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Kevin Spacey is facing a felony charge of sexual assault for allegedly assaulting a former Boston TV news anchor's teenage son in 2016.

According to the clerk's office, Spacey will be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or over at Nantucket District Court on January 7.

Globe, Cape and Islands, Massachusetts, District Attorney Michael O'Keefe told the Boston Globe that a hearing was held on December 20, where Clerk Magistrate Ryan Kearney issued a criminal complaint for the charge "against Kevin S. Fowler, also known as Kevin Spacey".


Longtime Boston journalist Heather Unruh accused Spacey last year of sexually assaulting her son at a Nantucket bar in July 2016.

The former news anchor for ABC affiliate WCVB claimed Spacey provided her 18-year-old son with numerous drinks before reaching down his pants and grabbing his genitals. Her son had told Spacey he was 21, Unruh said.

As news of the looming charges emerged, Spacey then raised eyebrows with his bizarre return to social media for the first time since 2017.

On Twitter and Instagram, the Usual Suspects actor shared a link to a YouTube video featuring Spacey delivering a three-minute monologue in character as his former House of Cards protagonist, Frank Underwood.

Except Frank Underwood was killed off between Seasons 5 and 6 of the hit Netflix series after Spacey was unceremoniously dismissed after numerous accusations of sexual misconduct came to light.

In Monday's video, titled "Let Me Be Frank," Spacey spoke directly into the camera, as was Underwood's wont, and bemoaned his current state of affairs.

But the line between Spacey and the character remained fuzzy, as he eviscerated those who wished to see him confess and lambasted others who rushed to judgment without facts.

"We're not afraid, not of what we said, not of what we did and we're still not afraid," Spacey said, ostensibly as Underwood. "Because I promise you this: If I didn't pay the price for the things that we both know I did do, I'm certainly not going to pay the price for the things I didn't do."

In the video Spacey appears to address the decision to kill off his character on the show following his firing last year. He also appears to reference the real-life allegations of sexual assault that surfaced last year, derailing his career. The video depicts Spacey in a kitchen setting wearing an apron bedecked with Santa Claus imagery.


"Despite all the poppycock, the animosity, the headlines, the impeachment without a trial. Despite even my own death, I feel surprisingly good and my confidence grows each day that soon enough you will know the full truth," Spacey says.

It could not immediately be confirmed if Spacey was in fact behind the video. Netflix declined to comment. A source close to Netflix said the streaming giant had no involvement with the video.

Reuters, Los Angeles Times

(ANSA) - Faenza (Ravenna)

The International ceramics museum in Faenza, near Ravenna, will  host two big exhibitions next year 2019, on Miquel Barcelò in the spring and Pablo Picasso in November.
    The first exhibit will be for the Spanish artist Barcelò's ceramic production ,it will be inaugurated at the end of May.
    While The other exhibit, whose exact date has yet to be released, is a unique project conceived for the museum in Faenza, where the artist's work will be displayed alongside the permanent collection, in particular local art, organizers said.
    The show 'Picasso. La sfida della ceramica' (Picasso. The challenge of ceramics) will open on November 1 next year.
    The 60 pieces to be showcased will be loaned by the Musée Picasso in Paris.
It is said that the exhibit is part of the project 'Picasso Mediterranée', which over the past two years has contributed to the organization of over 40 events across Europe, involving 100 institutions.
    The permanent collection of Faenza's ceramics museum already includes artwork donated by Picasso to help it rebuild its contemporary collection after artwork was destroyed during World War II.

Monday, 24 December 2018 21:11

Why old age lost their abilities in smelling


Mammals like humans lose their ability to smell with age. Researchers have now investigated why this happen. For the analysis, the researchers followed the stem cell development in the brain of mice with so-called confetti reporters.

Disorders of the sense of smell impair the quality of life

A few years ago, researchers from the USA reported on their study, according to which the nose not only contained 10,000 different odors but perceives about a trillion (1,000,000,000,000) odors. However, if the olfactory cells do not work properly, you will lose a lot of quality of life. Disorders of the sense of smell mean a massive restriction in the everyday life of those affected. However, with increasing age, the sense of smell in humans ̵

1; as in other mammals – decreases. Why this is so has been researched by an interdisciplinary research team from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Mainz University Medical Center in the journal "Cell Reports".

Stem cell-derived olfactory nerves

In mammals, the formation of nerve cells (neurogenesis) is predominantly restricted to early childhood and occurs in adulthood only in a few regions of the forebrain. [19659008] Such an exception are olfactory nerves, which result from several intermediate stages of stem cells.

