AHA News: Quitting Smoking Could Lead to Major Changes in Gut Bacteria

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — Quitting smoking leads to major changes in intestinal bacteria, according to new research. But just what the changes mean will need further investigation.

The small pilot study, to be presented Monday during the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, comes in the wake of past research showing a link between bacteria in the gut and cardiovascular health. That past work has shown smoking is associated with a decrease in diversity in the types of beneficial bacteria living in the gut.

For the new study, researchers looked at 26 people who were trying to quit smoking and analyzed their stool samples at the start of the study and again two weeks and 12 weeks later.

“We concluded that smoking cessation changes the gut microbiota, and I think that’s a significant piece of science,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Marcus Sublette.

“It’s already been established that smoking changes the gut microbiome. What we’re adding here is that smoking cessation itself will continue to change the gut microbiome. Then the question of course is, ‘Is this good? Or is it bad?’ We don’t know yet.”

The study showed improvements in bacterial diversity were associated with reductions in heart rate, systolic blood pressure and C-reactive protein levels, which rise in response to inflammation. It also showed an increase in hemoglobin, the red blood cells that carry oxygen.

“All of those changes are indirect markers of potentially better health,” said Sublette, a cardiology fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “It adds greater fuel to the hypothesis that the gut microbiome is really doing something for cardiovascular disease.”

Sublette said researchers also found that people who quit smoking had decreases in some bacteria called firmicutes and increases in others called bacteroides that past studies have shown could be measures for lower risk for diabetes and obesity.

“It’s hard to know exactly yet what that ratio means, because we are very early on in the study of the gut microbiome and cardiovascular disease. But it adds to the overall picture and helps us start to understand this,” he said.

The study was limited by its small patient size and its relatively narrow focus, Sublette said.”We are not digging down to the exact species of bacteria. Rather, we’re looking at larger proportions or ratios of large groups of bacteria.”

Sublette said he plans to do future research in which mice are fed living bacteria from humans.

“If we give the microbiota of both an ongoing smoker and a successful quitter to a sterile mouse, how does that change their atherosclerotic disease progression?”

Dr. Stanley Hazen, director of the Center for Microbiome & Human Health at the Cleveland Clinic, said the study results “hint at the need to take a global view of one’s metabolism, including the gut microbial community within.”

Hazen, who was not involved in the research, said “a change in our environmental exposure impacts the host in many different ways, including shifts in the gut microbial community. What changes occur as a result of smoking cessation is an interesting question that remains to be determined.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

AHA News: Stroke Death Rate Increasing for Middle-Aged Americans

THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — In more than half of all counties across the country, a growing percentage of middle-aged Americans are dying of strokes, according to a new study.

The study – which examined stroke mortality rates at the county level – reveals a statistical jump previously masked by national data showing a leveling off of stroke mortality rates following years of decline. The study was published Nov. 8 in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

“Everyone needs to pay attention to this,” said Eric Hall, lead author on the study and a Ph.D. student in the department of epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.

“At the national level, we know that stroke mortality had been steadily declining for a few decades and started to stagnate around 2010. We took a look at those mortality rates at the county level and saw they were increasing in many counties. That this was happening among middle-aged groups was particularly surprising.”

Nationally, stroke mortality rates – the number of stroke deaths per year divided by the number of people in a population – fell slightly, by 0.7%, each year from 2010 to 2016 for people ages 35-64. It fell 3.5% for those 65 and older.

But when researchers looked at the data on the county level, they found stroke death rates went up in 56.6% of counties during that time period for adults 35-64, with 1 in 4 counties actually experiencing a 10% or more increase. That was even as stroke mortality rates fell for adults 65 and older.

Overall, twice as many counties saw an increase in stroke deaths during that period for middle-aged people compared to older adults. Nearly half of middle-aged adults, or 60.2 million Americans, lived in counties for which stroke mortality rates went up.

The county-level increases don’t mean national data are wrong, said Hall.

“National or state-level data show an average,” he explained. “These data are important because they give high-level perspective on trends in disease. But they don’t reflect changes or disparities occurring at the local level.”

Another surprising finding, said Hall, was that increases in mortality rates occurred in counties across the country, including outside the traditional “stroke belt” of the Southeast, so named because of the prevalence of stroke and risk factors in the region.

Although the highest stroke mortality rates remain in the Southeast, most of the greatest increases for middle-aged adults were seen outside that area, the study shows.

The fact that stroke mortality is increasing in many counties outside the stroke belt suggests risk factors that have been typical to that region have broadened nationally, said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, head of the Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Science at Columbia University in New York.

For example, the nationwide rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes over the past few decades could be having an impact now on the number of people dying from strokes across the country, he said.

“These conditions don’t lead to stroke immediately,” said Elkind, who was not involved in the new research. “What we are seeing now in terms of stroke may reflect what was going on 10 or 12 years ago.”

He and Hall hope the information can give community organizations and health professionals the data they need to help tailor prevention programs.

“This will help them tailor resources and policies to their individual community health needs,” Hall said.

High consumption of carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages combined with high levels of inactivity and “people addicted to their screens” contribute over time to greater obesity levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes, Elkind said.

“We need not just individual behavior changes but changes at the societal level,” he said, “such as better urban design and more physical activity for kids in school, so they grow up with a different attitude towards physical activity.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: November 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

AHA News: 5 Scary Health Facts to Spook You This Halloween

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — Spooky, scream-inducing characters whose health has clearly taken a turn for the worse – skeletons and ghosts, for example – are as much a part of Halloween fun as pumpkins and candy.

