Fatal drug overdoses rose in 2019, reversing previous year’s dip | TheHill – The Hill


Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the number of deaths from drug overdose in the U.S. rose 4.6 percent in 2019 after falling for the first time in three decades in 2018.
While the data won’t be finalized until later this year, it indicates that 70,980 people in the country died from drug overdoes in 2019, up from 67,850 in 2018. The new number also surpasses 2017’s mark, the previous peak.
The dip in fatal drug overdoses in 2018 was lauded by the Trump administration, but according to the CDC, the District of Columbia and 18 states all experienced increases of at least 10 percent in 2019. The increase in overdose deaths can be pinned heavily on synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, but deaths from methamphetamine and cocaine also rose.
Cocaine and psychostimulants such as meth accounted for 45.4 percent of all overdose deaths in 2019, up from 34.7 percent in 2017.
“We have called it the opioid crisis, but really it’s the addiction crisis in the U.S.,” Michael Barnett, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told U.S. News & World Report. “Overdoses are a late-stage end result of a complex brew of factors that lead to people being addicted and using substances that predispose them to overdose.”
Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the publication that the increase in deaths from stimulants like meth and cocaine is worrisome because unlike opioid addiction, there isn’t the same level of strong evidence-based treatments to help people overcome those addictions.
“The ability to provide naloxone to people that have overdosed has saved so many lives but that is for opioids,” Volkow explained.
Volkow also said that the current coronavirus pandemic could make the country’s drug addiction epidemic worse. 
“We have two things colliding: the stress of the uncertainty of what’s going to happen with COVID[-19], and also the uncertainty of what’s going to happen to you, [with high levels of] unemployment, or if you are studying, what will happen to your education,” Volkow said. “And then the social distancing and isolation that makes the whole process much worse.”
In the first four months of 2020, fatal drug overdoses were up 11.4 percent compared to 2019.

Source : https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/507598-fatal-drug-overdoses-rose-in-2019-reversing-previous

How Much Marijuana Will NBA Players Need in the Bubble? – InsideHook


While it remains to be seen whether NBA players will be able to get ladies of the night into the bubble in Orlando, it appears to be a foregone conclusion that many will be bringing in Mary Jane to accompany them.
In a piece in The Athletic, Golden State Warriors beat writer Marcus Thompson II who can’t cover his team in the bubble because they didn’t qualify for the league’s restart theorized that players on teams that make the conference or NBA Finals will need more than one pound of marijuana with them in the bubble as they could end up being in Orlando for a maximum of 82 days.
And that might not be enough as, by Thompson’s math, that would only allow for about two blunts consisting of two grams of pot apiece per day. And that’s not taking into account sharing with other players who want to get high but didn’t bring a supply of their own.
Bring more than you think youre going to need, Al Harrington, an NBA veteran who now has his own cannabis company Viola Brands, told The Athletic. “You might have that teammate whos never smoked and might want to try it since theyre stuck in a bubble. So you might be supplying other people.
The league will not be testing for marijuana and other recreational drugs in the bubble and, as long as players stay socially distanced sand safe, it seems as if the NBA will turn a blind eye toward its stars getting high.
When you think about it, its damn near inhumane for them not to have marijuana,” Harrington said. “These guys are going to need something to get away. Normally in the course of the season, the playoffs, if you have a bad game, you have a bad turnover to lose the game, you get to go home and see your kids. In this bubble situation, you cant get away from the bad game.”
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Read the full story at The Athletic

Source : https://www.insidehook.com/daily_brief/sports/how-much-marijuana-nba-players-need-bubble

