Let me say first, I am not kinda ‘well-planned’ person! But, I am been inspired to become planned from my radio co-host Ali! As learnt – preparation is key. I know lots of people shy away from planners or weekly diaries and many have taken … Continue reading
WHEN Kyle MacDonald cut the red ribbon to his new house in Kipling, Canada, in July 2006, it brought back memories of the simple piece of stationary that made it all possible. One year and 14 trades earlier, Kyle was … Continue reading
A half-century scientific quest culminated early yesterday as physicists announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle — one theorized to be so fundamental that without it, nothing could exist.
Dubbed the Higgs boson — or the “God particle,” to the chagrin of scientists — the particle is thought to create a sort of force field that permeates the universe, imbuing everything that we can see and touch with the fundamental property known as mass.
“As a layman I now say, I think we have it,” said Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, immediately after physicists presented compelling evidence for the new particle at a seminar in Geneva.
“Do you agree?” he asked the several hundred scientists packing CERN’s main auditorium.
Applause broke out. The video feed from CERN showed Peter Higgs, the University of Edinburgh physicist who theorized the existence of this exotic particle in 1964, tearing up.
“We have a discovery,” said Heuer. “We have discovered a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. It’s a historic milestone today.”
The scientists at CERN then stood, applauded and cheered for a full minute.
“I have the impression you are all happy,” said Heuer.
Moments later, Higgs, 83, stood and said, “For me, it’s really an incredible thing that happened in my lifetime.”
While there were typical scientist-esque notes of caution — a CERN statement called the discovery “preliminary” — scientists around the world celebrated the moment.
A video feed from Melbourne, Australia, where an international physics conference is set to begin, showed an auditorium packed with cheering scientists.
“One of the most exciting weeks of my life,” said Joe Lykken, a theoretical physicist who worked on one of the two CERN experiments that found evidence of the new particle.
At Fermilab, longtime home of the U.S. high-energy physics community, some 300 people stuffed into two rooms to watch a video feed from Geneva, said Don Lincoln, a Fermilab physicist who contributed to the CERN experiments.
“It’s incredible,” Lincoln said. “People were riveted. Discovery is what scientists live for.”
The announcement was one many Ohio State University physicists had long pursued.
“I’ve been working for 19 years looking forward to this day,” said Stan Durkin, an OSU experimental high-energy physicist. “I can’t express how excited I am.”
The search for the Higgs boson particle stretches back decades and finally settled at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva after efforts to build a super collider in the United States fell apart. Ohio was among 25 states that bid on the project, but was quickly removed from a list of 25 competing states in 1987.
Texas was ultimately selected, but Congress put a halt to construction in 1993 after projected construction costs soared past $12 billion.
Durkin helped design and build super-sensitive detectors that the Hadron needs to track high-speed particles, called muons, created by the Hadron Collider’s subatomic collisions.
“All of the tracks in the pictures you were shown were read out by Ohio State electronics,” Durkin said.
Christopher Hill, an OSU physicist and one of the leaders of the Hadron Collider’s Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, said the announcement follows observations made back in December that hinted at the Higgs.
Hill said more research was needed to help confirm that a new particle had been discovered.
“We used the same exact analysis techniques, but used twice as much data,” Hill said.
Hill and Richard Hughes, another OSU physicist, said years of research must follow to help reassure scientists that what they’ve found is the Higgs and not something unexpected.
“The next step is to say we need to study this thing to see if it behaves the way we would expect it to,” Hughes said. “Is it consistent with everything we expect from the Higgs boson?”
With a self-imposed deadline of July 4 — set two years ago to align with the conference in Melbourne — CERN physicists raced in recent days to collect and analyze enough data to say they had, indeed, found a new particle that looked like the long-sought Higgs.
As late as Tuesday, two teams pored over results from the last run of high-energy subatomic collisions at the collider, which straddles the French-Swiss border.
“It’s the last month of running that did it,” said Joe Incandela, spokesman for one of the two experiments at CERN that found evidence of the Higgs, during his presentation yesteday morning.
The discovery of the particle completes what’s known as the Standard Model of particle physics, the equivalent of chemistry’s Periodic Table. The Standard Model lists and arranges the particles and forces of nature. Many of the particles were predicted long before they were found — and the Higgs was the last holdout, and the most important.
That’s because it is thought to give rise to the “Higgs field,” a sort of force field that permeates everything.
