Author: hoffmannpublish

Book writer and blogger, father of Luca, a smart autistic kid rock.

4 tips for business survival … but I put 5

While CEOs and executives are struggling to cope with the fallout of Covid-19, an expert on business internationally renowned growth, Jana Matthews Professor of UniSA is encouraging companies to take a step back and carefully consider their activity before making any decision radical about their future.

“The fact that a company survive in uncertain times – and is positioned for growth on the other side – will depend largely on how the CEO and currently lead the leaders,” says prof. Matthews.

“We all have to do with unprecedented uncertainty. And while it is impossible to predict which companies will do all this, there are things you can do to increase their chances.

(Yes, finally there are 5 🙂

1.Balance dollars with sense Look at your accounts and project your cash flow over the next few months – do you need to collect receivables or delay expenditures? Are you in a position to lend your business personal funds? Can you ask some of your employees to take vacation days now or drop down to 80 per cent, if necessary? Remember, there are government grants Also available, so check These too. If there’s still a shortfall, go to the bank to discuss a loan.

2.Double your winners This year not all companies will do their best: if the products are hand sanitizers, soaps, toilet paper or fans, you can have your best year ever. Study which of your products or services they sold and focus your associates on those. If you identify customers who have purchased them, you can also target your marketing.

3.Think laterally Find out what people are buying and look for openings – can you make the straps secure That facemasks or key components in ventilators? If so, let the manufacturers know your capabilities, or alternatively, make the product yourself. If manufacturers need the product in a different way, look for alternatives, Now is the time to be flexible and adaptable.

4.Look critically at your company ‘Strong Eye’ your company, people and products as if you were an outside investor. Are there any gaps, oversights or weak spots? Ask your employees to help scan, as These are the people on the ground, in the thick of it. What can you do better, more efficiently? Where are the double-ups? Be open and ready to listen, then take action. Also, think about what changes you, as the leader, may need to make.

5.Have the courage, brains and heart to lead It’s not easy to lead through chaos at this velocity of change. It takes brains to analyse and develop strategies to keep the company alive. It takes courage to stop doing what used to work and move into unchartered territory. And without question, it takes heart. Empathise with your employees who are worried about their jobs and their futures and remember to provide them with frequent updates – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Weed out any misfits, or non-performers, and do everything you can to keep your great people on board; you will need them to help you grow once we’re on the other side.

“This is a time for smart decisions. The leadership that is shown now, the culture that follows and the decisions that are made will path the way for the future.”

Love Notes…

In these days of world suffering, a touch of love notes to cheer the heart.
Published by Hoffmann & Hoffmann with the contribution of Blurb, a new edition of “In vino Veritart” The art book by Roberto Sironi and Mariagrazia Pia.

The novelty lies not only in the usual beauty of Sironi’s painting and in Mariagrazia Pia’s verses but also in the brilliance of the colors highlighted by Blurb‘s print. The visionary strategies of the two artists find the relief of a careful graphic geometry made of colors, poems and anecdotes linked to the artistic union of the two authors.


A series of poetic reflections around wine, wine in all its states, love for wine, submission to wine, moods and amorous stunts next to a glass of wine, the magic of wine, his numbness, falling in love and disappointment.
The life that turns with surprises and its magic, linked to a glass of wine like the reader to its pages and lovers to its fumes.


Roberto Sironi is a multifaceted artist, his interests range from music, theater, painting, up to cinema and writing.
Mariagrazia Pia, writer and poetess with numerous books and literary works.

The limited edition book is sold exclusively on Amazon and Blurb channels as well as at Hoffmann & Hoffmann Publisher.

https://www.amazon.com/vino-veritart-R-Sironi-Pia/dp/1714572684/b2b/info/amazon-business?layout=landing?ref_=b2b_reg_US_BOOKS_ILM_EN_200318

COVID-19 Causes: Exploring the Unanswered Questions

Newswise Live Expert Panel discussion of unique angles to the COVID-19 outbreak of interest to the public and the media, including public health, testing, business and financial markets, 2020 elections, and more. 

