Customer Service Focus Happening in EllensburgWenatchee Rotary raises over 7500 in Polio

first_imgPromoting and rewarding exemplary customer service are the goals of a new partnership involving the Ellensburg Downtown Association, City of Ellensburg, Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, and Central Washington University. The Business to Community Stars Program is based on standards established by the National Customer Service Association…  Audio Playerhttps://www.kpq.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Honeycutt-1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. That’s Carolyn Honeycutt, executive director of the Ellensburg Downtown Association. B-2-C Stars program participants are dedicated to demonstrating good customer-service essentials, which include honesty, integrity, respect, and trust. They will receive special advertising opportunities on the Central campus and other promotional benefits. The program kick-off celebration is Saturday morning, from 10 to noon, at the Ellensburg Rotary Pavilion.  Advancing the family-friendly reputation of the City of Ellensburg, while creating an even more welcoming experience for all residents, are the concepts behind the Business to Community Stars Program. B-2-C Stars program participants will take part in two upcoming “secret shopper” evaluations. They have already completed a two-hour customer service training.  Audio Playerhttps://www.kpq.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Honeycutt-2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. That’s Ellensburg Downtown Association executive director Carolyn Honeycutt. The new partnership involves the Ellensburg Downtown Association, City of Ellensburg, Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce, and Central Washington University. Businesses that make customer service a top priority and find ways to welcome customers to Kittitas County will be recognized for their efforts. The program kick-off event is Saturday morning, from 10 to noon, at the Ellensburg Rotary Pavilion.last_img read more

Palliative care associated with reduced risk of suicide in veterans with lung

first_imgAug 10 2018Results from a large-scale patient population study, recently published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, reveal palliative care is associated with a reduced risk of suicide in veterans diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. The findings were based on a study of more than 20,000 lung cancer patients enrolled in a cancer patient registry from the VA Central Cancer Registry.Donald Sullivan, M.D., M.A, M.C.R., an assistant professor of medicine (pulmonary and critical care medicine) in the OHSU School of Medicine and core investigator at the Center to Improve Veteran Involvement in Care at the Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, was the paper’s lead author. He says the goal of the study was to see whether palliative care, which aims to relieve physical pain and discomfort and to address psychological issues like anxiety that diminish quality of life for those with life-threatening illnesses, reduced suicide rates among veterans with stage IIIB and IV lung cancer.Of the 20,900 patients with advanced lung cancer enrolled in the registry, 30 patients committed suicide, a rate more than five times greater than the average among all veterans who use VA health care of a similar age and gender. However, the data showed that patients with lung cancer who had at least one palliative care visit after their diagnosis were 81 percent less likely to die by suicide.Sullivan says the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis — particularly a lung cancer diagnosis — is underappreciated and largely overlooked in the medical community.”Suicide is a significant national public health problem, especially among lung cancer patients and among veterans,” said Sullivan, who also is a member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “As a result, manifestations of this impact like social isolation, depression, anxiety, can go undiagnosed and untreated.”Sullivan believes this is the first study to explore the relationship between palliative care and suicide risk in cancer patients.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerBarriers to palliative careAccording to Sullivan, several medical societies recommend palliative care for all patients with advanced stage lung cancer, but there is often a gap between recommendations and practice.”There are many barriers to palliative care, and unfortunately, some are related to clinician referrals,” he says. “Not all doctors are aware of the benefits of palliative care.”Sullivan believes that palliative care should be offered to all patients shortly after receiving a diagnosis of advanced stage lung cancer. The best scenario, he says, is an integrated approach in which patients with serious illness receive palliative care at the same time they receive other treatment therapies like chemotherapy.Reaching out for helpSullivan says it’s important for clinicians treating patients with lung cancer to be vigilant in recognizing the presence of one or more additional diseases or disorders, such as cobmorbid psychological illness, in their patients and become familiar with local resources.”For patients and families, it’s important to understand these risks exist and not to be afraid to reach out to your providers for help,” he says.This study was an exploratory analysis, Sullivan explains, and at further research would require a very large patient population given the overall incidence of suicide. In short, a randomized trial of this magnitude would be a difficult task, he says, and one that would require many years to complete.This is time that some patients don’t have.”We really can’t afford to wait for more data,” he says. “I would like to see more efforts to screen and treat comorbid psychological illness among patients with lung cancer for which there is good evidence. I also believe more efforts are needed to integrate palliative care earlier in the lung cancer treatment paradigm.” Source:https://news.ohsu.edu/2018/08/07/palliative-care-may-reduce-suicide-risk-in-veterans-with-lung-cancerlast_img read more

Researchers identify communication networks among organs and tissues that regulate metabolism

first_img Source:https://news.uci.edu/2018/09/06/uci-led-study-reveals-communication-among-organs-tissues-regulating-bodys-energy/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 7 2018An international research team led by the University of California, Irvine has identified a system of communication networks that exists among organs and tissues that regulate metabolism. Findings from their study provide, for the first time, a detailed “atlas” illustrating how the body creates and uses energy, and how imbalances in the networks may impact overall health.Published Sept. 6 in the journal Cell, the research reveals the highly coordinated, multi-tissue metabolism underlying the body’s circadian rhythms and examines how disruptions in these rhythms – such as those caused by high-fat diets – induce misalignment among the network clocks and can trigger inflammation, which has been linked to major diseases and can affect lifespan.Related StoriesExciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairLead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry at UCI’s School of Medicine, first showed the circadian rhythm-metabolism link some 10 years ago, identifying the metabolic pathways through which circadian proteins sense energy levels in cells.”The human body is a complex, beautifully integrated system that functions at optimum efficiency when the networks are in balance,” said Sassone-Corsi, director of UCI’s Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism. “When this system is disrupted through misalignment among organs, the body will function at a less-than-optimum level, which may lead to disease. We are presenting a map that illustrates how to achieve the best health possible through proper balance and homeostasis.”The researchers examined a variety of genetic clocks – ranging from those in blood serum, the liver and muscle to those in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus, as well as in brown and white body fat. The resultant atlas maps the connections among various organs and tissues, which together make up the so-called body clock that governs day-night patterns of metabolic activity. The team then tested the connections to see how a high-fat diet in mice scrambled the body’s fine-tuned metabolic patterns and rewired the communication and coordination among clocks.”The effects of the high-fat diet give evidence that external factors can disrupt the coordinated metabolic pattern,” Sassone-Corsi said, adding that with this atlas, information from one organ or tissue group can provide a systemwide understanding of metabolic irregularities and the illnesses related to them.”We can now create an approach to personalized medicine based on an individual’s circadian metabolism,” he said. “Metabolic profiling is a big-data method of optimizing metabolic health.”The international team partnered with the biomedical company Metabolon on this current research, and they will collaborate on a human study and further exploration of circadian-controlled metabolic networks in other organs and tissue groups.​​last_img read more

White House Budget Director to Lead Health and Human Services

President Barack Obama today nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the White House budget office, to replace Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).Burwell, 48, has a background in public policy and held several positions in the Clinton administration, including deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). From 2001 to 2011, she worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where for several years she headed the foundation’s Global Development Program. Under her purview were projects ranging from agricultural development—including crop research—to polio eradication. She directed the Walmart Foundation before she became OMB director a year ago.As HHS director, Burwell will continue efforts to carry out the Affordable Care Act. Sebelius struggled with that task, enduring months of criticism for problems with the government’s health insurance website. The former governor of Kansas announced her resignation today. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 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 (*) As chief of the parent agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Sebelius defended the importance of sustained funding for biomedical research, yet oversaw administration requests to keep NIH’s funding essentially flat. Sebelius drew criticism from health groups in 2011 when she overruled a Food and Drug Administration plan to allow over-the-counter sales of Plan B, the morning-after pill, to girls under 17 years old. Among scientists, she may be best known as the defendant on Sherley v. Sebelius, a lawsuit challenging federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research that the government ultimately won. read more

