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Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Feb 9, 2017, 01:31 PM
Number of posts: 8,361

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Scientists develop gel that delivers drugs directly to diseased joints

Discovery could revolutionize osteoarthritis treatment

A new protein-based gel could introduce a new class of biomaterials.

March 3, 2022

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive condition affecting the lives of more than 32 million Americans. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA), a major subset of osteoarthritis that comprises 10% of diagnoses and disproportionally affects injured military personnel, has no effective therapeutic protocols that slow or stop the progression except for over-the-counter analgesics. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis leads to articular cartilage damage and results in more than $3 billion in health care costs each year.

U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers based at New York University identified the molecular mechanism and therapeutic payload for delivering pharmacologic treatment directly to affected joints, effectively halting the onset and progression of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. The team published its findings in Biomaterials.

The researchers combined compounds to develop a porous gel that can reach and envelop affected joints, reduce inflammation and induce regeneration. The substance, referred to as E5C, is a protein-based gel that contains native, not synthetic, cartilage components that are nontoxic and biodegradable. The properties of E5C make it a viable candidate for injectable biomaterials.

"We have developed a unique protein-based gel capable of minimally invasive, sustained delivery of prospective therapeutics in OA," said researcher and co-author Jin Kim Montclare.

NSF Public Affairs, researchnews@nsf.gov

( How awesome is that? )

Why no mass protests in Russia? Sociologist Grigory Yudin demonstrated against the invasion

Full title: Sociologist Grigory Yudin demonstrated against the invasion and ended up in the hospital. He says we’re living in a new era.

1:56 am, March 2, 2022
Source: Meduza

On February 24, Russia began a war with Ukraine. On that same day, protests broke out all over Russia. It is difficult to call them mass demonstrations in any real sense, although ultimately almost 6,500 people were arrested (in Russia, street gatherings of this type are practically forbidden, with the authorities persecuting even individuals who picket alone). Sociologist Grigory Yudin, too, was arrested and ended up hospitalized following an anti-war protest in Moscow. Meduza special correspondent Svetlana Reiter discussed with Yudin why it doesn’t make sense to call protests in Russia “small” — and why he thinks scholars have to take a principled stand.

When we were first arranging this interview, you objected to my statement that anti-war protests were small in number: “Not so small.” What made you say that?

We don’t live in Berlin, where participation in a protest gets you lots of pats on the back. You can end up with a concussion, or spend the night in jail, or be required to remove your underwear [for a cavity search], or [possibly] have a felony case opened against you. Given the current situation, we can’t exclude the possibility that protests will eventually be punishable by 20-year prison sentences or the death penalty. So, yeah, in my view, people are coming out in force.

At a recent protest, you were beaten to the point of sustaining a concussion. Can you give us some more details about that? Honestly, I don’t really want to talk about it — ultimately, it’s insignificant against the background of the major disaster we’re confronting. But, yes, the evening ended with a concussion for me.


( To say that life in Russia is a challenge is an understatement. )

As one of Fortune Magazine's "Most Promising Entrepreneurs" Leila Janah

(This feature is from 2018, so a bit older, yet I wanted to share what I believe is worth your time to listen to....what she has done to help so many. At a time when the greed is good crowd is at an all-time high, women like Leila keep hope alive. Maybe you'll agree.)

As one of Fortune Magazine’s “Most Promising Entrepreneurs” Leila Janah started a non-profit with $14,000. Her goal to reduce global poverty by putting people into jobs where they could earn a living wage led to Samasource. In San Francisco at the Samovar Tea House, she shares why healthy food is the fuel she needs to continue her mission of ending world poverty.

Aired: 11/08/18

Rating: NR ( 26 minutes. )


Russia's war against Ukraine ( Key updates from the last few hours )

19 minutes ago
Key updates from the last few hours

Russian losses: Ukraine’s Defense Ministry estimates that approximately 5,300 Russian troops have been killed as of Monday morning. Though the Russian Defense Ministry has acknowledged that some of its soldiers were killed and wounded in Ukraine, Moscow has yet to report a concrete number of combat losses. On Monday, Kalmykia’s Head Batu Khasikov reported that a contract service sergeant from the region had died “in the line of duty during a special operation to protect the Donbas.”

Kharkiv under fire: Massive rocket strikes hit Ukraine’s second largest city on Monday, Ukrainian Interior Ministry officials said. According to Interior Ministry advisor Anton Herashchenko, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds more were wounded. Ukrayinska Pravda reported that the shelling hit three micro-districts that are home to more than a million people. “It’s horrible, they hit residential buildings with artillery. It’s not yet possible to calculate the losses. Perhaps the offensive will go further,” said Roman Semenukha, the deputy head of the Kharkiv regional administration.