Second – Marvel Entertainment


The Marvels Avengers beta program begins on August 7 exclusively for PlayStation 4 owners who have pre-ordered the game, and will be available until August 9. On August 14, the beta will open up for all PlayStation 4 owners and run until August 16.
The beta for those who pre-ordered Marvels Avengers on Xbox One and PC will begin on August 14 and will run until August 16.
Finally, on August 21, the beta program will be open to all PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players and run through August 23.
A full infographic on platforms and dates can be found here.
A free Square-Enix Members account will be required to play the beta. Players can sign up for an account here, and everyone who signs up for an account will receive an exclusive Thor nameplate in the game.
Marvels Avengers will release simultaneously for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on September 4!
For the most up-to-date information about Marvel’s Avengers, keep an eye on PlayAvengers.com. And be sure to follow “Play Avengers” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Source : https://www.marvel.com/articles/games/second-marvels-avengers-war-table-premieres-july-29

A subradiant optical mirror formed by a single structured atomic layer – Nature.com

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    Feed your baby peanuts! Research suggests new dietary advice for babies – Fox News


    Want your baby to go gaga for greens? Start him off right.
    For the first time, experts reporting to the US Department of Health & Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture have included the advice as part of a twice-a-decade study into how people’s diet affects long-term health, and are offering new information about feeding babies from birth until 2 years of age.
    CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
    And that old adage “Food before 1 is just for fun,” no longer applies.
    The report confirmed that a healthy diet during the life stages from birth to 24 months and during pregnancy and lactation “is essential to support healthy growth and development during infancy and childhood, adolescence and adulthood.”
    Want your baby to go gaga for greens? Start him off right
    (iStock)
    It maintained that the first 1,000 days of life “not only contribute to long-term health but also help shape taste preferences and food choices.”  Not only that, the committee said: “early life nutritional exposures have emerged as an etiological risk factor associated with later-life chronic disease risk.”
    Here are six of the key points outlined by the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee relating to the eating habits of young kids and pregnant women:
    Absolutely no added sugar for babies
    “Infants should avoid food and drink with added sugar during the first two years of life,” the committee stated. “The energy in such products is likely to displace energy from nutrient-dense foods, increasing the risk of nutrient inadequacies.” The experts made the link between consumption of sugar-sweetened processed beverages and being overweight or obese. They said nearly 70 percent of added sugars come from products such as sweetened drinks, desserts, sweet snacks and breakfast cereals and bars.
    Breast milk is better
    “The strongest evidence found was that ever being breast-fed may reduce the risk of overweight or obesity, type 1 diabetes and asthma compared to never being breast-fed,” the committee concluded. The members found rapid weight gain was more likely among formula-fed infants than those nursed by their mothers, possibly due to higher protein intake with formula or overfeeding by the caregiver so as not to “waste” food.
    No solids for babies before they are 4 months old
    Research showed that starting an infant’s first foods ahead of the four-month threshold is associated with an increased risk of obesity between the ages of 2 and 12. The problem was especially true for formula-fed babies who might not be able to regulate their feelings of “fullness” as well as breast-fed ones.
    Introduce peanuts and eggs early to reduce allergies
    The committee found that feeding peanuts and eggs “in an age appropriate form” after 4 months of age could reduce the risk of food allergy. It said the evidence wasn’t as strong for other allergens such as nuts and seafood. There was also no harm in introducing such potentially allergic foods at this stage.
    Give Vitamin D and pay attention to iron and zinc
    Since breast milk doesn’t contain enough Vitamin D, the committee recommended that fully and partially breast-fed babies be supplemented with 400 IU of the vitamin from birth until they are weaned. More Vitamin D than that dose is unnecessary. The experts also recommended parents of breast-fed babies feed them foods like meats that are rich in iron and zinc during the second six months of their lives, or fortify with iron-enriched foods such as infant cereals. Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish, fish oil, vegetable oil, nuts and seeds also play an important part in brain development.
    What women eat during conception and pregnancy matters
    The report warned that “the risk of chronic diseases begins early in life, with important health consequences for the fetus based on the dietary intake of the mother and subsequent feeding behaviors in infancy and early childhood.” One of the solutions for both pregnant women and infants is eating fish (at least 8 to 12 ounces each week) or seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in methylmercury such as crab, oysters, salmon, scallops, shrimp, squid and tilapia. Research showed it may boost children’s cognitive development as well as language and communication.

