RELATED NEWS:DO YOU KNOW THE STORY OF MARY?VALAMAR INVESTS 11 MILLION HRK IN MODERNIZATION OF LAUNDRY IN POREČ At the third round of collective bargaining between representatives of the Croatian Trade Union of Tourism and Services (STUH) and representatives of the Management Board of Valamar Riviera dd from Poreč held on April 4, 2017, STUH managed to increase the basic salary of all employees by as much as 3.5 percent.The salary increase starts on June 1 this year in the amount of 1 1/2 percent, while the remaining 2 percent starts on December 1 this year. In addition to this increase, the tariff annex to the Collective Agreement has been changed, whereby the surplus occupations (cooks, waiters, cleaners značajno) are significantly raised coefficients, so no one will be able to have a salary less than 4 thousand kuna net, ie it is a salary increase of 2 1 / 2 percent.Thus, this year in Valamar, the total wage bill will be increased by 6 percent in gross amount.At the collective negotiations between the representatives of the trade union and the company’s management, the employees of Plava laguna dd were provided with an increase in the basic salary, which will be applied as early as 1 May. As they point out in the Trade Union of Tourism and Services of Croatia (STUH), an increase in the basic salary by 3 percent has been negotiated, so now it will amount to HRK 3.820,00.The employer explained to the Trade Union the intention to harmonize the salaries and other material rights of the employees of Istraturist dd Umag with the contracted rights of the employees of Plava laguna dd Poreč, given that Istraturist dd Umag merges with Plava laguna. Alignment began in 2016 and is likely to end during 2018. Due to the large difference in workers’ rights, the union accepted the employer’s proposal that the application and payment of the increased basic salary start on May 1, 2017.The salary increase applies to all Blue Lagoon workers, and better material conditions are prepared for the seasonal workers (provision of three hot meals, increase in capacity as well as accommodation standards).
The Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB) is starting to choose a new concept and creative solution for participating in fairs for the period from 2018 to 2022.The selection will be carried out with the help of the Croatian Design Society (HDD), which will conduct a public tender, and applications will be received at [email protected] with the title “CNTB Tender” until July 3, 2017 by 17.00:50.000 p.m. The decision on the three best solutions is made by the jury consisting of four members of the HDD and three members of the CNTB. For these best solutions, three cash prizes are awarded in gross amounts: HRK 30.000, HRK 25.000 and HRK XNUMX, while the award does not imply automatic performance of the awarded work but is a recommendation for the adoption of the first prize. The final decision on the winning solution will be made by a special Commission of the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board.The bidder, whose work will be selected for implementation, undertakes to prepare technical documentation for the development of the selected solution, on the basis of which an international tender for a technical contractor will be conducted. The new booth concept is planned to be used for the next five years for the period 2018-2022. The last competition for the creative solution of the stand was conducted in 2011 and the selected concept was used for a period of four years. Since the WTM fair in London in 2015, most of the same elements of the stand have been used, which have been partially refined, and the concept of performance has changed. Thus, the emphasis was placed on the open concept of the stand and the concept of visuals on the existing surfaces was changed on the occasion of the new Full of Life concept, the CNTB points out, and now the intention is to reach the highest quality renowned participants solution according to design experts.Photo: HTZ”Today, Croatia is one of the most sought-after tourist countries in Europe and the world, and according to the announcements from this year’s tourist fairs – a hit destination in 2017. Such a great interest in Croatia must be accompanied by an appropriate modern visual concept that will present our country among tourists from all over the world as a unique, different and interesting destination, which we certainly are. Continuous growth of quality in all segments is an imperative for the growth of tourism competitiveness of the Republic of Croatia, and the investment in the quality of visual identity, ie building the image of our country, certainly has its contribution in that.”, Commented the Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli.All interested authors and teams can attend the oral briefing, which will be held on Friday, May 26, starting at 10 am in HDD, Boškovićeva 18. The text of the competition is published on the website of the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Croatian Design Society.Side dish: Competition for a new concept and creative solutions for fair appearances of the Croatian National Tourist Board
