Interest Rate Currency Pegs

first_img « Public v Private Interest Rates & Sovereign Debt Crisis Categories: Interest Rates Tags: Interest Rates, peg, QE QUESTION: Martin,I went over three blogs this morning (both public and private); they are The FED Between a Rock & a Hard Place, Manipulating interest rates & Public vs Private Interest Rates. A common theme of the FED possibly pegging interest rates and inflation. My question is: If the FED is induced to peg rates at artificially low levels and the traditional method of combating inflation is raising rates, something must give, so are metals and commodities getting ready for “prime time?”CFANSWER: Behind the curtain the system of pegging rates, as I have stated, is viewed substantially differently than QE. The rates on the U.S. debt will be pegged, but not the Fed funds rates. They will be able to raise rates to the marketplace, but the bonds will be “pegged” like the Swiss attempted to “peg” the franc/euro.This is a hybrid interest rate system that would eventually collapse as all pegs do. But it will allow, initially, for a bifurcation of rates.They REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY do not want me to talk about this publicly.This is feeding into what we see coming for the next wave. They realize QE has failed. They cannot allow rates to rise as it would blow out the budgets.This is not a long-term solution. The interest rate peg collapsed in 1951 due to Korean War inflation.center_img Austria Sell 100-Year Bonds – But Who Are the Buyers? »last_img read more

Simple screening tool can help identify people at increased risk for dementia

first_img Source:http://www.annfammed.org/ May 14 2018In people with a minor decline on the Mini-Mental-State-Examination–a widely used but limited test to screen for cognitive defects–follow-up with a simple visual screening tool can help identify those at increased risk for dementia.As part of a cluster-randomized controlled trial, researchers in the Netherlands analyzed the MMSE of 2690 older adult patients at baseline and two-year follow-up. The Visual Association Test, consisting of six cue cards and six target cards showing an unexpected visual association, was also analyzed at the two-year follow-up. A decline in MMSE scores of two points and three points were associated with an increased risk of developing dementia of 10 percent and 21 percent respectively, significantly higher than the overall risk of developing dementia. Groups with imperfect VAT scores (5 out of six) had substantially higher percentages of incident dementia. An imperfect VAT score increased the predictive value of two and three point decreases on the MMSE from 10 percent to 14 percent and from 21 percent to 29 percent respectively. Given the importance of timely diagnosis of dementia, the authors suggest that the VAT may help identify older persons who need further cognitive examination, especially those with a minor decline in MMSE score.​last_img read more

