Tributes: Legendary Actor Kirk Douglas Dies At 103

Kirk Douglas Dies at 103 on February 5, 2020“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103. To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.

But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.

Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet.

Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son.”

Michael Douglas on Instagram, February 5, 2020

 

Top Medical Podcasts: Lung-Cancer Screenings, Placebo Effects (NEJM)

Lung-Cancer Mortality with Volume CT Screening NEJM February 2020Featuring articles on lung-cancer screening in the NELSON trial, ribociclib and fulvestrant in metastatic breast cancer, vitamin D in pregnancy and asthma, treatment thresholds for neonatal hypoglycemia, and CAR-NK cells in anti-CD19 lymphoid tumors; a review article on placebo and nocebo effects; a Clinical Problem-Solving describing a rapid change in pressure; and Perspective articles on altruism in Extremis, on abuses of FDA regulatory procedures, and on joining forces against delirium.

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Video Profiles: 66-Year Old Author & Director Jan Eliasberg (“Hannah’s War”)

Hannah's War by Jan Eliasberg March 3 2020 releaseA “mesmerizing” re-imagination of the final months of World War II (Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network), Hannah’s War is an unforgettable love story about an exceptional woman and the dangerous power of her greatest discovery.
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Berlin, 1938.  Groundbreaking physicist Dr. Hannah Weiss is on the verge of the greatest discovery of the 20th century: splitting the atom. She understands that the energy released by her discovery can power entire cities or destroy them. Hannah believes the weapon’s creation will secure an end to future wars, but as a Jewish woman living under the harsh rule of the Third Reich, her research is belittled, overlooked, and eventually stolen by her German colleagues. Faced with an impossible choice, Hannah must decide what she is willing to sacrifice in pursuit of science’s greatest achievement.

New Mexico, 1945. Returning wounded and battered from the liberation of Paris, Major Jack Delaney arrives in the New Mexican desert with a mission: to catch a spy. Someone in the top-secret nuclear lab at Los Alamos has been leaking encoded equations to Hitler’s scientists. Chief among Jack’s suspects is the brilliant and mysterious Hannah Weiss, an exiled physicist lending her talent to J. Robert Oppenheimer’s mission. All signs point to Hannah as the traitor, but over three days of interrogation that separate her lies from the truth, Jack will realize they have more in common than either one bargained for.
Hannah’s War is a thrilling wartime story of loyalty, truth, and the unforeseeable fallout of a single choice.

Intense (VO2peak) Aerobic Exercise Raises Cognition, Alzheimer’s Disease Risks Lowered In Older Adults

From the Brain Plasticity Journal (Dec 26, 2019):

Brain Plasticity Journal 2020In conclusion, increased CRF (cardiorespiratory fitness) following this six-month intervention was associated with enhanced brain glucose metabolism in the PCC (posterior cingulate cortex), a region linked to AD, and cognition among late-middle-aged individuals at risk for AD. If these findings are supported by a larger-scale study, this would provide strong evidence that adults at risk for AD may enhance brain function and cognition by engaging in aerobic exercise training.

PCC glucose metabolism correlated positively with change in VO2peak (the highest value of VO2 attained upon an incremental or other high-intensity exercise test, designed to bring the sub- ject to the limit of tolerance)…Improvement in executive function correlated with increased VO2peak. Favorable CRF adaptation after 26 weeks of aerobic exercise training was associated with improvements in PCC glucose metabolism and executive function, important markers of AD.

Aerobic exercise has been associated with reduced burden of brain and cognitive changes related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, it is unknown whether exercise training in asymptomatic individuals harboring risk for AD improves outcomes associated with AD. We investigated the effect of 26 weeks of supervised aerobic treadmill exercise training on brain glucose metabolism and cognition among 23 late-middle-aged adults from a cohort enriched with familial and genetic risk of AD.

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Top New Science Podcasts: Academics’ Out-Of-Office Emails, Greenest Oranges And Baby Talk (Nature)

Nature PodcastsHear the latest from the world of science, brought to you by Benjamin Thompson and Nick Howe. This week, how setting an out-of-office email could help promote a kinder academic culture.

In this episode:

00:47 Being truly out of office

Last year, a viral tweet about emails sparked a deeper conversation about academics’ work-life-balance. Could email etiquette help tip the balance? Careers Article: Out of office replies and what they can say about you

09:35 Research Highlights

Finding the ‘greenest’ oranges, and the benefits of ‘baby talk’. Research Article: Bell and HorvathResearch Highlight: Babies benefit when Mum and Dad are fluent in ‘baby talk’

12:06 News Chat

Updates on the novel coronavirus, assessing Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and the potential impacts of Brexit on UK research. News: Coronavirus: latest news on spreading infection; News: How quickly can Iran make a nuclear bomb?News: Brexit is happening: what does it mean for science?

High, Non-Transparent Prices And Aggressive Collection Tactics Erode Trust In Healthcare (JAMA)

From a JAMA Network online article (February 4, 2020):

Billing Quality is Medical Quality JAMA Network ViewpointHigh medical prices and billing practices may reduce public trust in the medical profession and can result in the avoidance of care. In a survey of 1000 patients, 64% reported that they delayed or neglected seeking medical care in the past year because of concern about high medical bills. The field of quality science in health care has developed measures of medical complications; however, there are no standardized metrics of billing quality.

JAMA NetworkA recent study found that only 53 of 101 hospitals were able to provide a price for standard coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Notably, among the hospitals that provided a price, the price ranged from approximately $44 000 and $448 000 and was not associated with quality of care as measured by risk-adjusted outcomes and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons composite quality score.

Possible metrics of assessing billing quality JAMA

In the same way that there is wide variation in pricing, aggressive collection tactics also can be highly variable by institution. In a recent analysis, 36% (48/135) of hospitals in Virginia garnished wages of patients with unpaid medical bills, and 5 hospitals accounted for 4690 garnishment cases in 2017, representing 51% of all cases.7 In total, 20 054 lawsuits were filed in Virginia against patients for unpaid debt. For many hospitals that sue patients, legal action follows multiple attempts to contact patients through letters and calls, and some hospitals may offer to set up payment plans or even negotiate charges.

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Profiles: How The 1960’s Inspired Painter David Hockney, Now 82 (Video)

David Hockney A Bigger Splash Tate BritainDavid Hockney, (born 9 July 1937) is a British painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer, and photographer. As an important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

Hockney has owned a home and studio in Bridlington and London, and two residences in California, where he has lived on and off since 1964: one in the Hollywood Hills, one in Malibu, and an office and archives on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. (From Tate Museum Biography)

Painted in Los Angeles in 1966, David Hockney’s ‘The Splash’ is as recognizableThe  as Monet’s ‘Waterlilies’, Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and Munch’s ‘The Scream’. In this episode of Expert Voices, discover how the liberal lifestyle in Los Angeles inspired one of the most iconic images of the 20th century and hear Hockney himself explain how he immortalised his split-second swimming pool moment on canvas.