Data Watchdog Cautions Google and UK Health Partner

first_imgA British data watchdog has raised questions about whether it was appropriate for a healthcare trust to share data on 1.6 million patients with DeepMind Health, an artificial intelligence company owned by Google.The trust shared the data in connection with the test phase of Streams, an app designed to diagnose acute kidney injuries. However, the sharing was performed without an appropriate legal basis, Sky News reported earlier this week, based on a letter it obtained.The National Data Guardian at the Department of Health earlier this year sent the letter to Stephen Powis, the medical director of the Royal Free Hospital in London, which provided the patients’ records to DeepMind. The National Data Guardian safeguards the use of healthcare information in the UK.The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office also has been probing the matter, and is expected to complete its investigation soon.One of the concerns since the launch of the Streams project has been whether the data shared with Google would be used appropriately.”The data used to provide the app has always been strictly controlled by the Royal Free and has never been used for commercial purposes or combined with Google products, services or ads — and never will be,” DeepMind said in a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by spokesperson Ruth Barnett.DeepMind also said that it recognizes that there needs to be much more public engagement and discussion about new technology in the National Health System, and that it wants to be one of the most transparent companies working in NHS IT. Royal Free takes seriously the conclusions of the NDG, the hospital said in a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by spokesperson Ian Lloyd. It is pleased that the NDG asked the Department of Health to look closely at the regulatory framework and guidance provided to organizations engaging in innovation.Streams is a new technology, and there are always lessons that can be learned from pioneering work, Royal Free noted.However, the hospital took a safety-first approach in testing Streams with real data, in order to check that the app was presenting patient information accurately and safely before being deployed in a live patient setting, it maintained.Real patient data is routinely used in the NHS to check new systems are working properly before turning them fully live, Royal Free explained, adding that no responsible hospital would deploy a system that hadn’t been thoroughly tested. John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Health apps can have real benefits for individuals, as Streams illustrates, but they need data to do it, which can raise privacy questions.”When you’re looking at deep learning applications, the amount of data that is required to train these models is huge,” Groopman explained. “That’s why these kinds of tensions will continue to occur.”Patient information must be given the highest level of protection within an organization, argued Lee Kim, privacy and security director at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.”But there must be a balance between restrictions and availability of the data,” she told TechNewsWorld.”An immense amount of progress can be made in healthcare and self-care through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver more accessible, affordable and effective care solutions to the market,” noted Jeff Dachis, CEO of One Drop, a platform for the personal management of diabetes.”We must always respect data privacy and the individual’s right to that privacy,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but not halt all the much needed progress in this area under the guise of data privacy.” Google’s Reputationcenter_img Safety-First Approach The controversy over Streams may have less to do with patient privacy and more to do with Google.”If this hadn’t involved a GoFA (Google Facebook Amazon), I wonder if this would have evoked such an outcry,” observed Jessica Groopman, a principal analyst at Tractica.”In this case, DeepMind’s affiliation with Google may have hurt it,” she told TechNewsWorld.Although there’s no evidence of data abuse by DeepMind, the future fate of personal healthcare information is an issue that has raised concerns, Groopman noted.”There’s a concern that once these sorts of applications — and use of these sets of big, personal data — become more commonplace, it will lead to commercial use of the data,” she said. “I’m sure that Google and DeepMind understand that anything they do is going to be hyperscrutinized through this lens of advertising revenue.” Too Much Privacylast_img read more

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New standard of care aims to prevent deaths caused by largely preventable