The top 50 science stars of Twitter

first_img*Update: The original story below generated so much attention on social media that we followed up with another article that noted reactions, a fuller explanation of the story and why certain people were not included, and an expanded list of most followed practicing research scientists on Twitter.Genomicist Neil Hall sparked an online tempest this summer by proposing a “Kardashian Index,” or K-index—a comparison of a scientist’s number of Twitter followers with their citations. Scientists with a high score on the index, named after the reality TV star Kim Kardashian, one of the most popular celebrities on the social media platform, should “get off Twitter” and write more papers, suggested Hall, who works at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.Though Hall says he meant his K-index lightheartedly, his article in Genome Biology sparked a Twitter storm of criticism. So just who are the Kardashians of science, and is Hall’s criticism justified? Hall tactfully declined to provide a K-index for anyone specific, but Science was curious about the names and the numbers. We have compiled a list of the 50 most followed scientists on the social media platform and their academic citation counts—and calculated their K-index by drawing on citation data from Google Scholar (A fuller explanation of how we compiled the list is below, at the end of the full story).The top three science stars of Twitter:(Based on followers)1. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist 2,400,000 followers @neiltyson Citations: 151 K-index: 11129 Total number of tweets: 3,962Hayden Planetarium, United States2. Brian Cox, Physicist 1,440,000 followers @ProfBrianCox Citations: 33,301 K-index: 1188 Total number of tweets: 10,300University of Manchester, United Kingdom3. Richard Dawkins, Biologist 1,020,000 followers @RichardDawkins Citations: 49,631 K-index: 740 Total number of tweets: 19,000University of Oxford, United KingdomSee the full top 50 list.Rather than identifying “Science Kardashians”—those who are, as Hall put it, “famous for being famous”—the top 50 list reveals that a majority of the science Twitter stars spend much, if not all, of their time on science communication. For them, Twitter popularity can amplify their efforts in public outreach. A case in point is Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and host of the science TV show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. With more than 2.4 million followers and fewer than 200 citations, the astrophysicist is undoubtedly the top-ranking celebrity scientist on Twitter—and has the highest K-index of anyone on the list. Yet few would consider his Twitter fame unwarranted. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img 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 Although the index is named for a woman, Science’s survey highlights the poor representation of female scientists on Twitter, which Hall hinted at in his commentary. Of the 50 most followed scientists, only four are women. Astronomer Pamela Gay of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, whose more than 17,000 Twitter followers put her 33rd on the list, says the result doesn’t surprise her because society still struggles to recognize women as leaders in science. Female scientists are also more likely to face sexist attacks online that can discourage their participation, she adds. “At some point, you just get fed up with all the ‘why you are ugly’ or ‘why you are hot’ comments.”Twitter stardom need not exclude research achievements, as our top 50 Twitter list shows. Many have thousands of citations and seven of the people listed also appear on two recent citation-based rankings of influential scientists, the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list and Scholarometer’s top 100 authors ranking. Even so, most high-performing scientists have not embraced Twitter. Science sampled Twitter usage among 50 randomly chosen living scientists from the Scholarometer list. Only a fifth of the scientists have an identifiable Twitter profile.Even some who do dislike the medium. Chad Mirkin of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, the highest ranking chemist on Scholarometer’s list, considers Twitter a waste of precious time that he’d much prefer spending on reading and writing scientific papers. “A lot of social media is … time spent aggrandizing one’s accomplishment,” says Mirkin, who registered on Twitter just to keep up with his son’s tennis scores. The linguist Noam Chomsky, the most famous living scientist by some measures, has also repeatedly criticized social media for reducing serious public discourse to, well, 140 characters.So why do the highly cited researchers who are also Twitter science stars make the time to engage in social media? Geneticist Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California (17th place; 44,800 followers), who boasts more than 150,000 citations, says he once thought the social media platform was only for “silly stuff” like celebrity news. Then he tried Twitter during a TEDMED conference in 2009, as a tool to gauge reactions to his talk. Now, he starts his workday browsing through his Twitter feed for news and noteworthy research in his field. During the day, he checks Twitter several times and spends another 10 to 20 minutes on an evening roundup. “It actually may be the most valuable time [I spend] in terms of learning things that are going on in the world of science and medicine,” says Topol, who reciprocates by daily tweeting papers, presentations, and more to his followers.Psychologist Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University (36th; 15,500 followers) views Twitter as a natural extension of his other public outreach efforts, which include hosting the PBS science documentary, This Emotional Life. For him, Twitter is a virtual classroom connecting netizens worldwide who are interested in the psychology of happiness. “It’s another teaching tool,” he says.Like Topol, Jonathan Eisen of the University of California, Davis (25th; 24,900 followers), says he did not start out as a Twitter fan. An enthusiast of open access and exchange, Eisen participated in scientific discussion forums, such as newsgroups, even before the days of the World Wide Web. But Twitter’s 140-character word limit initially seemed both “arbitrary and useless” to him, he says. It was for purely coincidental reasons—checking out details of a visit by famed cyclist Lance Armstrong to Davis, California—that the microbiologist signed up for an account in 2008.But after 20 minutes of perusing news on the social media platform that day, Eisen says, he was hooked. “In a minute, I can skim through a hundred Twitter posts. … It’s pretty amazing for getting a feel of what’s going on,” says Eisen, who now daily spends anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 hours on Twitter, in addition to running a blog. Yet Eisen also has close to 42,000 citations under his belt.Eisen says that consistently tweeting ongoing research at his lab has helped attract graduate students as well as two grants for science communication. He suggests an active social media presence might even aid applications for research funding, as it demonstrates a commitment to public outreach. But the spontaneity of Twitter can backfire, too. Eisen, for one, has live-tweeted brusque criticism at academic conferences that came back to bite him. “You can seem like a jerk, an idiot, or both,” he says.The temporal, attention-grabbing nature of Twitter posts also makes them ill-suited for nuanced, in-depth scientific discussions. Gilbert says he prefers to tweet materials that appeal to a general audience, rather than complex scientific papers. Likewise, Eisen reserves lengthy discussions for old-fashioned phone calls and uses Twitter to instead link to blog posts and other, longer materials.Still, he and others credit Twitter as a crowdsourcing platform for new ideas and research. Topol says he relies on the “army of Web crawlers” on Twitter to bring him the latest, most noteworthy research in medical science. His own tweets, mostly about papers and presentations he finds interesting, also form an archive that can be extracted with a little tech savvy.The social media tool also functions as “another dimension of peer review,” Topol says. Instead of waiting for the old letters to the editor, scientists can go to Twitter for rapid critique of their research. “Authors who are not willing to get engaged on social media are missing out on a significant opportunity,” he says.The K-index gets it wrong by suggesting that science communication and research productivity are incompatible, says Albert-László Barabási, a network theorist at Northeastern University in Boston who studies social media. Research on altmetrics—alternative metrics for measuring scientific impact—has found no link between social media metrics such as number of tweets and traditional impact metrics such as citations, he says. “We should really not mix the two … because they really probe different aspects of a scientist’s personality.”For his part, Hall says others have read too much into his satire, which originated after seeing conference organizers factor Twitter follower numbers into speaker considerations. “I don’t mean to criticize anyone for having a lot of Twitter followers,” he says. “My criticism is only of using it as a metric on research scientists.”It might be premature, in any case, for the scientific community to worry about “Science Kardashians” when it faces a more pressing challenge of staying relevant in public discussions. Even Tyson’s Twitter popularity is dwarfed by that of the real Kim Kardashian, who boasts 10 times as many followers.