While the OnePlus 5T may have a small lead over the iPhone X in launching and running apps, it jumps by leaps and bounds when it comes to re-running apps. Memory management is still a bottleneck for the iPhone, which isn’t surprising considering the iPhone X only has 3 GB of RAM. That said, it also boils down to how each operating system manages apps and memory, and iOS is, and has always been, notorious for being stingy. While Everything Apple Pro does also make such a test, his first test involves opening apps in quick succession on each phone, to see which phone finishes the queue faster. The OnePlus 5T would have won, if not for the 4K video rendering, which the Snapdragon 835 doesn’t seem to be well-designed for. Apple has always been lauded for how it is able to squeeze out maximum performance from its hardware. And that has become even more evident when it started making its own A processors. Indeed, recent benchmarks have shown the Apple A11 processor to run circles around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. But benchmarks are one thing, real-world performance is another. And in one rare instance, when pit against the newly launched OnePlus 5T, an Android phone might have had the last laugh. It comparing apple to oranges, pardon the pun, because of the differences in hardware and operating systems. That, however, has never stopped people from passionately comparing Android phones and iPhones anyway. Since there are very few scientific ways to measure real-world performance, all that we can get is an approximation. But even then it’s quite telling.SuperSAF TV used a traditional method of starting apps one by one at the same time on the OnePlus 5T and the iPhone X, mostly to measure which one starts apps faster. For regular mobile apps, the two seem neck to neck but games start a lot faster on the iPhone X. The latter might be due to Apple’s use of its own graphics library instead of the OpenGL standard.
ZTE isn’t exactly one of the most popular smartphone makers in the US market but it has gathered quite a faithful following for some of its rather courageous efforts. Its Axon Mini, followed by the Axon 7, were quite the steal. Its crowdsourced Project CSX, though short-lived, was widely regarded positively. And now it seems that ZTE wants to end 2017 on a high note, even though when that note will be played is still unknown. The company has just promised an Android Oreo update for the Axon 7, despite the phone being discontinued way ahead of its time. Story TimelineZTE AXON 7 competes with the big boys in specs and priceZTE Axon 7 now available for purchaseZTE Axon 7 axed, no successor in sight yet The Axon 7 was launched only last year. Under normal circumstances, it should only reach its end of life in next year. But for whatever reasons still unknown, ZTE reportedly already stopped production of the device, leaving its fate also unknown. That is, until now.The phone already received one major update, from Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Again, it should be entitled to yet another one, though not many OEMs really stick to that two-year convention. Fortunately, it’s not the end of the road yet for the phone.Posting on the European community forums, VOC expert William Guo revealed that the company is already developing Android Oreo for the Axon 7. That said, no timeline has been given so it’s highly unlikely to happen this year anyway. And while companies do sometimes renege on their promises, it still inspires hope that the company is at least considering it, despite discontinuing the phone itself.ZTE, however, remains silent on the Axon 7’s successor. The phone has been one ZTE’s more popular models to hit international and US markets and there have been cries for a successor. While it did say one would be coming, there has been no word nor whisper about it.SOURCE: Z-Union
Windows users have been relatively slow to adopt Windows 10, an issue that was compounded by the fact that Microsoft was so pushy about getting its users to upgrade. For everyone who loves the latest version of the operating system, there are many vocal critics who refuse to update from an older version.Microsoft’s suite of office applications, however, remain the only option for many businesses and students. Those users have two ways of getting access to Microsoft Office, the web apps aside: by buying the suite or by subscribing to Office 365. Once Office 2019 rolls out, all users who haven’t and refuse to upgrade to Windows 10 will need to gravitate to Office 365, stick with an older iteration of the company’s office suite, or use the Office Web Apps.According to Microsoft‘s recent update, Office 2019 will get five years of mainstream support, as well as about two years of extended support. This is a change from the previous five years of extended support. Explaining this change, Microsoft said that, “As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence.” The Windows 10 support restriction only applies to the Windows OS — Mac users don’t need to worry. Microsoft Office 2019 is scheduled to launch in the latter half of this year, bringing with it the apps we’re all familiar with including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. In a recent post on its technical blog, Microsoft dropped some details about Office 2019, the most relevant of which is that you’ll only be able to use it with Windows 10. Users running older versions of Windows will need to stick with older versions of Office. Of course, Microsoft would be more than happy to sell you an Office 365 subscription instead.
There seems to be a unification trend among some of the biggest platform makers. Microsoft is pushing one Windows 10 to rule them all, albeit in multiple, sometimes inconsistent forms. Google seems to be grooming Chrome OS to accommodate not just Android but other OS as well. Not to mention Fuchsia OS that’s still in incubation. Bucking that trend, however, is Apple, whose macOS and iOS remain separate and largely independent. And that’s going to stay that way as far as CEO Tim Cook is concerned, because, according to him, it is not what users want. That may not be entirely accurate, depending on who you ask. For some time now there have been rumors of Apple’s two operating systems merging in some capacity. There’s as much push for it as there is pushback from users who prefer to have a clear distinction between the two.The latter camp can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Apple’s chief exec is on their side. Cook says that both Macs and iPads are incredible. But combining two great things doesn’t always yield one doubly great thing. Sometimes, you end up with something worse.Cook’s reply is in reference to Microsoft’s strategy with Windows 10, specifically with convertibles. Apple doesn’t believe in “watering down” on experience for the other and that a merger would involve tradeoffs and compromises. If Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile is any indication, there might be some truth to that.AdChoices广告That said, there is also some basis for the desire of some to merge macOS and iOS, though perhaps not in a full combination of the two. Some would like to have touch and Apple Pencil capabilities on Macs, like Windows convertibles, and others would love to have macOS software on their very portable iPads. Neither of those require merging the two platforms, though neither is likely to happen soon either.SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. First Edition: April 19, 2013 Today’s headlines include reports about a new plan by the Bipartisan Policy Center to reduce health spending released.Kaiser Health News: My Child Moved Away, Can I Keep Him On My Insurance? (Video) Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers a reader question about keeping your children on your health plan until they turn 26, even if they move away (4/19). Watch the video or read the transcript.