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Scientists clarify what probiotics are and what they are not

Thursday March 14 th 2019

A new scientific paper calls for strict adherence to the scientific definition, ensuring improper use of the term doesn’t mislead consumers or limit advancements in the emerging field of microbiome science.

Authored by Dr. Gregor Reid, Raja Dhir, and Dr. Azza A. Gadir

LOS ANGELES, March 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – Today, Dr. Gregor Reid, the scientist who chaired the United Nations/World Health Organization Expert Panel that authored the definition of ‘probiotics’ in 20011, published a new paper in Frontiers in Microbiology: “Probiotics: Reiterating What They Are and What They Are Not”, to reestablish and clarify the term.

Marketing and media misuse of the term ‘probiotics’, and even misunderstanding within the scientific community, has contributed to growing global skepticism about the legitimacy of microbial therapies and the associated probiotic applications to improve human health.

Reid authored this paper in an effort to ensure hype doesn’t limit scientific and medical advancements. “Too many microbiome studies oversell limited findings or make broad generalizations that attribute the results of a single study on a single product across our entire field. Adherence by scientists, publications, and reporters to precise definitions and guidelines will ensure more accurate communications,” said Reid. “Stewardship of the term ‘probiotic’ is critical to curb its misuse and misattribution and to protect the future of a field that has incredible promise.”

Summary of Paper

Within the field of microbiome science, the rate of discovery of novel organisms with potentially therapeutic benefit is progressing rapidly and gaining prominence. More than ever, it is imperative that guidelines are followed to determine the validity of a probiotic. As indicated in the original FAO/WHO (2002) report1, there are certain expectations required to call an organism ‘probiotic’. These have been further clarified in 20142, and must include:

  • That microbes be alive in an adequate number when administered.
  • Strains must be identified genetically, classified using the latest terminology, and designated by numbers, letters, or names.
  • Appropriately sized and designed studies must be performed to designate a strain as probiotic and use the strain(s) on the host to which the probiotics are intended (human, livestock, companion animal, etc).
  • Strains shown to confer a benefit for one condition may not be probiotic for another application.
  • Strains that are probiotic for humans but are being used in animal studies should be clearly designated as human probiotics under experimental testing.

For the complete paper, visit 

As part of the authors’ commitment to further transparency and accountability in science communication, they have included their conflict of interest statement below. They encourage the scientific community to do the same on press releases.

Raja Dhir is a Co-Founder of Seed Health, Inc., a biotechnology company developing microbial therapies not discussed in this paper. Gregor Reid is a scientific advisor to Seed. Azza A.Gadir is involved in research and development at Seed, and is developing intellectual property related to microbial regulation of immune mechanisms underlying food allergies, which is not discussed in this paper.



1 FAO/WHO. (2002). Guidelines for the evaluation of probiotics in food.

2 Hill, C., Guarner, F., Reid, G., Gibson, G. R., Merenstein, D., Pot, B., and Morelli, L. et al. (2014). The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotics. Nat. Reviews Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 11(8):506-14.


Dr. Gregor Reid, BSc (Hons), PhD, MBA, ARM CCM, Dr HS, FCAHS, FRSC is the Director of the Canadian RD Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotics at Lawson Health Research Institute, an inductee into the Royal Society of Canada, and previously served as the President of the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). He is perhaps best known as the Chair of the United Nations World Health Organization Expert Panel on Probiotics, leading the group that authored the globally accepted definition of ‘probiotics’. Dr. Reid has authored over 520 peer-reviewed papers published in scientific and medical journals, has been a reviewer for 48 international agencies (including the National Institute of Health) and 112 scientific journals; he has been awarded 28 patents and cited over 27,000 times. He also serves as Chief Scientist to Seed.


Dr. Azza A. Gadir, PhD completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Talal Chatila at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital, where her published research focuses on the immunological mechanisms that underlie food allergy. She is specifically interested in understanding the role of the gut microbiome in conferring protection to diseases early in life. For this work, she is co-inventor of a patent for microbial consortia that can reduce and/or eliminate food allergy and has collaborated with industry partners to accelerate the discovery of microbiome-related immunotherapies for food allergy. She is Director of R+D at Seed.


Raja Dhir is a life sciences entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Seed, where he leads R+D, academic collaborations, technology development, clinical trial design, supply chain, and intellectual property strategy. Raja serves on the Editorial Board for the scientific journal, Microbiome. He is a member of the Microbiome Think Tank at Mass. General Hospital (MGH) and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP).

