London TaxiBased Electric Van Delayed

first_img LEVC (London Taxi) Unveils Final Design Of Its New Electric TX Taxi Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on January 13, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News The Geely-owned firm has put the decision down to ‘stiffer competition and global market changes’, according to Automotive News Europe.Development for the van had been completed and it was expected to be launched this year, but it now looks set to arrive in two years time at the earliest.“Like the rest of the industry, we are facing a number of macro challenges, stiffer competition and developing technology,” LEVC CEO Chris Gubbey told the outlet.The van is being developed by Geely’s New Energy Commercial Vehicles (GVC) company to make it viable for the Chinese market, but it will still be built in Britain for the European market. It is expected to make up half the output of LEVC’s Coventry plant by 2022 – roughly 5,000 units a year. It sold 1,200 hybrid TX taxis last year.The make-up of the van is also changing. While it will remain a plug-in hybrid as planned, it will no longer be based on the Taxi architecture, which itself shares a lot in common with the Volvo XC90.“The architecture is not 100 percent set, but it will be a new development,” said Gubbey. “That’s what’s driving the timing difference.”The change in architecture for the van will help it bring the price down, having initially expected to out-price its target market. It will still be pricey though, expecting to cost in the region of £56,000, much like LEVC’s TX taxi. That will also allow it to compete with the likes of Ford and Peugeot which are both planning to release hybrid and electric vans respectively. LEVC To Introduce TX Taxis In Paris In Early 2019 It’s no longer taxi-based, either.The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) is holding off from launching its new van based on its hybrid London taxi.More LEVC Taxi News LEVC TX Electric Taxi Arrive On London’s Roads Today For The Final Tests – Videoslast_img read more

Study Bill Thomas is Aging

first_imgby, Martin Bayne, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 Shares20130408-115603.jpg Well, of course Dr. Thomas is aging. We’re all aging. We all begin the extraordinary process of cell growth, senescence and death while we’re still in the womb. Imagine that! We actually begin “growing old” before we’re out of the womb.So, then, what’s all the hub-bub about aging? I’ll tell you what it’s NOT about. It’s not about adopting common-sense life styles that would enhance both the quality and quantity of our exploratory missions to this planet: we eat the wrong foods in quantities that are truly startling. We smoke, chew tobacco, snort cocaine, inject heroin etc., etc. And it’s not about finding the optimal housing arrangement for our 88-year-old mothers, either. Since the dawn of man, our elders have managed to find housing. Yes, today there are unique circumstances that challenge our village, but if we can land men on the moon, we can certainly come up with a way to care for our parents.So, again, why all the noise NOW about aging? I was watching a rerun of The Sopranos today (I haven’t owned a TV for 25 years. Thankfully, the Internet provides a broad range of entertainment options.) Anyway, during one of his psychotherapeutic sessions, Tony Soprano said, “We’re the only country where people expect to be happy. And despite everything we’ve been given, happiness eludes us.”That’s it! That’s the answer, the REAL answer to the question, Why all the noise? Now. Happiness. Think about it . . . most of our parents (I’m 63; my parents, mid-eighties) never found their Golden Years. After a Depression and a brutal World War, most worked, retired and either scraped out a modest living from Social Security and meager savings, lived with their children or just died. Remember how our parents sacrificed, scrimped and saved to give us “a better life” than they had? Well, we’ve tweaked the algorithm so WE can have what THEY never did. Besides, we’re Boomers, and Boomers practically invented change on a massive scale.So, Get Ready! They’re coming. And they’re selling happiness. And they know where 60% + of this country’s wealth is. In OUR pockets. So, before they knock on your door, ask yourself . . .Is it possible to grow old – with chronic disease, loneliness, isolation, – and still be happy? Well, is it? ”Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity.What that is, is aging.” – Maya AngelouTrue that. Martin BayneCopyright (c) 2013   The post Study: Bill Thomas Is Aging appeared first on The Voice of Aging Boomers.20130408-115603.jpgRelated PostsGet Ready To Share Your Story (And Preview the New ChangingAging)I know I said we would be revealing our new design this week but as you can imagine we’re still working out some bugs and it’s not quite ready to launch. It’s also been an extremely busy week with the big Erickson School Look Who’s Aging conference in Florida so…Better Late Than Never Oprah, I GuessOprah is trying to change her tune on aging but she’s a day late and an apology short. In a much-touted video on Huffington Post Oprah extols the “blessings” of aging, but if you listen and look carefully her monologue is laced with anti-aging bias.Restraining AgingAs children we welcomed the aging process excitedly, wondering when we would grow and what we would look like. We quickly lose this wonder as we become seduced by an anti-aging culture into disavowing, denying and resisting aging. We’re pressured to see aging as a villain to be stopped, to…TweetShareShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Leaving to Go Back Al Power and the St Johns Home Green

first_imgby, Daniel WeinshenkerTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesWhen Al Power was in med school and specializing in geriatrics, he would visit his grandmother in a nursing home. During one these visits, he noticed the nameplate on her door; the last name, “Power” had an “s” at the end of it. “It was a note to me,” he said. “Of how anonymous she… read more >>Related PostsTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: al power ChangingAging Eden rochester THE GREEN HOUSE Projectlast_img

Eamonn Dennis Wolverine

first_imgRATINGSESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #44 ATHRivals: 3-star, 5.7 grade, #73 WR247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #41 ATH, #505 overall Dennis is listed at 5’10” and 173 lbs. He claims a 4.52 forty, a 4.33 shuttle, and a 40″ vertical. Dennis does not play in an extremely complicated passing offense, and his routes are pretty simple. He catches a lot of bubbles and slants, which is great, but it suggests that he will have to spend some time learning the nuances of more complicated passing offenses and route trees when he gets into college. He also sometimes lets passes get into his body instead of catching with his hands, which can sometimes result in incompletions. And of course, there’s always the need to hit the weight room. Worcester (MA) St. John’s running back/wide receiver Eamonn Dennis publicly committed to Michigan on Monday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Duke, Iowa, and UMass, among others. Hit the jump for more on Dennis. Michigan offered Dennis back in January when only UConn and UMass had offered, making it one of those “Is this a real offer?” situations for some skeptical Michigan fans. He picked up some Power 5 offers since then, though no other big-time Power 5 programs have offered. Michigan was his first official visit this past weekend, and that resulted in a commitment. Tags: 2020 recruiting, Eamonn Dennis, Worcester (MA) St. John’s Overall, this is a good pickup for the Wolverines. Dennis is in the mold of a playmaker, and you can’t have too many of those in your program. Michigan now has three jitterbug types slated to be on the roster in 2020 and beyond: Dennis, Mike Sainristil, and Giles Jackson. Whether Dennis plays in the slot or the backfield (Michigan has mentioned both), he should be able to make an impact shortly after arriving on campus. TTB Rating: 72 (ratings explanation) High school teammate Jay Brunelle, another wide receiver, officially visited with Dennis and could be on the verge of announcing a commitment, too. The only other player in Michigan history to have come from St. John’s was defensive back Michael Manning (1997-2001). Worcester (MA) St. John’s RB/WR Eamonn Dennis (image via Telegram)  1 0You need to login in order to vote Dennis is one of those dastardly humans blessed with the ability to run really fast without looking like he’s putting in much effort. He glides past most of his high school opponents without breaking a sweat. He plays out wide, in the slot, and in the backfield for St. John’s. His short-area quickness is excellent, as is his acceleration, and I like his vision. At his size he’s not extremely physical, but he’s not afraid of contact, either.last_img read more

