Hospital Privacy Curtains Attract Some Scary Germs

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Privacy curtains in hospital rooms might offer patients some personal dignity, but they can also harbor dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria.

That’s the claim of a new study where researchers took more than 1,500 samples from privacy curtains in 625 rooms at six skilled nursing facilities in Michigan. The samples were collected from the parts of the curtains touched most often. Samples were also gathered from patients.

Sampling was done when patients were admitted, and again after 14 days and 30 days, and then monthly up to six months, when possible.

The findings showed that 22% of the samples from the privacy curtains tested positive for multidrug-resistant organisms, with contamination rates ranging from 12% to 28.5%, depending on the facility.

Of those samples, nearly 14% were contaminated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), 6% with resistant gram-negative bacilli, and about 5% with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

“We were surprised to see that multidrug-resistant organisms, especially VRE, shed by patients routinely contaminate their privacy curtains. These pathogens on privacy curtains often survive and have the potential to transfer to other surfaces and patients,” the study authors wrote.

In fact, the same resistant germs were detected on patients and their privacy curtain in nearly 16% of the sampling visits, the researchers found.

“Patient colonization with MRSA and VRE were each associated with contamination of the bedside curtain,” according to Dr. Lona Mody and colleagues at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Where six-month data could be collected, curtain contamination was often intermittent, the investigators found.

The findings were scheduled for presentation this week at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, in Amsterdam. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Based on the findings, the researchers said that drug-resistant germ contamination of privacy curtains is common, as is patient/curtain co-contamination.

“As privacy curtains are used all over the world, it’s a global issue,” Mody and colleagues explained in a meeting news release. “Further studies are needed to determine conclusively whether contaminated privacy curtains are a source of multidrug-resistant organism transmission to patients.”

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, news release, April 11, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Longer Grass Won’t Attract Ticks, Study Finds

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — You now have an excuse to skip cutting the grass every weekend — it’s beneficial for the bees.

And mowing your lawn less often to provide native bees a better habitat won’t lead to an increase in disease-carrying ticks, experts say.

When research ecologist Susannah Lerman began urging friends and colleagues to leave lawns a bit longer to help the bees, the “first thing people said was that letting the grass get longer would invite ticks,” she recalled.

“It was clear that before we could make the case for promoting lawns as bee habitat, we had to understand the tick risk,” Lerman added.

She and Vince D’Amico, a fellow USDA Forest Service research entomologist, studied whether less frequent mowing of 16 residential lawns in Springfield, Mass., over two summers could benefit native bees without increasing the risk of ticks.

The researchers found 111 bee species on the lawns — about one-quarter of all known bee species in Massachusetts. They also dragged a cloth across the lawns in search of ticks. In 144 tick drags, done with grass at various heights and mowing frequencies, they failed to find a single blacklegged tick. Also called deer ticks, the insects can carry Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can make people seriously ill.

The study was published online April 3 in the journal PLoS One.

The researchers said the study has some “obvious limitations” — they looked for only one species of tick and only studied 16 lawns in a single city.

“Still,” Lerman said, “our study has two significant take-aways: you do not necessarily invite ticks if you mow the lawn every other week instead of every week, and common assumptions about nature are always worth investigating; scientists may be surprised by what we find.”

While there’s no doubt that blacklegged ticks lurk in people’s yards, a lawn is probably too dry for them, according to D’Amico.

“This species needs near 100% humidity for at least part of the day,” he explained in a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service news release. “Where we have leaf litter, the ticks do very well.”

In the United States, about 40 million acres of lawn managed by homeowners, businesses, government agencies and cemeteries have the potential to become habitat for threatened native bee species.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northern Research Station, news release, April 3, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

AFM: Light Chaser’s ‘Cats’ & ‘White Snake’ Attract Buyers

Beijing-based Light Chaser Animation Studios — headed by the founder and former CEO of Chinese VOD site Tudou, Gary Wong — has secured sales for new animated features White Snake and Cats and Peachtopia.

Warner Bros. has boarded the latest flick, White Snake, as co-producer and holds distribution rights in China; it is in negotiations to take on the rights in other major territories. Directed by Amp Wong and Zhao Ji, the fantasy-adventure based on a popular folk tale about a snake who longs to live as a human, and takes the form of a beautiful woman. The movie takes place before the events of the traditional story and combines a love story with an epic quest. Watch the first trailer here.

Cats and Peachtopia (alternatively titled Cats) is set in the southwestern city of Chongqing and centers on a middle-aged cat who enjoys his life in a high-rise apartment, and his son who is curious about the outside world and finally leaves his comfortable home to seek Peachotopia — a heaven for cats, where he hopes to find his mother. The father must face the perils of the outside world to find his son with the help of a friendly Macaw. Trailer here.