About Seed®
Seed is a life science and consumer health company pioneering the inquiry and application of microbiome science to improve human and planetary health. In collaboration with leading scientists and a global network of partners and experts in biofermentation, stabilization and testing, Seed is setting a new standard in bacteria. Its environmental R+D arm, SeedLabs, also develops novel applications for bacteria to solve some of our biggest ecological challenges.

Erin Allweiss   

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Leading Enterprise Contract Management Company Hires Former Microsoft, Intel Executive

PUNE, India, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Icertis, the leading provider of enterprise contract management in the cloud, today announced the appointment of Shreesh Dubey as Senior Vice President of Product Management. Shreesh brings three decades worth of experience in cutting-edge technology roles from leading companies such as Microsoft and Intel.

Icertis Logo

As the SVP of Product Management, Shreesh will drive the next phase of expansion and innovation across the Icertis product line. He will be responsible for building out the product roadmap for the award-winning Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform and associated contract-centric business applications. With deep domain expertise delivering enterprise SaaS solutions and highly relevant experience leading agile product development teams, Shreesh has the perfect skillset to continue the company’s hyper-growth.

“Icertis has redefined the CLM category, and the Icertis Contract Management platform has set the high bar for a CLM product. But, we have just begun to scratch the surface,” said Neal Singh, Chief Operating Officer of Icertis. “Shreesh’s invaluable experience delivering innovative SaaS solutions at a global scale will help us drive innovation and growth even more aggressively, and further extend our lead in the market. I am beyond thrilled to have Shreesh join the Icertis team and look forward to his contributions to our mission of becoming the contract management platform of the world.”

Shreesh joins Icertis from the Microsoft Azure Cloud and AI Division where he held several senior management positions working on the industry-leading Microsoft Azure platform. Prior to that, Shreesh spent more than 15 years at Intel where he held senior roles in support, marketing and product development organizations.

“When the opportunity to join the leading company in the fast-growing CLM market came along, I knew I had to take a look,” said Shreesh. “Icertis has a clear vision to transform the foundation of commerce and has assembled an incredible team to make it happen. These combined with the company’s commitment to a values-driven approach to doing business meant it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up!”

Several recent analyst reports have cited Icertis’ established leadership in the CLM space. Spend Matters recently called Icertis the “undisputed leader” and the company was named a leader in contract life cycle management in the Forrester Wave report for its best-of-breed product offering. Download a complimentary copy of the report here.

For more information about Icertis, visit

About Icertis:
Icertis, the leading enterprise contract management platform in the cloud, solves the hardest contract management problems on the easiest to use platform. With Icertis, companies accelerate their business by increasing contract velocity, protect against risk by ensuring regulatory and policy compliance, and optimize their commercial relationships by maximizing revenue and reducing costs. The AI-infused Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform is used by companies like 3M, Airbus, Cognizant, Daimler, Microsoft and Roche to manage 5.7 million contracts in 40+ languages across 90+ countries.

Icertis Media Contact: 
Haley Flanagan 
Corporate Communications Manager 
+1 (425) 869-7649 


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Furniture China’s New Prize, the Green Booth Construction Awards, to Continue into 2019

Booth construction, one of the key elements of every exhibition, would consume a large number of light construction materials within one week

SHANGHAI, March 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Furniture China 2019, organizer UBM Sinoexpo will continue to adhere to The Regulations on the Management of Domestic Wastes in Shanghai. In 2018, Furniture China (which in total had two venues and over 40 halls with around 3,500 exhibitor booths) added a new prize – Green Booth Construction Awards - to stimulate exhibitors to take responsibility for sustainable development. This award was created as a guide towards recyclable and reusable booth construction and will also be presented at Furniture China 2019.

Green booth construction is how exhibitions practise environment friendly responsibility by producing lower waste and higher efficiency during booth construction. Instead of the traditional materials and structures, green booth construction encourages the use of flexible structure with recyclable materials, such as aluminium alloy.

The purpose of the Green Booth Construction Awards is to recognize the rational use of resources and measures candidate by their material utilization and functional completeness of their booths. UBM Sinoexpo launched the program in July 2018 with Shanghai Polytechnic University acting as an academic consultant. In 2018, a total of 18 companies were honoured with the award according to their booth design, material recyclability and safety factor.

Gold Award:

  • Anji Lucky Furniture Co., Ltd.
  • Beijing Triumph Furniture Co. Ltd. (CAMERICH)
  • Guangzhou Ganfu Furniture Co., Ltd. (EDIMASS)

Silver Award:

  • Beijing Younglion Trendshome Ltd.
  • Italstudio Manufacturing Limited
  • Hangzhou Zhuangyi Furniture Co., Ltd.
  • Jiangsu Sikexin Furniture Co., Ltd.
  • Hangzhou Sureeco Home Furnishing Co., Ltd
  • Asiades Hong Kong Ltd.

