Newmont Mining Poised for Growth in Gold Sector – The New York Times

TORONTO — Newmont Mining Corp laid out plans on Thursday for new projects to grow gold production and cut costs, while reporting market-beating profits and output forecasts that position it to take the title of wgold nugorld’s largest bullion producer in 2018.

Newmont, whose 2017 production slightly lagged industry leader Barrick Gold, boosted its 2018 capital budget by $300 million, to $1.2-$1.3 billion, after approving a power project at an Australian mine and expansion of a joint venture mine in Nevada.

Chief Executive Gary Goldberg said Newmont’s efforts to attract a broader investor base, by sweetening its dividend and focusing on shareholder returns, is drawing increased interest from generalist investors.

“We need to make ourselves more attractive, which I think we’ve done by upping our dividend yield,” he said in an interview with Reuters.

And as the gold industry studies blockchain technology as a way to confirm ethical and sustainable production, Newmont is interested in trialing it this year, he said.

Read more via Newmont Mining Poised for Growth in Gold Sector – The New York Times

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Dentists Advised to Stay the Course in Antibiotics Debate | Dentistry Today

pillsTo combat antimicrobial resistance, physicians typically tell patients to complete their full courses of antibiotic treatment. Yet a team of researchers in the United Kingdom not only says that there is no evidence that this approach is helpful, but that it may even make things worse and that patients should stop taking these medications once they feel better.

As physicians and medical organizations such as the Royal College of General Practitioners continue to debate if full or abbreviated treatment is better for preventing resistance, the Faculty of General Dental Practice in the UK (FGDP(UK)) says that nothing should change for dentists, who often prescribe short courses of antibiotics anyway.

“This will be nothing new for dentists. Our advice since publishing the first edition of our guidance in 2001, and in line with the British National Formulary and scientific evidence, has always been that courses of antibiotics should not be unduly prolonged because they encourage resistance and may lead to side effects,” said Nikolaus Palmer, BDS, PhD, editor of the FGDP(UK)’s Antimicrobial Prescribing for General Dental Practitioners.

“Where antibiotics are indicated in the management of dental infections as an adjunct to definitive treatment such as drainage, the evidence is clear that complete resolution occurs within 3 days in most cases. We recommend that antibiotics should be prescribed where indicated for up to 5 days, with patients being reviewed at 2 to 3 days and discontinuing antibiotic use where there is resolution of temperature and swelling,” Palmer said.

The FGDP(UK) further advises patients to return any unused medication they may have to their local pharmacy for safe disposal. Also, the FGDP(UK) has other resources for dentists, including the Antimicrobial Prescribing Self-Audit ToolAntibiotics Don’t Cure Toothache poster, and a patient information leaflet. More information about antimicrobial resistance is available on the group’s antibiotic stewardship page as well.

Read more via Dentists Advised to Stay the Course in Antibiotics Debate | Dentistry Today

Minnesota Has the Best Dental Health; Mississippi Has the Worst | Dentistry Today

visit-dentist-twice-year-846x564Even as more people recognize the importance that oral healthcare plays in overall health, the quality of that oral healthcare varies significantly across the country, according to 2018’s States with the Best & Worst Dental Health from WalletHub.

The states with the best dental health are:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Connecticut
  4. Illinois
  5. North Dakota
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Michigan
  8. Massachusetts
  9. South Dakota
  10. Idaho

The states with the worst dental health are:

  1. Texas
  2. South Carolina
  3. Florida
  4. California
  5. Louisiana
  6. Montana
  7. West Virginia
  8. Alabama
  9. Arkansas
  10. Mississippi

Rhode Island has the lowest share of the population who couldn’t afford more dental visits due to costs at 37%, which is half of the rate of Georgia, which is the highest in the nation at 74%. Massachusetts has the most dentists per 100,000 residents at 48. That’s three times more than Tennessee, which has the fewest at 16.