Experts from institutions including Binghamton University, AACC, Rutgers, Cornell, University of Virginia, and more will participate in a two-part series of moderated expert panels covering a wide variety of topics, with questions prepared by Newswise editors and submissions from media attendees. 

Thursday

  1. XinQi Dong, MD, Rutgers University (Epidemiology)
  2. Zhaohui Chen, PhD, University of Virginia (Finance)
  3. Ali Khan, M.D., M.P.H, University of Nebraska Medical Center (Public Health)
  4. Valerie Reyna, PhD, Cornell University (Psychology)
  5. Tom Ewing, PhD, Virginia Tech (History)

Monday

  1. Carmen Wiley, PhD, President, American Association for Clinical Chemistry (Lab Testing)
  2. Dean Headley, PhD Wichita State (Airline Industry and Travel)
  3. Jennifer Horney, PhD, University of Delaware (Epidemiology)
  4. Dawn Bowdish PhD, McMaster University (Immunology)
  5. Daniel McKeever, PhD, Binghamton University (Finance)
  6. Dr. Jennie Kuckertz, Ph.D, from McLean Hospital (Psychology)
  7. W. Graham Carlos, MD, Indiana University (Pulmonology)

When: Thursday, March 12 at 2 PM EDT and Monday, March 16 at 2 PM EDT

Mental Well-being During Social Distancing

Managing mental well being is critical in times of uncertainty and unpredictability. One common coping mechanism is to connect in-person with friends or family because isolation can negatively impact those experiencing depression and anxiety.

Amid concerns over COVID-19, however, that recommendation conflicts with health and safety instructions on social distancing. Dr. Tonya Hansel and Dr. Maurya Glaude, licensed clinicians and researchers at the Tulane University School of Work, have the following suggestions to prevent increased at-home time from negatively affecting a person’s mental health.

  • Set up a routine and workspace dedicated to work. Use sticky notes, calendars, journals or other office supplies to help you stay organized and remember what you need to accomplish.
  • Email, message or call your colleagues or classmates. This will not only allow you to connect for mental well-being but also allow you to gain clarity and understanding about a particular assignment.
  • Recharge with fresh air, exercise and entertainment. This could include taking a midday walk or bike ride around your neighborhood, going on a nature hike or enjoying a snack on your porch. Allow more sunlight into your work space.
  • Maintain running, walking or cycling routines but bring your own water, avoid drinking out of public fountains and keep approximately 6 feet from others as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
  • Use the time you save from commuting to do extra things around your house, such as spring cleaning, cooking or gardening. Or create a piece of art or do craft projects with your children.
  • Feel free to allow small indulgences. Giving yourself or your children a little extra screen time is a way of practicing self-care.
  • Use technology — Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom or the phone — to keep up with friends and family and support one another. 
  • Access mental health resources such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. You can also call the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

To schedule an interview with Hansel or Glaude, contact Carrie Moulder at cmoulder@tulane.edu or Barri Bronston at bbronst@tulane.edu.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

LJI scientists identify potential targets for immune responses to novel coronavirus

LA JOLLA, CA—Within two months, SARS-CoV-2, a previously unknown coronavirus, has raced around globe, infecting over a 100,000 people with numbers continuing to rise quickly. Effective countermeasures require helpful tools to monitor viral spread and understand how the immune system responds to the virus.

Publishing in the March 16, 2020, online issue of Host, Cell and Microbe, a team of researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology, in collaboration with researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute, provides the first analysis of potential targets for effective immune responses against the novel coronavirus. The researchers used existing data from known coronaviruses to predict which parts of SARS-CoV-2 are capable of activating the human immune system.

When the immune system encounters a bacterium or a virus, it zeroes in on tiny molecular features, so called epitopes, which allow cells of the immune system to distinguish between closely related foreign invaders and focus their attack. Having a complete map of viral epitopes and their immunogenicity is critical to researchers attempting to design new or improved vaccines to protect against COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.  

