Nominations can reel in millions for films

first_imgA more recent study concluded that a nomination in the Best Picture or Best Actor category could increase weekly box office revenue by more than 200 percent in subsequent weeks. A nomination for Best Actress increased weekly revenue by 150 percent, according to the study “For Oscar Glory or Oscar money?” published in 2005 in the Journal of Cultural Economics. The study contradicted Nelson’s, concluding that the bulk of extra revenue comes after a nomination, with the actual award adding little to the bottom line. The financial importance of an award is greater on independent producers looking to parlay credibility into financing for future films, analysts say. Major studios also benefit because talent agents tend to bring “A-list” actors and screenwriters to more successful studios. But the actual financial benefit to a particular film, its studio, or the multinational media conglomerates that own the studios is harder to determine. “You’ve got this fog around the actual number,” said Harold Vogel, a financial analyst and author of the book “Entertainment Industry Economics.” Vogel said figures for film costs that appear in trade publications simply can’t be trusted. Neither can estimates of marketing budgets, leaving it nearly impossible to gauge whether a film has actually made a profit. And there are costs associated with awards. Studios typically spend millions of dollars to tout nominations and even more to advertise an Oscar winner, cutting into whatever extra revenue those awards may generate.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Movie studios spend millions of dollars this time of year touting the Academy Award nominations garnered by their films. But does an Oscar translate into box office bucks? The answer is hard to determine, although most industry analysts and economists seem to agree that nominations and wins can add anywhere from $10 million to $50 million to the gross revenue of a film. Figuring the worth of an Oscar to a film or even an individual is tricky in a town where budgets are hazy at best and where studio economics increasingly include deals that give some participants a slice of gross ticket sales, even if the movie is a stinker. One often-cited study done in 2001 by a Colby College professor concluded that films that receive “top” nominations – Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress – can expect significant revenue boosts. The study took into account that a large proportion of Oscar-nominated films are released in the fourth quarter, meaning they are likely still in theaters when nominations are announced and the awards actually given. For those late-year films, a nomination is worth about $7.8 million, while a win can add an additional $16 million on average, according to study co-author Randy Nelson. “The numbers could be bigger now because they moved up the nomination and awards dates,” Nelson said Friday. Other things have changed since the original study, including the fact that studios release films internationally much sooner than they used to and that films are often released onto DVD while still in theaters. Nelson and his colleagues are conducting a new study to account for the changes. last_img read more

Happy Birthday to… Ballybofey!

first_imgThe town of Ballybofey is 400 years old this weekend and the locals are celebrating in style.In 1619, a charter was granted for a market to be established on the banks of the River Finn.  While there certainly were people already living along the River’s banks, this is the first record of a formal gathering in BallybofeyIn celebration of this, a big weekend of family-friendly activities has been planned for all the enjoy from 27th to 29th September. “The weekend of events celebrates Ballybofey’s rich culture and history,” explains Leah Fairman of BASICC (Ballybofey & Stranorlar Integrated Community Company). “We’d like to thank everyone who has been in touch with ideas, organised events and volunteered their time. The weekend is a huge community effort and we’re so proud of our towns!”  Leah adds that almost all the events are free to attend. “Everyone is welcome to come along and join the fun.”Highlights of the weekend include: Friday Evening Launch: Joe Mulholland of the McGill Summer School, a Twin Towns native, will open our weekend of events.  The launch will begin at 6.45pm in College Court for the opening of our special art and photography exhibition, before moving to the Villa Rose Hotel at 7.30pm for an evening of reminiscing and storytelling. Big Birthday Bash Fair Day – The main event for the weekend is a Fair Day from 10am to 2pm in Navenny Car Park.   There’s something for everyone as locals look to recreate the fun and memories of this big day out. Also on the agenda is art events and exhibitions, children’s historical trail and evening entertainment in many pubs and venues around the town.Keep up to date with all the news about the event on the website – www.ballybofeystranorlar.com. On Facebook and Instagram @basicc.twintowns   Phone: 074 9190909 Email: leah@thebaseenterprise.ie   Happy Birthday to… Ballybofey! was last modified: September 24th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ballybofey birthdayBASICClast_img read more

