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Hoverboarding dentist gets 12 years in prison for fraud, unlawful dental acts

Close-up photograph of feet on hoverboard on institutional floor.
Enlarge / A man tests out a Hovertrax hoverboard produced by Razor at the International Toy Fair 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany, on January 1, 2017.

The infamous hoverboarding dentist of Alaska has been found guilty of fraud and unlawful dental acts and was sentenced to 12 years in prison this week, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Dentist Seth Lookhart was charged with 42 counts in 2017. Most of the charges related to a scheme to unnecessarily sedate patients or keep them sedated for extended periods of time so that Lookhart could inflate Medicaid billing. Prosecutors found that Lookhart extensively detailed the scheme himself in text messages and raked in nearly $2 million from the unjustified sedation.

But, despite his lucrative sedations, Lookhart is likely best known for being the dentist who, in 2016, pulled a tooth from a sedated patient while wobbling on a wheeled “hoverboard” scooter. The evidence for this transgression again came from Lookhart himself, who had the hoverboard procedure captured on video. Lookhart then shared the video with several people.

In the video—played in court last year and previously reported by Ars—Lookhart is seen standing over a sedated patient, swaying slightly on his hoverboard while extracting a tooth. Once done, he rolls out of the room, strips off his gloves, tosses them, and victoriously throws both hands in the air as he zooms away down a hallway.

Investigators identified the patient as Veronica Wilhelm, who got to confront Lookhart in court. When the prosecutor asked her how she would have responded to the hoverboard riding had she known and not been sedated, Wilhelm responded: “I would’ve said ‘Hell no!’” She also said she was angry that Lookhart sedated her son for a routine teeth cleaning.

“[You] probably could’ve been a really good dentist,” she said in court, directly addressing Lookhart. “I don’t have anything bad to say about taking out my tooth, I appreciate that, but I just think that what you did was outrageous, narcissistic you know, and crazy.”

In January, Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton found Lookhart guilty on all counts. He wrote in his ruling that the evidence against Lookhart was “simply overwhelming” and emphasized that the “overwhelming amount of evidence” against Lookhart “was often supported, and often in excruciating detail, by Dr. Lookhart’s own texts, photos, and videos.”

At sentencing this week, Wolverton said he was struck by how dangerous the sedations were for Lookhart’s patients. “In reviewing all this over and over again, I have this visceral response—you darn near killed some people,” he said.

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Hoverboard Dentist Sentenced to 12 Years In Prison

Illustration for article titled Dentist Who Pulled Tooth While Riding Hoverboard Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

Screenshot: Gizmodo/Seth Lookhart’s Dental Office

The hoverboard is the cursed gadget that keeps on giving. Years after the devices became infamous for exploding, they’re back in the news. This week, Seth Lookhart, a former dentist in Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after a video of him removing a patient’s tooth while riding a hoverboard drew unwanted attention to his illegal activities. Lookhart was convicted on 46 felony and misdemeanor counts in January that included charges of medical assistance fraud, scheme to defraud, unlawful dental acts, and reckless endangerment.

Lookhart’s sentencing took place on Monday, and according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Law, he was given a full sentence of 20 years in jail with eight years suspended. The disgraced dentist was also placed on probation for 10 years and told he can’t practice medicine during that time. According to local news outlet KTUU, the state could still revoke Lookhart’s medical license permanently.

In 2016, at the height of the hoverboard fad, Lookhart decided to conduct a routine tooth removal procedure while teetering on one of the devices. Video footage was taken of the event in which he can be seen victoriously pulling the tooth from the mouth of a sedated patient. He then proceeds to engage the hoverboard and speed down the hallway of his office with his arms raised above his head. According to charging documents, Lookhart’s actions “did not conform to minimum professional standards of dentistry,” and he shared the video with several “persons outside his dental practice.”

The stunt is the primary reason Lookhart’s case has gone viral, but authorities found that he was also unnecessarily sedating patients to rack up fraudulent Medicaid charges totaling almost $2 million—a scam that authorities say he freely described in text messages saying that he was offering a “new standard of care.” In the statement, Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton is quoted as telling the court that the “overwhelming amount of evidence was often supported, and often in excruciating detail, by Lookhart’s own texts, photos, and videos.”

Some of Lookhart’s victims confronted him from the witness stand during the trial. Veronica Wilhelm, the patient in the hoverboard video, told Lookhart in the courtroom, “I don’t have anything bad to say about taking out my tooth, I appreciate that, but I just think that what you did was outrageous, narcissistic, you know, and crazy.”

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Where Will Moderna Be in 10 Years?