But once the creepy decorations are put away, some frightening health facts can haunt us year-round – and should prompt us to take action.

“There’s been a lot of thought about how you motivate people to change,” said Mercedes Carnethon, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Sometimes scare tactics do work, like the anti-tobacco ads that showed the person smoking through a hole in her neck.”

Dr. Tyler Cooper, president and CEO of Cooper Aerobics, a comprehensive health and wellness center in Dallas, said no single strategy works for everyone.

“Everybody has a different motivator,” said Cooper, a preventive medicine physician. “If that’s fear, OK. But some people have this belief that if something hasn’t happened to them yet, it’s not going to happen. The best thing we can do is present the information about what they can expect if they continue down the path they’re on.”

If you’re not scared yet, here are some terrifying health statistics:

Most Americans spend more time in the kitchen than in the gym.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated in 2018 that just 23.2% of U.S. adults meet the federal recommendations for weekly exercise: at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as a brisk walk) or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running), and two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity. That figure was down slightly from the year before.

By comparison, a 2018 survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found people spend an average of more than four hours per week cooking and cleaning up the kitchen.

“People think that it requires some type of herculean effort to improve their health and that’s not true,” Cooper said. “If you’re not doing anything, start something. Just go for a walk around the block.”

Vaping among teenagers has soared.

In 2011, only 1.5% of high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey. The figure in 2018 was 20.8%.

That increase, the CDC warned in a report earlier this year, “has erased recent progress in reducing overall tobacco product use among youths.”

E-cigarettes, which typically contain addictive nicotine, may damage blood vessels, raise blood pressure and increase the risk of clots. Beyond that, the CDC is investigating a nationwide outbreak of lung injuries linked to vaping that has resulted in a growing number of deaths.

Because the vaping phenomenon is still new, Carnethon said, “We don’t even know the effects on long-term cardiovascular health.”

Fewer than half of people who have a cardiac arrest outside a hospital get bystander CPR.

Immediate CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival, according to the American Heart Association.

That means when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, bystanders are crucial until trained lifesavers arrive. Whether the reason is lack of CPR training or a reluctance to get involved, experts say doing something is always better than doing nothing.

There are 9.4 million American adults with diabetes who don’t know they have it.

Diabetes left untreated can lead to damage in nearly every organ in the body, with complications ranging from heart problems and strokes to vision loss, nerve damage and even amputation.

“If you don’t know you have it, you can’t treat it,” Carnethon said.

More than 14 million U.S. households are food insecure.

The term refers to people who can’t afford enough food for themselves or their families, or who may not have access to healthy foods to ensure a proper diet. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 14.3 million households were food insecure at some point during 2018, representing 11.1% of the nation’s households.

Even if people are not personally affected, Carnethon said, the national problem should alarm all of us.

“Social determinants like food insecurity contribute to health outcomes,” she said. “These are issues that as a society we can promote policy changes to improve the health of everyone.”

At Halloween and throughout the year, Cooper said, the message is the same: “Take charge of your own health. If you do your best to make even some minor changes, you’ll see the benefits.”

And if the facts and figures don’t scare you, Carnethon said, think about people.

“It seems data doesn’t motivate people, but personal stories and personal connections do,” she said. “We need to put a personal face on good health and make it as relatable as possible.”

So have a happy, healthy Halloween, she said. “And go easy on the candy.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

AHA News: Women and Men Tolerate Heart Transplants Equally Well, But Men May Get Better Hearts

FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — Women are just as likely as men to survive after a heart transplant despite often getting poorer-quality donor hearts, new research shows.

The findings, published this week in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, sought to shed new light on what role, if any, gender plays in surviving a heart transplant. Past research on post-transplant survival rates and gender have told conflicting stories.

For the new study, researchers looked at data from 34,198 international heart transplant recipients from 2004 to 2014 and, after adjusting for recipient and donor factors, they found “no significant survival difference” between men and women.

“That’s a pretty novel finding,” said study author Dr. Yasbanoo Moayedi, a postdoctoral medical fellow at Stanford University in California. “We already know that women are hugely under-represented as recipients of heart transplants, but the striking thing about the new findings is there’s no difference in survival when matched to their male counterparts.”

The study also found women who get heart transplants appear to have lower-risk features than male recipients, with fewer instances of diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, peripheral vascular disease and past cardiovascular surgery. Yet, women appear to receive higher-risk hearts than men.

“We need to better understand the matching of risk with recipient,” Moayedi said. “We hypothesize that women tend to deteriorate more acutely, and they’re sicker, so they take any heart that’s available.”

She said the findings suggest women with advanced heart failure need to be referred a bit earlier for transplant.

“One takeaway of the study is that maybe we’re missing the optimal window [for women],” she said. “Many factors may determine access to transplant, but gender should not be one of the them.”

The study was limited by its observational nature and its lack of data on waitlist mortalities, donor race and information about how sick patients where when they received a transplant.

Dr. Monica Colvin, a heart failure-transplant cardiologist who was not involved in the research, called it “a contemporary analysis” because it included newer devices and current medical therapy.

“There have been anecdotes of women having worse survival than men after heart transplant and studies have been conflicting,” said Colvin, director of the Heart Failure Network Strategy at the University of Michigan. “This study should dispel that myth and inform doctors that there really is no difference. We should not delay or defer referral for this lifesaving treatment based on concern for differential survival in women.”