Zmiinyi Island survivors: The Ukrainian soldiers from Zmiinyi Island who were presumed dead are in fact alive and being held captive by Russia, according to Ukraine’s navy. Earlier, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry stated that all of the Ukrainian servicemen on the island were killed in a Russian attack. In turn, the Russian side reported that 82 people had been taken prisoner. The Ukrainian military clarified that they presumed the island’s defenders dead after they lost contact with them.

Cyber war: The websites of TASS, Izvestia, Forbes.ru, Fontanka, and other well-known Russian media outlets were hacked at around 2:00 p.m., Moscow time, on Monday. Attempts to reach the sites returned an anti-war message that urged Russian citizens to “stop the madness” and “not to send your sons and husbands to certain death.” The message was signed by the hacker group Anonymous, as well as “Concerned journalists of Russia.” Following the incident, TASS published a statement saying that their editorial office had “nothing to do” with the message.

More at the link:

Russia-Ukraine live updates: Kyiv to hold talks with Moscow

Putin puts Russian nuclear forces on high alert as Kyiv agrees to negotiations at the Ukraine-Belarus border.

Russian forces are waging a multipronged assault on Ukraine [Sergey Bobok/AFP]

By David Child, Linah Alsaafin and Farah Najjar
Published On 26 Feb 202226 Feb 2022
2 minutes ago

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Kyiv will send a delegation of officials for talks “without preconditions” with Moscow at the Ukraine-Belarus border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin puts Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert.
Kharkiv governor says Ukrainian troops have full control of the country’s second-largest city after street fighting with Russian forces.
Kyiv’s mayor says there are no Russian soldiers in the capital, and that the city’s defences are holding firm.
More than 360,000 people have fled Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s assault, the UN says.

Here are all the latest updates:

Moscow on the warpath: Updates on major developments in Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine

Прямой эфир
6:07 pm, February 25, 2022

an hour ago
Recent major events as of 2 a.m., Moscow time (6 p.m., New York time)

Anti-war protests in Russia: Police arrested more than 400 anti-war demonstrators at protests across Russia on Friday.
Negotiations with Kyiv: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Ukrainian officials are “taking a break” from preparations for negotiations. The Putin administration previously reported that Kyiv and Moscow were ready to begin a dialogue to reach a ceasefire.

International event cancelations: Russia has been booted from the Eurovision Song Contest; the UEFA Champions League soccer competition has been moved from St. Petersburg to Paris, and the 2022 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi has been canceled.

Airspace closures: Russia has closed its airspace to British, Czech, and Polish aircraft, Poland and the Czech Republic have banned Russian flights, and the UK has banned Aeroflot from Great Britain.

Putin targeted directly: Great Britain and the European Union have imposed personal sanctions on President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The United States says it will do the same. The Battle of Hostomel Airport: Russia’s Defense Ministry says it has captured Hostomel Airport just outside Kyiv. Moscow claims that the battle resulted in the deaths of more than 200 Ukrainian soldiers and more than 150 allegedly surrendered.

more at link:https://meduza.io/en/live/2022/02/26/moscow-on-the-warpath

Opinion: What Putin gets wrong about Texas, and about Ukraine

Rebecca Adeline Johnston
Feb. 24, 2022
Updated: Feb. 24, 2022 6:55 p.m.

Texas comes up as a topic of discussion in the Kremlin more often than one might expect.

During a news conference in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin evoked the Lone Star State to defend his country’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. “Mexico and the U.S. never had territorial disputes? Who did California used to belong to? And Texas?” Although few people question that Texas is part of the United States, Putin said that most countries still recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine.

This war is an escalation from Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and partial occupation of eastern Ukraine that it has maintained, though denied, ever since. After massing an estimated 190,000 troops around three sides of Ukraine, Putin moved to recognize Russian-backed separatist regions — the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics — and green-lit military action “abroad.” And now, Russia has brought a full-fledged war of aggression to the European continent.

One of Putin’s main justifications for military action should give us particular pause. In an hour-long speech recently, he made a factually inaccurate historical argument claiming that Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin invented Ukraine and that the country has no right to exist within its internationally recognized borders. Russian state media have aired maps of Ukraine cut into pieces that it labeled as “gifts” from Russian czars and Soviet rulers.