Cats premiered at Annecy and has been licensed to KMBO (France), which will present a 300-screen release on December 12; Viva TV (U.S.), which has a deal with DirecTV and will jointly present a limited theatrical release in the first quarter of 2019; Notorious Pictures (Italy), Phars Film (Middle East) and Mango (Vietnam).

Light Chaser’s second feature, Toys and Pets (also available through All Rights) is entering theatrical release in multiple territories, including Spain, the Middle East and Turkey. The studio’s first CG animated adventure, the mythical buddy comedy The Door Guardians (or Little Door Gods), was picked up The Weinstein Co. in the U.S. and is available for streaming on Netflix as The Guardian Brothers.

[Sources: Variety, China Daily, Radii China]

White Snake

White Snake

Animation Magazine

Ask a Stoner: Does Marijuana Attract Bears?

Dear Stoner: While camping in bear country, one needs to secure all food and toiletry items that have an odor so as not to attract bears. Is the same true of my stash? I’d hate to be maimed — or worse.

Dear Jared: I’ve never found out firsthand, fortunately. Cannabis has been known to attract dogs, but we couldn’t find any case studies on bears being drawn to the smell. Obviously, edibles are a no-no, but it’s hard to know what bears think of Afghani or Sour Diesel. Colorado Parks and Wildlife didn’t seem thrilled to talk about the subject, nor was the agency particularly helpful; the person we reached would say only this: “We have not tested marijuana on bears. Anything that is edible or smells edible can be an attractant to bears.” But as luck would have it, actually tackled this question in its aptly named “Ask a Bear” column, concluding that if a bear can smell a dollop of toothpaste in your bag or leftover chocolate on a wrapper, it can easily smell your kush.

Ask a Stoner: Does Marijuana Attract Bears?

But does the bear actually want it? Who knows? Many strains of cannabis carry terpenes found elsewhere in the wild kingdom, such as lavender, pine trees and certain fruits. Myrcene, which is in hops, lemongrass, mangos, thyme and cannabis, is just one example of a terpene that might produce a smell attractive to curious bears. So you might as well secure your stash with the rest of your untouchables, just to be safe.

Have a question for our Stoner? E-mail or call the potline at 303­-293­-2222.

Toke of the Town

2016 CalArts Animation Showcases Attract Hundreds


Hundred of CalArts students, faculty and alumni as well as entertainment industry executives convened at two events to screen and celebrate the latest batch of student films from the school’s Character Animation and Experimental Animation programs in recent days.

Ranked No. 1 of the Top 50 Animation Schools and Colleges in the U.S. by Animation Career Review, CalArts’ animation alumni include John Lasseter, Pete Docter, John Musker, Henry Selick, Brenda Chapman, Genndy Tartakovsky, Stephen Hillenburg and many more. In fact, the global accumulated box office grosses through January 2015 for animated features from CalArts alumni directors comes to $ 35.4 billion.

The highly anticipated Character Animation Producers’ Show took place at the Directors Guild of America theater in Los Angeles on May 4, featuring Zootopia co-director Rich Moore as the Guest of Honor. As part of his duties, Moore announced three award winners during the festivities: The Walter and Gracie Lantz Animation Prize (juried by Character Animation faculty) went to David Davis for his film Open Heart; the inaugural Vimeo Award for Outstanding Student Achievement in Animated Filmmaking (juried by Vimeo) went to Xiya Lan for You Look Scary; and the Peers’ Pick Award, voted by the students, went to Ingo Raschka for Video 69.

The 21 character animation films screened in the Showcase were selected from 163 films submitted. They represented a diverse range of themes, narratives and aesthetic approaches — from an original animated musical to an inspirational tale of a crocodile and his toothache. These films can be viewed (along with many others)  on the 2016 Character Animation Student Films channel on Vimeo.

A few days earlier, the Experimental Animation Showcase had its chance to shine in front of a full house of students, alumni, faculty and industry players at REDCAT on April 29. The 20 selected films incorporated everything from hand-drawn, stop-motion, CG and hybrid animation techniques.

You Look Scary

You Look Scary

Open Heart

Open Heart

Video 69

Video 69

Animation Magazine

10K Races in U.S. Attract New Breed of Runners

SUNDAY Nov. 3, 2013 — Ten-kilometer races have become increasingly popular in the United States over the past decade and today’s runners don’t fit the old stereotypes, a new analysis finds.

