Foreign RAs visit for inspiration

first_imgWhen a Catholic university in Mexico decided to start a residential dorm program for its students five years ago — the first such program in a country where most students live at home during college — the university needed an established example of Catholic residential living to learn from. Enter Notre Dame, which partnered with the University of Monterrey to host three of its resident assistants (RAs) and an administrator from Wednesday to Sunday, giving them a chance to engage in dorm life and plan ways to bring the Notre Dame spirit back to Monterrey. “The people here were very welcoming and amiable,” said Hector Campbell, a junior at the University of Monterrey. “We learned a lot of things to incorporate little by little. We hope to strengthen our relationship with the university so our residents are inspired by this.” As they learned about residential life at a Catholic university, the Monterrey visitors packed plenty of activities into their five-day visit, including meetings with Office of Residential Life and Housing, Student Affairs, Campus Ministry and the rectors of the newest dorms, said Erika Garza, Student Life coordinator at the University of Monterrey. Meals were also a chance for the group to learn about life at Notre Dame. “We had activities all day and Notre Dame RAs have been with us for all our meals, so we can ask them about what they do,” said Armida Lopez, a junior at the University of Monterrey. Before leaving campus Sunday, the visitors attended a Notre Dame football game — an experience they said they were anticipating all week, especially after feeling the energy on campus Friday and Saturday. “We’ve seen very little kids and also very old people with that passion for Notre Dame,” Garza said. “The love for Notre Dame has no age.” Although the visitors said they admired Notre Dame’s residential life, differences between the two universities will make dorm life at Monterrey a distinct experience. The University of Monterrey is only 41 years old, and its residential program is barely older than Notre Dame’s Duncan Hall. Only 420 of the university’s 12,000 students live on campus, compared to 80 percent of Notre Dame undergraduates. The university also only has two dormitories — one for men and one for women — connected by a garden, sharing one chapel and with no inter-dorm visitation. “There are plenty of common areas on the rest of campus,” Garza said. While Notre Dame already has a long and rich dorm history, Lopez said, at the University of Monterrey, “we are still creating that history.” Lopez and the other visitors had plenty of ideas for creating their campus’ own traditions — ideas gleaned from their observations of Notre Dame residential living and from advice given by Notre Dame’s rectors and resident assistants. “I learned that students form a sense of dorm identity through activities,” Lopez said. “For RAs, there’s a line between friendship and authority.” Garza said she picked up some very concrete tips from her Notre Dame visit. “Many of the campus activities work because they’re free. The residents don’t have to pay anything,” she said. “Dorms should put most things to a vote so that residents feel involved in decisions.” One thing not be up for debate, however, is penalties for rule infractions, Garza said. “There has to be a sense of importance to the sanctions,” Garza said. “We want rules about alcohol [and other disciplinary issues] to be successful.” The Monterrey visitors said they also want to bring home another unique aspect of Notre Dame’s campus culture: its spirituality. “We don’t have anything like the Grotto, but we’d like to incorporate more spirituality,” Lopez said. “It’s amazing that students here still go to Mass and pray at the Grotto without their parents telling them.” The Monterrey group said they enjoyed their visit so much that they are already planning ways to come back to campus. Garza said she wants to spend a month at Notre Dame during the summer working with the Office of Residence Life and Housing, and the students said they hope that the partnership between the two universities grows — including a possible trip by Notre Dame students to Monterrey. The Monterrey visitors also visited Loyola University in Chicago after they left Notre Dame for a further example of residential life at a Catholic university. As they left campus Sunday, they left a message for the Notre Dame students and administrator: “Thank you, and Go Irish!”last_img read more

