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Archive for October 3, 2013

Caramel Chicken


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2½ pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken legs and thighs

Kosher salt

8 garlic cloves, peeled

⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar

¼ cup (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar

2 slices ¼”-thick slices peeled ginger

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Cooked white rice (for serving)



Heat oil in a large wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and, working in 2 batches, cook until golden brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Add garlic to pot and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken. Pour off fat from pot.

Return pot to medium-high heat and add ½ cup water, scraping up browned bits. Add brown sugar; stir to dissolve, then cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color, about 4 minutes. Carefully add vinegar (it may bubble up; sugar will crystallize); stir to dissolve sugar.

Add ginger, broth, and soy sauce, then add chicken, skin side up, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Bring cooking liquid to a boil and cook until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to pot; turn to coat. Top with scallions and serve with rice.

via Caramel Chicken – Bon Appétit.

Adobe working on an iPad app for presentations called ‘Ginger’

Adobe is currently testing a new presentation app for the iPad similar in purpose to PowerPoint and Keynote, via CNET. The project is currently called Ginger. Although details are sparse, it seems to be focused on the creation of sales pitches and what Adobe calls “explainer videos”. Adobe has said that the app is in the beta stage of development, but is yet to confirm whether the app will ever be publicly released.

On Ginger’s minisite, there are a few demos of what the app could create.

The ‘presentations’ seem to consist of an animated series of big silhouettes, to be narrated with voice and a backing soundtrack. As shown in the screenshot above, it appears that the app is not trying to be a replacement for traditional presentation apps, but it definitely competes with it. Assumedly, Adobe is trying to avoid complexity by limiting users to one format of presentation in order to make the app itself straightforward and intuitive to use.

Microsoft is supposedly bringing PowerPoint to the iPad next year, and Apple is set to announce a new version of iWork for iOS and the Mac by the end of the year. Even so, Ginger could easily carve out a slice of the market for itself by focusing on this ‘hero image’ style shown above, rather than emulating a desktop presentation app entirely, thereby distinguishing itself from the incumbent players.

via Adobe working on an iPad app for presentations called ‘Ginger’ | 9to5Mac.

Cambridge baby brain research unit opens at the Rosie Hospital

Much of the equipment is portable so babies can be monitored in their cots


A new centre dedicated to studying brain development in newborn babies and assessing those at risk of brain damage has officially opened in Cambridge.

The Evelyn Perinatal Imaging Centre, at the Rosie Hospital, is equipped with non-invasive optical imaging scanners, research facilities and a laboratory.

The centre’s Dr Topun Austin said the unit could help babies deprived of oxygen or blood flow during delivery.

“These infants can experience lifelong neurological problems,” he said.

“These facilities help us identify babies at risk of long-term brain injury and better understand how they respond to different treatments,” Dr Austin, a consultant neonatologist at the Rosie, added.

‘At-risk babies’

“To date we’ve been very good at looking at what the brain looks like in terms of structural brain imaging.

“This new centre is about trying to understand how the brain works… as well as what it looks like.”

The centre is close to the maternity hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, birthing suites and postnatal wards. As much of the equipment is portable, staff can monitor sick babies at their bedside, rather than moving them to another unit.

“The goal is to identify those infants who are most vulnerable of injury and problems later in life, and also look at the response to treatments we’re developing on the intensive care unit and see how those treatments affect brain development,” Dr Austin said.

“By getting a handle on how the brain is working, we’ll be better able to predict those babies who are most at risk.”

The centre was funded by a grant from the Evelyn Trust, a charity which supports medical research and healthcare in Cambridgeshire.

via BBC News – Cambridge baby brain research unit opens at the Rosie Hospital.

GP care in England ‘faces funds catastrophe amid cuts’

Dr Clare Gerada: “The front door of the NHS is the GP surgery, if that gives, the rest of the NHS will give very rapidly”


The GP system in England is facing a “catastrophe” because of cuts in funding, doctors’ leaders are warning.

Analysis by the Royal College of GPs suggests that over the past three years, investment in general practice has fallen by £400m in real terms.

That is equivalent to a 7% cut in spending per patient, it says.

The government said it was providing new funding to help under-pressure GPs, but Labour said the figures showed ministers’ promises had not been kept.

As GPs gather in Harrogate for the royal college’s annual conference, its chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said the cuts meant doctors were being required to do more work with fewer resources, damaging services for patients.

