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2021 Ford Bronco: 5 features that make it better than a Jeep Wrangler

2021 Ford Bronco: 5 features that make it better than a Jeep Wrangler

b'The Bronco is ready to fight the Wrangler. With the launch of the new Bronco, Ford has its sights squarely aimed at the Jeep Wrangler. Yes, the two SUVs compare nicely in terms of off-road specs, but there are some really cool little features that make the Bronco a little easier to live with, too. On the Wrangler, the mirrors are mounted on the doors, which is fine until you want to take the doors off -- something I encourage in a Jeep. The folks at Ford found a way to mount the mirrors on the Bronco\'s cowl instead, so they stay on when the doors come off. It seems simple, but after chatting with Ford designer Paul Wraith, there are myriad ways this seemingly easy position swap could go wrong, from sightlines to overall safety. It\'s great that Ford took the time to solve this problem. I am 100% here for the Bronco\'s Trail Turn Assist that locks the inside rear wheel during tight cornering. I can\'t tell you how many times I\'ve had to make a sketchy three-point turn in a Wrangler on a narrow mountain trail. A pivoting feature should make those butt-pucker moments a thing of the past. Trail Turn Assist is part of what Ford calls the Trail Toolbox. It also includes Trail Control which acts as an off-road cruise control. Frankly, I\'m not super stoked on this, as I personally enjoy the challenge of modulating the throttle over rough terrain, but I\'m keen to try the Trail One Pedal Drive, which applies the brake as soon as you lift off the throttle. Sure, skilled off-roaders might prefer left-foot braking, but the one-pedal system will be great for newbies. Then there\'s the front sway bar, found on both SUVs. This little piece of engineering magic is helpful when driving on pavement to keep overall handling in check. It can hinder wheel articulation when the going gets rough, however. Normally, like in a Wrangler, you have to disconnect the front sway bar before things get tricky. The Bronco, on the other hand, allows you to do it on the fly thanks to its hydraulic setup. If you find you\'ve got one front wheel off the ground, just disconnect that sway bar and watch the wheel drop to meet the rock. Tires are the only things that actually connect your vehicle to the ground, and when off-roading, bigger is usually better. It\'s cool that Ford offers 35-inch tires direct from the factory on any of the Bronco\'s trims. Sure, the Jeep has room for 35-inch tires so drivers can buy some on their own, but that\'s a lot of extra money, and then you have the stock, 33-inch tires just sitting around. What remains to be seen, however, is how well the Bronco\'s chosen tire will perform. The company says the SUV will come on newly developed Goodyear Territory tires. Some may find it\'s a risk going with unproven rubber, when the BF Goodrich KO2 or Falken Wildpeak mud terrain tires that come on the Wrangler are both excellent options. Finally, the Bronco impresses me with a number of thoughtful and functional design touches. There\'s a small mounting rack across the dash for securing your phone, GoPro camera, radio and a whole host of other little electronics. There\'s even a 12-volt outlet up there for easy access to power. There are available marine-grade vinyl seats that can just be hosed off after a muddy day and Molle hooks on the seat backs to organize smaller gear. Plus, the doors can be taken off on the trail and stored in the back, so if the weather changes on the fly, you can seal your rig back up pretty easily. In Jeep\'s defense, the company reportedly has some updates planned for the 2021 model year Wrangler that include the Off-Road Plus mode and forward-facing camera that are found on the current Gladiator pickup, as well as some upgraded transfer case options. What\'s more, Jeep recently showed the Wrangler Rubicon 392 concept with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that pushes out 450 horsepower, combined with a 2-inch lift, 37-inch tires and a selectable exhaust. Yes, this is just a concept for now, but Jeep knows its enthusiasts have been asking for a V8-powered Wrangler. "The new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is an indication they may soon get their wish," the company said in a statement. We haven\'t driven the Bronco yet, so we\'ll reserve final judgment until then. On first glance though, it looks like it might be the new champ right out of the gate.'<br><br><b>Author:Emme Hall</b><br><b>Source:https://cnet.com/roadshow/news/2021-ford-bronco-jeep-wrangler-features/</b>

Amrit Ojeshkar

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From Rs 20 lakh investment to Rs 84 crore ARR — the rise of healthcare startup Medcords

From Rs 20 lakh investment to Rs 84 crore ARR — the rise of healthcare startup Medcords

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the Government of India, among its many efforts to contain the spread of the disease, made telemedicine mainstream. Healthcare became a top priority and many startups began to play a vital role. Information storage of medical records became all the more crucial.<br><br>Patients sometimes lose crucial prescriptions and medical reports, and face difficulty in managing and tracking their family’s medical records. Doctors face trouble in handling their patients without complete information about their medical history. <br><br>To solve this, <br>Nikhil Baheti, Saida Dhanavath, and Shreyans Mehta <br>founded MedCords, a startup based out of Kota in Rajasthan in 2016. The idea was to solve the problem of accessibility, cost, and quality of healthcare. <br><br>The startup interconnects the most important stakeholders of the healthcare segment — patients, doctors, pharmacies, and laboratories — for <br>smooth access and sharing of medical data, and overcoming the hassle of storing and maintaining the hard copies. <br>By making <br>medical records “intelligent,” it provides valuable insights into the patient’s medical condition and <br>ensures better treatment<br>.<br><br><br><br><br><br>According to the ICMR, India faces a scarcity <br>of doctors and uneven distribution. <br>The country has about eight lakh doctors and only 32,000 doctors are serving in <br>the rural regions. <br><br><br><br>This forces <br>rural patients to travel to district hospitals and subject<br> themselves to poor medical services, where the average wait time is up to <br>three hours to see a doctor, and the doctor in some cases spends only two minutes per patient. India’s<br> out-of-pocket healthcare expenses <br>for an individual’s personal savings stands at 62 percent. <br><br><br>It was out of a personal experience that led to the birth of MedCords. <br>In 2014, Shreyans’ father, who is a practising doctor, told him that most of the patients who came to him for consultation were from rural areas. <br><br><br>“At that time, we thought of making use of technology, and we visited around 12 villages on alternate days and then went for a follow-up. We helped around 2,500 patients get a consultation in the first visit, of which 2,000 came for follow-up during the second visit, and they were very satisfied,” says Shreyans.<br><br>Following this experience, Shreyans wondered if he could create a platform. “We did some more research, and after extensive travel in rural areas, we were finally able to identify major challenges in the healthcare sector and started building MedCords,” he adds. <br><br>Shreyans and Nikhil were childhood friends, and they felt strongly about incorporating data into the healthcare ecosystem. <br><br>Shreyans came from a family of doctors, while Nikhil stayed adjacent to the biggest hospital in the city, and used to watch the plight of patients every day. Nikhil discussed the business idea with his friend Saida, who was also very keen to build something <br>in the healthcare sector<br>. <br><br>Finally, the trio joined hands in 2016, and started implementing the idea by building a basic version and kept evolving along the way.<br><br>The business <br><br>In May 2017, MedCords started its operations in Kota, Rajasthan. Since then, it has reached 13 states, 25 lakh-plus patients, and have established a digital network of 10,000-plus medical stores and 5,000-plus doctors. <br><br><br>“It is a huge challenge as more than 80 crore people live in rural India, and end up spending at least Rs 2,000 per year on travelling for medical consultation. Use of technology and digitisation of health records in the most efficient and scalable way is actually a big opportunity, as the availability of doctors in rural areas will always be an issue, and data-driven decision-making is very necessary for better health outcomes,” says Shreyans.<br><br>He adds that the startup's solution can help during the COVID-19 crisis as well. Following the crisis, normal OPDs have been closed in most of the places, especially in the private sector and big government hospitals. Patients cannot travel during these times and do not have easy access to medicines.<br><br>Shreyans believes that the startup is focussed on real India, and offers affordable pricing. MedCords offers teleconsultation and works with local medical stores. It competes with <br>Practo, Lybrate, MFine, mUpchar, DocsApp, NedMeds, and 1MG<br>. <br><br><br>SehatSathi App<br><br>The startup aims to cater to every citizen in rural and semi-urban areas. It has a SehatSathi App, which is developed for medical stores to facilitate users in the remotest parts of the country. The app helps make medical stores go online and chat with their customers in semi-urban areas, and also to increase their business. <br><br><br>Aayu Card<br><br>MedCords has also launched an Aayu Card, which is an annual subscription plan for remote consultation on its platform at lower costs. It enables online medical consultation and digitisation of medical records for patients from remote rural and semi-urban areas. The Aayu app offers preventive health management, health insurance, blogs, and videos to the user.<br><br>Doctor Portal<br><br>The Doctor Portal allows doctors to view the consultation case file digitally, write e-prescriptions, and engage with patients for a follow-up consultation. “The consultations have been designed in a very interactive way,” says Shreyans. <br><br>MedCords has raised <br>$3 million through angel and Series A round <br>from <br>Infoedge, Waterbridge, and Astarc Ventures<br>. It is creating awareness about digital consultation among people. The startup makes money from the consultation fee and the annual Aayu Card subscription.<br><br><br>“During the pandemic, our team members are working day and night to ensure every user gets timely consultation. We plan to hit an ARR of Rs 84 crore by March 2021, and plan to have 20 million patients and one lakh pharmacies under MedCords,” Shreyans adds.<br><br>One reason behind the success of the startup is the concept of phygital consultation, which is the closest replication of physical consultation at OPDs. <br><br>“COVID-19 has two sides to the impact on our business. It has created a pan-India awareness that digital consultation is the way forward. Even the state government has acknowledged that we are the only solution provider that can solve hyper-local healthcare issues. However, the revenue collection from distributors got impacted due to the liquidity crunch,” says Shreyans. <br><br><br><br><b>Author:Vishal Krishna</b><br><b>Source:https://www.yourstory.com/2020/07/medcords-healthtech-startup-coronavirus-kota-digital-medical-stores</b>

