A Quick Nap

We spend around 10% of our waking hours with our eyes shut.

And while it’s commonly thought that we blink to keep our eyes lubricated, it seems a lot of the time it’s because our brains need a little nap.

New research suggests that the human brain uses that tiny moment of shut-eye to power down.

Blink and you'll miss it: Scientists find that blinking is a chance for our brains to power down
Blink and you’ll miss it: Scientists find that blinking is a chance for our brains to power down

Researchers from Japan’s Osaka University found that the mental break can last  anywhere from a split second to a few seconds before attention is fully  restored.

Scans that track the ebb and flow of blood within the brain revealed that regions associated with paying close attention momentarily go offline.

The brain then goes into a ‘default mode  network’, or idle setting.

The same setting is engaged when our attention is not required by a cognitive task such as reading or speaking and our thoughts wander freely.

Mini nap: blinking allows the brain to go into idle mode
Mini nap: blinking allows the brain to go into idle  mode

During this mode we tend to contemplate our feelings; we wonder what a friend meant by a recent comment; we consider something we did last week, or imagine what we’ll do tomorrow.

While listening to another person or reading, that usually comes at the end of a sentence and while watching a film, we’re most likely to blink when an actor leaves the scene or when the camera shifts.

Most of us take between 15 and 20 such moments of downtime per minute.

The new research, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, studied 20 healthy young subjects in a brain scanner as they watched snippets from the British comedy Mr. Bean.

When subjects blinked, the researchers detected a momentary stand-down within the brain’s visual cortex and somatosensory cortex — both involved with processing visual stimuli – and in areas that govern attention.

Separate studies on blinking have shown  that  while telling a lie, people have been found to blink less.

In the seconds after telling a lie, however,  the liar will blink far more frequently than a truth-teller.

Attribution: Mail Online

Cure for Deafness

Drug could reverse ‘permanent’ deafness by regenerating hair cells in inner ear

A potential cure for permanent deafness has  been found by scientists using a drug that stimulates the inner  ear.

The drug, codenamed LY411575, triggers the regeneration of sensory hair cells.

Until now it has not been possible to restore the cells once they have been lost due to factors such as loud noise exposure,  infection and toxic drugs.

This type of deafness, often suffered by rock  musicians and DJs, is generally assumed to be irreversible.

Too loud? Scientists are developing a drug to reverse damage caused by loud noises
Too loud? Scientists are developing a drug to reverse  damage caused by loud noises

Scientists succeeded in partially restoring hearing to mice that had been deafened by loud noise.

Although the research is at an early stage,  they believe it could lead to effective treatments for acute noise-induced deafness in humans.

The tiny sensory hairs in the cochlea are vital to hearing. Sound vibrations transferred from the eardrum shake the hairs, causing nerve messages to be fired to the brain.

Without the hairs, the hearing pathway is  blocked and no signals are received by the brain’s auditory  centre.

While birds and fish are capable of regenerating sound-sensing hair cells, mammals are not.

Close-up: Tiny inner ear hairs are essential for hearing
Close-up: Tiny inner ear hairs are essential for  hearing

The new approach involves reprogramming inner  ear cells by inhibiting a protein called Notch.

Previous laboratory research had shown that  Notch signals help prevent stem cells in the cochlea transforming themselves  into new sensory hair cells.

The drug LY411575 suppresses Notch. Mice with noise-induced hearing loss generated functioning sensory hair cells after the  drug was injected into their damaged cochleas.

Lead researcher Dr Albert Edge, from Harvard  Medical School in the US, said: ‘We show that hair cells can be regenerated from the surrounding cells in the cochlea.

‘These cells, called supporting cells,  transdifferentiate into hair cells after inhibition of the Notch signalling  pathway, and the new hair cell generation results in a recovery of hearing in  the region of the cochlea where the new hair cells appear.

‘The significance of this study is that  hearing loss is a huge problem affecting 250 million worldwide.’

Hearing loss is a problem affecting 250 million worldwide
Hearing loss is a problem affecting 250 million  worldwide

Details of the study are reported in the journal Neuron.

A green fluorescent protein was used to label  the newly generated hair cells.