A New Planet Beyond Neptune The year we discovered Pluto

first_imgThe news headline in the 21 March 1930 issue of Science was simple and muscular: “A New Planet Beyond Neptune.” And so was the three-page story beneath it. Astronomers at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, had spotted an unknown planet close to where the observatory’s founder, funder, and eponym, Percival Lowell, had predicted before his death 14 years earlier. Lowell had based his forecast on Herculean calculations involving glitches in the orbit of the planet Uranus. Earlier researchers had also “discovered” far-out planets by crunching numbers, but their work had fallen by the wayside. Lowell’s had stood the test of time—and his own successors had borne it out.Then the “yes, but”s began. By mid-April, “Planet X” was looking disturbingly unplanetlike. Observations showed that it was a lot smaller than Lowell had predicted, and its orbit was strangely oblong. “[I]t is now thought that it may be proved to be a unique asteroid or an extraordinary comet-like object,” Science reported. No worries, the director of the Harvard College Observatory rejoined: Such a weird, far-flung object could be “perhaps of greater importance in cosmogony” than another run-of-the-mill planet would.Things got even murkier in May after an astronomer analyzed Lowell’s original calculations and concluded that they would have given the same result even if “Planet X” didn’t exist. In short, the discovery had been an accident. Still, a reviewer pointed out, the accident was still a discovery, too: “The value of a scientific hypothesis is not to be judged by its truth but by the impulse which it gives to the search for truth.” (He also speculated that other small trans-Neptunian bodies might turn up—as indeed they did, more than 60 years later.) The upshot: partial credit for Lowell. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email 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 Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The pro-Lowellites rallied. By 13 June, “Planet X” had a name, chosen in a worldwide contest. The winner, submitted by the astronomically well-connected 11-year-old daughter of a University of Oxford professor: Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld—like the outer solar system, a place of Stygian gloom. (A popular runner-up in the contest, Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, was already the name of an asteroid.) Pluto, the Lowell Observatory astronomers proclaimed, was definitely a planet and definitely Percival Lowell’s—or close enough on both counts. “This remarkable trans-Neptunian planetary body,” one wrote, “has been found as a direct result of Lowell’s work, planning and convictions and there appears present justification for referring to it as his Planet X.” That “all’s well that ends well” consensus held sway for the rest of the century.Now to see what’s really there …*See Science’s full coverage of Pluto, including regular updates on the New Horizons flyby.last_img read more

Earthsized world is a mere 39 lightyears away

first_imgExoplanets may be a dime a dozen these days—nearly 2000 have been confirmed—but one new discovery is causing a frisson of excitement. GJ 1132b, as it is known, looks a bit like home: only 16% bigger in diameter than Earth and about the same density, suggesting a similar rocky crust and iron core. Although it probably has an atmosphere, it is way too hot to support life. But what’s really getting astronomers interested is that it’s a perfect specimen for study. Firstly, GJ 1132b—detected using the MEarth-South telescope array in Chile (pictured)—is only 39 light-years from Earth—a stroll down the street in astronomical terms—researchers report today in Nature. It orbits a star that is less than a quarter the diameter of our sun and shines much more feebly. This means that when the planet passes in front of and dims the star’s light—the most common way of studying exoplanets—it has a much greater impact on the brightness and so yields more information. And, with a close-in orbit providing such a transit once every 1.6 days, GJ 1132b will give astronomers plenty of opportunities for study. All these factors could make this unremarkable system the most studied in the heavens.last_img read more

Japan defends scientific value of new plan to kill 333 minke whales

first_img Email Morishita pointed to parts of the ICJ ruling that seemed to support Japan’s whaling practices. For example, he cited a paragraph that begins: “The Court finds that the use of lethal sampling per se is not unreasonable in relation to the research objectives of JARPA II.” The paragraph concludes: “In the view of the court, however, the target sample sizes in JARPA II are not reasonable in relation to achieving the program’s objectives.”Morishita added that the recently departed fleet consists of a mother ship for research, two whale-catching ships, and one sighting vessel. He would not disclose their planned route. IWC’s Scientific Committee examined the new program but last June reported that it could not reach consensus on the overall program. However, an appended statement signed by 44 scientists from 18 countries disputed the notion that there is a scientific justification for killing whales.   Morishita had little to say about a report in The Sydney Morning Herald today that Australia is considering bringing Japan back to the ICJ to halt the whaling program. Japan’s move has also drawn the ire of conservation groups. “We demand that the government respect the international rules and not carry out any new research whaling program,” Greenpeace Japan said in a statement released last week. “This new plan is the same plan that the expert panel of the International Whaling Commission in January concluded did not demonstrate the need for lethal sampling.” TOKYO–Japan has resumed its controversial lethal research whaling because it wants to determine how many minke whales can be harvested sustainably while studying the environment, Joji Morishita, the nation’s representative to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), told a press conference here today. “We’d like to find out how the marine ecosystem of the Antarctic Ocean is actually shifting or changing and not just look at whales but [also at] krill and the oceanographic situation,” Morishita said.Japan’s whaling fleet last week departed for the southern seas for the first time since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the nation to halt its research whaling in March 2014. The court ruled that Japan’s JARPA II program, which sought to take some 850 minke whales, 50 fin whales, and 50 humpback whales, was not for the purposes of scientific research as stipulated in the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. The convention allows countries to kill whales for research.Japan’s new scientific whale research program in the Antarctic Ocean, unveiled in November 2014, calls for taking 333 minke whales. “We did our best to try to meet the criteria established by the ICJ and we have decided to implement our research plan because we are confident we have completed our scientific homework,” Morishita said. 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 Zimbabwecenter_img 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 (*)last_img read more