Solutions that focus on reducing costs such as evidence-based treatment and silver diamine fluoride and on increasing the scope of care among other dental professionals could have a significant impact on improving oral health in states that face these challenges, according to experts polled by WalletHub. Expansion of dental coverage and school-based treatment would have a significant impact as well, the experts noted.

“Dental healthcare, in my opinion, can be made more affordable when dental hygienists are allowed to practice more independently and in different settings without the direct supervision of dentists. The expansion of dental hygiene mid-level providers (dental therapists) could potentially fill the gap in access to care and reduce costs,” said Elmer E. Gonzalez, MS, RDH, program director and assistant professor of dental hygiene at New Mexico State University.

Read more via Minnesota Has the Best Dental Health; Mississippi Has the Worst | Dentistry Today

Metals: Gold Closes Higher With Dollar Falling

Gold prices closed higher Thursday, supported again by a weaker dollar.

Gold for February delivery swung between small gains and losses and closed up 0.5%, at $1,362.40 a troy ounce, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have risen to their highest level since August 2016 recently, with the dollar hitting fresh multiyear lows amid international trade concerns. A weaker dollar makes gold and other commodities denominated in the U.S. currency cheaper for overseas buyers.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 other currencies, shed 0.5% before later paring those losses.

Read more via Metals: Gold Closes Higher With Dollar Falling – WSJ

US News & World Report Names Dentistry the Best Healthcare Profession | Dentistry Today

female-associate-dentistIt looks like it’s a good time to be a dentist. US News & World Report has named dentistry the top healthcare profession in the country and number two overall behind software development. Plus, orthodontists came in fifth on the full list, oral and maxillofacial surgeons got the eighth place nod, prosthodontists landed in the sixteenth slot, and dental hygienists were right behind at 17. Dental assistants cracked the chart as well at number 98.

US News & World Report identified professions by analyzing data on the jobs that had the largest projected number of openings through 2026, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The news agency then ranked these choices based on a variety of criteria, including median salary, employment rate, 10-year growth, future job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance.

“Dentistry is a fulfilling and wonderful profession for many reasons. It encompasses science, technology, artistry, and the highest level of research,” said Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD, vice dean of oral health at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “The ability to help patients and improve the quality of their lives is very gratifying. The profession provides ample room to be challenged and grow as general dentists and specialists.”

“I think the agreeable work-life balance says more about individuals placing this important part of their and their families’ well-being high on a priority list—something I find personally very satisfying,” said Ronnie Myers, DDS, MS, dean of the Touro College of Dental Medicine. “This is also inherently seen in applications and acceptances to dental schools, where 50% are women who have often said that the life balances afforded by the profession are very appealing.”

Read more via US News & World Report Names Dentistry the Best Healthcare Profession | Dentistry Today

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Studies Uncover More Links Between Periodontitis and Cancer

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Photo courtesy of Dentistry Today 

As researchers continue to probe the links between oral and systemic health, independent studies in Europe and the United States underscore the potential connections between periodontitis and various forms of cancer, with a particular look at how oral bacteria may trigger onset of the disease.

Bacteria and Cancer

Researchers at the University of Helsinki, the Helsinki University Hospital, and the Karolinska Institutet have investigated the role of bacteria that cause periodontitis in developing oral and certain other cancers as well as the link between periodontitis and cancer mortality on the population level.

Their work has proven for the first time, the researchers said, the existence of a mechanism on the molecular level through which Treponema denticola (Td) also may have an effect on the onset of cancer. The primary virulence factor of Td, the Td-CTLP proteinase, also occurs in malignant tumors in the gastrointestinal tract such as pancreatic cancer.

The CTLP enzyme can activate the enzymes that cancer cells use to invade healthy tissue (pro-MMP-8 and pro-MMP-9). At the same time, CTLP also diminishes the effectiveness of the immune system by, for example, inactivating molecules known as enzyme inhibitors.