Electronic measurements of auditory brainstem responses confirmed that three months after treatment, lost hair cells had been replaced and were working.

Improvement in hearing was seen over a wide range of frequencies.

Dr Edge added: ‘The missing hair cells had been replaced by new hair cells after the drug treatment, and analysis of their location allowed us to correlate the improvement in hearing to the areas where the hair cells were replaced.

‘We’re excited about these results because  they are a step forward in the biology of regeneration and prove that mammalian  hair cells have the capacity to regenerate.

‘With more research, we think that regeneration of hair cells opens the door to potential therapeutic applications  in deafness.’

Vivienne Michael, chief executive of the charity Deafness Research UK, said: ‘As always, we have to be cautious about new research findings but this US research is extremely encouraging.

‘At the moment there is no way of reversing eight in 10 cases of hearing loss, including noise-induced deafness and the progressive deafness so many of us experience as we age – hearing aids are the only answer.

Attribution: Mail Online

Killer T Cell

No, it’s not the name of a rap artist.

Scientists have created cells capable of killing cancer for the first time.

The dramatic breakthrough was made by researchers in Japan who created cancer-specific killer T cells.

They say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapy.

Scientists have created cells capable of killing cancer for the first time. Pictured: microscopic cells being cultured to kill cancerScientists have created cells capable of killing cancer  for the first time. Pictured: microscopic cells being cultured to kill  cancer

The cells naturally occur in small numbers,  but it is hoped injecting huge quantities back into a patient could turbo-charge the immune system.

Researchers at the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology revealed they have succeeded for the first time in creating cancer-specific, immune system cells called killer T lymphocytes.

To create these, the team first had to reprogram T lymphocytes specialized in killing a certain type of cancer, into another type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells  (iPS cells).

These iPS cells then generated fully active, cancer-specific T lymphocytes.killer-t-cell

These lymphocytes regenerated from iPS cells  could potentially serve as cancer therapy in the future.

Previous research has shown that killer T  lymphocytes produced in the lab using conventional methods are inefficient in  killing cancer cells mainly because they have a very short life-span, which  limits their use as treatment for cancer.

To overcome the problems, the Japanese researchers, led by Hiroshi Kawamoto reprogrammed mature human killer T lymphocytes into iPS cells and investigated how these cells differentiate.

The team induced killer T lymphocytes  specific for a certain type of skin cancer to reprogram into iPS cells by exposing the lymphocytes to the ‘Yamanaka factors’ – a group of  compounds that induce cells to revert back to a non-specialized, stage.

Japanese researchers who created cancer-specific killer T cells (pictured) say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapyJapanese researchers who created cancer-specific killer  T cells (pictured) say the development paves the way for the cells being  directly injected into cancer patients for therapy

The iPS cells obtained were then grown in the lab and induced to differentiate into killer T lymphocytes again. This new batch of T lymphocytes was shown to be specific for the same type of skin cancer as the original lymphocytes.

They maintained the genetic reorganisation, enabling them to express the cancer-specific receptor on their surface. The new T lymphocytes were also shown to be active and to produce an anti-tumor compound.

Doctor Kawamoto said: ‘We have succeeded in the expansion of antigen-specific T cells by making iPS cells and differentiating them back into functional T cells.

‘The next step will be to test whether these T cells can selectively kill tumor cells but not other cells in the body. If  they do, these cells might be directly injected into patients for therapy. This could be realized in the not-so-distant future.’

The findings were published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, King’s College London, said: ‘The study tackled a novel, quite interesting approach to cell based therapy, something that we do not usually hear about.

‘Although this approach requires further verification and a lot of work needs to be done before we can think about clinical trials, the initial data are promising.

‘This pioneering work definitely provides a strong foundation to build and expand our knowledge about new opportunities in cell based therapy and personalized medicine.’

Attribution: Daily Mail

Enough is Enough

by: the Common Constitutionalist

America is in trouble. The country has been overrun. Congress should get involved in passing legislation to limit the sale, ownership and usage of this scourge. If Congress drags their feet, perhaps the President might sign an executive order.

Of course, I’m speaking of… Perfume. There ought to be a law against the abuse of perfume. Just Say NoFragrance vendors in every store are just waiting to accost the unsuspecting passerby with their chemical weapons. They rarely give one a chance to “Just Say No”. It happened to me once. I felt violated as if I were involved in a drive-by spritzing.