Show Tunes, Vomit and Fresh Powder

first_imgSix hours is a long time to sit in a car. Six hours on a curvy mountain road with two five year olds in the back (one of which gets car sick) is freaking hell. Sadly, my family has to drive through hell if we want to ski the steep and deep at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. And since Snowshoe is the closest we’ll get to champagne powder this season, we’re happy to pay the price. So six hours, two Red Bulls, 36 show tunes and one mild vomiting episode later, we’re sitting in our condo at the top of Snowshoe, giddy with anticipation for tomorrow’s powder.And I need a beer. Actually, I need some bourbon—something strong to settle the nerves and help me forget the vomit and show tunes. Unfortunately, I don’t have any bourbon. Fun fact: the closest liquor store to Snowshoe is one hour away. Fortunately, I do have the next best thing—Local Species, a special release from Virginia’s Blue Mountain Barrel House that’s aged in white oak bourbon barrels.Here’s how Blue Mountain describes Local Species: “A creation of deep-drawn well water, special barley malts, American hops and Belgian yeast. Aged in charred American White Oak bourbon barrels. A beer as original and beautiful as our native Brookie.”That’s some heady stuff, especially considering that Local Species is actually a mellow, supremely drinkable beer. Given the description and the fact that the bottle is corked (not capped), I expected a serious Belgian that challenged my palate. But this beer is incredibly light and creamy, with just a hint of that Belgian yeast coming in at the backend to let you know you’re drinking something artful. Honestly, I didn’t get much bourbon or oak out of the beer, although I did experience an unexpected tinge of white wine as the beer disappeared on my tongue.But if I’m being brutally honest with myself, I’m not in the right head space to actually taste this beer. I drink it damned fast, in like, seven big gulps, because, like I said, I’m coming straight off of a marathon of show tunes and vomit. And sometimes, you just need a drink.last_img read more

Latin American Naval Forces Join Together to Fight Drug Trafficking

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo November 23, 2016 Navy, maritime service, and coast guard officials from 18 Latin American countries recently agreed to increase cooperation to effectively combat illicit drug trafficking by sea. Representatives from Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, the United States, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the Dominican Republic came to an agreement at the XX Multilateral Maritime Counter Drug Summit, held in Cartagena, Colombia from October 25th-27th. The summit, led by the U.S. Coast Guard, with the support of the Colombian Navy, brought together experts on drug trafficking. The 130 participants agreed to analyze the creation of intelligence fusion centers to establish the capacity to share information in real time and ensure the ability to react. “That is why we require greater integration, centralization and exchange of information,” Captain Orlando Enrique Grisales Franceschi, director of the Colombian Navy’s Counter-Drug Office told Diálogo. These centers gather intelligence from operational activities and integrate information compiled from various state sources as a result of the exchange among agencies from each of the countries. “Undoubtedly the complement of this operational result has to be effective judicialization to be able to assemble information that can identify and create mechanisms for capturing criminal organizations,” said Néstor Alfonso Rosanía, director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies in Colombia. Security officials also presented the results of their efforts in the fight against drug trafficking so far in 2016 and the trends and characteristics of trafficking by sea. The Colombian Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Police have confiscated more than 340 metric tons of cocaine, of which 146 metric tons were seized by the Colombian Navy alone. Authorities in