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Can Obesity and Stress Influence Appetite? New Johns Hopkins Study Shows It’s All In Your Head

In a series of experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity across networks in the brain, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers looked at how stress might increase appetite in obese and lean adults.

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Newswise — In a series of experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity across networks in the brain, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers looked at how stress might increase appetite in obese and lean adults. The researchers found that stress impacts the brain’s responses to food, and that both lean and obese adults react to food cues in areas of the brain associated with reward and cognitive control.

The findings of the study were published Sept. 28 in PLOS ONE.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 29 adults (16 women and 13 men), 17 of whom had obesity and 12 of whom were lean. Participants completed two fMRI scans, one following a combined social and physiological stress test.

Participants were given a food word reactivity test during both scans. This test involved looking at how people’s brains reacted to food words, such as menu items on a chalkboard. To maximize the appetitive response in the brain, the researchers asked participants to imagine how each food looked, smelled and tasted, and how it would feel to eat it at that moment. They were also asked how much they wanted each food, and if they felt they should not eat that food, to see how they approached decision-making related to each food.

“The experiments showed that obese and lean adults differ somewhat in their brain responses, with obese adults showing less activation of cognitive control regions to food words, especially to high-calorie foods, like for example, grilled cheese,” says lead researcher Susan Carnell, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The study also showed that stress impacts brain responses to food. For example, obese individuals showed greater activation of the orbitofrontal cortex, a brain reward region, after the stress test. “We also found evidence for links between the subjective stress experienced and brain responses in both groups. For example, lean individuals who reported higher stress following the test showed lower activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a key brain area for cognitive control,” says Carnell.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine 

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Putting Jobs First: California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

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California High-Speed Rail construction site with workers in hardhats.
Artistic rendering of a CAHSR high-speed train running in the Central Valley. California High-Speed Rail.

In a significant milestone for the nation’s first high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced that it has successfully created over 13,000 construction jobs since 2015. This accomplishment not only signifies progress for the ambitious high-speed rail system but also highlights the positive impact it has had on the local Californian workforce.

California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

Central Valley Takes the Lead:
With over 70 percent of these jobs going to residents of California’s Central Valley, the project has played a vital role in providing employment opportunities for individuals in the region. It is worth acknowledging the efforts of nearly 1,400 workers dispatched each day to various high-speed rail construction sites. These jobs have injected economic vitality and growth into communities across the Central Valley.

Regional Breakdown:

  1. Fresno County: 4,222 jobs
  2. Kern County: 2,538 jobs
  3. Tulare County: 1,282 jobs
  4. Madera County: 580 jobs
  5. Kings County: 462 jobs
  6. Merced County: 189 jobs
  7. Remaining California Counties: 3,387 jobs
  8. Out-of-State: 369 jobs

A Decade of Strong Partnerships:
The Authority has had a longstanding partnership with the California State Building Trades, which has facilitated the creation of thousands of good-paying union jobs. Notably, during the past five years alone, over 10,000 construction positions have been generated through these collaborative efforts. Moreover, a significant focus has been placed on directing employment opportunities towards individuals from disadvantaged communities, further promoting inclusivity and economic upliftment.

California Jobs First Council:
To bolster job creation even further and ensure economic prosperity for all Californians, the California Jobs First Council was established. This council aims to align economic resources, expedite job creation, and enhance opportunities throughout the state. With particular focus on the Central San Joaquin Valley, this initiative serves as an impetus for creating more jobs, rapidly, in every community.

