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|2021/01/22||Ignore the tech naysayers — San Francisco isn't dying
Despite the high-profile departures, the tech industry still has deep roots in the Bay Area.
Ignore the tech naysayers — San Francisco isn't dying
|2021/01/21||Young Chinese are both patriotic and socially progressive
That mix is already changing their country, says Stephanie Studer, our China correspondent
Young Chinese are both patriotic and socially progressive
|2021/01/24||Livestreams & Virtual Concerts to Watch: Week of January 25
With the holidays and the historic Biden-Harris inauguration behind us, musicians are getting back to livestreaming events, which means more entertainment to enjoy from the warmth of your own home during these chilly January days.
One of the big virtual events to check out is iHeartRadio’s ALTer EGO on Jan. 28, which will feature new music and stories by Billie Eilish and Foo Fighters, and iconic performances by acts such as Coldplay, Twenty One Pilots and many others. One day later, Adam Lambert celebrates his birthday with a live show from the iconic Roxy Theatre in L.A.
See the list below for more virtual concerts and events to check out during the week of Jan. 25-31. As more shows are announced, we’ll update the roundup.
Jan. 27: Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatachee will be chatting about her album Saint Cloud as well as getting through the pandemic. RSVP here.
Jan. 28: Billie Eilish, Foo Fighters, Muse and many more are participating in iHeartRadio’s ALTer EGO, with the Foo kicking things off at 9 p.m. ET, and Eilish wrapping up the evening at 10:20 p.m. ET.
Princess Nokia is kicking off Brooklyn club Elsewhere’s new Twitch series, Elsewhere Sound Space, with a live performance and interview. The show begins at 7 p.m. ET.
Jan. 29: Adam Lambert is celebrating his 29th birthday with a livestream show from L.A.’s The Roxy. He’ll be performing songs from his latest album, Velvet, and other favorites from his catalogue. He’ll be doing two shows that day, one at 3 p.m. ET, and the other at 10 p.m. ET. Tickets are $18.50.
Lyle Lovett and Jason Isabell are performing a virtual live show, with the two taking turns playing songs. Show set begins at 9 p.m. ET; tickets are $10.
Jimmy Eat World is playing Futures in its entirety for its Phoenix Sessions. The show begins at 5 p.m. ET; tickets start at $14.99.
The Kinks return with a livestream of the one-man show The Moneygoround. The audio-visual production will feature Ben Norris in the lead role, and will include archive and video footage. The show begins at 3 p.m. ET on YouTube.
Jan. 30: Bret Michaels, Lita Ford, Sebastian Bach, Grandmaster Flash, Kenny Loggins and more are participating in the ’80s Radical Sabbatical virtual music event. The ’80s themed streaming event will include performances, cooking demos, costume contest, and more. An all-day pass is $99.80 plus fees; you can also purchase add-ons for events such as a wine flight with Skid Row frontman Bach.
Weird Al Yankovic, Fred Armisen, Jon Hamm, Eddie Izzard and many more are participating in Festpocalypse, a fundraiser for SF Sketchfest. The show begins at 8 p.m. ET; tickets start at $20.
Cage the Elephant is performing a live set streamed from Nashville’s Blackbird Studio to benefit non-profits in the Bay Area who are providing arts and entertainment to residents who otherwise have little or no access to the arts. The show begins at 8 p.m. ET; tickets are $19.99.
Livestreams & Virtual Concerts to Watch: Week of January 25
|2021/01/24||Navalny Attacked by Putin Allies After Russia Protests
A stark shift by the government shows its uncertainty as Aleksei A. Navalny’s dramatic return gives disgruntled Russians a clear leader to rally around.
Navalny Attacked by Putin Allies After Russia Protests
|2021/01/24||Biden to impose travel restrictions on South Africa, U.K. and Brazil to mitigate new Covid strains
President Joe Biden will sign a travel ban Monday on most non-U.S. citizens entering the country who were recently in South Africa, where a new strain of Covid-19 has been identified.
Biden to impose travel restrictions on South Africa, U.K. and Brazil to mitigate new Covid strains
|2021/01/22||The history of America’s relationship with Iran
It is a tragic chronicle of missed opportunities
The history of America’s relationship with Iran
|2019/09/18||40% of IVF Treatments Are Unnecessary
Your entire body takes direction from your hormones. Hormones are secreted by your endocrine system and are responsible for telling your organs what to do and when to do it.1 They are essentially chemical messengers that travel throughout your bloodstream, working slowly over time to affect processes like growth and development, metabolism and reproduction.
