Conte ‘not worried’ “The things I have to say to the prosecutor, I will say to the prosecutor — I don’t want to anticipate,” he said.”I will conscientiously set out all the facts of which I have knowledge. I am not at all worried.”All investigations are welcome. The citizens have the right to know and we have the right to reply.”The team, lead by chief prosecutor Maria Cristina Rota, has already questioned senior officials in Lombardy region, who say it was up to Rome to decide whether certain areas should be shut.The region’s health minister, Giulio Gallera, has said it was clear from February 23 that there were a lot of cases in the areas around Nembro and Alzano, towns in the Bergamo province.But the government failed to act, he said.Conte replied that “if Lombardy had wanted to, it could have made Alzano and Nembro red zones”.Codogno was closed on February 21. Lombardy and 14 provinces in the neighboring regions of Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna followed on March 8, and the whole of Italy shut down two days later.But a scientific committee advising the government and the national health institute had warned in early March 3 that the towns should be locked down, according to the Corriere della Sera. Prosecutors are to question Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the health and interior ministers over how the government handled the coronavirus pandemic, news agencies reported Wednesday.The prosecutors from Bergamo, the city in the northern Lombardy region worst hit by the virus, have launched an investigation into the crisis, which has killed over 34,000 people in Italy.They are looking in particular at why a red zone was not enforced in February around the towns of Nembro and Alzano. Regional officials and the government blame each other for the failure. Salvini denounces ‘lies’ Fifty relatives of coronavirus victims — members of the “Noi Denunceremo” (We Will Denounce) committee — filed complaints with the Bergamo prosecutors earlier Wednesday over the handling of the pandemic. It is the first such legal group action in Italy.”If it hadn’t been so disorganized, if [the province of] Bergamo had been made into a red zone earlier, perhaps the hospitals would not have been driven to collapse,” said Monica Plazzoli, whose husband Armando died of the virus.Far-right opposition leader Matteo Salvini, head of the League party which governs Lombardy, on Wednesday welcomed the investigation.”After so many lies and shameful attacks, justice has been done: those who have made mistakes must pay,” he said.Andrea Orlando of the center-left Democratic Party (PD), part of the government coalition, rebuked Salvini for using “a painful situation for propaganda”.It was normal procedure for prosecutors to speak with institutional representatives, he said. Italy was the first European country to be ravaged by the virus. The government imposed the country’s first red zone, around the town of Codogno, 24 hours after doctors discovered a patient positive for COVID-19.It went on to shut down 10 other towns, and then large areas of the north, before imposing a nationwide lockdown.Speaking to journalists on Wednesday evening, Conte said he would be interviewed by prosecutors on Friday. Topics :
The World Scotch Pie Cham-pionships have been revamped and several new categories added, in an effort to give bakers and butchers wider exposure.The 2010 awards, to be announced later this month, will see the reintroduction of the Sausage Roll Category, as well as the addition of five new Speciality Savoury Categories: Hot Savoury; Cold Savoury; Fish; Vegetarian Savoury; and Individual Steak Pie. These will run alongside competitions to find the best Scotch pies and bridies.”We felt it important to include sausage rolls again, as they are one of the most popular products in the savouries sector. There is so much innovation in speciality savouries, it was only right to split them up,” said organiser Alan Stuart, MD of Stuart’s of Buck-haven. “The awards raise public awareness of bakers and but-chers and boost sales and more categories will help do this.”Other changes include a new website www.the-pie-club.co.uk and, for the first time, the entries will be judged when both hot and cold. The 11th annual event will be held at Carnegie College, Dunfermline, Scotland, on Tues-day, 10 November.