Vishakha Kumari

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[Techie Tuesday] The journey of WazirX’s Nischal Shetty: from social media and foodtech to bitcoin

[Techie Tuesday] The journey of WazirX’s Nischal Shetty: from social media and foodtech to bitcoin

Nischal Shetty <br>doesn’t get as much opportunity to code or program now as he did a decade back. As <br>Co-founder and CEO of bitcoin exchange WazirX<br>, he focuses on growth and product development. <br><br>However, his coding and programming journey began over two decades back when he first developed a game. <br><br><br><br><br>Born and raised in Mumbai, Nischal’s father ran a restaurant business in the city, and his mother was a homemaker. “I grew up seeing my father run the business, but never wanted to join him as I was already was hooked to computers,” he recollects. <br><br><br>In the late 90s, computer classes were becoming the rage<br>. Nischal was in Class 5 when <br>he was introduced to computers in school, and was fascinated<br>. One of his cousins became a computer engineer, which also influenced the young lad. <br><br><br>“Conversations with him were around how being a computer engineer was the best thing. How one code could change the physical world, the beauty of it…it was fascinating and interesting. I took up science as a natural progression,” he says.<br><br>When Nischal was in Class 12, a close family member fell seriously ill. <br>This led him to consider medicine as a career<br>. But he ultimately chose computer science as he didn’t get through a good medical school.  “In hindsight, that was a good call because today I realise that <br>I am a much better techie than I would have been a doctor<br>.” <br><br>Nischal went on to join <br>MMAMIT engineering college in Mangalore, Karnataka<br>. The first year was all about friends and fun, but things changed in the second year (2004) during a coding project. <br><br><br>Coding felt like coming home. <br><br><br>The ‘Bug’ game <br><br>Nischal had built <br>Bug Attack, a game in C++ graphics where a virtual farm was attacked by bugs that had to be stopped by shooting at them<br>. “I realised that a software engineer just needed skills to change the world around them. <br>I saw it as art, where a painter could paint a landscape with just their talent and skill <br>,” Nischal explains. <br><br><br>Soon, engineering wasn’t just a professional degree he was working towards; it became a passion. “The ability to build something and use it, ensuring that people around you can also use it, is powerful,” he Nischal. <br><br>Nischal, who had been using programs that someone else had built, became a creator with Bug Attack. <br><br>He soon realised that engineering would have “to be self-taught” and started learning online, reading books, and coding. “<br>It was the first year that we had internet in the college<br>. We would get access for an hour and I would try and learn everything that was there on the internet,” Nischal says. Slowly, <br>he learnt how to code<br>. <br><br>In his fourth year, <br>Nischal decided to build something from scratch for his project<br>. It was 2006, a time when the internet wasn’t limited but was expensive. But the final year student had the option of downloading as much as he could after 9 pm for free. <br><br><br>“I had to read up a lot and needed access to the internet. I would have to wait until late night to work on my project. So, I decided that my final year project would be a desktop app that would download reading material from the internet from 9 pm to 6 am, when it was free,” he says. <br><br><br>The Knightloader app was built in dotnet and gave Nischal a strong understanding of desktop apps, which were the rage in 2006-07. <br><br><br>After his fourth year, in 2008, Nischal was <br>placed at 3I infotech, a software company in Bengaluru<br>. <br><br><br>Building in the B2B space<br><br>At 3I, Nischal found that he was better than most of his peers at coding as <br>he had already built and written several codes before starting a full-time job<br>. <br><br><br>“Practising real coding in engineering rather than studying theory enhanced my skills. Most people take a few years to get the hang of real coding when they are at their jobs. It takes time to skill yourself. So, it is best to upskill yourself in college itself, especially if you want to be coder or developer,” he says. <br><br>The company built an application used by various recruitment agencies to sort resumes and understand the recruitment process better. Since this was in the pre-SaaS days, the team would have to go and install the app in every single recruitment agency. <br><br>“SaaS has changed all that now. In those days, if you even built a new feature, it would take a while before each client got access to that,” Nischal says. <br><br>Window into global products<br><br>While working at 3I infotech, Nischal signed up to join Twitter. Those were <br>the early days of Twitter in India<br>, and the microblogging platform offered <br>insight into what applications and technologies were being used globally<br>. <br><br><br>As a side project, he decided to start a blog about all the available products and tech. “I was exposed to different technology and products, but started feeling that while what I was building at 3I was great, the problem was that I couldn’t see who the end user was, I couldn’t get feedback, or see them using the product,” Nischal explains. <br><br>He contemplated building a user-facing product, and connected with <br>Burrp Co-founder Anand Jain<br>. Burrp was then a small team building a foodtech-focused, consumer-facing product. Nischal applied for a job at the startup in Mumbai in 2009-2010. <br><br><br>Working on foodtech <br><br>One of the features that Nischal initially built at Burrp was <br>connecting people’s Twitter and Gmail accounts to Burrp<br>. He felt it was important to let users easily share the names of restaurants they liked with their friends. The easiest way to do this was to <br>allow people to import their address book from email<br>. <br><br><br>“It was my first foray into the startup world. Until then, I had just read about startups. Working at a startup is different. I understood how in terms of speed of execution, ideation, and the way things happen. Also, you have the power of complete ownership,” Nischal says. <br><br><br>Starting on the side <br><br>The experience led to a new thought: why not build something of his own? Since he had no entrepreneurial aspirations, <br>Nischal thought of building an app that gave a way to “unfollow people” on Twitter<br>. <br><br><br>“In the early days, Twitter didn’t have a smart chronological thread that a person could see. So if you followed several people, your feed would be bombarded with too many tweets. I had to unfollow many people, but there weren’t many apps that helped me do that. Doing it manually for multiple people was difficult.”  <br><br>Nischal built <br>Just Unfollow<br>, a simple prototype for his personal use. He built on top of the critical API and used Google App Engine. <br>“Today it is commonplace, but in 2009, App Engine was an innovation that said you could take your app from zero to live in no time. That too, without deep infrastructure knowledge,” he says. <br><br><br>The App Engine made it easy for Nischal, who was still at Burrp, to take his code live without much effort. In 2010, he sent the prototype to <br>TechCrunch<br>, and <br>J Michael Arrington<br>, the Founder of the publication, used it. The app was written about in the publication. <br><br><br><br>From Unfollow to Crowdfire <br><br>“On the first day, I had 5,000 people signing up. We <br>eventually renamed Just Unfollow to Crowdfire <br>in 2010,” Nischal says. <br><br><br>Nischal thought that people would stop using Just Unfollow within a few months<br>, but he was proved wrong. <br>The app continued to grow<br>, and in six months of launch, he realised he had to pay a lot from his own pocket to manage the servers. <br><br><br>“I decided to monetise it just to pay the bills. I put a paywall, where if you wanted to unfollow more than ‘x’ number of people, you had to make a payment. Within a month I made more money than I paid for my server,” he says. <br><br>Soon, Nishal realised that this could be his startup. <br>He quit Burrp in February 2010 to focus on Just Unfollow<br>. It was also the time that <br>Startup Chile <br>was launching its first batch, and offered grants to people building their startup out of Chile. <br><br>“I had no location dependency, and Just Unfollow was a global problem. So along with Sameer (Mhatre), who was with me at Burrp, I went to Chile,” Nischal says. Sameer is also the Co-founder at WazirX. <br><br><br>After six months, they came back to Mumbai and started scaling the product. In 2015, the team was still bootstrapped, had seven million users, and over a $1 million in revenue. They soon raised $2.5 million from Kalaari Capital and scaled the startup to 15 million users. <br><br><br>By 2017, Nischal says Crowdfire was hyperscaling and had expanded to add other social platforms like Instagram and started building marketing tools for Twitter and Instagram.<br><br><br>The power of blockchain<br><br>“While we were scaling, we realised that all the founders were engineers, and I started taking interest in growth. I think that helped the company grow further, without venture capital for a long time,” Nischal says. <br><br>By 2017, <br>social media platforms started changing the APIs and Crowdfire had to pivot into a social media management platform<br>. Until then, the company had focused on user acquisition and organic growth. But with monetisation, the organic growth apps were the first to be hit. <br><br><br>“It made me realise that social media would change the rules of the game whenever the companies wanted. This was something that bothered me. The day they realise that this dev.......<br><br><b>Author:Sindhu Kashyaap</b><br><b>Source:https://www.yourstory.com/2020/07/techie-tuesday-wazirx-crypto-startup-nischal-shetty</b>