Researchers who studied data from 10 of the nation’s largest 10-km races between 2002 and 2011 found that women today make up the majority of runners in these races, although men run faster.

The top runners are finishing in shorter time, and the faster men are also increasingly younger, the study of 400,000 participants also showed.

However, “it’s not just elite runners or former high school athletes running today’s 10-km races; there are more everyday people running this distance,” study author Dr. Dan Cushman, a clinical instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said in a university news release.

“One of the best things we can do to improve our health is exercise and taking on a 10-km race is a great goal,” he added.

More competitors are completing these 6.2-mile races in under an hour, with increasingly more women accomplishing this feat than men, according to the study, published online in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Referring to the growing participation of women in these races, Cushman said, “Coaches and trainers can use this information to develop more women-specific 10-km training programs to accommodate this surge of female middle-distance runners.”

In 2010, 1.3 million people participated in 10-km races in the United States, according to the news release.

More information

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers tips for a safe running program.

Posted: November 2013

View comments – Daily MedNews

Bedbugs: Easy to Attract, Hard to Eliminate

FRIDAY Feb. 8, 2013 — Death, taxes … and bedbugs?

Infestations of bedbugs are on the rise in the United States and elsewhere, and while people are “bedbug magnets,” the tiny pests are hard to detect, an expert says.

One in five Americans has had a bedbug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bedbugs, according to the National Pest Management Association.

You may not have seen any in your home, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there, said Dr. Jorge Parada, medical director of the infection control program at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill.

“Look closely because bedbugs are very hard to see,” Parada said in a university news release. “Bedbugs love to hide in the cracks and crevices associated with mattresses, cushions, bed frames and other structures. They are rarely seen out in the open or on the resting surface of beds or chairs.”

“Bedbugs are champions of hide-and-seek. It is not uncommon to miss the bedbugs altogether, so also look for telltale signs of bedbug infestation,” he added. “These may be suspected if specks of blood or feces are found on the linens, mattresses or behind wallpaper.”

“Bedbugs are sometimes described as appearing like an apple seed,” Parada said.

Adult bedbugs range in size from five to seven millimeters (less than one-quarter of an inch), while juveniles may be as small as 1.5 mm (one-sixteenth of an inch).

“With feeding, they enlarge, or engorge, with blood,” Parada said. “The adults turn from more brown to more red in color, while the translucent nymphs may become bright red.”

Bedbugs typically bite at night on exposed areas of skin such as the face, neck, hands and arms. The bite itself is painless and can look like other insect bites.

“Clues that can suggest the presence of bedbugs include finding red, itchy bites upon awakening — especially if the bites line up in a row on the skin,” Parada said. “However, while some people develop a bite reaction immediately, others may take two to three days before a reaction becomes noticeable, and not all people react to bites.”

He noted that a bedbug bite can look like a tiny puncture wound without a surrounding reaction, and can easily be missed. Thirty percent of people living in bedbug-infested homes don’t report bites or skin reactions.

However, “other people have exuberant reactions, with large, red, raised and itchy welts,” Parada said. “This is especially true if one becomes sensitized to bedbug bites, so that with repeated bites there may be an exaggerated reaction to the bite.”

Eliminating bedbugs is not something you can do yourself. “Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate and there is good reason to get professional help from qualified pest professionals with expertise in treating bed bugs,” Parada advised.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about bedbugs.

Posted: February 2013

View comments – Daily MedNews

Zoos attract visitors with sleepovers (Reuters)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For wild animal lovers not content with watching tigers and gorillas during the day, a growing number of zoos are offering a more thrilling after-dark experience — overnight stays.

From Philadelphia to Denver nocturnal visitors are learning what happens when the gates slam shut, the sun goes down and the moon rises over some of America’s most well-known zoos.

“You get the zoo to yourself,” said Jennifer Labows of the Philadelphia Zoo, which is America’s first zoo and home to more than 1,300 animals.

“It is a unique experience for guests to see the animals at night.”

The Philadelphia Zoo has been running its Roars and Snores Overnight Programs for about 20 years. The most popular theme program is the Night Flight Overnight Program where children aged five to 12 sleep in the zoo’s tree house.

The overnight stays are not only popular with young children. Teen programs are offered at many zoos for those young adults interested in the zoo industry. They are also a favorite venue for birthday sleepovers, family trips and with scout troops.

“We customize the overnight to whatever badge the scouts are trying to complete that night,” Labows said.

Most overnight stays include a night tour during which youngsters experience the mysterious sights and unusual sounds of the zoo without the usual distractions. A midnight snack and breakfast are also served.

