Bolthouse Farms Voluntarily Recalls Protein Beverages Due to Possible Spoilage

Bolthouse Farms is voluntarily recalling a selection of protein drinks due to possible spoilage that may cause the beverages to appear lumpy, taste unpleasant and have an off odor.

These products should not be consumed. The issue was identified after the company received consumer complaints, including reports of illness. The cause of this issue is currently under investigation.

The recall includes Protein PLUS shakes with ‘best by’ dates between 6/20/16 to 9/18/16:

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION UPC CODE
Protein PLUS Chocolate 325ml/11 oz 0-71464-01868-9
Protein PLUS Chocolate 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-30650-2
Protein PLUS Chocolate 946ml/32oz 0-71464-30651-9
Protein PLUS Vanilla Bean 325ml / 11 oz 0-71464-01867-2
Protein PLUS Vanilla Bean 15.2 oz 0-71464-01639-5
Protein PLUS Vanilla Bean 32 oz 0-71464-01640-1
Protein PLUS Coffee 325ml / 11 oz 0-71464-01869-6
Protein PLUS Coffee 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01627-2
Protein PLUS Coffee 946ml/32oz 0-71464-01628-9
Protein PLUS Coconut 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01892-4
Protein PLUS Strawberry 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01890-0
Protein PLUS Strawberry 946ml/32oz 0-71464-01891-7
Protein PLUS Banana Honey Almond Butter 325ml/11 oz 0-71464-01918-1
Protein PLUS Banana Honey Almond Butter 450ml/15.2 oz 0-71464-01893-1

The recall also affects the following Mocha Cappuccino products.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION DATE CODE UPC CODE
Mocha Cappuccino Perfectly Protein 450ml/15.2oz Best by: 9/2/16 0-71464-30051-7
Mocha Cappuccino Perfectly Protein 946ml/32oz Best by: 8/2/16 and 8/3/16 0-71464-30050-0

The best by dates are printed on the cap and label at the neck of the bottle and the UPC appears on the bar code.

The recall affects 3.8 million bottles that have been distributed nationally in the United States.

Bolthouse Farms is advising people not to drink these beverages and return them to the store where purchased for a full refund. For more information call 1-866-535-3774 between 6:00am to 7:00pm PST, Monday to Friday or visit Facebook/BolthouseFarms.

Bolthouse Farms apologizes for the inconvenience.

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Mouse brains manipulated via electrical circuits and drugs

DURHAM, N.C. — By combining super-fine electrodes and tiny amounts of a very specific drug, Duke University researchers have singled out a circuit in mouse brains and taken control of it to dial an animal’s mood up and down.

Stress-susceptible animals that behaved as if they were depressed or anxious were restored to relatively normal behavior by tweaking the system, according to a study appearing in the July 20 issue of Neuron.

“If you ‘turn the volume up’ on animals that hadn’t experienced stress, they start normal and then they have a problem,” said lead researcher Kafui Dzirasa, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and neurobiology. “But in the animals that had experienced stress and didn’t do well with it, you had to turn their volume up to get them back to normal. It looked like stress had turned the volume down.”

The circuit the team identified and altered is a connection the prefrontal cortex uses to keep time for the limbic system, which governs emotions and basic drives. To regulate mood, the prefrontal cortex acts as a pacemaker to coordinate the actions of the amygdala, which governs stress responses, and the ventral tegmental area, which plays a role in the brain’s reward circuitry.

“These subcortical circuits are the key regulators of our emotional life,” said Helen Mayberg, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and radiology at Emory University who was not involved in this research. “What’s great about this paper is that they use different approaches to see a circuit that’s relevant to a lot of disorders,” said Mayberg, who has been pioneering deep-brain stimulation of very specific sites in the human prefrontal cortex to treat mood disorders.

The emerging picture from this study and others is of a brain built of multi-part circuits that respond in concert and regulate one another. Specificity in understanding these circuits is going to be key to resolving different disorders, Dzirasa said.