The difference between buying and selling calls

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCThe USDA lowered corn yield estimates about 2 bushels per acre and decreased demand a little as well. Despite these adjustments, the report still showed a drop in next year’s carryout and the tightest stocks-to-use ratio in 4 years. This could help keep corn from drifting lower.There was a huge carryout increase with China’s stocks, but I doubt this will have a big impact on the market. One, those stocks have been present for a long time. Two, this corn is not logistically set up for easy export.Basis levels in the U.S. have been strong since the middle of harvest. Recent increases ranging from 10 to 15 cents have been reported throughout the Corn Belt. This would suggest that farmers are not selling and that end users are in need of corn. This could indicate upside potential in corn prices.The USDA decreased bean yield estimates 1 bushel per acre, while export demand was updated to reflect the trade war and exports to China. This resulted in a 950 million bushel carryout that doesn’t seem to be resonating with the market. Normal carryout is between 250-400 million bushels, so it’s hard to understand how futures values just under $9 can be maintained.Many in the trade are hoping the trade war with China is fixed soon, suggesting exports would then suddenly increase. Even if the trade war ends, I would expect futures to rally some, but I doubt it would automatically return to levels seen last winter. It’s just unlikely bean exports would increase more than 400 million, as we are pretty far along in the export season.Bean basis is still historically weak across the U.S., but it has increased slightly since harvest is nearly finished. This is likely due to a lot of beans going into storage and a lack of farmer selling. How I’ve increased my farm’s profits selling callsLast week I wrote about why I don’t buy calls for my farm. I listed three reasons:Buying calls has terrible oddsBuying calls doesn’t work well with market carry futuresValue changes don’t correlate to call option value changesBuying calls gives the buyer the right to buy grain at a certain price. Those buying a call have to pay a premium, but there is no margin call risk. Selling calls forces the seller to sell grain at a certain price. Those selling calls collect the premium upfront. There can be margin call risk selling calls, but that’s a great thing. Margin calls mean price rallies, which as a grain producer I always want. 3 reasons I sell callsI store all of my production at home and sell calls against some of my unsold positions, usually no more than 30% of my total production.Reason 1: Selling calls has good oddsAt any time the market can move in three directions — up, down or sideways. When buying calls farmers can only be profitable on the trade if the market goes up quite a bit. When selling calls the opposite is true.If the market goes down or sideways I keep the premium from the sold call. I haven’t sold any grain, but I can apply the added profit to another trade later.If the market goes up I can lose money on this trade, BUT if the market rallies, as a grain producer I have a lot more grain to sell. Maybe not this year, but for sure next year.In other words, selling calls is betting against what I hope happens, and instead betting on what could likely happen. Selling calls spreads out my risk and allows me to avoid putting all my eggs in one basket hoping prices rally when market conditions suggest they may not. Reason 2: Selling calls works well with market carry in the futuresWhen the market is in a carry, where the further out futures are worth more than current prices, I have profited well from selling corn calls. Corn usually has a carry because the U.S. produces 33% of the world’s corn production and 80% of the world’s harvest occurs when the U.S. is harvesting their corn. Market carry signals to the market that it doesn’t want corn now (i.e. too much current supply), it wants it in later months. Therefore the market pays people to store the grain until later (i.e. when supply is tighter). So because of this carry the nearby futures month continues to hold in the same low price range and it usually prevents the market from going a lot higher.While I’m a fan of selling corn calls, I’m not a fan of selling bean calls. Beans often have an inverse, meaning current prices are higher than prices further in time. This is because South America harvests 60% of the world’s production 6 months after our harvest. The U.S only produces 33% of the world’s bean crop. This means the market doesn’t have to store the grain as long because another harvest isn’t that far away. This year may be different though, because of the huge carryout in U.S. beans. Reason 3: I can pick a price I want to sell and collect a premium if my goal isn’t attainedMany farmers tell me they want to “get all they can get” when they sell grain. My question to that statement is, “how do you know when you should sell then?” When pressed for the number they really want, they often say a round number like $4 or $4.20. Right now I could sell a July futures for about $4, or I could sell a July $4 call and collect almost 20 cents of premium. What does that mean?If corn is above $4 when the option expires at the end of June I have to sell $4, but I also keep the 20-cent premium from selling the call. So, it’s like selling for $4.20.If corn is between $3.80 to $4.00 in late June, I again keep the 20 cents. I could sell the corn if I wanted between those values and add the 20 cents of premium to that sale and have between $4.00-$4.20.If corn is below $3.80 in late June, I would keep the 20 cents to add to a later sale. I don’t have a hard floor price on any of the corn in this trade. This is what happened last summer. However as prices fell I kept selling further in time call options when any call expired below my goals. This allowed me to continue to collect more of the “consolation prize” of the call premiums. I later added all of these premiums to other sales to help me get to better price points.While not perfect, to me there are a lot of positives in this trade regardless of where the market goes. With what I know today, I’d be happy getting $4.00-$4.20 for my corn. Plus, if prices don’t rally I still get 20 cents I can add to a later sale. Options are not a perfect solutionThere are many in the trade who make it seem like options are the perfect solution for farmers. Call options, buying or selling, can provide some opportunity on some bushels, but they aren’t perfect and they have limitations. In my grain marketing plan I always want prices to go up, because from a sales standpoint I don’t make money if the market goes sideways or lower.If I buy a call, I only make money if prices goes up and will lose money if prices are sideways or down. If I sell a call, I make a little money when the market goes down or stays sideways, but my downside isn’t necessarily protected. Selling calls is the most profitable in a sideways market because I continue to pick up premium while waiting for an upswing in the market. Because no trade solution is ever going to be perfect it’s important for me to spread out my risk so that regardless of which way the market moves I can profit from it.As a farmer I can always take advantage of rallies without adding more risk buying calls. If prices go up, I can just sell some of my unpriced grain, which may mean next year’s crop. As a producer I will always have more corn to sell. Things get harder when the market stays at unprofitable price points for an extended period of time. That’s when selling calls to generate premium until prices do rally has been helpful in my farm operation marketing strategy.What about puts? Next week I’ll outline the pros and cons of put options in my farm operation.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at jon@superiorfeed.com.last_img read more