Greedy big corporations invade our homes in newspapers, magazines and on our televisions, all the while being recklessly promoted by advertisers attempting to influence otherwise innocent viewers.

The FCC should heavily restrict perfume advertising and fines levied for those targeting the innocent… our children.Very-Hollywood-Perfume

And then there’s the glorification of perfume by Hollywood. Stars and Starlets line up just to get their names on a bottle. It’s shameful that such an influential industry would embrace a product that should be deemed a controlled substance. How could they be so blind?

Nationwide, people suffer every day by just their proximity to perfume. Fragrances have been known to cause discomfort – triggering outbreaks of such ailments as sneezing and nasal congestion as well as runny noses and reportedly, asthma attacks. Oh the horror!

Well, I’m proud to say my state has taken the lead. The once conservative state of New Hampshire has finally, thanks to last election, gone almost completely Democrat and thus is now free to tackle the really tough issues.

A state representative has introduced legislation barring state employees froPatrick get hit with perfumem wearing fragrances who have contact with the public. This is actually the second time the bill has been introduced. Unfortunately the bill was shot down under the previous evil Republican legislature. Thankfully something may now get done and this bill should be but the opening volley of desperately needed restrictions.

Should we just demand this deadly substance be deemed illegal? Probably not, but the safety of our citizens, particularly our children, must be considered first and foremost.

Given how serious the situation is, I have some suggestions for our legislators and do-gooders.code stink

I recommend a nonprofit organization underwrite a new activist campaign. They could be called “Code Stink”. They would travel to perfume unveilings and upscale boutiques with their picket signs and newly devised slogans. Slogans such as, “Hey Hey, Ho Ho; we don’t need to smell good…uh… anyway”. Not a very catchy slogan, I’ll grant you, but activists tend not to be the brightest bulbs on the tree.

Schools and public places should be made “Perfume Free Zones”, complete with a zero-tolerance policy. Even a picture drawn of a perfume bottle by a young student should be grounds for disciplinaperfume spritzerry action.

The feds as well as local police must employee perfume sniffing dogs to deal with potential high school contraband and specially trained TSA agents dispatched to airport and railroad terminals to prevent unlicensed transport of what should be a controlled substance.

A national registry of perfume owners should be initiated. A 24-hour waiting period prior to purchase and background check should be required. Perfume should not be sold to repeat scent offenders or the olfactively impaired.large capicity automatic

High-capacity ionizers should be outlawed. Congress must take the lead and draft language defining the semi-automatic perfume dispenser (one pump, one spritz) versus the pressurized fully automatic version one might classify as an assault spritzer.

Last but not least, a new sin tax should be levied on the manufacturers and the Pushers (boutiques, stores and those representing them) for the medical and psychological damage caused to the sufferers.

Let us not concern ourselves with this pesky “Fiscal Cliff”, the “Affordable Care Act” or “Jobs”.

We must face, head on, the real pressing issue of our time, limiting the trafficking and use of perfume.

Fab Four Can Heat You Up

Feeling nostalgic about days gone by can make us feel warmer, new research has claimed.

The study investigated the effects of nostalgic feelings on reaction to cold and the perception of warmth.

The volunteers, from universities in China and the Netherlands, took part in one of five studies.

Researchers say that recalling nostalgic events can actually make people feel warmerResearchers say that recalling nostalgic events can actually make people feel warmer

The first asked participants to keep an account of their nostalgic feelings over 30 days.

Results showed they felt more nostalgic on colder days.

The second study put participants in one of three rooms: cold (20C, 68F), comfortable (24C, 75F) and hot (28C, 82F), and then measured how nostalgic they felt.

Participants felt more nostalgic in the cold room than in the comfortable and hot rooms.

The third study used music to evoke nostalgia to see if it was linked to warmth.

The participants who said the music made them feel nostalgic also tended to say that the music made them feel physically warmer.

The fourth study tested the effect of nostalgia on physical warmth by placing participants in a cold room and instructing them to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary event from their past.

They were then asked to guess the temperature of the room.