*SURVEY METHODSThe list of most followed scientists compiled here is far from scientific. To identify Twitter science stars, we began with celebrity scientists such as Tyson and checked out which scientists they followed. We also referenced online lists of scientists to follow on Twitter, such as this one by The Huffington Post. If we’ve missed someone who belongs on the top 50 list, do let us know in the comment section. Follower number is, of course, a very crude proxy of influence on Twitter, but it’s the most accessible metric for the purpose of this story.The question of who counts as a scientist is itself a matter of debate. As a general guideline, we included only those who have completed a Ph.D. degree and published at least one peer-reviewed paper in a peer-reviewed journal. As an exception to this rule, we excluded professional journalists who fit the above criteria.We recorded the number of Twitter followers for our list on 15 September. To tally the number of citations for each scientist, we over the past month looked up their Google Scholar profiles or, for those without a profile, used estimates produced by the Publish or Perish software, developed by business professor Anne-Wil Harzing of ESCP Europe. Due to limitations of both methods, the citation numbers are only rough estimates. For example, there’s no easy way to distinguish physicist Brian Cox of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom from physiologist Brian Cox of the University of Toronto in Canada in calculating the former’s citation count. Seven on our top 50 list appear on either the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list (*) or the Scholarometer’s top 100 authors (+) ranking, and each is noted with a symbol.The Kardashian Index is calculated as follows: In his commentary, using data gathered on 40 scientists, Hall derived a formula for calculating the number of Twitter followers a scientist should have given one’s citation count. The K-index is the ratio of the scientist’s actual follower number to the follower number “warranted” by the citation count.An Excel document with all the data collected is here.The top 50 science stars of TwitterRead the full story on this list.1. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist 2,400,000 followers @neiltyson Citations: 151 K-index: 11129 Total number of tweets: 3,962Hayden Planetarium, United States2. Brian Cox, Physicist 1,440,000 followers @ProfBrianCox Citations: 33,301 K-index: 1188 Total number of tweets: 10,300University of Manchester, United Kingdom3. Richard Dawkins, Biologist 1,020,000 followers @RichardDawkins Citations: 49,631 K-index: 740 Total number of tweets: 19,000University of Oxford, United Kingdom4. Ben Goldacre, Physician 341,000 followers @bengoldacre Citations: 1,086 K-index: 841 Total number of tweets: 47,300London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom5. Phil Plait, Astronomer 320,000 followers @BadAstronomer Citations: 254 K-index: 1256 Total number of tweets: 47,000Bad Astronomy, United States6. Michio Kaku, Theoretical physicist 310,000 followers @michiokaku Citations: 5,281 K-index: 461 Total number of tweets: 1,130The City College of New York, United States7. Sam Harris, Neuroscientist 224,000 followers @SamHarrisOrg Citations: 2,416 K-index: 428 Total number of tweets: 2,600Project Reason, United States8. Hans Rosling, Global health scientist 180,000 followers @HansRosling Citations: 1,703 K-index: 384 Total number of tweets: 2,708Karolinska Institute, Sweden9. Tim Berners-Lee, Computer scientist 179,000 followers @timberners_lee Citations: 51,204 K-index: 129 Total number of tweets: 542Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States10. P.Z. Myers, Biologist 155,000 followers @pzmyers Citations: 1,364 K-index: 355 Total number of tweets: 25,400University of Minnesota, Morris, United States11. Steven Pinker, Cognitive scientist 142,000 followers @sapinker Citations: 49,933 K-index: 103 Total number of tweets: 1,612Harvard University, United States12. Richard Wiseman, Psychologist 134,000 followers @RichardWiseman Citations: 4,687 K-index: 207 Total number of tweets: 22,400University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom13. Lawrence M. Krauss, Theoretical physicist 99,700 followers @LKrauss1 Citations: 10,155 K-index: 120 Total number of tweets: 1,548Arizona State University, United States14. Atul Gawande, Surgeon/public health scientist 96,800 followers @Atul_Gawande Citations: 13,763 K-index: 106 Total number of tweets: 2,118Harvard University, United States15. Oliver Sacks, Neurologist 76,300 followers @OliverSacks Citations: 13,883 K-index: 83 Total number of tweets: 746New York University, United States16. Dan Ariely*, Psychologist/behavioral economist 73,000 followers @danariely Citations: 16,307 K-index: 76 Total number of tweets: 1,091Duke University, United States17. Eric Topol*, Geneticist 44,800 followers @EricTopol Citations: 151,281 K-index: 23 Total number of tweets: 4,966The Scripps Research Institute, United States18. Brian Greene, Theoretical physicist 38,700 followers @bgreene Citations: 11,133 K-index: 45 Total number of tweets: 191Columbia University, United States19. Marcus du Sautoy, Mathematician 34,200 followers @MarcusduSautoy Citations: 1,461 K-index: 77 Total number of tweets: 3,555University of Oxford, United Kingdom20. Sean Carroll, Theoretical physicist 33,200 followers @seanmcarroll Citations: 14,208 K-index: 36 Total number of tweets: 7,295California Institute of Technology, United States21. Robert Winston, Fertility scientist 31,900 followers @ProfRWinston Citations: 7,324 K-index: 43 Total number of tweets: 445Imperial College London, United Kingdom22. Bruce Betts, Planetary scientist 28,500 followers @RandomSpaceFact Citations: 91 K-index: 155 Total number of tweets: 1,619The Planetary Society, United States23. Carolyn Porco, Planetary scientist 26,100 followers @carolynporco Citations: 2,717 K-index: 48 Total number of tweets: 12,700Space Science Institute, United States24. Sebastian Thrun+, Computer scientist 25,200 followers @SebastianThrun Citations: 57,110 K-index: 17 Total number of tweets: 185Stanford University, United States25. Jonathan Eisen*, Biologist 24,900 followers @phylogenomics Citations: 41,289 K-index: 19 Total number of tweets: 46,100University of California, Davis, United States26. J. Craig Venter, Genomicist 23,500 followers @JCVenter Citations: 75,338 K-index: 15 Total number of tweets: 365J. Craig Venter Institute, United States27. Vaughan Bell, Neuroscientist 23,500 followers @vaughanbell Citations: 821 K-index: 63 Total number of tweets: 10,900King’s College London, United Kingdom28. Robert Simpson, Astronomer 21,500 followers @orbitingfrog Citations: 2,280 K-index: 42 Total number of tweets: 11,500University of Oxford, United Kingdom29. Michael E. Mann*, Meteorologist 20,900 followers @MichaelEMann Citations: 15,049 K-index: 22 Total number of tweets: 20,000Pennsylvania State University, United States30. Jerry Coyne, Biologist 19,500 followers @Evolutionistrue Citations: 16,657 K-index: 20 Total number of tweets: 7,711University of Chicago, United States31. Gary King*, Statistician 19,400 followers @kinggary Citations: 36,311 K-index: 16 Total number of tweets: 3,080Harvard University, United States32. Mike Brown, Astronomer 18,300 followers @plutokiller Citations: 7,870 K-index: 24 Total number of tweets: 9,764California Institute of Technology, United States33. Pamela L. Gay, Astronomer 17,800 followers @starstryder Citations: 238 K-index: 71 Total number of tweets: 12,700Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, United States34. Jean Francois Gariépy, Neuroscientist 17,700 followers @JFGariepy Citations: 153 K-index: 82 Total number of tweets: 3,231Duke University, United States35. Bob Metcalfe, Computer scientist 16,400 followers @BobMetcalfe Citations: 424 K-index: 55 Total number of tweets: 16,100University of Texas, Austin, United States36. Daniel Gilbert+, Psychologist 15,500 followers @DanTGilbert Citations: 26,752 K-index: 14 Total number of tweets: 1,294Harvard University, United States37. Daniel Levitin, Neuroscientist 15,400 followers @danlevitin Citations: 5,688 K-index: 22 Total number of tweets: 3,036McGill University, Canada38. Andrew Maynard, Environmental health scientist 15,300 followers @2020science Citations: 10,411 K-index: 18 Total number of tweets: 16,200University of Michigan Risk Science Center, United States39. Paul Bloom, Psychologist 15,100 followers @paulbloomatyale Citations: 14,135 K-index: 16 Total number of tweets: 1,973Yale University, United States40. Matt Lieberman, Neuroscientist 14,500 followers @social_brains Citations: 12,763 K-index: 16 Total number of tweets: 3,088University of California, Los Angeles, United States41. Seth Shostak, Astronomer 14,500 followers @SethShostak Citations: 424 K-index: 48 Total number of tweets: 294SETI Institute, United States42. Daniel MacArthur, Genomicist 14,100 followers @dgmacarthur Citations: 6,884 K-index: 19 Total number of tweets: 15,600Harvard Medical School, United States43. John Allen Paulos, Mathematician 14,000 followers @JohnAllenPaulos Citations: 1,489 K-index: 31 Total number of tweets: 4,144Temple University, United States44. Ves Dimov, Immunologist 13,900 followers @DrVes Citations: 211 K-index: 58 Total number of tweets: 32,200University of Chicago, United States45. Simon Baron-Cohen, Psychopathologist 13,600 followers @sbaroncohen Citations: 84,132 K-index: 8 Total number of tweets: 119University of Cambridge, United Kingdom46. Amy Mainzer, Astronomer 13,600 followers @AmyMainzer Citations: 1,444 K-index: 31 Total number of tweets: 2,221Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States47. Brian Krueger, Genomicist 12,500 followers @LabSpaces Citations: 154 K-index: 58 Total number of tweets: 36,700Duke University, United States48. Karen James, Biologist 12,200 followers @kejames Citations: 1,007 K-index: 31 Total number of tweets: 61,800Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, United States49. Michael Eisen, Biologist 11,800 followers @mbeisen Citations: 68,785 K-index: 8 Total number of tweets: 16300University of California, Berkeley, United States50. Micah Allen, Neuroscientist 11,600 followers @neuroconscience Citations: 81 K-index: 66 Total number of tweets: 21,900University College London, United KingdomCorrection, 17 September, 12:22 p.m.: Some affiliations and areas of expertise have been corrected.last_img read more