Weekly Wrap-up: How do I Delete Facebook, 3D Wikipedia, Firefox 4, And More…

first_img“How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?” A Fast Growing Query (Image)Wikipedia Goes 3DMore Web Industry Leaders Quit Facebook, Call For Open Alternative10 Internet of Things Blogs To Keep An Eye OnStudy: Twitter Is Not a Very Social NetworkMozilla’s Plans for Firefox 4: Faster, Sleeker Interface & Better Privacy ControlsMore coverage and analysis from ReadWriteWebMobile Web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… It’s not déjà vu – this week’s top story was, like last week, about deleting Facebook: “How Do I Delete My Facebook Account?” A Fast Growing Query (Image). We also continued our exploration of the significant Internet trends of 2010: We gave readers a rundown of the top Internet of Things blogs; in data portability news Facebook sued Power.com; and we took a look at the state of augmented reality in the aftermath of the ReadWriteWeb Mobile Summit. Read on for more.Story of the Week: How do I Delete Facebook? Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups Related Posts Why You Should Jailbreak the iPadThe Slow Death of the Landline: Quarter of U.S. Households are Now Wireless-OnlyRWW Mobile Summit: Coverage Round-UpMore Mobile Web coverageAugmented RealityState of the Augmented Reality Union from the RWW Mobile SummitMore Augmented Reality coverageAugmented Reality for Marketers and Developers: Our Newest Research Report We’re pleased to announce ReadWriteWeb’s latest premium report, Augmented Reality for Marketers and Developers: Analysis of the Leaders, the Challenges and the Future. This report will help you develop a sophisticated understanding of Augmented Reality (AR), the mobile and Web technology that places data on top of a user’s view of the physical world. The research included will help you decrease your AR development time to market by learning from the first wave of early adopters. AR offers a new marketing and product paradigm for a high impact, high value customer experience. More than 1,000 AR campaigns were kicked-off last year and we expect to see many more in 2010. In this report, we profile key AR development companies, their campaigns as well as development lessons learned. For more information or to buy the report, visit here.Internet of Things ReadWrite Sponsors IBM Uses Emoticons, Social Media for Predictive AnalyticsSharepoint 2010 Launch: A Chance To Make Some ComparisonsHow Darwin’s Finches and API’s Are Connected in the Post 20th Century EconomyEnjoy your weekend everyone.Subscribe to Weekly Wrap-upYou can subscribe to the Weekly Wrap-up by RSS or by email below.RWW Weekly Wrap-up Email Subscription form:center_img ReadWriteStart Our channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs. When Entrepreneurs Should Ignore AdviceWhy VCs Won’t Sign Your NDABalancing Act: Keeping Power Users Happy Without Overwhelming the NewbiesReadWriteCloud Our channel ReadWriteCloud, sponsored by VMware and Intel, is dedicated to Virtualization and Cloud Computing. 10 Internet of Things Blogs To Keep An Eye OnRanching in the CloudMore Internet of Things coverageData PortabilityEnki Sports Debuts Smartphone-Based Training for iPhoneFacebook Suing Power.com for Auto-LoggingMore Data Portability coverageReal-Time WebTime.com Dips its Toes Into the Real-Time StreamIs Real-Time Search Still Waiting for Mainstream Adoption?More Real-Time Web coverage. Don’t miss the next wave of opportunity on the Web supported by real-time technology! Get ReadWriteWeb’s report, The Real-Time Web and its Future.Check Out The ReadWriteWeb iPhone App We recently launched the official ReadWriteWeb iPhone app. As well as enabling you to read ReadWriteWeb while on the go or lying on the couch, we’ve made it easy to share ReadWriteWeb posts directly from your iPhone, on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow the RWW team on Twitter, directly from the app. We invite you to download it now from iTunes. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Lyceum outlasts San Beda in 2OT, seals 18-0 sweep of NCAA elims