An estimated 6.2 million U.S. adults have heart failure. In 2018, there were 3,408 heart transplants, according to the federal Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

Moayedi would like to see future studies explore why more women don’t undergo heart transplants and how a doctor’s gender might play into that decision.

“Is it that women don’t see themselves worthy enough for a heart transplant? As a patient, should I be more of an advocate for my symptoms? These things need to be looked at more systematically to learn how to best help the patient,” Moayedi said.

Colvin advises women with advanced heart failure to be seen at an advanced heart failure center “and seek out as much information as they can. It’s important to know what all your options are.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

AHA News: His Heart Stopped. But His Golf Cart Kept Going

FRIDAY, Sept. 27, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — On a sunny April day in 2018, Bill Doss pushed through his exhaustion and met his buddies for their regular round of golf. As he headed to the final tee, he was rounding a turn in his cart and his world went black.

His heart had stopped. But his cart kept going.

The runaway cart careened over the green, ripping up grass before crashing into a ball-washing station near the 17th hole of the Forsyth Country Club in Winston-Salem, N.C.

A foursome on a nearby hole heard the commotion. One of the players was a doctor. Beyond being banged up, the doctor discovered Doss’ heart wasn’t beating. He started CPR. Another player called 911.

Meanwhile the others called the clubhouse for help. The pro raced to the scene with an automated external defibrillator. He and another doctor, who had been playing the 10th hole, worked the AED to try restoring a normal heart rhythm.

Will Doss, Bill’s son, was at work 10 minutes away when a caller said, “Get in your car and come to the club. Your dad’s down on 18!”

On the drive, Will tried to assure himself everything would be OK. His dad, then 70, had health problems before, including diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Will hoped whatever this was, Bill would pull through.

When Will reached his father, firefighters and first responders were giving CPR and using the AED.

Will begged his father not to leave him, his sister and their mother.

“I wasn’t ready for him to go,” the 48-year-old said. “In some ways I expected something like that because of his health problems. But then when it came down to it, all I knew is that I wanted more time with him.”

After six shocks, Bill still had no sustainable pulse. A seventh try restored it.

In the emergency room, he had vague recollections of driving around the green and of his son yelling at him, but he didn’t remember much of anything else after arriving at the club that day.

Bill was told a low potassium level likely caused the cardiac arrest and would explain his earlier sluggishness. He had been on medication for it, but acknowledged he didn’t always take the prescribed amount.

Bill credited his resuscitation to the luck of having a doctor nearby, the speed of first responders and his son’s presence.

“It’s just a miracle any way you look at it,” the 71-year-old said.

At this year’s Winston-Salem American Heart Association Heart Ball, firefighters who had been at the scene surprised Bill by appearing onstage with him.

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year. CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

Bill spent about a month in the hospital and a rehabilitation facility. He still goes to outpatient rehab three times a week to work on balance, strength and cardiovascular stamina.

“They monitor everything and put electrodes on me, and I feel safe,” he said.

Today, Bill has made his way back onto the golf course, although only nine holes at a time.

Emotionally, though, the recovery has been harder than he expected.

“It’s been tough, but my family looks after me really well,” he said.

Will said he is grateful he took his father on a couple “bucket trips” a couple years after Bill retired in 2014. They played two mecca courses – Pebble Beach in California and St. Andrews in Scotland.

His father’s cardiac arrest has made time together even more special.

“This reminded me that I need to take the time with Dad while I have it,” Will said.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

News Bytes: ‘Addams Family’ Original Songs, Apple TV+ Launch Date, Disney+ Pulls ‘Muppets,’ & More

‘Steven Universe The Movie’ Soundtrack Debuts in Top 10
Following its Sept. 2 release, the soundtrack debuted in the Top 10 of five Billboard charts, the week ending Sept. 14: #2 Soundtracks, #2 Children’s Top Albums, #6 Top Independent Albums, #8 Current Pop Albums, #9 Digital Albums, #19 Top Current Albums and #20 Billboard Top Albums. The expansive soundtrack continues to be available for download and streaming on all major platforms. Fans can grab a physical copy to treasure on Nov. 15, in both standard and deluxe vinyl sets — pre-orders now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and FYE.

Studio Movie Grill Expands Movies + Meals Program with DreamWorks/Pearl’s ‘Abominable’
Universal Pictures is offering multiple screenings at SMG theaters of Jill Culton’s upcoming yeti adventure. (Read all about it in Tom McLean’s feature story in the latest issue!) SMG Access launched nationwide last summer and is the only theater-loyalty program focused on positively impacting underserved children and local community members. Through their purchases, alongside rewards, loyal SMG guests are able to assist SMG outreach in offering movies and meals to local non-profits and under-resourced community members with the hope of harnessing the power of movies to inspire and change lives. Since the program’s inception, multiple studios have joined the movement, offering screenings and giving SMG the opportunity to give back more than 14,000 Movies + Meals in the program’s first year.