Ten years ago, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) was a brand-new biotech still more than five years from advancing its first candidate into clinical testing. It was also eight years away from conducting the biggest initial public offering in biotech history. 

Much has changed over the last decade. Moderna now claims a market cap of close to $30 billion. It’s a pioneer in using messenger RNA (mRNA) to treat and prevent diseases. Moderna’s mRNA-1273 ranks among the leaders in the coronavirus vaccine race. 

Where will Moderna be 10 years from now? There’s no way to know for sure, but here’s one realistic possibility.

2020 on a lower level with a ladder leading up to a higher level with 2030 on it.

Image source: Getty Images.

Moderna’s flagship

Any discussion of Moderna’s future has to begin with what could very well become the biotech’s flagship product: COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273. Moderna hopes to file for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for mRNA-1273 in late November.

That filing will, of course, hinge on successful late-stage testing of mRNA-1273. My prediction is that everything will go well, leading to the vaccine winning EUA before going on to secure full FDA approval.

Assuming that happens, it’s a foregone conclusion that mRNA-1273 will become a blockbuster success for Moderna. What’s less certain is exactly how much money the vaccine will make for the company. That will depend in large part on the safety and effectiveness of other coronavirus vaccine candidates.

mRNA-1273 or a potential successor could still contribute significantly to Moderna’s top line 10 years from now. I suspect that COVID-19 will follow a similar path as the seasonal flu, with people receiving vaccines at least annually. If so, Moderna’s flagship product could continue to rake in big bucks through 2030 and into the following decade.

Beyond coronavirus

While mRNA-1273 is the biggest story for Moderna now, my view is that the biotech could have multiple products on the market within the next 10 years. Moderna has long believed that if mRNA is successful in treating one disease, it should be able to address lots of diseases.

The company’s pipeline includes four programs in phase 2 testing that could potentially be available for sale by the end of this decade, including its cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine. CMV is especially problematic for babies. Close to one in 200 babies is born with CMV infection, with roughly 20% of those babies experiencing long-term health problems.

Moderna also thinks its mRNA approach could be effective in treating cancer. The company’s wholly owned mRNA-2416 program targets solid tumors and lymphoma. Moderna and Merck are testing experimental personalized cancer vaccine mRNA-4157.

mRNA could have even more applications. AstraZeneca is evaluating AZD8601, an experimental mRNA therapeutic initially developed by Moderna, in a phase 2 study for treating coronary artery disease.

There’s also a chance that some of Moderna’s programs currently in early stage testing could be on the market by 2030. If mRNA-1273 is effective against the novel coronavirus, I fully expect that Moderna could eventually become a top player in vaccines for other viral diseases, including the flu

This year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge will have an inflatable Aquapark challenge

AquaFun Park
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Dubai Sports Council has announced the addition of an exciting new event to its community sports calendar for the Dubai Fitness Challenge. The Aqua Challenge, which will take place at the AquaFun Waterpark in JBR on October 31, the second day of the city-wide sports event.  

The Aqua Challenge is the first event of its kind taking place in the Middle East, on one of the most fun and entertaining obstacles course in the country.There will be a total of 35 inflatable obstacles spread across the massive 50,000sqft AquaFun Waterpark, which is the largest inflatable aqua park in the world, and the obstacles will be arranged in the shape of “I Love Dubai”.

Participation is limited to a maximum of 150, so those interested in taking part will need to rush and visit to register. Registration is open to men and women aged 16 to 60. They can register as Individuals – Male and Female category – or as a mixed team of three. There will be prizes on offer for the podium finishers in collaboration with Dubai Sports Council.

The event will start at 3pm and due to adherence to social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols, no more than three people will be allowed to start in every wave, with a 60-second distance between every wave of participants.

Life jackets will be provided to the participants, but they will need to bring their own towel and a change of clothes. 

Key information:

Location: AquaFun Waterpark in JBR

Timing: October 31 from 3pm onwards

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Weed goes on sale years after approval in Maine

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Mainers are getting their first opportunity to legally buy marijuana for adult recreational use, but a supply shortage is a potential buzzkill.

Retailers blame the pandemic and a limited number of licensed manufacturers for reducing the variety of products available on Friday, the opening day. Licenses were issued only a month ago.

That didn’t dampen Matt Bourgeois’ enthusiasm for hitting two newly opening cannabis shops in South Portland.

“It’s the history that I’m excited about,” said Bourgeois, 40, of Hampton, New Hampshire, who wasn’t worried about limited products. “I’d like to take part in the historic moment. It’s important to me.”

Maine’s road to becoming the 10th state allowing the retail sale of marijuana for recreational use was exceptionally arduous.