“Right now, we have limited information about which pieces of the virus elicit a solid human response,” says the study’s lead author Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol.Sci, a professor in the Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research at LJI. “Knowing the immunogenicity of certain viral regions, or in other words, which parts of the virus the immune system reacts to and how strongly, is of immediate relevance for the design of promising vaccine candidates and their evaluation.”

While scientists currently know very little about how the human immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2, the immune response to other coronaviruses has been studied and a significant amount of epitope data is available.

Four other coronaviruses are currently circulating in the human population. They cause generally mild symptoms and together they are responsible for an estimated one quarter of all seasonal colds. But every few years, a new coronavirus emerges that causes severe disease as was the case with SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2008, and now SARS-CoV-2.

“SARS-CoV-2 is most closely related to SARS-CoV, which also happens to be the best characterized coronavirus in terms of epitopes,” explains first author Alba Grifoni, Ph.D, a postdoctoral researcher in the Sette lab

For their study, the authors used available data from the LJI-based Immune Epitope Database (IEDB), which contains over 600,000 known epitopes from some 3,600 different species, and the Virus Pathogen Resource (ViPR), a complementary repository of information about pathogenic viruses. The team compiled known epitopes from SARS-CoV and mapped the corresponding regions to SARS-CoV-2.

“We were able to map back 10 B cell epitopes to the new coronavirus and because of the overall high sequence similarity between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, there is a high likelihood that the same regions that are immunodominant in SARS-CoV are also dominant in SARS-CoV-2 is,” says Grifoni. 

Five of these regions were found in the spike glycoprotein, which forms the “crown” on the surface of the virus that gave coronaviruses their name; two in the membrane protein, which is embedded in the membrane that envelopes the protective protein shell around the viral genome and three in the nucleoprotein, which forms the shell. 

In a similar analysis, T cell epitopes were also mostly associated with the spike glycoprotein and nucleoprotein.

In a completely different approach, Grifoni used the epitope prediction algorithm hosted by the IEDB to predict linear B cell epitopes. A recent study by scientists at the University of Texas Austin determined the three-dimensional structure of the spike proteins, which allowed the LJI team to take the protein’s spatial architecture into account when predicting epitopes. This approach confirmed two of the likely epitope regions they had predicted earlier.

To substantiate the SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes identified based on their homology to SARS-CoV, Grifoni compared them with epitopes pinpointed by the Tepitool resource in the IEDB. Using this approach, she was able verify 12 out of 17 SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes identified based on sequence similarities to SARS-CoV. 

“The fact that we found that many B and T cell epitopes are highly conserved between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 provides a great starting point for vaccine development,” says Sette. “Vaccine strategies that specifically target these regions could generate immunity that’s not only cross-protective but also relatively resistant to ongoing virus evolution.”

The work was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health through contracts 75N9301900065, 75N93019C00001 and 75N93019C00076.

Full citation: Alba Grifoni, John Sidney, Yun Zhang, Richard H Scheuermann, Bjoern Peters and Alessandro Sette. A Sequence Homology and Bioinformatic Approach Can Predict Candidate Targets for Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-2. Cell, Host and Microbe, 2020.

A pre-proof is available here.

About La Jolla Institute for Immunology

The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.

Equal parenting rights for same-sex couples

Same-sex marriage may have been given the green (or rainbow) light in many countries around the world, but it appears there are still some entrenched attitudes in society when it comes to same-sex parenting. 

Misconceptions about the impact on children raised by same-sex parents are harmful both in a social and legal sense, says University of South Australia psychologist Dr Stephanie Webb

Same-sex couples are still struggling to gain equal rights to biological parents – particularly in the event of separation – and on a social level they want to address the fallacies about the impact of children growing up with parents of the same gender.

 “The most common myths are that children will be confused about their own sexuality, be less resilient, experience conflict, and suffer other issues as a result of growing up in a same-sex family,” Dr Webb says. 

“The reality is, children raised in a same-sex family environment are no different to children raised by heterosexual couples. In some cases, they are far more resilient, tolerant and open-minded because they have seen their parents’ own struggle for acceptance and equality.” 

To counter the misconceptions, Dr Webb and colleagues from the University of Canberra and Boise State University in the United States carried out an online survey to assess the impact of an educational campaign on people’s attitudes. 

A total of 629 people – including 74 per cent who identified as heterosexual and 23 per cent bisexual or homosexual – were split into two groups and presented with fact sheets about smoking (control group) and same-sex parenting. 

Before completing the survey, they were asked about their attitudes to same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting. 

The fact sheets dispelled many of the concerns that people had over the perceived negative developmental impacts on children with same-sex parents. 

“Our study showed a significant reduction in prejudices held after reading the fact sheets,” Dr Webb says. 

However, the sticking point is that many people believe the central purpose of marriage is to procreate. Since biological children cannot be produced by a same-sex couple, the role of marital equality is not seen as important by some. 

This creates legal issues for same-sex couples in the event of separation involving children, where a third party (a biological parent) has legal rights that supersede that of the parent whose genes are not involved.

 “Legal rights for same-sex parents are ignored by policymakers and the public alike,” Dr Webb says. “By making marriage policies inclusive, regardless of sexuality, it would validate same-sex families and protect them against discrimination.” 

Dr Webb says education is a crucial step towards achieving legal equality for same-sex families. 

Her findings have recently been published in the Australian Journal of Psychology. The survey is a follow up to a 2018 paper which examined the connection between gender role beliefs and support for same-gender family rights. 

Notes for Editors

“Attitudes toward same-sex family rights: Education facilitating progressive attitude change” was authored by Dr Stephanie Webb from the University of South Australia, Associate Professor Phil Kavanagh from the University of Canberra and Associate Professor Jill Chonody from Boise State University.

What does self-quarantine mean?

As people wrestle with spring travel, many may choose – or be asked – to self-quarantine for a period of time to help deter the spread of COVID-19.

Isolation requires sick people to be separated from those who are not sick, while quarantine restricts the movement of people who are exposed to a contagious disease to monitor if they become sick, according to Luis Ostrosky, MD, professor of infectious diseases at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

So, what does self-quarantine look like? Susan Wootton, MD, an infectious disease pediatrician at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, explains.

Wash your hands
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces daily
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Receive a green light from health care providers before discontinuing quarantine

Household members, intimate partners, and caregivers who may have close contact with a person exposed to or symptomatic with COVID-19 should monitor their health closely. Call your health care provider right away if you develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 including fever, cough, and trouble breathing.

For those who have been to an affected area or exposed to someone who is sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you may have some limitations on your movement or activity. If you develop symptoms during that period, seek medical advice immediately. Call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your recent travel history and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.

“Infection control and prevention efforts by patients with COVID-19, their household members, and their health care providers, in combination with contact tracing activities, are key to limiting the community spread of disease,” Wootton said.

Stay informed by following updates on Harris County Public HealthTexas Department of State Health ServicesCDC, and World Health Organization.

Endangered species on supermarket shelves

Lab reveals the surprising prevalence of European Eel in Hong Kong’s food supply

Imagine purchasing products from your local grocer, only to find out that those products are comprised of critically endangered species! That’s what a team from the University of Hong Kong, Division of Ecology and Biodiversity has recently discovered on Hong Kong supermarket shelves. A team led by Dr David Baker from the University’s Conservation Forensics laboratory, has recently published the results from an investigation into European eel products on sale in Hong Kong supermarkets.

The study, published in Science Advances, found that nearly 50% of retail eel products, ranging from fillets to snack items from grocers and convenience stores, contained a critically endangered species of fish. According to the IUCN, The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is at risk of extinction. For this reason, trade in European eels and their food product derivatives is subject to international regulation under the Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). CITES is meant to ensure that permits are required for their import and export in an effort to regulate trade and foster conservation.

Eel, extremely popular in East Asia and particularly Japan, has traditionally been fished from East Asian populations of the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica). However, overexploitation due to growing demand from Mainland China and a combination of threats ranging from rising ocean temperatures, parasites, and dammed rivers have led to dramatic declines in eel populations. This is true not only for European and Japanese species, but also for their American and Indo-Pacific relatives.