“The prefrontal cortex is not just a blob of cells,” Mayberg said. “These findings give insight into which cells go to which area and allow researchers to kind of choreograph their actions.”

Dzirasa is an M.D. just finishing his residency in psychiatry and a Ph.D. neuroscientist with an engineering background. Postdoctoral researcher and first author Rainbo Hultman is a biochemist.

In addition to overcoming the challenges of understanding each other, they asked, “Could we go from a protein, to a signaling activity, to a cell, to a circuit, to this big activity that happens across the whole brain, to actual behavior?” Hultman said.

“Illness can happen at any one of these levels,” said Dzirasa, who is also a member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

The team started by precisely placing arrays of 32 electrodes in four brain areas of the mice. Then they recorded brain activity as these mice were subjected to a stressful situation called chronic social defeat. This allowed them to see activity between the prefrontal cortex and three areas of the limbic system that are implicated in major depression.

To interpret the complicated data coming from the electrodes, the neuroscientists then turned to Duke colleagues David Dunson of statistical science and Lawrence Carin of electrical engineering, who specialize in statistical analysis of noisy data to find important patterns. Using machine learning algorithms, they identified which parts of the data seemed to be the timing control signal between the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala and zeroed in on the individual neurons involved in that circuit.

“They came back with, ‘It’s this clock signature here that is responsible for which mice become susceptible to stress and which become resilient,'” Dzirasa said.

Hultman then turned to engineered molecules called DREADD developed by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pharmacologist Bryan Roth. These Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drug are very specific signal receptors that can be incorporated into the neural circuit’s control spots in very tiny amounts (0.5 microliter). A drug that attaches only to that DREADD is then administered to give the researchers control over the circuit.

This new combination of electronics and drugs to intervene in an individual brain circuit might be used to create mouse models of other mood disorders for other studies, Dzirasa said. But Emory’s Mayberg cautions that a mouse brain is not a human brain and to assess anything like “mood” in a mouse, one can only infer from its behaviors. “It’s hard to do, even in a human,” she said.

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This work was supported by funding from National Institutes of Mental Health grants R37MH073853 and R01MH099192, and a research incubator award from the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

CITATION: “Dysregulation of Prefrontal Cortex-Mediated Slow-Evolving Limbic Dynamics Drives Stress-Induced Emotional Pathology,” Rainbo Hultman, Stephen D. Mague, Qiang Li, Brittany M. Katz, Nadine Michel, Lizhen Lin, Joyce Wang, Lisa K. David, Cameron Blount, Rithi Chandy, David Carlson, Kyle Ulrich, Lawrence Carin, David Dunson, Sunil Kumar, Karl Deisseroth, Scott D. Moore, and Kafui Dzirasa. Neuron, July 20, 2016 (online June 23, 2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.038

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Posted in Antidepressants, Human Behavior: Anxiety, Human Behavior: Stress, Mental Health: Depression | Leave a comment

Monkeys get more selective with age

As people get older, they become choosier about how they spend their time and with whom they spend it. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 23 find, based on a series of experimental and behavioral studies, that similar changes take place in Barbary macaques. The findings offer an evolutionary perspective on why aging humans behave as they do, according to the researchers.

“An important psychological theory suggests that humans become more socially selective when they know that their remaining life time is limited, such as in old age,” says Laura Almeling of the German Primate Center in Göttingen, Germany. “We assume that monkeys are not aware of their own limited future time. Therefore, if they show similar motivational changes in old age, their selectivity cannot be attributed to their knowledge about a limited future time. Instead, we should entertain the possibility that similar physiological changes in aging monkeys and humans contribute to increased selectivity.”

The researchers investigated Barbary macaques’ selectivity regarding their interest in the nonsocial and social environment in a large sample of more than 100 monkeys of different ages kept in the enclosure “La Forêt des Singes” in Rocamadour.