Mahesh Jayaraman

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Patrick Stewart turns 80: Here are 8 reasons to love him

Patrick Stewart turns 80: Here are 8 reasons to love him

b'Patrick Stewart turned 80 on July 13, and he\'s an interstellar treasure. Happy 80th birthday, Sir Patrick Stewart. The English actor, who hit the big 8-0 on Monday, can look back on a life of impressive work. It includes decades with the Royal Shakespeare Company, voice acting in everything from Family Guy II to The Emoji Movie, video game and commercial work, the role of Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise, and more. He even appears in an iconic meme, with his famous facepalm producing everything from cookies to its own meme generator. But to many, he\'ll always be Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the inspiring and courageous captain of the 24th-century starship, the USS Enterprise. As he turns 80, Stewart\'s not retiring anytime soon. He brought back the beloved character of Picard in Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. (ViacomCBS is CNET\'s parent company.)\xc2\xa0Our review notes that as Picard, Stewart remains "vital and dynamic when he\'s standing up for the good in humanity." And being 80 doesn\'t mean he shies away from new technology. His Sir Pat Stew Twitter account is a must-follow. Check out his birthday gift from Stewart\'s pal Ian McKellen, who delivers a reading of William Shakespeare\'s Sonnet 81, a wistful and sweet meditation about being remembered even after one is gone from this world. Sunny and my team took over for my birthday, and arranged this gift for today\xe2\x80\x99s reading: Sonnet 81 by @IanMcKellen. Thank you, dear Ian. #ASonnetADay pic.twitter.com/VKWTEoLkXb It\'s tough not to fangirl or fanboy about Stewart, but to mark his 80th year, here are eight reasons to love him. Fans don\'t get to see a lot of celebrity friendships play out, but McKellen and Stewart\'s very public relationship is a treasure for the ages. The two Brits met in the 1970s, Us magazine reports, but really got close after co-starring as rivals in the 2000 X-Men movie. Since then, they\'ve continued to work and play together, with McKellen even serving as the officiant for Stewart\'s 2013 wedding. Happy 80th birthday wishes to @IanMcKellen! Sunny and I are grateful for all the love over the years, whether as a dear friend, minister at our wedding, or colleague on screen and stage. PS: @MadameOzell says you look gorgeous in a morning suit. Photo: @vonpamer A post shared by Patrick Stewart (@sirpatstew) on May 25, 2019 at 2:53pm PDT Ian McKellen\'s birthday sonnet to Stewart wasn\'t out of the blue. Stewart has been reading a Shakespearean sonnet every day since March on his social media accounts. Whether you flunked out of English, are a literature professor, or like most of us, are somewhere in between, listening to his rich readings are two-minute daily breaks worth taking. Sonnet 80 arrives on the eve of my 80th birthday. #ASonnetADay pic.twitter.com/iqkUcAXSEM Remember in 2014, when people were dumping buckets of ice water on their heads to promote donations to ALS charities? Stewart, then 74, wisely chose to skip the bucket-dumping, instead silently writing out a check (presumably his ALS donation). Only then did he pull an ice bucket into view -- not to dump it, but to fix himself a drink and raise a toast. Cheers, sir. Stewart\'s portrayed Macbeth and Mark Antony, among other Shakespearean roles. But he\'s not too snooty to laugh at himself. Yes, that\'s his refined voice coming out of the mouth of the poop emoji in 2017\'s The Emoji Movie. It\'s kind of a cheap joke in casting -- get one of the classiest actors out there to voice a swirly piece of poo -- but it\'s still hard not to laugh when he leads his poopy son in a chant of, "We\'re Number Two!" The actor wasn\'t born into a life of ease. He\'s spoken honestly about his abusive father, and how he would wait in fear for him to come home from the pub, inserting his child\'s body in between his dad\'s fists and his mother\'s face. Stewart was able to escape into acting, but hasn\'t forgotten those who aren\'t as lucky. He\'s continued to promote awareness of domestic violence and help for its victims, of all ages. In 2010, Stewart was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. And amid this lifetime honor, he didn\'t forget to credit Cecil Dormand, the English teacher who first pushed him toward acting, saying he owed "literally everything" to the man. "Although many people in my life have had great influence on me, without this man none of it would have happened," the BBC quoted Stewart as saying. It\'s something Picard would have done. Stewart began losing his hair at 19, and reportedly tried hats, combovers and toupees to hide his baldness. Hollywood\'s strict beauty standards don\'t often include hair loss, so it\'s no surprise that Stewart worried he wouldn\'t be cast as Picard unless he wore a wig over his bald pate. But Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry himself told the actor to ditch the wig, and in 1992, a TV Guide poll named Stewart the sexiest man on television. Kirk, Janeway, Sisko, Brooks -- they all have their followers. For a night out on the town, you might have the most fun with ol\' James Tiberius as your drinking buddy. But if you\'re ever in real Star Trek space trouble and the aliens are advancing, or the shields are wavering, it\'s Jean-Luc you want on the bridge.'<br><br><b>Author:Gael Fashingbauer Cooper</b><br><b>Source:https://cnet.com/news/happy-80th-birthday-patrick-stewart-8-reasons-we-love-him/</b>

Md Alam Ansari

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BigCommerce files to go public

BigCommerce files to go public

As expected, BigCommerce has filed to go public. The Austin, Texas, based e-commerce company raised over $200 million while private. The company’s IPO filing lists a $100 million placeholder figure for its IPO raise, giving us directional indication that this IPO will be in the lower, and not upper, nine-figure range.<br>BigCommerce, similar to public market darling Shopify, provides e-commerce services to merchants. Given how enamored public investors are with its Canadian rival, the timing of BigCommerce’s debut is utterly unsurprising and is prima facie intelligent.<br>Of course, we’ll know more when it prices. Today, however, the timing appears fortuitous.<br>The numbers<br>BigCommerce is a SaaS business, meaning that it sells a digital service for a recurring payment. For more on how it derives revenue from customers, head here. For our purposes what matters is that public investors will classify it along with a very popular — today’s trading notwithstanding — market segment.<br>Starting with broad strokes, here’s how the company performed in 2019 compared to 2018, and Q1 2020 in contrast to Q1 2019:<br><br>In 2019, BigCommerce’s revenue grew to $112.1 million, a gain of around 22% from its 2018 result of $91.9 million.<br>In Q1 2020, BigCommerce’s revenue grew to $33.2 million, up around 30% from its Q1 2019 result of $25.6 million.<br><br>BigCommerce didn’t grow too quickly in 2019, but its Q1 2020 expansion pace is much better. BigCommerce will file an S-1/A with more information in Q2 2020, we expect; it can’t go public without sharing more about its recent financial performance.<br>If the company’s revenue growth acceleration continues in the most recent period — bearing in mind that e-commerce as a segment has proven attractive to many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic — BigCommerce’s IPO timing would appear even more intelligent than it did at first blush. Investors love growth acceleration.<br><br>What do investors bidding up tech shares know that the rest of us don’t?<br><br>Moving from revenue growth to revenue quality, BigCommerce’s Q1 2020 gross margins came in at 77.5%, a solid SaaS result. In Q1 2019 its gross margin was 76.8%, a slightly worse figure. Still, improving gross margins are popular as they indicate that future cash flows will grow at a faster clip than revenues, all else held equal.<br>In 2018 BigCommerce lost $38.9 million on a GAAP basis. Its net loss expanded modestly to $42.6 million in 2020, a larger dollar figure in gross terms, but a slimmer percent of its yearly top line. You can read those results however you’d like. In Q1 2020, however, things got better, as the company’s GAAP net loss fell to $4 million from its year-ago Q1 result of $10.5 million.<br>The BigCommerce big commerce business is growing more slowly than I had anticipated, but its overall operational health is better than I expected.<br>A few other notes, before we tear deeper into its S-1 filing tomorrow morning. BigCommerce’s adjusted EBITDA, a metric that gives a distorted, partial view of a company’s profitability, improved along similar lines to its net income, falling from -$9.2 million in Q1 2019 to -$5.7 million in Q1 2020.<br>The company’s cash flow is, akin to its adjusted EBITDA, worse than its net loss figures would have you guess. BigCommerce’s operating activities consumed $10 million in Q1 2020, an improvement from its Q1 2019 operating cash burn of $11.1 million.<br>The company is further in debt than many SaaS companies, but not so far as to be a problem. BigCommerce’s long-term debt, net of its current portion, was just over $69 million at the end of Q1 2020. It’s not a nice figure, per se, but it is one small enough that a good IPO haul could sharply reduce while still providing good amounts of working capital for the business.<br>Investors listed in its IPO document include Revolution, General Catalyst, GGV Capital, and SoftBank.<br><br>High-flying IPOs for Lemonade and Accolade may encourage other unicorns to go public<br><br><b>Author:Alex Wilhelm</b><br><b>Source:https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/13/bigcommerce-files-to-go-public/</b>