Sometimes, these chemical messengers may get out of balance, and this leads to chronic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, weak bones and infertility.2 Hormones may be secreted by your adrenal glands, endocrine-related organs, hypothalamus, sex glands and other organs.3
Progesterone is important to fertility and supporting a pregnancy. It’s a steroid hormone secreted by the corpus luteum and then by the placenta if you become pregnant.4 In some cases, when couples suffer from infertility, they choose in vitro fertilization (IVF).
This is a complex series of procedures in which eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, fertilized by sperm in a lab and then transferred into the uterus.5 One full cycle can take up to three weeks6 and cost $12,000.7 In response to her struggles with infertility, Amy Galliher-Beckley, Ph.D.,8 co-founded MFB Fertility and the progesterone test Proov.9
The Estrogen and Progesterone Relationship
Each of your bodily systems maintains a balance to help you maintain optimal health. Your reproductive system is no different. For a woman, there are several hormones affecting a complex system to mature an egg follicle and release an egg where it travels to the uterus. If fertilized, the egg must implant into the uterus, called the endometrium, where it begins to develop into a baby.
These events are controlled by hormones secreted from several sources in the body. The ovaries produce the eggs and are the main source of estrogen. The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and also make a small amount. Estrogen plays a role in physical changes during puberty; it also controls the menstrual cycle, protects bone health and affects your mood.10
The second hormone essential to fertility is progesterone, a steroid hormone that is first secreted by the corpus luteum. After the egg is released, the corpus luteum is left attached to the ovary, which functions as a temporary gland.11 These two hormones are controlled by the release of other hormones.
During the menstrual cycle gonadotropin-releasing hormone is secreted from the hypothalamus, triggering the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland.12 This begins follicle development and triggers a rise in estrogen.
Luteinizing hormone (LH), also secreted by the pituitary gland, supports the maturation of the follicle and a trigger to cause the egg to be released. When estrogen levels get sufficiently high it signals a sudden release of LH, around mid-cycle, which triggers a set of events that ultimately release the mature egg from the follicle.13
Once released, the empty follicle becomes the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone. The release of progesterone triggers the uterus to develop a highly vascularized bed suitable for implantation of a fertilized egg.
Without fertilization, the corpus luteum begins to degenerate, the secretion of progesterone drops off and menstruation occurs. If pregnancy occurs then the corpus luteum produces progesterone for the first 10 weeks until production is taken over by the placenta.14,15
Not About Getting Pregnant, but Staying Pregnant
As Beckley explains in her interview with Forbes magazine,16 her test is not about getting pregnant, but rather staying pregnant. Progesterone not only prepares the uterus for the egg to implant; it also protects the endometrium from degeneration and menstruation. While the body is producing high levels of progesterone during a pregnancy, a second egg will not mature.17
In order to maintain a pregnancy, the corpus luteum must continue to secrete progesterone. This maintains the blood vessels in the endometrium to feed the growing baby. It is in these early weeks that women with low levels of progesterone may have difficulty, both conceiving and developing the right environment for a fertilized egg to grow.
Some women who do get pregnant are at a high risk for miscarriage.18 The test Beckley developed comes with sticks used in much the same way ovulation and pregnancy tests are used. These sticks measure the amount of progesterone metabolites excreted in the urine. To date, this is the first at-home, over-the-counter test used to evaluate a woman's ability to produce progesterone.19 Beckley explains:20
Luteal Phase Defect Increases Chances of Miscarriage
The luteal phase in a woman's cycle begins after ovulation and represents the second half of the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase is named after the corpus luteum. Luteal Phase Defect (LPD) results in an abnormal endometrial growth that may not support a pregnancy.21,22
While researchers struggle to identify the underlying dysfunction and efficacy of LPD in supporting fertility, experts report women undergoing IVF always have LPD present.23 LPD is marked with a luteal phase less than 11 days. However, not all physicians believe the condition exists; reliable tests are lacking.24
Beckley developed the Proov urine test to help women identify a reduction in progesterone during their cycle. According to Beckley,25 her test gives women more knowledge about how their body works and provides a foundation for asking their infertility doctors better questions.
The test measures the presence of metabolites in the urine that should increase and remain elevated after ovulation. It may be used to confirm ovulation and confirm levels of progesterone afterward. A single negative test before ovulation followed by a single positive test will confirm ovulation for women trying to get pregnant.26
For women trying to conceive, the test is recommended four days after peak fertility and then for continued testing 10 days past ovulation.27 When questions arise about levels of progesterone to maintain a pregnancy, they recommend testing six days after peak fertility and as needed during the pregnancy since the test should remain positive.
