or more of prednisone were more likely to have a low response to vaccination (67%) than a high response (47%), and a low antibody response was also associated with a history of hemolytic anemia and moderate to severe disease flares.May 19 Arthritis Rheum abstractMay 19 Wiley-Blackwell press releasecenter_img Study: ED diagnostic codes affected by perceptions of flu activityUsing emergency department (ED) data for syndromic surveillance to detect influenza outbreaks early may be impeded because case diagnosis is influenced by what ED staff believes to be occurring in the community, according to an Australian study. Using data from the Victorian Department of Health’s pilot syndromic surveillance program called SynSurv, researchers analyzed how diagnostic ICD-10 codes correlated with confirmed flu cases during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. They found a marked increase in weekly counts of both laboratory-confirmed cases and relevant ICD-10 codes during the pandemic period and found that five ICD-10 codes were moderately to significantly correlated with flu cases. However, none of these codes was correlated with lab-confirmed flu outside the flu season. The team also found that the increase in lab-confirmed flu was more than four times greater than the previous high, in 2007, even though community influenza-like-illness activity was comparable in 2009 and 2007. They write, “This study suggests that the choice of codes made by ED staff to record a case of influenza-like illness is influenced by their perceptions of how much influenza is circulating at the time.”May 18 BMC Public Health abstract Frog breeder tied to Salmonella outbreak stops distributingA report today from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the number of confirmed Salmonella cases linked to African dwarf frogs has risen by 2, to 224, and that the breeder implicated in the outbreak voluntarily stopped shipping the frogs on Apr 19. The update, in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), said that the actual number of cases in the multistate outbreak, which began in 2008, is likely much higher. It said that the median age of patients is 5 years, and that 65% had contact with the frogs within a week before they became ill. They report said that samples collected from aquariums in six homes of patients yielded the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak strain, and samples collected at the California breeding facility in January 2010, April 2010, and March 2011 also yielded the outbreak strain.May 20 MMWR reportlast_img read more

WHO: Keep current strains in 2012 Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine

November 18th, 2020

first_imgOct 3, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – A run of stability in the makeup of seasonal influenza vaccines continued as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended using the same three flu strains in next year’s Southern Hemisphere vaccine as are in the current Northern Hemisphere vaccine and were used last year in southern countries.The recommendation means the WHO has seen little evidence of changes in circulating flu strains that would make the vaccines now in use a poor match for them.The WHO experts recommended keeping the pandemic 2009 strain for the influenza A/H1N1 component of the vaccine, along with a Perth 2009 strain of A/H3N2 and a Brisbane 2008 strain of influenza B. Officially, the agency advises using strains similar to:A/California/7/2009(H1N1)pdm09A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)B/Brisbane/60/2008The new recommendation means the WHO has chosen the same three strains for the Southern Hemisphere 3 years in a row, as the agency first picked them in September 2009 for the 2010 season. That was when the WHO first chose the pandemic 2009 H1N1 strain for the vaccine on the expectation—which proved correct—that it would replace the previous seasonal H1N1 strain.The WHO’s experts make their recommendations for the makeup of Southern Hemisphere flu vaccines in September to allow time to prepare the vaccine viruses and grow them in eggs, which takes several months. The recommendation for the Northern Hemisphere is usually made in February.The WHO’s technical report says 2009 H1N1 viruses co-circulated in varying proportions with H3N2 and type B viruses from February to September of this year, with widespread activity in many countries. But compared with previous years, activity was generally “low or moderate.” No isolates of the previous seasonal H1N1 vaccine were found.The circulating 2009 H1N1 viruses have remained antigenically and genetically similar to the California strain in the current vaccine, the report says. Likewise, the majority of recent H3N2 isolates have been similar to the Perth strain in the vaccine.Influenza B comes in two lineages, Victoria and Yamagata, and predicting which will predominate in any given season has been difficult. The Brisbane 2008 strain in current vaccines is a Victoria strain. The WHO says Victoria strains have predominated recently in many parts of the world and have been closely related to the vaccine strain, but Yamagata variants were more common in northern China from February to May.In a note on drug resistance, the WHO says the vast majority of 2009 H1N1 viruses have remained sensitive to oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Of the resistant isolates, most were associated with use of the drug for prevention or treatment. But in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, “there were increased proportions of resistant cases with no known exposure to oseltamivir.”The report also notes that 45 human infections with the H5N1 avian influenza virus were reported from Feb 16 to Sep 19 of this year, including 24 deaths. The cases occurred in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, and Indonesia, where the virus circulates in poultry. The cumulative global H5N1 count is 564 cases with 330 deaths.The same period also brought one human case of H9N2 flu in Bangladesh and four human infections with swine H3N2 viruses in the United States, the WHO said.See also: September 2011 WHO report on flu vaccine recommendations for the Southern HemisphereFeb 17 CIDRAP News story on WHO vaccine recommendations for 2011-12 Northern Hemisphere flu vaccineFeb 18, 2010, CIDRAP News story on WHO vaccine recommendations for 2010-11 Northern Hemisphere vaccineSep 23, 2009, CIDRAP News story on WHO recommendations for 2010 Southern Hemisphere vaccinelast_img read more

FOOD SAFETY SCAN: FSIS research priorities, turtle-linked Salmonella outbreaks

November 18th, 2020

first_imgDec 7, 2012FSIS releases food safety research prioritiesThe US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) yesterday unveiled a list of research priorities for researchers who are pursuing topics related to the foods that the agency regulates. In a statement, the FSIS said that although it doesn’t fund research itself, the list could provide guidance to investigators applying for grants from other funders, such as outside groups and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Elizabeth Hagen, MD, the USDA’s undersecretary for food safety, said in the statement that scientific findings help the agency understand foodborne illnesses and emerging trends. “External research is critical to our public health mission and ultimately serves as another tool at our disposal to protect the food supply for over 300 million Americans,” she said. The research priority list contains 22 items, which address topics such as developing new technologies to assist with detection and pathogen characterization. This is the second year that FSIS has identified a list of official research priorities.Dec 6 FSIS press releaseFSIS food safety research prioritiesCases in turtle-linked Salmonella outbreaks rise to 248Twenty-nine more patients have been infected in six Salmonella outbreaks linked to pet turtles, pushing the number of cases to 248, according to an update yesterday from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of affected states remained the same, at 34. So far 41 patients have been hospitalized, an increase of 5 from the CDC’s last update on the outbreaks on Oct 19. No deaths have been reported, and the latest illness-onset date was Nov 11. The update yesterday is the CDC’s seventh since it first announced the outbreaks on Mar 26. The agency said 68% of the patients are children younger than 10 and about half of the patients are of Hispanic ethnicity. Background information for consumers on the link between reptiles and Salmonella is now available in Spanish, the CDC said. The outbreaks involve Salmonella Sandiego, Ponoma, and Poona strains. The Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale and distribution of small turtles as pets since 1975. About a third of the patients, however, purchased the turtles from street vendors, and 17% bought them from pet stores.Dec 6 CDC outbreak updatelast_img read more