( Excellent sense of history, Putin clearly draws/twists relevance to suit his insanely nationalistic ambitions. )

'Fantasy is not history' Historian Victoria Smolkin assesses Putin's claim

Full title: ‘Fantasy is not history’ Historian Victoria Smolkin assesses Putin’s claim that modern-day Ukraine is a ‘gift’ from the Bolsheviks

3:27 am, February 24, 2022
Source: Meduza

Excerpt: As a historian, what struck me most about the historical narrative of Vladimir Putin’s speech was not only what “historical facts” — to borrow his terminology — Putin used, but also what he left out. It is worth noting that the very existence of Ukraine, in Putin’s telling, should be understood against the backdrop of the Russian empire, which the Bolsheviks squandered by making “generous gifts” (щедрые подарки of Russian territory to aspiring nationalities in general, and Ukrainians in particular. Rather than a sovereign nation-state, contemporary (post-Soviet) Ukraine, in this telling, is the product of Bolshevik nationality policy: “Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s Ukraine.” But it also owes its existence to Russia’s largesse — its willingness to gift its territorial patrimony to the aspiring nations on Russian lands.

When, in 1922, “the USSR was established on the territory of the former Russian empire,” Ukraine constituted one of Soviet Union’s four original national republics. For some time after, more administrative units were established and dissolved, their borders rearranged, their numbers in flux. Eventually, they settled on fifteen. With the USSR’s dissolution in 1991, Ukraine (like the other republics) inherited these “Soviet” borders.

In Putin’s narrative, the reason for the current crisis is Ukraine’s persistent ingratitude for — and, what’s worse, squandering of — Russia’s “gift.”

Listening to the speech, one might be forgiven for asking, alongside Putin: Why was it necessary to “give such generous gifts”? Why, indeed. That the Bolsheviks would give away Russian lands on the cheap could only be considered “some kind of madness”! One might also be forgiven for thinking that the Bolsheviks were in possession of “Russian” lands and that the lands were theirs to give. In fact, Putin’s history lesson is conspicuously vague on what happened between February 1917 (when the Russian tsar abdicated and, in effect, dissolved the Russian imperial autocracy), and 1922 (when the Soviet Union was constituted on the empire’s remains). In the speech, we don’t really learn what happened to the Russian empire: one moment it’s there; the next, the Bolsheviks are giving away Russian lands to Ukrainians.

( An excellent read. )

Invasion Following an announcement from Putin, Russia's military begins attacks against targets

Full title: Invasion Following an announcement from Putin, Russia’s military begins attacks against targets inside Ukraine, and separatists launch an offensive in the Donbas

Прямой эфир
10:23 pm, February 23, 2022

Before dawn, Moscow time, on Thursday, February 24, Russian state television broadcast a speech by Vladimir Putin where the president announced the start of a “special military operation” in the Donbas (the area of eastern Ukraine claimed by separatists whose independence Moscow recognized earlier this week). Putin said the purpose of the military operation is to protect residents who “have been subjected to genocide by the Kyiv regime for the past eight years.” The Russian president claimed that Moscow does not plan to occupy Ukrainian soil (dismissing Kyiv’s sovereignty over the Donbas), but he also called on Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and “go home.” Though Putin referred only to military actions in the Donbas, journalists and other eyewitnesses have reported explosions in cities outside the region, including in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

Major developments, so far:

President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared martial law across Ukraine.
Russia-recognized separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk are attacking Ukrainian troops.
Ukraine has completely closed its airspace and cut diplomatic ties to Russia.
14 airports in southern Russia have suspended all operations until March 2.
U.S. President Biden: “The world will hold Russia accountable.” NATO has promised that Russia “will pay a very heavy economic and political price.”
Eyewitnesses report air strikes against major Ukrainian cities. Ukrainian officials say civilians have been killed. Moscow denies this information and claims that its attacks are “high-precision.”


( Sinister to the extreme. I am shocked at the depth of his insane nationalism. )

Wall Street Journal Mystified By Public's Sour Mood Despite "Booming" Economy

Posted on February 23, 2022 by Yves Smith

It takes a peculiar sort of blindness to be unable to understand that having more stuff doesn’t make people happy, or at least not for very long. Studies have repeatedly found that once a basic standard of living has been attained, along with a safety buffer, more does not result in more contentment.

Of course a wee problem in America is that large swathes of the population aren’t even at that level. Nearly 12% of Americans were unable to afford a nutritious diet. Nearly half can’t pay for a $400 emergency expense (which is nothing in terms of what can go wrong with a car…but no wheels often means no work).

And even those who are over that level aren’t necessarily very secure. They might be juggling jobs or otherwise subject to changing schedules. Bringing up children is costly and stressful.

Excerpt: Remember that in the past, strong economies meant labor bargaining power. If nothing else, many could quit and find similar work quickly. But now, in entire swathes of occupations, that isn’t necessarily so. Nurses on reddit describe terrible working conditions and meager pay increases, while the higher ups see fit to give themselves much bigger percentage pay rises. Teachers are also resigning to go into other fields entirely.

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