Future Expansion and Construction Progress:
Looking ahead, the Authority is resolute in extending the current 119-mile high-speed rail network to span 171 miles, reaching from Merced to Bakersfield. The construction has already commenced on this expansion project. Presently, more than 25 dynamic construction sites are active within the Central Valley. As a testament to its commitment to environmental stewardship, the Authority has obtained full environmental clearance for 422 miles of the high-speed rail program, stretching from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

Stay Updated:
For the latest developments and information about the high-speed rail construction, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the official website: www.buildhsr.com. On the website, visitors can access recent videos, animations, photographs, press center resources, and the latest renderings of the project. All files are available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s achievement of surpassing 13,000 construction jobs is undoubtedly a cause for celebration. By focusing on job creation and prioritizing the local workforce, this landmark project is making a positive difference in the lives of Californians, particularly those in the Central Valley. With continued progress and future expansions, the California High-Speed Rail project not only brings efficient transportation but also provides a substantial economic boost that benefits communities and individuals alike.

https://hsr.ca.gov/2024/03/19/putting-jobs-first-california-high-speed-rail-crosses-13000-construction-jobs-milestone/

Source: California High-Speed Rail Authority

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13k+ jobs created! 🚄 California High-Speed Rail breaking records and boosting the economy! jobs infrastructure https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

♬ original sound – STMDailyNews – STMDailyNews

What is California High-Speed Rail?

The California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) is a state-funded project led by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Currently under construction, Phase 1 is planned to cover 494 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles, passing through the Central Valley. There are plans for Phase 2, which would extend the system to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 776 miles. Authorized by a 2008 ballot, this ambitious project aims to connect major urban areas, significantly reducing travel times. The goal for Phase 1 is to achieve a travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a vast improvement from the existing Amtrak service, which takes around nine hours.

Construction of Phase 1 began in the Central Valley back in 2015. The project is being built in sections due to limited funding. The state aims to complete a 171-mile (275 km) long Initial Operating Segment (IOS) connecting Merced and Bakersfield by 2024. The IOS is expected to begin its revenue service as a self-contained high-speed rail system between 2030-2033, at an estimated cost of $28–35 billion. CAHSR trains running along this section would be the fastest in the Americas, with a top speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).

Between January 2015 and December 2023, a whopping amount of $11.2 billion was spent on the IOS project, which includes 119 miles (192 km) currently under construction, alongside upgrades to the existing rail lines in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles. The plan is that Phase 1 will share tracks with conventional passenger trains. However, the Authority has not yet secured funding to connect the Central Valley section with either the Bay Area or Los Angeles, which involves crossing several major mountain passes. As of 2024, it is estimated that Phase 1 will cost a total of $106.2 billion.n.

Supporters of the California High-Speed Rail project emphasize the potential benefits it offers, including the reduction of air traffic and highway congestion, decreased pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and the promotion of economic growth by connecting inland regions to coastal cities. However, opponents argue that the project is too expensive and advocate for directing funds to other transportation or infrastructure initiatives. The choice of route and the decision to initiate construction in the Central Valley, rather than more densely populated areas, have been points of contention. The project has encountered notable challenges such as delays and cost overruns due to management issues, legal disputes, and a lack of complete funding commitment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail#

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

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Community Fundraiser Hosted by CFC in Support of Infertility Awareness Week

Canadian Fertility Consulting and Fertility Matters Canada Unite for Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser

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TORONTO (Newswire.com) – Canadian Fertility Consulting is proud to announce a Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser in support of Infertility Awareness Week, scheduled for April 28, 2024. This event aims to raise awareness about infertility issues while supporting Fertility Matters Canada, a national charity dedicated to assisting those struggling with fertility challenges.

The virtual paint night will be led by the talented Jenny Hughes of Oceanside Art Studios, offering participants the opportunity to unleash their creativity while supporting a meaningful cause. Taking part is simple – join from the comfort of your home via Microsoft Teams, and we will provide all the necessary paint materials, conveniently shipped directly to your door.

“We are thrilled to host this virtual paint night fundraiser to support Infertility Awareness Week and Fertility Matters Canada,” said Janet Harbick, Administrative Specialist at Canadian Fertility Consulting. “It’s an opportunity for our community to come together, express themselves artistically, and raise vital funds for a cause that impacts so many lives.”