When the other particles that make up the stuff of the universe — protons, neutrons, electrons and so on — interact with the Higgs field, they acquire the trait known as mass. More-massive objects get tangled up in the field — and hence, slowed down as they move — more than less-massive objects.
The CERN physicists did not see this new particle directly because it disintegrates too quickly. Rather, they divined its existence from sifting through the debris of millions of high-energy subatomic collisions and then searching for clues that the Higgs had been there.
While the Higgs boson research hasn’t produce any direct benefits, the massive scientific effort that led up to the discovery has paid off in other ways, including the creation of the World Wide Web. CERN scientists developed it to make it easier to exchange information among each other.
The vast computing power needed to crunch all of the data produced by the atom smasher has also boosted the development of distributed — or cloud — computing, which is now making its way into mainstream services.
Advances in solar-energy capture, medical imaging and proton therapy — used in the fight against cancer — also have resulted from the work of particle physicists at CERN and elsewhere.
Information from Dispatch reporter Spencer Hunt and the Associated Press were included in this story.
Can chronic stress cause depression? A new study in mice adds important evidence that it can, and sheds light on how antidepressants work. The new research, published in Nature, builds on earlier studies showing that chronic high stress kills neurons and prevents … Continue reading
Ways to exercise away your angst Life can be (or rather is) very stressful at times. People employ all sorts of methods to combat the rigours of modern living but a guaranteed stress reliever is something available to us all … Continue reading
Not a week goes by without news of a lab breakthrough using rats or mice. But of all the promising medical interventions that make it to animal trials, only a fraction seem to translate into major breakthroughs for humans. … Continue reading
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, or money, or awards. It’s the ones who care for you. Only those who care, Make a difference. If you realize the truth … Continue reading
An unexpected and unwanted breakup can cause considerable psychological distress. People report feeling as if they have been kicked in the stomach or blindsided and knocked down. Feelings of rejection and self-doubt are common, as is the feeling of being stuck and unable to let go, even when one wants to. Friends and family may push the person to get over it and move on, yet brain research suggests this can be very difficult to do, at least in the first few months.
Breakups and the Brain
The research on relationship breakups in unmarried people (generally college students) gives us some clues as to why these events are so subjectively painful. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans show activity in several specific brain areas when rejected individuals see pictures of their ex-partners. Researcher Edward Smith, a cognitive neuroscientist at Columbia University and his colleagues put out fliers in Manhattan and ads on social networking sites to recruit participants who had experienced an unwanted breakup in the last six months. Using fMRI scans, the researchers assessed which brain areas lit up when participants looked at pictures of their ex-partners and simultaneously thought about experiences they had shared together. They compared this to when participants looked at pictures of a friend and were exposed to pain via a hot probe on the arm. The scientists found that the same parts of the brain lit up when individuals looked at the partner pictures or experienced physical pain, but not when they looked at the friend pictures. These brain regions, including the insular and anterior cingulate cortex are known to be associated with pain experience.
fMRI of the brain during a breakup
Our brains appear to process relationship breakups similarly to physical pain. There may be an evolutionary reason for this. The function of pain is to alert the person to physical danger or harm so she can take protective action. In the animal kingdom, one’s chances of avoiding predators are much higher as part of a group than alone, therefore social rejection may have been an actual threat to physical survival for our early ancestors. If this is the case, it might partially explain how difficult it is for many people to let go of the ex-partner and move on.
Obsessive Thoughts & “Cravings”
People who have recently been rejected by their partners often develop obsessive thinking. They may ruminate persistently about the ex-partner, how they are feeling, whether they are missing the relationship, and so on. These thoughts or feelings of loss may be triggered by places they used to go to together, people they used to Continue reading
While passing by I met a girl with I card and white apron, I thought She must be some medical or paramedical professional and I asked my stamp mark que to her and than I asked few more things… Few interesting parts are mentioned here… Just see, what a Hospital pharmacist says..!!
What do you do for a living? I’m a pharmacist. Hospital Pharmacist.
How would you describe what you do?
I do order entry of physician orders for the medications that they want to administer in the hospital. There’s the patient chart where the doctor will document and write everything that’s going on with the patient and all the medications and tests and procedures that he wants done. When a medication is written it is faxed to the pharmacy where a pharmacist will review the patient’s allergies, other medications that they’re taking, and appropriateness of the dose. We then enter that into a computer system which goes through a pharmacy database and a robot which is linked to that database will fill those prescriptions as well as technicians that work within the pharmacy will manually fill those prescriptions and then distribute them to the right patients.
