first_imgSinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has criticised the Government over their failure to introduce legislation for the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy services.Deputy Pearse DohertyThe Donegal TD says the absence of regulation within the sector is putting already vulnerable patients in danger of exploitation.Deputy Doherty’s comments come after he recently raised the issue of the lack of adequate safeguards for people undergoing both counselling and psychotherapy with Health Minister Leo Varadkar in the Dáil. “Currently under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005, neither those working as Psychotherapists or as Counsellors are regulated: this means that in effect training standards and qualifications of practitioners within the industry is extremely varied.”“In fact, there is much confusion amongst the general public about the functions and competencies of individuals working with the mental health services: confusion which is made all the worse by the huge range of titles used by industry professionals to define their specialisation.”“The professional associations in counselling and psychotherapy would generally favour the establishment of statutory regulation however there are no shared national educational standards for programmes of Higher Education in counselling and psychotherapy, with institutions offering programmes from Levels 6 to 9 as per the National Framework of Qualifications – meaning that the standards and qualification obtained by those pursuing different courses in psychotherapy and counselling can vary greatly.”“The absence of such regulation is extremely worrying as there is nothing in place stopping someone who has perhaps completed a few weeks’ study from gaining a diploma in a particular area and then going on to counsel vulnerable people with very serious ailments.” “The Government continues to claim that it is committed to introducing such legislation, yet the Minister revealed in the Dáil when I recently raised this matter with him that the matter remains at an ‘early stage of consideration’ and consultation with industry professionals and other stakeholders and – unsurprisingly – he failed to give a clear time frame as to when he expected legislation to be introduced.”“It’s extremely troubling to think that some of the most vulnerable people in our society are not being protected from possible exploitation by those ill-qualified to provide the care and help which they so desperately need.”“How can any government claim that it is committed to resolving such an atrocious situation and yet after more than four years in power fail to deliver the statutory instruments which are so desperately required?”DOHERTY BLASTS GOVT’S FAILURE TO REGULATE COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES was last modified: June 30th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgFor 30 years, researchers have struggled to determine which immune responses best foil HIV, information that has guided the design of AIDS vaccines and other prevention approaches. Now, a research team has shown that a lab-made molecule that mimics an antibody from our immune system may have more protective power than anything the body produces, keeping four monkeys free of HIV infection despite injection of large doses of the virus. Intensive hunts are under way for natural HIV antibodies that can stop—or “neutralize”—the many variants of the constantly mutating AIDS virus. Researchers have recently found several dozen broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that are highly potent and work at low doses. But viral immunologist Michael Farzan of the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, and 33 co-workers have recently taken a different strategy, building a novel molecule based on our knowledge of how HIV infects cells. HIV infects white blood cells by sequentially attaching to two receptors on their surfaces. First, HIV’s own surface protein, gp120, docks on the cell’s CD4 receptor. This attachment twists gp120 such that it exposes a region on the virus that can attach to the second cellular receptor, CCR5. The new construct combines a piece of CD4 with a smidgen of CCR5 and attaches both receptors to a piece of an antibody. In essence, the AIDS virus locks onto the construct, dubbed eCD4-Ig, as though it were attaching to a cell and thus is neutralized.In test-tube experiments, eCD4-Ig outperformed all known natural HIV antibodies at stopping the virus from infecting cells, Farzan’s team reports in this week’s issue of Nature. To test how it works in animals, they then put a gene for eCD4-Ig into a harmless virus and infected four monkeys; the virus forces the monkey’s cells to mass produce the construct. When they “challenged” these monkeys and four controls with successively higher doses of an AIDS virus for up to 34 weeks, none of the animals that received eCD4-Ig became infected, whereas all of the untreated ones did.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The new study ups the ante on a similar gene therapy approach with natural antibodies that 6 years ago showed promise in monkey experiments, says an accompanying Nature editorial by AIDS vaccine researcher Nancy Haigwood of Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton. “I am a huge fan of this paper,” Haigwood says. “It’s really very creative and a breakthrough as far as I am concerned.” Pediatrician Philip Johnson of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, whose lab in 2009 showed success with a gene therapy that delivers an HIV bNAb, adds that eCD4-Ig “is a beautiful thing.”Building on work by Johnson’s group, Farzan’s team stitched the gene for eCD4-Ig into an adeno-associated virus (AAV) that is harmless to humans. Those viruses, injected into monkey muscles, continued to produce eCD4-Ig for the 40 weeks of the experiment. “Everyone expects with AAV that this can go on forever,” Farzan says. The animals had no detectable immune response against the eCD4-Ig, presumably because it is so similar to pieces of their own cells.Not everyone is convinced that eCD4-Ig will ultimately work better than natural HIV antibodies. Virologist David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate based at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is working with a group developing its own AAV gene therapy that delivers an HIV bNAb. He describes the eCD4-Ig chimera and the paper as “impressive” and says he welcomes this new approach. But Baltimore, who like Johnson has already moved into early phase human trials with his gene therapy, notes that the new work offers only test-tube and animal data. “It’s perhaps a better construct than the antibodies we’ve been using, but it’s a matter of how it plays out in human trials,” Baltimore says. “I don’t think it’s easy to tell how that will happen.”Johnson agrees that eCD4-Ig may not work as well as bNAbs in humans, but also says the natural antibodies, even if they have less potency and breadth, may be powerful enough to stop HIV. “How good is good enough?” Johnson asks. “Nobody has a clue about that. The only way you would know really is to do a bake-off in a human trial.”Farzan says in theory at least, it will be harder for the virus to mutate its way around eCD4-Ig than a bNAb, because HIV needs to bind to CD4 and CCR5. Whether any of these gene therapies will prove safe and practical remains to be seen. Farzan, for his part, has more experiments planned before moving into humans. “We need to do a lot more monkey studies to see if there’s anything weird,” he says.last_img read more

first_imgSuperintendent Ed Graff discusses budget amendments due to $16.7 million funding cut. Hillman/KSKADownload AudioThe Anchorage School District plans to cut 57 currently-filled positions next year because of a $16.7 million funding cut from the state legislature.Superintendent Ed Graff presented the cuts to the media Thursday afternoon. They include 37 classroom teachers, 12 literacy coaches, and all of the pilot programs focused on early learning and updating science teaching tools.Graff says they didn’t want to eliminate anything. “But when you get to this point of $17 million that you have to cut on top of the reductions that we already had to address the prior years, there’s no way around it. It’s going to have an impact on everything we do.” Especially students.The school board must vote on the cuts on Monday even though the state’s budget has not been signed by the governor. They are required to inform tenured teachers about layoffs by May 15 and other staff by the end of the school year.The revised budget also eliminates the 20 new positions the board added into next year’s budget to reinstate middle school elective teacher team planning time as well as three maintenance positions, supplies, and technology upgrades.“So we’re going to have to reverse all of those things we planned for, and prepared for, and the students expected, and the community expected. We need to figure all of that out. We’re moving in the wrong direction.”They will maintain the sports programs and instructional support for English Language Learners and Special Education.ASD also plans to go forward with the school renovations funded by the recently approved school bonds, despite confusion over whether or not it will be partially reimbursed by the state. State Attorney General Craig Richards recently wrote a letter to the governor saying the bill passed by the legislature that ends school bond reimbursement is retroactive. That means no bonds passed after January 1, 2015 will be reimbursed even though the law doesn’t take effect until 90 days after it’s signed.Graff says the district does not interpret the law that way and is still seeking reimbursement.last_img read more