Palliative care associated with shorter hospital stays and lower costs study shows

first_img Hospitals saved on average $3,237 per patient, over the course of a hospital stay, when palliative care was added to their routine care as compared to those who didn’t receive palliative care. Palliative care was associated with a cost savings – per hospital stay – of $4,251 per patient with cancer and $2,105 for those with non-cancer diagnoses. Savings were greatest for patients with the highest number of co-existing illnesses. Apr 30 2018Effect is greatest among those with highest illness burden Palliative care-;which better aligns medical treatments with patients’ goals and wishes, aggressively treats distressing symptoms, and improves care coordination, -;is associated with shorter hospital stays and lower costs, and shows its greatest effect among the sickest patients, according to a study published Monday, April 30, in JAMA Internal Medicine. The meta-analysis was conducted in collaboration between scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Trinity College Dublin.Palliative care is team-based care focused on improving quality of life and reducing suffering for people with serious illness and their families. It can be provided for people of any age and in concert with other treatment modalities.The Mount Sinai/Trinity College study pooled data from six prior studies involving more than 130,000 adults between admitted to hospitals in the United States between 2001 and 2015; of these patients, 3.6 percent received a palliative care consultation in addition to their other hospital care.The investigation represents the largest and most rigorous study to date to demonstrate that palliative care-;which has been previously shown to improve care quality, extend survival, and improve family well-being-;is associated with reduced hospital stays and associated cost savings, particularly for patients with the most complex conditions. The study found: Source:http://www.mountsinai.org/about/newsroom/2018/better-care-of-sickest-patients-can-save-hospitals-money-says-largest-study-of-its-kindcenter_img Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancer”People with serious and complex medical illness account heavily for healthcare spending, yet often experience poor outcomes,” says the lead study author, Peter May, MD, Research Fellow in Health Economics, Centre for Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin. “The news that palliative care can significantly improve patient experience by reducing unnecessary, unwanted, and burdensome procedures, while ensuring that patients are cared for in the setting of their choice, is highly encouraging. It suggests that we can improve outcomes and curb costs even for those with serious illness.”Palliative care teams provide an extra layer of support to patients, and families of patients, with complex health needs. Palliative care provides expert pain and symptom management guidance in the treatment of serious illness as well as communicating care options before and after discharge. While palliative care has seen a steady rise during the past 30 years, with several advanced centers for palliative care emerging in the United States, including the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, research suggests that acute care hospitals have not leveraged palliative care to its full potential.The researchers found that the association of palliative care with less intense hospital treatment was most pronounced among those patients with a primary diagnosis of cancer than for those with a noncancer diagnosis, and for individuals with four or more comorbidities compared with those with two or fewer.”The potential to reduce the suffering of millions of Americans is enormous,” says study co-author R. Sean Morrison, MD, Ellen and Howard C. Katz Chair, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This study proves that better care can go hand in hand with a better bottom line.”last_img read more

Researchers identify how smaller hospitals can reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics

first_imgProgram 2: Implemented basic education to physicians and staff on antibiotic stewardship programs Provided a 24/7 infectious disease hotline staffed by infectious disease specialists “For the first time, all of the participating hospitals had access to infectious diseases physicians via a hotline,” said Dr. Stenehjem. “This allowed the patients to receive expert consultation while remaining in their community.”Only hospitals in program 3 saw a significant reduction in antibiotic use compared to baseline data. Hospitals in program 3 reduced broad-spectrum antibiotic use by 24 percent and total antibiotic use by 11 percent.”The bottom line is, small hospitals cannot do it by themselves, but by sharing experts and resources within a system, they can really reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics,” said Andrew Pavia, MD, professor of pediatrics at University of Utah Health. “And more appropriate use of antibiotics will help address the growing problem of ‘superbugs’ that can cause costly and dangerous infections.”Source: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/ Program 3: Provided more advanced antibiotic stewardship education Provided a 24/7 infectious disease hotline staffed by infectious disease specialists Implemented a pharmacy-based initiative in which local pharmacists reviewed use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and provided recommendations for improvement to prescribers Certain broad-spectrum antibiotics were restricted and only local pharmacy staff could approve their use Provided more advanced antibiotic stewardship education Provided a 24/7 infectious disease hotline staffed by infectious disease specialists Implemented a pharmacy-based initiative in which local pharmacists reviewed most antibiotic prescriptions and provided recommendations for improvement to prescribers Certain broad-spectrum antibiotics were restricted and only centralized infectious diseases pharmacists could approve their use Infectious disease specialists reviewed selected microbiology results and spoke with local providers about recommendations for treatment Apr 30 2018Researchers at Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City have completed a study identifying how community hospitals with fewer than 200 beds can develop antibiotic stewardship programs that work to prevent the growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms, or “superbugs,” which are becoming more common and deadly.For the 15 month-study, researchers compared the impact of three types of antibiotic stewardship programs in 15 small hospitals within the Intermountain Healthcare system. They found the most effective program used infectious disease physicians and pharmacists at a central hospital working with local pharmacists to reduce broad-spectrum antibiotic use by nearly 25 percent and total antibiotic use by 11 percent.Researchers found other programs without central support did not see an improvement in antibiotic use. Results of the new study are published in the medical journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases.All hospitals, no matter how large or small, need antibiotic stewardship programs to help physicians use antibiotics optimally and prevent the growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Until now, it’s been unclear how small community and rural hospitals could build such programs to effectively reduce antibiotic use. Antibiotic stewardship programs are now required in all U.S. hospitals regardless of their size.Antibiotic resistance, which is accelerated by the overuse of antibiotics, means bacteria adapt in a way that reduces or eliminates the ability of antibiotics to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria can then turn into drug-resistant “superbugs” that can cause life-threatening infections. Antibiotics are also responsible for many side effects in patients in the hospital, including Clostridium difficile, or C diff.Hospitals across the country are required by The Joint Commission to implement antibiotic stewardship programs to improve antibiotic prescribing in hospitals, since experts estimate 30 to 50 percent of prescribed antibiotics could be used more effectively -; or are unnecessary.”Having an antibiotic stewardship program in place that ensures the right antibiotic is used for the right patient, at the right time, in the right dose and route, and for the right duration will help us protect the effectiveness of the antibiotics we use,” said Eddie Stenehjem, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Intermountain Medical Center and lead author of the study.”The challenge has been knowing how these programs can be implemented in small hospitals, where, historically, they’ve been absent, even though antibiotic use rates in small hospitals are very similar to large hospitals, where the programs are typically found,” he added.While many smaller hospitals have lacked the resources to build a formal antibiotic stewardship program, researchers determined that using a centralized infectious disease support program decreased overall antibiotic use and the overuse of most broad-spectrum drugs, which are used to target a wide range of bacteria that cause diseases.Related StoriesAntibiotic susceptibility pattern of Enterobacteriaceae found in GhanaAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasNatural antibiotic made by Tübingen researchers interacts with human defense mechanismsPrior to the study, each of the participating hospitals lacked antibiotic stewardship programs. Each hospital was randomly assigned to one of three types of programs to determine which was most effective in reducing broad-spectrum antibiotic use:Program 1: last_img read more

UAB researchers unravel brain neuron dysfunction in Parkinsons disease and dementia with