Rest in peace, Houseman. Thank you for sharing your music with us. You will be missed. Last night, news broke that former Galactic lead vocalist, Theryl DeClouet, affectionately known as The Houseman, has died. DeClouet was admitted into hospice on Friday and passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 66.The singer had long faced medical issues, forcing him to quit the band in 2004 given Galactic’s heavy touring schedule. The Houseman met Robert Mercurio and Jeff Raines in 1990 before the duo had started Galactic. The trio’s longstanding friendship continued throughout Galactic’s early career, with DeClouet serving as the band’s primary vocalist.He appeared on the New Orleans funk outfit’s first four studio albums—Coolin’ Off (1996), Crazyhorse Mongoose (1998), Late For The Future (2000), and Ruckus (2003). He also appeared on the band’s 2001 live album We Love ‘Em Tonight: Live At Tipitina’s and 2003 compilation album Vintage Reserve. He also joined Galactic for guest appearances on various occasions in recent years.Galactic w/ Houseman – “Something’s Wrong With This Picture” – 4/10/10[Video: GalacticYakamay]In addition to his work with Galactic, DeClouet also had a fruitful solo career with his side project, Theryl & the Housewreckas, and as a special guest on various projects. DeClouet released his debut solo album, The Houseman Cometh! in 2001, later self-releasing his 2007 sophomore solo album, The Truth Iz Out, after amicably leaving Galactic in 2004. He also collaborated with a number of far-reaching acts, including the Charlie Hunter Quintet.You can read heartfelt remembrances of the Houseman from his former bandmates below:
Abraham Freedberg had a long and illustrious medical career at Harvard. He was outstanding in all the metrics of academic excellence. In addition to his research, teaching and patient care, Al (Freedberg preferred to be called Al or A. Stone) had a multidimensional fourth quality that set him apart. Colleagues and students who crossed the threshold of his open door always met a compassionate man with a sympathetic ear extending a helping hand and offering the gift of wise advice. His open-door policy was modeled after the habit of Herrman L. Blumgart (Beth Israel’s Director of Medical Research 1938, Chair of Medicine 1946-1964) whose office Al entered in 1938 and exited to start a continuous 65-year career at Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School.Abraham Freedberg was born in Salem, Massachusetts on May 30, 1908. That is where his Eastern European immigrant parents settled and were to raise six children – all boys. Early interests were sports and the violin. Learning was easy because of a life-long exceptional memory. At Harvard College, he was a violinist in the school orchestra and developed an interest in science through the inspirational teaching of zoology professor Leigh Harley. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then governor of New York, spoke at graduation, the same year as the 1929 stock market crash and harbinger of the Great Depression. The social and economic turmoil that followed compelled Al to defer medical school in favor of earning enough money to launch a postgraduate education. An earlier career consideration was that of a rabbi, the calling of his maternal grandfather. Following advice to take a different course because each congregant would be his boss, Al chose medicine and with a smile recounted that “each patient became my boss.”After graduating from Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago, completing two years of post-graduate training in Chicago and a pathology residency at Rhode Island Hospital, he returned to his roots hoping to establish a medical practice in Salem. Dr. Freedberg quickly recognized that his religion was a barrier to obtaining hospital privileges when the director of the local establishment advised him to go to Boston where there was a “more suitable hospital.” Recalling that his grandfather was an early patient at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, Al applied in person, found open door access to Dr. Blumgart, and became a staff member. During the following 62 years, he authored approximately 126 papers most of which related to cardiac reflexes, hemodynamics, coronary circulation, arrhythmias, and pharmacology. Thyrocardiac disease became a fruitful field of inquiry, as did the clinical effects of radioactive iodine. Classic studies were performed with Drs. Blumgart, Milton Hamolsky and George Kurland on radioactive ablation of the thyroid gland in patients with angina or congestive heart failure. Although a leader in cardiology, thyroidology and nuclear medicine, Dr. Freedberg’s first independent research study became a pioneering landmark in understanding peptic ulcer disease. In 1940, he asked, “Is there a relationship between microorganisms and gastric ulcers?” Spirochete-like organisms were identified in fresh surgical specimens of resected gastric tissue. After four frustrating months failing to culture the organisms, Al took Dr. Blumgart’s advice to terminate the study in favor of other questions begging to be answered. Forty-two years later, the organisms were identified as Helicobacter pylori by Australia’s Robin Warren and Barry Marshall who shared the Nobel Prize in 2005. They, like Freedberg, had difficulty culturing the organism. Marshall invited his predecessor to recount the circumstances of his 1940 discovery for a compilation of pioneering efforts which defined the pathophysiology of peptic ulcer disease. That publication, in the year 2002, was Dr. Freedberg’s last. The man and his research effort were not