Costa Rica and Panama confiscated 13 and 18 metric tons of cocaine respectively. “In the last 12 years, there has been an exponential average production of 900 metric tons of cocaine in the Central and South American region; 90 percent of these drugs are transported by sea,” said Capt. Grisales. “In the specific case of the Caribbean, 80 percent of cocaine transiting the region is by sea.” Transnational criminal organizations have increased the amount of cocaine transported by sea from South America to Central American countries, mainly Guatemala and El Salvador, as well as to the southern coast of Mexico. They use cocaine-trafficking corridors in the Pacific Ocean, according to the report Illicit Maritime Cocaine Trafficking Events 2009-2015, issued in 2016 by the International Maritime Analysis Center for Counter Drug Trafficking. According to the experts who participated in the summit, the use of go-fast boats continues to be the main means of sea transport for cocaine in the Caribbean. Smaller vessels such as dinghies, canoes, chalupa boats, semi-submersibles and sailboats, which transport an average of 5 to 10 metric tons per trip, are also used. “It is essential for all of the region’s navies to understand that the fact that we seize a large quantity of cocaine does not imply the dismantling of the organizations,” Capt. Grisales emphasized. “At the tactical level, we will always be at their heels.” During the summit, security officials reported that transnational criminal organizations are investing a lot of resources in innovation and the use of devices shaped like torpedoes, which can be submerged when towed by other vessels. They also are using georeferenced buoys to leave drugs adrift in a certain area of the ocean to be recovered at a later time. To coordinate illicit activity from land, they also are using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to transmit their positions, S.O.S. alerts and other information. “We are now at the second phase of the Triangle Cooperation Action Plan to help Central American and Caribbean countries improve their methods or their capacities,” Capt. Grisales said. “Any strategy should have a balance between goals and capacities.” The Triangle Cooperation Action Plan was signed in 2013 by the U.S. and Colombian governments. It promotes the development of Caribbean and Central American armed forces on the basis of the experiences of Colombia. Its goal is to improve regional security and efficiently combat organized crime and drug trafficking. “It is obvious that collaboration between the navies of all the countries to allow us to anticipate the actions of drug traffickers is needed. The Caribbean already has great cooperation with the United States through joint patrols. We need to expand actions in the Pacific, which is where a huge quantity of cocaine is being moved,” Rubén Sánchez, researcher at the National University of Colombia said to Diálogo. “Thus the presence of the United States becomes important because it has the assets and the facilities to carry out what is proposed in alliance with the other countries.” During the maritime summit held in Colombia for the fourth time, that country’s Navy carried out a maritime interdiction exercise. Ninety troops participated, along with a frigate unit, a helicopter and a Defender-class rapid-response unit. In the exercise, the Navy tried to demonstrate how complicated it is to detect a vessel and detain it. “We are faced with a transnational crime that is highly changeable, with a large capacity for adaptation, and for which a concerted response is required,” Sánchez said. “It is difficult to end this phenomenon. We have an advantage, and that is that the attention paid to illicit activity at sea has taken on the same relevance in each of the countries; the effort against this phenomenon has become more homogeneous,” said Capt. Grisales. “These types of forums permit us to strengthen our bonds and our trust because to a certain extent, they allow us to get to know and identify ourselves to the authorities and people involved in the fight against crime.”last_img read more