first_img Source:https://www.uab.edu/news/research/item/9435-untangling-brain-neuron-dysfunction-in-parkinson-s-disease-and-dementia-with-lewy-bodies May 11 2018A decay of brain function is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, or DLB. Specifically, cognitive dysfunction defines DLB, and nearly eight of every 10 Parkinson’s patients develop dementia.In both of these neuro-degenerative diseases, aggregates of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein develop in brain neurons, including the hippocampus, the region of the brain that plays a vital role in the formation of memories.These aggregates eventually lead to cell death. However, knowledge of how the abnormal aggregates affect hippocampal neuron structure and function in Parkinson’s and DLB before cell death is lacking.Laura Volpicelli-Daley, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, and colleagues have now described changes in hippocampal neurons early after the pathogenic alpha-synuclein aggregates begin to appear. This understanding, combined with further exploration of the mechanisms underlying the neuronal changes, could point to novel therapeutic treatments to prevent or reverse neuronal defects and halt development of dementia.”In Parkinson’s disease, you can give levodopa to improve motor function; but there is nothing to stop the non-motor symptoms,” Volpicelli-Daley said.About 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, and DLB is the second-most-common form of dementia in the elderly after Alzheimer’s.Volpicelli-Daley’s study took advantage of a novel experimental model of alpha-synuclein aggregates in neurons developed by Volpicelli-Daley and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania eight years ago. Fibrils resembling those found in PD and DLB brains can be made by putting synthetic alpha-synuclein in a test tube and shaking the solution for several days to allow alpha-synuclein to take on a fibrillary, pathologic conformation. These fibrils can be broken up and added to neurons that are grown in culture. The nerve cells take up some of the fibrils. Inside the cells, the fibrils attract the soluble alpha-synuclein that naturally is present in the cells to form the pathological, insoluble aggregates of alpha-synuclein.These grow to form the typical inclusions emblematic of Parkinson’s and DLB. As the pathologic alpha-synuclein inclusions continue to form, they increasingly impair neuronal excitability and connectivity, and eventually lead to neuron death.In the present study, UAB researchers and a Yale University colleague looked at changes in mouse excitatory hippocampal neuronal function seven days after exposure to the fibrils, a time point before any of the neurons die. At seven days, alpha-synuclein inclusions are abundant in axons of the cells — the part of the nerve cell that sends a chemical signal to another nerve cell as part of nerve circuit functioning across the synapses between neurons. These neuronal circuits throughout the brain give rise to perception, action, thought, learning and memories.Related StoriesMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaLiving a healthy lifestyle may help offset genetic risk of dementiaThe researchers found several significant changes in the hippocampal neurons. Formation of the pathological alpha-synuclein inclusions created multiple defects in both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic functions before neurodegeneration had begun.”Something is clearly going on with the neurons before they die,” Volpicelli-Daley said. “There is increased activity at the presynaptic terminal, the site of the neuron that releases chemicals called neurotransmitters. On the other hand, there is decreased activity post-synaptically, the site of the neighboring neuron where these released chemicals activate messenger systems. This may suggest that there is plasticity in the neurons, that is, the neurons are adapting to the increased activity.””Over time, this abnormal activity may eventually lead to neuron death,” she said. “The next step will be looking at how alpha-synuclein increases presynaptic activity and whether this is a loss of alpha-synuclein function in this neuron compartment or it is caused by formation of toxic alpha-synuclein aggregates.””This is a groundbreaking study and one of the first to address critical and previously elusive questions regarding how toxic alpha-synuclein affects the structure and physiology of memory neurons,” said Jeremy Herskowitz, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Neurology and the Patsy W. and Charles A. Collat Scholar of Neuroscience.”Our team was able to move the field forward by applying a truly multidisciplinary approach,” said Linda Overstreet-Wadiche, Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB Department of Neurobiology. “We combined anatomical, biochemical and functional assays to understand how inclusions alter neuronal function prior to cell death, and this approach yielded the unexpected finding that loss of postsynaptic structure was accompanied by enhanced presynaptic function.”Volpicelli-Daley, Herskowitz and Overstreet-Wadiche are co-senior authors of the study.In detail, they found that synaptic activity in the absence of action potentials — specifically, miniature excitatory post-synaptic potentials — increased, even though there was a major reduction in spine density on the dendrites of the neurons. Electron microscopy also showed an increased number of docked presynaptic vesicles. Spontaneous synaptic activity driven by action potentials remained normal, but there was a major impairment in spontaneous influxes of calcium ions downstream of the synapse.last_img read more

Most Texans want state to expand Medicaid and help poor get health

first_imgJun 14 2018Texans think the Legislature should expand Medicaid to more low-income people and make health care more affordable, according to a survey released Thursday.Researchers surveyed 1,367 Texans between March and May of this year about topics ranging from Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, maternal mortality and the role of government in tackling health care issues.Here are some takeaways from the survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Episcopal Health Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.)1) Almost All Texans See A Role For The Texas LegislatureTexans overwhelmingly agree that the state should have a role in making health systems work. According to the survey, 67 percent of those surveyed said the state should have a “major role” and 28 percent said a “minor role” in health care. Only 5 percent of Texans said the state should have no role.”A majority of Texans say that the state has an important role to play in health care,” said Elena Marks, the president and chief executive officer of the Episcopal Health Foundation. “The state is not doing enough and the state should spend more. And people also believe that the state has a role to play in increasing access to insurance.”2) Texans Are Concerned About Maternal DeathsWhen asked what the state Legislature should make a top health care priority, 59 percent of Texans said “reducing the number of women who die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.”That response came in a close second to “lowering the amount individuals pay for health care” (61 percent).Marks says she thinks a lot of this concern is probably related to media coverage around maternal mortality and that the question itself is really a “no-brainer.”“‘You mean people are dying from pregnancy and childbirth?’” she said. “I think people may just look at that and go, ‘Well, of course you should be doing something about that.’”3) Medicaid Expansion Is PopularAbout two-thirds of Texans (64 percent) said they think Texas should expand Medicaid to cover more low-income people. Texas is 1 of the 17 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.Even though feelings in the state are still mixed on the ACA, the survey found that Medicaid is quite popular.“Roughly 4 million people are covered by Medicaid in Texas, nearly three-quarters of whom are children,” according to the survey’s authors. When asked, 6 in 10 Texans said Medicaid is important to their families.Marks said she thinks the conversation about Medicaid expansion in Texas is limiting for people seeking more insurance coverage here. She says the state should have a conversation about coming up with its own way to expand access to affordable coverage, which is a popular idea across the political spectrum.Related StoriesCannabis could help people with opioid addictionStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsExperts release scientific statement on predicting survival for cardiac arrest survivors”Let’s stop talking about Medicaid expansion and let’s start talking about expanding access to affordable health insurance coverage,” Marks said.4) Texans Say We Aren’t Helping The Poor EnoughRoughly two-thirds of Texans also say the state is not doing enough to make sure low-income people get the health care they need.Respondents also think lawmakers could do more to help children (45 percent) and immigrants (41 percent) get coverage. Broken down by party, Republicans were less likely to say that the state is not doing enough to help vulnerable populations get health care services.5) A Lot Of Texans Don’t Know Basic Facts About Health Care HereOne of the standouts in this survey is how little people know about the state’s health care system. Consistently, however, Republican respondents were more likely to be misinformed.For example, groups asked Texans whether the state’s uninsured rate is higher compared to other states. According to the survey, 3 in 10 Texans (31 percent) correctly answer that it is higher. Broken down by party, only 24 percent of Republicans knew Texas has a larger than average share of uninsured people, while 38 percent of Democrats did.Marks says that could explain why Republicans are less likely to say they think there are problems with the state’s health care system.”If you think we have about the same or lower uninsured rates, then you don’t think there’s a problem unique to us that we need to solve,” she said.Texans were also asked whether Medicaid had been expanded in the state; 51 percent of those surveyed correctly said the state had not expanded it.According to the study’s authors, “Democrats are somewhat more likely than Republicans and independents to know that Texas has not expanded its Medicaid program” (62 percent, 43 percent, and 52 percent, respectively).This story is part of a partnership that includes KUT, NPR and Kaiser Health News.KHN’s coverage of women’s health care issues is supported in part by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Researchers find link between resilience to dyslexia and gray matter in the

first_imgJul 24 2018Dyslexia, a reading disorder, is characterized by a difficulty in “decoding” — navigating between the visual form and sounds of a written language. But a subset of dyslexic people, dubbed “resilient dyslexics,” exhibit remarkably high levels of reading comprehension despite difficulties decoding. What is the precise mechanism that allows certain individuals with dyslexia to overcome their low decoding abilities and ultimately extract meaning from text?A new joint Tel Aviv University and University of California San Francisco study identifies the brain mechanism that accounts for the discrepancy between low decoding skills and high reading comprehension.The research was led jointly by Dr. Smadar Patael of TAU’s Department of Communication Disorders and Prof. Fumiko Hoeft, who is currently at the University of California San Francisco and starts as director of the University of Connecticut’s Brain Imaging Research Center this fall. The research was recently published in PLOS One.Measuring gray matterThe research points to a larger volume of gray matter in resilient readers in the part of the brain responsible for executive functions and working memory. This specific region, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of the left hemisphere, is known as the “air traffic controller” or “conductor” of the brain. Gray matter is the darker tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting mainly of nerve cell bodies and branching dendrites.Researchers examined 55 English-speaking children aged 10-16 with a wide range of reading abilities. Half of these children had been diagnosed with dyslexia. The researchers created a simple formula to calculate the difference between the reading abilities and decoding skills of the participants. The participants were scanned with an MRI. The researchers then compared the mapped images of the participants’ brains with their reading skill results.”We wanted to find whether the brain regions related to language or other regions were responsible,” says Dr. Patael. “We found that the region in the left frontal part of the brain known as left DLPFC was directly related to this discrepancy. DLPFC has been shown to be important for executive functions and cognitive controls.”Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsThe chicken or the egg?”We then sought to understand answer a ‘chicken or egg’ question related to dyslexia and the slight enlargement of this brain region,” Dr. Patael continues. “Do resilient dyslexics have distinct brain structures that allow for better resiliency, or is their success in reading a result of compensation strategies that actually altered the density of neurons in a specific region of the brain?”To answer this question, Dr. Patael, Prof. Hoeft and their colleagues scanned 43 kindergarteners using MRI technology, and then three years later tested the children’s reading abilities. The researchers found that the density of neurons in the DLPFC predated mature reading ability and predicted the discrepancy, regardless of their initial reading abilities.”This helps us to understand the brain and cognitive mechanisms these children utilize to enable them to do well despite their relative weakness in decoding. It may help us think about incorporating relatively new strategies into reading interventions,” says Prof. Hoeft.”Much of the curriculum of kindergarten reading readiness is focused on learning sounds of letter and phonological awareness,” concludes Dr. Patael. “Our research findings suggest new approaches that emphasize executive functions and working memory. If your child is entering first grade, practicing the alphabet may not be enough. Consider activities that require working memory, such as baking cakes and playing song and strategy games. These activities stimulate children’s working memory and may in time foster their ability to comprehend texts well.”The researchers are currently further exploring the neural mechanisms of compensation and resilience. Source:https://www.aftau.org/weblog-medicine–health?&storyid4704=2403&ncs4704=3last_img read more