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Bipartisan Center Offers Plan To Reduce Health Spending; Jonathan Bush Makes Case For Entrepreneurs In Health Care At TEDMEDNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Mary Agnes Carey reports on a new budget plan released by the Bipartisan Policy Center: “Medicare beneficiaries would have access to better coordinated medical care and the current Medicare physician payment formula would be scrapped as part of a health care cost containment plan the Bipartisan Policy Center unveiled Thursday. The plan offers more than 50 recommendations that would cut the federal deficit by about $560 billion over the next decade. About $300 billion of those savings would come from Medicare” (Carey, 4/19).Also on the blog, Ankita Rao reports from TEDMED: “Jonathan Bush wants to know why entrepreneurs can come up with an entire Starbucks-style language and culture for coffee but have little traction in health care” (Rao, 4/18). Check out what else is on the blog.Kaiser Health News: Letters To The Editor: Readers’ Thoughts On Critical Access Hospitals, Angry Doctors And A Range Of Other Health Care TopicsIn recent weeks, readers have reacted to stories about climbing death rates at critical access hospitals, the readmissions penalties being imposed on some hospitals and Walgreens’ move to become the first retail chain to diagnose and treat chronic conditions. Other coverage that drew responses included a story about angry doctors as well as coverage of decisions made both by physicians and consumers that impact the cost of care (4/18). Read the comments.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Fiscal Commission Leaders Alan Simpson And Erskine Bowles Introduce Modified Budget PlanThe plan released Thursday by and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles would lop more than $5 trillion from deficits over the upcoming decade when combined with the deficit-cutting steps enacted in fits and starts since his 2010 proposal. … The revised Simpson-Bowles plan proposes about $600 billion in increased taxes over the coming 10 years on top of the $600 billion-plus signed by Obama in January, another $600 billion or so in cuts to Medicare, and deeper cuts to domestic agencies and the Pentagon than proposed by the president (4/19).The Associated Press/Washington Post: AP-GfK Poll: Public Lacks Faith In Government, Opposes Changes To Medicare, Social SecurityMost adults disapprove of Obama’s handling of the federal deficit, a festering national problem. But they also dislike key proposals to reduce deficit spending, including a slower growth in Social Security benefits and changes to Medicare (4/18).Politico: Max Baucus Stirring Controversy On All SidesUp for reelection next year, the Senate Finance chairman and Montana Democrat is taking heat from all sides after — within the space of a few hours — he slammed the health reform law he helped write. … It all began with his widely reported comment to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday that he sees “a huge train wreck coming down” — meaning the implementation of Obamacare, the law he helped write and shepherded through the Senate. … Baucus was talking about his worries about implementation and public outreach — he didn’t repudiate the health law itself (Cheney, 4/18).Politico: Senate Oks Mental Health Amendment To Gun BillThe Senate agreed Thursday to tack a bipartisan mental health measure onto gun control legislation — but the measure is more modest than advocates had sought, and the underlying gun bill has already been effectively derailed, at least for the time being. The vote on the mental health amendment offered by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) was 95-2, with Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah opposing. But it came a day after the Senate rejected broader background checks on gun purchases, prompting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to suspend further votes on amendments to the bill (Cunningham, 4/19).The Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth’s Outlook Cautious Amid Medicare DebateUnitedHealth Group Inc. on Thursday sounded a cautious tone as it deals with the near-term impact of the government’s crackdown on spending and looks ahead to lower funding for its Medicare plans. The comments, from the nation’s largest managed-care company by both revenue and members, indicate the uncertainty that the industry is experiencing as insurers gear up for fuller implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. That process has been made more complicated by the recent automatic U.S. spending cuts known as the sequestration and expectations for lower incoming payments for Medicare Advantage plans next year (Kamp, 4/18).Los Angeles Times: UnitedHealth Reports Lower First-Quarter Profit, Higher CostsUnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer, said its first-quarter profit dropped 14% as medical costs climbed higher. The Minnetonka, Minn., company said its health plan membership increased 18% in the quarter to 42 million people, boosted by international growth (Terhune, 4/18).The Associated Press/Washington Post: United Health 1st Quarter Earnings Fall 14 Pct, Insurer Warns Of Looming Medicare Profit SqueezeUnitedHealth Group, the largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, warned Thursday that funding cuts for the privately-run versions of the federal Medicare program will force it to reconsider its expectations for earnings growth next year. CEO Stephen Hemsley told analysts that the government-subsidized coverage for elderly and disabled people faces a reimbursement cut of about 4 percent next year. That’s on top of other possible federal funding reductions and an expected 3 percent rise in medical costs (4/18).The Wall Street Journal: Humana Fires Lobbying Firm, Launches Internal ReviewHealth insurer Humana Inc. said it has started an internal probe into the circumstances surrounding the leak of a significant change in government health-care policy. “We have launched an internal review primarily to determine whether our interests were harmed” by the tie between an outside lobbyist employed by Humana and an investment firm that sent out early word of the policy shift, a Humana spokesman said. That alert set off a sudden jump in shares of Humana and other insurers late April 1 (Mullins and Mathews, 4/18).The Washington Post: D.C. Officials Postpone Vote On Hospital Cancer Treatment OptionD.C. health officials postponed making a recommendation Thursday on two competing hospital proposals to establish a controversial cancer treatment. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital, part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, are both vying to offer proton beam therapy, a cutting-edge radiation treatment that hospital executives say is more precise in targeting tumors and safer for healthy tissue than conventional X-rays (Sun, 4/18). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.
Exchanges Look To Software And Sports Teams This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. News outlets report on enrollment activities, including efforts to recruit sports teams, as well as the testing of software for the new online insurance marketplaces.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Test Driving The Obamacare SoftwareAll the outreach in the world won’t count for much if the Obamacare ticket counter doesn’t work. Behind the campaign to educate the uninsured about the Affordable Care Act is the assumption that software to sell the plans will be ready and user-friendly by Oct. 1, when enrollment is supposed to start. That assumption is not universally shared. Some wonder if systems will be tested and finished on time. Others worry the programs will lead consumers to make dumb insurance choices (Hancock, 6/27).Politico: Recruiting Local Sports For Team ObamacarePresident Barack Obama’s love of the Chicago White Sox is no secret, but he’d probably be an even bigger fan if his hometown baseball team goes to bat for Obamacare. It’s not just the Obama administration looking to join forces with professional sports leagues to enroll people in health insurance. Some states are also looking to get a lift from local teams this fall, when millions can start signing up for coverage (Millman, 6/27).Philadelphia Inquirer/Kaiser Health News: Navigators Will Play Key Role As Marketplace Launch NearsThis new venue is expected to raise a tsunami of questions from consumers. Where will potential enrollees turn if they can’t use the Internet or don’t speak English? Consumers can call on “navigators,” trained people who will provide face-to-face assistance. Or, it is hoped, the navigators will call on them (Diamond, 6/27). Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Exchange Bracing To Slash $9 MillionColorado’s health exchange managers are bracing to cut expenses by about $9 million because federal sequestration is expected to axe 7.5 percent from a $125 million federal grant designed to help launch the exchange. Exchange CEO and Executive Director Patty Fontneau said during a finance committee meeting this week that managers are expecting a 7.5 percent cut in the newest implementation grant. Fontneau said some programs might have to withstand higher cuts than others because managers have already signed some contracts for services or technology so they cannot spread the cuts evenly across all programs (Kerwin McCrimmon, 6/26).