Tesla to build titanic battery facility

first_img Email Tesla to build titanic battery facility The battery installation will be a key feature of the state’s aggressive move toward reliably generating half of its electricity from renewables by 2025. That drive suffered an image problem last September and again in February, when power blackouts hobbled the state. Conservative politicians were quick to blame South Australia’s shift away from fossil fuels. “It’s very easy to use a blackout to attack renewable energy,” James says. Investigations concluded that the failures were not due to the reliance on renewables but rather to the collapse of transmission towers in one case and unexpected power demands in another. In addition to helping match renewable energy generation and use, James says, the battery facility’s “high power capacity will be available in quick bursts” to keep the electricity’s frequency in the right range in the event of grid disruptions and demand surges.James notes that managing the use of renewables and batteries and other sustainable energy sources is a new challenge for electricity grid operators around the world. “We don’t have enough experience worldwide operating grids with very high percentages of renewables,” he says.The landmark battery facility stands in contrast to the national government’s embrace of coal, and particularly the development of a massive new coal mine in central Queensland. Australia’s split stance on environmental issues appeared in another announcement today: The country’s carbon emissions climbed 1.4% last year, putting Australia further away from meeting its Paris Agreement commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. “It goes without saying that this is exactly the opposite direction that we need to be heading,” says Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council in Sydney, an organization that seeks to educate the public on climate change. By Dennis NormileJul. 7, 2017 , 1:15 PM Ben Macmahon/ASSOCIATED PRESS Tesla announced today that it will build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery system to store electricity in Australia. The 100-megawatt installation—more than three times as powerful as the biggest existing battery system—will be paired with the Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, operated by the French renewable energy company Neoen, in a deal with the state of South Australia. The Tesla battery should smooth out the variability inherent in sustainable power generation schemes.”Cost-effective storage of electrical energy is the only problem holding us back from getting all of our power from wind and solar,” says Ian Lowe, an energy policy specialist at Griffith University in Nathan, Australia, near Brisbane. The Tesla system, he says, will “demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale storage.” It might also win over skeptics who doubt that renewables can match the dependability of conventional fossil fuel and nuclear power plants, says Geoffrey James, a renewable energy engineer at University of Technology Sydney.Tesla may be known best for its pioneering electric cars, but it has also been extending the lithium-ion battery technology used in its cars to the storage of renewably generated electricity, with products aimed at both home and industrial applications. The agreement with South Australia is by far its biggest sale yet. (Tesla did not reveal the price tag).center_img Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in Australia today, talking about the development of the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery.  Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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United States blocks Iran from fusion megaproject

first_imgPreparing for future ties, an ITER team visits an Iranian fusion facility. ITER ORGANIZATION TEHRAN—The Iran nuclear deal was meant to usher in a new era of science cooperation between the Islamic republic and other parties to the landmark agreement, which deters the country from pursuing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. But nearly 2 years after implementation began, few projects are underway. And Science has learned that the United States has frozen Iran out of a collaboration that the deal expressly brokered: ITER, the multibillion-dollar fusion experiment in France.Iran has been poised for months to ink an agreement to join ITER in a limited capacity. “It was all moving well, until President [Donald] Trump took office,” says Ali Akbar Salehi, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran here. An ITER official who requested anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity confirms that the United States is blocking Iran through its seat on ITER’s governing council, which must approve Iran’s participation unanimously. Bringing Iran into ITER was expected to be straightforward. The long delay, European and Iranian officials say, casts a pall on other scientific collaborations expected under the nuclear deal. An ITER council meeting later this month is expected to take up the issue.To prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is formally known, curtails Iran’s uranium enrichment program and mandates the redesign of the Arak research reactor to greatly reduce plutonium production there. Last month, Trump declared that the JCPOA is not in the United States’s national interest; his decertification gave the U.S. Congress 60 days to reevaluate it.  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 Email United States blocks Iran from fusion megaprojectcenter_img By Richard StoneOct. 31, 2017 , 4:22 PM During this period, legislators could reimpose sanctions, or Congress could direct the Trump administration to renegotiate aspects of the JCPOA. That’s a nonstarter, Salehi says. “There will be no more negotiations. That’s it.” Officials in the European Union, also a party to the deal, have said the same. Earlier this week, Richard Garwin, chief designer of the first hydrogen bomb and now an outspoken advocate of nonproliferation, along with more than 90 other prominent U.S. scientists, appealed to Congress to “act to ensure that the United States remains a party to the agreement.” (Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS, which publishes Science, also signed.)The JCPOA calls for science cooperation between Iran and the other parties: China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union (EU). Some joint research is slated to occur at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant south of here. Fordow has two wings, each a roughly 15-meter-wide tunnel. “You’re constrained by the dimensions of the place,” Salehi says. In one wing, Iran is spinning centrifuges to enrich uranium until it contains at most 3.67% of the fissile U-235 isotope, the agreed limit. Iran is working with Russia to configure other centrifuges, now idle, to produce stable isotopes useful in medicine. “Progress is good, but there is still a long way to go,” Salehi says.In the other wing, the JCPOA specifies housing a nuclear, physics, and technology center. Iran has floated the idea of a “multipurpose” lab with instrumentation for unspecified types of nuclear analyses. But none of the JCPOA parties are rushing to build up science capacity at Fordow. “We want something at Fordow that would promote international scientific cooperation, which increases transparency and openness,” explains one European official. But he wants to ensure that the facility would not allow Iran to develop techniques useful for evading inspections or sanctions. For Iran, setting up the lab is simply not a priority right now, Salehi says. It would be costly and, he says, “We are so busy with keeping the integrity of the JCPOA in the first place.”An easier sell is ensuring that Iran is au courant on nuclear safety, including measures for operating its Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and handling radioactive material and waste. “It’s better to start with something no one can object to,” the European official says. Salehi says the EU intends to allocate €20 million to build a center of excellence in nuclear safety in Iran. The European official hedged on the funding level; the first step, he says, is to “bring Iran up to speed on safety conventions.” The two sides hope to make progress at a workshop in Isfahan, Iran, this month.A few other collaborations with Europe are in the works. The Iranian Light Source Facility, a synchrotron under construction here, will build a beamline and experimental station at the Elettra synchrotron in Trieste, Italy. Some two dozen Iranian scientists and engineers will train there, and the beamline will be shipped to Iran when its synchrotron is completed. And Iran is in early talks on possible participation in the Joint European Torus, a fusion experiment in Culham, U.K., and the planned Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany.But Iran’s aspirations to join ITER hang in the balance. Iran wants to train doctoral students at ITER, and scientists here would study plasmas on the project’s behalf. The country’s ITER representative, plasma physicist Mahmood Ghoranneviss, says Iran hopes its limited involvement would, in a few years, blossom into full membership—a step that would infuse considerable cash into the experiment. The delay is frustrating, Ghoranneviss says. “In fusion, there are no secrets. But in our case, science and politics are mixing.” Reporting for this story was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Geneedited livestock could be a boon to farmers in developing countries