New realtime strategy to combat future outbreaks of footandmouth disease

first_imgJul 31 2018Future outbreaks of foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease can be combatted quickly and efficiently from early on – when authorities have minimal information – thanks to a new real-time strategy, developed by researchers at the University of Warwick.Dr Michael Tildesley and Dr William Probert in Warwick’s School of Life Sciences and Mathematics Institute discovered that the most effective policies for the start of a FMD outbreak, even when we know very little about it, are focusing on surveillance and vaccination.Determining the optimal strategy to control FMD can be challenging in the first weeks of an epidemic, due to uncertainty about the nature of the outbreak and how the disease will be spread. The researchers sought to resolve this uncertainty, enabling the spread of the disease to be controlled more rapidly and effectively than in the past.Using data from previous FMD outbreaks – the UK in 2001 and Japan in 2010 – they simulated the spread of disease, and at each stage of the outbreak analysed the real-time efficacy of multiple different approaches.These methods included: Culling only infected farms Culling infected farms, plus farms designated as dangerous contact Culling infected farms, dangerous contact farms and neighbouring farms (contiguous culling) Ring culling at three kilometres, and at ten kilometres Vaccination at three kilometers, and at ten kilometres At every stage in an outbreak, regardless of the uncertainty in case reporting, local targeted approaches (culling of infected premises and ring vaccination around confirmed infected farms) were always found to be the most effective.Related StoriesU.S. FDA clears Lapiplasty 3D Bunion Correction System for treating pediatric patientsAir ambulance costs fly around fixes for surprise medical billsSummer bummer: A young camper’s $142,938 snakebiteOn the other hand, ring culling was never an effective method. The researchers conclude that, owing to the spatial uncertainty in model predictions during the early stages of an epidemic, targeted surveillance is crucial to allow authorities to gain information and resolve uncertainty as quickly as possible, ultimately better controlling the spread of the disease earlier in an outbreak.Dr Michael Tildesley, Associate Professor in the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences and Mathematics Institute, commented:”This work highlights both the limitations and the benefits of using an infectious disease model in real time, during an ongoing outbreak. It is crucial for policymakers to employ surveillance to resolve uncertainty in how the disease is spreading as rapidly as possible, as this may have significant implications upon our ability to predict future epidemic behavior.”Most mathematical models developed for disease control look back to previous outbreaks and make their calculations using all the information from the whole episode – this new strategy is rare in that it works out the best approach with only the information to hand in the middle of an outbreak.https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/real-time_foot-and-mouth_strategylast_img read more

Neonatal immune system starts to change dramatically in response to bacteria viruses

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 23 2018As soon as a baby is born, its immune system starts to change dramatically in response to the bacteria, viruses and so forth in its new environment, a phenomenon that is common to all babies, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden write in a paper published in Cell. The study was made possible using new techniques of immune cell analysis. Examining how the neonatal immune system changes has been difficult since the analyses are made from samples taken from the umbilical cord directly after delivery. Researchers have now exploited a new technique of immune cell analysis to monitor how babies develop for the first few weeks of life outside the womb.”This is the first time we’ve pinned down how the human immune system adapts itself to birth and the new environment,” says Petter Brodin, doctor and researcher at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) and the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. “We saw drastic changes in the babies’ immune system between each sampling, which shows that it is highly dynamic early in life.”The study compared blood samples from 100 babies, both premature and full-term, taken during the first, fourth and twelfth week. The comparison was achieved using an advanced technique of immune cell analysis: mass cytometry in combination with extensive plasma protein analyses.Only small amounts of blood, just a few drops from each baby, are needed to analyse all the white blood cells and hundreds of proteins circulating in the blood. The researchers were also able to show that the babies who had abnormal development of the gut flora during the first weeks also demonstrated a disorder of the immune system.”Our results are important for better understanding the infection-sensitivity of newborn babies and the risks of premature birth,” says Dr Brodin. “If we can monitor the development of the immune system and steer it in different directions, we make it possible to prevent autoimmune diseases and allergies, which are partly related to the development of the immune system, and to even develop better vaccines, tailored to the neonatal immune system.”Related StoriesMathematical model helps identify determinants of persistent MRSA bacteremiaStudy shows potential culprit behind LupusMaking Bacterial Infections a Thing of the Past for Chronic Respiratory ConditionsThe adaptation of the immune system is thought to be triggered by the microbes, bacteria, fungi and so forth that the baby encounters outside the womb. The process begins primarily in the lungs, gut, skin and mucosa, which is to say the body’s points of contact with the outside world.”What surprised us was how similar the changes were amongst babies,” says Dr Brodin. “It seems as if all babies follow one and the same pattern, with their immune systems responding with exactly the same sequence of dramatic changes. It’s almost like a well-choreographed dance, a practiced routine.”The researchers will now be broadening out the study to encompass more babies, all of whom will be monitored into childhood. This will enable the team to see which of them develop diabetes, allergies, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.”Many of these diseases can definitely be traced back to how a baby is born and how its immune system adapts to the external environment,” explains Dr Brodin. “What we’re bringing to the table is the specific changes in the immune system that underlie this. It’s a piece of the puzzle that was formerly missing.”The study was made possible through the close collaboration of Karolinska University Hospital.”For ethical, practical and logical reasons it’s difficult to put together a study like this,” says Dr Brodin. “The key to our success is that those of us leading the study also work as doctors and when we manage to combine patient-end work with the most advanced techniques, we make wonderful discoveries.” Source:https://ki.se/en/news/dramatic-development-of-immune-system-after-birthlast_img read more

