The Mystery Illness Detectives Solving Rare Diseases Riddles

The Mystery Illness Detectives Solving Rare Diseases Riddles

Today, there are millions of people all over the world living with mystery illnesses. They’ve been to the doctors’ office, had every kind of genetic test you can imagine. And yet modern medicine can’t cough up any answers, let alone offer treatment. It is a nightmare situation. 

The problem of undiagnosed diseases is not a benign one -, especially for the patient. Illnesses of every stripe have a habit of getting worse. That toothache in your back molar runs the risk of becoming more severe over time. The heart disease furring up your cardiovascular system will continue to get worse if you fail to make significant lifestyle changes. You know the drill. 

And so, when a person feels sick, but the doctor can’t tell them what’s wrong, it can be nerve-wracking. The patient is distressed, and yet there don’t appear to be any answers. 

Change Is On The Horizon

Things, however, are changing. Today we have powerful data-driven technology that seems perfectly suited to solving this kind of problem. These systems can combine information with machine learning to, hopefully, point patients in the right direction and get them the treatment that they need. 

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The underlying issue here comes back to the diversity of the human population. There are thousands of diseases out there, but they tend to interact with people in different ways. You’ll notice that whenever you go on a medical website to check symptoms, they’re never universal. Somebody, somewhere, can have a disease but not display the main symptom. And others can have all manner of rare symptoms hardly seen in anyone else. 

This feature is what makes diagnosing one-hundred percent of known diseases difficult. There is always a small chunk of the population who react differently. That’s biodiversity for you. 

The problems for people with undiscovered diseases are even more pernicious. Doctors are often reluctant to label a patient “special” or “unique.” But rarely do they have the resources to rule out a brand new condition. Physicians don’t always have access to the diagnostic equipment that they need. They can’t make massive calls, such as if a person has a brand new disease. 

The Undiagnosed Diseases Network, however, is pushing back against these realities. It wants to use technology to diagnose people, even when standard approaches fail. At the moment, the effort comprises more than twelve clinical centers, including NIH facilities in Bethesda. 

Researchers believe that they can use data to form better diagnoses of rare and unusual patients. They want to combine physical exams, imaging, genetics, and biochemistry markers to come up with probabilistic answers. The solution doesn’t guarantee the correct diagnosis. But it has an uncanny ability to push people in the right direction. 

More than 1,500 patients have been through the system, with more than half of them receiving an evaluation. Of those, around half found a diagnosis for a problem that appeared intractable. In some cases, it was a rare genetic disease. In others, it was an unusual presentation of a common problem. What the machine did, however, was take all of the bias out of the process and give the raw, unvarnished truth. 

The Importance Of Working With Specialist Labs

The initiative highlighted something interesting: the importance of working with specialist labs. When systems were less developed in the past, it made sense for doctors to do everything themselves. But now that formal diagnoses are so complex; it requires an entire team. 

Precision Labs points out that medical care is not a “one-size-fits-all.” Each person receiving treatment is different. And, because of this, they need bespoke diagnostics and testing. It is all too easy for physicians to come to an incorrect diagnosis and prescribe the wrong medications. The amount of data you require to be confident about whether you have a disease or not is enormous – too much to contain in any single mind. 

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The symptoms of some of these mystery illnesses are not benign. In fact, they’re quite scary. One patient enrolled in the Undiagnosed Diseases Network study suddenly found that she was slurring her speech, seemingly for no reason. This person did everything by the book, went to her doctor, and had a panel of tests. Everything, however, came back negative, yet the slurring continued.

She then signed up for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network in the hope that it would help her get to the bottom of her affliction. Eventually, the study revealed that she had a form of Niemann-Pick Type C – a rare genetic condition. What was interesting about her case, however, was that she was a much older woman when symptoms started. In contrast, most individuals develop signs of the disease in their childhood. 

An excessive building up cholesterol and fat in the body can damage the nervous system over time. Eventually, it has an impact on speech, making it more challenging to talk with the correct elocution. Most people get the disease diagnosed early on in life. Still, some patients don’t develop any symptoms until the fat content of their bodies rises to a critical level. Only then do they experience disease. 

This experience, and many others, highlight the importance of working with specialist labs. It can sometimes take a team of people to diagnose a patient with a rare condition accurately. It isn’t something that you can do with a stethoscope alone.  

The Benefit Of Collecting Data

The Undiagnosed Diseases Network hasn’t been entirely successful, though. But the people behind the project say that that will change over time. Every time a rare case arrives on file, it adds to the existing body of knowledge. With each new patient, the ability of the system to carry out a diagnosis gets better. 