first_img Callum Bennetts Cattle in sub-Saharan Africa tend to make less milk or meat than those raised in advanced economies. Biologist Appolinaire Djikeng uses genetic techniques to identify livestock with useful traits. By Erika K. CarlsonFeb. 27, 2019 , 10:10 AM WASHINGTON, D.C.—Raising livestock is a vital source of income in developing countries. But these nations lack sophisticated breeding programs, so their cows and chickens don’t make as much milk, eggs, or meat as their counterparts in advanced economies. And because most farmers in developing countries have just a few animals, they risk losing all or most of their livelihood if a disease wipes out their livestock.The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health—based in Edinburgh and Nairobi—aims to help farmers in developing countries grow hardier and more productive animals with a little help from modern gene-editing techniques. Researchers can make tiny changes to DNA that mimic traditional breeding, but faster, and they can help identify which animals might be best for breeding.Biologist Appolinaire Djikeng heads the center, which works with scientists and policymakers in developing countries. He spoke about the center at the annual meeting here of AAAS (which publishes Science) earlier this month and sat down with Science to chat about his work. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Ben Sadd/Minden Pictures Gene-edited livestock could be a boon to farmers in developing countries 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 (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Q: How did you become interested in this work?A: I was born in the western part of Cameroon. If it wasn’t for livestock, I wouldn’t have received any education. My school fees were paid always by sales from livestock. I studied genomics during my Ph.D. and increasingly realized the power of what it could do. I was always thinking about what I could do back in the environment I came from, either improving [the] health of people, animals, and things like that.Q: What challenges do livestock farmers in developing countries face?A: Productivity is really, really low for a range of reasons. If you look at milk production, for instance, on average, dairy cattle in sub-Saharan Africa in the best-case scenarios are producing five times less than what you would get in temperate climates [i.e. places with advanced economies]. In advanced economies, what has really helped is very structured and long-term breeding programs. Animals are continuously monitored for inbreeding and stuff like that. In most of sub-Saharan Africa, you don’t have those breeding programs in place. So it makes it very difficult for you to track genetic material over several generations.More than 50 years ago, the easiest thing was just to import some animals from temperate climates. But because of the climate, it didn’t work. The animal is really not adapted to the hotter environment.Another option was breeding tropical livestock with these temperate animals. But you’re dependent on luck because you didn’t even know what genes to look for. Email Q: How do you use genetic tools to improve livestock?A: Our work is focusing on looking at improving livestock productivity and focusing on a number of traits. That trait could be fast growth, it could be resistance to disease, it could be productivity, like milk production, egg production, and quality of the meat.For less complex traits, you can identify a single gene or a single variation in DNA that confers that trait. But for other traits, it’s going to be less obvious. It could be an association, a combination of many, many genes, or a very large genomic region. If we get a single gene or a single variant which is linked to an important trait, then you can do genome editing.But in cases where it is a group of genes that are conferring that trait, you’re limited. You cannot do genome editing. What you’re left to do is to select animals that have that genomic region and enter conventional breeding.Q: How does your work help farmers with their breeding?A: If we have an animal that is very suitable for [breeding], we can do a genetic profile for that animal to be easily identifiable. You document it not only visually, but also based on the genome and the genetic profile.And what we rely on is really reproductive technologies. Let’s say you have a sire that farmers agree is the best sire. You can quickly multiply using artificial insemination for most farmers to have the same animal in the community.Q: How have you engaged with policymakers?A: We realized that the best way to engage them was to invite them to see what’s happening. For example, the official opening of the facilities in Nairobi, Kenya, was with the former president of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki. When he came to visit, one lady from our program talked to him about the work that they’re doing to address a disease of sweet potato. And the president was really impressed. It wasn’t somebody from a different country telling him what was happening. That was really building the trust.I think that that was the beginning. It got in the press, and everybody talked about it. Then we started hosting groups of politicians from the Parliament who came to learn, and they asked questions. I think that’s a very good way of engaging. When you engage people at that level, there is trust, and they actually come to you with problems.I go to my village and tell people about it, they’ll trust me because their problems are my problems. I’m not going to tell them to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.last_img read more

Unearthed Documents Reveal the DaytoDay Life of Mary Queen of Scots

first_imgA recently uncovered stack of 16th century documents sheds fresh light on the six-year rule of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary is mostly remembered for her tragic romances and her imprisonment by her jealous English cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. She first married her first cousin Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, who was later found dead in suspicious circumstances — with the finger of blame being pointed at both her and her second husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who may have married the queen against her will. Mary, Queen of ScotsThe new Scottish power couple didn’t last long. Catholics didn’t recognize the Protestant wedding ceremony or Bothwell’s divorce from his first wife, and as a Catholic queen unpopular with Scotland’s Protestant lords, Mary desperately needed their support. The pair were forced from the throne and Mary fled south to seek sanctuary with Elizabeth I.As the English queen had not married and had given birth to no heirs, Mary was, in fact, the next in line (she was descended from Elizabeth I’s grandfather, Henry VII, via Henry VIII’s sister Margaret Tudor). Tensions between the two rival queens, as well as the threat of Mary’s involvement in a Catholic plot to overthrow the staunchly Protestant Elizabeth I, resulted in Mary finally being beheaded on February 8, 1587. In the end, she spent 19 years imprisoned in various English castles at the mercy of the Queen of England — over three times as long as Mary’s actual reign as Queen of Scots.Queen Elizabeth at Wanstead HallThis tragic tale, packed with romance and revenge, has been told numerous times across film and television, most recently in the 2019 film Mary Queen of Scots in which the title character was played by Saoirse Ronan. Ronan joined a prestigious club of cinema’s finest, following in the footsteps of two Oscar winners: Katherine Hepburn (in 1936’s Mary of Scotland) and Vanessa Redgrave (in 1971’s Mary, Queen of Scots).This recently uncovered stash of 15 signed and dated handwritten state papers reveals the mundane reality of the queen’s role beyond the dynastic dramas that ultimately led to her demise.They detail new fortifications in Leith which guarded the approach to Edinburgh by the river, the rights of church deacons and tradesmen in the city of Edinburgh, licenses for the selling of meat at the Tolbooth — a crumbling Medieval structure that served varied civil roles — and the making of salt in Newhaven, which was once a village and port just outside of the city.Museum of Edinburgh. Photo by kim traynor CC BY-SA 2.0Two of the papers show watermarks when held up to the light — a flower and a goat. Both of these are common devices in Scottish heraldry, with the goat in particular found on the coats of arms belonging to prominent courtiers.Interestingly, some of the papers date from the time Mary was still resident in France, suggesting that her role in vital matters of state began as soon as she was old enough to play a part. Her father, King James IV, passed away in 1542 and at only six months old, she was Queen of Scots.Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots by François Clouet, c. 1558–1560With Scotland ruled by various regents, Mary spent most of her early life in the French court as part of an alliance between the two countries that was sealed by marriage to the French heir to the throne. Eventually, her husband became King Francis II, making her queen consort, and their reign lasted just over a year until he died from an abscess on his brain. Following his death, the 18-year old Mary returned to Scotland — a country she had not seen since she was five.Related Video: 12 Ye Olde Insults we could use todayThe papers were found in the storeroom of the Museum of Edinburgh, just a few hundred yards from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which was Mary’s residence. Although they entered the council archives in the 1920s, they were forgotten until they were stumbled upon during conservation work nearly a century on. Curator Vicky Garrington told The Scotsman newspaper: “Together, the documents shed light on a key part of Scotland’s past. We all know the tragic story of Mary Queen of Scots, her eventful life and eventual execution in 1587, but in these documents we see a different side to Mary.Copy of Mary’s effigy. The original, by Cornelius Cure, is in Westminster Abbey. Photo by Kim Traynor CC BY-SA 3.0“Here, she can be seen carefully managing the everyday affairs of Edinburgh, both from France and Scotland. It’s fascinating to think of her reading through these official papers before carefully applying her signature.”Read another story from us: Betrayal upon Betrayal – The Sordid Plot to Overthrow Mary Queen of ScotsThe papers will remain in storage at the Museum of Edinburgh until they can be examined by conservation experts and researched by historians of the early modern period.last_img read more