first_img Source:https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/ It’s clear that we can reduce the rate of blood clots significantly through timely assessments that are documented and discussed with the patient, and appropriate use of prevention methods such as medicine, during and after discharge from hospital,”said Associate Professor Tran. Oct 12 2018A new nationally agreed standard of care released today (Thursday) aims to reduce the tens of thousands of Australian lives put at risk each year by largely preventable blood clots, which kill four times more people than road accidents.Each year 30,000 Australians develop blood clots – known as venous thromboembolism (VTE) – in the deep veins of the leg (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), at a cost of $1.72 billion to the Australian health system.Many of these cases develop during or following a hospital stay, and an estimated 5,000 people die each year as a result of hospital-acquired VTE. For those affected by pulmonary embolism, sudden death is the first symptom in almost 25% of cases.To address this significant health threat, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has developed the first national Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Clinical Care Standard.To be launched today at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, the new standard, which was informed by leading clinical experts and consumers, translates international guidelines and other evidence into clinical practice to reduce avoidable death or disability caused by hospital-acquired VTE.Blood clots account for an estimated 10% of all hospital deaths in Australia – yet they are considered to be largely preventable, with intervention reducing the incidence of VTE by up to 70% for both medical and surgical patients.Associate Professor Amanda Walker, Clinical Director at the Commission, said that while illness, injury and surgery are associated with blood clot development, it is possible for anyone to develop VTE.“This serious condition is largely avoidable with proper VTE prevention, so it is concerning that a recent Australian report found that fewer than half (44%) of clinical units surveyed assessed patients for their risk of developing VTE on admission to hospital,” said Associate Professor Walker.“Of those who were assessed to be at risk, not all were offered VTE prevention. This clearly indicates that many patients who should be receiving preventative treatment for blood clots are not getting the care they need.”Associate Professor Walker said the new standard offers guidance on appropriate blood clot prevention methods and the importance of ongoing care after the patient leaves hospital.“We know that up to 60% of all VTE cases in Australia occur within 90 days of hospitalization, and it can happen to both medical and surgical patients. We can do better and the new standard aims to support clinicians and health services to deliver quality care to prevent blood clots in hospital and following discharge,” she said.“In fact, the evidence suggests that appropriate use of VTE prevention methods is the top intervention hospitals can make to improve patient safety.”Leading hematologist Associate Professor Huyen Tran, Head of Head of Hemostasis and Thrombosis Unit at The Alfred Hospital, said the standard will help close the gap between guideline recommendations and practice and procedures in the hospital setting.center_img Related StoriesLab-grown blood vessels provide hope for dialysis patientsBlood based test using AI and nanotechnology devised for chronic fatigue syndromeScientists turn type A blood into universal type O, potentially doubling blood transfusion stocks“It is shocking to consider that patients who have been admitted to hospital are at 100 times greater risk of developing a blood clot. This is a little known killer but one of the biggest preventable health threats facing Australians.”Associate Professor Tran explained there are often signs that can indicate a person may be at risk of blood clots. “Patients who have symptoms like pain, tenderness or swelling of the leg, shortness of breath, coughing up blood or chest pain after a hospital stay should speak to their doctor about their concerns.“Improved uptake of appropriate clot prevention strategies will help reduce the impact – on both patients and the health system.”Patients with a hospital-acquired VTE remain in hospital for 21 days longer on average and each hospitalization costs about $45,000 extra, excluding loss of productivity and efficiency costs.Be vigilant about this silent killer: Dr FeelgoodDr Sally Cockburn, GP and health advocate, also known as radio’s ‘Dr Feelgood’, has personal experience with a dangerous blood clot. In May she suddenly collapsed at home when a clot in a vein moved to block her lung causing a pulmonary embolism.“It’s hard to fathom that blood clots kill more patients in Australian hospitals each year than car accidents, but many people don’t even know what to look out for. We need to change the system so that more people don’t die unnecessarily,” said Dr Cockburn.“Many people don’t realize they have a blood clot in a vein. It may not be until after a clot breaks off and the blood supply to the lungs becomes blocked that signs are noticed. Mine was a close brush with death and I want others to learn the warning signs.“Australians need to be vigilant about the risk factors for blood clots and know the signs and symptoms. They should talk to their doctor about their medical conditions and medicines they are taking, and also ask questions about what will be done in hospital to reduce their risk of blood clots.”The new clinical care standard has been endorsed by the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Australian Orthopedic Association, the Australian College for Emergency Medicine and other professional bodies.last_img read more

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Study highlights potential risks of lead exposure from nontraditional sources