Participants are encouraged to register by April 12, 2024, to ensure timely delivery of the paint supplies. Registration and payment are required to secure your spot in this event.

The theme for the evening is to paint a beautiful hatching embryo, with each participant adding their own unique interpretation. No prior painting experience is necessary, as guidance will be provided throughout the virtual session.

Infertility affects one in six Canadians, leading many to explore alternative paths to parenthood. Statistics show that 40% of infertility cases are attributed to female factors, 30% to male factors, and 30% to joint infertility or remain unexplained. Additionally, various factors such as sexual orientation, genetic diseases, gynecological issues, and career considerations contribute to the complexity of infertility challenges faced by individuals and couples across every demographic and economic group.

Canadian Fertility Consulting is Canada’s largest surrogacy and egg donation agency, committed to assisting couples and individuals in their journey to parenthood. With a mission to build families with love, we provide guidance and support throughout the process of exploring alternative methods of family building.

Join us for a night of creativity and compassion as we come together to support Infertility Awareness Week and Fertility Matters Canada. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by infertility.

For more information and to register for the Virtual Paint Night Fundraiser, visit Paint Night Event Registration.

About Canadian Fertility Consulting:

Canadian Fertility Consulting is Canada’s largest surrogacy and egg donation agency, dedicated to helping couples and individuals navigate the challenges of infertility. With a focus on compassion and support, we assist in building families through surrogacy and egg donation arrangements.

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SPACEMOB Expands Reach Into Sports Programming, Live Events

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan., April 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — SPACEMOB, the global media company focused on distributing streaming content and FAST channels, is gearing up for an exhilarating year of sports entertainment. With an eye on the future, SPACEMOB is poised to revolutionize the streaming landscape with its pioneering approach to sports programming.

In the coming year, SPACEMOB will have an array of groundbreaking sports entertainment initiatives, including exclusive partnerships and live events. As the convergence of streaming and sports continues, SPACEMOB is at the forefront of this dynamic shift.

Recent projections indicate a significant rise in the number of US viewers streaming sports events, with estimates surpassing 90 million by 2025. This substantial increase underscores the growing demand for accessible and engaging sports content in the digital age.

Over the past few years, the fusion of major sports and streaming platforms has become increasingly prevalent. Notable examples include:

  • NFL Thursday Night games on Amazon Prime
  • WWE Raw migrating to Netflix
  • MLS games on AppleTV

In addition to the streaming platforms zeroing in on live sports, advertisers are keen on the opportunity as well, with The Trade Desk’s 2024 CTV Report declaring ‘this is the year of streaming live sports’ and citing that forty-nine percent of advertisers plan to increase their budget for programmatic live sports in 2024.

SPACEMOB is embracing the trends and has formed exclusive partnerships with two esteemed sports entertainment brands The Harlem Globetrotters and Monster Jam. Additionally, SPACEMOB has secured exclusive distribution partnerships for FAST Channels featuring professional pickleball on PickleTV, classic wrestling from the Savoldi wrestling archive and Ultimate Classic Wrestling, and Major Arena Soccer League action.

Moreover, SPACEMOB is ramping up its live sports programming, offering viewers an unparalleled experience with events like Tuesday Night Pickleball, a variety of MASL season matches, and live broadcasts from Globetrotters and Monster Jam events throughout the year.

Since 2020, SPACEMOB has witnessed an extraordinary trajectory in streaming. It boasts five active channels, three in development and more than 2,500 titles of TV programming that collectively had viewership reaching nearly 1.5 billion minutes in 2023. The implications of these partnerships are profound, with the potential to reshape the landscape of sports entertainment in streaming and offer fans unprecedented access to their favorite sports and events.

About SPACEMOB
SPACEMOB is a global media company – built in the age of streaming-with a focus on creating original content, distribution, and FAST channel development. For inquiries, please contact: Danielle Bourassa Head of Distribution and Partnerships danielle@space-mob.com

SOURCE SPACEMOB

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