“We are delighted to support SMG’s efforts by offering screenings of Abominable to local non-profits providing services to underserved children in their communities and to join SMG guests in supporting purposeful outreach and a loyalty program designed to give back to local community members through Movies + Meals. Abominable celebrates friendships and the importance of family, and we can’t think of a better partner to help spread that message of kindness and empowerment than SMG.” — JIm Orr, Universal Pictures President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution

‘The Umbrella Academy’ S2 Adds Three to Cast
Ritu Arya (Humans) has been cast as “Lila,” a chameleon who can be as brilliant or as clinically insane as the situation requires. Unpredictable, mischievous and sarcastic, Lila’s gifted with a twisted sense of humor. Yusuf Gatewood (Good Omens) will play “Raymond,” a born leader with the smarts, gravitas and confidence to never have to prove it to anyone. He is warm, dedicated and has the innate ability to disarm you with a look. A devoted husband, he’s the kind of guy everyone wants to know. Marin Ireland (Y: The Last Man) will be playing “Sissy,” a fearless, no-nonsense Texas mom who married young for all the wrong reasons. Still in her prime, she’s eager to rediscover what life and love has to offer.

It was previously announced that Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher and Justin H. Min are set to reprise their roles. Production on season two is currently underway.

’The Muppets’ Disney+ Comedy Series Scrapped
Creators Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis (Once Upon a Time) and Josh Gad (Frozen) have departed Muppets Live Another Day due to creative differences, causing the to-be-launched streamer to scrap the project. Sources say the trouble started when Disney swapped in Disney Parks Live Ent. SVP David Lightbody to head Muppet Studios, with some different ideas on where to take Jim Henson’s beloved characters.

MGM’s ‘The Addams Family’ Scares Up Musical Superstars for Original Songs
The first track to be released, “My Family,” is performed by Migos, Karol G, Rock Mafia and Snoop Dogg and drops Friday, September 13. The song was written by Antonina Armato, Quavious Keyate Marshall, Carolina Giraldo, Danny Parra, Tim James, Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. and Vic Mizzy and was produced by Rock Mafia. The track is being released by MGM Records and distributed by 12 Tone Music. “Haunted Heart,” performed by Christina Aguilera, was written by Antonina Armato, Aguilera and Tim James and was also produced by Rock Mafia, to be released later this month by RCA Records ahead of the film’s debut. Both songs will be available for streaming and \or download at all major music retail digital platforms.

The Addams Family arrives in theaters Oct. 11 — read all about it in the November issue of Animation Magazine!

Apple TV+ Launches November 1
The new service will be available on the Apple TV App worldwide for $ 4.99 per month (free for a year with purchase of any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac as of today), and shareable with up to six people with Family Sharing. At launch, subscribers can catch exclusive originals like See (a post-apocalyptic thriller set 600 years in the future when surviving humans are all blind, starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard), Sesame Workshop’s Helpsters and new Peanuts/DHX animation Snoopy in Space.

Steven Universe soundtrack

Steven Universe soundtrack

The Muppets

The Muppets

Animation Magazine

AHA News: Scientists Find Biological Link Between High Blood Pressure and Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — Researchers have identified a protein that may be a risk factor for both high blood pressure and breast cancer.

Previous studies have found women with high blood pressure have about a 15% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to women with normal blood pressure. High levels of the protein GRK4 (G-protein coupled receptor kinase 4) have been shown to cause high blood pressure, also called hypertension. The new study, presented Friday at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, showed the GRK4 protein was present in breast cancer cells but not in normal breast cells.

“Cancer and hypertension share common risk factors,” said Dr. Wei Yue, the study’s lead investigator and a research scientist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville. “Our laboratory’s previous research on GRK4 found that it is regulated by an oncogene called c-Myc, which plays a role in many cancers, including breast cancer. This led us to hypothesize that GRK4 could be a link.”

Nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. After age 65, women are more likely than men to have high blood pressure. Pregnancy, birth control medications and menopause can all increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. If left untreated, it can cause health problems such as heart disease, stroke and vision loss.

In women, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death.

“While previous studies have shown that breast cancer risk is increased in hypertensive women, this study adds to the current knowledge by providing the molecular mechanisms that underlie this association,” said Dr. Vesna D. Garovic, chair of the division of Nephrology and Hypertension Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Garovic, who was not involved in the new research, said studies like this one that identify the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways that cause a disease to develop can provide new insights into treatment options.

Not all breast tumors are the same. The study looked for GRK4 in two specific types of breast cancer, known as hormone-sensitive and triple-negative.

“Our conclusion may not be applicable to other types of breast cancer,” said Yue.

Garovic noted GRK4 genetic variations may not be the same in all racial groups. Studies that look for GRK4 in women with breast cancer across racial and ethnic groups, she said, may provide insights into previously reported race-based differences in tumor type, treatment response and outcomes.

GRK4 is one of seven GRK proteins. Other studies have looked for GRK2 and GRK5 in different types of cancers, but Yue said their group is the first to look for a link between GRK4, high blood pressure and breast cancer. “No one else is working on this,” she said.

Yue said this molecule is unique because it’s not normally expressed – meaning made into a protein by a gene – in breast tissues, making it a potential target for drug development.

“A drug that targeted GRK4 could potentially be used to treat the patients with hypertension and breast cancer.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

News Bytes: McFarlane in Talks for New ‘Spawn’ Toons, ‘Earthsea’ Series in Dev, YouTube Fined $170M in FTC Settlement & More

’The Lord of the Rings’ Amazon TV Series Casts Will Poulter as a Lead
The young Brit of Maze Runner fame joins previously announced Aussie actress Markella Kavenagh in the two lead roles of Beldor and Tyra. The show — from writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay and director J.A. Bayona — is set in Middle-earth before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. Casting is underway in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

GLAS Animation Festival 2020: Submissions Open, Kickstarter Final Stretch!
The 5th annual GLAS fest (March 19-22 in Berkeley, CA) welcomes narrative, non-narrative, undergraduate, graduate, commissioned and feature films to November 1, 2019. Award categories include the Grand Prix, New Talent, High Risk, Audience Award and Special Prizes.