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHow sweep it is!Lyceum gutted out a thrilling 107-105 double overtime victory over San Beda to complete an 18-0 sweep and take the top seed in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT After their unprecedented run in the elimination round, the Pirates will now advance to the best-of-three Finals, where they will face the last team standing in the stepladder semis.“They just don’t wanna give up,” said coach Topex Robinson. “Credit goes to the coaches also, they are working extra hard. It’s really about being together, we always talk about together is better. It’s just a testament of really working together as a solid group, you can really change a lot. I’m so blessed I’m surrounded with the right people. These guys really get the credit, it’s not mine.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMike Nzeusseu towered over the competition with 27 points, 21 rebounds, and two blocks, but his contributions go farther than the stat sheets as his endgame heroics saved Lyceum in the clutch.The Cameroonian big man drilled the go-ahead freebies with 12.7 seconds to play, 106-105, in the second overtime period before getting the job done on the defensive end as he intimidated Robert Bolick’s attempt in the waning seconds. Leading MVP candidate CJ Perez fired 20 markers, six boards, six assists, and four steals, and nailed the game-sealing free throw with 1.9 ticks to go.Robinson, though, would like his wards to keep their feet on the ground as they now progress to the championship round.“It’s still a long way to go. There’s so much things that we have to work on, and we always have to stay humble and be grateful for everything that’s been given to us. It’s a testament to how the character of this team is, and hopefully we are inspiring others in the way we play,” he said.With the game tied at 85 in the closely contested fourth period, both Lyceum and San Beda traded misses in the last two minutes including Franz Abuda’s botched potential game-winning jumper.In the overtime period, Pirates were 3.4 seconds away from the win after Perez’ drive. But the referees called a head-shaking foul on Jaycee Marcelino as he defended Bolick’s desperation heave with 1.5 seconds remaining. Bolick split his freebies to send the game to double overtime at 97-all.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight However, Lyceum showed its poise in the second overtime period as they bucked the graduation of integral cogs Jayvee Marcelino and Reymar Caduyac and went to Nzeusseu and Perez to salvage the game.Jaycee Marcelino fired nine points, nine rebounds, three dimes, and three steals, while Caduyac also had nine markers, three boards, and two assists in the victory.Donald Tankoua fired a career-high 34 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks for San Beda, before fouling out late in the first overtime.Bolick also unloaded 16 markers, but shot 4-of-17 from the field, to go with his five assists and two boards.Javee Mocon flirted with a triple-double with his 14 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists, as the Red Lions saw their 15-game winning streak snapped. They remained in second place with their 16-2 card.The Scores:LYCEUM 107 – Nzeusseu 27, Perez 20, Jc. Marcelino 9, Caduyac 9, Pretta 8, Santos 8, Ayaay 7, Baltazar 6, Serrano 6, Jv. Marcelino 4, Ibanez 1.SAN BEDA 105 – Tankoua 34, Bolick 16, Mocon 14, Doliguez 13, Abuda 8, Presbitero 6, Soberano 5, Noah 4, Oftana 3, Cabanag 2, Potts 0, Bahio 0, Adamos 0.Quarters: 25-22, 56-46, 70-69, 85-85, 97-97, 107-105. San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9301:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:00NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Harden, Houston spoil another opener, win 105-100 at Kings View comments MOST READ Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNPlast_img read more