forgotten; each was mentioned in Barry Marshall’s Nobel lecture.Freedberg had a broad array of medical interests and held leadership positions in some. He was Director of the Cardiac Unit (1964-1969) and was acting Physician and Chair at Beth Israel Hospital (1973); Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (1969-1974); President, Massachusetts Heart Association (1963-1965); President, New England Cardiovascular Society (1971-1972); consultant and member of the thyroid uptake calibration committee medical division of Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies (1955-1956); editorial board, Circulation (1956-1960) and (1962-1967), and Vice President, American Thyroid Association (1962-1963). Other memberships included the American Society of Clinical Investigation; American Physiological Society; Association of American Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine, London.Dr. Freedberg directly served Harvard as a member of the committee on admissions starting in 1969 and in 1978 established a fund to encourage student research. He derived enormous pleasure from weekly luncheon meetings at the medical center with his grandson, Daniel (HMS 2008). To keep current, Al occasionally joined Daniel at an HMS basic science class and with unrestrained curiosity, he kept up to date with medical issues in depth and breadth. His knowledge, powers of observation, deductive logic and inductive insight often led to diagnosis of uncommon illness. There is a legendary story of Al and his medical student going to a Boston hotel room to treat a traveling visitor with complaints of disabling muscular pains. In the hotel, without any laboratory data, they correctly made a diagnosis of trichinosis, a parasitic invasion of muscle from eating undercooked infected pork.The quintessential professor was serious about his role in educating the younger generations of doctors and aspiring doctors. Al must have smiled when he read the accolade “…he has longbeen a favorite teacher at the hospital” which appears in the Beecher and Altschule volume “Medicine at Harvard: The First 300 Years”. Many family members were encouraged and inspired by their role model to enter the medical field. There were ten physicians, four of which he taught at HMS. On an occasional pleasant summer day, Al walked with his students to the Red Sox baseball game at nearby Fenway Park. Between innings, they discussed the morning’s clinical cases.When Dr. Freedberg was subject to mandatory retirement in 1973 at age 65, he followed in Herrman Blumgart’s footsteps and became a full-time physician at Harvard University Health Services with assignment to the Longwood Medical Area. He served Harvard well, remaining active in that role for an unprecedented 32 years until relinquishing responsibilities in 2005 at age 97 years. Many physicians throughout the Harvard system remain grateful for his care during a personal illness. A strong doctor/patient relationship was essential to his healing mission. He was constantly aware of the weighty charge to maintain the health of his flock. Al felt responsible for the outcomes of his own and his consultant’s decisions and actions, often accompanying a patient to the x-ray department with a syringe of epinephrine in his shirt pocket to treat the possibility of an allergic reaction from contrast material. He would appear in the operating room or by his patient’s side during a consultation. Even after retirement, an unofficial role was to reassure some closely bonded patients that they were receiving state-of-the-art care.Al developed several methods to reduce stress, the constant companion of a totally committed physician. As an inveterate Red Sox fan, he often attended the opening day and other games. He enjoyed playing golf and watching the major tournaments. Although shoulder bursitis ended his violin play at age 40, Al’s love of music was constant with a frequent presence at concerts and as a distant appreciator. Classical music from an extensive library resounded in his home. He was a long-term subscriber to the Boston Symphony where friends and family fittingly gathered for a private recital and celebration to mark his 100th birthday. Dr. Freedberg was a connoisseur of fine art. A physician colleague brought him to a friend’s gallery which led to a deep appreciation of art, knowledge of the contemporary art scene and establishment of long term friendships with artists. One such friendship was with Hyman Bloom, a local artist of international repute. A recently released documentary about Bloom is dedicated to A. Stone Freedberg’s memory.Dr. Freedberg and Beatrice Gordon, a Bostonian, knew each other for seven years before they married when Al was graduated from medical school. The couple returned to Boston to launch his career and start their family. They had two sons, Richard followed by Leonard. Richard became a teacher and left for Europe to work in The Hague, Leonard became a psychiatrist in suburban Boston. The couple traveled to visit Richard twice a year. They also spent a full year at Oxford when Al was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to study thyrocardiac disease in the world famous laboratory of E.M. Vaughn Williams. Free time was spent visiting Richard’s family and former trainees who had settled in Europe, many who with time had grown in academic stature. The Guggenheim sponsored research resulted in two publications. European travel ended with retirement at age 95.Bea was the central figure and love of Al’s life. After her death in 1999, Al was comforted by family and the joy of being a grandfather to four children and great-grandfather to three. He kept up to date in science, medicine, the arts and sports. Music was constant, home-made reproductions of works from his recording collection were sent to friends for their continued pleasure. He followed the progress of the art world and frequently met with friends and colleagues.Montaigne wrote “The utility of living consists not in the length of days, but in the use of time…” Abraham Freedberg used his time well charting an extraordinary journey of extraordinary length while maintaining extraordinary memory, perspective, alertness and control at the helm to the very end.Respectfully submitted,Stafford I. Cohen, chairpersonMark H. CooleyLeonard E. FreedbergSusumo ItoMitchel T. RabkinWilliam Silen