There’s a lot of difference between a Walgreen’s and a hospital pharmacy, and I would work in both before I’d ever think about being a pharmacist.
What does your work entail?
The position which I have is a Float Pharmacist which means that in our hospital, each unit of the hospital, whether it be an intensive care unit or the orthopedic floor or the stroke unit, each floor has a specific pharmacist that covers that area and works with those patients, doctors, and nurses on a regular basis. When one of those pharmacists either has the day off or is sick or for whatever reason, the Float Pharmacist will cover those areas. So, on any given day, I can be working with any floor of the hospital. For instance, this week I’m going to be covering the neuro-trauma ICU and the surgical ICU areas. That specific position calls me to come in at seven in the morning and I’ll leave at 3:30 in the afternoon. I’ll come in, I’ll go down to the ICU, and I’ll go through those reports while entering any orders that come from the physicians. I will answer questions from the nurses. I’ll answer questions from the physicians. Some of the questions might be specifically related to the drugs and maybe what’s prescribed or side effects, dosing questions, others that are usually given by nurses can be anything from, Why isn’t my medication here? to Can I get a refill on this?. Certain medications have certain things that we have to monitor with their use. There are some medications that we have to monitor specifically. Drugs that are commonly prescribed together can interact with each other so there’s reports that have to be reviewed. There’s a policy within the hospital that the physician can write a prescription for a medications and the pharmacy is to dose. Which means that the pharmacist is responsible for looking at the patient’s kidney function, blood levels for that specific medication, and can change the doses of the medication based on what our opinion is of how they’re metabolizing that drug. So, there are certain reports that we have to go through every day.
I think it’s a really common misconception that a pharmacist is told what to do by the physician and they just do it.
How did you get started?
I thought that I wanted to do something in health care after I was in college for a couple of years and decided to shadow. I ended up shadowing some nurses, a physical therapist, and occupational therapist and then eventually a pharmacist. I liked what I saw when I shadowed the pharmacist. And the one that I ended up shadowing was the director for a hospital pharmacy in the town that I was going to school at. She offered me a job as a technician and then I ended up working in the pharmacy.
What do you like about what you do?
I like that I get to be a member of the health care team and involved with health care in general, but I’m not the type of person that would want to have to deal with the blood and the guts and the gore and the actually physically taking care of the patient. I had considered being a physician but I liked that a pharmacist could work 7:00 to 3:30, probably 95 percent of the time. I’m not on call. I don’t get called after work. I have a set salary which is pretty good. If I wanted to go part-time, it’s very easy for a pharmacist to go part-time. You can work two 10-hour days and make the same amount of money that a lot of other professions make full-time. I can leave the profession if I had a child and wanted to step out for five years. It would be very easy for me to leave my job and then have no trouble at finding another job when I wanted to go back to it, even though I’ve been gone for five years.
What do you dislike?
Let’s see, I dislike that a lot of the time I’m in front of the computer. I dislike that a lot of it is kind of repetitive tasks, and that depends on what type of pharmacist you are, too. There are pharmacists that are much more clinical and aren’t doing those repetitive tasks but the position that I am, I do do a lot of that. I dislike that. It depends where you are and who you happen to be working with, but there are some health care professionals that don’t appreciate what a pharmacist can bring to the table. There are those that really do appreciate and acknowledge the knowledge that we have and how we can help them. It kind of depends on where you’re working.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
I make $46.50 an hour. I get paid hourly, but I don’t clock in. So, I’ll get paid for a 40-hour week if I happen to be working my regular shifts. If I need to stay an hour late to finish something then I don’t get paid overtime for that. But if we are short a pharmacists one evening and they need someone to work five hours of overtime, in other words, they ask you to stay late, then I would get paid overtime. But if I’m just finishing something up, then I don’t get paid overtime.
If I wanted to go part-time, it’s very easy for a pharmacist to go part-time. You can work two 10-hour days and make the same amount of money that a lot of other professions make full-time.
How much money do you make?
What education or skills are needed to do this?
To become a pharmacist, it’s a minimum of six years of education. Where I went, you had to have a year of prerequisites which were kind of normal prerequisites of Math, English, all of those things. And then it was a five-year pharmacy program. A lot of people have their four-year Bachelor’s and then decide to go to pharmacy and it’s still five years after that, regardless of if you have a degree or not, you have to spend five years in pharmacy school. That gives you a doctor of pharmacy’s degree.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Probably staying current on everything, on all of the changes and all of the new drugs, and all of the changes in the care of treating a certain disease. There’s guidelines that change all the time, so staying current on everything is probably the most challenging.