    Source : https://nypost.com/2020/07/15/usda-issues-new-dietary-guidelines-for-babies-pregnant-women/

    Will COVID-19 Lead To A Lyme Disease Boom? – WNYT


    Key differences are respiratory symptoms.  Those are associated with coronavirus, while a bullseye rash is associated with Lyme disease, although not all patients will develop one. 
    A delayed diagnosis can lead to more serious complications.  “With Lyme disease, it’s crucially important to have early treatment,” Dr. Delaney says.  The Centers for Disease Control estimates 300,000 Americans contract Lyme disease annually, and advises people to take precautions by using an approved insect repellent, wearing light colored clothing and checking for ticks after outdoor activities.

    Source : https://wnyt.com/news/will-covid-19-lead-to-a-lyme-disease-boom-coronavirus-pandemic-outdoor-activity-/5795787/

    Big East cancels nonconference schedules for fall – ESPN


    The Big East announced Thursday that it has decided to cancel its nonconference schedules for fall sports.
    The decision applies to men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball. There is no timetable for a decision on basketball scheduling.
    No decision has been made about in-conference competition and championships, the Big East said in its statement.
    The Big East said it would continue monitoring the situation and update as appropriate.
    The moves come amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking scheduling changes across the country in all divisions. On the Power 5 level, The Pac-12 and Big Ten have canceled nonconference games for fall sports as well, including football. The ACC and SEC have both announced they are delaying the start of the fall season for all sports except football through at least Sept. 1.
    The Mid-American Conference on Thursday, citing the “caution for the health and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches and others involved,” said it would postpone the start of field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country competition until Sept. 3.
    That decision aligns with the start of football season for the MAC and would allow all fall sports to begin at the same time. Any matchups affected by the postponements would be left to the individual schools.
    The West Coast Conference on Thursday delayed the start of its fall sports season until Sept. 24, affecting men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.
    Men’s and women’s basketball are not scheduled to begin play until Nov. 10, and the football teams for BYU and San Diego are not affected by the WCC announcement.
    Meanwhile, the Horizon League decided it would delay the start of fall sports until Oct. 1 and that rescheduling of nonconference contests impacted by the postponed start will be determined by each school. Affected sports include men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country.
    ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.

    Source : https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/29473867/big-east-cancel-non-conference-schedules-fall