Other Functions of Progesterone
Although LPD has a significant impact on a woman's ability to carry a pregnancy, it is the subject of debate.28 In some cases, the ovaries release enough progesterone but the uterine lining does not respond.29 LPD has been linked to other health conditions, including:30
In some circumstances, when these conditions are treated, the LPD resolves.31 Later in life, if levels of progesterone decline, a woman’s period may become irregular, heavier and longer,32 increasing her chance of experiencing anemia, depending on the amount and length of her period.33
Variations in hormone levels after menopause may also influence cognition and mood.34 In a study of 643 healthy postmenopausal women, researchers found that while estrogen had little effect on tests of executive function or global cognition, progesterone concentrations were associated with verbal memory. The researchers suggest this positive association merits additional study.
Bioidentical progesterone, also known as micronized progesterone in the oral form, has been successful in helping relieve hot flashes and night sweats during menopause. Dr. Jerilynn Prior from the University of British Columbia Vancouver presented her study at an endocrine society meeting during which she compared the use of progesterone to placebo.35
The study assigned 114 postmenopausal women into one of two groups, a placebo group and another who took 300 mg of micronized oral progesterone daily. To be eligible for the study, the women had to be off hormone therapy for at least six months.36
At the end of the 12-week study, researchers found that the group taking micronized progesterone demonstrated a 56% decrease in a score reflecting the number and intensity of symptoms, while the women taking the placebo reported a 28% decrease.37
Age Does Affect Hormone Balance
As is borne out by the number of women struggling with hormonal imbalances as they age and those requiring fertility assistance to become pregnant after 40,38 Beckley is vocal about the difficulty women may have supporting a pregnancy after she turns 40.39
Beckley says,40 “The closer a woman gets to menopause, the least likely her body is going to be able to support a pregnancy.” Much of this is related to the imbalance of hormones required to successfully support a pregnancy that occurs as women age.
Her research in designing the progesterone urine test led Beckley to believe 30% to 40% of women who undergo IVF treatment to become pregnant ultimately do not need IVF.41 Instead, they may require progesterone to develop a healthy endometrial lining and support early pregnancy.
Overall Fertility Is on the Decline
Couples experience infertility for a number of reasons. In a study42 released in 2017, researchers evaluated 38 years of information and found sperm counts declined significantly between 1973 and 2011. The sperm counts declined 52% to 59% in men located in North America, Europe and Australia.
The Australian Department of Health reports 1 in every 6 Australian couples suffers from fertility problems, which they attribute to the decision to have children later in life as well as declining sperm count. Quality and lifestyle factors such as smoking, not eating healthfully, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and not having a healthy BMI also affect fertility.43
In May 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that for the fourth year in a row, key fertility indicators for U.S. couples declined, reaching a record low.44 Two of the three indicators used to determine fertility reflected a decline in numbers.
The total fertility rate, or the estimation of the number of children a woman would have in her lifetime, was 1.73 children in 2018. This was lower than the estimate of 1.74 from the mid-1970s.45
Research suggests men’s fertility is affected by environmental toxins and chemicals you may find in your own home, which I discuss in a past article, “50 Percent Fertility Reduction Because of These Household Chemicals.”
Additionally, as described in the past article, “Birth Rate Reaches Record Low as Premature Deliveries Rise,” statistics from the CDC show the number of new births was down 2% in 2018 as compared to 2017, but the number of premature births was rising. Infertility and pregnancy are complex conditions that likely need a comprehensive approach to experience a successful outcome.
40% of IVF Treatments Are Unnecessary
|2021/01/24||The Wall Street Journal: NCR nears deal to buy Cardtronics for around $1.7 billion
NCR Corp. is nearing a deal to buy Cardtronics PLC after outbidding a pair of investment firms that had earlier agreed to buy the ATM operator.
The Wall Street Journal: NCR nears deal to buy Cardtronics for around $1.7 billion
|2021/01/22||Intel says an earnings slide may have leaked early, which is why it released results before close
Intel's earnings beat its own projections, which the company attributed to strong PC sales, especially in the low-end.
Intel says an earnings slide may have leaked early, which is why it released results before close
|2020/02/20||Auto Review: Burger King portrays moldy Whopper in new TV ad
Burger King announces it is removing artificial preservatives from its most famous burger.
Auto Review: Burger King portrays moldy Whopper in new TV ad
|2021/01/24||Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa re-elected: Exit poll
Forecast says centre-right incumbent has won a second and final five-year term.
Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa re-elected: Exit poll
|2021/01/22||China’s regional gap is worsening
While entrepreneurship flourishes in the south, a rust-belt malaise deepens in the north
China’s regional gap is worsening
|2021/01/23||Virtual Historic Home Tours
Bored with your surroundings? Walk the (virtual) halls of some storied grand houses.
Virtual Historic Home Tours
|2021/01/24||Cryptocurrency makes World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda
Sessions devoted to “resetting digital currencies” are scheduled at this week’s Davos Agenda.
Cryptocurrency makes World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda