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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tamiflu Metabolite Measured in Japanese Sewage Discharge, River Water

Tamiflu Metabolite Measured in Japanese Sewage Discharge, River Water - This story, posted to Newswise on Monday, September 29, has attracted quite a lot of attention, particularly as the H1N1 flu virus continues to affect concerns about the upcoming flu season.

Tamiflu is arguably the most popular over-the-counter treatment, and is considered a viable option to at least speed up recovery if you've already come down with the flu. One potential complication, however, is that trace amounts of Tamiflu's active ingredient, oseltamivir carboxylate (OC), is now showing up in treated sewage and river water.

From the article:

"[I]n the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), researchers measured oseltamivir carboxylate (OC), the active metabolite of the popular anti-influenza drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), in samples of sewage discharge and river water collected near Kyoto City during Japan’s 2008–2009 flu season."

The results indicate the potential damage these trace amounts of OC could cause:

"...the peak drug concentrations observed in this study may be high enough to promote the emergence of drug-resistant influenza strains in waterfowl exposed to OC-contaminated waterways."

Researchers continue to examine the possibility of drug-resistant viruses, so watch Newswise for the results of those future studies. Follow our Feature News Channels on Drug-Resistant Superbugs and a Breaking News Channel on H1N1 Influenza.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Newswise Client Tutorials: Changes to the Contribution Form

Hello there, Journalists, Bloggers, Clients and friends of Newswise! As I wrote a few weeks ago, we've undergone many changes here at Newswise with the launch of our revamped website. With a lot of valuable user-feedback, we've made some improvements and we hope you're enjoying the new site.

For some additional info, I've asked my cohorts in Member Services to come up with some tips for our clients on how to navigate some of the new features on the article contribution form. Working together with my colleague, Andy Roy, we've put together this list of brief tutorials geared specifically toward our clients. If you are not a Newswise member and you have any questions about joining, you can reach us at info at newswise dot com, or use our contact form.

HTML tags: You are now allowed to use HTML tags when you contribute a release. This means you can apply styling such as bold and italics, for example. Perhaps most importantly, you can include tags to create a link in the body of your article. The HTML must be entered manually; simply copying and pasting from Word or other types of documents will cause the HTML formatting to be lost or corrupted. If you don't choose to put in the HTML to activate a url yourself, we will activate it for you as usual.

Tip: HTML code to create a link looks like this:

Save as Draft: If your release is awaiting approval or you just aren't ready to commit it to go live on our site, you may choose to save it as a draft and return to complete it later. You can access drafts through the "Manage Articles" link in the left-hand navigation bar, or in the "Tools" drop-down menu at the top.
Tip: Navigate to your "Manage Articles" page from either of these two locations:

Submit your article: Once you have finished your submission click the "Submit and View" button at the bottom of the page. This submits your article for review by Newswise staff, and it will bring you to a confirmation screen showing you a sample of what your release will look like. Keep in mind that some formatting will not be done on your release until Newswise editors review it; for example, your contact info will not yet appear in its usual place to the right of the article under "contact info".

Also, on the confirmation screen for your article, there is now a button labeled "Return to Edit", which takes you back to the article to make changes. If you do this right away, before Newswise editors have reviewed the story, your changes will be live immediately. However, if you edit the article after it has been reviewed by Newswise editors, your changes will create a replacement article. More info about replacements is explained next.

Editing a reviewed article (replacements): Once your article has been submitted, our editor will review it and release it at the time you specified. If you need to make edits after our editor has reviewed it, you will notice some html tags in your article. Do not be alarmed. These can only be seen by Newswise staff and are used to format your release. Please do not delete these tags.
Tip: When you submit a replacement, it goes into a queue for Newswise editors to review the changes. In the meantime, you will not see your changes live on the article yet. Only after we review the replacement article will your changes overwrite the existing article.

Release Time: Our release times are now on a 12-hour clock, not 24, as it was before. Midnight is now 12AM instead of 00:00, and noon is 12PM instead of 12:00.

Embedding Images/Audio/Video: We've moved the "add image and multimedia" option to the bottom of the contribution form. To add images or multimedia such as audio and video, click the "Add Images and Multimedia" button, which will take you to a new screen. Follow the instructions to add image and multimedia files, captions and credits, and when you are done, select "Save as Multimedia" at the bottom.
Tip: Multimedia options are only available with certain levels of membership. If you have any questions about your options or wish to add multimedia to your membership, contact us at

Tags (keywords): Tags should no longer be pasted in; they should be entered one tag at a time. You must then select your tag from the drop-down list. Adding appropriate tags will help your article appear in more searches on our site and on the web.

We hope these tips are helpful. If you have any additional questions or you are having trouble contributing a story, you can reach Andy at, or by phone at 434-296-9417.

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