The Kickstarter Campaign has reached the halfway point, with just two week to raise $ 8,500 to successfully fund the event — new reward tires are announced every day, including one-of-a-kind t-shirts, sculptures, illustrations, and animation frames, as well as indie games, GKIDS blu-rays, and official GLAS outerwear, so contribute now!

WATCH: ‘Apex Legends’ Gives Wraith a Fantastic ‘Overwatch’-Style Animated Short
In step with the character’s theme Voidwalker event for the game — which includes a special mode, challenges and cosmetics, Respawn debuted a new short reminiscent of Blizzard’s popular character origin vignettes. The animation follows Wraith hopping through dimensions to rescue a younger, parallel version of herself from nefarious experiments.

YouTube Will Pay $ 170 Million, Make Sweeping Changes to Children’s Content in FTC Settlement
The Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into YouTube’s collection of personal data from users under age 13 — sparked by complaints from advocacy organizations like Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center — is over. In tandem with FTC’s announcement that it will fine YouTube a record $ 170 million for alleged violations, the platform revealed plans for sweeping changes to its business practices.

“Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and nothing is more important than protecting kids and their privacy, We’ve been taking a hard look at areas where we can do more to address this, informed by feedback from parents, experts, and regulators, including [Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act] concerns raised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that we are addressing with a settlement announced today.” — YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki (YouTube Blog)

’Earthsea’ TV Series Based on Fantasy Books in the Works
A24 and Oscar-nominated producer Jennifer Fox (Nightcrawler) are adapting Ursula Le Guin’s acclaimed fantasy book series to television. Fox received the author’s blessing for the project before her death in January 2018. The books are set in a vast archipelago, where magic-wielding despots upset the natural order of the islands. Tales from Earthsea was adapted into an animated feature by Studio Ghibli in 2006, directed by Goro Miyazaki.

Todd McFarlane Is Developing Two Spawn Animated Series for Kids and Adults
It’s been 20 years since McFarlane’s ultraviolent anti-hero wreaked havoc in HBO’s Emmy-winning adult animated series, and new plans to toon up the franchise are in motion, according to the creator.

“We’re talking right now. I just had a couple meetings this weekend about a couple different animation looks, both something that we can get kids in at a younger age and then get them into the sort of crack cocaine version of Spawn,” McFarlane said during Fan Expo Canada. “And then do the adult one. So we’re talking about that. I think both of those come after the movie.”

Apex Legends

Apex Legends

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: ShaqToons Ups Animator Compensation, ‘Bombay Rose’ Trailer, Anime Against Climate Crisis & More

‘Oxenfree’ Now Available for $ 9.99
Just in time for Halloween, Night School Studio’s acclaimed game gets a permanent price drop across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Oxenfree is a single player game that’s equal parts coming-of-age tale and supernatural thriller. You play as Alex, a bright, rebellious teenage girl who brings her new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight party on a decommissioned military island. The festivities are framed by a dangerous sneak to a forbidden beach, celebrating with friends and navigating prickly situations with enemies. But the night takes a horrifying turn when you unwittingly open a ghostly rift spawned from the island’s cryptic past. How you deal with these events, your peers, and the ominous creatures you’ve unleashed is up to you.

Night School is also gearing up to release its next title, Afterparty, on Xbox One, PC and Mac (via Epic Games Store), PS4 and Switch this year. In the new title, players will take on the role of Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in Hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink Satan and he’ll grant re-entry to Earth.

Funko Gets Wicked with Disney Villains Cosmetics Line
Inspired by Ursula, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen, the collection includes bronzers, lip glosses, highlighters, eye shadows, eyeliners, blushes and makeup brushes in cute packaging with Funko flair, manufactured by Taste Beauty — which boasts across-the-board gluten free products never tested on animals — and set to retail exclusively at Ulta.

CALL FOR PROJECTS: Luxembourg-Ireland Co-Development Fund for Female Filmmakers
Film Fund Luxembourg and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland are seeking new co-development feature-length (min. 70’) fiction, documentary, animation or TV projects (dramatic series, animated series or animated movie) which are written and/or directed by women. Deadline: September 10, 2019.

Artist Jahan Loh Addresses Global Warming Crisis with Japanese Animation
The National Museum of Singapore has launched a new series of works by local contemporary artist Loh, titled “Intergalactic Dreams.” The three-part presentation combines a large-scale installation with anime to encourage conversations about global warming, as it envisions a possible future for mankind in a world of rising temperatures and sea levels.

WATCH: Bombay Rose Official Trailer
Official selection of the Venice Int’l Film Critics’ Week and Toronto Int’l Film Festival 2019, Bombay Rose is an animated romance hanging precariously between living on the streets and loving on the screen, Bollywood style. Amidst the struggle for survival in a big city, a red rose brings together three tales of impossible loves. The film is the long-awaited feature debut of India’s leading animator Gitanjali Rao (Printed Rainbow). Produced by Cinestaan Film Co. (India), Les Films d’Ici (France) and Goldfinch (U.K.) Full review from Variety.