Today, the internet is a sensory free-for-all: Pop-up ads burst into articles every few paragraphs, stealing the screen with lollipop colors and music, shouting product information from unseen corners. The human body is not so different. Every fingernail, elbow, nostril, and eyebrow is constantly vying for the brain’s attention.“Right now, your little toe is sending signals up to your brain, as is every square inch of your body,” said Adam Cohen, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and of physics, “but most of it is not interesting. Your brain has to ignore all that stuff and only pay attention to the very few things that are actually relevant.”Now, in a paper published in Cell, Cohen and colleagues report new evidence that could help researchers understand how the brain ignores or acts on different information, knowledge that could offer crucial data on how neuronal circuits function and, one day, help researchers understand and treat neurological disease.Cohen didn’t set out to investigate attention. Recently, his lab invented technology that makes electrical impulses flowing through neurons in a live animal brain observable for the first time. “The next step is to actually do something with it,” he said, “to actually learn something about how the brain works.”First, a Ph.D. student in his lab, Linlin Fan, trained their tech on the top layer of the brain. Since the optical tool uses light to record when neurons fire, they could only study this layer for now. “It’s like looking at your hand,” Cohen said. “You can only see the surface because the light only goes a short way into the tissue.” Still, some scientists call layer one a “crowning mystery.” It’s notoriously difficult to study.Traditionally, scientists stick ultrathin glass probes into brain tissue at random, hoping to “harpoon” neurons so they can record individual signals. In layer one, cells are too sparse for this technique to be efficient; it’s like fishing in an ocean that has just a handful of fish. Because Cohen’s technology shines light on each neuron — like using sonar to see each fish — he can locate and analyze several at a time. “The next step is to actually do something with [technology], to actually learn something about how the brain works.” — Adam Cohen As their optogenetic tool recorded neural signals in live mice, Cohen and his team added stimuli based on the two main types of attention. First, they flicked a mouse’s whisker, provoking a “bottom-up” signal that reports new sensory information. Then, they blew a puff of air on the mouse’s face, activating a “top-down” signal in which existing knowledge shapes perception of a stimuli. “Think of it like a wake-up call,” Cohen explained.In the whisker-flick experiment, the stimulus caused the expected result: a neuron spike. But when the team artificially excited the same neuron using a laser, and then added a whisker flick, the neuron went quiet. Why? The team discovered that neurons in layer one maintain a careful balance between excitation and inhibition. If too many neurons are firing at once, they suppress others from firing. “The circuit acts like a novelty detector,” Cohen said. Sudden inputs can spark most neurons to fire, but with long-lasting inputs, most of the neurons inhibit each other and cause the circuit to turn almost completely off.The air puff — a wake-up call for the mouse — added more evidence to this theory. In response to the puff, the few neurons that fired the fastest ended up suppressing their neighbors. If the stimulus is forceful enough, the neurons all spike, competing for dominance, before the winners force the others to quiet down. Finding may shed light on changes in motivation, focus, and behavior Helping to uncover the mechanism controlling brain states Based on their data, the team designed a mathematical model of the circuit, which suggested an intriguing connection to a century-old theory about attention. The so-called Yerkes-Dodson law proposes that a little stress can help increase performance, but it declines when stress increases too much. “Everyone who’s ever taken a test knows this,” Cohen said. His model showed that layer one neurons behaved in a similar way: A little top-down activation wakes them up so they are more responsive to sensory inputs, but too much activation makes the circuit freeze and ignore incoming information.Cohen and his team will continue to explore how the layer one circuit works to regulate attention, hoping more data can provide critical information on how neural circuits work.“If we can understand how the whisker response works,” Cohen said, “we’ll then be in a much better position to understand much more complicated things like vision or hearing.” New hope for sensory calm Experiments reveal how visual cues reorganize course-sensing neurons in fruit flies Where we get our sense of direction Novel approach to treating tactile hypersensitivity in patients with autism-spectrum disorders Related