The governing Unity Party (UP) has declared the “beloved son” of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Robert, as a character with moral deficiencies too “appalling” to contest the ensuing senatorial election as a candidate.Robert Sirleaf, the President’s “beloved son” as indicated in her memoirs, has placed his name on the ballot to stand in the upcoming election as a candidate for Montserrado; Liberia’s first and most populous county.Sirleaf has opted to campaign against his mother’s political party that was fielding a candidate, Ali Sylla, who later declined. Another candidate in the race is former soccer star and Peace Ambassador, George Opong Weah.Addressing a news conference over the weekend, Unity Party Secretary General Wilmot Paye announced that it has not, and will not support Robert Sirleaf because he (Robert) “lacks the moral credentials and credibility to earn our party’s trust.”UP asserted that the party is convinced that while Robert may have become rich overnight, he stills does not deserve the vote of the people.The party further warned members of the Executive Committee, including Robert’s mother, President Johnson Sirleaf, to be fully aware of the consequences in taking the decision to support Robert, adding. “Pledging her support to him would be done at his or her own risk.”Unity Party said: “Besides, it will be foolhardy for any member and leader of UP to support a man whose conduct and activities have the trademark of an avowed enemy. Moreover, any member seen or caught undermining any of our candidates will be treated like an enemy of the Unity Party-like Robert Sirleaf.“The marauding bands of individuals with appalling moral deficiencies have nothing to offer and will be crushed in their mischief. We cannot allow Liberia to fall prey to their whims and caprices.“We complained that this Sirleaf was an emerging monster determined to impose his abominable will on our society.“We have every reason to believe that this Sirleaf is determined to undermine the UP, this he is pursuing religiously, using privileges and resources that he did not have nine years ago.”Paye on behalf of the party said, making Sirleaf senator at this moment will be the “most horrible crime of the 21st Century.”Explaining the party’s ordeal with the President’s son, Paye lamented; “In the meeting of Tuesday, October 21, 2014, which he had called, Robert Sirleaf hurled insults at the UP and its leadership.“He went as far as describing the assembled youth leaders as being “malnourished.” He threatened that “they will remain poor for the next three years of this administration if they don’t support his senatorial bid.“This is no idle threat, and so we detest it in the strongest possible terms! We must stop this creeping monster once and for all.“Our patience has run out! No longer will we tolerate Robert’s unprovoked actions against us. Although not so privileged, as he is, to reap from where he did not sow, we will yet expose his grand design. Henceforth, we will treat him as an enemy. He was no friend of UP, is no friend even now, and will he be in decades to come,” the UP statement concluded.Meanwhile, when reached for comments, the Robert Sirleaf campaign team agreed to officially respond to the UP’s assertions this week.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019A healthy adult makes about 2 million blood cells every second, and 99 percent of them are oxygen-carrying red blood cells. The other one percent are platelets and the various white blood cells of the immune system. How all the different kinds of mature blood cells are derived from the same “hematopoietic” stem cells in the bone marrow has been the subject of intense research, but most studies have focused on the one percent, the immune cells.”It’s a bit odd, but because red blood cells are enucleated and therefore hard to track by genetic markers, their production has been more or less ignored by the vast number of studies in the past couple of decades,” said Camilla Forsberg, professor of biomolecular engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz.In a new study, published March 21 in Stem Cell Reports, Forsberg’s lab overcame technical obstacles to provide a thorough accounting of blood cell production from hematopoietic stem cells. Their findings are important for understanding disorders such as anemia, diseases of the immune system, and blood cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas.”We’re trying to understand the balance of production of blood cells and immune cells, which goes wrong in many kinds of disorders,” Forsberg said.The process by which hematopoietic stem cells give rise to mature blood cells involves multiple populations of progenitor cells that become progressively more committed to a specific “fate” as they develop into fully mature cells. A major fork in the road is between “lymphoid progenitors,” which give rise to white blood cells called lymphocytes, and “myeloid progenitors,” which give rise to other kinds of white blood cells, as well as red blood cells and platelets. The majority of cells in the bone marrow are in the myeloid lineage.Related StoriesInnovative microfluidic device simplifies study of blood cells, opens new organ-on-chip possibilitiesRadiometer’s ABL9 blood gas analyzer awarded Red Dot Design AwardDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustA key finding of the new study is that all progenitor cells with myeloid potential produce far more red blood cells than any other cell