Artificial trachea pioneer cleared in first of two misconduct cases

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A thoracic surgeon who attracted widespread attention for transplanting artificial tracheae into patients—and then faced scientific misconduct charges—has been found not guilty in the first of two investigations into his work. The decision, announced today, was made on 7 April by the Karolinska Institute’s vice-chancellor, Anders Hamsten, on the basis of an internal investigation by the institute’s ethics council. The council concluded that the issues raised are of a “philosophy-of-science kind rather than of a research-ethical kind.”“We all felt terrible [about the investigation] because it affected our credibility, the credibility of my team,” says the accused, Paolo Macchiarini, a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “We are now happy that everything has been cleared.” Pierre Delaere, a head and neck surgeon at UZ Leuven in Belgium who brought the case against Macchiarini, says he is “stunned about such outright injustice.”Macchiarini produced artificial windpipes by taking a polymer scaffold and “seeding” it with stem cells from the recipient, which he claimed colonized the scaffold and eventually grew into a living organ. Delaere argues that Macchiarini’s claims of success were exaggerated and that he misrepresented his results in several papers in The Lancet. Delaere first e-mailed Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, then-president of the Karolinska Institute, about his concerns in 2011; he made a formal complaint to the institute in June 2014, which led to the current investigation. In its report, the council rejected all the issues Delaere had raised.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Delaere charged that Macchiarini’s claim to regenerate tracheae from patients’ stem cells was impossible, but the council concluded instead that it was a “miscommunication” about the meaning of the word regenerative. Delaere also charged that Macchiarini’s claim that blood vessels had regrown around the tracheae was impossible, but the council decided that “current evidence indicates that it is actually working.” The council found no evidence of fabricated data.The council noted that hype is a general problem, not particular to Macchiarini. Delaere’s response: “The whole stem cell story has to come down to Earth,” but the artificial trachea story “is an extreme form.” The council’s report, he adds, is “so wrong, it couldn’t be wronger.”Another ongoing investigation against Macchiarini was launched after four surgeons at the affiliated Karolinska University Hospital charged that he did not get properly informed consent from patients—a charge Macchiarini has denied. A representative for the Karolinska Institute says the timing for this case is uncertain, as the vice-chancellor is waiting for a report from an outside expert.Macchiarini says his team has paused its transplantations of tracheae, while they evaluate a new biomaterial. Splitting his time between the Karolinska Institute and Kuban State Medical University in Krasnodar, Russia, Macchiarini says he is now also engineering tissues of the lung, heart, and other thoracic organs for transplantation. The team also works on cell therapy to assist local regeneration of tissues, such as restoring lung function in newborns and adults.*Correction, 20 April, 2:40 p.m.: A previous version of this story said that Macchiarini’s team no longer works on tracheae. They have only paused the transplant operations.last_img read more