a month agoTottenham see Southgate as top replacement for Pochettino

first_imgTottenham see Southgate as top replacement for Pochettinoby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham see England boss Gareth Southgate as their top replacement for Mauricio Pochettino if the Argentine quits the club.Spurs chiefs believe Southgate’s relationship with the club’s England stars would make him the ideal successor to Pochettino, who increasingly looks as though he is in his last season at Tottenham, says the Mirror.Pochettino said before last season’s Champions League final that he could might leave if Tottenham lifted the European Cup – as it would have been the culmination of a five-year project.And speculation Real Madrid will come in for him refuses to go away, with Bernabeu boss Zinedine Zidane already feeling the pressure after returning to the La Liga giants.Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks, Danny Rose and Eric Dier have all made huge strides with England under Southgate’s tutelage.And that made him the perfect candidate when Pochettino’s comments in the lead-up to the Champions League final forced Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to consider potential replacements. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Earlycareer job loss has long term health implications

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 20 2019Sociologists at the University of Bamberg analyze employment biographiesNumerous studies have suggested that job loss and unemployment lead to poorer health. Sociologists at the University of Bamberg are now continuing this research and have set out to answer whether job loss still has health-related consequences even if it occurred decades ago and subsequent employment may have been found. Jonas Voβemer and Professor Michael Gebel, Chair of Methods of Empirical Social Research at the University of Bamberg, have shown with their current research that involuntary loss of employment early in a person’s career has long term health implications. Even more than 30 years later, negative health impacts can be traced back to early-career job loss.Related StoriesBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsFor their study, the researchers used data from the SHARELIFE survey which is the third wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The transnational study interviewed approximately 28,000 Europeans over the age of 50 about their social and familial networks, health, and socio-economic status over the course of their lives. The analyses, carried out by Voβemer and Gebel in cooperation with Dr. Olena Nizalova of the University of Kent in England and Olga Nikolaieva of the Kyiv School of Economics in Ukraine, reveal that people who involuntarily lost their jobs within the first ten years of their professional lives were on average 6 percentage points more likely to rate their own health as fair or poor compared to those who had not experienced a loss of employment in the same phase, but had otherwise similar characteristics.The researchers were also able to show that the effects were the same for employees who were laid off and for those whose jobs were lost due to plant closures. This suggests that the data analyses could avoid the effects of confounding factors, because in the case of a plant closure, all employees are affected and it is less likely that the job loss could be explained by personal characteristics that would also affect health. So what conclusions can be drawn from these findings? Voβemer says, “Consistent with earlier studies, we have shown that losing a job and periods of unemployment have more than just financial consequences. Moreover, our study indicates that these consequences may be long lasting.” These findings, if replicated in future studies, suggest that policy makers should consider both health implications and their persistence when evaluating the costs of job loss and unemployment.The study is part of the international and interdisciplinary EXCEPT project (Social Exclusion of Youth in Europe: Cumulative Disadvantage, Coping Strategies, Effective Policies and Transfer) which received approximately 2.4 million euros in funding from the European Union. Source:https://www.uni-bamberg.de/en/last_img read more