As the nation approaches its debt limit and the federal government remains shut down, a deal continues to be elusive. The Wall Street Journal: Senate Democrats Press New Front In Budget BattleSenate Democrats have been strengthened by the sidelining, at least for now, of House conservatives, who dropped nearly all their major policy demands only to see Mr. Obama reject their proposal for ending the stalemate. With Senate leaders now negotiating, the fiscal battle focused for the first time in weeks on the budget itself, not on side issues that had dominated, such as the Republican demand that the 2010 health-care law be delayed or altered. Republicans who had opposed the GOP’s “defund Obamacare” strategy welcomed the return of interest to basic spending issues (Hook, 10/14).Politico: Senate Remains At An ImpasseMonday will be critical. With financial markets fearful of a prolonged impasse, there is little margin for error before Thursday, when the Treasury Department warns the government will begin to run out of money and could fail to pay its bills for the first time in history. That possibility would intensify a budget crisis that started Oct. 1, when government agencies shuttered for the first time in 17 years because of lawmakers’ inability to pass a funding bill on time. It’s far from clear how the high-stakes fight will play out this week. Republicans have already dropped their push to gut Obamacare, which prompted the shutdown in the first place. But McConnell has yet to accept Democratic demands for higher spending levels for at least a portion of the current fiscal year (Raju and Kim, 10/13).The Washington Post: Senate Leaders’ Talks On Shutdown, Debt Limit Stall As Sides Await Market’s ReactionWhat started as a mad dash to strike a deal to lift the federal debt limit slowed to a crawl over the weekend as stalemated Senate leaders waited nervously to see whether financial markets would plunge Monday morning and drive the other side toward compromise. Republicans seemed to think they had more to lose. After talks broke down between President Obama and House leaders, GOP senators quickly cobbled together a plan to end the government shutdown — now entering its third week — and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) then asked Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to elevate negotiations to the highest level (Montgomery and Helderman, 10/13).The New York Times: Spending Dispute Leaves A Senate Deal ElusiveWith a possible default on government obligations just days away, Senate Democratic leaders — believing they have a political advantage in the continuing fiscal impasse — refused Sunday to sign on to any deal that reopens the government but locks in budget cuts for next year. … Republicans once said that they would finance the government only if the president’s health care law was gutted. A bipartisan Senate framework drafted by Ms. Collins and Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, started with a face-saving move for Republicans of a repeal of a tax on medical devices that helps pay for the Affordable Care Act. When Senate Democratic leaders objected, that was tempered to a two-year delay of the tax (Weisman, 10/13).Los Angeles Times: Government Shutdown Talks Hit Snag In SenateThe protracted stalemate has left Congress facing twin crises: Thursday’s deadline to raise the nation’s borrowing limit or risk a potentially catastrophic debt default, and a federal government shutdown that will enter its third week Tuesday. Republicans had hoped they could use the standoff to gain leverage in their fight with Democrats over the budget and President Obama’s healthcare law, but find themselves in a dramatically weakened position. They have failed to unify around a common negotiating position and face polls showing that the public by large margins blames them for the stalemate (Mascaro, 10/13).The New York Times: Stuck On Usual Quarrel: Raising New Revenue But even if the current talks soon resolve the immediate impasse, which did not look likely on Saturday, any renewal of negotiations for a long-term fiscal plan will run into the same underlying problem that has doomed efforts for the past three years. Republicans refuse to raise additional tax revenue, and until they do, Mr. Obama will not support even his own tentative proposals for reducing spending on fast-growing social benefit programs, chiefly Medicare. During a White House meeting with Senate Republicans on Friday, he reiterated that the two go hand in hand, according to people who were there (Calmes, 10/12).Kaiser Health News: FAQ: What’s At Stake If Congress Repeals The Medical Device TaxAs Republicans and Democrats have battled over reopening the federal government and raising the federal debt ceiling, one idea that keeps coming up is a repeal of the 2010 health law’s tax on medical devices (Carey, 10/11).Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including reports about the direction of congressional budget talks (10/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Battle Lines Change As Negotiators Appear To Drop GOP Efforts To Derail The Health Law
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Trump Must Follow Tough Talk On Drug Pricing With Action Bloomberg: Repatha Will Test The New Drug Pricing Reality Amid all the kerfuffle in the last week over immigration, the Supreme Court, Iran and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s TV ratings, too little attention was paid to an extraordinary meeting at the White House at which President Trump reneged on a campaign promise and sold out millions of “forgotten” Americans to giant drug companies. (Steven Pearlstein, 2/4) The epic battle between drug makers and the insurers and pharmacy benefit managers that pay for their medicines just opened a fascinating new front. Amgen Inc.’s earnings report Thursday afternoon was largely overshadowed by its announcement that its cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha succeeded in a clinical trial designed to prove it helps prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular events. (Max Nisen, 2/3) Bloomberg: Trump Had One Good Idea. Then He Ditched It. Houston Chronicle: Complicated, Expensive Drug Market Needs Simplification Perspectives: Reality Of Global Drug Pricing Is Much More Complex Than Trump Realizes Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues. Stat: Dear Mr. President: Your Big Idea On Drug Pricing Is Half-Baked It wasn’t all that long ago — though it seems that way, admittedly, with the never-ending flood of Trumpian news — that I was prepared to acknowledge that President Donald Trump actually has a few good ideas. Or at least one. It was Tuesday morning. The new president was about to go into a meeting with chief executives from Johnson & Johnson, Merck and a handful of other major pharma companies. During his campaign, he often said that if he were elected, the federal government would start negotiating with the drug companies over the prices Medicare and Medicaid had to pay for drugs — something it’s now prevented from doing by statute. This is an issue that resonated