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 4 2018Investigations of lead poisoning cases in New York City (NYC) have found high levels of lead in certain spices purchased abroad, reports a study in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, part of a special supplement devoted to Lead Poisoning Prevention. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.The study by Paromita Hore, PhD, MPH, and colleagues at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene highlights the potential risks of lead exposure from “non-traditional” sources, even as US population blood levels continue to decline. “While lead-based paint and occupational lead hazards remain the primary sources of lead exposures among New York City’s lead-poisoned children and men, respectively, these are not the only possible lead sources,” the researchers write.Spices Are a Common Source of Lead Exposure for Some New YorkersDr. Hore and colleagues share their experience with investigating spices as a potential source of lead exposure. Between 2008 and 2017, the NYC Health Department tested over 3,000 samples of consumer products during investigations of lead poisoning cases and surveys of local stores. Spices were the most frequently tested product: nearly 1,500 samples from 41 countries were tested.More than half of the spice samples had detectable lead concentrations, and more than 30 percent had lead concentrations greater than 2 parts per million (ppm) – a permissible limit for lead in certain food additives used as a guidance value by NYC Health Department.Spices purchased abroad had much higher average lead content than spices bought in the US. For example, turmeric and Georgian kharcho suneli purchased in NYC had average lead concentrations below 2 ppm, but when the same spices were purchased abroad, the average concentrations exceeded 50 ppm. “The highest concentrations of lead were found in spices purchased in the countries Georgia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Morocco,” Dr. Hore and co-authors write.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeIn NYC, children and pregnant women of Georgian and South Asian ancestry are disproportionately represented among the lead-exposed population. Although not the only source of lead exposure, spices are an important factor to consider in these high-risk groups. “Public health professionals and medical providers should also be aware of spices as a potential risk factor for lead exposure and screen at-risk populations,” according to the authors.Most of the contaminated spices purchased abroad were in unmarked containers without brand name information. The highest lead levels were measured in the Georgian spice kviteli kvavili, or “yellow flower.” Examples of other contaminated spices purchased abroad included turmeric, hot pepper, chili powder, and paprika.The study has important implications for public health programs, policy, and international food safety regulations, Dr. Hore and colleagues believe. They note that adulteration of spices, intentional or inadvertent, may occur anywhere along the supply chain. The authors conclude, “Overall, a solely localized or national approach to address spice contamination will not be adequate, as the problem is global.” Source:http://home.lww.com/news.entry.html/2018/12/04/high_lead_levelsfou-7u7t.htmllast_img read more

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Signs of memory loss could point to hearing issues

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 21 2019Older adults concerned about displaying early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease should also consider a hearing check-up, suggest recent findings.What might appear to be signs of memory loss could actually point to hearing issues, says Dr. Susan Vandermorris, one of the study’s authors and a clinical neuropsychologist at Baycrest.A recent Baycrest study, published in the Canadian Journal on Aging, found that the majority (56 per cent) of participants being evaluated for memory and thinking concerns and potential brain disorders had some form of mild to severe hearing loss, but only about 20 per cent of individuals used hearing aids. Among the participants, a quarter of them did not show any signs of memory loss due to a brain disorder.”We commonly see clients who are worried about Alzheimer’s disease because their partner complains that they don’t seem to pay attention, they don’t seem to listen or they don’t remember what is said to them,” says Dr. Vandermorris. “Sometimes addressing hearing loss may mitigate or fix what looks like a memory issue. An individual isn’t going to remember something said to them if they didn’t hear it properly.”Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in older adults, which is experienced by 50 per cent of individuals over the age of 65 and 90 per cent of people over the age of 80. It takes an average of 10 years before people seek treatment and less than 25 per cent of individuals who need hearing aids will buy them.Hearing status is not always addressed in neuropsychology clinics, but can impact performance on memory assessments done verbally, adds Dr. Vandermorris.”Some people may be reluctant to address hearing loss, but they need to be aware that hearing health is brain health and help is available,” she adds.The study analyzed results from 20 individuals who were receiving a neuropsychological assessment at Baycrest. Participants completed a hearing screening test after their cognitive evaluation.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskAge and excessive noise have different effects on brain’s sound processingStudy uncovers potential modifier genes in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseaseNeuropsychologists were privy to hearing test results after their initial assessment, which altered some of their recommendations. For example, some clients were referred to a hearing clinic for a full audiology assessment or to consider using a hearing aid, as well as provided education on hearing loss and communication.”Since hearing loss has been identified as a leading, potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia, treating it may be one way people can reduce the risk,” says Marilyn Reed, another author on the study and practice advisor with Baycrest’s audiology department. “People who can’t hear well have difficulty communicating and tend to withdraw from social activities as a way of coping. This can lead to isolation and loneliness, which can impact cognitive, physical and mental health.”This study builds on earlier research that analyzed how addressing memory problems could benefit older adults seeking hearing loss treatment.”We are starting to learn more about the important role hearing plays in the brain health of our aging population,” says Dr. Kate Dupuis, lead author on the study, a former postdoctoral fellow at Baycrest, clinical neuropsychologist and Schlegel Innovation Leader at the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research. “In order to provide the best care to our older clients, it is imperative that neuropsychologists and hearing care professionals work together to address the common occurrence of both cognitive and hearing loss in individuals.”Since the studies, Baycrest’s Neuropsychology and Cognitive Health Program and Hearing Services have incorporated general screening for hearing and memory issues into their assessments, as well as provided educational materials to clients.Next steps for the study will involve optimizing screening strategies for hearing loss in memory assessments and ongoing interprofessional collaborations to create educational tools that counsel clients about the relationship between hearing, memory and brain health.Source: https://www.baycrest.org/last_img read more