Targeted treatment offers symptom relief for patients with psychosis

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 3 2019Treatment for individuals who experience psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions as a result of a psychiatric illness, can be targeted to a specific structural mutation, according to a study published by researchers from McLean Hospital and other institutions in the journal Biological Psychiatry.The study was led by Deborah L. Levy, PhD, director of the Psychology Research Laboratory at McLean Hospital, the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The research provides a proof-of-principle demonstration of symptom relief by targeting a specific genotype and links an individual structural mutation to the pathophysiology of psychosis and treatment response.In the last decade, significant progress has been made in identifying genetic factors underlying schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric disorders. Hundreds if not thousands of common genetic variants are collective risk factors for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. However, the impact of each individual variant is both very small and indecisive in determining risk.Rare genetic variants, on the other hand, can have large effects on risk. These variants are thus assumed to impact core pathophysiological processes.Large-effect mutations are individually rare, with even the most recurrent impacting relatively few individuals. Some are so rare that they are private mutations, known to occur in only one or a few families, as is the mutation described by Levy and her colleagues.Levy’s study describes a variant that is characterized by an increase in the number of copies of specific genes (i.e., a copy number variant or CNV). In this case, is effectively due to the presence of a small extra chromosome. This CNV includes the gene encoding the enzyme glycine decarboxylase (GLDC). “The compelling aspect is that this CNV can be linked to pathophysiology, and, as the new study shows, to treatment,” said Levy.GLDC breaks down glycine, which is a co-agonist at the NMDA receptor, a type of excitatory glutamate receptor. The patients in this study have four, instead of the usual two, copies of the GLDC gene. Source:McLean Hospital We thus predicted that they would have increased glycine breakdown and thus less glycine available at the glycine modulatory site of the NMDA receptor. This results in NMDA receptor hypofunction.”Uwe Rudolph, MD, former director of the Laboratory of Genetic Neuropharmacology at McLean Hospital The present study illustrates that targeting structural genetic variants is a promising approach but because these variants are individually rare, most studies will have very small sample sizes, complicating the usual approach to statistical analysis.” Nevertheless, she said, “Because the effects of a targeted treatment can be large, it is important to prioritize opportunities to study even small groups of patients who may benefit.” NMDA receptor hypofunction has long been considered an important factor in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Variants in genes associated with NMDA receptor function are overrepresented in schizophrenia.According to Levy, the presence of an increased number of copies of GLDC raised the question of whether this CNV is medically actionable in individuals with this mutation.Related Stories$10 million endowed gift supports psychosis research effortsGeorgia researcher receives grant to develop models to better predict mental health disordersResearch on cannabis use in women limited, finds new study”Starting with individual carriers of the mutation, meaning using a ‘genotype-first’ approach, we sought to determine whether the predicted reduced glycine availability attributable to the increased copy number could be potentially normalized with agents that increase glycine or D-serine availability,” explained Levy. “This approach contrasts with the usual standard clinical practice of treating individuals on the basis of clinical symptoms or diagnosis independent of specific genetic variants.”Participants in the study had four identical copies of the GLDC gene. The authors showed that supplementation of standard psychotropic agents (including clozapine) with glycine or D-cycloserine (a partial selective agonist at the NMDA receptor) resulted in improvement in clinical symptoms. The researchers provided two independent proof-of-principle demonstrations of symptom relief by targeting this specific genotype.Notably, the same rare mutation occurred here in different clinical disorders (schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder with psychotic features). This suggest that treatment response was determined by the targeted mutation independently of clinical diagnosis.”It is important to note that the two subjects studied here bore little clinical resemblance, with distinctly different symptom burdens, and highly dissimilar courses of illness,” noted J. Alexander Bodkin, MD. Bodkin, the director of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Research Program at McLean, oversaw psychiatric care of both subjects throughout the blinded and open-label trials of glycine and d-cycloserine.”The findings may implicate a ‘molecular subtype’ that may respond to treatments that normalize dysregulation of the glutamatergic system” said Levy, “Specifically, carriers of other related mutations may potentially benefit from low-dose D-cycloserine as well. If it becomes possible one day to identify patients with such molecular subtypes in clinical practice, studies could be conducted that would potentially make targeted treatment approaches available to a larger group of patients.”Moreover, one of the study’s authors, Charity J. Morgan, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, stated:last_img read more

