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September 11, 2013 Comments off

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Evidence-Based HIV/STD Prevention Intervention for Black Men Who Have Sex with Men

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Evidence-Based HIV/STD Prevention Intervention for Black Men Who Have Sex with Men
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

This report summarizes published findings of a community-based organization in New York City that evaluated and demonstrated the efficacy of the Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention intervention in reducing sexual risk behaviors and increasing protective behaviors among black men who have sex with men (MSM). The intervention addressed social determinants of health (e.g., stigma, discrimination, and homophobia) that can influence the health and well-being of black MSM at high risk for HIV infection. This report also highlights efforts by CDC to disseminate this evidence-based behavioral intervention throughout the United States. CDC’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity selected the intervention analysis and discussion to provide an example of a program that might be effective for reducing HIV infection- and STD-related disparities in the United States.

3MV uses small group education and interaction to increase knowledge and change attitudes and behaviors related to HIV/STD risk among black MSM. Since its dissemination by CDC in 2004, 3MV has been used in many settings, including health department- and community-based organization programs. The 3MV intervention is an important component of a comprehensive HIV and STD prevention portfolio for at-risk black MSM. As CDC continues to support HIV prevention programming consistent with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and its high-impact HIV prevention approach, 3MV will remain an important tool for addressing the needs of black MSM at high risk for HIV infection and other STDs.

Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2012 (released April 2014)

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2012
Source: Social Security Administration

This biennial report presents detailed statistical information on the major sources and amounts of income for people aged 55 or older. The tabulations focus on the major sources of total income by age, sex, marital status, race, and Hispanic origin. Several tables describe the economic situation of the aged with varying levels of Social Security benefits. Their poverty status is presented in terms of the income of the families they live with.

Bio-Piracy or Prospering Together? Fuzzy Set and Qualitative Analysis of Herbal Patenting by Firms

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Bio-Piracy or Prospering Together? Fuzzy Set and Qualitative Analysis of Herbal Patenting by Firms (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business Working Papers

Since the 1990s, several western firms have filed patents based on medicinal herbs from emerging markets, evoking protests from local stakeholders against ‘bio-piracy’. We explore conditions under which firms and local stakeholders share rents from such patents. Our theoretical model builds on two distinct strategy literatures: firms appropriating rents from new technologies and firms managing stakeholders. We predict that a win-win outcome emerges when the patent strength is moderate and when local stakeholders form a coalition with larger national stakeholders to initiate litigation against the focal firm. We test our predictions using a two-pronged empirical strategy. Our empirical context relates to herbal patents from emerging markets and given that we have a small sample (N=17), we employ a fuzzy set QCA methodology. In addition, we develop four in-depth qualitative case studies to support our predictions.

Next-generation IT infrastructure

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Next-generation IT infrastructure
Source: McKinsey & Company

The pressure on IT infrastructure leaders is unrelenting. They must deliver higher service levels and new IT-enabled capabilities, help accelerate application delivery, and do so while managing costs. As standard IT improvements near a breaking point, it’s no wonder that many IT infrastructure leaders have started to look for more transformative options, including next-generation IT infrastructure (NGI)—a highly automated platform for the delivery of IT infrastructure services built on top of new and open technologies such as cloud computing. NGI promises leaner organizations that rely more on cloud-provider-level hardware and software efficiencies. In addition, NGI facilitates better support of new business needs opened up by big data, digital customer outreach, and mobile applications.

To understand how senior executives view NGI, we canvassed opinions from invitees to our semiannual Chief Infrastructure Technology Executive Roundtable. The results were revealing: executives expressed strong interest in all key NGI technologies, from open-source infrastructure-management environments to software-defined networking, software-as-a-service offerings, cloud orchestration and management, and application-configuration management. Yet most have not yet fully taken advantage of the promise of NGI, largely because of the up-front investment required. The immaturity and complexity of the technology is also slowing adoption, as is concern about the security of the public cloud, particularly with respect to companies’ loss of control in the event of private litigation or inquiries from governmental agencies.

New From the GAO

April 23, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Telecommunications: Projects and Policies Related to Deploying Broadband in Unserved and Underserved Areas. GAO-14-409, April 23.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-409
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662712.pdf

2. Warfighter Support: DOD Policy and Implementation Plan for Reconstitution of Forces. GAO-14-530R, April 23.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-530R

AMA: Physicians Generate $1.6 Trillion in Economic Activity, Support 10 Million Jobs

April 23, 2014 Comments off

AMA: Physicians Generate $1.6 Trillion in Economic Activity, Support 10 Million Jobs
Source: American Medical Association

A new report released today by the American Medical Association (AMA) shows that physicians have a huge influence on national and state economies beyond their role of safeguarding a healthy community and productive workforce. Patient care physicians enable economic growth, opportunity and prosperity by contributing $1.6 trillion in economic activity and supporting 10 million jobs nationwide in 2012.

The report notes that given the changing health care environment, it is paramount to quantify the economic impact physicians have on society. To provide lawmakers, regulators and policymakers with reliable information, the report measured the economic impact of physicians at the national level and in each of the 50 states and District of Columbia according to key economic barometers:

  • Output: Each physician supported an average of $2.2 million in economic output and contributed to a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output nationwide.
  • Jobs: Each physician supported an average of 13.84 jobs and contributed to a total of 10 million jobs nationwide.
  • Wages and Benefits: Each physician supported an average of $1.1 million in total wages and benefits and contributed to a total of $775.5 billion in wages and benefits nationwide.
  • Tax Revenues: Each physician supported $90,449 in local and state tax revenues and contributed to a total of $65.2 billion is local and state tax revenues nationwide.

Cannabis Use is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Cannabis Use is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users (PDF)
Source: Neurobiology of Disease

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effects on the human brain, particularly on reward/aversion regions implicated in addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Animal studies show structural changes in brain regions such as the nucleus accumbens after exposure to9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but less is known about cannabis use and brain morphometry in these regions in humans. We collected high-resolution MRI scans on young adult recreational marijuana users and nonusing controls and conducted three independent analyses of morphometry in these structures: (1) gray matter density using voxel-based morphometry, (2) volume (total brain and regional volumes), and (3) shape (surface morphometry). Gray matter density analyses revealed greater gray matter density in marijuana users than in control participants in the left nucleus accumbens extending to subcallosal cortex, hypothalamus, sublenticular extended amygdala, and left amygdala, even after controlling for age, sex, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking. Trend-level effects were observed for a volume increase in the left nucleus accumbens only. Significant shape differences were detected in the left nucleus accumbens and right amygdala. The left nucleus accumbens showed salient exposure dependent alterations across all three measures and an altered multimodal relationship across measures in the marijuana group. These data suggest that marijuana exposure, even in young recreational users, is associated with exposure-dependent alterations of the neural matrix of core reward structures and is consistent with animal studies of changes in dendritic arborization.

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