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Study Prolonged presence of precursor cells in thymus may give rise to

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 28 2019Acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia is a rare type of blood cancer that affects mostly children. This blood cancer appears from the precursor cells that produce T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cells). A new study from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC), conducted in mice, shows that leukemia can emerge as a consequence of prolonging the presence of precursor cells in the thymus. This work was now published in the scientific journal The Journal of Immunology.Related StoriesOverlooked part of cell’s internal machinery may hold key to treating acute myeloid leukemiaChemistry researchers patent new method for making anti-leukemia compoundsHeart failure drug could be effective in treating leukemiaT lymphocytes are essential to fight infections and prevent cancer. They develop in the thymus, an organ located above the heart. Their development relies on the seeding by precursor cells that come from the bone marrow and enter the thymus to differentiate and learn to protect the organism. This is a process secured by an “assembly line” in the thymus in which many of the precursor cells enter, but are discarded if they malfunction. The work led by Vera Martins at the IGC shows that if there is a problem with the precursor cells that come from the bone marrow, the thymus alone can maintain its “assembly line” for some time. However, this function is associated with a high risk of developing T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.The IGC team tested several genetic factors in mice known to be involved in the formation of T lymphocytes. The results showed that in all conditions tested there was an incidence of ca. 80% of this type of leukemia. “Our study shows the importance of investigating in detail the cellular, genetic and physiological mechanisms associated with the process of normal cell differentiation, and opens the door to understand how leukemia can appear in cells that should be learning to defend our body,” says Vera Martins. Source:http://www.igc.gulbenkian.pt/pages/article.php/A=436___collection=pressReleases___year=2019last_img read more

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FDA approves new oral drug to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis

first_img Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm634837.htm Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 29 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Mavenclad (cladribine) tablets to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults, to include relapsing-remitting disease and active secondary progressive disease. Mavenclad is not recommended for MS patients with clinically isolated syndrome. Because of its safety profile, the use of Mavenclad is generally recommended for patients who have had an inadequate response to, or are unable to tolerate, an alternate drug indicated for the treatment of MS.”We are committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for patients with multiple sclerosis,” said Billy Dunn, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The approval of Mavenclad represents an additional option for patients who have tried another treatment without success.”MS is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communications between the brain and other parts of the body. Most people experience their first symptoms of MS between the ages of 20 and 40. MS is among the most common causes of neurological disability in young adults and occurs more frequently in women than in men.For most people, MS starts with a relapsing-remitting course, in which episodes of worsening function (relapses) are followed by recovery periods (remissions). These remissions may not be complete and may leave patients with some degree of residual disability. Many, but not all, patients with MS experience some degree of persistent disability that gradually worsens over time. In some patients, disability may progress independent of relapses, a process termed secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). In the first few years of this process, many patients continue to experience relapses, a phase of the disease described as active SPMS. Active SPMS is one of the relapsing forms of MS, and drugs approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS can be used to treat active SPMS.The efficacy of Mavenclad was shown in a clinical trial in 1,326 patients with relapsing forms of MS who had least one relapse in the previous 12 months. Mavenclad significantly decreased the number of relapses experienced by these patients compared to placebo. Mavenclad also reduced the progression of disability compared to placebo.Related StoriesStudy investigates the influence of surgery, anesthesia on MS relapse riskHigh levels of blood lipids may worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms in obese patientsEndogenous retrovirus type W found to be a major contributor to nerve damage in MSMavenclad must be dispensed with a patient Medication Guide that describes important information about the drug’s uses and risks. Mavenclad has a Boxed Warning for an increased risk of malignancy and fetal harm. Mavenclad is not to be used in patients with current malignancy. In patients with prior malignancy or with increased risk of malignancy, health care professionals should evaluate the benefits and risks of the use of Mavenclad on an individual patient basis. Health care professionals should follow standard cancer screening guidelines in patients treated with Mavenclad. The drug should not be used in pregnant women and in women and men of reproductive potential who do not plan to use effective contraception during treatment and for six months after the course of therapy because of the potential for fetal harm. Mavenclad should be stopped if the patient becomes pregnant.Other warnings include the risk of decreased lymphocyte (white blood cell) counts; lymphocyte counts should be monitored before, during and after treatment. Mavenclad may increase the risk of infections; health care professionals should screen patients for infections and treatment with Mavenclad should be delayed if necessary. Mavenclad may cause hematologic toxicity and bone marrow suppression so health care professionals should measure a patient’s complete blood counts before, during and after therapy. The drug has been associated with graft-versus-host-disease following blood transfusions with non-irradiated blood. Mavenclad may cause liver injury and treatment should be interrupted or discontinued, as appropriate, if clinically significant liver injury is suspected.The most common adverse reactions reported by patients receiving Mavenclad in the clinical trials include upper respiratory tract infections, headache and decreased lymphocyte counts.The FDA granted approval of Mavenclad to EMD Serono, Inc.last_img read more

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Study reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer risk

first_imgAn inflammatory diet is usually characterized by the consumption of refined carbohydrates, red and processed meat, and saturated or trans fats. In an antioxidant diet, the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts predominates. “In this study we have focused on the role of diet, and specifically on its inflammatory and antioxidant capacity, as there is evidence that both chronic inflammation and oxidative stress influence the development of these two types of cancer”, says Dr. Víctor Moreno.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerLiving with advanced breast cancer”Following a pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant diet is a very important risk factor for colon cancer. The positive part is that this is a modifiable factor and, therefore, it can be changed”, underlines Dr. Mireia Obón. “Therefore, in order to prevent such cancers, it is very important to follow the recommendations of official agencies and international agencies. We should reorient our eating habits towards a Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains and healthy oils, such as olive oil and move away from a more pro-inflammatory diet”, she argues.What the IDIBELL-ICO researcher suggests is to “implement education strategies created by nutrition and health professionals, so that the general population can follow dietary recommendations and change their habits”.In this new study, scientists have specifically analysed the Spanish population through the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) and the Non-Enzymatic Antioxidant Capacity (NEAC), which are two useful and validated tools to estimate the inflammatory and the antioxidant potential of the diet. To carry out the study, 1852 cases of colorectal cancer and 1567 cases of breast cancer were included, together with 3447 and 1487 control cases, respectively. The study drew on data from 12 Spanish provinces. Source:IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research InstituteJournal reference:Obón-Santacana, M. et al. (2019) Dietary Inflammatory Index, Dietary Non-Enzymatic Antioxidant Capacity, and Colorectal and Breast Cancer Risk (MCC-Spain Study). Nutrients. doi.org/10.3390/nu11061406. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 15 2019Researchers from the Molecular Mechanisms and Experimental Therapy in Oncology program (Oncobell) of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), together with the Biodonostia Health Research Institute (IIS Biodonostia), among others, have published in Nutrients the results of a multicenter study that unveils a correlation between inflammatory and antioxidant diets and the risk of developing colorectal and breast cancer.Dr. Mireia Obón-Santacana from IDIBELL-ICO is the first author of a research which was led by Dr. Pilar Amiano, principal investigator at IIS Biodonostia, and Dr. Víctor Moreno, head of the colorectal cancer research group at IDIBELL-ICO. Part of the study has been possible thanks to the funding provided by the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC). We have observed an association between the risk of developing colorectal cancer and the inflammatory potential of the diet. That is, the participants who followed an inflammatory diet had almost twice the risk of developing colorectal cancer, which is the 4th most frequent cancer worldwide. On the other hand, we have not appreciated a significant increase in breast cancer risk. That is why we need to carry out more studies to check if there is really any correlation with other factors”.Dr. Mireia Obón-Santacana from IDIBELL-ICOlast_img read more