Share on Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest The results showed that the cats were in a more relaxed state (as determined by their lower values for respiratory rate and pupil diameter) under the influence of classical music, with the pop music producing intermediate values. By contrast, the heavy metal music produced the highest values, indicating ‘a more stressful situation’. The clinicians conclude that the use of certain music genres in the surgical theatre may allow a decrease in the dose of anaesthetic agent required, in turn reducing the risk of undesirable side effects and thus promoting patient safety.Dr Carreira and his colleagues plan to continue their studies by looking at the influence of music on other physiological parameters, including cortisol and catecholamines, in dogs as well as cats. In the future, they hope to incorporate more sophisticated techniques, such as functional MRI and electroencephalography, into their investigations. Email According to research published today in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery by veterinary clinicians at the University of Lisbon and a clinic in the nearby town of Barreiro in Portugal, music is likewise beneficial for cats in the surgical environment. But not all music is equal in this respect – cats, it seems, benefit most from classical music.Lead author, Miguel Carreira, explains: ‘In the surgical theatres at the faculty where I teach and at the private veterinary medical centre where I spend my time operating, environmental music is always present, and is an important element in promoting a sense of wellbeing in the team, the animals, and their owners. Different music genres affect individuals in different ways. During consultations I have noticed, for example, that most cats like classical music, particularly George Handel compositions, and become more calm, confident and tolerant throughout the clinical evaluation. After reading about the influence of music on physiological parameters in humans, I decided to design a study protocol to investigate whether music could have any physiological effects on my surgical patients.’The clinicians studied 12 female pet cats undergoing surgery for neutering, and recorded their respiratory rate and pupil diameter at various points to gauge their depth of anaesthesia. The cats, which had been fitted with headphones, were meanwhile exposed to 2 minutes of silence (as a control), followed randomly by 2 minutes each of Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings (Opus 11)’, Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Thorn’ and AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’. Share on Facebook Share
LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Email Pinterest A new study clearly establishes a partial genetic basis underlying racial differences in slow-wave sleep, suggesting that it may be possible to develop sleep-related therapies that target specific genetic variants.Using a panel of 1,698 ancestry informative genetic markers, the study found that greater African genetic ancestry was associated with lower amounts of slow-wave sleep in African-American adults. African ancestry explained 11 percent of the variation in slow-wave sleep after adjustment for potential confounders. Although a similar association was observed for delta power, no association with African ancestry was observed for sleep duration and efficiency.“Our data are the first to show that race differences in slow-wave sleep may have an independent and significant genetic basis,” said senior author Martica Hall, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. “Although all humans have the same set of genes, variations within the genes sometimes follow population-specific patterns. By identifying the specific genetic variants that influence slow-wave sleep, we can eventually develop population-specific treatment approaches and therapies for sleep.” Study results are published in the August issue of the journal Sleep.Led by Hall and lead author Indrani Halder, the research team analyzed data from a community-based sample of 70 African-American adults and 101 European Americans with a mean age of about 60 years. Objective sleep data were gathered by polysomnography. Blood samples for genotyping were collected, and DNA was isolated following standard protocols.According to the authors, African-Americans have varying proportions of genetic admixture and exhibit a wide range of African genetic ancestry. Among African-American study participants, percentage of African ancestry ranged between 10 percent and 88 percent, with a mean of 67 percent.
Researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles and University of New Mexico have found that women prefer a penis that is larger than average — but only slightly larger.“Since context matters, men should be thinking ‘fit’ rather than ‘fat’ with respect to their penis size,” researcher Nicole Prause told The Daily Beast. “In other words, women may prefer different sizes for different reasons at different times, so chances are very good any guy is someone’s ideal for the relationship type they are seeking.”The study, published September 2 in PLOS One, found that women tend to pick a slightly larger-than-average penis for one night stands, while their preference is about average when considering a long-term partner. Previous studies that examined women’s preferences regarding penis size have mostly relied on abstract ratings or used two-dimensional images of flaccid penises. To obtain a more accurate rating of women’s preferences, the researchers used a 3D printer to create 33 plastic penis models. The models were cylindrical, representing the shaft, and topped with a dome, representing the penis head. They ranged in length from 4.0 inches to 8.5 inches, and ranged in circumference from 2.5 inches to 7.0 inches. The models were blue to minimize racial associations. Seventy-five mostly white or Asian California women, who ranged in age from 18 to 65, used the models to answer 15 questions about their penis size preferences.The researchers found that 25 percent of women reported having ended a relationship due, in part, to their partner’s penis size. Having a penis that was too small, rather than too large, was more often cited as the problem.