“It is a unique experience to be at the zoo without the crowds and additional noise,” explained Tracey Patterson, of the Denver Zoo, which has been running its Bunk with the Beasts program since 1998.

With nearly 4,000 animals and 700 species the zoo attracts more than 1.8 million visitors a year.

“The things you hear and see in the zoo are completely different,” said Patterson.

On Denver’s two-hour tours, night vision scopes are provided so guests can see nocturnal animals such as owls, and indoor educational games enhance the learning experience.

Guests at the new overnight program at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo in New York make breakfast treats for parrots, bears, pigs, pumas and coyotes, and watch the keepers feed them to the animals the next morning, said Education Curator Tom Hurtubise.

With visitors at the Denver Zoo coming from as far away as Wyoming and Montana, Patterson said parents tend to be more worried about leaving their children than the children themselves. They have rarely had to call up a parent in the middle of the night.

“They love it,” Patterson said about the children. “For many, it’s their first overnight away from home. They are so excited that by the end of the day they are so tired that they have no opportunity to worry.”

The growing popularity of overnights has prompted zoos that only cater to day-time visitors to think again. The Queens Zoo, which started their program this year, is so pleased with its success they want to continue it next year.

The profits from the overnight programs are used to improve other parts of the facility. At the Philadelphia Zoo their programs cost up to $ 60 per person. Any profits go into their overall operating budget.

Patterson said prices for the Denver Zoo overnight program range from $ 45 to $ 65 per person depending on the group and program.

The newer programs, such as the one at the Queens Zoo, tend to be smaller and suited for families more interested in a more intimate experience. With only 36 people at their last weekend, the price tag came to $ 75 per person for Wildlife Conservative Society members and an additional $ 10 for non-members.

“The only problem was that the parents didn’t realize the parrots could be so loud at 3:30 in the morning,” Hurtubise said.

(Reporting by Paula Rogo; Editing by Patricia Reaney)

Yahoo! News: Oddly Enough – Reuters

3DS Could Attract Early Adopters Beyond the Hardcore

Nintendo 3DS Shigeru Miyamoto

Generally speaking, the people who are most likely to purchase a new brand-new videogame system are those who are categorized as hardcore gamers. But the massive success of the DS could lead to a “broader” audience more quickly jumping on the bandwagon of the 3DS.

“Instinctively, it’s easy to assume that the hardcore gamer will be the early adopter to new hardware, and inevitably this will be the case to some extent,” Ubisoft UK marketing director Murray Pannell told MCV. “But when you consider that millions of consumers have already bought into the DS console family, it’s not difficult to believe that the broader audiences will come quickly to the new 3DS.”

At launch, Ubisoft has the strongest presence of any third-party on 3DS with four games: Rayman 3D, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, Asphalt 3D, and Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D. (That’s more than games than even Nintendo itself, so long as you count the different versions of Nintendogs + Cats as a single title, as you should.) Pannell explained the decision to offer such strong support by saying, “Ubisoft has historically had a very good relationship with Nintendo and it’s fair to say that as a third party publisher we’ve seen great success on both the Wii and DS platforms in recent years. We believe that a strong commitment to new platform launches puts Ubisoft in an advantageous position, not just in terms of immediate sales potential, but also in terms of creating longer-term standout of our games in consumers’ minds.”


Television Spots Aim to Attract Attention of Illinois Business Owners

significant income and corporate tax increases in Illinois, the Las Vegas-based economic diversification agency launched ads on Chicago television stations, prompting executives to consider Nevada’s two favorable climates: warm weather and pro-business
Moreover Technologies – Search results for… television – 30 of 17309 returned

CBS bucks downward trend with shows that attract older viewers

TV season has been a disaster for most networks It is now accepted that we no longer watch television in the way we once did. In an age of DVRs and digital downloads,TV ratings are also on the slide. Yet not everyone has succumbed to the new technology
Moreover Technologies – Search results for… television – 30 of 18015 returned

Off-Menu Goods Attract the Police’s Attention

Workers at six Brooklyn businesses were accused of selling a total of 170 pounds of marijuana a week.
NYT > Marijuana and Medical Marijuana

Handbook of Cannabis Therapeutics: From Bench to Bedside (Haworth Series in Integrative Healing)

Learn the facts behind the pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of controversial cannabis therapeutics The Handbook of Cannabis Therapeutics: From Bench to Bedside sets aside the condemnation and hysteria of society’s view of cannabis to concentrate on the medically sound aspects of cannabis therapeutics. The world’s foremost experts provide a reasoned, thoroughly researched overview of the controversial subject of cannabis, from its history as a medicine through its latest therapeutic uses.

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