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Record breaking fiber transmission speed reported

In this work, NICT constructed a transmission system using an optical fiber developed by Fujikura and successfully transmitted over 1045 km with a data-rate of 159 Tb/s (Fig. 1). Converting the results to the product of transmission data-rate and distance, which is a general indicator of transmission capability, is 166 Pb/s×km. This is about twice the world record so far in the few-mode fibers. Fig.2: Experimental results. Credit: National Institute of Information and Communications Technology Citation: Record breaking fiber transmission speed reported (2018, April 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-fiber-transmission.html NICT Network System Research Institute and Fujikura Ltd. (Fujikura, President: Masahiko Ito) developed a 3-mode optical fiber, capable of wide-band wavelength multiplexing transmission with standard outer diameter (0.125 mm) that can be cabled with existing equipment. The researchers have successfully demonstrated a transmission experiment over 1045 km with a data-rate of 159 Tb/s. Multimode fibers have different propagation delays between optical signals in different modes that makes it difficult to simultaneously satisfy large data-rates and long distance transmission. This achievement shows that such limitations may be overcome. More information: 159 Tbit/s C+L Band Transmission over 1045 km 3-Mode Graded-Index Few-Mode Fiber. Proc. 41st Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC), March 2018, paper Th4C.4. Fig.1: Schematic diagram of the transmission system. Credit: National Institute of Information and Communications Technology Converting the results to the product of data-rate and distance, which is a general indicator of transmission capability, results in 166 Pb/s×km. This is the world record in a standard outer diameter few-mode optical fiber and the largest data-rate over 1000 km for any kind of standard-diameter fiber. In order to achieve the transmission capacity of 159 Tb/s, mode multiplexing is used in combination with 16-QAM (quadrature-amplitude modulation), which is a practical high-density multilevel modulation optical signal, for all 348 wavelengths and MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) enables unscrambling of mixed modal signals even after transmission over more than 1000 km. This shows that standard outer diameter multimode fibers can be used for communication of high capacity optical backbone transmission systems.The results of this demonstration were selected for presentation as a post-deadline paper at the 41st Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC2018).In order to cope with ever-increasing communication traffic, research on large-scale optical transmission using new types of optical fiber exceeding the limit of conventional optical fiber and its application is actively conducted all over the world. The main new types of optical fibers studied are multicore fibers in which multiple passages (cores) are arranged in an optical fiber and multimode fibers that support multiple propagation modes in a single core with a larger core diameter. Up to now, successful transmission experiments of large capacity and long distance have been reported for multicore fiber, but it was considered that transmission which satisfied both large capacity and long distance simultaneously was difficult in multimode fiber. Provided by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology Hundredfold optical fiber capacity increase sends thousands of HDTV videos per second The transmission system consists of the following element technologies.3-mode optical fiber with standard outer diameter 0.125 mm348 wavelength optical comb light source16-QAM multi-level modulation technology equivalent to 4 bits / single polarization symbolSeparation technology of multimode optical signals with different propagation speeds in fiber (MIMO processing)The researchers succeeded in transmitting over 1045 km using a standard 3-mode optical fiber. When laying of standard outer diameter optical fibers takes place, the existing equipment can be used and the practical use at an early stage is promising. Also, ultimate large-capacity transmission will become possible in the future if combined with multicore technology, which is researched by NICT in cooperation with industry, university and government in Japan.The researchers will continue to research and develop future optical communication infrastructure technologies which can smoothly accommodate traffic such as big data and 5G network services. Explore further 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. read more

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German authorities smash potato packers cartel