Release of danger molecules during stress may put youth at risk of

first_img Source:https://www.augusta.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 11 2018The release of “danger” molecules in response to significant periods of mental stress early in life may leave young people at lifelong risk of cardiovascular disease, scientists report.”We know mental stress is bad for the cardiovascular system,” says Dr. Yanbin Dong, geneticist and cardiologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. “We want to know more about how it’s bad.”They think one answer is DAMPs, or damage (AKA “danger”) associated molecular patterns. Stressed and dying cells regularly empty their contents, or DAMPs.”Their job is to signal your body that there is danger and to do something about it,” says Dong, including triggering inflammation, which can both help eliminate an invader and heal. DAMPs help heal a knife wound to the chest, for example. But at a certain point, the body has mechanisms to eliminate what becomes inflammation-producing trash. And there is increasing evidence that high DAMP levels for extended periods can overwhelm that natural system, which can lead to chronic inflammation and a host of associated health problems, including cardiovascular disease.Dr. Clinton Webb, Herbert S. Kupperman Chair in Cardiovascular Disease in the MCG Department of Physiology, is leading another major research initiative looking at how high blood pressure, for example, results in more cell death which results in more DAMPs being dumped which fuels inflammation and high blood pressure.”We know that mental stress has a physiological impact, which includes things like transiently increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. Would DAMPs also be involved in the mental stress process? That is my question,” says Dong.His hypothesis is that, like with high blood pressure, significant mental stress also creates a vicious cycle by stressing cells and elevating DAMPs, inflammation and blood pressure.If he is right, “DAMPs might be a good target to reduce the impact of mental stress on our physical wellbeing,” Dong says.Blood pressure generally tracks from childhood into adulthood. And, early life stress, from parents who are socioeconomically challenged, to actual adverse child events, or ACEs, like sexual abuse and neglect, already are associated with hypertension in adulthood, potentially even hastening its development.A 2015 study in the journal Circulation led by Dr. Shaoyong Su, genetic epidemiologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute and a co-investigator on the new study, showed that children who experience multiple ACEs, already have higher blood pressures as young adults.A $2.4 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is helping Dong and his colleagues determine if DAMPs are a key factor.They are looking again at data on about 400 study participants, on whom they have detailed measures of adverse childhood events. About 30 percent of those participants reported the moderate to severe life stresses that are a focus of this study. The now young adults are part of the Georgia Stress and Heart Study exploring risk factors for children to grow up as adults with heart disease, which gathered cardiovascular relevant information up to 17 times over 27 years, including periodic blood samples.This time the scientists are correlating what reported stress does to DAMP levels in that blood. A pilot study in 14 of the participants – some who reported significant psychological stressors and others who did not – indicated DAMP levels do increase with stress, although blood pressure increases were not significant, at least in that small cohort, Dong says.The investigators are now further mining the information, looking at levels of three DAMPs known to stimulate inflammation, high-mobility group box 1, or HMGB1, one of the most studied DAMPs; as well as mitochondrial DNA; and heat shock protein 60, or HSP60.Related StoriesStress-induced changes in heart rate may impair auditory perceptionEarly adversity could make individuals more vulnerable to stress-related drinking during adulthoodOxidative stress could play key role in the spreading of aberrant proteins in Parkinson’s diseaseHigh levels of circulating HMBG1 are an established cardiovascular risk associated with bodywide inflammation, organ damage and an increased risk of dying in patients with sepsis and an acute lung injury. But their role in hypertension remains unclear.Mitochondria, which produce fuel for cells, have DNA that is distinctive from our own, so when it spills because of stress of injury, it’s known to also prompt an inflammatory response. Early life stress increases oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage but studies have not been done to determine if mitochondrial DNA levels remain elevated.HSP60 is a member of a family of proteins typically associated with protecting cells from stress, but associated as well with a variety of diseases, including cancer. HSP60, which is known to aid the replication of mitochondrial DNA, also has been associated with inflammation, low socioeconomic status, social isolation and psychological stress, and elevated levels have been found in patients with borderline hypertension. However, long-term impact on blood pressure is unknown, the investigators say, and their study is the first to examine the link between elevated HSP60 and early life stress, Dong says.They are looking retrospectively at what happens to blood levels of those DAMPs over time and what routine and 24-hour blood pressure checks indicate at those times. They also are looking at what happens to other factors, like how much blood pressure reacts to a stressor in real time, which gets mixed reviews as to whether it’s good or bad in terms of cardiovascular risk, as well as established risks like arterial stiffness, a thickened carotid artery wall and the size of the pumping chamber of the heart. A larger ventricle means the heart is having to work hard to pump blood against higher resistance in blood vessels.They want to know if DAMPs are involved in an increased cardiovascular risk over time and whether race or gender influence their impact. Another question the investigators want to answer is whether repeated and/or ongoing psychological stress can get and keep DAMP levels up.Related rat studies indicate that blocking DAMPs may reduce blood pressure increases that result from psychological stress.The scientists hope to emerge at the end of the studies with new, targeted prevention and treatment strategies that can do the same for young people. Higher blood levels of DAMPs in childhood may also serve as a biomarker for future cardiovascular risk, Dong says.”Particularly when you think of the physiological consequences, like hypertension or stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, we think you should put DAMPs in the picture,” Dong says.Early life stress can result in increased inflammation – a contributor to many diseases from high blood pressure to cardiovascular disease and cancer – that persists in adulthood, Dong says.Childhood blood pressures in the country are generally edging upward. A study from 1988-2000 showed the top number, or systolic blood pressure, an indicator of the pressure against your artery wall when the heart beats, edged up 1.4 points. The bottom number, or diastolic blood pressure measure, which indicates pressure between beats, moved up 3.3 points, according to a 2004 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Elevated levels of either are a factor in diagnosing high blood pressure and increased cardiovascular risk, according to the American Heart Association. Studies at institutions like MCG’s Georgia Prevention Institute have shown that blood pressure levels track from childhood to adulthood, Dong says.last_img read more

Bacteria shrink tumors in humans dogs

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email A syringe full of noxious bacteria sounds like the last thing a cancer patient needs. But a new study of dogs with tumors, and even one human cancer patient, reveals that injecting certain bacteria directly into the growths can shrink or even eliminate them. The results strengthen the case that using bacteria to treat cancer, an approach that performed poorly in some clinical trials, will work.Doctors first noticed that bacterial infections sometimes diminished or even eradicated tumors more than 200 years ago. William Coley, a surgeon in New York City, was the first to run with this idea. In the 1890s, he began injecting cancer patients with live Streptococcus bacteria to combat their tumors. After two recipients died from infections, he switched to administering dead bacteria and ended up treating more than 1000 patients with his so-called Coley toxins. Coley sometimes injected the bacteria into tumors and sometimes into the bloodstream, and many of his patients survived. But treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery soon pushed Coley’s approach into the history books. Still, a 1999 reanalysis of some of his cases suggested his success rate was about the same as for modern cancer therapies.Recent attempts to revive bacterial cancer treatment have run into obstacles. For example, a clinical trial in which patients received intravenous doses of weakened Salmonella bacteria found that the treatment was safe but had little impact on tumors. For more than a decade, cancer geneticist Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues have investigated a different bacterium, the soil -dweller Clostridium novyi, a relative of the microbe responsible for botulism. Oxygen is scarce inside tumors, and these bacteria “love areas of low oxygen,” says Saurabh Saha, a cancer researcher at BioMed Valley Discoveries Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, and a co-author on the new study, which appears online today in Science Translational Medicine. “They grow and divide and kill the cancer cells,” Saha says. The researchers hypothesize that the bacteria release enzymes that destroy the tumor cells, and then they feast on the debris.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Injecting spores from the bacterium into the brain tumors of rats extended the animals’ survival, the researchers found. But treatments that work in lab rodents have a bad habit of failing in people, so the researchers wanted to test the bacteria in animals that more closely resemble human cancer patients. They chose dogs. Like humans, dogs are more genetically diverse than lab rodents are. And like human tumors, dog tumors sprout spontaneously, in contrast to the researcher-induced tumors of lab rodents.Saha and colleagues injected C. novyi spores into the tumors of 16 pet dogs whose owners had run out of options for treating them. In six of the dogs, the tumors shrank or disappeared, and the tumors stopped growing in another five animals. Several dogs needed surgery to clear the wounds as the tumors disintegrated.Bolstered by results of the animal studies, the researchers began a safety trial of the treatment in people. The first person who received the bacteria was a woman whose abdominal tumor had metastasized to several parts of her body, including her right shoulder. Although the researchers injected less than 1% of the bacterial dose the dogs had received into the shoulder metastasis, the growth began to dwindle. However, the treatment spurred an unusual side effect. The tumor had barged into the humerus, the bone in the upper arm, and was apparently providing physical support. Destruction of the cancer cells led the bone to break, which required surgery to repair. Eventually, the patient died from her other metastasized tumors.The bacteria not only destroy tumor cells, but they also spur immune cells to attack the cancer, the researchers previously showed. And because the microbes survive only in the oxygen-poor milieu of a tumor, the treatment is specific, Saha says. “It distinguished the tumor from normal cells.” The researchers plan to continue their safety trial and want to determine which types of tumors will respond to bacterial therapy, he says.Saha and colleagues altered their bacteria to be less dangerous to people, and the microbes die when they contact oxygen, which limits their ability to spread. Nonetheless, some of the dogs and the human patient in the trial received antibiotics, and doctors and other caregivers used standard anti-infection measures, such as wearing protective gowns and gloves.The study is significant because it provides “proof of the concept that this particular approach can have antitumor activity in ‘real tumors’ ” rather than just in the induced tumors of lab rodents, says Douglas Thamm, a cancer biologist and veterinary oncology researcher at Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center in Fort Collins. Doctors might need to pair the treatment with other therapies, such as radiation, to mop up any tumor cells that escape the bacteria, he says.“It’s a very good and very important paper,” adds cancer biologist Robert Hoffman of AntiCancer Inc., a San Diego, California–based biotech firm. He and his colleagues have shown that a different strain of Salmonella bacteria than the one used in previous clinical trials could eradicate various types of tumors from mice, but they have not performed any studies on human patients.One concern about the new approach is that most cancer patients aren’t killed by the original tumor, but by metastases. Thamm and Hoffman worry that injecting C. novyi directly into tumors will leave these deadly metastases untouched. “If bacterial therapy is going to be widely available and efficacious,” Hoffman says, “it has to target metastatic disease.”*Correction, 14 August, 2:45 p.m.: The researchers did not genetically alter bacteria to attenuate them; they used heat.last_img read more