Shaq Offers to Pay $ 500 for Original Animations, Updates to $ 10,000 After Backlash
Shaquille O’Neal ruffled creatives’ feathers with the launch of his ShaqToons contest, seeking original animations set to stories from his life for his TNT docuseries Shaq Life. After artists balked at the $ 500 reward (which, admittedly, is better than work “for exposure”), the basketball legend cranked up the compensation, Tweeting: “To all my animators out there, I heart you. I love your work and want you to feel the love.”

Funko POP Disney Villains

Funko POP Disney Villains



Animation Magazine

AHA News: Daughter Makes Lifesaving Plea to 911: Coach Me Through CPR?

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — In March 2017, Mary Smith took an afternoon off work to visit her daughter and 2-week-old grandson Brody at their Minneapolis suburb home.

Smith brought in groceries for dinner and carried a mobile crib up the stairs from the car. She was in the entryway when she found herself out of breath.

She collapsed, making a thud that her daughter, Lindsey Bomgren, heard from the hallway to the nursery.

Thinking her mom fell, Bomgren called out to her. Smith didn’t respond.

Bomgren put down Brody and raced to the entryway. She grabbed her phone and called 911. She told the dispatcher her mom wasn’t breathing. Smith was in cardiac arrest.

Bomgren then asked the dispatcher a question that would change everything: Can you coach me through CPR?

Although Bomgren had refreshed her training for the lifesaving technique nine months earlier as part of her job as a fitness instructor, now that she had to use it – and on her mom – she needed guidance and support.

The dispatcher told her to stack hand-over-hand and place them in the center of her mom’s chest. The dispatcher then repeated the words “pump, pump, pump” to maintain the rhythm needed to keep blood flowing to Smith’s organs.

“It made me feel I was not all alone,” Bomgren said. “It provided a sense of calm.”

She provided Hands-Only CPR for nearly 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived and paramedics took over.

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year. CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

Paramedics administered two shocks from an automated external defibrillator to get Smith’s heart back into rhythm before transporting her to the hospital.

Testing revealed Smith had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart walls that requires the heart to work harder to pump blood. The condition is often genetic, and Smith had been tested for it 40 years earlier following her teenage sister’s cardiac arrest. Those tests had been inconclusive.

Two months before her cardiac arrest, Smith was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. She had just completed wearing a heart monitor for a month. Her doctor had yet to provide any next steps based on those results, but she had been taking medication for it.

After her cardiac arrest, Smith received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator to shock her heart back into rhythm should it ever be needed. (In January 2018, the device was needed and did its job.)

Bomgren and her brother soon underwent testing. He, too, had HCM. Nine months after his mom received her ICD, he got one as well. Bomgren is now pregnant with her second child. She plans to undergo additional testing after the delivery. She also plans to have her children tested once they are older.

Because of the dispatcher’s role in helping their story have a happy ending, Bomgren and Smith became advocates for a proposed state law requiring 911 dispatchers to be trained in how to help callers in such situations.

“When you are doing CPR, every second matters, so the sooner you can start and the more confidence you have to continue doing it can help save a life,” Bomgren said.

In May 2019, Minnesota passed legislation requiring all 911 operators in the state to be trained to identify a cardiac arrest and coach CPR over the phone or quickly transfer calls to another call center whose staff can.

Similar laws exist in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Other states include the training as part of existing requirements for 911 operators.

“Bystander CPR can save lives,” Smith said. “I’m proof.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

U.S. News Releases 2019-2020 Top Hospitals List

July 30, 2019 — The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, claimed the No. 1 spot in the annual honor roll of best hospitals published today by U.S. News & World Report.

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston holds the No. 2 spot this year in the magazine’s annual honor roll, which highlights hospitals delivering “exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care.”

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore holds the No. 3 spot, while the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio is No. 4 on the list.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia and Cornell in New York City grabbed the No. 5 spot on the ranking. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, and UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, ranked No. 6 and No. 7.

Rounding out the top 10 (in order) are Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; NYU Langone Hospitals, New York City; and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago.

2019-2020 Best Hospitals Honor Roll

1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

4. Cleveland Clinic, Ohio

5. New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia and Cornell, New York City

6. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles

7. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

8. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

9. NYU Langone Hospitals, New York City

10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago

11. University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor

12. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, CA

13. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston

14. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City

15. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh

16. Keck Hospital of USC, Los Angeles

17. University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison

18. (tie) Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia

18. (tie) Mayo Clinic-Phoenix

20. (tie) Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas

20. (tie) Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT

New Methodology

“In the three decades since U.S. News began evaluating hospitals, we periodically have revamped our measures to enhance the decision support our rankings and ratings provide to patients,” Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at the magazine, said in a statement. “This year we revised the methodology to incorporate new measures of patient-centered care and to enhance how we account for differences in hospitals’ patient populations. The new model provides a more comprehensive assessment that is useful to patients, families, and their medical professionals.”

WebMD Health

News Bytes: ‘Angry Birds 2’ Hatchling Voices, ‘Aladdin’ Hits $1B, KyoAni Update & More

WATCH: Ricky Gervais Guest Stars in ‘Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?’
The popular British comedian appears in the latest episode of the new Mystery Inc. adventures. Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? streams on Boomerang in the U.S. and is coming soon to TV via Cartoon Network, and to Boomerang channels worldwide later this year. New episodes debut Thursdays through Sept. 19.