10 Places to Celebrate Mardi Gras on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Islanders celebrating Mardi Gras need not travel to New Orleans to join in Louisiana’s epic annual Fat Tuesday festivities because local Cajun-style restaurants and bars also host events marking the occasion.Try as they may, few establishments on LI are bound to throw parties as lively or serve food as authentic as these Cajun joints that have menus featuring crawfish, alligator and of course, jambalaya.This year, the party starts on Feb. 28, regardless of whether revelers plan on participating in the Christian observance of Lent that starts the following day.Louisiana Joe’s Sandwich Shop488 Merrick Rd., Oceanside. 516-442-9838. louisianajoes.comServing breakfast and lunch dishes both inspired by Cajun and Italian favorites, co-owners of Louisiana Joe’s Sandwich Shop Terri Hanna and Joseph LoSchiavo demonstrate their passion for the taste of New Orleans. They are known for exceptional Po’boy sandwiches (made on heros and filled with anything from corneal crusted fried shrimp to braised beef), gumbo omelet with andouille sausage, Cajun boudin (traditional smoked sausage with rice), and an incredible muffuletta (a nod to LoSchiavo’s Italian roots) which is a sandwich stuffed with cold cuts, cheese, and olive salad. And any of the exceptional sandwiches served comes with a free dessert or side on Mardi Gras.R.S. Jones 153 Merrick Ave., Merrick. 516-378-7177. rsjones.comVoted the Best Soul/Southern food on Long Island for 2017, R.S. Jones is known for its gator-andouille-black bean chili, crawfish remoulade, warm cornbread, Mama Pajamas Pork (slow roasted with cabernet orlean gravy), sweet bourbon catfish, bananas foster, and of course, king cake. In honor of Mardi Gras, the restaurant is also hosting a party with live music, face painting and specials.Blackbird’s Grill 553 Old Montauk Hwy., Sayville. 631-563-4144. blackbirdsgrille.comWith French Quarter grade gumbo, jumbalaya aplenty and a homey atmosphere, Blackbird’s Grill is upping their normal game with a special Mardi Gras menu including shrimp n’ grits, buttermilk fried chicken, double cut pork chops with caramelized apples, and much more. This menu also includes specialty cocktails.Big Daddy’s Restaurant1 Park Ln., Massapequa. 516-799-8877. bigdaddysny.comThis place takes Fat Tuesday so seriously it holds a “Mardi Gras Madness Week” celebration featuring seven nights of live music and specials, culminating in a massive feast featuring a full buffet, music and costumes. With a welcoming feel, festive atmosphere and a large menu changing daily full of Cajun comfort food, Big Daddy’s is known as the go to place for a Cajun Creole Fix. Big Daddy’s offers a variety of Cajun specialties, from seafood dishes such as Motor Mouth Stuffed Shrimp and Jambalaya to Vieux Carre Pork and Waffles and BBQ Beef Po’Boy. Patrons be warned: This restaurant goes full-on Cajun with the spices.The Bayou2823 Jerusalem Ave., Bellmore. 516-785-9263. bayou4bigfun.comThe week-long Mardis Gras party continues with Cajun eats and live music at this lively eatery with great ambiance. A go-to for the right atmosphere to “get you in the Mardi-Gras mood,” this small and quirky restaurant serves strong drinks and has a lively bar scene, catering to a less child-oriented crowd. With creative food/drink presentation and an authentic feel, this is among the most festive places to celebrate.Storyville American Table Restaurant43 Green St., Huntington. 631-351-3446. storyvilleamericantable.comStoryville is also hosting pre-“Mardi Gras Madness” celebrations culminating with a big celebration on the day itself. With an authentic and sophisticated feel, Storyville American Table Restaurant gives a true Louisiana experience. Committed to fresh food, this eatery boasts homemade pickles, authentic house sauces and house-ground meat for their burgers. This lively spot caters to all tastes with a large varied menu and is great for a night out. Dishes not to miss include the gumbo, beignets, catfish and mussels.Treme Blues and Jazz Club553 Main St., Islip. 631-277-2008. tremeislip.comOne of the few intimate upscale live music venues of its kind on LI, named for the French Quarter neighborhood where jazz was born, this Blues bar is normally open Thursday through Sunday—except for their epic annual Fat Tuesday party. Headlining this year’s show is the Gulf Coast-inspired Dave Clive’s Nawlins Funk Band. Although the club is more known for their music than their food, specials on cocktails, Gumbo and Mardis Gras King Cake are among the mouthwatering items on their menu that includes small plates and desserts. There will be beads!Biscuits and Barbeque106 East 2nd St., Mineola. 516-493-9797. biscuitsandbarbecue.comThe weekend-long Mardis Gras festivities at this diner-style eatery consist of specials on Crawfish Pie, Alligator Ribs, Louisiana Smothered Shrimp, Gator Sausage and Mardis Gras King Cake, plus too many more to list here. A casual joint housed in a converted trailer, this neighborhood haunt is a cosy spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner in a lively atmosphere. Dishes not to miss include the biscuits and gravy (but be warned, get this to share—it is huge), the brisket, the mac n cheese and the shrimp po’boy.Mara’s Homemade236 West Jericho Tpke., Syosset. 516-682-9200. marashomemade.comMara’s is a Cajun barbeque joint great for casual eats, with must-have dishes including the crawfish-stuffed baguette, lobster, gator bites (yes alligator!) and the andouille crusted tilapia. The owner herself often comes to check in on patrons, contributing to the hospitable atmosphere. Don’t forget to save room for their famous bluegrass pie, homemade beignets and fresh seasonal fruit pies as a delicious way to have an authentic Mardi Gras experience. Specials and beads are on tap for the big day!Nawlins Seafood Co.301 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport. nawlinsseafood.comSo, this place won’t give the Nautical Mile a taste of The Big Easy until they reopen for this spring. But, their sister restaurant, Rachel’s Waterside Grill, will host a Mardis Gras party featuring samples of the Nawlins Seafood Co.’s menu, including gumbo, jambalaya, catfish, hurricanes and more. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!–Compiled by Ellie Schoeffellast_img read more

