Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: 2010s


Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to restore communication for people with tetraplegia and anarthria by translating neural activity into control signals for assistive communication devices. While previous pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated promising proofs-of-concept (Serruya et al., 2002; Simeral et al., 2011; Bacher et al., 2015; Nuyujukian et al., 2015; Aflalo et al., 2015; Gilja et al., 2015; Jarosiewicz et al., 2015; Wolpaw et al., 1998; Hwang et al., 2012; Spüler et al., 2012; Leuthardt et al., 2004; Taylor et al., 2002; Schalk et al., 2008; Moran, 2010; Brunner et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2013; Townsend and Platsko, 2016; Vansteensel et al., 2016; Nuyujukian et al., 2016; Carmena et al., 2003; Musallam et al., 2004; Santhanam et al., 2006; Hochberg et al., 2006; Ganguly et al., 2011; O'Doherty et al., 2011; Gilja et al., 2012), the performance of human clinical BCI systems is not yet high enough to support widespread adoption by people with physical limitations of speech. Here we report a high-performance intracortical BCI (iBCI) for communication, which was tested by three clinical trial participants with paralysis. The system leveraged advances in decoder design developed in prior pre-clinical and clinical studies (Gilja et al., 2015; Kao et al., 2016; Gilja et al., 2012). For all three participants, performance exceeded previous iBCIs (Bacher et al., 2015; Jarosiewicz et al., 2015) as measured by typing rate (by a factor of 1.4-4.2) and information throughput (by a factor of 2.2-4.0). This high level of performance demonstrates the potential utility of iBCIs as powerful assistive communication devices for people with limited motor function.Clinical Trial No: NCT00912041.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Informed consent, Years in the future, 2010s


Greece’s economic crisis has deepened since it was bailed out by the international community in 2010. The country underwent the sixth consecutive year of economic contraction in 2013, with its economy shrinking by 20% between 2008 and 2012, and anaemic or no growth projected for 2014. Unemployment has more than tripled, from 7·7% in 2008 to 24·3% in 2012, and long-term unemployment reached 14·4%. We review the background to the crisis, assess how austerity measures have affected the health of the Greek population and their access to public health services, and examine the political response to the mounting evidence of a Greek public health tragedy.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Economics, Financial crisis, Greece, Unemployment, Crisis theory, 2010s


A biosimilar product needs to demonstrate biosimilarity to the originator reference product, and the quality profile of the latter should be monitored throughout the period of the biosimilar’s development to match the quality attributes of the two products that relate to efficacy and safety. For the development of a biosimilar version of trastuzumab, the reference product, Herceptin®, was extensively characterized for the main physicochemical and biological properties by standard or state-of-the-art analytical methods, using multiple lots expiring between March 2015 and December 2019. For lots with expiry dates up to July 2018, a high degree of consistency was observed for all the tested properties. However, among the lots expiring in August 2018 or later, a downward drift was observed in %afucose (G0±G1±G2). Furthermore, the upward drift of %high mannose (M5+M6) was observed in the lots with expiry dates from June 2019 to December 2019. As a result, the combination of %afucose and %high mannose showed two marked drifts in the lots with expiry dates from August 2018 to December 2019, which was supported by the similar trend of biological data, such as FcγRIIIa binding and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity. Considering that ADCC is one of the clinically relevant mechanisms of action for trastuzumab, the levels of %afucose and %high mannose should be tightly monitored as critical quality attributes for biosimilar development of trastuzumab.

Concepts: Biology, Cytotoxicity, Trastuzumab, Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, Multiplication, Years in the future, 2010s, Drift


In Flint; MI; USA; a public health crisis resulted from the switching of the water supply from Lake Huron to a more corrosive source from the Flint River in April 2014; which caused lead to leach from water lines. Between 2010 and 2015; Flint area children’s average blood lead patterns display consistent peaks in the third quarter of the year. The third quarter blood lead peaks displayed a declining trend between 2010 and 2013; then rose abruptly between the third quarters of 2013 from 3.6% blood lead levels ≥5 µg/dL to a peak of about 7% in the third quarter of 2014; an increase of approximately 50%. The percentage of blood lead level ≥5 µg/dL in the first quarter of 2015 then dropped to 2.3%; which was the same percentage as the first quarter of 2014 (prior to the Flint River water source change). The Flint quarterly blood lead level peak then rose to about 6% blood lead levels ≥ 5 µg/dL in the third quarter of 2015; and then declined to about 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015. Soil lead data collected by Edible Flint food collaborative reveal generally higher soil lead values in the metropolitan center for Flint; with lower values in the outskirts of the city. The questions that are not being asked is why did children’s blood lead levels display a seasonal blood lead pattern before the introduction of the new water supply in Flint; and what are the implications of these seasonal blood lead patterns? Based upon previous findings in Detroit and other North American cities we infer that resuspension to the air of lead in the form of dust from lead contaminated soils in Flint appears to be a persistent contribution to lead exposure of Flint children even before the change in the water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River.