What is most rewarding?
Probably that I can be a part of the health care team and help patients while still being able to have the best of both worlds. Having the best of home life and the best of career life. Your schedule, your pay, and the fact that you’re not on call like a physician makes it a lot easier with what’s going on at home. There’s really not a lot of projects to bring home, work doesn’t usually come home with you. Once you leave work, you’re done.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
I went to school with people that had never worked in a pharmacy and just didn’t really know what the pharmacy atmosphere was like. Some people love it and some people would never want to do it. It’s really just a personality thing. So, I would work as a technician in a pharmacy, either retail or hospital. There’s a lot of difference between a Walgreen’s and a hospital pharmacy, and I would work in both before I’d ever think about being a pharmacist.
How much time off do you get/take?
It’s weird because the hospital has this earned time off system which means that my holiday time, my vacation time and all of my sick time is in one big bank. So, if I don’t get sick during the year and I don’t have to call in sick, I’ll get more days that I can take for vacation time. But I’d say at least two weeks, maybe three. Once you hit five years, you start earning more time off.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
That all it is is counting pills and entering in a prescription. That’s all a lot of people think a pharmacist does.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
My goal is to specialize in one area, like all the different floors and units I talked about earlier. My goal is to find an area that I love and to specialize in that and then become a decentralized pharmacist. A decentralized pharmacist just means they’re out of that central area, where all the drugs are stored and dispensing occurs, and they’ll work on the floor with the doctors and nurses directly.
What else would you like people to know about what you do?
Just that there’s a lot of things behind-the-scenes things that goes on in a pharmacist’s head, things that we’re thinking about, things that we’re looking out for when we’re looking at a patient and their prescriptions. I think it’s a really common misconception that a pharmacist is just told what to do by the physician and they just do it. There’s a lot of evaluating whether or not it’s appropriate and then helping the patient monitor their side effects and make sure that they’re educated in all the things that they need to be aware of so that if this medication has a bad side effect or causes something that’s not supposed to happen, they can tell their physician and get it corrected.
(THIS INTERVIEW WAS TAKEN BY MY DEAR FRIEND JAY PATEL. A SPECIAL THANKS TO JAY PATEL FOR PROVIDING THIS INTERVIEW DETAILS.)
Is your medicine cabinet filled with expired drugs or medications you no longer use? How should you dispose of them?
Most drugs can be thrown in the household trash, but consumers should take certain precautions before tossing them out, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A few drugs should be flushed down the toilet. And a growing number of community-based “take-back” programs offer another safe disposal alternative.
Guidelines for Drug Disposal
FDA worked with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to develop the first consumer guidance for proper disposal of prescription drugs. Issued by ONDCP in February 2007 and updated in October 2009, the federal guidelines are summarized here:
- Follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.
- Take advantage of community drug take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. Call your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service (see blue pages in phone book) to see if a take-back program is available in your community. The Drug Enforcement Administration, working with state and local law enforcement agencies, is sponsoring National Prescription Drug Take Back Days throughout the United States.
- If no instructions are given on the drug label and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash, but first:
- Take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
- Put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
FDA’s Deputy Director of the Office of Compliance Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., offers some additional tips:
- Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.
- Do not give medications to friends. Doctors prescribe drugs based on a person’s specific symptoms and medical history. A drug that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.
- When in doubt about proper disposal, talk to your pharmacist.
Bernstein says the same disposal methods for prescription drugs could apply to over-the-counter drugs as well.
Why the Precautions?
Disposal instructions on the label are part of FDA’s “risk mitigation” strategy, says Capt. Jim Hunter, R.Ph., M.P.H., senior program manager on FDA’s Controlled Substance Staff. When a drug contains instructions to flush it down the toilet, he says, it’s because FDA, working with the manufacturer, has determined this method to be the most appropriate route of disposal that presents the least risk to safety.
Drugs such as powerful narcotic pain relievers and other controlled substances carry instructions for flushing to reduce the danger of unintentional use or overdose and illegal abuse.
For example, the fentanyl patch, an adhesive patch that delivers a potent pain medicine through the skin, comes with instructions to flush used or leftover patches. Too much fentanyl can cause Continue reading