with most Americans, the majority of whom want the government to do something about high drug prices. (Joe Nocera, 2/2) The Hill: Hate High Drug Prices? Blame Greedy Companies And Our Politicians One might first think that Acthar was an ancient civilization in Mesopotamia or a prison facility in upstate New York. In fact, it is the most expensive drug for the U.S. government. In 2015, Medicare paid $504 million for H.P. Acthar Gel, an average of $162,300 per patient. So then it must at least be the hottest new drug for cancer or dementia, right? Not so, unfortunately. (Dr. Hagop M. Kantarjian and Michael A. Carrier, 2/1) Donald Trump is well known to be no fan of the Trans Pacific Partnership. In fact, one of his first acts as president was to issue a notice that the U.S. is withdrawing from the agreement, citing concerns that the deal is unfair to American workers. While Trump was focused primarily on the trade aspects of the deal, there are other provisions of the agreement relating to pharmaceuticals and intellectual property that should be just as worrying. Now, as President Trump expresses a wish to make prescription medicine more affordable, he would do well to apply the same skepticism he had for trade to the sweetheart deals Big Pharma has traditionally received from government. (Logan Albright, 2/5) Production costs are rarely the key factor in determining a price, because when your life depends on a drug, you will pay almost anything to get it.Just ask the 8,000 people in the U.S. and Europe who suffer from paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a disease that destroys red blood cells at night, causing life-threatening clots, anemia and organ failure. Alexion Pharmaceutical’s drug Soliris is the only treatment available, and it can cost $440,000 a year, making it the most expensive drug sold in. (Chris Tomlinson, 2/7) The Washington Post: Trump Loses Backbone On Drug Prices. Is There A Pill For That? Conservative Review: Killing TPP Saved Poor Countries From High Drug Prices. How About Saving Ourselves? Let’s be blunt: Your idea is half-baked. Why? Because it is much more complicated than you think. Unlike the United States, most other countries provide some form of insurance coverage for their populations and take responsibility for negotiating drug prices. Government agencies around the world have been pushing back against drug makers over the rising cost of medicines, a development that has proven not only popular with voters, but increasingly necessary given strained budgets. Some Americans, however, grumble that they are, in effect, subsidizing other countries. That may be true, but the US has failed to take any significant steps to lower prices. (Ed Silverman, 2/6) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Bloomberg: Teva’s Dividend Should Follow Its CEO Out Another runaway drug-pricing problem is putting an easy-to-use version of naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, out of reach for most drug addicts, their families and first responders. The cost of an auto-inject version of the drug, specifically approved for people without medical training to use in life-threatening situations, has increased more than 500 percent to $4,500 since 2014. The wholesale price of insulin, a life-saving drug for some 1.25 million Americans who suffer from Type 1 diabetes, increased from $45 for a highly concentrated monthly form in 2001, to $1,447 last year. This is life and death for patients whose pancreases can’t make insulin. (2/5) When a CEO abruptly steps down after three years in charge, it’s a safe bet the new guy isn’t inheriting a corporate bouquet of roses. That’s certainly the case at generics giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Erez Vigodman’s surprise exit Monday afternoon leaves interim CEO and ex-Chairman Yitzhak Peterburg with a struggling generics business, the likely loss of billions in sales from its best-selling product Copaxone after a court invalidated several patents, and a debt load that exceeds the company’s market cap. (Max Nisen, 2/7)
Soccer Bolton’s gain eases Nolan’s pain at snub from Capello Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Sachin Nakrani at the Madejski Stadium Reading Share on Twitter match reports Share on Pinterest Bolton Wanderers Patience is said to be a virtue but that is hard for Kevin Nolan to accept right now. Having inspired his side to their first Premier League away victory of the season, a result which condemned Reading to a sixth league defeat in a row, the Bolton Wanderers captain could not hide his disappointment at again missing out on England recognition. He failed to make Fabio Capello’s squad for the friendly against Switzerland on Wednesday and, although the 25-year-old has time on his side, he is beginning to sound weary and frustrated more than hopeful.”I’m not surprised because I have been in this position before but I am upset and hurt. I thought with the new manager coming in that I might have had a shout,” Nolan said of his England omission. “But I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and maybe the manager will see that and give me a chance.”Or perhaps not. Capello has yet to watch Bolton play and has therefore failed to observe first-hand the performances of one of the Premier League’s most consistent players. Nolan has been an integral member of the Bolton side since they were promoted to the top flight in 2001, a period in which he has scored 46 goals. His latest was the opener here, one element of a committed and intelligent performance which suggested the former Under-18 international shares more with Steven Gerrard than a scouse accent.Nolan understands that he is not going to challenge the likes of Gerrard and Frank Lampard for a regular place in the England side but wants a chance to show that he is at least on a par with the fringe players who have made Capello’s cut.”I think those who are on the outer fringes should be swapped around now and then,” he said. “That way, if the manager needed to call upon them they would have the experience of playing and being around the established players that England already has. That’s how I would get in and, given a chance, I feel I could give England something different.”Nolan’s inclusion in a future England squad is supported by Gary Cahill, who joined Bolton from Aston Villa last month for £5m. The defender, who enjoyed an excellent debut here, has known his new captain for less than a week but is already impressed by what Nolan has to offer.”Kevin is a composed and experienced player who is also a very nice lad off the pitch. He’s a leader, someone you can go to for advice,” Cahill said. “People have been talking about him playing for England for a long time and that is happening for a reason; it’s because he’s a good player who has been performing well for Bolton on a consistent basis for a long time now. I’m sure his time with England will come.”Nolan is less sure. Asked where he was when the England squad was announced on Thursday, he replied: “I didn’t hear it being announced. I’m so used to not being in it now that I don’t even listen out for