To assess monkeys’ curiosity to explore new things, the researchers presented them with novel objects such as animal toys, a cube filled with colorful plastic pieces in a viscose liquid, and an opaque tube closed with soft tissue at both ends and baited with a food reward. By early adulthood, the monkeys had lost interest in the novel objects. Only the tube containing food held interest for all but the oldest monkeys.

To study their social interests, the researchers showed the monkeys photographs of newborn monkeys, “friends” and “non-friends” and played recorded screams of “friends” and “non-friends.” They also observed how often and how long monkeys interacted with each other. They found that the aging monkeys maintained a keen interest in other monkeys, especially when the other monkey was a socially important individual. Older females continued to make vocalizations in response to interactions of group members in their vicinity, such as infant handlings or conflicts. However, older females engaged in fewer social interactions, although other group members continued to invest in relationships with them.

“With increasing age, the monkeys became more selective in their social interactions,” Almeling says. “They had fewer ‘friends’ and invested less in social interactions. Interestingly, however, they were still interested in what was going on in their social world.”

“Older females continued to respond particularly strongly to hearing a scream for help from their best friend,” Almeling adds. “Older males still looked preferentially at pictures of the newborns”, she says, noting that Barbary macaque males use infants as status symbols.

Overall, the studies suggest that, just like humans, monkeys become more selective as they age: they select social over non-social information, and they are more selective regarding their social interactions. However, the reduced social behavior is not due to a general loss of interest in others. “Changes in social behavior in monkeys and humans may occur in the absence of a limited time perspective and are most likely deeply rooted in primate evolution,” concludes Alexandra Freund from the University of Zurich, who was also involved in the study.

Julia Fischer, principal investigator of the study, suggests that “older monkeys might spend less time socializing because they find social interactions increasingly stressful and therefore avoid them.” She says they will explore these issues and changes in the monkeys’ cognitive performance in future studies.

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The authors acknowledge support by the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation.

Current Biology, Almeling et al.: “Motivational Shifts in Aging Monkeys and the Origins of Social Selectivity” http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(16)30460-2

Current Biology (@CurrentBiology), published by Cell Press, is a bimonthly journal that features papers across all areas of biology. Current Biology strives to foster communication across fields of biology, both by publishing important findings of general interest and through highly accessible front matter for non-specialists. Visit: http://www.cell.com/current-biology. To receive Cell Press media alerts, contact press@cell.com.

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Some viruses could survive on children’s toys for hours and cause infection, study finds

ATLANTA–Certain viruses, such as influenza, could survive on children’s toys long enough to result in exposures, placing children at risk for getting infectious diseases, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

The researchers tested how long an enveloped virus could survive on pieces of a flexible plastic children’s toy, a squeaking frog. They were able to recover infectious virions (complete viral particles) from the toy up to 24 hours after the toy’s contamination at 60 percent relative humidity, and up to 10 hours at 40 percent relative humidity.

These findings show enveloped viruses could survive on toys long enough to result in exposures. Enveloped viruses have a protective outer layer that may help them survive and infect other cells. Examples of such viruses include influenza and Coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The study is published online in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

“People don’t really think about getting viruses from inanimate objects,” said lead author Richard Bearden II, who holds a master of science degree in biology from Georgia State. “They think about getting them from other people. Children are vulnerable to contracting infectious disease because they put their hands and foreign objects in their mouths, and their immune systems aren’t fully developed.”

Toys may be an important channel for the transmission of viral diseases among children. Previous studies have found viral contamination of shared toys in daycares, doctor’s offices and homes. In particular, toys in common play areas in healthcare settings have been implicated as vehicles for outbreaks of viral illness.

However, it has remained unknown how long enveloped viruses can survive on inanimate objects, making it difficult to assess the potential risk of infection and design effective control measures, such as disinfection. This study investigated how long it takes for an enveloped virus to become inactive on the surface of a children’s toy at typical indoor temperatures and relative humidity levels.