    2021 Porsche 911 Turbo makes an entrance as the everyday supercar – CNET


    The Turbo returns… even though every 911 features a turbocharger these days.
    Porsche
    The sheer number of Porsche 911 variants is somewhat dizzying, but slow and steady, the German marque continues to roll them out, one by one. The latest name to return for the 922-generation car? The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo.
    “Porsche already revealed the 911 Turbo, though,” you may say to yourself. Close, but we actually saw the higher-performing 911 Turbo S this past March, not the standard Turbo. See what I mean about all the variants? Let’s not even mention the oodles of other options below the Turbo and Turbo S, like the Carrera, Carrera S and so on.
    In any case, yes, the 2021 911 Turbo debuted Tuesday evening and comes back swinging as the everyday supercar. Tucked away in the rear of the car is a twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six engine that makes 572 horsepower. That’s down 68 ponies compared to the Turbo S, but it’s 32 hp more than the old 911 Turbo. Torque also climbs from the past 911 Turbo by 67 pound-feet for a total of 553 pound-feet and Porsche’s eight-speed PDK transmission handles shifting duties. All-wheel drive is standard.
    I just want to reiterate that 572 hp in what’s basically a middle-of-the-road 911 is astounding. In 2005, Porsche’s banner supercar, the Carrera GT, made 605 hp, people. We live in a golden age of power, and that’s why the 911 Turbo comes back swinging as an everyday supercar of sorts. This car will go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, or 2.8 seconds if you opt for a 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Bonkers.
    I digress. The 2021 911 Turbo takes a ton of cues from the 911 Turbo S, and it shares its more muscular design with the more powerful car. Rear-axle steering — also from the Turbo S — finds a home on the Turbo, and rear track width grows by 0.39-inch over the last 911 Turbo to ensure lots of grip with 305/30 tires wrapping 21-inch wheels. There’s 1.65 inches of extra track width up front, too, and a set of 255/35 tires hug 20-inch wheels. Wider, grippier and faster is a winning combination.
    Larger cast-iron brakes this time around also help the daily supercar come to a halt in an efficient fashion, but of course, Porsche’s ceramic composite brakes are an option. Two suspensions will keep the ride in check. Either a standard setup that balances comfort and performance, or the electronically controlled Sport Suspension. The latter drops the ride height by 0.39-inch and aims to produce sharper driving dynamics.
    Just lovely.
    Porsche
    Stepping inside the 911 Turbo reveals a cockpit almost identical to the lesser Carrera models. Standard equipment, while generous, is identical with a 10.9-inch center screen, 14-way adjustable seats, Bose premium audio and more. I won’t even start to list the optional gear because there’s a ton. This is a Porsche, after all; you’re better off playing on the configurator that’ll go live soon.
    There are two significant optional packages, however. The Lightweight package shaves 66 pounds from the car, and notably removes the rear seats. To race things up even more, a Sport package adds black and carbon-fiber exterior accents and finishes things off with clear tail lights.
    If you’re OK with giving up 68 hp from the Turbo S, you’ll save a lot of money. The 2021 911 Turbo starts at $172,150 after a $1,350 destination charge. Opt for the Cabriolet and the price jumps to $184,950. The Turbo S, meanwhile, starts at $204,850 for a coupe and $217,650 for the Cabriolet.
    Then again, if you’re shopping a 911 Turbo of any kind, you’re probably not worried about saving a mere $32,000.

    Source : https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/2021-porsche-911-turbo-reveal-supercar/