it. But I’ll definitely be watching the match on Wednesday. I’m an England supporter and I’ll always support them and I’ll always be behind them.”He can console himself with this deserved victory, sealed by Heidar Helguson’s first goal since August, and signs that Bolton are steering themselves away from relegation. They sit 14th, three places above Reading, whose alarming descent has gone relatively unnoticed.Steve Coppell’s side have failed to win in the league since December 22, conceding 17 goals in seven games in the process. This glum period has also seen them exit the FA Cup and, judging by Saturday’s performance, abandon the vigour which saw them finish eighth last season, their first in the Premier League.Reading were woeful in front of their own supporters, no one more so than Dave Kitson, whose omission from the England squad is now without debate, and it was little surprise when they were booed immediately after the final whistle. The reaction upset Coppell but he understands the reason for it.”I heard some of the comments made and yes, it’s hurtful but we know we haven’t been as fluent as last year. The momentum of wins has not flowed. The players are not daft, they know this is the reality,” he said. “I can personally handle it but does it give me sleepless nights? Of course it does.”I always think of the Bill Shankly quote, something along the lines of ‘losing is worse than death because you have to live with losing’ . This is something you carry around; the only way out of it is to create a better working environment and bring more out of the players.”Coppell’s reference to Shankly shows his passion burns bright. With him in charge Reading maintain hope of climbing up the league, as Bolton are doing thanks in large part to their captain. It may be time for Capello to make his first visit to the Reebok.Man of the match Kevin Nolan (Bolton) Topics Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Reuse this content Share via Email First published on Sun 3 Feb 2008 19.06 EST @SachinNakrani Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Soccer Shares00 Sun 3 Feb 2008 19.06 EST Share on Messenger
If nothing else, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is persistent.In 2009 he introduced the “Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act” in the House to no avail. (See here and here for prior posts).In 2011, he introduced the “Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act” in the House to no avail. (See here for the prior post).Last week, he again introduced the “Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act” in the House (H.R. 5438).What is the “Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act?”Like previous versions of the bill, H.R. 5438 seeks to “authorize certain private rights of action under the FCPA for violations that damage certain businesses, and for other purposes.”Before turning to the specifics of H.R. 5438, some relevant background.The FCPA’s legislative history is clear that the House intended for the FCPA to provide for a private right of action. However, the House committee’s statement about a private right of action was not repeated in the reports of either the Senate committee considering the FCPA or the conference committee that reconciled the views of the House and Senate to produce the language of the FCPA as it was ultimately enacted.Based on this, as well as other factors highlighted in this post, courts have rejected plaintiffs’ arguments for an FCPA private right of action.Back to Rep. Perlmutter’s bill.The bill seeks to amend the FCPA by providing that “any person that violates [the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions] shall be liable to any “issuer” “domestic concern” or “other person that is a United States person” that is damaged by the violation … for damages caused to such issuer, domestic concern, or other person by the violation.”Like previous versions of the bill, H.R. 5438 contains a section titled “Proof of Damages” which generally states that “the court may not find for the plaintiff in an action … unless the plaintiff alleges and proves that (A) the defendant violated the [anti-bribery provisions]; and (B) the defendant’s violation … (i) prevented the plaintiff from obtaining or retaining business for or with any person; and (ii) assisted the defendant in obtaining or retaining such business.”Like previsions versions of the bill, the “measure of damages” in H.R. 5438 “may be equal to the higher of the two following amounts … (i) the total amount of the contract or agreement that the defendant gained in obtaining or retaining business by means of the violation .. (ii) the total amount of the contract or agreement that the plaintiff failed to gain because of the defendant’s obtaining or retaining business by means of the violation …”.Like previous versions of the bill, H.R. 5438 provides that “the court shall enter judgment for three times the amount determined [under either scenario above], together with a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs …”.Like previous versions of the bill, H.R. 5438 explicitly preserves the FCPA’s facilitation payment exception and two affirmative defenses and contains the following statute of limitations “within 3 years after the discovery of the facts constituting the cause of action and within 6 years after the cause of action accrued.”This release from Rep. Perlmutter’s office states:“Recent reports of high profile corruption, such as the Panama Papers and Unaoil, allege financial kickbacks and monetary payments to government officials in return for contracts or favors. Under current law, only the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are allowed to bring enforcement actions under the FCPA.“These recent examples highlight the need for greater focus on the FCPA. I applaud the DOJ and SEC for making FCPA enforcement more of a priority in recent years, but more needs to be done – especially since both agencies are relatively underfunded,” said Perlmutter. “This legislation is a way to meet this increasing demand without adding to the deficit.”The Foreign Business Bribery Prohibition Act creates a new risk factor for companies to think twice before offering bribes or favors to foreign officials. In addition, the bill aims to instill good governance by clarifying the FCPA statutory interpretations which will help businesses compete overseas and reduce corruption in domestic business operations.“Corruption and bribery undermine the pillars of democracy and erode trust,” continued Perlmutter. “This legislation helps encourage foreign companies to play by the rules or be brought to court. Most importantly, it is a way to level the playing field and help U.S. companies compete abroad. ”Like previous versions of Rep. Perlmutter’s bill, H.R. 5438 is unlikely to make it “out of committee” much less be enacted.However, it is safe to assume that if the FCPA did contain an express private right of action, there would be more judicial scrutiny of FCPA enforcement theories, and because of this, the FCPA enforcement landscape would likely look much different than it does today.