Divya Goel

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SoftBank reportedly considering sale or IPO of chip designer Arm

SoftBank reportedly considering sale or IPO of chip designer Arm

b"SoftBank is reportedly considering financial options for chip designer Arm Holdings. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is exploring the possibility of a full or partial sale or IPO of chip designer Arm Holdings, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. SoftBank purchased the UK-based Arm four years ago for nearly $32 billion. ARM isn't as well-known as mega chip companies such as Qualcomm and Intel, but its work lies behind the processors inside many of the world's mobile phones. Apple announced in June that it would overhaul its Mac computers with Arm chips, close cousins to those it designs for its own iPhones and iPads. With the announcement, Apple moved away from the Intel processors it's used for the past 14 years. Arm licenses designs to companies like Qualcomm but also licenses its chip instruction set -- the collection of commands software can use to control it -- to companies like Apple that design their own. Arm's designs are also used as the basis for chips made by Samsung and Nvidia. SoftBank purchased Arm in 2016 with the intent of bolstering its internet of things division. Goldman Sachs is reportedly advising SoftBank on its review of financial options. It wasn't immediately clear how much financial interest the company is generating, and a source told the Journal SoftBank could decide not to pursue any of those options. SoftBank didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Arm declined to comment."<br><br><b>Author:Steven Musil</b><br><b>Source:https://cnet.com/news/softbank-reportedly-considering-sale-or-ipo-of-chip-designer-arm/</b>

Parmeshwar Murmu

1C5OSnMBFOekF3Bl4IFz

These 6 features in iOS 14 will make you love your iPhone more. You'll see why

These 6 features in iOS 14 will make you love your iPhone more. You'll see why

b"iOS 14 is still in preview, but we're already finding features we absolutely love. iPhone\xc2\xa0owners, listen up.\xc2\xa0Apple\xc2\xa0just opened the iOS 14 public beta, which brings a slew of updates that will change how your phone works once\xc2\xa0iOS 14\xc2\xa0comes to iPhones this fall. If you like living on the bleeding edge, you can join the iOS 14 beta and get an early preview of the features right now. The new features include the ability to add\xc2\xa0widgets to your home screen, an Android-like\xc2\xa0app drawer-like feature called App Library, and use iMessage in new ways. Here are six features we think will change the way you use your iPhone, once it makes the jump to iOS 14. Read more:\xc2\xa04 reasons not to install the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 public beta right away Updates coming to the Messages app announced by Apple are primarily focused on group iMessage conversations. What: You can now tag someone in a conversation when you want to get their attention (useful for large groups), and directly reply to a message, creating a thread within your conversation. That'll help get their attention and ensure you'll get a timely response. How: Tagging someone in a group convo should be as simple as typing the @ symbol followed by their name when in the chat. An inline reply is done by long-pressing on a message and selecting Reply. What: Pinning a conversation to the top of your Messages app means you don't have to scroll through the long list of contacts and group conversations to find your favorite contacts. This is especially useful if you have a go-to group, like a family chat or friend chat you talk on every day, or if you're planning a longer-term event like a group watch party. How: You can pin a contact or conversation to the top of your conversation list by swiping to the right across any thread. Pin your favorite contacts or conversations to the top of your Messages app. What: Instead of having to use Google's Translate app on your iPhone, iOS 14 has a baked-in Translate app that will allow you to convert text and even hold conversations with someone who only speaks a different language. You can translate English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian. How: You'll have two options once you open the app. You can type the word or phrase you want translated, or tap on the icon of a microphone on the bottom of the screen to use voice-to-text. \xc2\xa0Once you're done, the app will translate it to your language of choice. This is especially useful if you're asking someone a quick question or want to hear the pronunciation as well. To hold an ongoing conversation, you'll turn the phone to landscape mode and tap on the same mic icon -- you don't have to press and hold. You should be able to close the app by swiping up when you're done using it. We also notice buttons to pause and play. Forget Google Translate, Apple now has its own app. Ever wished that your iPhone had an app drawer like Android? Well, soon, it will. It's called App Library. What: App Library is a new screen that lives just to the right of your last home screen. It auto-arranges all the apps on your phone in folders. The purpose of this feature is to make it easy for you to find all the apps installed on your iPhone. It goes hand in hand with another new home screen feature that lets you hide pages of apps that you infrequently use. How:\xc2\xa0You'll use App Library when you want to open an app that isn't listed on your home screens. To get to it, swipe left (to go right) past the final home screen. You can use it three ways. First, you can glance in the automatically organized folders for the icon you want -- Health & Fitness or Social, for example. At the top of the App Library screen you'll find two folders: Suggestions and Recently Added. Both will automatically update and adjust which apps are in either folder based on how often you use an app and what you've recently installed. You can also search for your app by name in the search field at the top of the screen, or tap to see an alphabetical list of your apps. Here's more information on how to hide home screen pages to make the App Library easier to access. Apple's App Library is similar to an app drawer, but with folders. You no longer have to be envious of your Android-toting friends -- the iPhone can now have widgets on the home screen. That's right. What: Instead of limiting Widgets to the Today View that lives off to the left side of your home screen, you can now add widgets directly to your display, with multiple sizes as an option. There's even a Smart Stack widget that will show you information from multiple apps when it thinks you need it. For example, it can show you the weather widget followed by your calendar widget when you wake up in the morning. How: You can view your widgets in Today View like you always have off to the left side of your main home screen, or you can drag and drop a widget from the Today View to your home screen. Alternatively when editing your app layout, you can tap on the +\xe2\x80\x8c sign in the top-left corner of the screen, bring up the widget gallery and see which widgets you can add to your device. Widgets can be pinned to your home screen and resized to your liking. The iPad ($255 at Back Market) has had the ability to play a video in picture-in-picture mode for a few years now, and it's finally coming to the iPhone. What: Picture in Picture creates a thumbnail image of a video that continues to play even when you're on another app or screen. It'll appear when you want to switch gears to use a different part of the phone, but you don't want to stop the video. How: Whenever you're watching a video in a supported app, like Twitch, and swipe to go back to the home screen, the video will continue to play, just in a smaller window. You can drag PiP around the screen, adjust its size by pinching and zooming and even temporarily hide off the edge of the screen. When you're done, just tap the X to close the video. Oh, and let's not forget -- Picture in Picture, as it's called, also works with FaceTime video calls and these other apps besides. Huzzah! There's so much more Apple announced during WWDC, and we have a roundup of it all. You can install iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 right now, as long as you're a developer. You can keep a FaceTime conversation going in iOS 14 while looking at your schedule, or any other iPhone screen. "<br><br><b>Author:Jason Cipriani</b><br><b>Source:https://cnet.com/how-to/these-6-features-in-ios-14-will-make-you-love-your-iphone-more-youll-see-why/</b>