“Women preferred a larger penis size (especially a larger circumference) for one-time partners as compared to long-term partners. While this preference for a larger phallus is above the average penis size, it is only very slightly above the average,” the researchers wrote.The average American erect penis length is about 6 inches long, with a 5 inch circumference. On average, the women in the study preferred a penis that was 6.4 inches long and had a 5 inch circumference in one-time partners. They preferred a penis that was 6.3 inches long and had a 4.8 inch circumference in long-term partners.“Since women’s preferences for both relationship types were slightly larger than the average male, the preferred size for the one-time partner was farther from the average. Novelty itself contributes to pleasure, so seeking a more novel-sized penis may be consistent with a goal to pursue pleasure primarily in one-time partners,” the researchers wrote. “Given that women typically experience more pleasurable and orgasmic sex in longer-term relationships, they might prefer a larger penis for short-term sex partly so the increased physical sensation compensates for the reduced psychological connection.”The researchers also found that the women in the study could often accurately recall the size of a penis model, but tended to slightly underestimated penis length.“Women may misremember specific partners penis attributes as smaller than they really are. This may exacerbate men’s anxieties about their penis size,” the researchers said.But the study leaves a number of questions unanswered. The researchers did not investigate individual differences among the women, such as vaginal depth. In addition, 15 women in the study indicated “no answer” for their penis size preferences. Fifteen women also reported never having intercourse, which could have skewed the results. Share LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Pinterest Email
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have conducted a study examining the effect ecstasy has on different parts of the brain.Dr Carl Roberts and Dr Andrew Jones, from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, and Dr Cathy Montgomery from Liverpool John Moores University conducted an analysis of seven independent studies that used molecular imaging to examine the neuropsychological effect of ecstasy on people that use the drug regularly.A number of studies have compared ecstasy users to control groups on various measures of neuropsychological function in order to determine whether ecstasy use results in lasting cognitive deficits. It is common, however, for ecstasy users to use other drugs alongside the substance, and therefore the Liverpool team aimed to discover whether this had any bearing on the impact of the drug. The nerve pathway that is predominantly affected by ecstasy is called the serotonin pathway. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is synthesized, stored, and released by specific neurons in this pathway. It is involved in the regulation of several processes within the brain, including mood, emotions, aggression, sleep, appetite, anxiety, memory, and perceptions.They found that ecstasy users showed significant reductions in the way serotonin is transported in the brain. This can have a particular impact on regulating appropriate emotional reactions to situations.Dr Roberts, said: “The research team conducted the analysis on seven papers that fitted our inclusion criteria which provided us with data from 157 ecstasy users and 148 controls. 11 out of the 14 brain regions included in analysis showed serotonin transporter (SERT) reductions in ecstasy users compared to those who took other drugs.“We conclude that, in line with animal data, the nerve fibres, or axons, furthest away from where serotonin neurons are produced (in the raphe nuclei) are most susceptible to the effects of MDMA. That is to say that these areas show the greatest changes following MDMA use.“The clinical significance of these findings is speculative, however it is conceivable that the observed effects on serotonin neurons contribute to mood changes associated with ecstasy/MDMA use, as well as other psychobiological changes. Furthermore the observed effects on the serotonin system inferred from the current analysis, may underpin the cognitive deficits observed in ecstasy users.“The study provides us with a platform for further research into the effect long term chronic ecstasy use can have on brain function.” Share on Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn Share Share on Facebook Email
Dec 4, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – Further testing on three more products from New England Compounding Center (NECC) has turned up extensive contamination in three more products, and federal officials are asking healthcare workers to be alert for more infections, though they stopped short of calling the situation an outbreak.In a Health Alert Network (HAN) update yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said some of the organisms found in unopened vials of NECC’s betamethasone, cardioplegia, and triamcinolone solutions can cause disease in humans.It said the agency has received reports of infections in patients who have received the products, but so far none have been lab-confirmed.Betamethasone and triamcinolone are steroids, and cardioplegia solution is used to stop the heart during cardiac surgery. The three products are already subject to a recall of all NECC products in the wake of fungal infections that have been linked to the company’s methylprednisolone acetate injections.In mid October the CDC warned clinicians about possible meningitis cases in patients who received triamcinolone and cardioplegia solution. On Nov 1 federal officials announced they had found Bacillus species in the company’s betamethasone and cardioplegia solution and were investigating reports of possible