The warning comes in the week ministers said they wanted to extend GP surgeries’ opening hours.

On Tuesday, the prime minister said he wanted more patients to be able to get help in the evenings and at weekends, as he set out details of a £50m pilot programme in nine areas of England to widen access.

But the college said the analysis – based on official data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre – showed the government was taking money away from GPs despite claiming it wanted to move care away from hospitals.

‘Increasing workloads’

In 2012-13, £8.5bn was invested in general practice, when everything from spending on pay, IT, tests and drugs was taken into account, it said.

Are patients being hit?

In many ways it is hard to measure what effect the cuts cited by the RCGP might be having.

The most obvious measure of judging performance used to be through the 48-hour target for waiting for an appointment. But this was scrapped by the coalition.

The Patients Association has consistently said the feedback it gets flags longer waits as an issue.

The RCGP also says it is getting harder to keep extra services going; such as dieticians and talking therapies.

Some of the biggest cuts have been among these ‘enhanced services’ – and in longer opening hours, the very thing ministers were talking about extending earlier this week.

For a government that makes a big play of protecting the NHS budget, it raises some tricky questions.

That compared with £8.3bn in 2009-10, which is the equivalent of £8.9bn in 2012-13 prices.

In terms of spending per patient, that represents a fall from £168.40 a year to £156.45 – a drop of 7%.

Dr Gerada also pointed out that the investment represented 9% of the entire NHS budget, even though GPs had 90% of the contacts with patients.

She said: “Our figures should send out a warning to government and the rest of the NHS that we will soon have a catastrophe on our hands if urgent action is not taken to reverse the decline in funding.

“GPs are keen to do more for their patients, but we are heaving under the pressure of ever-increasing workloads and diminishing resources.

“Some of us are routinely working 11-hour days with up to 60 patient contacts in a single day and this is not safe or sustainable.

“You do not want a tired GP seeing you. You do not want a tired GP any more than you want a tired pilot or a tired surgeon.”

‘Tipping point’

Dr Gerada also expressed concern about the season ahead and said general practice was close to reaching a “tipping point” which would see the profession “fall over”.

“We’re trying to squeeze more and more activity out of a smaller and smaller pot of money,” she added.

“If we have a cold winter, I’m really afraid that patients will suffer considerably.

We’re very frightened that there is a tsunami of work coming out, without the resources”

Dr John CromptonGP

“The front door of the NHS is the GP’s surgery. If that gives, the rest of the NHS will give and very rapidly.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to address the conference on Thursday afternoon.

Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy said: “This chimes with what patients are saying to us. They are finding it harder to access GPs both in and out of hours.

“The mantra is about moving care out of hospitals and into the community, but if we are going to achieve that we have to stop throwing money at hospitals and invest in GPs so they can provide quality care.”

‘Tsunami of work’

Dr John Crompton, a GP in Yorkshire for more than 20 years, believes doctors are struggling to cope with the demands of an ageing population.

He said: “People now don’t just have one condition, they have several conditions, and also obviously getting on to getting increasing memory problems and frailty in old age.

“We’re very frightened that there is a tsunami of work coming out, without the resources.”

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: “These figures are embarrassing for a prime minister who got elected on a promise not to cut the NHS.

“They make a mockery of yet more promises he has made on GP access this week and show he simply can’t be trusted on the NHS.”

But a Department of Health spokeswoman said it knew GPs were “under pressure to do more with tight budgets”.

“That’s why this week we announced a £50m fund for GPs who want to pioneer new ways of working, to help make the best use of their time.”

via BBC News – GP care in England ‘faces funds catastrophe amid cuts’.

IT system problems fixed in Glasgow health board area

Maternity and emergency services have not been affected by the IT problem


Scotland’s largest health board has said its IT system is working again after a two-day crash saw hundreds of appointments and procedures cancelled.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it still does not know what caused the problem which affected 11 hospitals.

The health board said no patient information had been lost and data gathered during the crash would be manually added to update the system.

All patients with appointments on Thursday should attend as normal.

The computer system crash meant that 599 outpatient appointments were postponed along with 62 planned inpatient procedures and day cases and 48 chemotherapy patient treatments.

‘Unreserved apology’

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) chief executive Robert Calderwood reiterated his “unreserved apology” to patients and said those affected would be given new appointments.