Nobel laureates defend EU animal research rules against citizens proposal

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Sixteen Nobel laureates have added their voices to a chorus of 149 science organizations defending existing E.U.-wide rules for animal research. In an open letter published on Friday, the group warns that repealing the current rules, as a citizens’ initiative has proposed, would harm biomedical research in Europe.More than 1 million citizens from 26 countries have formally urged the European Commission to scrap a 2010 directive that regulates the use of animals in scientific research. The Stop Vivisection European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), submitted to the commission in March, calls for a “paradigm shift in the way biomedical and toxicological research are being conducted.” The proponents want the commission to put forward a fresh proposal phasing out animal testing in favor of “more accurate, reliable, human-relevant methods.”The commission must now consider turning the proposal into legislation; it has until early June to respond. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In an open letter published yesterday in The Times and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Nobel Prize winners call on the commission to ignore the plea. They say the directive was “carefully considered” and that repealing it would “represent a significant step backwards” both for animal welfare and for European research. “We do not wish for animals to be involved in research forever, and the research community is committed to finding alternative models. However, we are not there yet,” write the signatories.The letter was issued just days before the Initiative’s proponents speak at the European Parliament. One of the signatories, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, will also speak at the public hearing in Brussels on Monday.Stop Vivisection is the third ECI to reach this stage since this tool for direct democracy was introduced 3 years ago. The commission has rejected the previous two (including last year’s plea to stop using E.U. funding for stem cell research), much to the frustration of citizens’ groups, which also complain that the procedures are restrictive and cumbersome. “The pressure [on the commission to take action] is bigger compared to previous initiatives,” says Carsten Berg, coordinator of the ECI Campaign, a group that lobbies to reform the tool.However, experts say the commission is unlikely to scrap legislation adopted after lengthy negotiations, which would mean reverting back to rules from 1986. “Europe has been in the lead of replacing animal experiments for decades,” and although its implementation could go further, the directive has been an important part of raising standards, says Thomas Hartung, director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing in Baltimore, Maryland. “A lot of this [discussion] is about enforcing the directive credibly, not just about getting rid of it,” he adds.Even if it doesn’t get the directive scrapped, Hartung says, the ECI has succeeded in prompting a conversation. “A large part of society wants us [scientists] to be extremely careful when using such precious resources,” he says. “Researchers cannot just handle this among themselves.”center_img 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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

Updated NASA delays Mars InSight mission

first_imgNASA has suspended its next mission to Mars after problems with a French-built seismological instrument could not be fixed in time for the scheduled launch. The mission, a lander called InSight that was to listen for tremors on Mars as a way of understanding the planet’s interior, will not launch in March 2016, the agency said today. NASA has not announced a new launch date, but because of the relative orbits of Mars and Earth, the agency will have to wait at least 26 months before it can try to launch again.A new launch date is not a forgone conclusion. The agency will review designs to fix the problem with the instrument, and also estimate the cost of putting the mission on ice for 2 years—and whether that can be paid for. It could take a couple months to reach that decision point, NASA science chief John Grunsfeld said during a teleconference today. “We either decide to go forward, or we don’t.”On 3 December, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which is managing the mission, confirmed that there was a leak in a vacuum-sealed metal sphere that holds three seismometers. The instrument, called Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), was one of two main science probes, along with a German-built thermometer that would be sent down a small bored hole. SEIS, supplied by the French space agency CNES, would have been placed on the surface of Mars, where it would have listened for faint rumblings through the planet’s crust: marsquakes.Although CNES had been working overtime to try and repair the vacuum seal, those efforts were not sufficient. New welds, tested on 20 December in France under the extreme cold that the instrument would experience on Mars, did not hold the vacuum. Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator for the mission at JPL, says the vacuum must be better than a tenth of a millibar, or a ten-thousandth of Earth’s atmosphere, for the instrument to work. The slow leak resulted in a vacuum of two-tenths of a millibar, he says. “The problem has been in this vacuum enclosure,” he says. “It’s not that exotic a technology.”The Mars community was dismayed by the decision. “We’re all just pretty disappointed right now. Devastated would be a better word,” says Lisa Pratt, a biogeochemist at Indiana University in Bloomington and chair of a Mars advisory committee for NASA. “Everyone has been waiting to get a seismic instrument on Mars after Viking.”Pratt was referring to NASA’s twin Viking landers of 1976, which also carried seismometers, but on top of the lander decks, where they were subject to background noise from martian winds. The seismometer on Viking 1 failed, and the one on Viking 2 became a better wind detector than anything else. Pratt says a properly insulated seismometer, like the one InSight has, is the key to pinning down the thicknesses of the crust, mantle, and core boundaries on Mars.Pratt adds that the delay also speaks to the extra challenges of trying to support international collaborations. “‘International’ is so built into all of NASA’s language for the path to humans at Mars,” she says. “You don’t want any vibrant international collaboration to suffer a setback like this.”The $425 million mission was the most recent selection in NASA’s Discovery program, a line of low-cost, competitive missions led by a single principal investigator. InSight was selected over a comet hopper mission, and one that would have landed a boat on Saturn’s moon Titan.Total life-cycle mission costs, including the launch rocket, are $675 million, planetary science division director Jim Green said. Of that, $525 million has been spent already, he said. *Update, 22 December, 12:11 p.m.: This story has been updated to include reaction to NASA’s announcement and other information about the mission.*Update, 22 December, 5:07 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comments from the NASA teleconference.last_img read more