Not a social media influencer You can still get paid

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Not a social media influencer? You can still get paid (2018, September 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-social-media-paid.html Glazier says it shouldn’t be so hard to make money from your recommendations. And you shouldn’t have to be internet-famous to get paid when you directly encourage a sale, he says.”You don’t have to be an influencer to have influence,” Glazier said.HOW IT WORKSAnyone can download the Wildlink app for free (available on Android, iOS, or as a software download for your computer). It runs in the background while you go about your business. Then, let’s say you post a picture of yourself on Facebook, and a friend replies, “I love your dress. Where did you buy it?” If you reply with a link to the dress on Nordstrom’s website, then Wildlink’s app will convert that URL to a trackable link. If your friend follows that link and eventually purchases the item, you get a commission that’s paid to a virtual wallet.Once a month, you can cash out your Wildlink commissions to your PayPal account.The company, which is working out of the Connect coworking space in University City, has built several ways to make this process seamless for the user. For example, once you download the app, its technology is built into your cell phone’s keyboard. The software can then guess when you’re typing a brand name, product, or service. Once you type out the word “REI,” for example, the software gives you an option to insert a link to REI directly from your keyboard.WHAT ABOUT PRIVACY?Warning bells may be ringing for the privacy-conscious. Will Wildfire now be reading my text messages, emails, and social media posts? Glazier says no. The software runs on your device, and it’s only searching for brands that match with its database of merchants. And the user always has the option of generating a link or ignoring the software’s suggestion.But Wildfire may have to deal with other concerns. For example, will a friend’s recommendation lose its power of influence if it’s known that they’re making a commission off the recommendation?Miro Copic, a marketing professor at San Diego State University, says there’s a big transition going on in the influencer space in which fans want transparency from the influencers they follow about their economic incentives.. Fans and followers want those individuals to be transparent about the economic incentives they’re getting to pitch a product.”The nuance here is disclosure,” Copic said. “Not that your friend won’t be your friend anymore, but they might question your motives if they find out you’re being compensated for your suggestions.”Malcolm Bohm, CEO at a company called Liquid Grids in San Diego, has been working in a similar space for years. His company also uses natural language processing to understand what internet users are saying on health forums, and how it relates to brands.Bohm says Wildfire could be onto something big, but it’s critical that they maintain transparency along the way”At the grassroots level, this could be disruptive in terms of how brands get recommendations,” Bohm said. “As long as they maintain authenticity, it could be really positive.”Glazier said Wildlink asks users to disclose this information themselves, notifying friends and family that they might be compensated for their recommendations.”In our terms of service we require that people follow the guidelines, but it’s really up to them to do so,” Glazier said.NEXT STEPSWildfire has received $2 million in seed money, led by Santa Monica-based investor group Mucker Capital in 2017. The company plans to raise another round of financing this fall, and will use those funds to expand its marketing and business development team in San Diego. Don’t try to make money off my online behavior—unless, of course, I get a commission. ©2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.center_img A new app pays you for product recommendations Explore further That’s the idea behind San Diego tech startup Wildfire Systems, which is launching an app to help internet users make money off of conversations they’re already having online. The local company, founded by a former eBay executive, lets users earn commissions from recommendations they share on the Internet, whether it’s on social media, by email, or through text messaging apps.If, for example, a friend buys an Instant Pot after you raved about the pressure cooker on Instagram, then this startup’s software would let you get a cut of the sale.The idea is particularly timely considering the public outcry against tech giants like Facebook, who’ve been lambasted in recent months for making money off their users’ activity and personal data.Now, merchants are tripping over themselves to sign onto Wildfire’s platform, which already has 20,000 retailers on board, including giants like Expedia, Nordstrom’s, REI, and Walmart.The quick adoption may have something to do with the startup’s CEO, Jordan Glazier, who founded Wildfire Systems last year. Glazier is best known locally for leading a San Diego company called Eventful, which gained some fame a few years ago as the first global events calendar online. He grew that company to more than 25 million users before selling it to CBS in 2014. Before that, he was an early employee at eBay, where he helped transform the company from a collectibles website to the e-commerce giant it is today.WE’RE ALL INFLUENCERS?Glazier’s new app, Wildlink, brings to mind the marketing tactics that bloggers and other folks of online fame use, in which they get kickbacks from brands for pitching products online.In the industry, this is called “affiliate marketing,” and it’s a tool mostly used by people who have large followings on social media (collectively known as “influencers”). But it’s not so easy to make money this way. People have to sign up for individual affiliate marketing programs depending on the brand or retailer and then jump through hoops for each one before they can start earning cash.last_img read more