The most important thing that it does is rule out that the patient has an already-known disease. This knowledge then gives scientists the confidence to discover new sources of pathology, which might be leading to the patient’s condition. 

Already labs across the world are using the data generated by the operation to search for new causes of disease. Things are moving fast in this area. 

Dive Deep Into Our 2050 Oceans With These Top Oceanologists

Dive Deep Into Our 2050 Oceans With These Top Oceanologists

Ocean pollution and the risks it poses have been rife in the news for some time. Since 2015, particularly, our best oceanologists have reported rising sea levels, decreasing marine life, and a generally bleak picture. And, as eco-consciousness increased last year, 2050 was set as something of a marker for the oceanic point of no return. 

Of course, as with any climate issue we attempt to tackle, there is a certain degree of uncertainty rife in any predictions we can make here. Everything that happens to our ocean from here on out does, after all, depend on the actions we choose moving forward. But, if we want to get a true deep-dive idea of what 2050 could look genuinely look like, there are few better resources than the experts who are out there on the frontline. 

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Using a range of marine equipment, including fantastic contraptions like box corers and bongo net systems, such individuals continually monitor our oceans and their futures. That’s why we’ve put together their predictions, to give you the most realistic view possible of what a 2050 ocean might look like. 

‘More plastic than fish in the sea’ – Ellen Macarthur

According to retired English sailor and ocean activist Dame Ellen Macarthur, 2050 means oceans containing more plastic than fish if we don’t take fast action. And, with the equivalent of around one refuse truck of plastic dumped into our oceans every minute, it’s difficult to disagree. According to Macarthur, fundamental reform is the only way to avoid this eventuality. 

‘Unmanageable sea level rises’ – Michael Oppenheimer

According to IPCC member Michael Oppenheimer and his team, continued increases in carbon pollution could quickly lead to sea level increasing as much as 2 feet 9 inches, which he and his fellow experts deem ‘unmanageable. In fact, the only solution Oppenheimer sees is to reduce carbon pollution as soon as possible. While we’re still past the point of being able to undo the damage entirely, this should see levels rising to no more than one foot, which, while far from ideal, will be much easier to cope with. 

‘Abundance, diversity, and purity’ – Alexandra Cousteau

In direct contrast to other, bleaker ocean predictions, explorer Alexandra Cousteau predicts 2050 oceans that are back to their best. But, as he states himself, a lot needs to change to make that possible. Over three decades of ocean chronicling, the Cousteau family has seen first-hand the impact humans have had. Still, Cousteau believes it’s possible to have more marine life in the oceans once again, as long as we stop overfishing, reduce bycatch, and restore habitats. 

There’s no denying, having looked at these reports, that 2050 could, indeed, be a terrifying time for our oceans. But, what’s evident by turning to the experts is the fact that hope isn’t lost. Far from assuming there’s nothing we can do, then, now seems to be the time for us to stand up and protect our oceans as much as oceanologists have been doing all along.

Choosing The Best Company For Your A/C Requirements

Choosing The Best Company For Your A/C Requirements

No matter whether you are looking for a business to provide air conditioning for your home or your business, you need to choose with care. There are many businesses out there today, and so you need to know how to narrow down your selection carefully. With that in mind, in this blog post, we are going to take a look at the different factors to consider when looking for an A/C company.

Check their experience and certification – There is only one place to begin when looking for the best company for your A/C requirements, and this is with their level of experience. It is important to make sure the company has a number of years in their locker and that they have an experienced team. You should make sure that all members of the team have received the required training and that they hold the necessary certification. 

Discover how much the job is going to cost – Aside from checking the experience and certification of the company, you will want to find out how much the job is going to cost. Not only is it a good idea to get a quote, but you will want to make sure the quote provided is a fixed cost. After all, there is nothing worse than getting a nasty surprise at the end and realising that you have been charged more than the initial quote.  

Make sure they offer a wide range of products – You need to make sure that the company has everything required in order to run your A/C unit efficiently. This includes everything from air control dampers to eco-friendly modules. There have been many inventions in the world of A/C over the past decades, and so you want to make sure you have the most up-to-date models. 

Be certain to get a warranty for the work carried out – You will also want to make sure you get a warranty for the work carried out. Any business that believes in their work will have no problem offering a warranty. If this doesn’t come with the service, you’re not going to be protected. 

Take the time to read reviews – Last but not least, you need to make sure you take the time to read reviews that have been left by others. Feedback from family and friends can be helpful, but this is not the only sort of feedback you should be looking for. You should also make the most of independent review websites. There are a number of sites that have been established so that people can rate the service they have received from contractors and traders. These sites can be a great source of information. 