UTTAM KUMAR

7y5sSnMBFOekF3BlwoEf

Snapchat tests TikTok-style navigation for exploring public content

Snapchat tests TikTok-style navigation for exploring public content

Snapchat could be gearing up to more directly challenge TikTok. The company confirmed it’s testing a new experience that allows users to move through Snapchat’s public content with a vertical swiping motion — a gesture that’s been popularized by TikTok, where it allows users to advance between videos. Snapchat says the feature is one of its experiments in exploring different, immersive visual formats for community content.<br>The test is focused on content that’s published publicly to Snapchat Discover, not your friends’ private Stories. But because Stories can have multiple parts, users will still tap to advance through the Story, as before. But in the new experiment, a horizontal swiping motion — either to the left or right — will exit the experience, instead of moving you between Stories, as before.<br>For anyone who spends much of their time on TikTok, the vertical swipe now feels like a more natural way to move through videos. And it’s almost disorienting to return to Snapchat or other apps where the horizontal swipe is used.<br>This test was first spotted by social media consultant Matt Navarra, citing a post from Twitter user @artb2668. One photo being shared shows the pop-up in the app which explains how to navigate the new experience, while a video gives you an idea for the feel.<br><br><br>There is a video of the update (sorry for the bad quality I record it with my phone) pic.twitter.com/gFZXlMFBBJ<br>— Arthur 🥰 (@artb2668) July 13, 2020<br><br>Snapchat declined to offer specific details about the test, beyond clarifying it’s in the early stages and only viewable by a very small percentage of its user base.<br>“We’re always experimenting with new ways to bring immersive and engaging content to our mobile-first Snapchat community,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.<br>The timing of Snap’s test is interesting, of course.<br>The Trump administration is currently threatening to ban TikTok in the U.S. due to the app’s ties to China and fears that Americans’ private user data will end up in the hands of China’s Communist Party. The app has already been banned in India for similar reasons. On Friday, Amazon instructed its employees to remove the app from their company-issued smartphones, before retracting that demand around five hours later. U.S. military branches have also blocked access to the app, following a Pentagon warning earlier this year. Meanwhile, Musical.ly (the app that became TikTok) has had its acquisition by China’s ByteDance come under a U.S. national security review. <br>Amid the threat of TikTok’s removal, rival social apps have climbed the app store charts, including Byte, Likee, Triller and Dubsmash. Instagram, meanwhile, has been expanding its TikTok-like feature, Reels, to new markets, including India. Even YouTube began testing a TikTok-like experience in recent days.<br>It’s no surprise, then, that Snapchat would want to do the same among its own user base, as well, given that the TikTok U.S. audience could be soon up for grabs.<br>The test also shows how influential TikTok has become in terms of dictating the social app user experience. Where Snapchat once had its concept for short-form Stories stolen by nearly every other social app, including most notably Instagram, it’s now the swipeable TikTok vertical feed that everyone is copying.<br><br><b>Author:Sarah Perez</b><br><b>Source:https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/13/snapchat-tests-tiktok-style-navigation-for-exploring-public-content/</b>

Mayank Singh

9rpOSnMB_V_LWfVU4eAX

Give yourself 1500 amps of jump-start peace of mind for $49

Give yourself 1500 amps of jump-start peace of mind for $49

b"Have you ever had a dead car battery? Unless you have a road service membership, you might be in for an unpleasant and expensive afternoon. Jump-starting your car with jumper cables and another vehicle's car is awkward, sometimes dangerous, and requires access to that other vehicle. A better option? Carry a jump-start battery around in your own car. It's the automotive equivalent of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. Good jump starters start around $50 and rocket up through $200, but I've got a deal here on a well-reviewed battery that usually lists for $80. Right now, you can get the Gooloo 1500A Jump Starter for $49 when you click the coupon on the product page and apply discount code 5AS6L4JQ at checkout. Gooloo says the battery can jump-start cars with up to 8-liter gas engines or 6-liter diesels. Using it is easy: Just plug the included jumper cables into a socket on the battery and then clip them to your car battery -- red to positive, black to negative -- and start the car. After it turns over, disconnect the battery and you're on your way. The battery should hold its charge in storage for at least three months before you need to top it off again, which you can do with the USB-C quick-charge port. If you are wary of jump-starting your car, you'll probably appreciate the various\xc2\xa0 built-in safety protections, such as from over-current, overload, over-voltage, over-charge and high-temperature -- as well as what I consider the single most important feature, reverse polarity protection. That prevents things from going sideways if you connect the clamps to the wrong battery poles. While most jump starters are typically just failsafe batteries you leave in the trunk just in case and never think much about, this one doubles as a 15,000-mAh power bank. You'll find two USB-A ports, which, along with the bi-directional USB-C port, can all be used to charge portable devices. And it has an LED flashlight built in as well. Get all the latest deals delivered to your inbox. It's FREE! CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate\xc2\xa0on Facebook\xc2\xa0and\xc2\xa0Twitter. Find more great buys on the\xc2\xa0CNET Deals page\xc2\xa0and check out our\xc2\xa0CNET Coupons page\xc2\xa0for the latest promo codes from\xc2\xa0Best Buy,\xc2\xa0Walmart,\xc2\xa0Amazon\xc2\xa0and\xc2\xa0more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page."<br><br><b>Author:Dave Johnson</b><br><b>Source:https://cnet.com/roadshow/news/give-yourself-1500-amps-of-jump-start-peace-of-mind-for-49/</b>

Md Imran

5PlOSnMBmG3CfVRx41yS

Fortnite Season 3 challenges and where to find Floating Rings at Lazy Lake

Fortnite Season 3 challenges and where to find Floating Rings at Lazy Lake

b"It's going to be a celebration of freedom on the island this weekend. Fortnite\xc2\xa0is back for its third season and with it, a whole new set of challenges. With the arrival of Splashdown, the popular battle royale game is taking the combat to the water following the\xc2\xa0Doomsday Device event\xc2\xa0on June 18 when the storm took over and flooded the island. As in previous seasons, players can purchase a\xc2\xa0Battle Pass\xc2\xa0to unlock skins, emotes and other cosmetics for 950 V-Bucks, or approximately $9.50. Unlocking the new cosmetics for Fortnite: Season 3 requires completing weekly challenges. Like developer Epic Games did last season with\xc2\xa0Deadpool, there are additional tasks to unlock a special character: Aquaman. The\xc2\xa0Jason Momoa-inspired\xc2\xa0character will be unlockable sometime this season after completing all of the special challenges. Just in time for July 4, Epic teased the most American comic book icon, Captain America. A tweet from the company on Thursday had only the shield, star and fireworks emojis indicating something is coming. \xf0\x9f\x9b\xa1\xef\xb8\x8f\xe2\xad\x90\xf0\x9f\x8e\x86 The Avengers leader showed up in the Fortnite Item Shop Thursday evening. The Captain America skin can be purchased for 2,000 V-Bucks, or $20. This week's Fortnite challenges. Rings have been seen across the island sky recently. Week 3 marks the first challenge making use of them with players needing to grab four of them at Lazy Lake. There are more than four available, and the only real trick to this challenge is grabbing them before other players do. Here are the rest of the week's challenges: Epic began teasing the debut of Captain America in Fortnite on Thursday and released the hero's skin later that evening. With it, there was also a challenge to celebrate the patriotic hero coming to the game as well as the start of the July 4 festivities. This particular task is not part of the weekly challenges. Instead, it's part of the Quick Challenges that change daily. For this challenge, you can find fireworks scattered on the ground around Lazy Lake. When you find one, go up and activate it. It flies into the air and explodes to create a pattern similar to Captain America's shield. When You Shoot A Firework Into The Sky Captain America\xe2\x80\x99s Shield Appears.@SizzyLeaks pic.twitter.com/fqGYoSLvgC Hunky Jason Momoa is yours if you complete the challenges. Like with\xc2\xa0Deadpool in season 2, Aquaman is a character skin available for players who have a Battle Pass and complete all the special challenges. Expect new tasks every week before the DC superhero is unlocked. Week 1 has players use a whirlpool at the Fortilla location. The Fortilla is easy to find at the southwest part of the island, and the whirlpool is simple to locate. Swim to it and let it shoot you into the air. That's it, you're done for this week. For week 2, players will have to ride behind a loot shark at Sweaty Sands. Aquaman week 2 challenge. To start, head to Sweaty Sands on the Western part of the map. Once there, look for a fishing pole. Equip it and look for any sharks in the water. Don't get in the water, as they can kill you. Cast your fishing line near one, and it'll bite down on the line. Once it does, it's going to take off, and you'll have to control it like a boat. After you take it for a little ride, you're done. Week 3's challenge is a real simple one. Players will need to catch two types of fish in a single match. All that's needed for this is to get a fishing pole and go do some fishing. Fortnite is available for\xc2\xa0PC,\xc2\xa0PS4, Android, iOS,\xc2\xa0Xbox One\xc2\xa0and\xc2\xa0Nintendo Switch. "<br><br><b>Author:Oscar Gonzalez</b><br><b>Source:https://cnet.com/news/fortnite-season-3-challenges-and-where-to-find-floating-rings-at-lazy-lake/</b>