Those who recalled a nostalgic event perceived the room they were in to be warmer.

Study five again instructed participants to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary event from their past.

Researchers found that even listening to nostalgic music, such as the Beatles, can make us feel slightly warmerResearchers found that even listening to nostalgic music, such as the Beatles, can make us feel slightly warmer

They then placed their hand in ice-cold water to see how long they could stand it.

Findings showed that the volunteers who indulged in nostalgia held their hand in the water for longer.

Dr Tim Wildschut, senior lecturer at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, said: ‘Nostalgia is experienced frequently and virtually by everyone and we know that it can maintain psychological comfort.

‘For example, nostalgic reverie can combat loneliness.’

‘We wanted to take that a step further and assess whether it can also maintain physiological comfort.

‘Our study has shown that nostalgia serves a homeostatic function, allowing the mental simulation of previously enjoyed states, including states of bodily comfort; in this case making us feel warmer or increasing our tolerance of cold.

‘More research is now needed to see if nostalgia can combat other forms of physical discomfort, besides low temperature.’

The study, published in the journal Emotion, was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University and Tilburg University.

Attribution: Mark Prigg

Act of God?

A Minnesota man with terminal cancer was miraculously cured while working to restore an old, abandoned church that needed as much as care as he did.

Greg Thomas of Montgomery, Minnesota, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his head and neck three years ago, KARE11 News reports. He has since had difficult swallowing and uses a feeding tube for nutrition.

Now, after spending months restoring the old wood-framed chapel, his cancer is believed to be in remission.

Serenity: Greg Thomas, a cancer survivor, works on restoring the 126-year-old church he stumbled uponGreg Thomas, a cancer survivor, works on  restoring the 126-year-old church he stumbled upon
Through the fields: Thomas walks with his dog Thomas walks with his dog

Thomas, who was 57 at the time of his diagnosis, was laid off from his job delivering propane.

‘When I found out that I had cancer, they told my family to go ahead and start planning my funeral,” he told KARE11.

To cope with his stress he started taking long walks though the countryside with his dog.

Thomas came across the old church during one of those walks. The foundation was decaying and the paint was  peeling.

An old chapel: The church was in need of much care when Thomas found itThe church was in need of much care when  Thomas found it

He attempted to go inside the chapel when he first noticed it, but it was locked. So he sat on the steps for a while.

Built in 1868 by Catholic Czech settlers who later moved to a bigger parish, the old Church had not housed a congregation in  more than a century.

One day, Thomas decided to reach out to the few people living close to the church.

Restoration: The church now sits in the same place with a new exteriorThe church now sits in the same place with a new exterior
Salvation: With his cancer in remission, Thomas continues to work on the churchWith his cancer in remission, Thomas continues to work on the church

He was out of work, and thought fixing up the structure would give him a sort of sanctuary.

‘He went to a neighbor and said he wanted to paint the church, and who does he talk to, so the neighbor sent him to talk to me,’ Don Rynda, treasurer of the foundation that keeps up the church cemetery’,  told KARE11.

Thomas went to repairing the church soon after.

Now the old chapel is freshly clothed in white and Thomas’s cancer is in remission.

Thomas said he plans to continue his work on the church, moving on to the roof and the interior next.

Attribution: Mail Online

Extraordinary Genius

A new study suggests that Albert Einstein’s extraordinary genius may have been related to a uniquely shaped brain.

Researchers compared Einstein’s brain to 85 ‘normal’ human brains to determine, what, if any, unusual features it possessed.

‘Although the overall size and asymmetrical shape of Einstein’s brain were normal, the prefrontal, somatosensory, primary motor, parietal,  temporal and occipital cortices were extraordinary,’ said Dean Falk, the Hale G. Smith Professor of Anthropology at Florida State,  told Science  Daily.

EinsteinResearchers now believe the unique shape of  Einstein’s brain may have helped boost his cognitive abilities

‘These may have  provided the neurological underpinnings for some of his visuospatial and mathematical abilities, for  instance.’

Using 14 recently discovered pictures of the  genius’ brain, Falks and her colleagues were able to describe Einstein’s entire cerebral cortex.