A referendum was approved nearly four years ago, in November 2016, but the effort to set up a method for legally purchasing cannabis dragged on through two vetoes by the governor, two legislative rewrites, and a change in administrations.

Then came the coronavirus pandemic that created further delays as the state determined how to safely open stores.

Under state law, marijuana growers and product suppliers have to be licensed, and the products have to be certified by a state-licensed lab. For now, there are only a handful of manufacturers, and one laboratory.

And there are only seven stores at present, though the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy will be licensing more in coming months.

That’s a bit of a disappointment for advocates. But it’s better than nothing and it represents a starting point, said David Boyer, an independent marijuana industry consultant in Maine.

“To the state’s credit, there’s something to be said for planting a flag and breaking the ice and starting sales for thousands of adults who don’t have access for one reason or another. It’s a big day,” he said.

State law allows each customer to buy up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, enough to roll more than 100 joints. Included within that limit, they may also purchase 5 grams of concentrate.

Many retailers, however, plan to limit customers to smaller amounts to stretch their supply, although many still expect to sell out quickly.

Co-founder Brandon Pollock from Theory Wellness, which has cannabis stores in South Portland and Waterville, agreed that supply is going to be limited but said he’s pleased that vendors are out of the “purgatory” of years and years of waiting for this day to come.

“It’s only going to get better from here. We should all appreciate that we have a legal access point, and we’re doing the best we can to get as much products on the shelves as quickly as possible,” he said.

For the time being, Maine’s medical marijuana market will be better stocked with edibles and other products. The state’s medical marijuana caregivers and eight dispensaries accounted for more than $111 million in sales last year.

All told, more than 87,000 Mainers already hold medical marijuana cards, allowing them to make legal purchases.

Maine becomes

Why Peloton’s new ad campaign works better than last year’s

  • When Peloton released its holiday commercial last December, viewers cringed at its awkwardness and took to social media to ridicule the company.
  • Peloton took note and released a new ad campaign this week that features real riders ranging in body type, race, and location. A narrator explains “why they ride,” as the viewer sees the bike tucked into real homes.
  • Alixandra Barasch, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, breaks down why Peloton’s new campaign is so powerful, what the fitness brand learned from previous mistakes, and how other companies can apply these lessons to their branding.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Peloton released its holiday commercial last December, in which a man gifts his wife a bike and she records a year’s worth of workouts, viewers cringed at its awkwardness and took to social media to ridicule the company. They dubbed the woman the “Peloton wife.” 

The ad promoted a great deal of negative commentary, including criticism that the commercial was sexist and classist — the already-fit woman was using a $2,245 bike. What’s more, the company’s stock fell by about 9% the day after online outrage spread across social media and news sites. 

Peloton took note. It released a new ad campaign this week that features real riders ranging in body type, race, and location. A narrator explains “why they ride,” as the viewer sees the bike tucked into real homes. (Disclaimer: this reporter is a Peloton user.)

“It’s all about how this can be your special time to step away and be part of a community,” said Alixandra Barasch, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “It’s less about what went wrong in the last campaign, which was focusing too much on what your body should look like.” 

Barasch breaks down why Peloton’s new campaign is so powerful, what the fitness brand learned from previous mistakes, and how other companies can apply these lessons to their branding. 

The focus is on community over function 

The new ad campaign barely features Peloton’s bike, and when it does, the imagery is more about the rider than the equipment’s bells and whistles. That was intentional, Peloton’s new SVP and head of global marketing Dara Treseder told Business Insider. 

“In the past, our marketing campaigns were primarily focused on our product and the services,” Treseder said. “But our community has grown so significantly that it’s important to showcase the fullness of the Peloton experience and some of the most valuable elements of the Peloton brand that many people don’t see until they’re fully immersed in it.” 

Barasch praised the tactic, adding that it emphasized the social connection many individuals lack these days due to Covid precautions like social distancing and quarantining. 

“Even though we’re all isolated right now, we can still tap into these connections with other people,” Barasch said. “It’s serving as a substitute for this community that many of us are missing and that’s

Cocaine overdose deaths tripled in five years, CDC says

While opioids were grabbing the headlines, cocaine overdose deaths in the United States have marched upward, nearly tripling over five years, a new government report shows.

After a period of stability, cocaine-induced deaths rose by about 27% per year, on average, from 2013 through 2018, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“While much attention has been given to the increase in drug overdose deaths involving opioids, it’s also important to recognize that deaths involving other drugs, such as cocaine, have also increased in recent years,” said Dr. Holly Hedegaard, lead researcher and injury epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

In 2018, those most likely to die from cocaine were men, adults aged 35 to 44, Black people and city dwellers in the Northeast. Knowing who’s most vulnerable can help in forming prevention strategies, Hedegaard said.