“Although 709 patient episodes have had to be postponed our staff were able to see some 10,000 patients using manual back up systems,” he said.

Our IT teams and our external experts are continuing to run full diagnostic checks to try and understand exactly what caused the problem in the first place”


“I can also report today that some of the patients affected have already been re-appointed and will be seen in the next few days.

“Arrangements are now being made to ensure that all the other patients affected will be offered a re-appointment as quickly as is possible.”

Mr Calderwood said the “unprecedented” systems crash related to the health board’s computer network and the way staff connected to clinical and administrative systems.

“The situation is that as users log on they go through a system called Microsoft Active Directory, a router system which recognises users and allows individual access to our clinical and administrative support systems,” he explained.

“This was corrupted over the weekend which became apparent when staff logged on to the system on Tuesday after the holiday weekend.”

Although the problem has been resolved, NHS GGC still does not know what caused it.

A statement from the health board said: “The platform on which NHS GGC’s IT systems are built are in common with most large organisations in the UK and indeed the world.

Cause ‘unknown’

“At this stage it remains unknown what exactly caused this problem to occur and this is one of the major issues and we continue to work closely with Microsoft to get to the root of the problem.”

The statement said: “Our IT teams and our external experts are continuing to run full diagnostic checks to try and understand exactly what caused the problem in the first place.”

“NHS GGC IT teams working in collaboration with international experts from our suppliers at Microsoft and Charteris will continue to closely monitor the situation as clinical staff begin their work today.”

BBC Scotland understands that the IT systems crash affected patients with appointments at 11 hospitals. These were:

  • New Victoria Hospital
  • Victoria Infirmary
  • Vale of Leven
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital
  • Inverclyde Royal Hospital
  • Gartnavel
  • Stobhill
  • Glasgow Royal Infirmary
  • Southern General Hospital
  • Western Infirmary
  • The Royal Hospital for Sick Children

Maternity and emergency services were maintained throughout the crash.

via BBC News – IT system problems fixed in Glasgow health board area.

Exercise ‘can be as good as pills’

Short, regular bouts of exercise could add years to your life, say experts


Exercise can be as good a medicine as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease, a study has found.

The work in the British Medical Journal(BMJ) looked at hundreds of trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death.

Physical activity rivalled some heart drugs and outperformed stroke medicine.

The findings suggest exercise should be added to prescriptions, say the researchers.

Experts stressed that patients should not ditch their drugs for exercise – rather, they should use both in tandem.

Prescriptions rise

Too few adults currently get enough exercise. Only a third of people in England do the recommended 2.5 hours or more of moderate-intensity activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.

In contrast, prescription drug rates continue to rise.

There were an average of 17.7 prescriptions for every person in England in 2010, compared with 11.2 in 2000.

For the study, scientists based at the London School of Economics, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine trawled medical literature to find any research that compared exercise with pills as a therapy.

They identified 305 trials to include in their analysis. These trials looked at managing conditions such as existing heart disease, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and pre-diabetes.

When they studied the data as a whole, they found exercise and drugs were comparable in terms of death rates.

But there were two exceptions.

Drugs called diuretics were the clear winner for heart failure patients, while exercise was best for stroke patients in terms of life expectancy.

Health benefits

Doing exercise regularly:

  • Can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%
  • Can lower your risk of early death by up to 30%
  • Can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy as well as keep weight off
  • Moderate activity, such as cycling or fast walking, gives your heart and lungs a work-out

Source: NHS Choices

Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said that although an active lifestyle brings many health benefits, there is not enough evidence to draw any firm conclusions about the merit of exercise above and beyond drugs.

“Medicines are an extremely important part of the treatment of many heart conditions and people on prescribed drugs should keep taking their vital meds. If you have a heart condition or have been told you’re at high risk of heart disease, talk to your doctor about the role that exercise can play in your treatment.”

Dr Peter Coleman of the Stroke Association said exercise alongside drugs had a vital role that merited more research.

“We would like to see more research into the long-term benefits of exercise for stroke patients.

“By taking important steps, such as regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and stopping smoking, people can significantly reduce their risk of stroke.”

“Moderate physical activity, for example, can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 27%.”

via BBC News – Exercise ‘can be as good as pills’.

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via 治糖尿病古老偏方 試試喝秋葵水 | 20130914 | 華人健康網.

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