Study shows Winslows strengths for development

first_imgJune 26, 2019 Study shows Winslow’s strengths for development By Toni Gibbons John Stigmon with the Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona gave a brief overview of the results from the I-40 Corridor Study and Winslow Work Plan at the Navajo County Community College DistrictSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Uprising against Beijings grip may harden Xis resolve to squelch dissent

first_img Related News Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China More Explained Since he took power seven years ago, President Xi Jinping has faced mass protests in the streets of Hong Kong, a trade war that has sapped China’s strength, and a growing din of foreign condemnation over his government’s human rights record.Yet again and again, instead of moving toward compromise or change, Xi and his subordinates have made hard-line decisions that have compounded and complicated pressures on the ruling Communist Party. They have stood by those decisions even after they have blown up into unexpected crises, like this week’s tumultuous demonstrations in Hong Kong against a plan to allow extraditions to mainland China.“Xi Jinping has been a very good student of Machiavelli — it’s better to be feared than to be loved,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University and the author of “China Tomorrow: Democracy or Dictatorship?” China GDP growth slows to 6.2% in second quarter Many residents are skeptical of the Chinese mainland’s courts and police forces, which are controlled by the party and have a long record of abuses. They are worried that Beijing will use the new extradition powers to target political dissidents and others in Hong Kong who run afoul of Chinese officials.Xi has not publicly commented on the protests in Hong Kong, and he left China on Wednesday on a previously scheduled trip to Central Asia. But the party-controlled news media has accused opponents of the legislation of acting as stooges for foreign enemies trying to foment disorder and humiliate and weaken China.“The radical opposition in Hong Kong is not seeking the greater good of all of Hong Kong society, but instead is being driven by selfish political interests to gang up with foreign forces hostile to mainland China,” Global Times, a widely read nationalist news outlet, said in an editorial. “Hong Kong residents must grasp clearly that these forces are trying to swindle and mislead them.”Such denunciations echo the views of Chinese officials who believe that hawks in the United States are determined to challenge China on every front to thwart its rise as an economic, political and military superpower. The rhetoric of confrontation may make it harder for Xi to explore compromise.“It is during the Sino-U.S. trade war; therefore, it will be understood as an act of playing the Hong Kong card by the United States,” Tian Feilong, a law professor at Beihang University in Beijing, said of the protests in Hong Kong.Hong Kong television stations and newspapers have vigorously reported on the protests, but the authorities in mainland China are censoring reports on events in the territory.“What little the Chinese public knows of the developments in Hong Kong is largely filtered and framed by the Chinese media to minimize the risk that demands for political freedom spread across the border into mainland China,” said Jessica Chen Weiss, an associate professor at Cornell University who studies Chinese foreign policy and public opinion.Even before the crisis in Hong Kong, Xi appeared in no mood for concessions to opponents at home or abroad. For much of the past year, he has been preoccupied with a spiraling trade fight with the Trump administration, which some critics say he has mismanaged and perhaps exacerbated.Last month, President Donald Trump accused Chinese negotiators of abruptly overturning a draft agreement that was months in the making, a decision almost certainly made by Xi.Trump responded by threatening to punish China with more tariffs. Instead of seeking compromise, China dug in again, threatening to punish American companies and launching a wave of propaganda accusing the United States of engaging in economic bullying.Xi has also presided over a prolonged crackdown on both official corruption and political dissent. The anticorruption drive appears to have reduced official graft, but the pressure for conformity has also stifled policy debate among officials and academics.In Xinjiang, a region of northwest China, Xi has presided over a sweeping drive to wipe out resistance among Muslim minorities, whom the government has cast as reservoirs of potential terrorism. Hundreds of thousands, and possibly more, have been interned in indoctrination camps that have been condemned by human rights groups, United Nations experts and Western leaders say.“I suspect there is a certain feeling of being under siege at the moment,” said Ryan Hass, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who formerly served as director for China at the National Security Council. “Xi’s response to uncertainty is to grip the reins of control ever harder.”As the costs of Xi’s tough policies mount, some have asked how long he can afford to take an uncompromising position on so many fronts.“The central question is: What is Xi’s calculus?” said Richard McGregor, an expert on Chinese politics at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. “Beijing’s instinct will be to stand its ground and tough things out. But that comes with all manner of consequences,”“Xi has already agreed to an unprecedented lockdown in Xinjiang which has damaged China’s standing in the West,” he noted. “He is gearing up for a showdown with the U.S. which could hit the economy. Taiwan’s election is on the horizon and his actions in Hong Kong could tip the balance in favor of the candidate that Beijing least wants to win.”Xi might yet nudge Lam to delay the extradition bill or even abandon it if the crisis worsens and the economic costs prompt members of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing business establishment to break ranks, as some did during a similar showdown in 2003 in which a half-million people marched against proposed national security legislation in Hong Kong. The authorities withdrew the bill soon afterward.But such an outcome would be unusual for Xi, and perhaps risky, because it would pierce the hard-line reputation he has cultivated and used to reinforce his authority. Uprising against Beijing’s grip may harden Xi’s resolve to squelch dissent Demonstrators clash with riot police outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Lam Yik Fei/The New York Times)Written by Chris Buckley and Steven Lee Myers Advertising LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? Taking stock of monsoon rain Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, has said she decided to pursue the extradition law herself, without any prodding from Xi or other Chinese leaders. But several senior Communist Party officials have endorsed the proposal, and it is clear that Lam’s move would please Xi’s government, which wants greater influence over the city.Beijing appears to be hunkering down for confrontation. The chances of a retreat by the authorities in Hong Kong seem low, because succumbing to public pressure would show them “in a poor light at a time when Xi Jinping wants to assert his authority,” said Willy Lam, a political analyst who teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.In some ways, each crisis makes it less likely that Xi will compromise during the next one because every new challenge feeds an official narrative that China’s foes are circling and the country must dig in. Early in the trade war with the United States, for example, some in Beijing tried to use the conflict to coax Xi into adopting market-friendly policies that the party has resisted, Cabestan said.“Now with the level of friction and tensions with the U.S.,” he said, “it has, on the contrary, played in favor of Xi Jinping as a nationalist, so everyone should toe the line.” “Walking the bill back would send a powerful signal to other groups on other issues that the party will back down in the face of public pressure,” said Jude Blanchette, China practice lead at Crumpton Group, a geopolitical risk advice firm based in Arlington, Virginia. “This is not a message Xi nor the party in general wants spread.” Advertising Prosperous China says ‘men preferred’ and women lose And that also makes concessions in Hong Kong less likely. Under such conditions, subordinates like Lam seem more committed to demonstrating loyalty to Xi and his authoritarian agenda than pushing options for compromise, several experts said.After a day of clashes between protesters and the police in Hong Kong, the legislature on Thursday delayed its consideration of the extradition bill, and protest leaders called on the public to keep up the pressure on the government with more protests this weekend.The proposed legislation would for the first time allow people in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China, with only limited safeguards. Lam has argued that the legislation is needed to close a loophole that has allowed people to evade justice and made Hong Kong a safe haven for criminals.But the pro-democracy opposition in Hong Kong says the measure would accelerate the erosion of civil liberties in this former British colony, which was granted a high degree of autonomy when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan Best Of Express Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Advertising By New York Times |Hong Kong | Published: June 14, 2019 1:56:03 pm Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Aviation scam SC stays order to let Aditya Talwar appear through counsel

first_imgBy Express News Service |New Delhi | Updated: July 9, 2019 6:37:47 am SC rules: Rebel Karnataka MLAs can’t be compelled to participate in trust vote Harish Salve: The lawyer who represented India in Kulbhushan Jadhav case Advertising New Delhi, Delhi, Supreme Court, Supreme Court News, Supreme Court Judgement, CBI, Ex BJD MLA, Pranav Ranjan Biswal, Orissa High Court Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Talwar, said CBI had lodged the FIR in 2017 but no witness had been called till date.The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Delhi High Court order permitting Aditya Talwar, son of coporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, facing a probe in connection with the civil aviation scam, to appear through his counsel before a trial court hearing a money laundering case. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose stayed the May 31 order of the HC on an appeal by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Talwar, said CBI had lodged the FIR in 2017 but no witness had been called till date. After two years, they proceeded under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Sibal argued.Appearing for the ED, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that as soon as it started investigating the matter in October 2017, Aditya Talwar acquired citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, and this was done “to evade the process of law”.“Despite the repeated issuance of summons, he chose to not join the investigation herein, which has only resulted in a delay of the investigation of the instant case,” the ED said.full report on www.indianexpress.com Related News Karnataka crisis: SC verdict a moral victory for rebel MLAs, says Yeddyurappa Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Walmart to pay over 282 mn for violating anticorruption regulations in four