"The production of these nerve cells is running out with increasing age," explains the head of the working group at the Institute of Computational Biology (ICB) of Helmholtz Zentrum München. Carsten Marr, in a Communication.

"We wanted to clarify in the current work, how it comes to it and what contribution the stem cells have," said the scientist.


To pursue this question, formed Dr. Marr with mathematician Lisa Bast and stem cell researchers Filippo Calzolari (today at the Institute of Physiological Chemistry of the University Medical Center Mainz) and Prof. Dr. med. Jovica Ninkovic is an interdisciplinary team of experts.

"Our approach to the current work works through so-called confetti reporters in mice: we bring individual stem cells and all their progeny – so-called clones – to glow in a specific color," explains Dr. Calzolari.

In this way, the researchers were able to track the development of individual clones and distinguish them as dots of different colors, giving the procedure its name.

"By comparing young and older mice, we wanted to find out in the next step what contribution single stem cells and intermediate stages contribute to the neurogenesis of the finished olfactory cells, "continued Calzolari.


Fewer cells develop into olfactory cells in old age

However, the systematic evaluation of images is hardly manageable for humans: the available data were extreme heterogeneous and a comparison of young and old brains difficult.

Marr and his team to bear. They are specialists in the quantification of single-cell dynamics, ie the question: which and how many cells of a large association are developing further?

Scientists use artificial intelligence, design mathematical models and program algorithms that evaluate the image data for them

"We compared the confetti measurements with several mathematical models of neurogenesis," explains Lisa Bast.

"In this way, we found that, especially in certain intermediate stages – the so-called transit amplifying progenitors – the In addition, the analysis shows that so-called asymmetric cell division in stem cells as well as their resting phases increased in older mice.

"This means that fewer cells develop into olfactory cells and become inactive in the elderly Stem cell pool remain, causing the product According to Jovica Ninkovic,

the work is the first to allow scientists to quantitatively study the behavior of nerve stem cells in the living mammalian brain using a mathematical model. (Ad)

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Cholesterol-lowering drugs: Statins reduce brown adipose tissue....

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs can help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, these drugs also increase the risk of certain conditions like diabetes. And as researchers have now found, statins also reduce the beneficial for the health brown adipose tissue.

Nutrition change and medication

About every third German citizen, the cholesterol is too high. An elevated cholesterol level can lead to diseases of the vessels, with possible consequences such as a heart attack or stroke. In order to lower the cholesterol, a diet change is usually recommended. Often also cholesterol-lowering drugs are used. However, medical specialists criticize the fact that such preparations are prescribed too often and in many cases do more harm than good as they can, among other things, cause muscle problems and increase the risk of diabetes. In addition, researchers have now found that reducing cholesterol also reduces the beneficial for the health of brown adipose tissue.

Adults have brown adipose tissue in addition to white

According to experts, humans possess not only white but also brown adipose tissue. The latter helps to convert sugar and fat into heat.

Those with brown adipose tissue can better regulate their body heat in winter and suffer less from obesity and diabetes.

An international team of researchers led by Christian Wolfrum Professor of the Translational Nutritional Biology Unit at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) has now discovered that the drug class of statins reduces the formation of brown adipose tissue.

Statins lower blood cholesterol levels and help reduce heart attack risk prescribed. According to a statement from ETH Zurich, these preparations are among the most widely used medications worldwide.


Statins reduce activity of brown adipose tissue


Wolfrum and his colleagues have been researching brown adipose tissue for years. Scientists explored how the "bad" white fat cells that make up the known fat deposits produce "good" brown fat cells.

In cell culture experiments, they have now discovered that the pathway responsible for producing cholesterol plays a central role in this transformation.

The key molecule that regulates the transformation was identified by the researchers as the metabolite geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.

As known from previous studies, the cholesterol pathway is also central to the action of statins , Among other things, statins lead to a reduced formation of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.

Therefore, the researchers wanted to know whether statins also influence the formation of brown adipose tissue. They are indeed doing that, as the scientists have now shown in studies in mice and humans.

Among other things, the experts evaluated positron emission tomography images of around 8,500 patients at the University Hospital in Zurich. In these pictures, the scientists were able to detect whether the persons possess brown adipose tissue.

In addition, the patients knew whether they had to take statins. The evaluation showed that among those who did not need to take such medication, six percent had brown adipose tissue. Only one percent of those taking statins had such tissue.

In an independent 16-person clinical study at the University Hospitals in Basel and Zurich, researchers were able to show that statins reduce the activity of brown adipose tissue.


Cholesterol-lowering drugs save millions of lives


Although the study reveals a negative effect of statins, the ETH Zurich professor warns against misinterpreting them.  "One must also weigh in the balance that statins are incredibly important for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. These medicines save many millions of people worldwide and are prescribed for good reasons, "said Wolfrum.

However, there is another negative effect of statins: taken high doses, they increase the risk of developing diabetes in certain people, such as from other studies.

"These two effects – the reduction of brown adipose tissue and the slightly increased risk of diabetes – may be related," says Wolfrum. However, this must first be examined in more detail.

But even if such a connection were to prove true, it would not be a matter of demonizing statins, emphasizes the ETH professor.


Rather, one would have to investigate the mechanisms of action in further research investigate which patients are affected by the negative effects.

It may be possible to continue to recommend statins with personalized medicine approaches in the majority of patients but would suggest alternative therapies to a small group of patients. (Ad)

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Admissibility of pathological amyloid-beta proteins confirmed.....

Alzheimer's disease is a dreaded neurodegenerative disease affecting mainly elderly people, whose prevalence has increased dramatically in recent decades. As early as 2015, researchers from University College London had suggested that the disease could be transmissible via the misfolded amyloid proteins. In laboratory experiments on mice they now confirmed the suspicion.

Alzheimer's disease is considered a non-communicable disease. It threatens no infection in the ordinary contact with stakeholders, emphasize the British scientists. However, a 2015 study has already shown that the pathological amyloid beta proteins may be transmitted from human to human as part of medical treatment. In their current study, researchers at University College London have confirmed this. Their findings have been published in the journal Nature.

Hormone therapy transmission?

"Our previous study found that some individuals who had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease many years after treatment with pituitary growth hormone also developed Deposits in the brain of an abnormal protein that is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, "says lead author of the study, Professor John Collinge, from the starting point of the current study. The reason suspected the researchers in the transmission of the misfolded protein structures with the growth hormones. In their current research, they have now shown that the pituitary growth hormone actually contained the corresponding amyloid beta proteins.

Growth Hormone Contamination Detected

"The findings support the hypothesis that amyloid beta has undergone this long-discontinued medical treatment accidentally transmitted to patients, "explain the scientists in a press release. Human growth hormone – made from human tissue prior to 1985 – actually contained Alzheimer's disease amyloid beta protein deposits. In the next step, the research team examined whether the growth hormone protein contaminants also lead to the development of the amyloid deposits typical of Alzheimer's disease.

Mouse Experiments

The researchers injected the contaminated growth hormone into the brain and genetically manipulated mice found that after less than twelve months, "a clear seeding of the amyloid pathology in their brain" already took place. The same was observed in mice injected with tissue from patients with typical Alzheimer's disease. In contrast, mice injected with synthetic growth hormone or normal brain tissue did not show such patterns.


Amyloid beta pathology is transmittable

"We have now presented experimental evidence to support our hypothesis that amyloid beta Pathology can be transferred from contaminated materials to humans, "said Professor Collinge. However, it is not yet clear whether or not Alzheimer's disease can be caused or transmitted to humans through medical or surgical interventions. "It will be important to review the risks of transmitting amyloid pathology in other medical procedures that are still in use today – including brain surgery tools," said the expert.

Contraindications to contact with Alzheimer's disease [19659002] The current study provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of amyloid in Alzheimer's disease, but the researchers explicitly emphasized that there is currently no evidence of Alzheimer's between humans. The study gives no indication that you can get Alzheimer's disease through contact with a sick person. (Fp)

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New test detects a meat allergy more clearly

The bite into a juicy steak – for many people the epitome of a delicious meal, for some, however, the meat consumption can be a health horror trip. The so-called alpha-gal syndrome describes an allergic reaction that occurs two to six hours after eating red meat. Not much is known about the causes of this puzzling allergy. Researchers report, however, that the meat allergy develops mainly after strong inflammatory reactions due to a tick bite. A German-Luxembourg research team recently developed a test to diagnose alpha-gal syndrome.


Those who suffer from alpha-gal syndrome develop after eating red meats such as beef, pork, lamb, or venison severe allergic reactions that can range from redness, shortness of breath or allergic circulatory shock. Since the symptoms do not appear until two to six hours after consumption, it is difficult to associate the suffering with the consumption of meat. Researchers at the Luxembourg Institute of Health have now developed a test that can better identify this rare allergy. The study results were recently presented in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The meat allergy has only been known for several years

The existence of meat allergy was first demonstrated in 2009 by US scientists. Even then, the researchers suspected that the alpha-gal syndrome develops mainly as a result of tick bites. The immediate triggers for this food allergy, according to the researchers special sugars that sit on the surface of cells of mammals. These sugars are called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or Alpha-Gal for short. Human cells do not possess these alpha-gal sugars.

Animal sugars trigger allergic reactions

According to the research team, these animal sugars can cause allergic reactions in some people if they enter the bloodstream as a result of a meat meal. So far, this food intolerance could only be demonstrated by the subjects undergo a complex and dangerous oral provocation test: "The affected people ate under medical supervision meat in ever larger quantities until it came to an allergic reaction," says project manager. Christiane Hilger. Because of the time delay, the test is very complex and not without risks.


Blood test replaces dangerous provocation test

The German-Luxembourg research team has now succeeded in largely replacing this provocation test with a blood test. In the new blood test, the blood of those affected is stimulated with artificial allergens. "A strong response of the basophils (white blood cells) to the lowest allergen levels is a clear indication of the alpha-gal syndrome," the researchers wrote in a press release on the study results.

Does tick saliva trigger rare meat allergy?

" We know very little about the causes and the immunological foundations of alpha-gal syndrome, "summarizes Hilger. So far, it has been observed that especially humans develop a meat allergy, which previously showed a strong inflammatory response to a tick bite. Which substances in the saliva of the ticks trigger this reaction and what exactly happens in the immune system, should now be clarified in further research.

Basophils for the diagnosis of allergies

The research team also showed that the behavior of the basophils in the blood is suitable for determining allergies. The team points to further studies that have shown that these cells are interesting for further allergological diagnostics, as they also react strongly to other allergenic substances. (Vb)

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Vienna -(APA / red.)

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) demanded significantly more European investment in Africa at the beginning of the EU-Africa Forum on Tuesday in Vienna. "We must not leave the African continent to the Chinese," said Kurz before starting talks with African and European leaders and numerous entrepreneurs in the Vienna Austria Center.

The EU-Africa Forum should "be a bit of a paradigm shift", In order to focus more on economic cooperation and investment alongside traditional development aid, Kurz said. The EU is the largest donor in the world in terms of development cooperation (DC), accounting for more than 50% of global DCA

"But there is room for improvement in terms of investment," Kurz said The event will be co-chaired by the current African Union (AU) President and President Rwanda's Paul Kagame. It needs profits on both sides, said the: "Africa wins, Europe wins and together we all benefit".


Similarly, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: So far, the "donor-recipient relationship" has been predominant. But now it must go to a "partnership equality" of both continents. Asked whether the EU is not late in comparison to China, Juncker said: "Yes, but we will make it better."

Mahr: "Right Hope Market"

Given the strong population growth in Africa – by 2050 When more than two billion people live on the continent, there is a need for strong economic growth, Kurz said. Investment would create training and jobs.

Chamber of Commerce President Harald Mahrer described Africa as a "real hope market". Within the framework of the forum, there is the opportunity to network around 1,000 companies from both continents. Austrian exports of Africa have almost doubled since 1995, according to WKÖ, but at around EUR 1.7 billion in volume they are only roughly equivalent to those in Sweden. The share of African exports in total Austrian exports is about 1.2 percent.

Education Minister Heinz-Fassmann also wants to cut a slice of the cake and strengthen scientific cooperation between universities in Austria and Africa. For this purpose, more funds than previously provided and a network of Austrian and African universities and research institutions will be established. At the same time, the entire field of development research is to be put on a new footing.

>>> The bearers of hope in Africa's politics. [premium]

"Wish that it is not just about migration"

Officially, the theme of flight and migration is not on the forum's agenda, even though the forum was originally on the topic on-site summit "- to combat the causes of flight – had been announced. There is a desire on the part of African politicians "that if we talk to them, it is not just about migration" and "we are not just trying to educate them" and telling them what they should do, but a "dialogue Kurz commented on this.

In its policy on Africa, the EU has repeatedly put the issue on the wall in recent months – be it through migration partnerships, "disembarkation platforms" or the Africa Trust Fund The financing of the Libyan Coastguard training is also being financed.

(APA / red.)

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