by, Mary Hopfner-Thomas, The Green House Project BlogTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesThe “Land of 10,000 Lakes” will soon be the home of the first Green House Assisted Living homes! Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on a gorgeous sunny morning June 27th in Mankato, Minnesota.The homes will be called Water’s Edge at Willow Brook, and will be developed and operated by Grace Senior Services. Brad and Heather Bass are the owners and have a deep commitment to serving elders. They began their journey by opening an adult day service out of their home in 1997 and now have several senior housing cooperatives, two Assisted Living facilities, an adult foster care program, and a team of dedicated staffers to work with all of the elders.During the groundbreaking event, Brad expressed his enthusiasm for the project, “We are excited to be part of the national replication project for Green House homes and for the opportunity to bring this special model to Mankato and the state of Minnesota.” The three homes should be open early next year. A warm welcome to our newest members of the Green House family!Related PostsA Green House Grows in WyomingThis is the story of an extra-ordinary group of people. The groundbreaking for the Green House for Living in Sheridan facility was held Tuesday afternoon. While the temperatures may have been close to freezing outside, the hearts and minds of those in attendance were certainly warm with excitement, as Green…Nation’s First Green House Project for Veterans Breaks GroundSeveral hundred veterans, local officials and eldercare advocates attended the groundbreaking ceremony last week for the nation’s first Green House Project home built exclusively for U.S. Veterans Affairs in Danville, Ill. Local media called it “momentous” and “historic”. Here’s a sample: Local VA Offers LTC Alternative for Elder Veterans — (VIDEO)…Green House Project Breaks Ground in MarylandTomorrow is a big day for the Green House Project in Maryland — after several years of hard work by Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GOVANS), they are breaking ground to build the state’s first Green House Project homes on the grounds of Baltimore’s old Memorial Stadium. The ground breaking ceremony…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Assisted Living ChangingAging
Interview conducted by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 15 2018 Thought LeadersDr Robert CrambMedical AdvisorWest Midlands screening service forFamilial HypercholesterolaemiaAn interview with Dr Robert Cramb, conducted by Alina Shrourou, BSc.Please give an overview of Familial Chylomicronemia Syndrome (FCS).FCS is a rare syndrome. There are a number of potential causes, but the most common is associated with a lack of an enzyme (protein) called lipoprotein lipase. This protein helps release fatty acids from a large structure called the chylomicron, that circulates in the blood after being formed after fat is taken up from the intestine. The fatty acids are taken up into muscle and fat cells and are used to provide energy to move our muscles, to keep our hearts working, and to keep all of the cells in our body topped with energy.FCS is therefore caused by a problem of release of fats from this large protein lipid, fat—containing complex.How prevalent is FCS and why is it so rare?About one to two people per million are likely to have the syndrome. FCS is a recessive disease, so you must have defects on the lipoprotein lipase gene from both parents.Is it easy for doctors to recognise and diagnose the condition?It’s not easy. Children can present with abdominal pain as a result of having high blood fat, but often it is young adolescents who present with the abdominal pain or other non-specific symptoms, that can include lack of energy or not feeling out-of-sorts. Even then, a blood test is the only reliable way to show the problem.© tobe24/Shutterstock.comIn order to see that problem, you must test for blood fat, triglyceride in the blood. There is no need to have the patient fasting and the blood sample should be taken at random. If the condition is present in a patient, the sample obtained will be milky in comparison to normal blood and even if the triglyceride test is not requested, laboratory staff are likely to see the problem as milky blood samples can cause interference with some of the routine blood tests.What are the direct and indirect symptoms a patient might experience when suffering from FCS?The worst of the problems is acute pancreatitis. That is the worst presenting symptom where there is inflammation in the pancreatic gland.The pancreas has two functions, an endocrine and an exocrine function. The endocrine function is to supply insulin to allow the transport of sugar from the circulation into muscle and into fat cells and to help activate lipoprotein lipase, so that fat is also taken up by muscles and fat cells.The exocrine function is to secrete lipases and tryptases into the intestine to help digest our food. With acute pancreatitis, the gland becomes inflamed and there is release of these digestive proteins, into the abdomen which inflames all the surrounding organs and causes acute pain.While acute pancreatitis is the worst presentation of the illness, other symptoms include “fuzzy” brains, lack of concentration, joint pains and fatigue.Are there any issues with misdiagnosis of FCS?Often, this condition is regarded as people presenting with symptoms because they are eating badly. In fact, individuals with FCS can present with their problems when they’re eating well and invariably they are slim individuals, who are very conscious of the problems that occur if they overeat, and particularly if they overeat fat.People with FCS also often experience frustration as recurrent pancreatitis sometimes leads to HCPs who are not fully aware of FCS, to make assumptions about a patient’s alcohol consumption.If you review the causes of pancreatitis, the top two, most common are gallstones and alcoholic pancreatitis. Although familial chylomicronemia syndrome is a rare cause of pancreatitis, in some series of reviews it is the third most common presentation.Related StoriesDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaUnfortunately patients with pancreatitis precipitated by alcohol can also present with high blood fats. FCS should be considered when triglyceride levels are above 11 millimoles per litre. It is common for patients with FCS to have ‘normal’ levels between 15 and 30 millimoles per litre even when they were reasonably controlled. However patients with alcoholic pancreatitis may present with triglyceride of levels above 20 millimoles per litre and may on occasion be as high as 100 millimoles per litre.It is therefore difficult for healthcare professionals to make the diagnosis, and to avoid an incorrect diagnosis it is important not to dismiss patients who insist that they do not drink. You have to ask the laboratory to help you with the diagnosis as there is usually a characteristic milky layer found on top of specimens prepared for analysis.What are the current treatment options available to FCS patients?There are few options. In the acute phase in acute pancreatitis, a treatment called plasmapheresis can be very useful to get the blood fats down. Otherwise, everyday treatment is really about a very low-fat diet – 10 to 15g of fat is regarded as the absolute maximum that should consumed daily. Essentially, a large tablespoon full of olive oil or two-thirds of an avocado would be as much fat as you should consume during the day.© marekuliasz/Shutterstock.comIf you consider that and if you look at the labelling of foods, and the quantity of fats in most products you will find that you can quickly consume the maximum 15 grams of daily fat suggested.What are the difficulties for patients in following such a low-fat diet?It is a boring diet and you have to be absolutely strict with dietary compliance. Patients are unable to eat a lot of meat, and dairy produce is almost always ruled out.In terms of what fats FCS patients can eat, the best option is medium-chain triglycerides. These are fats that have carbon lengths of up to around 10 carbon atoms rather than the 14 to 18 carbon atoms in the fatty acids typically found in foods. These fats can be directly taken up from the gut to the liver, and provide some energy directly. In general, these fats do not taste good and it is an extremely difficult diet to follow. In general many of the foods tend to be rather dry and lack flavour, especially as the use of sauces has to be carefully reviewed to avoid high fat containing sauce that my cause symptoms.Why are patient support groups so important for rare disease? Are patient support groups easily accessible for FCS patients?The LPLD alliance is a well established group run that provides support and information to by patients for patients and they give a good overview of what can and what cannot be consumed. Moreover it is a really useful way of making sure patients do not feel as if they are suffering alone.As HCPs, it is very important that we refer patients to specialists, usually lipid or metabolic specialists, who know where the support groups are and who can provide support with specialist dietetic careWhy is it important to raise awareness for rare diseases such as FCS among the health care professional community?Unless rare diseases are recognized, individuals may feel isolated and isolation means that there is ignorance.If HCPs can get patients to go to specialised clinics, patients can feel reassured that there is other people there, in a similar situation to them, and they can share their information with these individuals, as well as feeling confident that HCPs are providing the best care and advice. These actions can help with the disease and makie sure that there’s information voiced between those patients, and they can see that there’s opportunities to reach out and get to the support groups. Within those groups, bonds form and the group is more inclined help support research, and participate in trials of therapy.What’s your advice to HCPs who want to educate themselves on FCS for their patients?Coming from Heart UK, where I am a trustee and a past chairman of Heart UK, we have a page on FCS as it is a lipid disorder, and there are pointers from the pages there to show healthcare professionals what they should be thinking about and where also to go and get advice.The LPDP alliance, as previously mentioned, have very good information on the problem and are headed by individuals who properly understand the problems of the disease.Where can readers find more information? https://heartuk.org.uk/health-and-high-cholesterol/triglycerides/lpld http://www.lpldalliance.org About Dr Robert CrambDr Robert Cramb is a Medical Advisor for the West Midlands screening service for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia. Previously he was a Consultant Chemical Pathologist and Lipidologist at the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. His clinical interests are in lipids and lipoprotein disorders, and quality assurance in pathology. He has a wide collaborative research interest in metabolic medicine, point of care testing and use of liver function tests. Dr Cramb is a trustee of the Hyperlipidaemia Education and Research Trust (HEART UK; The Cholesterol Charity; appointed trustee July 2010) and was previously Chair of the board of trustees from 2011-2014. He is currently the Clinical Lead for the West Midlands screening service for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia.