Greek no vote leaves researchers in uncertainty

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The decisive rejection of bailout terms in Greece yesterday has ratcheted up an already tense situation in Europe and left Greek researchers wondering about the fate of hundreds of millions of euros that fund science in their debt-ridden country.“I feel horrible,” says Achilleas Mitsos, an economist and science policy expert at the University of the Aegean, Mytilene, and a former director general for research at the European Commission. “I’m really worried about science but I’m worried about my country, more than anything else.” But what the “no” vote will mean for the country’s place in Europe and the future of Greek science is still very unclear.Polls had shown Greek voters more or less evenly divided on the referendum; as ScienceInsider reported on Friday, some researchers believed a “yes” would be better for science, which has benefited greatly from Greece’s membership in the European Union. Greek researchers have done well in Seventh Framework Programme, the funding scheme that preceded Horizon 2020, and the E.U.’s so-called structural funds have helped provide stable funding for many Greek labs. According to the commission’s Joint Research Centre, the European Union paid for 15.8% of Greece’s total R&D spending in 2012.center_img Email An exit from the euro and a return to the drachma could not just make the financial situation for Greek labs much worse; some experts have argued that Greece would have to leave the European Union if it drops the euro, which scientists worry could imperil E.U. research funds. Costas Fotakis, Greece’s vice minister for research and innovation, told ScienceInsider that those worries were baseless.In the wake of the referendum, negotiations between Greece and the so-called trojka will resume, and European leaders signalled today that a new deal that could stave off a Grexit is still possible. The surprise resignation of Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, a thorn in the side of Brussels, “could be a signal that the Greek side is ready to make serious proposals and accept the consequences,” Mitsos says. “The signs are that the government is determined to pursue a viable solution with the rest of Europe,” says Nektarios Tavernarakis, director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Heraklion. “I hope that logic will prevail and a solution will be found. Otherwise, it will get really bad.” “We all hope for the best,” adds ichthyologist Maria Stoumboudi of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in Anavyssos. “We are trying not to be overtaken by fear.”last_img read more

Exclusive Secretive fusion company claims reactor breakthrough

first_imgFOOTHILL RANCH, CALIFORNIA—In a suburban industrial park south of Los Angeles, researchers have taken a significant step toward mastering nuclear fusion—a process that could provide abundant, cheap, and clean energy. A privately funded company called Tri Alpha Energy has built a machine that forms a ball of superheated gas—at about 10 million degrees Celsius—and holds it steady for 5 milliseconds without decaying away. That may seem a mere blink of an eye, but it is far longer than other efforts with the technique and shows for the first time that it is possible to hold the gas in a steady state—the researchers stopped only when their machine ran out of juice.“They’ve succeeded finally in achieving a lifetime limited only by the power available to the system,” says particle physicist Burton Richter of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who sits on a board of advisers to Tri Alpha. If the company’s scientists can scale the technique up to longer times and higher temperatures, they will reach a stage at which atomic nuclei in the gas collide forcefully enough to fuse together, releasing energy.“Until you learn to control and tame [the hot gas], it’s never going to work. In that regard, it’s a big deal. They seem to have found a way to tame it,” says Jaeyoung Park, head of the rival fusion startup Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation in San Diego. “The next question is how well can you confine [heat in the gas]. I give them the benefit of the doubt. I want to watch them for the next 2 or 3 years.” Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Although other startup companies are also trying to achieve fusion using similar methods, the main efforts in this field are huge government-funded projects such as the $20 billion International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), under construction in France by an international collaboration, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s $4 billion National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California. But the burgeoning cost and complexity of such projects are causing many to doubt they will ever produce plants that can generate energy at an affordable cost.Tri Alpha’s and similar efforts take a different approach, which promises simpler, cheaper machines that can be developed more quickly. Importantly, the Tri Alpha machine may be able to operate with a different fuel than most other fusion reactors. This fuel—a mix of hydrogen and boron—is harder to react, but Tri Alpha researchers say it avoids many of the problems likely to confront conventional fusion power plants. “They are where they are because people are able to believe they can get a [hydrogen-boron] reactor to work,” says plasma physicist David Hammer of Cornell University, also a Tri Alpha adviser.But burning hydrogen-boron fuel requires truly enormous temperatures, more than 3 billion degrees Celsius, and that will be “very challenging,” says plasma physicist Jon Menard of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey, who is not involved in the project. He says it’s very hard to predict how the gas will behave at higher temperatures. “I’m a little concerned that their [simulations] lag behind their experience,” he says, but the approach “is worth further investigation.”Like other fusion techniques, Tri Alpha’s device aims to confine a gas so hot that its atoms are stripped of electrons, producing a roiling mixture of electrons and ions known as plasma. If the ions collide with enough force, they fuse, converting some of their mass into energy, but this requires temperatures of at least 100 million degrees Celsius with conventional fuel, hot enough to melt any container. So the first challenge for reactor designers is how to confine the plasma without touching it. Facilities like the NIF rapidly implode the plasma, relying on its inward inertia to hold it long enough for a burst of fusion reactions. The ITER, in contrast, holds the plasma steady with powerful magnetic fields inside a doughnut-shaped chamber known as a tokamak. Some of the field is provided by a complex network of superconducting magnets, the rest by the plasma itself flowing around the ring like an electric current.Tri Alpha’s machine also produces a doughnut of plasma, but in it the flow of particles in the plasma produces all of the magnetic field holding the plasma together. This approach, known as a field-reversed configuration (FRC), has been known since the 1960s. But despite decades of work, researchers could get the blobs of plasma to last only about 0.3 milliseconds before they broke up or melted away. In 1997, the Canadian-born physicist Norman Rostoker of the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues proposed a new approach. The following year, they set up Tri Alpha, now based in an unremarkable—and unlabeled—industrial unit here. Building up from tabletop devices, by last year the company was employing 150 people and was working with C-2, a 23-meter-long tube ringed by magnets and bristling with control devices, diagnostic instruments, and particle beam generators. The machine forms two smoke rings of plasma, one near each end, by a proprietary process and fires them toward the middle at nearly a million kilometers per hour. At the center they merge into a bigger FRC, transforming their kinetic energy into heat.Previous attempts to create long-lasting FRCs were plagued by the twin demons that torment all fusion reactor designers. The first is turbulence in the plasma that allows hot particles to reach the edge and so lets heat escape. Second is instability: the fact that hot plasma doesn’t like being confined and so wriggles and bulges in attempts to get free, eventually breaking up altogether. Rostoker, a theorist who had worked in many branches of physics including particle physics, believed the solution lay in firing high-speed particles tangentially into the edge of the plasma. The fast-moving incomers would follow much wider orbits in the plasma’s magnetic field than native particles do; those wide orbits would act as a protective shell, stiffening the plasma against both heat-leaking turbulence and instability.To make it work, the Tri Alpha team needed to precisely control the magnetic conditions around the edge of the cigar-shaped FRC, which is as many as 3 meters long and 40 centimeters wide. They did it by penning the plasma in with magnetic fields generated by electrodes and magnets at each end of the long tube.In experiments carried out last year, C-2 showed that Rostoker was on the right track by producing FRCs that lasted 5 milliseconds, more than 10 times the duration previously achieved. “In 8 years they went from an empty room to an FRC lasting 5 milliseconds. That’s pretty good progress,” Hammer says. The FRCs, however, were still decaying during that time. The researchers needed to show they could replenish heat loss with the beams and create a stable FRC. So last autumn they dismantled C-2. In collaboration with Russia’s Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Akademgorodok, they upgraded the particle beam system, increasing its power from 2 megawatts to 10 megawatts and angling the beams to make better use of their power.The upgraded C-2U was back in operation by March. At a symposium today in memory of Rostoker, who died in December, Tri Alpha’s chief technology officer Michl Binderbauer announced that by June the new machine was producing FRCs lasting 5 milliseconds with no sign of decay; they remained the same size throughout.Binderbauer says that next year they will tear up C-2U again and build an almost entirely new machine, bigger and with even more powerful beams, dubbed C-2W. The aim is to achieve longer FRCs and, more crucially, higher temperature. A 10-fold increase in temperature would bring them into the realm of sparking reactions in conventional fusion fuel, a mixture of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium, known as D-T. But that is not their goal; instead, they’re working toward the much higher bar of hydrogen-boron fusion, which will require ion temperatures above 3 billion degrees Celsius.Researchers have several reasons for wanting to go that extra mile. First, tritium doesn’t occur naturally on Earth, so it has to be made by bombarding lithium with neutrons. Physicists plan to do this in the fusion reactors that will one day consume the tritium, but no one has shown that such a process is practical. Because D-T reactions also produce large quantities of high-energy neutrons, the reactors need thick shielding. But the neutrons still degrade the structure of the reactor and make it radioactive. Researchers don’t yet know if it will be possible to find radiation-hard materials capable of surviving the onslaught. Many think these make D-T fusion impractical for a commercial reactor. “I wouldn’t have spent 10 years on [Tri Alpha’s advisory] committee if it was working on a D-T system,” Richter says.Hydrogen-boron, at first, doesn’t look much more promising. “It takes 30 times as much energy to cook, and you get half as much energy out per particle,” Binderbauer says. But boron is abundant, and the reaction produces no neutrons, just three alpha particles (helium nuclei)—hence the company’s name. Hydrogen-boron fuel “makes conversion to electricity much easier and simpler,” Richter says.Says one investor in the company, who asked not to be named, “for the first time since we started investing, with this breakthrough it feels like the stone is starting to roll downhill rather than being pushed up it.”*Update, 25 August,1:52 p.m.: This article has been updated with a quote from Jaeyoung Park.(Video credit: Tri Alpha Energy) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Updated Trump pick for USDA science post has drawn darts for lack