Given this alarming rise, “focused efforts are needed to better understand why the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine has tripled in recent years,” she said.

According to the report:

  • Cocaine overdose deaths were stable from 2009 to 2013, but by 2018 had jumped from about two to nearly five per 100,000 people.
  • Americans aged 35 to 44 were most likely to die of a cocaine overdose in 2018. Those 65 and over were least vulnerable.
  • In 2018, Black people had nearly double the rate of cocaine-related deaths compared to white people, and three times that of Hispanics at nine per 100,000 versus five and three, respectively.
  • The rate of cocaine deaths in 2018 was nine times higher in Northeast urban counties than in Western rural counties.

Pat Aussem, associate vice president at the Partnership to End Addiction, said several factors may have contributed to the dramatic rise in cocaine overdose deaths.

“In recent years, countries like Colombia have had bumper crops of coca, and the prices of cocaine have fallen dramatically, resulting in a cheap, abundant product for export. With its increase in purity and decrease in price, cocaine can be a less expensive alternative to prescription stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall,” Aussem said.

Cocaine is also often laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, which significantly increases the probability of an overdose, she noted.

Indeed, the report found that between 2014 and 2018, the rate of drug overdose deaths from cocaine plus opioids increased faster than the rate of cocaine deaths without opioids.

“When mixing cocaine and opioids intentionally, the desired result is to experience the high of cocaine while easing its after-effects with the depressant qualities of an opioid,” Aussem explained. “If the person using the drug is unaware that the cocaine they are consuming is laced with fentanyl and lacks a tolerance for opioids, they are more likely to experience an adverse reaction or an overdose.”

Cities have been the centers of the cocaine epidemic, Aussem said. “Historically, urban areas such as New York and Miami have been key markets for the cocaine suppliers and are notably along ports of entry. Urban

‘I Lost Over 100 Lbs. In 1.5 Years By Making These 4 Simple Tweaks To My Diet’

My name is Ashley Kincade (@ashleyloveebugg), and I am 25 years old. I live in Chandler, Arizona, and I am an operations manager. I was tired of having knee pain and no energy, so I worked with my doctor to create a calorie deficit to lose weight and did at-home YouTube workouts and High Fitness classes to lose over 100 pounds.

a woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Ashley K. lost over 100 lbs. after her doc helped her calculate a daily calorie intake and cut processed foods. She also did High Fitness and Youtube workouts.

© Ashley Kincade
Ashley K. lost over 100 lbs. after her doc helped her calculate a daily calorie intake and cut processed foods. She also did High Fitness and Youtube workouts.

Before my weight loss journey, I struggled with overeating, food addiction, emotional eating, and yo-yo dieting. I was always too fatigued to workout, and I would end up giving up on working out because I thought it was too hard.

My feet and legs hurt all the time, and I was in my early 20s. I also had a knee injury, and moving around on it at my bodyweight prevented it from fully healing. I knew if I lost weight it would take the pressure off of my legs and my knees. I felt uncomfortable and out of breath even doing simple activities like running errands, like my body was entirely drained of energy.

I went to the doctor and she explained to me that I may develop other health issues. I didn’t want to be unhealthy at only 23.

So, I decided to make a New Year’s resolution in January 2018, and it was the only New Year’s resolution that I actually accomplished.

What made this resolution different from the others is that I shared with everyone that I knew that I was starting a weight loss journey. Telling all of my friends and family is what helped keep me accountable. I just wanted to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about myself again.

I’m allergic to dairy and soy, so I struggled when I first started my weight loss journey because I wasn’t sure what to eat. I would always go for unhealthy foods because it was the quickest and easiest thing that I could just grab and not have to think about.

When I began my health journey, I talked to my doctor about what types of food I should try incorporating into my diet, and she told me to always stay in a calorie deficit. I now try to stay away from as many processed foods as possible, and I also try not to eat a lot of carbs. (I don’t necessarily follow a low-carb diet or anything, but I try to stay away from unnecessary carbs.) It took a lot of trial and error to find what would keep me full and what I could make quickly, since I work retail.

I started by changing what I ate for breakfast every day. Once I got the hang of that, I changed what I ate for lunch, followed by snacks and dinners.

I now been eat a well-rounded

Early school sports reduce ADHD symptoms for girls in later years

Girls who played after-school sports in elementary school seem to have fewer symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder once they reach middle school, a new study suggests.