5 pillars of cybersecurity in financial services

first_imgFinancial services are one of the best-performing sectors in terms of cybersecurity. BitSight analyzed the data to pinpoint a handful of basic facts, ideas, and principles that make the financial sector so successful at cybersecurity, and outlined those “pillars” below.Pillar #1: You Have To Meet The Expectations Of Regulations (And Beyond).Financial services is a regulated sector—and regardless of your feelings on regulation, it does get some interesting results. When you know that someone is holding you accountable and that this party has the authority to fine or potentially shut you down, you know you have to take action. Thus, financial service organizations typically have implemented proper protections and risk management solutions, invested in the right technologies, and hired the best talent. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Sweden cracks down on bars as crowds flout corona rules

first_imgWhile data suggests most Swedes are voluntarily practicing social distancing, photos have made the rounds worldwide in recent weeks of Stockholmers soaking up the spring sunshine sitting at crammed restaurant terraces, or queuing closely together outside nightclubs.Authorities had warned last week they would be stepping up inspections to ensure establishments were respecting social distancing guidelines, but some bars and restaurants were again packed at the weekend.Four of the five bars and restaurants are located in the trendy Sodermalm neighborhood, popular with young partygoers.”The main problem was overcrowding, both inside the premises and outdoors,” Stockholm health official Per Follin told news agency TT. Topics : He said their closure was immediate and until further notice.Among other restrictions Sweden has imposed are bans on visits to retirement homes and on gatherings of more than 50 people.It has also urged people to work at home if possible, and recommended people over the age of 70 and in risk groups to limit contacts with others. The Swedish approach has received criticism both domestically and internationally as its death toll has leapt much higher than its Nordic neighbors, which have all instituted more restrictive containment measures.As of Sunday, Sweden, which has 10.3 million inhabitants, reported 2,194 COVID-19 deaths, compared to 422 in Denmark and 193 in Norway, whose populations are about half the size.Swedish officials have nonetheless insisted their plan is sustainable in the long-term, rejecting drastic short-term measures as too ineffective to justify their impact on society.center_img Sweden, whose softer approach to combatting the new coronavirus has garnered international attention, said Sunday it was ordering the closure of five Stockholm bars and restaurants that failed to respect social distancing guidelines.The Scandinavian country has allowed schools for under-16s, cafes, bars, restaurants and businesses to stay open while urging people and businesses to respect social distancing guidelines.Restaurants and bars are only allowed to provide table service, with tables spaced one to two meters apart to prevent overcrowding. last_img read more

Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should aim higher than Chelsea, says Craig Burley

first_img Comment Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 25 Apr 2020 9:40 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.5kShares Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should aim higher than Chelsea, says Craig Burley Aubameyang could leave the Emirates this summer (Picture: Getty Images)Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley believes Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be aiming for a club challenging for titles, rather than joining Frank Lampard’s ‘project’ at Stamford Bridge.With less than a year remaining on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium, the Gabon international has been linked with a move to the Blues, and the Gunners are reportedly ready to listen to offers for their top scorer.Aubameyang is approaching his 31st birthday, and without a major title to his name, Burley says immediate success should be his primary focus.Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news liveADVERTISEMENTHe told ESPN FC: ‘The decision he’s got to make is what do I have in terms of options, Chelsea are a project at the moment, if he believes they are a project far enough down the line that are going to compete when everything gets up and running again, then fine.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘At his age, he’s really going to be looking to get into somewhere where they’re going to be fighting for the title now, they’re going to be fighting for the Champions League now.‘That’s where he is in his career, he’s good enough to be doing that, he’s shown that at Dortmund, he’s shown that at Arsenal, an inferior team, so he needs to make sure he is making the right decision.’ Aubameyang would be a reliable source of goals for Lampard’s side (Picture: Getty Images)Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United are also believed to be interested in Aubameyang, with the north London club valuing the striker at around £50million.Burley added: ‘I believe if he gets an offer from clubs that are further down the line than Chelsea in terms of their progress, I think he will take that.‘But if Chelsea can get him, they should go for him, and if Arsenal lose him that’s just another big body blow to Mikel Arteta.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalThe Blues are also reportedly ‘very close’ to signing Barcelona flop Philippe Coutinho in the next transfer window.The Catalan club could be willing to let the Brazil international go to raise funds for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.MORE: Gary Neville slams Chelsea board over Philippe Coutinho transfer pursuit amid coronavirus crisisMORE: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang talking to Inter Milan players about Arsenal exit amid Chelsea & Man Utd linksFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Portuguese import terminal awaiting LNG cargo from Nigeria

first_imgLNG World News Staff Image courtesy of RENREN-operated Sines LNG import terminal in Portugal is set to receive a cargo of liquified natural gas from Nigeria later this week.The Sines LNG terminal will receive gas from the Nigeria LNG Bonny Island liquefaction plant via the LNG Ondo liquefied natural gas carrier.The vessel with the capacity to transport 148.471 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas was built by the South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.The LNG carrier was completed 2007 and named LNG Owdo but renamed LNG Ondo for BW Group. The vessel is currently working on a long-term charter for Nigeria LNG.According to data provided by the port of Sines, the LNG carrier is scheduled to dock at the terminal on March 8. VesselsValue data states that the vessel is currently passing off the shore of La Güera, Algeria.NLNG’s Bonny Island facility has the capacity to produce 22 mtpa of liquefied natural gas from its six trains.Sines LNG terminal, located on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, has a nominal send out capacity of 600,000 cubic meters per hour (5.26 bcm per year), with a peak capacity of 900,000 cubic meters per hour.last_img read more

