Scientists Identify Neurons That Help the Brain Forget – The New York Times

But S.’s ability to remember was also a hindrance in everyday life. He had a hard time understanding abstract concepts or figurative language, and he was terrible at recognizing faces because he had memorized them at an exact point in time, with specific facial expressions and features. The ability to forget, scientists eventually came to realize, was just as vital as the ability to remember.

“We’re inundated with so much information every day, and much of that information is turned into memories in the brain,” said Ronald Davis, a neurobiologist at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla. “We simply cannot deal with all of it.”

Researchers like Dr. Davis argue that forgetting is an active mechanism that the brain employs to clear out unnecessary pieces of information so we can retain new ones. Others have gone a step further, suggesting that forgetting is required for the mental flexibility inherent in creative thinking and imagination.

A new paper, published Thursday in the journal Science, points to a group of neurons in the brain that may be responsible for helping the brain to forget. Akihiro Yamanaka, a neuroscientist at Nagoya University in Japan, and his team stumbled across the cells, known as melanin-concentrating hormone, or M.C.H., neurons, while studying sleep regulation in mice.

 
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/science/brain-memory-forgetting-mind.html

The Brain-Gut Connection

The ENS is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.

What Does Your Gut’s Brain Control?
Unlike the big brain in your skull, the ENS can’t balance your checkbook or compose a love note. “Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination,” explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, whose research on the enteric nervous system has garnered international attention. “The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.”

The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. “For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,” Pasricha says. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.

“These new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety,” Pasricha says. “That’s important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.”

via Johns Hopkins

Snags in the US Health Care System – NY Times

I saw the common sense that can underlie workarounds when my hospital floor instituted bar code scanning for medication administration. Using a hand-held scanner to register bar codes on medications and patients’ hospital bracelets sounds smart. But then some medications routinely came without bar codes, or had the wrong bar codes, and we nurses weren’t given an easy way to report those errors. Patients’ wrist bands could be difficult to scan and the process disturbed them, especially if they were asleep. The lists of medications on the computer screen were also surprisingly hard to read, which slowed everything down.

But the biggest problem was that the scanning software did not work with our electronic medical records — so all drugs had to be checked off in both systems. This is a huge problem when dealing with patients like those receiving bone-marrow transplants, who might get 20 drugs every morning — some of which are delivered through IVs and come with nonstandard doses. What was already a lengthy process suddenly took twice as long.

The American Medical System Is One Giant Workaround, New York TImes
By Ms. Brown is a clinical faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

From the comment section:

I am a nephrologist (kidney specialist) who has been practicing for 40 years. I have been forced to use electronic health records by insurance companies and Medicare. If you attempt to read encounter notes from an EHR you realize that the purpose is not to transmit medical information, but rather to optimize coding and billing. I will read a referring doctor’s note in the EHR and be unable to find a section that describes what the doctor is thinking and planning to do to treat the patient. It’s all about diagnostic codes and billing.

My insurance company requires that I use home delivery after the third prescription refill. I initiated a change last Thursday. I have contacted the pharmacy through its phone app, Internet, and telephone. I have done the same with my health care provider. I spent a total of two hours working on this during business hours so far with no success. Today, I discovered that the aforementioned move must be approved by my insurance company. That’s right, the same insurance company that requires me to use home delivery is holding up the transfer. It will be at least another 72 hours before the medication is shipped. As a result, I will probably run out before it gets here.

It took me 21 months and hours and hours of phone calls and letters to get a cholesterol screening covered by my insurance company. The cash price that the lab was charging: $900. Yes, almost a $1000 dollars for something I could have paid out of pocket less that $60 (which is what insurance covers). The kicker is that $3.78 WAS paid out by the insurance company for the blood draw.

A yearly cholesterol screening is covered item number 8 on my 100+ page insurance coverage contract. It is listed on the first page as a covered item. After dealing with the insurance company for 6 months and having the claim denied 3 times, I was told to appeal. My appeal was denied, 15 months later. As far as I can tell, my insurance company breached state law no less than 3 times in terms of timeliness and inappropriate denials.

The insurance blamed the doctor, the doctor blamed the lab, and the lab blamed the insurance company.