© 2018 AFP Sackfuls of trouble for a potato cartel Explore further Two German potato packing firms landed in hot water Thursday as competition authorities pounded them with a massive fine for secretly agreeing prices for their sacks of spuds. EU fines Sony, Panasonic and Sanyo over battery cartel Citation: German authorities smash potato packers’ cartel (2018, May 3) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-german-authorities-potato-packers-cartel.html Officials at the Kartellamt in Bonn squeezed 13.2 million euros ($15.8 million) from two businesses, Boehmer and Kuhn, which collaborated to fix prices for potatoes and onions in their contracts with retail group Metro.The figures the firms cooked up meant that “price competition between the two main suppliers of the Metro group was effectively eliminated,” competition watchdog chief Andreas Mundt said in a statement.Authorities only sniffed out the unsavoury scheme when another firm in the sector reported the collusion in exchange for leniency.Germany’s food sector is no stranger to scandal, as sausage makers and brewers alike have suffered fines after being caught collaborating to skim off extra profits in recent years.Supervisors have also fined truckmakers who hitched their prices together in a cartel of their own. 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. read more

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Microsoft profit climbs as cloud grows

first_imgGlobal Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry described Microsoft earnings and its financial path as “super solid,” noting that revenue and earnings per share beat market expectations.Microsoft reported net income of $16.6 billion for the fiscal year on revenue that rose 14 percent to $110.4 billion.Analyst Patrick Moorhead at Moor Insights & Strategy said Microsoft’s results showed healthy growth.”The company drove double-digit revenue growth in every business, which demonstrates to me the firm’s balance,” Moorhead said. “Satya Nadella and team are hitting on all cylinders at this point.”In a major deal announced this week, Microsoft and Walmart unveiled a strategic partnership to help the retail giant ramp up its efforts against Amazon.”I’m especially proud that Walmart chose Azure and Microsoft 365 to accelerate its digital transformation for their associates and customers,” Nadella said during the earnings call.Microsoft has announced technology partnerships with other major firms in recent months including General Electric, Starbucks, Bayer, Spain’s Telefonica and sports organizations such as the NBA and PGA.Outside the WindowsMoves into business services and cloud computing have reduced Microsoft’s dependence on Windows, the dominant software for personal computers that has been overtaken in the consumer market by mobile devices powered by Google or Apple software.Microsoft has taken to offering software such as Office as subscription services hosted online, even providing applications for Android or Apple mobile devices.Nadella said Office 365 has more than 135 million users, and that a mobile version of Outlook is used on more than 100 million devices powered by Android or Apple software.Microsoft 365 is now a multibillion dollar business, according to Nadella.Microsoft expected that by the end of this calendar year it would close a $7.5-billion stock acquisition of software development platform GitHub.Created in 2008, GitHub allows developers to cooperatively manage software and has more than 28 million users around the world.”With GitHub we recognize the increasingly vital role the developers play in value creation and growth in the area of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge,” Nadella said. Microsoft on Thursday said its revenue and profit climbed in the recently ended quarter, getting results from its bets on cloud computing services and artificial intelligence. The US tech giant reported its net income increased 10 percent to $8.8 billion on revenue that was up 17 percent to $30.1 billion when compared with the same period last year.Microsoft saw revenue gains across its full range of businesses including business services, gaming, internet search ads, its consumer software including Windows and Office and LinkedIn, the recently acquired professional social network.Shares were up more than three percent to $107.80 in after-hours trading following the release of earnings for the quarter ending the fiscal year quarter for Microsoft.”We had an incredible year,” chief executive Satya Nadella said in a release.”Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation.”Microsoft executives told analysts they expected another year of growth, with demand for computing on the rise and the technology giant well-positioned in that market.”We’re investing aggressively to build Azure as the world’s computer,” Nadella said, referring to Microsoft’s cloud computing platform that competes with services run by Amazon and Google.”We expanded our global data center footprint to 54 regions, more than any other cloud provider.”Despite continuing to invest in promising trends from cloud computing and artificial intelligence to gaming, Microsoft expected its profit margins to improve.’Super solid’Revenue in a productivity and business processes category that included career-focused social network LinkedIn was up 13 percent in the quarter to $9.7 billion, according to Microsoft.LinkedIn revenue increased 37 percent as usage soared, the earnings release indicated. LinkedIn has seen record levels of postings seeking employees due to a robust US job market, according to Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood.Microsoft bought LinkedIn two years ago in a deal valued at $26.2 billion. Citation: Microsoft profit climbs as cloud grows (2018, July 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-microsoft-profit-climbs-cloud.html Microsoft gets earnings boost from ‘cloud’ Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella says the tech giant’s investments in cloud computing and other areas have paid off in recent quarterly earnings © 2018 AFP Explore further 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.last_img read more

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