first_imgBy PTI |Washington | Updated: June 21, 2019 12:23:49 pm Walmart faces major India test over unit Flipkart’s legal spat with GOQii Post Comment(s) Advertising Advertising Walmart responds to Bezos with tweet asking Amazon to pay taxes “Walmart valued international growth and cost-cutting over compliance,” said Charles Cain, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s FCPA Unit. “The company could have avoided many of these problems, but instead Walmart repeatedly failed to take red flags seriously and delayed the implementation of appropriate internal accounting controls,” he said.Walmart consented to the SEC’s order finding that it violated the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.According to the SEC’s order, Walmart failed to sufficiently investigate or mitigate certain anti-corruption risks and allowed subsidiaries in Brazil, China, India, and Mexico to employ third-party intermediaries who made payments to foreign government officials without reasonable assurances that they complied with the FCPA.The SEC’s order details several instances when Walmart planned to implement proper compliance and training only to put those plans on hold or otherwise allow deficient internal accounting controls to persist even in the face of red flags and corruption allegations. Walmart, Walmart settlement, Walmart anti-corruption regulations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA, US Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, India, China, Brazil, Mexico, FCPA,  world news, Indian Express news SEC has charged Walmart with violating FCPA by failing to operate a sufficient anti-corruption compliance program for more than a decade (File)International retail giant Walmart Thursday agreed to pay over USD 282 to various US bodies to settle charges of violating anti-corruption regulations while conducting its business in India, China, Brazil, and Mexico. Related News According to the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), these violations were conducted by Walmart’s third-party intermediaries who made payments to foreign government officials without reasonable assurances that they complied with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or FCPA.SEC has charged Walmart with violating FCPA by failing to operate a sufficient anti-corruption compliance program for more than a decade as the retailer experienced rapid international growth.Walmart agreed to pay more than USD 144 million to settle the SEC’s charges and approximately USD 138 million to resolve parallel criminal charges by the Department of Justice for a combined total of more than USD 282 million, SEC said. Walmart says higher China tariffs will increase prices for US shoppers last_img read more

How to Rein In Powerful Companies Without Ruining the US Tech Industry

first_imgWrapping Up The Das Keyboard has a nice weight to it, so you don’t end up chasing it across your desk. The keys are mechanical, so they have a solid feel to them without creating too much noise. The keyboard comes with access to apps that can modify what the keyboard’s keys do, easily creating hot keys for things like checking your email or the weather.Das keyboards range from just over US$100 to just under $250. The company sent me the programmer-focused Gamma Zulu RGB LED Switch keyboard to review. The keyboard has a bunch of unique applets for everything from GitHub to Jara, Asana, and more. There is software to manage the keyboard’s lighting (a feature common with Alienware notebooks, which I like a lot), as well as a number of other focused features.This is the first keyboard in a long time that got me to consider replacing my Azio Onyx Retro Classic, which I love, so the Das Keyboard 5Q is my product of the week.The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. Elizabeth Warren is running for the U.S. presidency, and one of her key campaign issues is to break up large technology companies to reduce their power. Don’t get me wrong — large powerful companies tend to misuse that power, which tends to end badly for us and them.Still, a plan to break them up just because of their size would be like determining that large men were bullies and that to fix that problem all big muscular men should have their strength surgically removed. We wouldn’t even do that to folks who made a mistake, but doing it because someone might make a mistake clearly would be not only inhumane but monumentally unfair.Breaking up a company without destroying it, much like surgically dissecting a body without killing it, is extraordinarily difficult, even when done by experts, and the government is no expert.If the US government controlled the world, such a plan at least might reduce the risk to consumers — but it doesn’t, and this won’t. You see, when you cripple a large company, you create a vacuum in the market that then must be filled.Given the chance of destruction would apply only to U.S. companies, that means the next too-large company abusing power likely would emerge overseas and generate taxes, revenue and jobs for that other country. The U.S. government would have even less control over it than it had over the firm it broke up.Over time, Warren’s plan would shift the technology market from the U.S. to someplace else. Given current trends, that someplace else likely would be China, which increasingly would control everything we see and hear. That may happen anyway, given current trends, but there is no benefit to speeding up that process. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Das Keyboard 5Q- click image to enlarge – Elizabeth Warren’s desire to curtail Facebook, Amazon and other companies that have misused their massive power — or may do so in the future — is well founded. The U.S. appears to be trending toward civil war, and I’d place social media in general on the wrong side of this trend. I do think most of us want to avoid that war.However, just as you wouldn’t hand a saw to a non-MD congressperson to deal with your broken leg, because it would end really badly (with you legless and dead), you shouldn’t hand a virtual saw to any politician to cut up a company.Doing a divestiture is tricky, particularly when you are dealing with a highly integrated company like Facebook. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll likely kill the firm. If that is the goal, there are far faster and less painful ways to do it. If that’s not the desired outcome, then you might want to go back and study the problem you want to solve, and come up with a plan for a cure that doesn’t involve killing the patent.I’ll focus this week on how to fix the problem Elizabeth Warren rightly is trying to fix without going about it wrongly. I’ll end with my product of the week: a high-end mechanical keyboard targeted at developers, which could be a dream for those who need it. Warren’s Plan to Wipe Out the US Technology Market A Better Plan I think Warren’s heart is in the right place, but she has picked a path that appears inexpensive but actually would be unacceptably costly, because it likely would destroy U.S. dominance in the tech market if it were implemented.You wouldn’t use surgery to address problems humans might have after they abused power, let alone before, because it likely would kill them. The same holds true for companies. Forced divestitures tend to end badly. Look at the original AT&T, Standard Oil and RCA. All were forced to divest, and AT&T and RCA went under. Fossil fuel leadership largely went from the U.S. to OPEC, which, if you recall the fuel shortages of the 1970s, didn’t exactly have the best interests of Americans at heart.The solution should fit the problem, and Warren’s plan does not. It should be revised so that it actually could accomplish what is intended — restoring a balance of power — and not eliminate U.S. market dominance unintentionally. When you have an imbalance, you either can reduce strength on one side, or increase it on the other. A better plan would be to work on improving the effectiveness of the U.S. government in terms of doing its own research and law enforcement. Now technology can help.Focused Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence: I personally think that at the heart of the problem with government is the massive amount of false information that surrounds every decision. The information that the government needs as a basis for making decisions is often so massively false that it is no wonder we can’t get to consensus. Both sides are led to believe they are right, but neither side is working from the absolute truth.Current deep learning systems are powerful, but the coming wave of hybrid quantum deep learning systems promise a level of unbiased accuracy that so far has been unachievable. Granted, this doesn’t deal with corruption, but for those politicians who aren’t corrupt — who really care not only about doing the right thing but also about doing what is best for their constituents — this could be a game changer.Increased Investigative Resources for the FBI: We know power corrupts, so placing investigators inside large companies who would have a dual role of reporting to the firm’s board and to the FBI would seem prudent. They wouldn’t even need to be undercover, though that would be an option.They could work for the internal audit department and be part of an assessment process that would ensure a firm wasn’t acting against the best interests of the country or its own customers. I propose the formation of a number of specialized teams with the appropriate education and background, which could be called in if a credible threat emerged.They would be given the goal of identifying and punishing the individuals who misbehaved, while protecting customers and investors who were innocent. Right now, it is often the customers and investors who pay the price for an executive’s bad actions, and that needs to change.Stronger Internal Audits: Internal audit largely has been gutted over the last several decades. The department in most firms lacks the skills, support, investigative power and ability to carry out the mission of enforcing both the firm’s ethical rules and relevant local laws.Ensuring that audit departments were properly staffed, supported and missioned to identify and correct injurious behavior at all levels of a company would go a long way toward preventing companies like Facebook from abusing their privilege.This would need to be done carefully or it could damage a firm’s ability to innovate. However, much of the problem stems from firms doing things like letting a foreign government dictate false news stories, which obviously should be wrong. That is where the focus should remain in terms of limiting behavior, as well as ensuring that punishments are applied to the wrongdoers, not just the subordinates selected as sacrificial goats. The problem is an imbalance of power between large tech companies and the U.S. government, caused in large part by several things. The first was the combination of budget reductions for congressional research and an increased reliance on lobbyists funded by large companies with their own agendas.In addition, the U.S. government has become so partisan and divided that it is unable to fulfill its primary function of protecting the nation.At the same time, some companies have become so powerful that they effectively define their own reality. Facebook comes to mind, and there is credible evidence that its platform changed the outcome of the last presidential election.Now the plan to fix the problem by crippling companies like Facebook seems to come with no cost, which likely is why it is favored but, the cost in jobs, income taxes, and particularly control should be absolutely unaffordable. That places anything else that would accomplish the same goal with less collateral damage in front of it. I never understood why we ended up with really cheap keyboards. It used to be the things were built really well. Granted, they cost a ton more than the sub-$10 variety we mostly seem to get with a desktop system, but they contribute so much to the experience.A mechanical keyboard just feels better, and I’ve often thought that rather than focusing on cost, firms instead should focus on adding functionality. Well, Das Keyboard contacted me about its keyboard, which is designed for people who write — mostly code, but writing nonetheless. The Solution Should Follow the Problemlast_img read more