type. This was surprising because many previous studies in which progenitor cells were grown in cell cultures (“in vitro”) found they had limited capacity to produce red blood cells and platelets. Forsberg said those results now appear to be an artifact of the culture conditions.”It’s been hard to make sense of a lot of those experiments, because we know our bodies need to make a lot of red blood cells and platelets,” she said. “Our results show that these progenitor cells retain a lot of red blood cell potential. In fact, we propose that red blood cell production is the default pathway.”In experiments led by first author Scott Boyer, a graduate student in Forsberg’s lab, researchers transplanted different progenitor cell populations into mice and tracked the production of red blood cells as well as platelets (the second largest component of blood) and immune cells. Boyer was also able to transplant single progenitor cells and then identify the blood and immune cells it produced.By quantifying the numbers of mature blood cells produced from transplanted progenitors, the researchers were able to show that red blood cells were by far the most abundant cell type produced by every type of progenitor cell, with the exception of lymphoid progenitors. Their findings led to the development of a model of hematopoietic differentiation that focuses on red blood cells as the default pathway for all myeloid progenitors.Source: http://www.ucsc.edu/
Source:https://www.elsevier.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 1 2019Preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) face heightened risks of death, critical illness, and prolonged hospitalization, particularly if they progress to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). A new study appearing in the journal CHEST®, published by Elsevier, suggests that treatment with nasal high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (NHFOV) is a beneficial management strategy in this population, and is superior to nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) in preventing reintubation.”To our knowledge, this is the first study comparing NHFOV with NCPAP as postextubation respiratory support modes in preterm infants with neonatal ARDS,” explained lead investigator Yuan Shi, PhD, MD, FAAP, Department of Neonatology, Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Child Development and Disorders, Chongqing, China. “Usually, one of the most important causes of reintubation is difficulty in clearing the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2). We found that NHFOV was superior to NCPAP in reducing PCO2 levels.”Invasive ventilation remains one of the cornerstones of reducing neonatal mortality in preterm infants with RDS and ARDS. RDS refers to breathing problems usually caused by lung immaturity due to premature birth. ARDS is an emergency medical condition, usually with acute onset, with symptoms similar to those of RDS; it may be caused by “clinical insults” such as inhalation of toxic chemicals, inhalation of vomit or meconium, lung inflammation or injury, pneumonia, or septic shock. No matter what the cause of respiratory dysfunction, invasive ventilation can increase the risk of ventilator-associated lung injury, which may result in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and subsequent neurologic impairment, especially in infants who require repeated or prolonged intubation. Therefore, early weaning from invasive ventilation is key to reduce these risks and is a primary goal for neonatalogists.Related StoriesHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryNCPAP is a widely used therapy to improve ventilation in preterm infants but is not successful in avoiding reintubation in all infants. The new NHFOV technique was anticipated to improve outcomes by combining the advantages of NCPAP with those of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV). Like NCPAP, NHFOV is noninvasive, but it also offers improved CO2 removal and increased functional residual capacity. The superimposed oscillations of NHFOV are thought to help avoid gas trapping and upregulate mean airway pressure (MAP).This was a single center, randomized, controlled trial that enrolled 206 preterm infants born at less than 37 weeks’ gestational age who were ready for extubation. The babies were randomized into two groups of 103 to receive either NHFOV or NCPAP treatment. Of these infants, 61.7 percent were diagnosed with RDS, 25.7 percent with ARDS, and 12.6 percent with both RDS and ARDS. Data were analyzed for the overall group, as well as for those who were preterm (born at 32-36 weeks’ gestation) or very preterm (less than 32 weeks’ gestation).The rate of reintubation in the group receiving NCPAP was more than twice as high compared to infants who received NHFOV (34.0 percent vs 15.5 percent), especially in the very preterm group or those with ARDS or combined ARDS/RDS, but not in those with only RDS. After six hours of extubation, the PCO2 levels in infants treated with NHFOV were significantly lower than those treated with NCPAP.Infants treated with NHFOV were also able to leave the hospital in fewer days than those who received NCPAP. The only adverse events reported in the NHFOV group were nasal trauma and intestinal dilation.Two international randomized controlled trials are ongoing to establish the clinical superiority of NHFOV compared to other respiratory support methods for avoiding reintubation in this fragile group of preterm babies.