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when you are looking for the best A/C company. However, if you carefully consider everything that has been discussed above, you can give yourself the best chance of selecting the right company for your requirements. 

The Digital Side Of COVID-19

The Digital Side Of COVID-19

Businesses are facing an unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has forced countless companies to shut down momentarily, and some may have no choice but to remain shut. But people still need to rely on your services and products for their everyday needs. As a result, if your business provides essentials, you need to explore the potential of digitalized and modernized processes to stay open for your customers and employees. 

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You need to streamline activities with technology

Businesses face a double challenge during the COVID-19 crisis. Firstly, they need to do everything they can to reduce interactions with their employees and customers. This implies ensuring your processes can be digitized safely. Being able to check and access customers’ data without reaching out for the filing cabinet at the back of the office is a game-changer! Secure digital storage can help you to stay relevant online. 

Additionally, you can also use digital tools to streamline and automate your processes, helping your team to achieve more with fewer manual and physical interventions. 

Make it easy for customers to buy online

More and more customers need to order online to limit the risks of going out. However, what this means is that you have to provide a secure and effective payment method for your site. Consequently, understanding PSD2 to establish a safe online payment service that authenticates customers effectively can support digital commerce activities. You also want to invest in a delivery tracking tool that keeps people informed about their parcel journey. Indeed, the surge of orders is causing a slowdown in deliveries and shipments. Now more than ever, your customers need to know when to expect their parcels. 

Working together from different offices

If you’ve been working with your team in the same office until now, businesses that go into self-isolation are discovering how to set up their teams for remote work in a matter of days. Ideally, what do you need to make it work? The answer is: Not as much as you think. Your employees need a secure Internet connection and a working device such as a desktop or a laptop.

Additionally, by that point, you should have sorted out your accessible and secure digital storage, using a cloud account. You can make sure to add collaboration tools to keep the team connected. Slack and Trello are favorites that are easy to set up and implement. 

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A great big digital family

The first thing your team will notice when they work from home is how productive they will be able to be when they can avoid all unnecessary office interruption. The second thing is loneliness. It’s essential to make time for social exchanges throughout the day to help your team feel united. Why not create a space for people to chat and share photos of their day-to-day routines, for instance? Your employees miss the socialization part of office life when they’re at home. 

Digitizing your business processes and embracing the potential of virtual teams and online purchases is now a priority in the current situation. Businesses that can implement the necessary changes to keep their employees and customers safe have got a better chance to see it through the end of the crisis and avoid the worst when it comes to financial consequences. In the meantime, stay safe and look after your people as best as you can. 

Building The Perfect Gym

Building The Perfect Gym

If you’re thinking about building a gym, whether this is a small project or a massive one, read on to discover some useful advice.

CrossFit equipment that all gyms need to invest in today

Regardless if it’s for improving your personal physical health or it is part of a training business, you will know that there’s 4 types of CrossFit training equipment that you just can’t do without. Such equipment is a necessity for exercises such as CrossFit because of their durability and versatility. You will surely get the maximum value for your money when you have these kits. 

The first CrossFit equipment that you will need for your gym is a good quality set of kettlebells. If you research online, kettlebells are known to be the ultimate tool to use for working out your muscles, and you will know this if you have the first-hand experience of doing kettlebell circuits. The flat bottomed kettles with smooth handles are the best kettlebells to use for CrossFit as they’re wide enough for two-handed grips. 

Another equipment you can’t do without is the Olympic grade barbell. Because a 200lb drop from head height can easily bend a low quality and cheap bar, it is important that you purchase a good and high-quality one. Don’t get the pin barbells too. Another essential piece of cardio kit is the jump ropes as it helps in improving the user’s dexterity. Although skipping ropes may be unexciting or unadventurous compared to different kinds of gym equipment, but they’re a useful piece of kit that can help in your exercise especially when you’re in space that does not allow sprints. Lastly, an Olympic gym rings set will be great for working out your chest, back and arms. It also teaches control and endurance to the user. Depending on what you choose, you may get wooden or plastic rings. 

These are the essentials, but you are also going to need to have custom equipment as well, which caters specifically to your target audience. Check out for more information about this. You will definitely benefit from having a good partner that can assist with all of your needs, whether it is designing a custom cable for your gym equipment or helping with any of your other requirements. 

Changing room lockers, a must-have for all gyms

A gym is not complete without a locker room. If you currently own a gym and do not have changing room lockers available for your potential members then you will undoubtedly be missing out on a wealth of customers. 