Their study, ‘The Cerebral Cortex of Albert  Einstein: A Description and Preliminary Analysis of Unpublished Photographs,’  were published Nov. 16 in Brain, a journal on neurology.

FalkDean Falk and her colleagues were able to present for the first time a clear description of Einstein’s cortex
Einstein  Researchers used photos taken of Einstein’s  brain upon his death in 1955 to advance their findings

With permission from his family, Einstein’s  brain was removed and photographed upon his death in 1955.

It was even sectioned into 240 blocks to make histological slides.

The paper will also outline a ‘roadmap’ to Einstein’s brain made in 1955 by Dr. Thomas Harvey.

                                          Left and right views of Einstein’s brain

Most of those photos, blocks, and slides have been lost from the public eye, and the photographs used by Falk’s team are held by the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Attribution: Mail Online

Heal Thy Self

Human skin is a special material: It needs to be flexible, so that it doesn’t crack every time a user clenches his fist. It needs to be sensitive to stimuli like touch and pressure—which are measured as electrical signals, so it needs to conduct electricity. Crucially, if it’s to survive the wear and tear it’s put through every day, it needs to be able to repair itself. Now, researchers in California may have designed a synthetic version—a flexible, electrically conductive, self-healing polymer.

The result is part of a decadelong miniboom in “epidermal electronics”—the production of circuits thin and flexible enough to be attached to skin (for use as wearable heart rate monitors, for example) or to provide skinlike touch sensitivity to prosthetic limbs. The problem is that silicon, the base material of the electronics industry, is brittle. So various research groups have investigated different ways to produce flexible electronic sensors.

Chemists, meanwhile, have become increasingly interested in “self-healing” polymers. This sounds like science fiction, but several research groups have produced plastics that can join their cut edges together when scientists heat them, shine a light on them, or even just hold the cut edges together. In 2008, researchers at ESPCI ParisTech showed that a specially designed rubber compound could recover its mechanical properties after being broken and healed repeatedly.

Chemical engineer Zhenan Bao of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and her team combined these two concepts and explored the potential of  self-healing polymers in epidermal electronics. However, all the self-healing polymers demonstrated to date had had very low bulk electrical conductivities and would have been little use in electrical sensors. Writing in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers detail how they increased the conductivity of a self-healing polymer by incorporating nickel atoms, allowing electrons to “jump” between the metal atoms. The polymer is sensitive to applied forces like pressure and torsion (twisting) because such forces alter the distance between the nickel atoms, affecting the difficulty the electrons have jumping from one to the other and changing the electrical resistance of the polymer.

To demonstrate that both the mechanical and the electrical properties of the material could be repeatedly restored to their original values after the material had been damaged and healed, the researchers cut the polymer completely through with a scalpel. After pressing the cut edges together gently for 15 seconds, the researchers found the sample went on to regain 98% of its original conductivity. And crucially, just like the ESPCI group’s rubber compound, the Stanford team’s polymer could be cut and healed over and over again.

“I think it’s kind of a breakthrough,” says John J. Boland, a chemist at the CRANN nanoscience institute at Trinity College Dublin. “It’s the first time that we’ve seen this combination of both mechanical and electrical self-healing.” He is, however, skeptical about one point: “With a scalpel you can very precisely cut the material without inducing significant local mechanical deformation around the wound.” Failure due to mechanical tension, however, could stretch the material, producing significant scarring and preventing complete self-healing, he suspects.

Now, Bao and her fellow researchers are working to make the polymer more like human skin. “I think it will be very interesting if we can make the self-healing skin elastic,” she says, “because, while it’s currently flexible, it’s still not stretchable. That’s definitely something we’re moving towards for our next-generation self-healing skin.”

Attribution: Real Clear Science

New Pacemaker

More than 3 million people worldwide have their hearts regulated by a pacemaker, with numbers rising due to an aging population.

Patients face regular operations to replace worn-out batteries, but now scientists believe a person’s own beating heart could generate enough electricity to power the life-saving  devices.

Researchers at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan have created a prototype that runs of piezoelectricity – the electrical charge generated from motion.

Future of pacemakers? The energy harvester developed at the University of Michigan can harness energy from vibrations and convert it to electricityFuture of pacemakers? The energy harvester developed at the University of Michigan can harness energy from vibrations and convert it to  electricity

Lead author Dr Amin Karami said it could be a promising technological solution for pacemakers, because they require only small amounts of power to operate.