How NSF cut 11 from its budget

first_img Last fall’s divisive presidential campaign was still underway when Jim Olds, who leads the biology directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Virginia, began worrying that the agency could soon be facing a serious budget crunch. It was already under a government-wide spending freeze, and Olds wanted to be prepared if things got worse. So he asked his staff to begin thinking about how to handle a 20% cut in the directorate’s $724 million budget.“I picked what I thought was an extreme number,” he says. “The idea was to think about what would be necessary to get the science done in a very challenging environment. And we wanted to stay positive.”That hypothetical exercise turned into an ugly reality this spring when NSF learned that the winner of that election, Donald Trump, planned to include an 11% cut to NSF’s $7.4 billion budget in his first full spending request to Congress. The news—which was publicly unveiled on Tuesday as part of the president’s $4.1 trillion budget for 2018—sent Olds and the heads of NSF’s other six research and education programs scrambling to erase big chunks of their portfolios without sacrificing NSF’s ability to fund the best new ideas. It was a historic challenge: No U.S. president in NSF’s 67-year history had ever proposed giving the agency less than its current budget. (President Ronald Reagan may have come closest in 1981 when he tried to take back money Congress had already appropriated.) And Olds’ planning exercise was soon followed by final action on 2017 spending levels, which held NSF essentially flat. By Jeffrey MervisMay. 25, 2017 , 12:45 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email How NSF cut 11% from its budgetcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) NSF Director France Córdova responded to the White House’s directive by asking her senior managers to come up with a set of principles to guide their budget-cutting decisions. Maintaining capacity across all six research directorates and NSF’s education programs was paramount, Córdova explained at a Tuesday budget briefing. “You never know where the next discovery will come from.”Another mandate, she said, was to allow NSF to continue funding the best unsolicited ideas from academic researchers, what she called its “core” programs. Maintaining support for cross-disciplinary research and interagency efforts—like NSF’s contribution to the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative—were two other priorities.Party like it’s 2008Noting that the last time NSF operated on the $6.65 billion that Trump has requested in his 2018 budget was in 2008, Córdova and her deputies decided to look back at how NSF spent its money then for clues on how to craft the new budget request. “We were able to take a few things off the top,” Córdova said. The list included cutting in half the annual number of prestigious graduate research fellowships it awards. “Graduate Research Fellowships had doubled in recent years, to 2000, so we rolled it back to earlier levels,” she explained.Those reductions still left NSF with an uncharted 9% cut. Cordova said she didn’t want to simply spread the pain equally across all programs. Instead, Olds and his colleagues were given the flexibility to decide what “core” meant to each of their disciplines, and to propose cuts that would preserve it.Olds’s team had already decided that everything biology did should relate to the overarching theme of understanding the “rules of life.” That screen was applied to programs that serve the directorate’s main audience of individual investigators and those working in small groups. In addition, Olds said he used the results of an annual federal survey of employee satisfaction to think about ways to improve working conditions and streamline operations.At NSF’s math and physical sciences directorate, the acting head said that defining core programs was a big challenge. “We started by asking people if they wanted us to take a common approach and the answer was a resounding no,” says James Ulvestad. “Sixty percent of astronomy’s budget goes to facilities, like telescopes, while mathematics has no facilities. So we allowed each division to define its core.”James Kurose’s computing and engineering sciences directorate serves an equally diverse audience that includes those working as individual investigators; as members of larger, interdisciplinary teams; and as users of expensive machines. And Fay Cook, head of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences directorate, said that cross-NSF initiatives like Understanding the Brain also serve as platforms for the work of individual scientists in many different areas.In the end, the directorates ended up taking relatively similar hits, from a 7.1% cut for biology to a 10.6% reduction for the geosciences. But Maria Zuber, head of the National Science Board, NSF’s presidentially appointed oversight body, says those similar percentages mask large variations.“It wasn’t a one-size-fits-all,” says Zuber, vice president for research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “That wouldn’t be strategic. [The director] empowered each directorate to look closely at its portfolio in deciding what to cut.”How full is the glass?The two biggest numerical losers in the request appear to be graduate research fellowships, down $86 million to $245 million, and EPSCoR, a program to help states with relatively small amounts of NSF funding, which would fall $60 million from its current level of $160 million. Even so, Córdova insists that training the next generation of scientists and maintaining geographic diversity across NSF’s portfolio were high priorities.Despite all the reductions, which total $841 million, Córdova says the president’s 2018 request sends a positive message to researchers. “It’s not about what we can’t do, it’s about what we do for the American taxpayer,” she asserts. “I believe this administration thinks that basic research is important. And $6.65 billion is a solid investment.”The next step will be to see how Congress reacts to the NSF proposal. In general, for example, both fellowships and EPSCoR have enjoyed bipartisan support. Fellowships are part of NSF’s investment in a tech-savvy workforce, a professed priority for every lawmaker. EPSCoR’s popularity stems from its ability to ensure that every state receives at least a bit of NSF funding even if it doesn’t host a top-tier research university.Science advocates are concerned, however, that NSF lacks the political clout of its bigger basic research sibling, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which can count on large patient advocacy groups and a robust pharmaceutical industry to advocate on its behalf. NSF also faces stiff competition within its congressional spending panel, which also decides funding for popular agencies such as NASA and the Department of Justice, and which must also deal with the Census Bureau’s need for additional funding to prepare for the 2020 decennial headcount.Given those pressures, science lobbyists anticipate a very tough fight. “I worry that the science advocacy community will spend their time fixing the really bad cuts and go near silent on NSF,” says one, questioning the community’s resolve. Another advocate fears that even a vigorous campaign will fall short. “I’m pretty confident that the academic research community will think that 11% is a really bad cut and that panic will set in. The question is whether it will be possible to fully reverse the proposed cut.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images last_img read more

Were asking frequent readers to register for Sciences free daily news

first_img To our readers:If you are a regular reader of Science’s online daily news, you may shortly notice a change. Starting Tuesday, we will be asking something of you in return for the free, cutting-edge news and analysis we serve up every day. Not money—just a small amount of information. After you read three stories in a calendar month, we will ask you to enter your email address. You’ll get to keep reading, and as a bonus you will receive our daily newsletter, with quick descriptions and links to all the stories we published in the previous day, delivered to your mailbox each morning. After 10 stories in a month we’ll ask you to register and share a couple of other details. (AAAS members or current newsletter subscribers will be exempted if they enter their identification at any point while reading.) That’s it.We will phase this in gradually, so not all of our readers will see these requests at first. We’re doing this because we’d like to learn a little more about our readers, so we can serve you better and occasionally alert you to AAAS membership and subscription offers. We won’t share your email with outside organizations unless you specifically authorize us to do so.  If you have further questions, please see our FAQs. By Tim AppenzellerJul. 17, 2017 , 4:45 PM We’re asking frequent readers to register for Science’s free daily newslast_img read more