Abortion breast cancer link explodes in Asia

first_imgOnLine Opinion 12 August 2014The various credentialed purveyors of health information, such as the Australian Medical Association, the World Health Organisation, the US National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Councils still maintain that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer (ABC link), this despite the fact that this past February, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the ABC link was published in the prestigious international journal Cancer Causes and Control. The study by Yubei Huang et. al of the Tianjin Medical University in China reviewed and compiled the results of 36 studies from mainland China. Reporting an overall, statistically significant risk increase of 44% (odds ratio or OR = 1.44) for women who’ve had one or more induced abortions, the Huang study confirmed the results I and my co-authors from Penn State Medical College had reported in 1996 in the British Medical Association’s epidemiology journal.Importantly, the Huang study confirmed the ABC link in a completely different population in a different time frame, as our original 1996 meta-analysis compiled worldwide studies between 1957 and 1996. The Huang meta-analysis also showed a clear dose effect, i.e., women with two or more abortions showed a risk increase of 76%, and those with three or more abortions showed a risk increase of 89%. In epidemiology, when increased exposure to the putative risk factor results in a higher risk increase, the factor (abortion in this case) is more likely to be an actual cause of the disease in question (breast cancer in this case).To those of us who have been studying the ABC link for years, the growing breast cancer epidemic in communist China was an entirely predictable result of the “one-child policy”. But the aggressive promotion of abortion has hardly been limited to China, and a veritable tsunami of peer-reviewed, published reports of the predictable epidemic elsewhere is starting to surface from all over Asia. In South Asia alone, at least a dozen studies have appeared (that I know about) just since 2008: nine in India and one each in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.In addition to adding confirmation upon confirmation of the ABC link, the recent South Asian studies provide a different perspective. It is not because of ethnic differences between South Asians and East Asians or Caucasians: The more than half century of research establishing the ABC link provides ample proof that when it comes to breast cancer risk factor, women are women, no matter their ethnicity. But there is a big difference in the baseline lifestyle of Asian women, and this makes a huge difference. Why?Breast cancer is a multifactorial disease, with many risk factors. Most are related to reproduction and/or female reproductive hormones. Consequently, in the West (like the US), the baseline lifetime risk of breast cancer is high (around 10%) without considering abortion at all. That’s because, long before abortion’s legalization (and resulting high prevalence), women were taking contraceptive steroids (“the pill”), waiting longer to bear children, having fewer of them, not breast feeding them, and were themselves drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes. All of these increase the risk of breast cancer. Add abortion, and the lifetime risk goes up about 30%, from about 10% to about 13%. In epidemiological terms, that is expressed as a relative risk (typically expressed statistically as an odds ratio or a hazard ratio) of 1.3. (I.e., a 30% increased risk; the overall average relative risk we reported in our 1996 review.)About the AuthorDr. Joel Brind is a professor of biology and endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York since 1986, a research biochemist since 1981, and CEO of Natural Food Science, a maker of glycine supplement products founded in 2010. read more

Study suggests marijuana may impair female fertility

first_imgEurekaAlert 2 April 2020Family First Comment: Female eggs exposed to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos, and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancyFemale eggs exposed to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos, and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancy, according to an animal study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting. The abstract will be published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.Marijuana, or cannabis, is the most commonly used recreational drug by people of reproductive age. The rise in marijuana use has occurred at the same time that THC percentages in the drug have increased. “Currently, patients seeking infertility treatments are advised against cannabis use, but the scientific evidence backing this statement is weak,” said Master student Megan Misner, part of the research laboratory led by Laura Favetta, Ph.D., in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada. “This makes it difficult for physicians to properly advise patients undergoing in vitro fertilization.”In the new study, researchers treated cow oocytes, or female eggs, with concentrations of THC equivalent to therapeutic and recreational doses. The oocytes were collected and matured into five groups: untreated, control, low THC, mid THC and high THC.The eggs’ developmental rates and gene expression were measured. The researchers evaluated the ability of embryos to reach critical stages of development at specific time points. With higher concentrations of THC, they found a significant decrease and delay in the ability of the treated oocytes to reach these checkpoints. “This is a key indicator in determining the quality and developmental potential of the egg,” Misner said.THC exposure led to a significant decrease in the expression of genes called connexins, which are present at increased levels in higher quality oocytes. Poorer quality oocytes, with lower connexin expression levels, have been shown to lead to a poorer embryo development. “This embryo would be less likely to proceed past the first week of development, and thus lead to infertility,” Misner said.READ MORE: read more