Manoj Oraon

77o1SnMB_V_LWfVU0eDV

Mighty Health created a wellness app with older adults top of mind

Mighty Health created a wellness app with older adults top of mind

Virtual classes might make it easier to work out anywhere, anytime, but not for anyone. Mainstream fitness tech often targets the young and fit, in advertisements and cardio-heavy exercises. It effectively excludes aging adults from participating. <br>This gap between mainstream fitness and elders is where Mighty Health, a Y Combinator graduate, comes in.<br>Mighty Health has created a nutrition and fitness wellness app that is tailored to older adults who might have achy hips or joint problems. Today, the San Francisco-based startup has announced it raised $2.8 million in funding by Y Combinator, NextView Ventures, RRE Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital and more.<br>Founder and CEO James Li is the child of immigrants, a detail he says helped him lean into entrepreneurship. He had the idea for Mighty Health after his father was rushed to the hospital for emergency open-heart surgery.<br>“Growing up, we can often think of our parents as invincible — they look after you and take care of you, and you usually don’t worry too much about them,” Li said. His dad survived the surgery, and Li thought about the evolving health needs and limitations of folks over 50 years old. He teamed up with co-founder Dr. Bernard Chang, the youngest-ever ED doctor to receive a top-tier NIH grant and the vice chair of research at Columbia University Medical Center, to create Mighty Health.<br>Mighty Health’s product is focused on three things: live coaching; content focused on nutrition, preventative checkups and workouts; and celebrations that let family members tune into their loved ones’ achievements.<br>The app has inclusivity built into its functionality. Everyday, a user logs in and gets a set of three to five tasks to complete, distributed among nutrition, exercise and workouts. The workouts are pre-recorded videos with trainers that have focused on the over-50 population. Think indoor cardio sets focused on being kinder to joints or lower her impacts.<br>Image Credits: Mighty Health<br>One customer, Elizabeth, is a 56-year-old mother who joined Mighty Health after suffering a cardiac incident. The app got her to start walking 9,000 steps a day, lose weigh, lower cholesterol and, best of all, discover a love for a vegetable she had recently written off: brussels sprouts.<br>Mighty Health’s other core focus, beyond fitness, is nutrition. The app pairs users with a coach to help them create healthy habits around nutrition and lifestyle. The coaching is done through text message. Li says this was intentional because in the early days of Mighty Health, he saw that coaching in-app was difficult for users to navigate.<br>Image Credits: Mighty Health<br>“You have to meet them in the middle where they are,” Li said. The live coaching is also met with phone calls, although 90% of coach interactions are text-message based.<br>The nutrition program also accounts for a diverse user base. Mighty Health chose not to offer or push recipes upon members, unlike a lot of other applications, because all countries and cultures might not find generic recipes accessible.<br>“Instead, we focus on the ingredient level,” he said. “We send them ingredients that they can piece together however they like at home in the way that they cook their cultural meals.”<br>The company offers a free seven-day trail, followed by a membership fee of $20 per month. It’s also having discussions with a number of health insurers to offer Mighty Health as a benefit.<br>With the new capital, the startup hired a few engineers and a designer to build out product integrations with fitness trackers, plus add new content. For now, Li sees his father’s progress with pride.<br>“Though I’m sure he sometimes thinks I just went from nagging him directly to nagging him through my product, he’s been eating healthier and exercising nearly every day,” Li said. So far, his father has lost 25 pounds.<br><br><b>Author:Natasha Mascarenhas</b><br><b>Source:https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/13/mighty-health-created-a-wellness-app-with-older-adults-top-of-mind/</b>

Nikita Johal

rroRSnMB_V_LWfVUj-C5

COVID patients can be overwhelmed with inflammation. Doctors are learning to calm that 'storm'

COVID patients can be overwhelmed with inflammation. Doctors are learning to calm that 'storm'

In the millions of tiny air sacs tasked with absorbing oxygen in Brett Breslow's lungs, the scene was chaos.<br> <br><br><br><br><br> Some of the sacs were swollen with fluid that had leaked from surrounding blood vessels. Others had simply collapsed. The grim result: the Cherry Hill man was starved of oxygen, leading doctors at Cooper University Hospital to put him on a ventilator for 19 days.<br>Breslow was suffering from a massive bout of inflammation—a catch-all description for the damage in many of the sickest patients with COVID-19. In addition to the assault on his lungs, the disease was harming his liver and kidneys, as well as causing him to form abnormal blood clots.<br>"It really attacked every organ in the body," said his wife, Amy.<br>Physicians have known for decades how to treat inflammation. In 1950, the Nobel Prize was given to researchers who found that in people with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation could be calmed with steroids (not the kind used illegally by some athletes, but synthetic versions of a different class of hormones). Later that year, steroids were used to treat asthma, another widespread inflammatory condition.<br>And in June, researchers reported that dexamethasone, an inexpensive, generic steroid, improved the odds of survival for COVID-19 patients on ventilators.<br>But steroids are a brute-force approach. Though inflammation can be harmful, it also is one way the immune system fights off disease. From the start of the pandemic, physicians warned that if steroids were used to tamp down the collateral damage from inflammation, patients might be less able to fight off the initial cause of the problem: the coronavirus.<br>"They are like shotguns," Anita McElroy, a University of Pittsburgh infectious-disease specialist, said of the drugs. "They dampen all the immune response."<br>A new pair of studies from the University of Pennsylvania may offer a roadmap to a more targeted response. Researchers took blood samples from dozens of COVID patients and ran them through a boxy device called a flow cytometer, using laser beams to identify which kinds of immune cells had been activated to fight the disease.<br>The authors measured each patient's B-cells, which, if properly activated, make antibodies to fight the virus. They also measured various kinds of T-cells, including "helper" cells that play a role in marshaling the body's defenses, and "killer" cells, which destroy infected cells before the virus inside them spreads further. All cells were further categorized by molecular signatures that indicated their readiness to fight disease.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>When it was all boiled down, people with COVID seemed to cluster into three broad "immunotypes," said E. John Wherry, director of Penn's Institute for Immunology. Loosely speaking, some patients' immune systems seemed to have overreacted to the virus, while others were slow to react. In a third group, the immune system did not seem to respond much at all.<br>The findings represent a first step toward identifying which patients might need to have certain inflammatory agents calmed down, and which might need other elements of the immune system dialed up, said Wherry, who led one of the studies.<br>"You might want to boost the immune system in a certain way, or you might want to take the edge off it, or shut it down a little bit," he said.<br>A key part of the puzzle might be apparent "perturbations" in what is called the innate immune system: a series of first-responder white blood cells that start fighting disease before more specialized T- and B-cells get to work, said Wherry's Penn colleague Michael R. Betts, who led the other study.<br>"We've identified that there's something going on there," Betts said. "Now we have to figure out what does it mean."<br>Elsewhere, studies already are underway for several of the more-targeted anti-inflammatory drugs—including one called tocilizumab, marketed as Actemra.<br>But long before those studies could yield results, Brett Breslow needed help.<br>A drug cocktail<br>An engineer at Lockheed Martin, Breslow felt moderately ill for more than a week in mid-March. Then, as some other COVID-19 patients have experienced, he took a sudden turn for the worse. At Cooper, the 50-year-old was put in a drug-induced coma and had a breathing tube placed down his throat to deliver more oxygen to his fluid-filled lungs.<br>Three days after he was admitted to the hospital, Breslow's various "markers" of inflammation were elevated, including his levels of ferritin, a type of molecule that stores iron. That can mean two things, said Wherry, who was not involved in his care. Viruses need iron just like the humans they infect, so Breslow's body might have been trying to sequester it from the virus. Elevated iron storage also can be a sign of tissue damage.<br>Breslow got one dose of Actemra on March 23, followed by a second dose on March 28, said his wife, who used her iPhone to take copious notes on his daily progress. To her relief, his inflammation markers started to come down. Yet he stayed on the ventilator for 12 more days.<br>Did Actemra make the difference? Since then, evidence from studies of the drug has been mixed, but some researchers have theorized that it helps only when given to the right subset of patients.<br>Breslow received other drugs as well, including hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by President Donald Trump, and Kaletra, an antiviral drug designed to treat HIV, as his doctors reviewed early evidence from virus hotspots in Italy and China. And because he was suffering from blood clots, the hospital gave him heparin, an anticoagulant.<br>"Basically, they were learning as they went," Amy Breslow said.<br>Some physicians have characterized the inflammatory state of severe COVID patients as being triggered by a "storm" of cytokines: a class of small proteins that serve as alarm signals for the immune system. But others have rejected that term, as overall cytokine levels are not that high in many severe patients.<br>Instead, the culprit could be a modest elevation in certain flavors of cytokines, said Wherry, a professor at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Actemra blocks just one type of cytokine, called interleukin-6.<br>Striking a balance<br>As the research on targeted therapies continues, the broader approach of steroids remains part of the plan for many COVID patients.<br>At Temple University Hospital, steroids have helped hundreds of severely ill COVID patients recover, said pulmonologist Sameep Sehgal.<br>When used judiciously, for a short period at a moderate dose, steroids can keep inflammation in check without suppressing the immune system to the degree that patients cannot fight off infection, he said.<br>"It's a balancing act," Sehgal said. "The more practical question is, does this help save lives, and get patients out of the hospital quicker?"<br>Though Breslow did not get steroids to calm down his inflamed lungs in the hospital, doctors prescribed them to him later to improve function in another organ: his kidneys.<br>His kidneys started to fail while at Cooper, prompting physicians to place him on dialysis. He continued with the filtering treatments afterward, at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia.<br>But his levels of creatinine, a waste product that the kidneys are supposed to remove, remained high, and doctors started talking about a transplant. As a last-ditch measure, one physician suggested that he try taking the steroid prednisone. Within a day or two, his kidney function improved.<br>Breslow has been home in Cherry Hill since May 27, yet is still not back to normal.<br>"It's a long road back," he said.<br>At first, he could barely get up the stairs. A week ago, his lungs looked normal on a chest X-ray. But he still tires easily, and will undergo another test of his lung function on Monday.<br>While the all-out, inflammatory assault of COVID-19 is Breslow's past, its aftereffects remain.<br> <br><br><b>Author:Tom Avril, The Philadelphia Inquirer</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-covid-patients-overwhelmed-inflammation-doctors.html</b>