These orangutan moms scratch to get their kids attention

first_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 (*) 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 Zimbabwe The researchers say more studies are needed to fully understand whether orangutans evolved to communicate this way, or whether this signal is specific to just this group of orangutans. These orangutan moms scratch to get their kid’s attention By Kelly MayesJul. 16, 2019 , 7:01 PM SUAQ/Caroline Schuppli It is not uncommon to see Sumatran orangutans scratching, but now, it appears these primates may be doing more than satisfying an itch. A new study shows loud scratching sounds from Sumatran orangutan mothers serve as a call to their young.Researchers observed 17 individuals—four mothers and their offspring—in their natural habitat, Gunung Leuser National Park in Aceh in Indonesia. They recorded the behavior of the different mothers and their young before, during, and after the mother made a loud scratching sound by itching the leathery skin on their head, limbs, or body. In most cases the mothers looked at their offspring while scratching, and afterward the two would leave the area together, the team reports today in Biology Letters. After documenting this action nearly 1500 times, the researchers came to believe it was the mother’s way of telling the child it was time to leave.Female orangutans usually communicate with their offspring through silent gestures to avoid attracting predators. This makes the loud scratching noise even more unusual, the team says. The scientists suggest the orangutans use the scratching sound because it is loud enough and urgent enough to get the child’s attention without being so loud as to alert predators.last_img read more

Shipwreck Discovered – Oldest Seafaring Vessel Ever Found in Dutch Waters

first_imgOn the bottom of the North Sea, salvage teams searching for shipping containers that fell off a merchant ship in a recent storm found a shipwreck of enormous historical value. They located a wreck from 1540 that may hold clues to a mystery researchers have been trying to solve for many years. “A lot of people think of the Dutch as a maritime nation, and this ship tells us something about how we became that nation,” said maritime and underwater archaeologist Martijn Manders. The ship was filled with a cargo of copper plates and some of them were displayed on April 3, 2019, the same day that the find was revealed.The wreck is being described as “the missing link” in shipping constructionIt was owned by the Fugger family, one of Europe’s richest banking families. The BBC reported that the wreck is being described as “the missing link” in shipping construction.“It’s the way the ship was built that’s very interesting because you have to think 100 years later the Netherlands was in the middle of its Golden Age — and this ship is from a transition period,” Manders told the BBC.Coat of Arms of the ‘Fugger of the Deer’Part of the reason why researchers have been able to identify this ship as one belonging to this transitional period is because of the way the timber was arranged.Although it is still on the seabed, divers intend to revisit the ship during the summer. It is considered to be the oldest seafaring ship ever found in Dutch waters.Great video to watch: Top 10 Famous Shipwrecks Throughout HistoryManders and his colleagues had been investigating a ship dating back to the 1590s for evidence of this technological transition to the Dutch Golden Age, but this new wreck puts the transition period at least 50 years earlier.Originally, the salvage teams were on the trail of the giant container ship MSC Zoe. It lost over 270 containers in January as it sailed from Portugal to Bremerhaven in Germany. Some containers and cargo washed up on German and Dutch beaches, but authorities were also searching the ocean for the missing freight.Ultra large container ship MSC Zoe navigates partly unloaded through river Scheldt towards AntwerpWhile sonar-scanning for the missing cargo, an unidentified object was spotted a few miles north of Terschelling, an island in the Wadden Sea. An underwater search located timber beams and copper plates, leading to an archaeological investigation.The archaeologists said that the timbers came from a smooth-hulled ship was 98 feet long and that the copper plates were its cargo. The Fugger family, a German mercantile dynasty, held a monopoly on copper production in the 16th century.Fugger EhrenbuchDescribing the discovery as a “lucky accident,” Education, Culture and Science Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said to the media: “I am very curious about what information will be revealed – that is also the beauty of archaeology: it stimulates your curiosity and imagination. I think this find is an enrichment of Dutch heritage.”“It was filled with copper plates, which have the stamp of the Fugger family — one of the richest families in the world,” said Manders in a BBC interview. He traced the cargo’s route from the family’s copper mines in modern-day Slovakia and up the River Vistula to the Polish port of Gdansk. Its destination was the major port of Antwerp, in Belgium.10 Ducats (1621) minted as circulating currency by the Fugger Family“They were financing emperors and kings so they were enormously rich. They pushed away the Hanseatic traders so they hired Dutch ships to avoid working with them.”A copper expert from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has identified the chemical substance in the cargo as identical to the first copper coins used in the Netherlands.Read another story from us: Viking Ship Discovered in Norway“Copper coins were at the time being developed as a lower-cost alternative to gold and silver, and it now appears that copper from the mines in Slovakia was being used as currency in the Netherlands,” according to the BBC.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers set in the Tudor era for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.comlast_img read more