For the study, researchers used an enveloped bacteriophage, a virus that infects bacteria, to model what the survival of viruses that infect humans may look like. They placed the virus on the toy in controlled humidity environments at 22 degrees Celsius at either 40 percent or 60 percent relative humidity.

Over a 24-hour period, one percent of the virus remained infectious on the toy at 60-percent relative humidity, showing a 99-percent reduction in the number of infectious viruses.

“It’s likely the research team could have retrieved infectious virions beyond 24 hours,” Bearden said.

The virus was less stable at 40-percent relative humidity, which is more common in indoor environments. In the first two hours, 0.01 percent of the virus remained, showing a 99.9-percent reduction in the number of infectious viruses. Researchers were able to recover 0.0001 percent of the infectious virus at 10 hours.

Still, if any virus remains, there’s a risk that children could become ill. Indoor relative humidity can vary based on where a person lives, so it’s important to concentrate on preventing the spread of disease, Bearden said.

“I think the main focus should be for parents, daycare facilities, doctor’s offices and other places where children share toys to implement some type of strategy for decontamination to make sure those toys aren’t a reservoir for disease,” he said.

For instance, toys that are shared should be decontaminated often. Household bleach is among the best cleaning solutions. Eliminating toys from waiting rooms in healthcare settings is also recommended. A decontamination plan could also include door handles, elevator buttons and other commonly shared surfaces, Bearden said.

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Lisa Casanova, assistant professor in the School of Public Health at Georgia State, was a corresponding author of the paper.

The study was funded by a Georgia State University Research Initiation Grant.

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Posted in Bacterial Infections, Health Care: Medical Errors: Hospital Caused Infections, Infections, Infectious Diseases, Infectious Diseases: Chicken Pox, Infectious Diseases: Flu | Leave a comment

Why Women (Sometimes) Don’t Help Other Women

It’s not because they’re inherently harsher leaders than men, but because they often respond to sexism by trying to distance themselves from other women.

There are two dominant cultural ideas about the role women play in helping other women advance at work, and they are seemingly at odds: the Righteous Woman and the Queen Bee.

The Righteous Woman is an ideal, a belief that women have a distinct moral obligation to have one another’s backs. This kind of sentiment is best typified by Madeleine Albright’s now famous quote, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” The basic idea is that since all women experience sexism, they should be more attuned to the gendered barriers that other women face. In turn, this heightened awareness should lead women to foster alliances and actively support one another. If women don’t help each other, this is an even worse form of betrayal than those committed by men. And hence, the special place in hell reserved for those women.

The Queen Bee belief, on the other hand, argues that in reality women just can’t get along.

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Posted in Human Behavior: Gender Differences, Women's Health | Leave a comment

Depression decreases adherence to COPD maintenance medications

A recent study in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society found that in a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries who were newly diagnosed with COPD, adherence to maintenance medications decreased with new episodes of depression.

“With a prevalence of 17 to 44 percent, depression remains one of the most common, yet least recognized and under-treated, co-morbidities among patients with COPD,” said researcher Linda Simoni-Wastila, BSPharm, MSPH, PhD, a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore. “While depression has been associated with reduced maintenance medication use in other chronic conditions, this is the first study to document the role of causality of concomitant depression on reduced COPD medication adherence in older adults with COPD.”

In the study, “Adherence to Maintenance Medications Among Older Adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The Role of Depression,” researchers obtained Medicare administrative claims data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Chronic Condition Data Warehouse and assessed a five percent random sample of Medicare beneficiaries (average age 68 years) from 2006?2012. This included beneficiaries with two years of continuous Medicare Parts A, B and D coverage, and at least two prescription fills for inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting ß-agonists and long-acting anticholinergics.

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Posted in COPD, Health Care: Therapy Non-adherence, Mental Health: Depression | Leave a comment