RIA RATH

ki4RSnMBFOekF3Blj4E1

Adherence to prophylaxis for EGFRi-linked rash beneficial

Adherence to prophylaxis for EGFRi-linked rash beneficial

(HealthDay)—Increasing adherence to evidence-based prophylaxis protocols for epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor (EGFRi)-associated rash can reduce interventions and toxicity-associated chemotherapy interruptions, according to a study published online July 1 in JAMA Dermatology.<br> <br><br><br><br><br>Zizi Yu, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the impact of adherence to prophylaxis guidelines for prevention of EGFRi-associated cutaneous toxic effects. Data were included for 118 patients treated with cetuximab in 2012 (two years after publication of the Skin Toxicity Evaluation Protocol With Panitumumab) and 90 treated with cetuximab in 2017 (two years after full implementation of the Skin Toxicities from Anticancer Therapies program).<br>The researchers found that 25 percent of patients treated in 2012 and 47 percent treated in 2017 were prophylactically treated for skin toxicity at cetuximab initiation. From 2012 to 2017, there were increases noted in preemptive tetracycline use (45 to 71 percent) and topical corticosteroid use (7 to 57 percent), while use of topical antibiotics decreased (79 to 43 percent). The incidence of rash did not differ by prophylaxis status. Compared with those not prescribed prophylactic treatment, patients prescribed prophylactic treatment were less likely to require a first or second rescue treatment for rash (adjusted odds ratios, 0.06 and 0.26, respectively) or to experience a cetuximab dose change or interruption (adjusted odds ratio, 0.21).<br>"The results of this study highlight the value of integrating dermatologic care and education into oncology centers," the authors write.<br>Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.<br> <br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-adherence-prophylaxis-egfri-linked-rash-beneficial.html</b>

RAMDENI YADAV

mvkRSnMBmG3CfVRxjlyr

Staphylococcus aureus virulence tied to atopic dermatitis in infants

Staphylococcus aureus virulence tied to atopic dermatitis in infants

(HealthDay)—Skin colonization by Staphylococcus aureus is associated with the risk for developing atopic dermatitis (AD), and infants who do not develop AD primarily exhibit acquisition of dysfunctional mutations in the S. aureus quorum-sensing system, according to a study published in the July 8 issue of Science Translational Medicine.<br> <br><br><br><br><br>Yuumi Nakamura, M.D., Ph.D., from the Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues performed whole-genome sequencing of S. aureus strains isolated from the cheek skin of 268 Japanese infants at 1 to 6 months old to examine the role in AD development.<br>The researchers found that regardless of AD outcome, about 45 percent of infants were colonized with S. aureus at 1 month. At 6 months of age, skin colonization with S. aureus was associated with an increased risk for developing AD. Strains from 6-month-old infants who did not develop AD primarily exhibited acquisition of dysfunctional mutations in the S. aureus Agr quorum-sensing system. In mice, expression of a functional Agr system in S. aureus was necessary for epidermal colonization and AD-like inflammation induction.<br>"These studies show that retention of agr virulence is associated with increased S. aureus skin colonization and development of AD in Japanese infants," the authors write.<br>One author disclosed financial ties to Boehringer Ingelheim.<br> <br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-staphylococcus-aureus-virulence-tied-atopic.html</b>

Vinay Pandey

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Policy guides medical marijuana use at pediatric hospital

Policy guides medical marijuana use at pediatric hospital

(HealthDay)—Development of institutional policy and clinical support services is beneficial for pediatric hospitals interested in use of medical marijuana (MMJ), according to a special article published online July 13 in Pediatrics.<br> <br><br><br><br><br>Noting that Colorado was one of the first states to legalize MMJ, Amy E. Carver, Pharm.D., from the Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues report on data from the first 50 patients seen at the Children's Hospital of Colorado, which created and evolved its MMJ inpatient use policy and developed a unique consultative service composed of a clinical pharmacist and social worker. The service supports patients and families and primary clinical services in situations in which MMJ is being used or actively considered.<br>The researchers found that 80 percent of the patients had an oncologic diagnosis. Nausea and vomiting, appetite simulation, seizures, and pain were symptoms to be ameliorated by active or potential MMJ use. MMJ use was determined to be potentially unsafe in 64 percent of patients, mainly due to drug-drug interactions. A recommendation was made to avoid MMJ use or adjust its administration schedule in 68 percent of patients.<br>"Creation of a consultative service to advise front-line clinical teams on MMJ use has proven to be a beneficial strategy for consolidation of expertise on this topic at our hospital," the authors write.<br> <br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-policy-medical-marijuana-pediatric-hospital.html</b>

Ankit Tiwari

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COVID-19-related symptoms persist after recovery

COVID-19-related symptoms persist after recovery

(HealthDay)—Most patients who have recovered from COVID-19 report persistence of at least one symptom, according to a research letter published online July 9 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.<br> <br><br><br><br><br>Angelo Carfi, M.D., from Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS in Rome, and colleagues followed up on patients who met World Health Organization criteria for discontinuation of quarantine beginning April 21, 2020. Data were collected on all clinical characteristics, including clinical and pharmacological history, lifestyle factors, vaccination status, and body measurements.<br>Data were included for 143 patients, with a mean age of 56.5 years. The researchers found that 72.7 percent of participants had evidence of interstitial pneumonia during hospitalization. The mean length of hospital stay was 13.5 days; 15 and 5 percent of patients received noninvasive and invasive ventilation, respectively. At the time of evaluation (mean of 60.3 days after onset of the first COVID-19 symptom), only 12.6 percent of patients were completely free of any COVID-19-related symptom; 32 and 55 percent had one or two and three or more symptoms, respectively. No patients had fever or symptoms of acute illness. Among 44.1 percent of patients, worsened quality of life was observed. Overall, 53.1, 43.4, 27.3, and 21.7 percent of patients reported fatigue, dyspnea, joint pain, and chest pain, respectively.<br>"Clinicians and researchers have focused on the acute phase of COVID-19, but continued monitoring after discharge for long-lasting effects is needed," the authors write.<br> <br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-covid-related-symptoms-persist-recovery.html</b>

Maria Omama

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Long-studied protein could be a measure of traumatic brain injury

Long-studied protein could be a measure of traumatic brain injury

Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research (WRAIR) have recently demonstrated that cathepsin B, a well-studied protein important to brain development and function, can be used as biomarker, or indicator of severity, for traumatic brain injury.<br> <br><br><br><br><br> Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or brain trauma results from blows to the head, leading to life-changing disruption of the brain and a cascade of long-term health conditions. A leading cause of disability and death worldwide, TBI may occur due to an open-skull injury, like a gunshot wound, a fall, or an automobile accident. Athletes, the elderly, children, and military service members are particularly vulnerable.<br>Biomarkers are a source of great interest to researchers due to their potential to dramatically improve both the diagnosis and categorization of severity of TBI. Furthermore, they have the potential to validate treatment strategies by indicating whether drugs have reached their proposed targets and achieved therapeutic benefits.<br>In their publication in the Journal of Neurotrauma, the researchers showed that levels of cathepsin B were increased in areas of the injured brain relevant to controlling the senses, language, memory and other critical executive functions. In healthy cells, cathepsin B has a range of roles, including helping to eliminate damaged cells, maintaining metabolic homeostasis, and degrading improperly produced proteins. When the level of cathepsin B is not tightly controlled, it is linked to inflammation and tissue death. This publication reports the first results demonstrating the ability to use cathepsin B as a blood-based biomarker to capable of identifying TBI severity within different brain regions as well as cerebral spinal fluid.<br>"Biomarker tests that accurately reflect the extent and severity of injury can dramatically improve the standard of care, minimizing the need for resource-intensive diagnostics like CT or MRI scans in favor of more portable tests," said Dr. Angela Boutte, lead author and section chief of molecular biology and proteomics within the Brain Trauma Neuroprotection Branch at WRAIR. "This would allow for early, accurate detection of TBI, whether at the side of the road after an accident or, most importantly, on the battlefield to help guide medical decisions."<br>Future research is planned to further characterize the role of cathepsin B in TBI.<br> <br><br><b>Author:Walter Reed Army Institute of Research</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-long-studied-protein-traumatic-brain-injury.html</b>