In another study, the researchers proved on the population level that periodontitis is linked with cancer mortality, with an especially strong link to mortality caused by pancreatic cancer. Some 70,000 Finns took part in the this 10-year follow-up study.

“These studies have demonstrated for the first time that the virulence factors of the central pathogenic bacteria underlying gum disease are able to spread from the mouth to other parts of the body, most likely in conjunction with the bacteria, and take part in central mechanisms of tissue destruction related to cancer,” said Timo Sorsa, a professor at the University of Helsinki.

The researchers concluded that a low-grade systemic inflammation related to periodontitis facilitates the spread of oral bacteria and their virulence factors to other parts of the body. They noted that the prevention and early diagnosis of periodontitis are very important for patients’ oral health and their overall wellbeing.

“In the long run, this is extremely cost-effective for society,” Sorsa said.

Read more via Studies Uncover More Links Between Periodontitis and Cancer | Dentistry Today

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Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble

bitcoin

photo courtesy of hackernoon.com

The sequence of words is meaningless: a random array strung together by an algorithm let loose in an English dictionary. What makes them valuable is that they’ve been generated exclusively for me, by a software tool called MetaMask. In the lingo of cryptography, they’re known as my seed phrase. They might read like an incoherent stream of consciousness, but these words can be transformed into a key that unlocks a digital bank account, or even an online identity. It just takes a few more steps.

On the screen, I’m instructed to keep my seed phrase secure: Write it down, or keep it in a secure place on your computer. I scribble the 12 words onto a notepad, click a button and my seed phrase is transformed into a string of 64 seemingly patternless characters:

1b0be2162cedb2744d016943bb14e71de6af95a63af3790d6b41b1e719dc5c66

This is what’s called a “private key” in the world of cryptography: a way of proving identity, in the same, limited way that real-world keys attest to your identity when you unlock your front door. My seed phrase will generate that exact sequence of characters every time, but there’s no known way to reverse-engineer the original phrase from the key, which is why it is so important to keep the seed phrase in a safe location.

That private key number is then run through two additional transformations, creating a new string:

0x6c2ecd6388c550e8d99ada34a1cd55bedd052ad9

That string is my address on the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum belongs to the same family as the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, whose value has increased more than 1,000 percent in just the past year. Ethereum has its own currencies, most notably Ether, but the platform has a wider scope than just money. You can think of my Ethereum address as having elements of a bank account, an email address and a Social Security number. For now, it exists only on my computer as an inert string of nonsense, but the second I try to perform any kind of transaction — say, contributing to a crowdfunding campaign or voting in an online referendum — that address is broadcast out to an improvised worldwide network of computers that tries to verify the transaction. The results of that verification are then broadcast to the wider network again, where more machines enter into a kind of competition to perform complex mathematical calculations, the winner of which gets to record that transaction in the single, canonical record of every transaction ever made in the history of Ethereum. Because those transactions are registered in a sequence of “blocks” of data, that record is called the blockchain.

Read more via Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble – The New York Times

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Lalaounis Continues to Create ‘Jewelry With a Soul’ – The New York Times

ATHENS — Family lore has it that when the hospital discharged each of Ilias Lalaounis’s four daughters after their births, the first place their father took them was not home but to his jewelry workshop, an intricate labyrinth of studios and staircases in the shadow of the Acropolis.

“My dad said it was to get the smell of the workshop,” his third daughter, Maria Lalaounis, said with a laugh. “He wanted to make sure it was in our DNA and in our senses.”

Lalaounis — a fourth-generation jeweler who died at 93 in 2013 — was one of the most celebrated jewelers in Greece during the last century. He was a prolific artist and consummate marketer who revitalized the country’s industry in the 1960s and 1970s while introducing his own creations to a global audience.

Today, almost 50 years since their father founded the company in 1969, the four sisters still control the business, each taking responsibility for different aspects. (And all still use their father’s surname.)