infections and awaiting the results of tests for fungal organisms.According to yesterday’s HAN alert, fungal testing also turned up Aspergillus tubingensis, A fumigatus, Cladosporium species, and Penicillium species. The contamination appeared in three lots of injectable betamethasone, three lots of triamcinolone, and one lot of cardioplegia solution.The CDC said that although some of Bacillus species are known human pathogens and A fumigatus can cause disease, the clinical implications of the other organisms are not known. It urged clinicians to consider the organisms in the work-up of patients with symptoms who were exposed to the drugs.Though some of the patients who were exposed to the three other products had evidence of meningeal inflammation, lab tests haven’t confirmed the findings and the data do not support evidence of an outbreak linked to the other three products.Yesterday the CDC said 541 fungal infections and 36 deaths have been linked to a multistate outbreak caused by contaminated methylprednisolone acetate injections from NECC.See also:Dec 3 CDC HAN updateCDC background on other products from NECCDec 3 CIDRAP News Scan “Steroid-linked fungal infections climb to 541”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has started posting weekly situation updates on outbreaks of Zika virus and possible complications from the disease, and it also has issued an interim case definition for the illness.Both reports were posted Feb 12, capping a busy week of new developments with the virus, including studies that strengthened the association between maternal Zika virus infection and microcephaly in babies. In other developments, Brazil updated its microcephaly investigation totals and refuted an environmental group’s claim that a larvicide used in drinking water may be causing the birth defect.WHO sets 6-month tasks, prioritiesThe WHO said in its situation update that it and partners have established a strategic response framework that sets tasks and priorities for the next 6 months, covering surveillance, community development, vector control, child and maternal health, and research and development. It added that it is finalizing an overview of urgent needs for the Zika virus response.At WHO headquarters and at its Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), incident management systems have been activated, with the two groups coordinating responses with national governments, United Nations agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.The report provides a big-picture view Zika virus activity, which according to estimates has sickened 1.5 million so far in Brazil, followed by 25,000 suspected cases in Colombia, the next worst hit country. Columbia has confirmed 1,331 cases since October. The WHO added that Cape Verde has reported more than 7,000 suspected Zika virus cases.So far, Brazil and French Polynesia are the only affected countries reporting congenital abnormality levels that are well above average, though isolated microcephaly cases—one in Hawaii and one in Slovenia—have been reported in women who visited or recently lived in Zika-hit countries. Colombia hasn’t reported any microcephaly cases, but health officials there are closely watching for any unusual increases.Five countries have reported rises in Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS): Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname, and Venezuela. However, the possible association with Zika seems less clear cut. The WHO said none of the GBS cases in Colombia or El Salvador involved lab-confirmed Zika infection, and it added that the cause is unknown, especially since dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus have all been circulating at the same time in the Americas. “Investigations to determine the cause of infection are ongoing in countries with increased incidence of GBS,” the agency said.In Brazil, the outbreak’s epicenter, public health officials have visited 20 million households to look for mosquito breeding grounds, and 500,000 people are working on vector control and public health messaging activities, according to the WHO report. Brazil has no plans to cancel its hosting of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The August timing of the event comes during winter, when mosquitoes are least active.Interim case definition to help with surveillanceThe WHO also on Feb 12 issued an interim case definition of Zika virus infection to help standardize classification and reporting.A suspected case is defined as person with a rash and/or fever with at least one of the following: arthralgia, arthritis, or conjunctivitis. The WHO defines a probable case as a suspected case with IgM antibody against Zika virus and an epidemiologic link, such as contact with a confirmed case or residence in or travel to an area with local Zika transmission.A confirmed case is defined as a person with a recent Zika infection as confirmed by detection of viral RNA or antigen in serum or other samples or detection of IgM antibody against Zika and a 90% plaque-reduction neutralization test at certain cutoffs compared with other flaviviruses, with exclusion of such viruses.Brazil updates microcephaly count, rejects larvicide suspicionMeanwhile, Brazil’s health ministry said Feb 12 that it had received reports of 296 more suspected cases of microcephaly. However, it ruled out 765 earlier suspected ones, according to an official statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease news blog.Brazilian authorities are still investigating 3,862 suspected microcephaly cases, with 462 of them now confirmed and 765 ruled out as of Feb 2. The cumulative number of suspected cases is now at 5,079.Brazil’s 462 confirmed microcephaly cases span 175 cities in 13 states, an increase from 156 cities in 9 states reported in the ministry’s report the week before.The health ministry said that despite the possible relationship with Zika virus, microcephaly can be caused by other conditions such as syphilis, toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes virus.In other developments, the health ministry on Feb 13 issued a statement countering an Argentine environmental group’s charge that the larvicide pyriproxifen, used in some drinking water supplies, is a more likely microcephaly culprit than Zika virus, according to statements translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary.The charges led one of Brazil’s southern states, Rio Grande Do Sul, to temporarily suspend use of the larvicide in drinking water. However, Brazil’s health ministry quickly posted a clarification on the use of pyriproxifen, noting that the product had been cleared by the WHO’s pesticide evaluation process and had also been certified by Brazilian safety officials.It added that there is no scientific basis for a link between the use of pyriproxifen and microcephaly and that some cities that haven’t used it have also reported microcephaly cases.NAS workshop to air Zika priorities tomorrowThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are hosting a public workshop tomorrow to discuss research priorities, given the emergence of Zika virus in the United States. The meeting was requested by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR).According to the meeting announcement, stakeholders will discuss steps to reduce the likelihood of local Zika virus transmission in the United States, identify knowledge gaps, pin down the most important research questions, such as the link between Zika virus and microcephaly, and assess communication needs regarding the risks and mitigation strategies.The meeting will take place at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, DC, starting at 8:30 am Eastern time, but it will also be Web-streamed live.A document summing up the presentations will be prepared at the end of the session, but no consensus findings or recommendations.See also:Feb 12 WHO Zika virus situation reportFeb 12 WHO Zika infection interim case definitionsFeb 12 Avian Flu Diary postFeb 13 Avian Flu Diary post on larvicide controversyNAS Zika workshop meeting background
The future of the flu vaccine may be in an adhesive strip no bigger than a Band-Aid, according to the results of a phase 1 clinical trial on a dissolvable microneedle patch conducted at Emory University and published yesterday in The Lancet.Microneedle patches, small adhesives the thickness of paper studded with 100 short, thin needles, have been an underused avenue for delivering vaccines, said Nadine Rouphael, MD, associate professor of medicine at Emory and the lead author on the study, in an interview.”They are more likely to be used in cosmetics. There has only been one prior study on their use for human vaccines, but it had no control group,” she said. “This is the first time a single, disposable application that can be self-applied has been tested.”The results were promising: The microneedle patch, worn for 20 minutes on the wrist, elicited a robust immune response in study participants. Moreover, 70% of the participants who used the patch (33 of 47) said they preferred it to the injected flu vaccine.”It was exciting to see their enthusiasm for the patch,” Rouphael said. “It’s painless.” (Forty-eight of 50 volunteers, or 96%, rated it pain-free.)To conduct the study, the researchers divided 100 adult volunteers into four groups; one got a traditional flu shot, one group received a placebo patch, another had the patch administered by a healthcare worker, and the final group applied the patch themselves. Twenty-eight days after the study, the geometric antibody mean titers were similar in all but the placebo group.No refrigeration, easy disposalThe microneedle patch tested is stable for at least 1 year at 40°C (104°F), and the water-soluble needles dissolve, which means it generates little to no waste (the sticky part is discarded like a bandage).Microneedle patches could also be manufactured at a similar rate to injected influenza vaccine, based on annual predictions of seasonal flu virus strains. The manufacturing cost of the patch would be competitive to prefilled syringes, the authors say.”It’s so easy to use, it could even be mailed to people,” said Rouphael. “It’s a simple technology, and it’s cost-effective.”The National Institutes of Health funded the study, but Rouphael said it would be a few years before the patch could be manufactured. First, the patch needs to be tested on a larger group of adults. An upcoming study at Emory will test how well a pediatric group tolerates an inactive microneedle patch, and determine where the patch is best applied on children.And, of course, the patch needs to demonstrate effectiveness in preventing influenza, not just in producing a strong immune response.A commentary published alongside the study emphasized that many people avoid the influenza vaccine because of a fear of injections. More important, however, the ease of use and low cost to make the microneedle patch an attractive option for low-resource countries looking to integrate flu vaccine into national vaccination programs.”Microneedle patches have the potential to become ideal candidates for vaccination programmes, not only in poorly resourced settings, but also for individuals who currently prefer not to get vaccinated, potentially even being an attractive vaccine for the paediatric population, provided late-stage clinical development confirms vaccine efficacy,” concluded Katja Hoschler, PhD, and Maria C. Zambon, PhD, scientists with the National Infections Service of Public Health England.See also:Jun 27 Lancet studyJun 27 Lancet commentary