Bacteria living inside the nose linked to type severity of cold symptoms

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 27 2018In news with several layers of weird, researchers have determined that the mix of bacteria that live inside your nose – yes, there are organisms living inside your nose – correlates with the type and severity of cold symptoms you develop.For example, people whose noses are rich in Staphylococcus bacteria had more severe nasal symptoms than cold sufferers who have less staph, new research shows. That’s despite their colds being caused by the exact same strain of virus.The researchers found that the bacteria in volunteers’ noses fell into six different patterns of nasal microbiomes. The different patterns were associated with differences in symptom severity. The compositions also were found to correlate with viral load – the amount of cold virus inside the body.The discovery surprised even the longtime cold researchers who made it. “The first surprise was that you can kind of identify these different buckets that people kind of fit into, and then the fact that the buckets seem to have some impact on how you respond to the virus and how sick you get was also interesting,” said Ronald B. Turner, MD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “There were effects on virus load and how much virus you shed in your nasal secretions. So the background microbiome, the background bacterial pattern in your nose, had influences on the way that you reacted to the virus and how sick you got.”The Role of Your Nose InhabitantsTo be clear, the microorganisms living in your nose aren’t causing the cold. The cold itself is caused by a cold virus, of course. And the researchers can’t say whether the microorganisms in your nose are actually responsible for the differences in symptom severity. Maybe, but more research would need to be done to determine that.”What we’re reporting is an association, so it’s entirely possible that the fact that you have staph in your nose and you have more symptoms is not directly related,” Turner said. “It may well be that there’s some underlying host characteristic that makes you likely to have staph in your nose and also makes you more likely to become ill.”For example, your genes might be responsible both for the composition of your nasal microbiome and for your reaction to the cold virus. Or it may be much more complicated than that. “Whether there are environmental characteristics that also influence it — whether you’re exposed to pollution or whether you’re allergic or whether any number of things might impact it — I don’t know,” Turner said. “But I suspect there is some interaction among the host and the environment and the pathogen that determines what you end up with.”Related Stories’Scissors’ component of CRISPR/Cas9 sometimes gets stuckRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infectionsA bacterium may limit cardiovascular risks of 1 in 2 people, study showsThe researchers tested152 study participants’ nasal microbiomes before and after giving them the cold virus, ruling out the possibility that the virus or the resulting sickness was altering the composition of the microbiome significantly.Could Probiotics Shorten Your Cold?Turner and his colleagues were interested to see whether giving people probiotics – beneficial bacteria – might improve their cold symptoms or affect the composition of their nasal microbiomes. The answer? Nope.The researchers gave study participants a probiotic to drink. Not only did it not affect the microbiomes in their noses, it didn’t have much effect on the microbiomes in their stomachs, either. “We can detect the probiotic in the gut very frequently. Not in everybody, but very frequently,” Turner said. “It didn’t really dramatically influence the microbiomic pattern of the gut. So it’s not like the probiotic alters the microbiome of the gut in any substantial way.”It’s possible that administering a probiotic directly to the nose, such as through a spray, could have more effect. But Turner, who has been researching colds for decades, is skeptical that it would make a big difference.”It’s not going to be so simple, I don’t think, as saying, ‘OK, what happens if you give a probiotic?'” he said. “One of the things that would be interesting to ask, and this would be a completely different study, is, what happens if you give antibiotics? Can you change the nasal flora by giving antibiotic? And is that a good thing or is that a bad thing? Those are all unknowns.”​​​Source: https://newsroom.uvahealth.com/2018/09/26/uva-discovers-link-between-cold-severity-bacteria-living-in-your-nose/last_img read more

Critical illness and major infection can promote brain changes accelerate cognitive decline