At present the implanted devices, which send electrical impulses into the heart to help  maintain a normal heartbeat, have to be replaced every five to seven years when their batteries run out.

Dr Karami said: ‘Many of the patients are children who live with pacemakers for many years. You can imagine how many operations they are spared if this new technology is  implemented.’

The researchers stumbled across the medical breakthrough by accident. They were looking to design a light unmanned aircraft which could be powered by the vibrations of its own  wings.

They then realized that the properties of  certain power-generating piezoelectric materials could be applied to powering pacemakers.

Dr Karami: Said device could save patients from countless operations to replace batteries
Dr Karami said device could save patients from countless operations to replace batteries

For the latest study the team measured heartbeat-induced vibrations in the chest. They then used a ‘shaker’ to reproduce the vibrations in the laboratory and connected it to a prototype cardiac energy harvester they had developed.

Measurements of the prototype’s performance, based on a wide range of simulated heartbeats, showed the energy harvester generated more than 10 times the power required by modern pacemakers.

‘The device is about half the size of batteries now used in pacemakers and includes a self-powering back-up capacitor’, Dr Karami said. Researchers hope to integrate their technology into commercial pacemakers.

‘What we have proven is that under optimal conditions, this concept is working,’ Dr Karami said.

The researcher, who presented the study at a meeting of the American Heart Association, said the technology might one day also power other implantable cardiac devices, such as  defibrillators.

About 700,000 people worldwide, including 100,000 in the U.S who have heart rhythm disturbances get a pacemaker or defibrillator each year.

In the United States, pacemakers sell for about $5,000, which does not include the cost of surgery, a hospital stay and additional care.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Center for  Advancing  Translational Sciences.

Attribution: Claire Bates

New Cancer Detector

A groundbreaking device that can diagnose  cancer in just 20 minutes is being developed by British scientists.

The world’s first tumor profiler, as it is known, will allow doctors, nurses and pharmacists to quickly identify all known types of cancer while the patient waits.

It is hoped the device, which will also gauge the correct drug to prescribe cancer sufferers, will be used within the next three years.

A British company has developed a device that can diagnose cancer in just 20 minutes - and decide the best drug for treatment

The device has been invented as part of a partnership between private firm QuantuMDx, Newcastle University and Sheffield University.

Scientists say the Q-Cancer device will have a dramatic impact on the rapid and accurate diagnosis of cancer.

Company officials said the device has the potential to prolong the lives of the 12 million newly diagnosed cancer sufferers around the world.

It will enable surgeons to immediately remove most, if not all of the tumor, and allow cancer specialists to prescribe the correct treatment regime according to the type of cancer developed.

The device makes use of advanced nanotechnology, analyzing submicroscopic amounts of tissue to work out the type of cancer, its genetic make-up and how far it has developed.

Professor John Burn (left), a renowned geneticist, and Jonathan O'Halloran, both of QuantuMDx, the company developing the device
Professor John Burn (left), a renowned geneticist, and Jonathan O’Halloran, both of QuantuMDx, the company developing the device

Professor Sir John Burn, the Newcastle University academic who is also medical director of QuantuMDx, said: ‘We have a world leading position to deliver complex DNA tumor testing to the routine pathology lab or even to the operating theatre.

‘A low-cost device requiring no technical expertise will extract, amplify and analyze tumor DNA to make sure the patient gets the right treatment first time and without delay.’

Chief executive Elaine Warburton said:  ‘Currently tumor samples are sent away to a centralized sequencing laboratory, which can take several weeks to turnaround results, usually at a very high price which is not routinely affordable to many.

‘As far as we are aware, QuantuMDx’s current underlying technologies, which can break up a sample and extract the DNA in under five minutes represents a world first for complex molecular diagnostics.

Dr Emma Smith, Cancer Research UK’s senior  science information officer, said: ‘Using the latest technology to analyze tumors quickly and cheaply could make a real difference to cancer patients and we will watch these developments with interest. It will need thorough testing to show it meets the standards required  for routine use.’

Attribution: Anna Hodgekiss