The research included both boys and girls, but the effect of sports on attention and behavior symptoms was only significant in girls.

“Girls, in particular, benefit from participation in sport when it comes to ADHD symptoms,” said lead author Linda Pagani. She’s a professor at the University of Montreal School of Psychoeducation in Quebec, Canada.

ADHD is a condition that includes ongoing patterns of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity — issues that interfere with a person’s functioning or development, according to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

ADHD signs and symptoms include: Making careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work or during other activities; having difficulty paying attention in tasks like a lecture or lengthy reading assignment or during play; seeming not to listen when spoken to directly; interrupting others; fidgeting; leaving one’s seat when staying seated is expected; running around in inappropriate situations or feeling restless, in teens and adults.

The current study included nearly 1,500 children born in Quebec in 1997 and 1998. The group included 758 girls and 733 boys with complete data from age 6.

Parents were asked if kids participated in an extra-curricular physical activity with a coach or instructor between the ages of 6 and 10.

When kids were 12, teachers were asked to compare their ADHD symptoms and behaviors to their peers’. Teachers only looked for symptoms suggestive of ADHD, not a formal diagnosis, Pagani said.

Girls who consistently participated in organized sports were less likely to have ADHD symptoms than girls who didn’t, the study found. The researchers didn’t find a similar link for boys.

Pagani said organized sports likely help reduce ADHD symptoms in several ways: During an organized physical activity, kids have to listen and focus on what their coach is saying. It’s different from an unstructured after-school program where kids can do whatever they want.

Sports also help inhibit distraction and promote planning behavior, Pagani explained. Plus, sports get kids away from their screens and switching from one app to the next, and give them a chance to shake off some energy.

So, why wouldn’t sports make a difference for boys, too?

They probably do, Pagani said, but the upside wasn’t strong enough to be statistically significant.

“Boys are over-identified when it comes to any kind of ADHD symptoms,” she said. “For every three boys with ADHD, only one girl will get identified. Girls may not be getting pharmacology [medications] and psychotherapy that boys often do. In this particular domain, because girls are under-identified and under-treated, they tend to benefit a lot from sports.”

All kids — both girls and boys — can benefit from taking part in organized sports, Pagani said.

Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., reviewed the findings.

“Although the researchers found an association in girls between organized sports

Hoverboard-riding dentist gets 12 years in jail

a person wearing a hat and glasses: hoverboard dentist

© Provided by BGR
hoverboard dentist

  • An Alaska dentist that stood on a hoverboard while extracting a patient’s tooth has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.
  • Seth Lookhart also piled up a mountain of other charges and was convicted of embezzlement and other crimes. 
  • Despite his conviction, Lookhart says he hopes to return to his career in the future.

If you weren’t already afraid or at least a little bit uneasy about going to the dentist, you probably will be after reading about 35-year-old Seth Lookhart. Lookhart, who practiced dentistry in Alaska, was perhaps the worst dentist in the country during his time seeing patients. A court decided that he wasn’t just bad at being a dentist, he is also a criminal, and will now serve a dozen years behind bars for his crimes.

Lookhart’s sentence was 20 years with 8 years suspended, and a decade of probation afterward. He is barred from practicing dentistry during this entire time and it’s safe to say that his medical career is likely over. Hopefully.

So, what exactly did Lookhart do to warrant the label of “worst dentist?” Well, for starters he performed a tooth extraction on a sedated patient while he rode a hoverboard in the operating room. He videotaped his stunt and sent it around to friends. He also embezzled money, filed false Medicaid claims and pocketed the cash, and performed anesthesia “thousands of times” despiting having no training or legal clearance to do so.

On top of that, the court learned during a trial in January that patients of Lookhart would often awaken from their operation and realize that the troubled dentist had performed the wrong procedure on them. Sometimes Lookhart would extract the wrong tooth or do something to the patient that hadn’t been agreed upon. Yeah, he’s pretty terrible.

His sentencing isn’t the end of his troubles, however, as he now faces additional charges and demands for restitution from his clients as well as the state of Alaska, which says it will seek $2 million to cover the cash that Lookhart embezzled from the Medicaid system.

Despite all of this, Lookhart says he’s still hopeful that he can return to his dentist career at some point in the future. “Looking back, I can’t say exactly when I began to go off course,” Lookhart said, according to KTUU. “While I do not doubt that I was able to render care and alleviate the pain to many people who were in dire need, I also know that I could have and should have maintained better discipline and focus while serving a patient base I came to love.”

That’s pretty bold considering the list of charges he was just sentenced for. The state is pushing for a permanent ban on his ability to practice dentistry, but that final ruling has not yet come down.


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