The Marshall Islands Are 10 Times More Radioactive Than Chernobyl

first_img Originally published on Live Science. The researchers tested coconuts and pandanus fruit (shown here) for radioactivity on 11 of the islands. Credit: Shutterstock 10 Times HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Got the Science Wrong In Photos: World’s 10 Most Polluted Places In Photos: Fukushima Butterflies Plagued With Defects Some of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean — such as the Bikini and Enewetak atolls — are still more radioactive than Chernobyl and Fukushima, even though more than 60 years have passed since the United States tested radioactive weapons on those islands, a new study finds. When testing the soil for plutonium-239 and -240, the researchers found that some of the islands had levels that were between 10 and 1,000 times higher than those on Fukushima (where an earthquake and tsunami led to the meltdown of nuclear reactors) and about 10 times higher than levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The researchers took only a limited number of soil samples, meaning a more comprehensive survey is needed, they said. Regardless, they were surprised that neither national governments nor international organizations had “any further guidance on permissible plutonium levels in the soil,” even though levels in the Marshall Islands were high, the researchers wrote in the study. [Top 10 Greatest Explosions Ever]These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65949-marshall-islands-more-radioactivity-chernobyl.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  Testing bombs After dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, effectively ending World War II, the United States decided to test more radioactive weapons. Some of these tests happened in the Marshall Islands, a chain of islands between Hawaii and the Philippines that was then a district of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and was run by the U.S. on behalf of the United Nations. The first two bombs, called Able and Baker, were tested on Bikini Atoll in 1946 and kicked off a 12-year period of nuclear testing on the Bikini and Enewetak atolls, during which the U.S. tested 67 nuclear weapons. The first-ever hydrogen bomb test, with the code name Ivy Mike, was tested on Enewetak in 1951. The U.S. conducted its largest hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll — the 1954 Castle Bravo bomb, which was more than 1,000 times more powerful than Little Boy, the uranium weapon that decimated Hiroshima. In addition to contaminating the Bikini and Enewetak atolls, nuclear fallout from the tests also rained down on and sickened people living on Rongelap and Utirik atolls (also part of the Marshall Islands), the researchers said. In 2016, a team of researchers from Columbia University in New York published a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on the background gamma radiation in three of the northern Marshall atolls: Enewetak, Bikini and Rongelap. The researchers found that radiation levels on Bikini were higher than previously reported, so they decided to do more in-depth studies on radioactivity in the islands. (Nuclear weapons are one source that releases gamma-rays, which are like energetic X-rays.) More fallout Now, that same team has written three new studies, published online yesterday (July 15) in the journal PNAS, on four of the atolls in the northern Marshall islands: Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap and Utirik. External gamma radiation levels were significantly elevated on Bikini Atoll, on Enjebi Island in Enewetak Atoll and on Naen Island in Rongelap Atoll, compared with an island in the southern Marshall Islands that the scientists used as a control, the researchers found. The levels on Bikini and Naen islands were so high, they surpassed the maximum exposure limit that the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands agreed to in the 1990s, the researchers said. (On a side note, bikini swimsuits weren’t named after the island because of its tropicality, but because the French designer wanted the two-piece swimsuit to be “explosive,” just like the bomb tested there, said one of the study’s senior scientists, Ivana Nikolic-Hughes, director of the K1 Project at the Center for Nuclear Studies and a senior lecturer of chemistry at Columbia University.) [Flying Saucers to Mind Control: 22 Declassified Military & CIA Secrets] The researchers also found that the islands of Runit and Enjebi in Enewetak Atoll, as well as on Bikini and Naen islands, had high concentrations of certain radioactive isotopes in the soil. (An isotope is an element with a different number of neutrons in its nucleus.) These four islands had radioactive plutonium levels that were higher than those found in Fukushima and Chernobyl, the researchers found. “What was surprising was just how high the external gamma radiation was for Naen, which is the outer island for Rongelap Atoll,” Nikolic-Hughes told Live Science. “It was populated during the Bravo test … [the people there] were then moved, moved back and moved again. It’s quite a dreadful history of what happened to Rongelapese people.” In their second study, the researchers worked with professional divers, who collected 130 soil samples from the Castle Bravo Crater at Bikini Atoll. The level of some of the isotopes — plutonium-239 and -240, americium-241 and bismuth-207 — was an order of magnitude higher than levels found on other Marshall Islands, the researchers found. These findings are important because “measuring the radioactive contamination of the crater sediment is a first step in assessing the overall impact of nuclear weapons testing on the ocean ecosystems,” the researchers wrote in the study. In the third study, the researchers tested more than 200 fruits — mostly coconuts and pandanus — on 11 of the islands from four different atolls in the northern Marshall Islands. Cesium-137 levels didn’t look good for a sizeable chunk of the fruits on Bikini and Rongelap atolls, which had radioactivity levels higher than those deemed safe by several countries and international organizations, the researchers found. More work is needed to educate people living on the Marshall Islands about these dangers. Moreover, these findings and future research can shed light on whether it’s safe for the Marshallese people to resettle or harvest food on some of these islands, the researchers said.last_img read more