This bunk bed is $1,200 a month, privacy not included – CNN

Housing costs have become so expensive in some cities that people are renting bunk beds in a communal home for $1,200 a month. Not a bedroom. A bed.

PodShare is trying to help make up for the shortage of affordable housing in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles by renting dormitory-style lodging and providing tenants a co-living experience.

A PodShare membership allows you to snag any of the 220 beds — or pods — at six locations across Los Angeles and one in San Francisco. There’s no deposit and no commitment. You get a bed, a locker, access to wifi and the chance to meet fellow “pod-estrians.” Each pod includes a shelf and a personal television. Food staples, like cereal and ramen, and toiletries like toothpaste and toilet paper, are also included.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/05/success/podshare-co-living/index.html

 

High cost of medication in the US, compared with other countries.

Dr. Robert Grant developed a treatment — a daily pill known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP — that could stop the AIDS crisis. We look at why that hasn’t happened.

NY Times Daily podcast

Referring to Truvada, a drug used to reduce the transmission of HIV, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, pointed out that while it cost almost $2,000 in the US, it was available for just $8 in places such as Australia. In South Africa, it costs just $6.

 

Data collection is difficult. Accurately counting homeless people.

To count the unhoused and unsheltered population—the shelters are usually full to bursting with waitlists hundreds or a thousand names long—county health or human services agencies, or nonprofits to which the task is contracted out, often resort to the simplest method of enumeration known, the one you learn in kindergarten: They (or citizen volunteers, mostly) go out with flashlights, clipboards and pencils, and literally count heads, or curled-up street sleepers, or RVs, or tents.

How many people an office manager or sales rep guesses are sleeping in an RV or a tent they’re peering at in the semi-dark becomes data. Whether the volunteer presumes two or four is up to them—I can tell you this, for I have done it twice, in 2009 and 2017, and I don’t believe my guessing skills improved much—and thus wholly arbitrary, a snap decision that can result in a variance of 100 percent. Or more. Is that just some old car, or an old car someone lives in? Is that RV the glamping vehicle for an Instagram influencer or some eccentric Burner type, or does it house the family of four who couldn’t afford the landlord’s latest offer? You don’t know and you can’t know. Yet, this is the data the federal government uses, and we arrive at neat numbers like, “500,000 homeless people in America, 8,011 homeless people in San Francisco.”

How California’s Homeless Crisis Grew Obscenely Out of Control, Chris Roberts, Observer.com

Nissan.com

NissanDotCom

Ddddccccddd14.6k points1 day ago
Www.nissan.com is still owned by some mom n pop computer repair guy from the 90’s. I remember stumbling across this by accident when I was looking for my first car in 2000. He’s been fighting Nissan auto for decades and won’t give up his domain.

 
reddit

Send an ebook to your kindle

Problem: I have an ebook but I didn’t get it from Amazon, so it isn’t sent to my kindle directly. What can I do?

Solution: Send it to your kindle using your kindle email address.

Example –

1. Get a book from Gutenberg.com and save it locally:

GutenbergDownload

2. Send this file as an attachment to the email address of your kindle. You can find this on your Amazon account’s, Your Content and Devices section:

KindleEmailAddress - NEW

3. Sync your kindle and enjoy

Confusing UI

20190325_155353

From a hotel I stayed at a couple weeks ago. On its left is a window with a shade. On its right is another window with a shade.

If you want to raise the right set (shade and window), how would you do it?
If you want to lower the shades on the left, but only halfway, how would you do that?
Should the stopping of raising or lowering require a separate button push?

Anti-patterns

An anti-pattern is a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being highly counterproductive. The term, coined in 1995 by Andrew Koenig, was inspired by a book, Design Patterns, which highlights a number of design patterns in software development that its authors considered to be highly reliable and effective.

Stovepipe or Silos: An organizational structure of isolated or semi-isolated teams, in which too many communications take place up and down the hierarchy, rather than directly with other teams across the organization

Circular dependency: Introducing unnecessary direct or indirect mutual dependencies between objects or software modules

God object: Concentrating too many functions in a single part of the design (class)

Silver bullet: Assuming that a favorite technical solution can solve a larger process or problem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-pattern