’The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ TV Series in Works at Hulu from Carlton Cuse & Jason Fuchs
Showrunner Cuse (LOST) and feature film writer Fuchs (Wonder Woman, Ice Age: Continental Drift) are adapting Douglas Adams’ comedy sci-fi classic for ABC Signature. Disney owns the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy IP.

WATCH: Pixomondo ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ S2 VFX Reel
The studio’s VFX Supervisor Mahmoud Rahmana and CG Supervisor Fausto Tejeda are among the 2019 Emmy Award for Best VFX nominees for their work on the CBS sci-fi series.

One Week After Arson Attack on Kyoto Animation Studio, Police Finish Identifying All 34 Victims
DNA testing has conclusively identified employees killed in the fire caused when Shinji Aoba allegedly spread a flammable substance around the entrance of the building and ignited it, causing the three-story studio to burn on July 18. The victims range in age from their 20s to their 60s, with about half in their 20s and 30s. Kyoto police are working with the studio to determine when and how to reveal the identities of the deceased.

One of those feared dead is industry veteran Yoshiji Kigami (Akira, Grave of the Fireflies). The accomplished animator, a mentor to many young artists at KyoAni, has been unreachable since the fire and is 61 years old — the same age as the oldest reported victim, according to Hollywood Reporter. The outlet also relayed that the studio had received around 200 threats in the last year via encrypted online messages, believed to be from the same person.

In an outpouring of support from around the world, the #HelpKyoAniHeal fundraising campaign launched by Sentai Filmworks surpassed $ 2 million after just one week, with more than 66,000 donors.

Box Office: ’Aladdin’ Rides Magic Carpet Past $ 1B as ‘Lion King’ Enters 2nd Weekend

The Guy Ritchie directed Aladdin remake (released May 24) is Disney’s third film of 2019 to hit a billion bucks worldwide, with $ 343.1 million domestic and $ 656.2M international as of Thursday — the surprise summer hit featuring Will Smith as the beloved blue Genie is close to $ 100M in Japan and has passed $ 80M in S. Korea, where it is the No. 4 Western film of all time.

Meanwhile, the latest reimagining of a Disney animation classic, The Lion King is going into its second weekend in the U.S., coming up against Quentin Tarantino’s new flick Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Jon Favreau’s virtual production, CG critter pic was coming in low as of Friday midday, with predictions of a $ 78M~ three-day domestic total for a 60% drop.

‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’ Hatchling Voices Announced
Sony Pictures Animation and Rovio have revealed that the fluffy baby birds will be voiced by Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project), JoJo Siwa, Genesis Tennon, Alma Varsano, Faith Urban and Sunday Urban. The high-flying sequel is smashing into theaters on August 14 — read more about it in Animag’s August issue feature story.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery



Animation Magazine

AHA News: Know the Flax: A Little Seed May Be What Your Diet Needs

FRIDAY, July 19, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — Adding seeds to your diet can be an easy way to shore up your defenses against heart risks without adding too much work to meal prep.

Many types of seeds can be valuable as part of a healthy diet – commonly added as a snack or add-on to salads or desserts – because they are rich in nutrients. You also can find seeds baked into breads or crackers, or even in some fruits and vegetables.

Flaxseed and chia seeds, in particular, have been linked to good heart health because their nutrients pack a powerful punch.

“Flaxseeds or chia seeds offer good sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which are unsaturated fatty acids that convert to omega-3 fatty acids typically found in fish,” said Linda Van Horn, a registered dietitian and professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. “But they also offer a good plant-based supply of plant-based proteins, fiber, minerals and other nutrients.”

Specifically, flaxseeds contain lignans, a natural chemical compound that along with fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats can help reduce blood cholesterol and may also help lower blood pressure. Some studies suggest lignans may have the potential to reduce tumor growth in women with breast cancer and may protect against prostate cancer.

Chia seeds, which contain many of the same nutrients found in flaxseeds, can help lower the blood sugar response to eating. Chia seeds also may serve as an appetite suppressant because of their high fiber content.

Other seeds such as hemp, sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds are highly nutritious as well. Federal dietary guidelines include seeds and nuts as a good source of protein and part of a healthy diet. When incorporating them into meals, it’s important to choose seeds that are prepared in a healthy manner, Van Horn said.

“There are no ‘wrong’ seeds, just unhealthy packaging, including added salt, sugar or fat,” she said. “Better to use seeds in a natural or toasted state, like nuts, or blended into baked goods, cereal or mashed as a paste, like tahini from sesame seeds.”

Because they are easy to eat by the handful, Van Horn said, it’s wise to introduce them to your diet carefully.

“Seeds are high in fiber and require lots of fluid to fully digest them properly,” she said. “Problems with constipation or diarrhea can occur if too much is consumed too fast without fluid.”

Additionally, research shows chia seeds swell in size when exposed to too much water, so moderation is important.

“Also, it is easy to overeat seeds and experience weight gain if not careful in factoring in these calories,” Van Horn said.

A 1-ounce serving of whole flaxseed contains 150 calories, 7.6 grams of fiber and 6.4 grams of omega-3 fats. A similar-sized serving of chia seeds contains 137 calories, 10.6 grams of fiber and 4.9 grams of omega-3 fats.

Because of their size, seeds could be harmful among people who have been diagnosed with irritable bowel disease or diverticulitis, Van Horn said.

“Problems occur when particles get trapped in certain folds or ‘outpouches’ within the intestinal track that can become irritated and inflamed as a result of these conditions. Better to check with your doctor if you suffer from any of these conditions,” she said.