To satisfy demand for eel in East Asia, juvenile eels (known as glass eels) are caught while swimming upstream in their native range spanning Europe and North Africa, and smuggled to Asia to be raised to maturity. To date, captive breeding of eels has not been economically viable; wild-caught glass eels are thus used to “seed” eel farms. In recent years the illegal trade has been highlighted by a number of high-profile investigations and increasing prosecutions.

“The illegal export of glass eels from Europe to Asia has now been recognised as one of the world’s greatest wildlife crimes and Europol has estimated the scale of over 300 million eels (2018 data) annually. The next step is to investigate the global consumer markets to identify where these trafficked eels are eventually consumed. The numbers from Hong Kong are very alarming and reflect the huge amounts of European eels that are being farmed in Asia. It is now up to individual countries to investigate the scale of European eels entering their national food chains illegally.” -Florian Stein, Sustainable Eel Group

The international trade in glass eels is incredibly lucrative. One kilogram of glass eels can contain up to 3,500 individuals and has been recorded selling for over HKD$50,000 on the black market. This highly profitable trade has attracted the attention of international criminal syndicates, who smuggle glass eels in suitcases from Europe to Asia for resale. In their juvenile stages, eels are extremely difficult to identify to the species level. The two most common cousins of the endangered European eel (the Japanese and American eel) are not listed in CITES, therefore no permit is required for their trade. Because of the challenges in visual identification, endangered European eels can be laundered along with their legally traded relatives.

Already, the existence of Europe-Asia smuggling routes has been documented, but the ultimate destination of the smuggled eels remained elusive. Originally conceived as an undergraduate project looking at seafood mislabeling, the investigation into European eel took off when students noticed a surprising amount of European eel present in supermarket products.

“The eel project is the most exciting thing I have done during my undergraduate study in HKU. I once thought research was only for postgraduates and professors, but it turns out I, even as a student, was able to do meaningful research that actually made an impact in illegal trading. This has made me more determined to continue work in environmental fields.” -Haze Chung, Year 4 Undergraduate Researcher

The study covered a wide range of Hong Kong supermarkets and convenience stores across all districts. Surprisingly, almost 50% of the eel products surveyed were determined to be European eel. The results from this study suggested that large scale smuggling networks trafficking European eels are interwoven with local supplier chains, resulting in endangered species ending up on supermarket shelves, totally unbeknownst to consumers.

Autistic Children and BORDERLINE MOTHER, ANY CONNECTION?

In my personal experience as the father of an autistic child, I have met many parents of autistic children. I have lived with my baby’s mother for ten years and have learned over time to recognize borderline traits in people in a relatively short time.

Parents of autistic children are separated or with a partner from the submissive personality. All (or at least those met by me) had strong characteristics of ‘Borderline Narcissist personality’ “and in general they were female relatives


Now, I don’t think I discovered salt water but I wonder why nobody talks about it? we all agree on the genetic factor but it seems clear to me that even the “Borderline” condition is to be considered a form of female autism directly linked to the autism spectrum and in my opinion an almost regularly repeated condition.

In the past few years there have been references to connections with the mother regarding the autistic spectrum, these theories have been swept away in a recent period to avoid unnecessary emotional affectation in women. What do you think about it? Does my thought make sense?

Children in the Holocaust

The new issue of I’M Italian magazine available from March 10, dedicated to the children of the Holocaust.

the testimony of the few survivors remind us of what is capable human beings in the name of an ideology. Dedicated to Liliana Segre who a few months ago shook and moved us in her speech to the European Parliament.

We wrote about Fascist plague in Italy showing no signs of disappearing, we wrote political and Matteo Renzi, sports psychology and life, when Italians people were the dirty and bad immigrants.
“I’M Italian” and all books Hoffmann & Hoffmann, are now also available in “Hoffmann bookstore” by Autism20.

https://amp.issuu.com/visual-stories/IY1CyK9fGj5

Subscriptions to the magazine are available at www.imitalian.press or from http://www.amazon.com.
Interactive version by ISSUU.com ebook in all online stores from March 10th.