first_img By Marc Heller, E&E NewsJul. 19, 2017 , 8:15 PM Clovis, 67, was a co-chairman of Trump’s campaign and a top adviser on agricultural issues. He’s from Sioux City, Iowa, and is a former college economics professor and conservative talk radio host. He has a doctoral degree in public administration from the University of Alabama.He joined the Trump campaign in the summer of 2015, switching from Rick Perry’s campaign, and helped Trump build support among conservative, rural voters in Iowa who remembered Clovis’ own run for U.S. Senate there (Greenwire, Nov. 7, 2016).Glickman said that he doesn’t know Clovis but that the lack of background in the issues he would handle stands out. Responsibilities include research on crop pests and diseases, the effects of pesticides, and the response to animal diseases such as avian flu — which has been on the rise. He would interact on a regular basis with scientifically savvy officials at the National Institutes of Health and other agencies and would need to understand the language, Glickman said.”The whole agricultural world depends on this,” said Glickman, who serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.”I wouldn’t be qualified for that job, I don’t think,” Glickman said.While the choice of Clovis is clearly a break from past administrations, the most important qualification may be a good understanding of agriculture and the workings of the federal land grant college system, where much of the publicly supported research is done, said Lee Van Wychen, science policy director for the Weed Science Society of America.As long as Clovis demonstrates that kind of knowledge to WSSA members, “I think that’d be OK with them,” Van Wychen said.And while his advanced degree isn’t in science, “it’s not as if he’s completely out of the loop in higher education,” Van Wychen said.The undersecretary’s position requires Senate confirmation.Clovis has built support among farm groups in Iowa.”At first blush, it would seem like a good fit for Sam,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, who once tried to recruit Clovis to write a research paper for the organization. “He is incredibly intelligent and has an academic background.”The choice of Clovis reflects a wider approach in the administration that steers away from scientists, said Rush Holt, executive director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a former Democratic congressman from New Jersey.”It’s not just about having a science adviser. It’s having science present in each agency, at all levels,” Holt said.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2017. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.netEditor’s note: AAAS is the publisher of ScienceInsider. Alex Hanson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) President Donald Trump today announced his intention to nominate Samuel Clovis to be the under secretary of agriculture in charge of the U.S. Department of Agrculture’s (USDA’s) research, education, and economic analysis programs. Clovis is currently the Senior White House Advisor to USDA. The pick of Clovis, a former economics professor who has little science background, is likely to draw criticism from some quarters, as a story ScienceInsider published this past May noted (see below). Read more… Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country According to a White House statement, Clovis most recently served as the chief policy advisor and national co-chair of the Trump-Pence campaign. Here is the rest of the statement: Not to have someone with a scientific background in that position is going to be challenging for them. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe “Not to have someone with a scientific background in that position is going to be challenging for them,” Glickman said.Clovis’ likely nomination, reported by the farm magazine Agri-Pulse and ProPublica, raised caution among advocates for agricultural research, who say they worry the administration will pay less attention to the effects of climate change on wheat and other vital crops, among other issues. The position is one of the key undersecretary slots at the department, groups involved in agricultural science said.”He’s a political hack. He’s a political talk show host,” said a representative of one group that advocates for some of the programs Clovis would oversee, who requested that his name be withheld because of ongoing work with the agency.While the position demands either scientific background or problem-solving skills in a big bureaucracy, this advocate said, “he’s not either of those.”center_img Sam Clovis at a campaign event in Iowa in 2016. Updated: Trump pick for USDA science post has drawn darts for lack of technical background The Clinton administration official told E&E News that, while he doesn’t know Sam Clovis — reported to be Trump’s pick for undersecretary for research, education and economics — scientific knowledge is especially useful in a position that requires coordination with scientific agencies within the government. Email Clovis “was one of the first people through the door at USDA in January and has become a trusted advisor and steady hand as we continue to work for the people of agriculture,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “He looks at every problem with a critical eye, relying on sound science and data, and will be the facilitator and integrator we need. Dr. Clovis has served this nation proudly since he was a very young man, and I am happy he is continuing to serve.”Here is our story from 15 May, which was originally published by E&E News:President Trump may be adding to his administration’s challenges by picking someone without a science background to head the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) research programs, former agriculture secretary Dan Glickman said today. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Dan Glickman, former secretary of agriculture He came to the campaign from Morningside College where he was a professor of economics.  Mr. Clovis holds a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University and a Doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama.  He is also a graduate of both the Army and Air Force War Colleges.  After graduating from the Academy, Mr. Clovis spent 25 years serving in the Air Force.  He retired as the Inspector General of the North American Aerospace Defense Command  and the United States Space Command and was a command pilot.  Mr. Clovis is married to the former Charlotte Chase of Piketon, OH.  He is originally from rural central Kansas.last_img read more