Source:http://www.insilico.com/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 27 2018Insilico Medicine, a Rockville-based company specializing in the application of next-generation artificial intelligence for drug discovery, biomarker development and aging research, announces the presentation of its CTO, Alex Zhebrak at the 5th Global Precision Medicine & Biomarkers Leaders Summit, September 13-14, 2018, Munich, Germany.On September 13-14th, the 5th Global Precision Medicine & Biomarkers Leaders Summit: Europe will detail the latest research on the strategies and technology required to facilitate Precision Medicine. Industry and academic leaders will be examining ground-breaking biomarker, companion diagnostic, immuno-oncology, genomic, big data and AI research to facilitate the development of impactful personalized treatments. With over 30 presentations, expert led panel discussions, in depth roundtable sessions and 7+ hours of dedicated time for networking, this is an event not to be missed. View agendaRelated StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsIT Faces the Digital Pathology Data TsunamiMosquito surveillance in Madagascar reveals new insight into malaria transmissionAlex Zhebrak will give a talk titled “End-to-end machine learning engine for drug discovery”, will cover Insilico’s approach finding the most promising targets and generating novel molecular structures for drug discovery.”Machine learning techniques have been widely adopted in multiple research fields over the recent years including bioinformatics, chemistry, and drug discovery. Novel computational methods and generative models can discover promising targets and drug compounds within hours, while conventional drug design pipelines require months of work. Insilico Medicine focuses on applications of machine learning to biomarker development and early-stage drug discovery. The talk will explore our end-to-end learning pipeline, which utilizes multiple data types to identify the most promising targets and generates novel molecular structures with the desired set of parameters”, said Alex Zhebrak.”Machine learning techniques found its applications in several areas, including realistic image synthesis, text-to-image synthesis or even animating movie, etc Vast amounts of data collected within pharmaceutical industry can be utilized to build similar models. Nowadays, the target itself is not a competitive advantage, in most cases the value is in a molecule. At Insilico Medicine, we build GANs that work on multiple representations of the chemical structures to expand and navigate through the chemical space. Automated discovery of novel chemotypes with certain properties against specific targets offered by GANs shows a great promise to significantly facilitate early drug design stages”, said Alex Aliper, President of EMEA at Insilico Medicine, Inc.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 29 2018A team of specialists from King’s College London, St Thomas’ Hospital, and Siemens Healthineers have recently published details of a novel approach to lead placement during image guided cardiac resynchronization therapy (also known as CRT). Source:http://image-guided-therapies.ac.uk/software-platform-improve-success-rates-image-guided-cardiac-resynchronization-therapy/ What is cardiac resynchronization therapy?Cardiac resynchronization therapy is a common procedure offered to patients who suffer from heart failure for which drug management alone is not effective. The condition prevents the heart from beating normally due to uncoordinated electrical activity. This means the organ struggles to circulate blood and oxygen around the body, resulting in patients straining with simple, everyday tasks.The aim of the therapy is to resynchronize the contractions of the heart ventricles by implanting a device in the patient which can deliver electrical signals to the heart muscle. In order to do so, three pacing leads must be placed into the right atrium, the right ventricle, and the left ventricle of the patient’s heart.The lead placement in the left ventricle specifically has a critical influence on the procedure, and sub-optimal placement can cause poor outcomes in around 40% of cases. However, the optimal location is highly patient specific and can be affected by both anatomy and disease factors such as the presence of scar tissue.How can software be used for patient benefit?The researchers have developed an integrated guidance system which fuses pre-operative imaging data in real time during the insertion of the leads, typically performed using a catheter under X-Ray fluoroscopy guidanceThe software creates a patient specific left ventricle model using MRI scan data which takes into account critical metrics such as the presence of scar tissue and the latest point of mechanical activity. Automatic segmentation of the scar tissue has also been incorporated into the software through machine learning techniques.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaHeart disease is still the number 1 killer in Australia, according to latest figuresThis allows surgeons to quickly and easily calculate the optimal position for the lead placement and use this as guidance during therapy by fusing the information with the fluoroscopic images.The system has been developed and tested using an XMR facility, a suite which combines both an MRI scanner and a catheter lab in adjoining rooms. Patients are scanned in the MRI directly before their procedure and the software is able to process the pre-operative data by the time it takes to transfer the patient to the catheter lab, demonstrating the significant time-saving possibilities of this system.Clinical lead, Prof Aldo Rinaldi, comments: “CRT results in significant improvement in patient’s quality of life and can prolong survival. Unfortunately, approximately one third of patients do not respond to treatment and this is especially the case in patients with scar within their hearts. Using a guidance system which can avoid areas of scarring within the heart has the potential to dramatically increase the benefit of this therapy and improve patient outcomes.”A new image guided systemDuring this project the researchers were able to demonstrate proof of concept for 20 patients. Whilst exciting, wider scale trials are required to fully demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of this integrated guidance platform. However, as the system has been designed to fit within the current clinical workflow any further translation of this research should be widely suitable for other teams and treatment centers to use. With cardiovascular disease being a global condition, the potential for creating impact and improving quality of life for those with heart failure is vast.