Concepts: Water management, Water resources, Water quality, Michigan, Water supply, Lead poisoning, Blood lead level, 2010s


In 2013, at the 66th session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR), a regional goal was established to eliminate measles and control rubella and congenital rubella syndrome* by 2020 (1). WHO-recommended measles elimination strategies in SEAR countries include 1) achieving and maintaining ≥95% coverage with 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) in every district, delivered through the routine immunization program or through supplementary immunization activities (SIAs)(†); 2) developing and sustaining a sensitive and timely measles case-based surveillance system that meets targets for recommended performance indicators; and 3) developing and maintaining an accredited measles laboratory network (2). In 2014, Bangladesh, one of 11 countries in SEAR, adopted a national goal for measles elimination by 2018 (2,3). This report describes progress and challenges toward measles elimination in Bangladesh during 2000-2016. Estimated coverage with the first MCV dose (MCV1) increased from 74% in 2000 to 94% in 2016. The second MCV dose (MCV2) was introduced in 2012, and MCV2 coverage increased from 35% in 2013 to 93% in 2016. During 2000-2016, approximately 108.9 million children received MCV during three nationwide SIAs conducted in phases. During 2000-2016, reported confirmed measles incidence decreased 82%, from 34.2 to 6.1 per million population. However, in 2016, 56% of districts did not meet the surveillance performance target of ≥2 discarded nonmeasles, nonrubella cases(§) per 100,000 population. Additional measures that include increasing MCV1 and MCV2 coverage to ≥95% in all districts with additional strategies for hard-to-reach populations, increasing sensitivity of measles case-based surveillance, and ensuring timely transport of specimens to the national laboratory will help achieve measles elimination.

Concepts: Southeast Asia, Vaccine, Dose, World Health Organization, Measles, Rubella, Years in the future, 2010s


No prior studies examining changes in the calorie content of chain restaurants have included national data before and after passage of federal menu labeling legislation, required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. This paper describes trends in calories available in large U.S. chain restaurants in 2008 and 2012 to 2015 using data were obtained from the MenuStat project (2012 to 2015) and from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (2008). This analysis included 44 of the 100 largest U.S. restaurants which are available in all years of the data (2008 and 2012-2015) (N=19,391 items). Generalized linear models were used to examine 1) per-item calorie changes from 2008 to 2015 among items on the menu in all years and 2) mean calories in new items in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 compared to items on the menu in 2008 only. We found that Among items common to the menu in all years, overall calories declined from 327kcal in 2008 to 318kcal in 2015 (p-value for trend=0.03). No differences in mean calories among menu items newly introduced in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 relative to items only on the menu in 2008 were found. These results suggest that the federal menu labeling mandate (to be implemented in May 2017) appears to be influencing restaurant behavior towards lower average calories for menu items.

Concepts: Statistics, Restaurant, Years in the future, Generalized mean, 2010s, Menu, Fast food, In-N-Out Burger


Obesity-promoting content and weight-stigmatizing messages are common in child-directed television programming and advertisements, and 1 study found similar trends in G- and PG-rated movies from 2006 to 2010. Our objective was to examine the prevalence of such content in more recent popular children’s movies.

Concepts: Entertainment, Television program, 2010s, Elsevier


World Malaria Day is commemorated each year on April 25, the date in 2000 when leaders of 44 African nations met in Abuja, Nigeria, and committed their countries to reducing the number of malaria-related deaths. Approximately 90% of all malaria deaths occur in Africa (1). During the last 15 years, donors have collectively supported the procurement and distribution of billions of insecticide-treated bed nets and courses of artemisinin-based combination therapy globally. These improvements in malaria control are estimated to have saved an estimated 6.8 million lives, mostly among children aged <5 years. From 2010 to 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the estimated number of malaria deaths worldwide declined by approximately 60%, including a 69% decline among children aged <5 years (1). This year, as in 2016, the theme of World Malaria Day is "End Malaria for Good," reflecting the increased interest in and commitment to eliminating malaria.

Concepts: Malaria, Africa, World, World Health Organization, United Nations, 2010s, Mosquito net, 2016


Although four kinds of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) drugs are available at present there was only one drug until 2011 in Japan. This study aimed to elucidate prescription trends of these medications for AD in Japanese outpatients before and after the new drug releases in 2011.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Drug, Drugs, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy, 2010s


Technological advancements have made life and work more sedentary, and long hours of sitting are known to be associated with many health concerns. Several studies have reported an association between prolonged sitting time at work and weight gain, but the results are inconsistent. This study examined the relationship between sitting time at work and BMI using data from a large prospective cohort of U.S. men and women from 2002 to 2010. Initial analyses were performed in 2013, with additional analyses in 2014 and 2015.

Concepts: Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Research methods, Epidemiology, Cultural studies, Sitting, Years in the future, 2010s