Chuckles of the Day




Speeding Excuse

A fellow bought a new Corvette and was out on an interstate for a nice evening drive. The top was down and the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair, so he decided to open her up.

As the needle jumped up to 80 mph, he suddenly saw a flashing red and blue light behind him.

“There ain’t no way they can catch a Corvette,” he thought to himself and opened her up further.

The needle hit 90, 100, 130 and finally 150 with the light still behind him.

“What in the heck am I doing?” he thought and pulled over.

The cop came up to him, took his license without a word and examined it and the car.

“I’ve had a tough shift and this is my last pull over. I don’t feel like more paperwork so if you can give me an excuse for your driving that I haven’t heard before you can go!”

“Last week my wife ran off with a cop,” the man said, “and I was afraid you were trying to give her back!”

“Move along,” said the officer.

* * * * * * *

Husband and Wife

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor’s office.

After his checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office alone.

He said, “Your husband is suffering from a very severe disease, combined with horrible stress. If you don’t do the following, your husband will surely die.”

“Each morning, fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant, and make sure he is in a good mood. For lunch make him a nutritious meal. For dinner prepare an especially nice meal for him. Don’t burden him with chores, as he probably had a hard day. Don’t discuss your problems with him, it will only make his stress worse. And most importantly. make love with your husband several times a week and satisfy his every whim. If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year, I think your husband will regain his health completely.”

On the way home, the husband asked his wife, ‘What did the doctor say?”

“You’re going to die,” she replied.




Supermarket Model to Guide Safer Shopping Amid Pandemic

A Skoltech team has developed a model for assessing infection risks for supermarket customers. The researchers believe that their model will help formulate scientifically backed rules for safe shopping during the pandemic. The paper was published in PLOS One.

The team included professor Maxim Fedorov, who serves as Skoltech’s Vice President for Artificial Intelligence and Mathematical Modeling, and a research group led by professor Nikolai Brilliantov — the Director of the Skoltech Center for Computational and Data-Intensive Science and Engineering (CDISE).

The composite model presented in the paper incorporates a social forces model that describes customer motions and interactions with other shoppers or obstacles and is known to realistically reproduce waiting lines and congestions in confined spaces, such as stairs, and customers’ behavior during emergency evacuation. The approach is based on calculating several “forces” (see image), each describing a customer’s tendency to maintain a comfortable speed, approach a target, avoid obstacles, etc.

Other components describe the purchasing strategy and retail space layout. Customers are known to behave differently, depending on the place they visit: a small shop, a supermarket, or a cafe. The team used customer behavior scenarios specific to supermarkets and several layouts with varying numbers of intersections and bottleneck widths. Finally, the team proposed a model of infection transmission by virus-containing aerosol droplets.

The researchers used their composite model in multivariate numerical simulations to assess infection risks depending on several factors, such as average customer density, social distancing, behavior scenarios, use of masks, and retail space geometry. It turned out that the infection rate is primarily determined by social distancing, and to a much lesser extent, by the supermarket layout or customer strategy.

Curiously enough, the team discovered that increasing customer density has only a slight positive effect on sales, so filling the store to the limit makes little sense not just epidemiologically but economically, too.

“The functional version of our model, which we have made publicly available, can be used to assess the effects of various factors on the risk of infection. For example, you can optimize a store’s operations in the pandemic environment by controlling customer flow, relocating specific items, and reconfiguring the retail area. Although our selection of layouts did not reveal a noticeable effect of space configuration on infection spread, geometry may be an important factor in other cases,” Alexey Tsukanov, a co-author of the paper, comments.

Source: EurekAlert!

In Pictures: Steak Sandwiches

In Pictures: Popular Greek Food

Tzatziki

Kleftiko

Melomakarona

Gemista

Dolmadakia

Loukoumades

Spoon sweets

Adding MRI to Screening Can Cut Prostate Cancer Over Diagnosis in Half

Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt wrote . . . . . . . . .

One of the big issues in prostate cancer care is over diagnosis — men who are treated for low-risk, slow-growing tumors that might be better left monitored and untreated.

Now, research out of Sweden suggests that having patients undergo MRI screening, along with targeted biopsies, could reduce the number of prostate cancer over diagnoses by half.

The new approach can detect just as many clinically significant tumors as current methods, but reduces unnecessary biopsies and the identification of minor low-risk tumors, according to the study presented recently at the European Association of Urology Congress. The findings were published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The findings show that “modern methods for prostate cancer screening maintain the benefits of screening, while decreasing the harms substantially,” said study co-leader Tobias Nordström. He is associate professor of urology at Danderyd Hospital at the Karolinska Institute.

“This addresses the greatest barrier to the introduction of nationwide screening,” Nordström explained in an institute news release.

One expert in the United States said the research holds real promise.

“For the past 20 years, urologists and researchers have been striving to improve prostate cancer screening to target men with clinically significant prostate cancer and avoid over diagnosis in men with low-risk prostate cancer,” said Dr. Manish Vira, system chief of urology at Northwell Health Cancer Institute in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

The Swedish findings show how the use of highly targeted MRI “has moved our field closer to the goal,” said Vira, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

As the Stockholm team explained, most countries no longer have nationwide prostate-cancer screening programs in place because current methods — PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood testing plus traditional biopsies — often result in over diagnosis and unnecessary biopsies, meaning the risks of screening can outweigh the benefits.

In too many cases, so-called “indolent” prostate tumors grow at such a slow pace that treating them brings harms (such as urinary issues and impotence) that exceed any real risk from the tumor to the patient’s health.

But is there a better way to spot those higher-risk tumors that do need treatment?

In the new study, the Karolinska team tracked outcomes for 12,750 Swedish men between 2018 and 2021. Blood samples were collected from the men for PSA analysis, as well as analysis by the new Stockholm3 test, developed by institute researchers.

Men whose tests revealed elevated PSA levels were then randomly selected to undergo either traditional biopsies or they underwent MRI.

In the MRI group, biopsies were conducted only on suspected tumors identified by MRI.

The new approach can detect just as many clinically significant tumors as current methods, the researchers said, but it reduces unnecessary biopsies and the identification of minor low-risk tumors.

Vira explained that “by incorporating MRI into the prostate cancer screening process, we can better recommend biopsy in those men who are at high risk, and perhaps just as importantly, avoid unnecessary biopsies in men who don’t have prostate cancer or have indolent/insignificant disease.”

Dr. Art R. Rastinehad is associate professor of urology and radiology and vice chair of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He wasn’t involved in the Swedish research, but called it “another great study supporting the use of MRI before a prostate biopsy in men at risk of prostate cancer.”

He pointed out that “prostate cancer was the last solid organ malignancy that was diagnosed without imaging, so we are very excited to continue to use advanced imaging technologies to help our patients.”

The potential benefits to patients are clear, he added.

“It is estimated that up to 51% of patients having their prostate removed may be candidates for a less invasive, outpatient treatment that helps them get back to their normal lives with a lower risk of urinary incontinence and/or erectile dysfunction,” Rastinehad said.

Source: HealthDay