The windowpane oyster sports a shell so transparent and durable that some Indian and Philippine cities use the coverings as an affordable alternative to window glass. Yet windowpane oyster (Placuna placenta) shells are made up of 99% calcite, a usually brittle material, with a small amount of organic material. A team of researchers wondered how the shellfish’s fingernail-thick armor could survive multiple blows while remaining transparent, a feat unmatched by humanmade materials. When forcefully jabbed with a diamond, the windowpane oyster shell resists shattering by dispersing 10 times more impact energy than raw calcite, the team reports online today in Nature Materials. Peeking at the shell’s crystal structure using an electron microscope, the researchers discovered the oyster’s secret. When stressed, the shell’s crystal structure twists symmetrically, causing an atomic reorganization that forms a boundary quarantining any fractures that might form (pictured). This process, called deformation twinning, dissipates energy horizontally and allows the shell to survive multiple hits. Additionally, sheets of stretchy organic material between the layers of calcite prevent cracks from spreading vertically between layers. The researchers say their work provides a natural template for developing sturdy, transparent materials for windshields and even see-through military armor.See more ScienceShots.
Have you ever stared at a map on your phone, utterly confused, as your GPS cryptically directed you to “head east”? It turns out that the entorhinal region of the brain—an area best known for its role in memory formation—may be at least partly to blame for your poor sense of direction. According to a study published online today in Current Biology, this brain region may help humans decide which direction to go to reach a destination. To traverse any environment, a navigator has to have a sense of both the direction they’re currently facing and the direction to the destination. In the study, participants explored a virtual, square room with four unique objects in each corner and different landscapes on each of the four walls. Once they were familiar with the environment, the volunteers had to navigate a series of paths from one corner to another while the researchers monitored their brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The entorhinal region has long been known to help people identify which direction they’re facing already, but to plan a route, navigators must also imagine the direction of their destination. The study showed that this brain region likely also has a role in decisions about which directions to face next to get where we want to go. And as the participants imagined their way through the virtual room, the researchers found that the strength of the signal from this region was directly related to navigational performance, providing some new insights into why some people never need to stop for directions and others can’t even navigate their way out of a parking garage.
Flying broomstick? A pointy hat? Damp and dark hideout, full of bizarre ingredients, with fumes coming out of several pots and pans at once? A black cat? These are all traits traditionally related to the depiction of witches in literature and popular culture in general.However, according to a study conducted by Stacy McLennan, Collections Curator and Registrar of the Waterloo Region Museum in Canada, the origin of these stereotypes dates back to medieval times and a potion-making profession of a different kind.Illustrations from the 1913 play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.McLennan draws a striking parallel between the way that we imagine witches today with the appearance of women involved in the beer-making industry of the Dark Ages.Even though beer was a known beverage in Egypt and Mesopotamia thousands of years before, it wasn’t until the 1300s that it became associated with witchcraft. According to McLennan, the answer lies in a successful attempt to suppress women from this line of business, and turn medieval craft beer into a “manly man’s profession.”Egyptian hieroglyphics depict the pouring out of beer.During the 14th century, ale-making was a trade mostly reserved for women who competed to produce the best flavors and blends, while developing the science of beer-making.Reports from the period right before the Great Plague hit England mention more than 300 women in Brigstock, Northamptonshire, brewing beer for sale and making a significant profit by doing so.Commonly known as Alewives, these women used a number of tools and equipment like a bubbling cauldron full of hot brown liquid and a broom for tidying up.Illustration of a 16th century brewery.In the marketplaces, brewers wore high-pointed hats to stand out from other merchants. Eventually, the hat became a symbol of the trade.Furthermore, an animal which became the usual side-kick of witches was the alewives’ cat, useful for catching various vermin and rodents that jeopardized production by eating grains and other stored cereals vital for the making of beer.And last but not least, the inevitable prop present in every witch’s arsenal — the broomstick.The story behind the broomstick being so commonly related to witches comes from what was once called an ale-stake. To signal potential customers that the ale was ready for distribution, the alewives of old used a tall stake, reminiscent of a broom, which would be exhibited in front of their house.A misericord showing ale being drawn from a cask by alewife in St Laurence, Ludlow, Shropshire, England. Photo by Charlesdrakew CC BY SA 3.0But what caused the image of these female entrepreneurs to suddenly turn sour?Well, the answer to that question is unfortunately very simple — profit.As brewing involved more and more women across England and continental Europe, men wanted a slice of this lucrative enterprise. Better yet, the whole pie.By the mid-14th century, the Church had begun their campaign of fabricating the narrative that alewives were in fact servants of the devil, and that beer is the Unholy’s favorite alcoholic beverage.Woman brewing beer.Soon various depiction of women as Satan’s loyal servants arose as decorations in Christian churches. Stacy McLennan explained for the CBC News in 2015:“There are more depictions of alewives in hell during this time period than any other profession. Most medieval churches in England have some sort of painting or carving or some sort of depiction of an alewife in hell in the Last Judgment scene.”Depiction of an alewife from the Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300.Tools such as the hat and the broom were decried as symbols related to witchcraft. It quickly caught on, as alewives began losing their customers, who simply switched to buying from their male counterparts for fear of being possessed by the alchemy of a woman’s brew.Mother Louse, a notorious Alewife in Oxford during the mid 18th century. Image by David Loggan. Photo by Daid Loggan CC BY SA 4.0But for the women who were known to be involved in beer-making, this sudden shift didn’t only cost them their business. In a time when life was cheap and accusations of heresy ran rampant, to be called a witch was an immediate death sentence.The iconic appearance of the Wicked Witch of the West as portrayed by Margaret Hamilton in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.Apart from the fact that in following centuries beer production became an exclusively male profession, no reliable records exist of how many of the ale-wives lost their lives during witch hunts, so common in the Middle Ages.Read another story from us: As the official witch of Los Angeles County in 1968, Louise Huebner led chants for the first gigantic SpellcastIn 15th and 16th century Spain, a similar scenario caught up with a large number of female tavern-owners and brewsters, as the infamous Inquisition scoured the land in search of heretics, and often produced fictional proof of witchcraft.Nikola Budanovic is a freelance journalist who has worked for various media outlets such as Vice, War History Online, The Vintage News, and Taste of Cinema. His main areas of interest are history, particularly military history, literature and film.