first_img Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/medical-records-study-links-dementia-related-brain-changes-to-hospital-stays-for-critical-illness Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 28 2018Researchers at Johns Hopkins report that a novel analysis of more than a thousand patients adds to evidence that hospitalization, critical illness and major infection may diminish brain structures that are most commonly affected by Alzheimer’s disease.Results of the study, published Sept. 24 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggest — but do not prove — that critical illness and major infection can promote such brain structure changes and accelerate the process of cognitive decline, the researchers say.”There’s long been evidence that critical illness severe enough to require hospitalization is linked with subsequent negative neurological outcomes such as dementia, but we believe our study is one of the first to look specifically at how both critical illness and infection might promote brain changes that set the stage for late-life cognitive decline, and serve as independent risk factors for dementia,” says Keenan Walker, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s lead author.Walker cautions that the findings may be limited due to undetected or misclassified billing codes that define diagnosis in the medical records; a lack of information about potentially relevant comorbidities such as delirium; and the “observational” nature of the study, which was not designed to — and cannot — determine or prove cause and effect.But, he said, “The findings do indicate that hospitalization, infection and critical illness may well influence changes in brain regions that underlie dementia.” He went on to say that “in order to maintain brain health in older adulthood, it is important to maintain bodywide health. Some of the events that can land you in the hospital may serve as risk factors for dementia.”To explore whether critical illness and infection were associated with brain structure changes underlying cognitive decline and dementia, the research team used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), which included MRI scans showing brain structure, as well as social, demographic and hospital information for a large cohort of participants followed over a 24 year period that included five medical exams and structured interviews.The study originally enrolled nearly 16,000 participants ages 45 to 64 from Washington County, Maryland; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Jackson, Mississippi.Using this dataset makes the team’s study especially rigorous, Walker says, because of the long follow-up period that allowed the research team to capture hospitalization events over many years. This is important, he notes, because the process of Alzheimer’s disease evolves over the course of decades and takes time to diagnose.For its analysis, Walker’s team focused on a subset of ARIC subjects who received a brain MRI during the final medical exam in the study to look at evidence of atrophy and damage to so-called white matter — the part of the brain responsible for transmitting messages.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskDamaged white matter appears superwhite on a scan, similar to overexposure on a photograph, Walker explains, and was measured using an automated program. All participants who received this brain MRI were included in the analysis.Data on hospitalization frequency was collected from five in-person exams, annual telephone contact with participants and a survey of medical records from hospital admissions throughout the ARIC study. The research team identified critical illness using internationally defined classification of disease codes, or ICD-9 codes, used for insurance billing purposes. Critical illness included shock, severe sepsis (blood infections), acute respiratory failure, hypotension, respiratory or cardiac arrest, and the need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation orprolonged ventilation. The team then also identified the number of major infections, including septicemia, other bacterial infection and pneumonia, the same way.Of the 1,689 participants included in the analysis, 1,214 (72 percent) were hospitalized, 47 (4 percent) had a critical illness and 165 (14 percent) had a major infection. The participants’ age at the first visit was 52.7 years, 60 percent were women, 28 percent were African-American and 5 percent met criteria for dementia.The research team found that hospitalization during the follow-up period, regardless of the reason, was associated with 9 percent greater white matter hyperintensity volume and significantly lower integrity of white matter microstructure.Among the 1,214 hospitalized patients in the analysis, those who had one or more critical illness had a 3 percent smaller brain volume in brain regions such as the hippocampus that are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Major infection was associated with both smaller brain volume in regions vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease (2 percent smaller) and 10 percent larger brain ventricle volume.Although infection can, in some instances, cause critical illness, the research team found that infection alone (without critical illness) was associated with reduced brain volume later in life.Walker and the research team say they plan to examine how each hospitalization event relates to inflammation in the brain and systemic inflammation. They suspect, based on a growing body of research, that events such as critical illness and infection can cause brain inflammation, which leads to the observed reduction in brain volume. Together, these brain changes are thought to set the stage for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, which is estimated to occur in one in every three older adults in the U.S.last_img read more

Cognetivity signs agreement to become ninth industry partner of Dementias Platform UK

first_img Source:https://www.cognetivity.com/ Jan 25 2019Cognetivity Neurosciences Ltd. (the “Company” or “Cognetivity”) today announced that it has signed a commercial agreement with Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) to become its ninth industry partner. Cognetivity will join forces with DPUK’s existing partnership which includes many highly notable researchers from both academia and industry combining groundbreaking approaches from some of the world’s best research universities with the R&D skills and knowledge of world-leading pharmaceuticals companies in strategic partnership initiatives.Other partners include biopharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Janssen and eleven leading academic institutions which include Cambridge University, University of Oxford, Imperial College London and University College London.Cognetivity’s proprietary Integrated Cognitive Assessment (ICA) testing platform will be one of the select cognitive testing tools that are made available by DPUK to studies involving its cohorts – over 2 million individuals from over 50 long-term studies of health. The ICA is unique in its ability to provide precise, sensitive measurements of subjects’ ability to process visual information, and is importantly unaffected by subjects’ culture, language and shows no learning effect, allowing it to be continuously used to chart cognition, either at a subject’s home or in the clinic. The ICA allows detailed measurement of cognitive performance by testing different areas of the brain to standard cognitive tests, allowing measurement of small changes in cognition in the important but poorly understood pre-symptom phase of dementia.Professor John Gallacher, Director of DPUK, said: We at Cognetivity are delighted to be working with the other DPUK consortium members to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind dementia and to take steps towards providing much improved detection processes and treatments, to start to address this massive healthcare issue. Being appointed as an industry partner is powerful validation of our scientific approach and our platform’s capabilities, and recognition of the important role our ICA test can play at the forefront of dementia research. Within DPUK there are incredible cohort studies providing a massive breadth of data which is being made available through the DPUK data portal, and which can help to train our next generation of AI algorithms. The inclusion of our highly sensitive test in the types of cutting-edge cohort studies being carried out investigating the relationship between the biology behind disease progression and cognition, positions Cognetivity’s ICA test as an important component of research into new treatments and drug development. Working alongside pharmaceutical industry partners such as GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZenica and Janssen, as well as academic institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge and UCL, Cognetivity is part of the future of dementia research and the development of the next generation of approaches to address these diseases.” At DPUK we have brought together the people, organizations and institutions which collectively have the power to tackle dementia. We believe Cognetivity is a new, key player in this group and by allowing our research partners to utilize its exciting technology in their studies and combine the sensitive data it is able to provide on subjects’ cognitive performance with existing research data, we believe great strides can be made towards our ultimate goal of tackling this global challenge.” Cognetivity CEO, Dr. Sina Habibi commented:last_img read more

New mouse model for Joubert Syndrome developed

first_img Source:https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/bath-scientists-develop-a-mouse-model-for-joubert-syndrome/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 3 2019A new mouse model for Joubert Syndrome has been developed by University of Bath scientists, who hope it will accelerate research to understand how the disease develops as well as help develop and evaluate therapeutic approaches.Researchers from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry were able to accurately recreate the syndrome in mice through targeted deletion of portions of a gene called Talpid3 which is required for the formation of cilia – small hair-like projections seen in many mammalian cells. These projections function like cellular antenna sensing external signals. The equivalent human gene, KIAA0856 had been linked to the disease in previous studies.Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingThe selective gene manipulation in Talpid3 reproduced the physical abnormalities of the disease in the cerebellum of the mice. The mutant mice also demonstrated one of the key symptoms of Joubert Syndrome – progressive ataxia which is a worsening lack of motor control. In addition, the deletion in Talpid3 impacted on some key molecular pathways associated with the formation of the cerebellum.The paper is published in The Journal of Pathology.Joubert Syndrome is a rare hereditary genetic disease, affecting between 1 in 80,000-100,000 people. The disease leads to the underdevelopment of the cerebellum, a region of the brain which controls balance and motor skills. Patients suffer from a range of symptoms, most commonly impaired motor control, abnormal breathing and sleep, and developmental delays as well as deformities such as cleft palate or extra fingers and toes.Dr Vasanta Subramanian, who conducted the research with Dr Andrew Bashford, said: “We believe that our mouse model represents the best replication of Joubert Syndrome to date, and therefore will be an excellent experimental model for scientists studying this disease, as well in the search for new therapies.”By selectively targeting the Talpid3 gene we have reproduced the characteristic brain abnormalities of Joubert Syndrome, as well as the symptoms, like ataxia. We believe that the deletion of Talpid3 affects signaling and cell migration in the brain, which disrupts the cellular organization of the cerebellum, which is something we will continue to investigate in our research.”last_img read more