Senate spending panel approves 2 billion raise for NIH in 2018

first_img Senate spending panel approves $2 billion raise for NIH in 2018 Like the House bill, the Senate measure blocks a proposal by the White House to trim by two-thirds the payments that NIH now disburses to universities to cover utilities, administrative staff, hazardous waste disposal, high-speed computers, and other overhead costs of research grants. President Trump had suggested that NIH’s budget could be slashed without much impact on research if the agency capped these “indirect cost” payments at a flat rate of 10% of the grant total. The Senate panel disagreed: “These costs are not optional for the research community; they are a fundamental component of doing research,” Blunt said in his statement.United for Medical Research, a coalition of groups that advocate for biomedical research funding, praised the “critical increase in funding” for NIH in the draft bill. The full appropriations committee will take up the bill tomorrow, when the bill text is expected to be released.The Senate bill must eventually be reconciled with the House version, which is part of a package of spending bills that body could approve as early as this week.Lawmakers likely won’t complete work on 2018 spending levels until late this year. In the meantime, Congress is expected to pass a stopgap measure by 30 September that would keep agencies funded at current levels for at least several months, giving it time to complete work on the 2018 spending bills. *Update, 8 September, 1:05 p.m.: The bill also rejects a Trump administration proposal to abolish NIH’s Fogarty International Center and create a new institute at NIH to absorb the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In addition, unlike the draft House bill, which bans NIH from funding research using fetal tissue from elective abortions, the Senate measure instead directs NIH to create as a pilot project a tissue bank using fetuses from stillbirths and spontaneous abortions. These details are in the full-text bill and an accompanying report released on 7 September when the full Senate Appropriations Committee voted to approve the bill. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Lydia Polimeni, National Institutes of Health Email By Jocelyn KaiserSep. 6, 2017 , 1:45 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe A Senate subcommittee today approved a $2 billion raise, to $36.1 billion, for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 2018 fiscal year that begins 1 October. That 6% raise is nearly twice what a House of Representatives panel has approved and contrasts with a 22% cut that President Donald Trump’s administration had proposed for the agency. To the relief of research universities, the Senate draft spending bill would also block a Trump proposal to slash NIH payments to cover the overhead costs of research.Senator Roy Blunt (R–MO), chairperson of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, noted that this is the third year in a row that the committee has voted to boost NIH’s budget by $2 billion, a figure that prevailed in final spending bills in 2016 and 2017. The corresponding House panel has approved a $1.1 billion increase for the agency in 2018.The draft Senate bill includes $414 million in new spending for research on Alzheimer’s disease, a 30% increase that would bring the total NIH spends on the disease to $1.8 billion, according to a bill summary. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies brain-mapping initiative would receive a $140 million increase, for a total of $400 million. And the All of Us precision medicine study would get $290 million, a $60 million boost.  Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Researchers spy signs of slavery from space

first_img Email By Sarah ScolesFeb. 19, 2019 , 3:45 PM ©2019 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Doreen Boyd remembers the first time she saw a hint of slavery from space. A satellite image from 2017 of Rajasthan state in India showed a brown oval that looked like a dusty high school track. But it was nothing so innocuous: She knew it was a brick kiln, one of tens of thousands across South Asia that are often run on forced labor. Boyd, director of the data program at the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, realized such imagery could help her tally the kilns, enabling organizations on the ground to target slaveholders at the sites. “You can’t see slavery directly, but you can infer it,” she says.A surge in the number of Earth-observing satellites, along with improvements in algorithms that can interpret the deluge of data they provide, are putting modern slavery under a spotlight. This week, at a conference in New York City sponsored by the United Nations University (UNU), computer scientists, slavery experts, and policy strategists presented the latest efforts in their fields and brain-stormed ways to work together. “We’re doing team science,” says Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, an expert in peace studies at the University of San Diego in California who has interviewed slaveholders at kiln sites like those the Rights Lab studies from space.Some 40.3 million people are held in bondage today, according to the latest estimates from the Inter-national Labor Organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. But finding them is hard. “People affected by this are often hidden from the gaze of the state,” says James Cockayne, director of UNU’s Centre for Policy Research in New York City, who helped organize the conference. Boyd estimates, however, that one-third of all slavery is visible from space, whether in the scars of kilns or illegal mines or the outlines of transient fish processing camps. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Researchers spy signs of slavery from space Satellites reveal the telltale shapes of brick kilns in India. In a 2015 effort, DigitalGlobe, whose Earth-observing satellites provide much of the data for Google Earth, recruited users to zoom in on images of Ghana’s Lake Volta, where experts suspect children are forced to work in fishing. “We were looking across this massive lake to try to detect boats,” says Rhiannan Price, director of DigitalGlobe’s global development program in Westminster, Colorado. In total, 90,000 users pinned 80,000 boats, buildings, and fish cages.Boyd is now using artificial intelligence to speed up the search. As a pilot project, she and her col-leagues at the Rights Lab used crowdsourced visual searchers to identify brick kilns. The oval shape of the large ovens, sometimes 150 meters long, and their chimneys are distinctive, even from space. “You cannot mix them up with something else,” Boyd says.Since then, Boyd has turned to machine-learning algorithms that recognize the kilns after being trained on the human-tagged examples. Last month, in the journal Remote Sensing, she and her colleagues reported that the algorithms could correctly identify 169 of 178 kilns in Google Earth data on one area of Rajasthan, although it also output nine false positives.Another company, called Planet, has about 150 small satellites that snap images of the globe’s entire landmass daily. The images are lower-resolution than DigitalGlobe’s, but their frequency opens up opportunities to identify changes over time. “Every day, we see every building, every field, every mine, every quarry, every forest,” says Andrew Zolli, Planet’s vice president of global impact initiatives in New York City.With Planet data, Boyd and the Rights Lab plan to investigate fast moving signatures of slavery. From space, you can watch a cotton harvest in Turkmenistan and, based on how quickly the cotton disappears, you can tell whether machines or hands picked it. In the Sundarbans, an area spanning India and Bangladesh, shrimp farms and fish-processing camps employ slave labor to clear mangrove trees—a process satellites can capture.Rights Lab also plans to use satellite data in other parts of the spectrum. The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite uses radar to measure tiny changes in elevation—which could reveal the ground subsidence of a mining work tunnel with illegal laborers inside. The agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite, which detects frequencies of infrared light, can spotlight mining operations based on the reflections of newly exposed minerals.Sky-high solutions, even smart ones, aren’t a cure-all. Other organizations need to convert detective work from space into action on the ground. And even before the analysis starts, researchers need to know what they’re searching for. “The imagery itself is dramatically less worthwhile if you don’t have local knowledge of what you’re looking at,” Zolli says.last_img read more

Neighbors Call The Cops On Rick James Daughter

first_img A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist More By NewsOne Staff Georgia , Rick James , Ty James WSB-TV reports one resident named Amy Baker complained, “We called the police and told them there were people walking through the neighborhood with open containers of alcohol and with drugs. And they told us they could not do anything about that. They said, ‘We have to see it.’”Another resident named Katherine Schendel said, “There was a lot of seminudity and drugs and alcohol out in the streets. There were cars parked all up and down our street. On both sides of our street, potentially blocking emergency vehicles from getting through.” She also claimed  to have “checked and the county does not show a permit for a public event at the house.”The next party is allegedly scheduled for Labor Day, which they want to stop. “We’re concerned about our property values. They don’t need to be walking down the middle of the street in thongs and smoking dope,” Schendel said.Gwinnett police are meeting with residents and looking into their complaints.11 Alive reports, “The owner of the property, Ty James, said no one was arrested, and there was no reason to call police. She said no one was charged to attend, and the party was open to the public, so they neighbors should have stopped by. ”James did not want to go on camera but maintained her guests were respectful. See the news clip below, which includes images from the property.center_img Rick James‘ daughter apparently knows how to party and her neighbors aren’t happy. They complained after a house party, according to them, had drugs, alcohol and semi-nudity.See Also: Outrageous! Figurines Of White Cherub Crushing Head Of Black Angel Removed From Dollar StoreTy James reportedly brought property for $2 million and had a housewarming party that upset her new neighbors. They called the police and complained of drugs, alcohol, semi-nudity and up to a thousand people showing up. Epic Speeches From Nelson Mandela That Will Give You Hope During The Insane Trump Era Nelson Mandela Funk legend Rick James passed away on August 6, 2004 at the age of 54 years old. Ty James wrote on Instagram about her father on Father’s Day of last year, “Thank You for walkin, talking teaching, guiding, cussing, smoking, trusting, laughing praying, caring, shopping, dreaming, and most of all Loving Me.”SEE ALSO:Meet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s ClothesReport: Identity Of White Woman Who Called The Cops On Black People At A BBQ Has Been Revealed7 Colonizers Who Got Their A**es Handed To Them For Trying To Police Black And Brown Folkslast_img read more