    Simple molecules self-assemble into the links of a nanoscale chain – Nature.com


    Complex molecular architectures are usually constructed by connecting a variety of building blocks together in a stepwise manner. But sometimes, complex structures emerge from the self-assembly of a single constituent. Writing in Nature, Datta et al.1 show how polycatenanes chains made of interlocked nanometre-scale rings can be formed by the remarkable self-assembly of a simple molecular building block.
    Read the paper: Self-assembled poly-catenanes from supramolecular toroidal building blocks
    Catenanes are molecules in which two or more molecular rings are entangled like the links of a chain2; indeed, their name derives from catena, the Latin word for chain. The rings are not connected by a covalent bond, but instead form a different kind of linkage called a mechanical bond, in which the connected rings can move freely around each other. This dynamic property makes them useful as components of artificial molecular machines3. Many catenanes reported so far consist of only two rings. The construction of molecular chains made of several rings is a major challenge for synthesis, and has been achieved only in the past few years, for small molecular rings (with a radius of approximately 1 nanometre)4.
    The construction of larger systems is limited by the efficiency of the catenation step, in which a preassembled toroid precursor forms a ring that interlinks through another toroid; moreover, a large number of covalent bonds must be formed in the preassembled structure. Synthetic routes that involve non-covalent assembly techniques are therefore preferred5. In supramolecular polymerization, for example6, simple molecular building blocks self-assemble in a single step through non-covalent interactions to form large-scale structures of varied geometries. Unfortunately, the gain in size of the assemblies that are made in this way often comes at a price: chemists have less control of the final constructs architecture, compared with a multistep covalent strategy.
    Datta and co-workers have combined aspects of covalent and non-covalent strategies to form their complex polycatenane structures. The authors started with a monomer composed of a polar head and a non-polar tail, separated by a rigid section consisting of benzene rings (Fig. 1). Six of these monomers can self-assemble in an appropriate solvent to form a star-shaped rosette. The polar heads form a hexagonal core that is held together by hydrogen bonds in much the same way that DNA helices are held together by hydrogen bonds in nucleotide base pairs and the rigid sections point outwards from the core like arms.
    Figure 1 | Self-assembling polycatenanes. Datta et al.1 report that molecules consisting of a polar head, a rigid central region and a non-polar tail self-assemble into rosettes, which then stack together into fibres that form various nanoscale structures, such as toroids, helicoids and random coils. The authors devised a protocol in which they separate the toroids, and use them to seed the formation of new catenated rings thereby producing polycatenane structures in which up to 22 toroids are connected in linear chains or branched systems.
    Once formed, the rosettes self-assemble by stacking on top of each other a process driven by the formation of interactions (known as interactions) between the rigid regions of neighbouring rosettes. Because each rosette added to the stack is slightly offset from its predecessor, the resulting assembly grows with an intrinsic curvature that produces various geometries: random coils, helicoids and toroids7. The type of geometry that forms depends on the rate of cooling of the initial monomer solution. Slow cooling (about 1 kelvin per minute) favours the formation of helical fibres; faster cooling (about 10Kmin1) generates random coils; and abrupt cooling adds toroids into the mix.
    Datta and colleagues noticed that rapid cooling also produced traces of catenanes consisting of two interlocking toroids. This suggested that individual toroids could act as secondary sites from which another ring could grow, thereby forming the catenated dimers. The authors took advantage of this fortuitous process to devise a protocol for making large, self-assembled polycatenanes by using a solution of toroids as seeds for catenation.
    The authors rapidly cooled a solution of the monomer in a solvent mixture that was chosen to facilitate toroid formation, and thereby produced a solution in which approximately half of the monomer molecules were incorporated into toroids; the remaining monomers self-assembled into randomly coiled linear structures. Because the toroids are more stable to heat than are their linear counterparts, the authors could selectively disassemble the coils back into monomers by heating the solution. Subsequent slow cooling promoted the formation of long, helical supramolecular assemblies from the monomers, leaving the toroids intact. Datta et al. then filtered the mixture to remove the long helical structures, thus producing a solution that predominantly contained toroids.
    Molecular machines swap rings
    Finally, the authors produced polycatenanes by adding monomers to the solution of toroids, which seeded the formation of new catenated rings, as had been hoped. The non-polar tails were originally incorporated into the monomers to improve monomer solubility, but Datta and colleagues found that they also have a crucial role in the seeding process: unfavourable interactions between the tails and the solvent makes it more likely that rosette self-assembly will initiate on the surface of existing toroids.
    Atomic force microscopy revealed that polycatenanes of various sizes form in the reactions, and that the toroids have a radius of 12.5nm. The authors found that addition of monomers in small portions favours the initiation of self-assembly processes that lead to catenation and were thus able to produce linear and branched polycatenanes containing up to 22 rings. This is close to the number previously achieved using covalent assembly (up to 26 rings in linear polycatenanes)4, and further demonstrates the effectiveness of Datta and colleagues approach for synthesizing complex, non-covalent structures.
    The authors protocol also shows that a multistep approach, borrowed from the covalent-synthesis playbook, can be used to produce large and complex self-assembled architectures in a controllable way. This is an important step in the development of non-covalent synthesis, and it can be expected that their protocol will inspire the field to tackle more-challenging targets5. It would be interesting to see, for example, whether the monomer can be adapted to obtain catenated rings of various sizes, or whether hetero-catenanes can be made, in which the seed toroid consists of a different type of monomer from the one from which the catenated macrocycles are assembled.
    It remains to be seen how the mechanical and dynamic properties of the self-assembled polycatenanes compare with those of their smaller covalent counterparts. A main appeal of covalently assembled catenanes is that, if the relative motion and position of the rings can be controlled, it opens up potential applications for molecular machines. The possibility of achieving the same level of control over large, self-assembled structures would bring us a little closer to what nature achieves with cellular machinery.

    Source : https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02007-y