“Most such patients have been advised to avoid any foods with seeds, including strawberries, blueberries or sesame seeds or other small particles of this size.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

News Bytes: Kermit Consults on ‘Amphibia,’ Lupin III’s CG Heist, WB Unpacks SDCC Swag Bags & More

’Lion King’ Star Billy Eichner Wants More LGBTQ Characters in Animated Movies
The actor and comedian, who voices the meerkat Timon in the new movie, told BuzzFeed News: “People are always trying to find the gay character in animated movies. I think the way to correct that is to actually put gay characters in animated movies … I don’t care if Bert and Ernie are gay. I want to see actual gay people that are not a mystery. The way to move on from all those debates is to just create openly gay characters in children’s programming and family entertainment. I think we’re on the verge of that.”

Hasbro Crowdfunds Full-Sized Cookie Monster Replica
A new Pulse HasLab project will bring the huggable blue monster from Sesame Street to life for fans with a 38-inch-tall, full-body replica armature. Set to go into production next year, the $ 300 delight will come in premium retro packaging with two original artwork lithographs and a certificate of authenticity.


SDCC Panel: The State of the Industry: Animation Superstars
For the 13th consecutive year, ASIFA-Hollywood gathers some of the brightest lights in animation to discuss the current Toon Town climate, visions for the future, and how they got their starts in this crazy business. ASIFA VP Brooke Keesling will moderate a panel comprised of Dave Thomas, Jeanette Moreno King, Matt Braly, Hannah Nance Parlow and David Shair.

WBTV Unveils Official bags of Comic-Con 2019
I.D. Me Promotions has whipped up a whopping 23 different designs inspired by fan-favorite and hotly anticipated titles from the studio. These include WB Animation’s DC Super Hero Girls, Harley Quinn, Looney Tunes Cartoons, Teen Titans GO!, ThunderCats Roar and Young Justice: Outsiders; Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe: The Movie; WB TV’s Arrow, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Doom Patrol, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Pennyworth, Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl, Supernatural and Titans; HBO’s Game of Thrones and Watchmen; and Conan. More than 160,000 bags have been produced, and can be claimed at check-in while supplies last.

Lupin III: The First; Finally Makes CG Anime Look (and Feel) Good
The first fully 3D computer-generated Lupin III movie is due to reignite fans’ passion for the beloved gentleman thief, timed to the 40th anniversary of the Hayao Miyazaki-directed movie The Castle of Cagliostro and soon after the death of his creator, Monkey Punch (Kazuhiko Katou). The new movie is produced by Toho Animation and directed by Takashi Yamazaki (Stand by Me Doraemon), set for a Japan premiere on December 6.

WATCH: Kermit the Frog (Consultant) | Amphibia
It’s not easy being green, so when you need to understand frog life, it’s best to go to the experts! In this charming behind-the-scenes video, Muppet main man Kermit walks us through his new role, as the chief frog consultant on new animated comedy ”>Amphibia. The swampy adventure screens on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW.

Animation Magazine

News Bytes: Colin Jost Joins ‘Tom & Jerry’, Bilibili Snags ‘Three-Body Problem,’ Licensing Expo ’19 Results & More

GOP Congressman Wants PBS Defunded Over Cartoon Gay Wedding Between a Rat and Aardvark
“Enough is enough,” declared Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), in regards to the adorable season 22 premiere of Arthur … during Pride Month. The episode was pulled in Alabama but you can watch it online.

Blizzard and LEGO Reveal Overwatch Junkertown Sets, Announce Twitch Rivals Tournament
New heroes arrive in two upcoming LEGO Overwatch sets, Wrecking Ball ($ 19.99), piloted by fan favorite Hammond the hamster, and Junkrat & Roadhog ($ 49.99), inspired by the Junkertown map, which will be seen for the first time at the Blizzard Entertainment booth (#140) at San Diego Comic-Con before they are available in October this year. Plus, LEGO Group is hosting a day-long Twitch Rivals Overwatch tournament on July 25 in which teams are battling for a special prize!

WATCH: Juice Reel 2019 – VFX & Animation
Check out the studio’s latest work, from Coca-Cola spots to the incredible world of Cloud Atlas. Juice specializes in animation, effects and sound, with offices in Wroclaw, Warsaw and Tokyo.

Licensing Expo Reinforces Its Value Across All Property Categories with 2019 Results
The Vegas confab saw a 38% increase in repeat attendees year-over-year. The next edition will mark Licensing Expo’s 40th year milestone at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, May 19-21, 2020.

Bilibili Obtains Exclusive Animation Rights to ‘The Three-Body Problem’
The leading online youth entertainment platform in China has snagged exclusive animation rights to the award-winning sci-fi trilogy written by Cixin Liu. The deal was announced at the company’s 10th anniversary ceremony in Shanghai, and included adaptation rights across movies, comics, mobile games, audio dramas and other IP-derived products.

‘Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost Joins Warner Bros.’ ‘Tom and Jerry’
The co-head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor for SNL joins previously announced voice stars Chlöe Grace Moretz and Michael Peña in the iconic cat-and-mouse comedy’s theatrical feature update. Tim Story (Shaft, Fantastic Four) is directing and exec producing the Hanna-Barbera inspired hybrid project, produced by Chris DeFaria with Adam Goodman as EP.

LEGO Overwatch Junkertown Set

LEGO Overwatch Junkertown Set

The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem

Animation Magazine