When people use your gym they need a safe and secure place whereby they can store their personal belongings. A lot of people like to arrive at the gym in their day to day clothing and they will then change into their gym gear once they have arrived. Thus, they will require somewhere to put their clothes. Aside from this, a lot of people will have their purse, keys, and mobile phone with them. Not everybody drives to the gym and thus they have no choice but to bring everything inside with them. If you do not provide safe changing room lockers then individuals are likely to go to an alternative gym. They won’t be able to exercise at ease whilst worrying about the potential threat of their belonging being stolen. 

There are various different options at your disposal when it comes to security. Nonetheless, most gyms seem to operate via a lock and key system. The key and the locker is typically colour coordinated. Furthermore, each key and locker will have a corresponding number printed on it so that people can easily locate their personal belongings once they have finished working out.

Whilst security is the most obvious need and benefit of having changing room lockers in place, there are other advantages as well. For instance, you need to consider how much more organised your gym will be once you provide lockers for your members. You will have a system of storage in place and this means that people will know exactly where to put their belongings once they enter your changing rooms. If you didn’t have lockers people would be merely leaving their belongings all over the room. Not only can this create a lot of confusion, but it generates a lot of clutter too. Your gym will look messy, untidy, and unorganised. In a place where hygiene is imperative, this would be evidently extremely detrimental to your reputation. 

Not only this, but just consider the amount of hassle you will eliminate by having lockers in place. Of course, people worry about the threat of their things being stolen whilst they are exercising if there are no room lockers. However, sometimes people might accidentally take somebody’s belongings by mistake. After all, it is not unlikely for people to have similar or identical clothing or gym gear. You then have to deal with operating a large lost and found section. Your staff will experience an added workload as they will have to locate lost property and hunt down the rightful owner too. 

In simple terms; changing room lockers are a must-have for any gym. If you don’t provide these for your members then you will lose out on a substantial amount of business because people will not want to use your gym when there is a real threat that their stuff could be stolen.

All in all, there is a lot that needs to be considered when you are looking for the perfect plan in terms of setting up a gym. Not only do you need to think about the equipment that you need to get, but you also need to consider all of the other purchases that you need to make in terms of creating a gym that is convenient and appeals to people, ensuring they will want to sign up for your services.

The Benefits Of 5G Technology For Your Company


What is 5G?

5G refers to the new generation of mobile broadband which is expected to phase out current 4G LTE connections. The technology works by using three spectrum bands, and these different bands will affect the way that you use your broadband overall. The first level is low-band spectrum, which offers wall penetration and good coverage, yet only reaches speeds of around 100Mbps. Secondly, there’s a mid-band which has a lower latency and is faster, with top speeds of 1Gbps. Last but not least, you’ve got a high-band spectrum that offers the best performance with 5G. The main drawback of high-band is that the latency is actually lower than the other bands.

The foundation of 5G is made up of all three spectrums. For 5G to operate at high speeds, both mmWave and sub-6 are needed to work together. The technology is available now; however, depending on your wireless carrier, phone and location, you may not be able to make use of it yet. Throughout 2020, more companies are making changes behind the scenes to roll out 5G technology to as many users as possible. Before long your business will be able to make full use of the tech. Let’s consider a few of the benefits to using 5G.

1 . Data speed

5G wireless offers improved data speeds; for instance, peak rates can reach 10Gbps uplink and 20Gbps downlink for each base station. It’s been reported that 4G can hit a max of 100 megabits whereas 5G reaches 10 gigabits. With improved data speeds, your company can transfer vast amounts of data with ease. By improving data speeds, you’ll decrease your downtime and prioritize efficiency.

2. Remote capabilities 

Business owners know that mobile devices allow maximum convenience and the ability to work from wherever you please. When you allow your employees to work remotely, you immediately facilitate increased flexibility, less downtime and increased creativity. Due to the improved data speeds, you’ll save your employees time when accessing your network remotely. With improved remote working possibilities you’ll soon boost productivity.

3. Increased device capacity

Any network is only capable of serving a set amount of transmissions and devices at the same time. It’s been estimated that for every square kilometre 5G can serve as many as one million devices. The technology relies upon a larger spectrum band which means increased radio frequencies and more transmissions at once. These data transmissions are faster than 4G networks due to the higher frequencies used.

4. Enhanced efficiency

Spectral efficiency refers to the best use of bandwidth so that max data amounts are transmitted with minimal errors. It’s believed that 5G can offer improved efficiency when compared with LTE.

Entrepreneurs must consistently strive to make productive use of their time. Keeping on top of the latest advancements in tech will allow your company to do things faster and with increased creativity. When you adopt high-level tech to support your operations, you’ll find that you’ll improve the efficiency of your company.

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