Aikaterini, 58, is the director of retail and public relations in Greece. Demetra, 54, is the chief executive of the international business. Maria, 53, is the chief executive of the Greek business and the brand’s creative director. And Ioanna, 50, is director and curator in chief of the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, which her parents founded in 1993 on the site of his original workshop. With the exception of Demetra, who lives in London, the sisters all live in Athens.

Photo

Jewelry by Ilias Lalaounis, inspired by Greek history, on display at the family museum.CreditEirini Vourloumis for The New York Times

Trying to escape an unseasonal heat wave that gripped the city in September, the sisters gathered in the museum’s cool interior to discuss how they continue to build on their father’s legacy, as well as adapting the business to both contemporary tastes and economic realities.

Read more via Lalaounis Continues to Create ‘Jewelry With a Soul’ – The New York Times

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Tap Uninsured Patients and Dental Membership Plans for Growth and Profitability

Topic Center: Patient RelationshipsMost dentists think the biggest hurdle to growth and profitability is increasing the number of new patients. This is misguided for two reasons. First, new patient acquisition is very costly, time consuming, and difficult. Most efforts do not pay dividends. Second, the largest growth opportunity is right in front of their eyes. It is their existing, uninsured patients who come in their door every day.

This group has millions of dollars of untreated dentistry in their patient charts right now. The key is unlocking that potential by moving them from a pay-as-you-go model to a subscription model. In doing so, dentists can increase treatment acceptance and revenue by 50% and double the value of their practice.

Options for Patients

Your uninsured patients know that dental health is critical to their overall health. Unfortunately, many of these patients avoid dental visits and decline recommended treatment due to cost, fear of cost, and a lack of coverage. The good news is that 89% of these uninsured patients are interested in purchasing a dental care plan, but believe dental insurance is too expensive and complex, according to market research conducted by Finch Brands for Kleer. In fact, only 7% of uninsured consumers purchase dental insurance if it is not subsidized by their employer, reports the National Association of Dental Plans State of the Dental Benefits Market 2015 report.

So how do you take advantage of this huge opportunity while providing your uninsured patients with the care they want? Membership plans are the answer. Membership plans are dental care plans offered by dentists directly to their patients. Patients pay a monthly or annual subscription directly to their dentist for preventive care and discounts off all other treatment.

These plans are vastly different from dental insurance and discount dental plans because dentists are in control. Dentists design plans to work best for their practice, including setting the subscription price and fee schedule. Patients make payments directly to their dentist, avoiding the cost, hassles, and overhead of a third party.

Uninsured patients skip dental visits and avoid treatment because they don’t have coverage. As a result, they aren’t getting the treatment they want and need. Also, they don’t purchase dental insurance due to cost and complexity. This is where membership plans come in. Membership plans create a “membership club effect,” mitigating fear and giving patients peace of mind. These patients feel protected by the coverage that membership plans provide, so they visit more often and accept more treatment.

We recently conducted research and found that on average, uninsured patients who are on a membership plan accept 55% more treatment in a year than uninsured patients who are not on a plan. The same research also showed that a typical dental office can double the value of its practice by converting its uninsured patient base to membership plans.

Read more via Tap Uninsured Patients and Dental Membership Plans for Growth and Profitability | Dentistry Today

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Palladium enjoys hot streak and leaves platinum for dust

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For all the excitement around Tesla Motors and the growth prospects of electric cars, the best performing commodity of 2017 has its fortunes tied to the internal combustion engine. Palladium, a metal used to curb harmful fumes produced by gasoline vehicles, has risen by almost a third this year, outpacing all other metals and raw materials in the Bloomberg Commodity Index. The silvery white material, produced mainly from mines in South Africa and Russia, is benefiting from a shift in sentiment and bets that consumers will switch from diesel to gasoline cars because of concerns over emissions. Speculative wagers on palladium have almost tripled in the past six months as investors have piled into the commodity, pushing it close to price parity with sister metal platinum for the first time in almost two decades.

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