Construction worker suicide rates are highest in the US, CDC study says

Males working in construction have the highest suicide rates in the country, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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Males working in construction have the highest suicide rates in the country, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Comparing the suicides of more than 22,000 people across 17 states in 2012 and 2015, researchers found males working in construction and extraction took their lives the most often, a rate of roughly 44 per 100,000 “civilian noninstitutionalized working persons” for construction workers and 53 per 100,000 for extraction workers.

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Men working in the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media came in second — an increase of 47 percent during the years studied, according to the CDC. Installation, maintenance and repair rounded out the top three for males in 2015.

Comparatively, in 2015, women working in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media had the highest suicide rates for females, while women in protective services came in second. The third were women who worked in health care support, according to the study.

“Among both males and females, the lowest suicide rate in 2015 was observed in Education, Training, and Library occupations,” the CDC reported.

The research comes adjacent to the rising suicide rates in the U.S. overall. The health agency announced in June the rates have been rising in “nearly every state,” with 25 states reporting a more than 30 percent increase during the study period.

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“Increasing suicide rates in the U.S. are a concerning trend that represent a tragedy for families and communities and impact the American workforce,” Deb Houry, the director of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in an online statement. “Knowing who is at greater risk for suicide can help save lives through focused prevention efforts.”

The study Thursday is a correction to a similar 2016 study, which mistakenly included the misclassification of some workers as farmers instead of managers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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‘DNA origami’ triggers tissue generation in early development

In trying to decipher the “DNA origami” responsible for the generation of transplantable human skin, Stanford researchers have uncovered a master regulatory hierarchy controlling tissue differentiation.

A developing embryo faces the difficult task of concocting myriad tissue types—including skin, bone and the specialized glop that makes up our internal organs and immune system—from essentially the same set of ingredients: immature, seemingly directionless stem cells. Although some of the important players that provide direction to this transformation are known, it’s not been clear exactly how they work together to accomplish this feat.

Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a key regulatory hierarchy in which proteins called morphogens control gene expression by directing the looping of DNA in a cell. This looping brings master regulators called transcription factors in contact with specific sets of genes necessary to make particular tissue types.

Varying concentrations and types of morphogens cause different looping events, directing different cell fates much in the same way that railroad workers control the direction and eventual destination of a train car by connecting different portions of track.

Although the researchers were particularly interested in learning more about how to stimulate the production of a type of skin cell called keratinocytes to treat epidermolysis bullosa, a blistering skin disease with few treatments, they believe their findings may have implications for the derivation of other therapeutically useful tissue types.

“For the first time, we were able to see how morphogens and master transcriptional regulators work together to make specific cell types,” said Anthony Oro, MD, Ph.D., professor of dermatology. “We’ve always wondered how a transcription factor required for the production of vastly different cell types knows which genes to make into proteins in which situation. Now we’ve answered that question: morphogens help the master transcription factors hook up to the right targets. Changing the concentration or type of morphogen, or even the order in which they are added to a cell, causes dramatically different outcomes.”

A paper describing the research was published online Nov. 5 in Nature Genetics. Oro, who is also the Eugene and Gloria Bauer Professor, is the senior author. Postdoctoral scholar Jillian Pattison, Ph.D.; former postdoctoral scholar Sandra Melo, Ph.D.; and graduate student Samantha Piekos share lead authorship.

Putting body parts in the right place

Morphogens are responsible for the body patterning that ensures, for example, that a fly’s wing ends up on its thorax rather than the top of its head. They were the first important class of proteins identified in the early days of developmental biology, in part because their effect on a developing embryo is so dramatic. Subsequent studies showed that they work through the process of diffusion and can have different effects based on their concentration throughout the embryo. Cells that are near other cells making and releasing the morphogen are exposed to a much higher concentration than those farther away; as waves of varying morphogens overlap and interact, they direct the proper placement of legs, wings and the head, for example.

Soon, researchers also identified other types of proteins called master transcriptional regulators that bind to DNA to control the expression of specific genes throughout the cell. But they quickly learned that each of these regulators could spark the formation of vastly different cell types, and it was unclear how each regulator knew to favor the development of one tissue type over another.

Oro and his colleagues were studying the effect of two well-known morphogens involved in skin development—BMP4 and retinoic acid—on the activity of a master transcriptional regulator called p63 that is responsible for tissue types as diverse as skin, thymus and the lining of the esophagus.

In particular, they were interested in the process by which human embryonic stem cells can be triggered to develop into keratinocytes to form sheets of skin to repair the blistering and open wounds seen in people with epidermolysis bullosa. Previous attempts, although somewhat successful, yielded impure populations of cells that are difficult to use therapeutically. In search of a more reliable way to produce the cells, they wondered if they could generate keratinocytes by exposing the stem cells to a defined combination of morphogens and transcription factors. To do so, however, they experimented with when, and how much, of each component to add and watched how the cells reacted.

Complex, synergistic feedback loop

The researchers found that, although p63 is required to make skin cells from embryonic stem cells, it is not sufficient. In the absence of BMP4 or retinoic acid, nothing happens, even if p63 is snuggly bound to its landing pad on the DNA. However, when BMP4 or retinoic acid is added, the DNA conformation changes, and p63 begins transcribing skin-specific genes. This dependence of p63 activity on the presence of morphogens was unexpected and telling.

“Basically, p63 binds to the DNA, and then sits back and waits, twiddling its thumbs, until it is connected to specific genes by the morphogen-caused folding,” Oro said. “Or sometimes the DNA folds weeks or months in advance, and this foreshadowing sets up a particular differentiation plan, poising the chromatin to assume a specific fate when the transcriptional regulator is added.”

Additionally, the researchers discovered that exposing the stem cells to retinoic acid and BMP together also triggered the expression of p63, indicating a complex and synergistic feedback loop that controls skin development.

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CDC: prevalence of gestational diabetes 6.0 percent in 2016

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of gestational diabetes was 6.0 percent in 2016, with a slight increase seen from 2012 to 2016, according to research published in the Nov. 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Nicholas P. Deputy, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 2012 to 2016 National Vital Statistics System birth data to examine recent state-specific trends in gestational diabetes.

The researchers found that the crude national prevalence of preexisting diabetes was 0.9 percent among women with live births and the prevalence of gestational diabetes was 6.0 percent in 2016. The age- and race/ethnicity-standardized prevalence of preexisting diabetes was stable at 0.8 percent among 40 jurisdictions with continuously available data from 2012 through 2016, while a slight increase was seen from 5.2 to 5.6 percent for gestational diabetes.

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A Nationwide Recall! The hospital germ in a mouth rinse found

Because in a current Batch of hospital germs were found, the company “Jean Product-ADJUST GmbH” mouth rinse “Elina med Anti-Plaque mouth rinse Fresh”.

In the current Batch of the microorganism Pseudomonas aeruginosa was demonstrated, it is a wound infection germ. The Portal product warning is reported.eu. The germ is one of the most widespread pathogens in Germany.

The mouth rinse is nationwide, with several Major, Online, and retailers are sold – including Amazon and Ebay.