Naveen Kaka

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Perceiving the flavor of fat: A Monell Center twins study

Perceiving the flavor of fat: A Monell Center twins study

Most people would agree that the pleasure of some foods stems in part from its fat content. New research, led by the Monell Chemical Senses Center, has now found that liking of fatty food is more complex than its fat content alone—it could also be related to inborn genetic traits of the consumer related to fat perception. The team published their findings in Chemical Senses.<br> <br><br><br><br><br> "Person-to-person diversity in the positive perception of fattiness derives partially from an individual's genetic make-up," said senior author Danielle Reed, Ph.D., Monell Associate Director. "How the taste, smell, and flavor of food and drink affect liking, and therefore the amount and type of food consumed, ultimately affects human health."<br>The team tested adult identical and fraternal twins in 2018 who attended the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, OH. "We asked the participants to rate low- and high-fat potato chips and report on how fatty they tasted and how much they liked them," said Reed. Participants also spit into a tube so their DNA could be extracted. Their genotype was determined at hundreds of thousands of locations in their genome.<br>Many previous studies using model solutions for greater experimental control have tried to link perception to liking but often failed to translate their data to real foods, noted co-author John Hayes, Ph.D., a Professor of Food Science at the Pennsylvania State University. This study added a real food—potato chips—to the experiment's design to overcome this limitation.<br>Genetically identical twins were more similar in their pattern of liking for the high- and low-fat potato chips compared with the fraternal twins. By comparing the taste-test results from other pairs of twins with similar genotype, the team identified two specific gene variants that correlated with the twins' ratings of liking. Neither of these genes has been previously tied to the perception of fattiness.<br>Although fat is nearly universally liked in foods, some people may be born with the genetic tendency to prefer foods higher or lower in fat. The team's next steps, including understanding how universal these genetic influences might be, will be to test people worldwide and with different types of fat in many different foods, such as pizza, muffins, and ice-cream.<br>Flavor is only one of many factors that drive everyday food choices, including cost, availability, and health. "Most people assume more liking drives more intake, but decades of research tell us the reverse is true—we avoid what we don't like," said Hayes. "I may love bacon, but if I listen to my cardiologist, I'm still not going to eat it every morning."<br> <br><br><b>Author:Monell Chemical Senses Center</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-flavor-fat-monell-center-twins.html</b>

Monika Nagar

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Study finds cancer mortality rate disparity based on hospital ratings

Study finds cancer mortality rate disparity based on hospital ratings

A new paper in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum, published by Oxford University Press, finds that the mortality rates for complex cancer procedures differ greatly between one-star hospitals (10.4%) and five-star hospitals (6.4%).<br> <br><br><br><br><br> The safety of complex cancer surgeries varies widely across hospitals in the United States, with as much as a four-fold difference in hospital mortality rates, volume of patients, hospital experience, and surgeon training. Researchers have previously suggested that a large-scale shift of patients away from high-risk hospitals could meaningfully reduce mortality rates for complex cancer surgeries. Yet there are numerous challenges to matching patients with hospitals that are best suited to perform a specific procedure. In particular, hospital volumes and surgery-specific performance data are not readily available to patients and providers.<br>Researchers examined the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' "Star Rating" system, which serves as a guide for patients to compare the quality of each hospital's care (one-star = lowest to five-star= highest). This system is based on 62 measurements (e.g. mortality, readmissions, patient experience), but is not specific to any medical operation or patient population. Despite this fact, researchers found that the ratings correlate with quality and safety across many patient care scenarios, including the risk of mortality after complex cancer surgery.<br>A total of 105,823 patients underwent complex cancer procedures at 3,146 hospitals between 2013 and 2016. Eligible patients were over 65 years old with a diagnosis of cancer of the lung, colon, stomach, esophagus, or pancreas. This group captures an estimated 80% of all high-risk cancer surgeries.<br>The mortality rating over a 90-day period correlated with the star system, with the greatest difference observed between the 1-star (10.4%) and 5-star (6.4%) hospitals. However, these rates varied by surgery type.<br>These findings are consistent with prior studies that have found that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' star rating system correlates with surgical mortality. And yet, the overall effectiveness of this system in choosing hospitals for complex cancer surgeries appears to be modest (84 lives per year), relative to other proposed strategies.<br>"For complex cancer care, choosing the right hospital may be as important as choosing the right treatment.," said Daniel Boffa. "In order for patients to select the best hospital for their situation, they need access to understandable information regarding the safety and quality of hospital care. Unfortunately, the CMS star-rating system, while clear and easy to access, does not appear to distinguish the safest from the least safe hospitals with enough separation to reliably guide cancer patient choice for complex surgical care."<br> <br><br><b>Author:Oxford University Press</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-cancer-mortality-disparity-based-hospital.html</b>

Avinash Kumar

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Getting your protein from plants a recipe for longevity

Getting your protein from plants a recipe for longevity

(HealthDay)—Swapping out tofu for your morning eggs or using beans instead of ground beef in your chili could help you live longer, a new study reports.<br> <br><br><br><br><br> Getting your daily protein from plants instead of animals appears to reduce your overall risk of early death, researchers found.<br>Every 3% of a person's daily energy intake coming from plant protein instead of animal protein reduced a person's risk of premature death by 10%, the results showed.<br>The results were particularly strong when people swapped plant protein for eggs (24% lower risk in men and 21% lower risk in women) or red meat (13% lower risk in men, 15% in women).<br>Taking red meat out of your diet can be beneficial, but only if you swap for a healthy substitute, said lead researcher Jiaqi Huang, a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.<br>"For example, replacement of 3% energy from egg protein or red meat protein with plant protein such as whole grains or cereals resulted in a protective association for overall mortality," Huang said. "On the other hand, replacement of 3% energy from egg protein or red meat protein with other foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages may or may not result in a reduction in mortality."<br>For this study, Huang's team analyzed dietary data from more than 237,000 men and 179,000 women gathered between 1995 and 2011 as part of a long-term study on eating patterns and health.<br>Protein made up about 15% of people's daily diet, with 40% coming from plants and 60% from animals, the researchers found.<br>During 16 years of follow-up, a pattern emerged where plant protein intake appeared to reduce risk of early death. Every 10 grams of plant-for-animal protein swapping per 1,000 calories resulted in a 12% lower risk of death for men and 14% for women, the findings showed.<br>According to senior researcher Dr. Demetrius Albanes, a senior investigator with the cancer institute, "Our data provide evidence to support the favorable role for plant-based diets in the prevention of cardiovascular disease mortality, and that modifications in choices of protein sources may influence health outcomes and longevity." <br><br><br><br><br><br><br>There are many reasons why choosing plant protein over animal protein could help extend your life, the researchers and experts said.<br>Meat protein tends to come with higher levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and other nutrients that aren't very good for your health, said Connie Diekman, a food and nutrition consultant in St. Louis and a past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.<br>"For example, one ounce of red meat mixed with whole wheat pasta and veggies would provide much less saturated fat than a 9-ounce steak," Diekman said.<br>On the other hand, plant proteins come with loads of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, said Kayla Jaeckel, a registered dietitian and diabetes care manager with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.<br>The researchers also added that there might be something specific about the amino acids formed from the breakdown of animal-based protein that could cause arteries to grow harder or inflammation to occur. Animal protein also could affect the health of people's gut bacteria.<br>One weakness of the study is that it relied on people's memories, as they were asked to remember what they'd eaten and fill out a questionnaire, Diekman said.<br>"This provides a glimpse at diet intake but doesn't show patterns, and patterns are key," Diekman said. "Combining an egg with brown rice and veggies provides a very different nutrient intake than eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy."<br>These findings also run counter to other recent studies that have shown eggs are healthier than folks believed for decades, Jaeckel said.<br>"I think eggs can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. I wouldn't want eggs to be painted in a negative light, because I feel like there's always been flip-flopping with them," Jaeckel added.<br>Diekman said, "My take on the study, and what I would tell clients, is that evidence continues to grow to support the importance of consuming more plant foods and less animal foods, while also boosting vegetable, whole grain and fruit intake. We can enjoy our favorite, heavy egg or meat dish but probably not every day, and preferably in balance with lots of plant foods."<br>The report was published online July 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine.<br> <br><br><b>Author:Dennis Thompson, Healthday Reporter</b><br><b>Source:https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-protein-recipe-longevity.html</b>

ROHIT KUMAR PASWAN

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