Bronze Award:

  • Shanghai TEKNI Home Furnishing Co., Ltd
  • Cixi Mingqing Furniture Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Beijing Anton Comany Ltd. (DULTON)
  • Beijing Sanhanju Antique Furniture
  • Shanghai Youyi Environmental Construction Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Shanghai Jieyu Culture and Creative Development Co., Ltd.
  • Hong Teng Furniture (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. / Boas Furniture Company Limited
  • Hangzhou E.K Textile Co., Ltd.
  • WOCA

To provide a platform for global brands and buyers to achieve business success, Furniture China is not only optimizing the quality of service and products, but also taking action in response of the Sustainable Development Goals raised by U.N. to actualize the “responsible consumption and production” for the next generation.


Furniture China 2019

Time: 9-12 September 2019
Venue1: The Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)
Venue2: Shanghai World Expo Exhibition Convention Center (SWEECC)

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Malaysia Bourse May Extend Tuesday’s Gains

Wednesday March 13 th 2019

(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market on Tuesday snapped the two-day slide in which it had stumbled more than 20 points or 1.2 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,670-point plateau and it may see mild upside again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic on an upbeat outlook for interest rates and mild upside in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian markets are tipped to inch higher.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares and industrial issues.

For the day, the index added 6.65 points or 0.40 percent to finish at 1,671.28 after trading between 1,666.84 and 1,672.94. Volume was 3 billion shares worth 2 billion ringgit. There were 523 gainers and 346 decliners.

Among the actives, Genting Malaysia plunged 1.75 percent, CIMB Group soared 1.70 percent, RHB Capital and AMMB Holdings both spiked 0.90 percent, Hartalega Holdings tumbled 0.84 percent, Public Bank collected 0.83 percent, Petronas Chemicals jumped 0.65 percent, Dialog Group climbed 0.63 percent, Axiata Group skidded 0.49 percent, Sime Darby advanced 0.47 percent, Genting added 0.43 percent, Top Glove gained 0.22 percent, Maybank rose 0.21 percent, IHH Healthcare sank 0.17 percent, Tenaga Nasional was up 0.16 percent and MISC and IOI Corporation were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is inconsistent as the major averages moved in opposite directions on Tuesday.

The Dow shed 96.22 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 25,554.66, while the NASDAQ rose 32.97 points or 0.44 percent to 7,591.03 and the SP added 8.22 points or 0.30 percent to 2,791.52.

The loss posted by the Dow was largely due to a continued decline by Boeing (BA) after the European Union, China, the U.K. and other countries grounded the company’s 737 MAX jets following the second crash in less than six months.

Meanwhile, the broader markets benefited from the release of tame inflation data, which suggests the Federal Reserve will continue to refrain from raising interest rates in the near future.

Crude oil futures ended slightly higher on Tuesday, with traders looking ahead to the weekly inventory data. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April added $0.08 or 0.1 percent at $56.87 a barrel.

New Survey of Individuals Affected by Alzheimer’s Reveals Couples Don’t Discuss Their Wishes Related to Having Another Relationship

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the A-LIST today released findings for the It’s Personal: National A-LIST Survey of Alzheimer’s Couples survey, acquiring results from over 1,000 individuals. These findings will ensure that patients, families and caregivers have a voice in the transformation of Alzheimer’s research. Some of these findings were featured today on CBS This Morning in a piece on Alzheimer’s caregivers and companionship. 

Today’s survey results provide unique insight into how Alzheimer’s patients talk to their partners and spouses about living with cognitive decline, especially as it relates to caregivers having a relationship outside of their marriage. More key findings are below:

  • While a majority of couples report they discuss patient-related preferences, over 60% of those surveyed say they omitted or avoided a conversation about their spouse or partner seeking outside companionship.
  • When respondents were asked, “If you had Alzheimer’s or dementia, would you support or be against your spouse or partner having outside companionship/affection,” responses were divided Support (39%), Unsure (42%), Against (19%).
  • Respondents were divided on the question of whether the Alzheimer’s patient being in a facility or at home would make a difference for a spouse to have another relationship. There was a combined 50% split between “Yes” or “Unsure,” and close to 50% said “No.”

The A-LIST is a community more than 6,000 individuals who participate in patient and caregiver research through online surveys. The A-LIST provides a unique, rapid-response, self-reported data resource that represents the voice of the patient and caregiver community. Sign up to become a member of the A-LIST here.


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