Genetic Diversity of Crusaders Revealed by Groundbreaking New DNA Study

first_imgThe story of the Crusades is often told as one of a clash of religious civilizations over the Holy Land. However, a new study of the remains of crusaders who traveled to fight in the Levant has challenged this viewpoint, revealing some surprising insights into the genetic diversity of crusading armies. The study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, found that crusaders living in the Latin East had remarkably diverse origins, suggesting that European migrants often mixed with local populations or other groups on their way to the Holy Land.“Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099” (19th century painting) / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art LibraryAccording to Science Daily, Marc Haber of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, lead author of the article, said, “Our findings give us an unprecedented view of the ancestry of the people who fought in the Crusader army. And it wasn’t just Europeans. We see this exceptional genetic diversity in the Near East during medieval times, with Europeans, Near Easterners, and mixed individuals fighting in the Crusades and living and dying side by side.”The study was based on 13th century human remains taken from a burial pit next to a crusader fortress near Sidon, in modern-day Lebanon. According to the BBC, nine male individuals were identified and their genetic data was compared with other regional historic samples and DNA from a variety of modern communities.Related Video: The Modern Day Revival of the Knights TemplarThe researchers found that only three of the individuals appeared to have come from Western Europe, whereas four showed evidence of Near Eastern origins. The remaining two individuals appeared to be of mixed descent, combining European and Near Eastern ancestry.According to The Guardian, this evidence strongly suggests that these individuals were the offspring of crusaders, traders or settlers who had come to the region prior to the 13th century and integrated with the local population.“Baldwin of Boulogne entering Edessa in 1098” by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, 1840In one case, the researchers hypothesized that one parent came from northern Spain or the Basque region, and the other came from the Berber communities of northern Arabian Peninsula and southern Mesopotamia. The team that analyzed the cemetery near Sidon said that the findings point to one of two possible conclusions. All of the skeletons in the pit showed signs of severe physical trauma, indicating that they died in battle.DNA from 13th-century remains buried in a pit in Lebanon is shedding light on the lives of Crusader soldiers and how they mixed with the local population, a new study shows. #9Newshttps://t.co/vtr2QHUy59— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) April 23, 2019The ethnic diversity of the remains suggests that either fighters on both sides of the conflict were buried in the same place, or that the crusader army that defended the castle near Sidon was made up of people of both European and Near Eastern descent. According to The Guardian, the researchers strongly favor the latter conclusion, as both the archaeological and historical evidence seems to suggest that the crusading army did include local people from what is now Lebanon.Beirut, LebanonProfessor Jonathan Phillips, of Royal Holloway University in London, told The Guardian that there is significant documentary evidence to suggest that crusaders engaged closely with local populations, and even used local people in their armies.This groundbreaking genetic research provides further evidence to suppress the pervasive myth that crusaders had little to do with the people they encountered in the Near East. The findings also offer a counter narrative to the traditional picture of the Middle Ages as characterized by a binary conflict between Christian and Islamic societies.Rather, as many historians have recently noted, the evidence from the Near East suggests a much more complex picture, in which successive waves of invading and migrating populations mixed with locals and integrated to form new social groups.Read another story from us: 800-yr-old Crusader Body Desecrated by Vandals in an Irish Church VaultAlthough genetic approaches alone cannot fully illuminate this complex past, historians are making use of these new techniques to complement documentary and archaeological research, in order to better understand this fascinating period in Middle Eastern history.last_img read more

Visiting rape victim CM Arvind Kejriwal stresses on need for death penalty

first_img arvind kejriwal, delhi 6 year old raped, delhi minor girl rape, swati maliwal, delhi news, delhi crime, rapes in delhi Arvind Kejriwal promised Rs 10 lakh to victim’s family.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday announced financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the family of a six-year-old rape victim. After visiting them at a city hospital, he also promised to provide “the best lawyers” to fight the case “to ensure death penalty” to the accused. The Chief Minister was accompanied by DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal, who reiterated the need for death penalty. Maliwal said, “The family of the girl is still in shock but they are adamant about one thing — that the rapist be given capital punishment. I have been fighting for the same for a long time but the system is not efficient and the procedure is very slow. Ever since the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, was passed, not a single rapist of a minor has been given death penalty in Delhi. Fast track courts need to be set up and justice should be served.”According to a DCW statement, the child was kidnapped and raped while the family was sleeping on the footpath in South West Delhi.Police said the accused, a 26-year-old, later tried to kill her by hitting her with a stone. A local found the girl near a public washroom. Inside Delhi govt school with 210 CCTVs, principal hopes project will help, some students not so sure Related News Advertising Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi | Updated: July 18, 2019 10:15:02 am “The girl is conscious now. She cannot eat yet but she had a few sips of water and milk today… Her condition was very critical when she was admitted. She had head, abdominal, perineal and vaginal injuries. She is undergoing a number of surgeries,” said a doctor from the hospital.The victim’s family later found the accused and handed him over to the police. “He confessed to the crime during questioning,” said a police officer. Delhi: Court summons CM Arvind Kejriwal in defamation case CM, Sisodia granted bail in case of defamation Advertising Post Comment(s)last_img read more

US Congress to vote on bill to remove countrycap on Green Card

first_imgThe bill, however, has to be passed by the Senate, wherein the Republicans enjoy a majority before it can be signed into law by the US president. A similar bill is supported by a bipartisan group of senators including Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris is slated to come up for consideration soon. Both the identical bills in the Senate and the House were introduced in February.In the House, it was introduced by Congressman Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat who represents portions of Northern California’s Silicon Valley, and Republican Ken Buck from Colorado, while in the Senate it was introduced by Harris and Mike Lee from Utah. In a news report, Breitbart news described it as giveaway legislation to 300,000 Indian H-1B visa workers.This will incentivize “more low wage Indian graduates” to take US jobs from middle-class American graduates, it said and urged Republican lawmakers supporting the bill to withdraw their co-sponsorship.Democrats, Breitbart alleged, “have kept the legislation secret — the bill has had no hearing or committee votes — and it is being backed by the immigration lawyer who helped Democratic Sen Chuck Schumer write the disastrous ‘Gang of Eight’ amnesty in 2013”. US, Taliban to open Doha talks in fresh bid to end war US and Iran to clash at UN nuclear watchdog “We should not allow” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the bill without following the rules, he said, adding the bill has not had a hearing or markup. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield green card, us green card, H-1B visa, H-1B visa ban, us visa, us congress, us congress on visa, indians in us, World news, Indian Express news The Green Card, which allows a person to live and work permanently in the US, would benefit professionals from India who have waited decades for the green card. (Representational image)The US lawmakers will on Tuesday decide on lifting the country-cap on issuing Green Cards through voting in Congress, a move which may benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals. Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain Lifting the per-country cap would mainly benefit professionals from countries like India, for whom the wait for Green Card is more than a decade. Some of the recent studies have said the waiting period for Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas is more than 70 years. The Library of Congress said the act, also known as HR 1044, is the most viewed bill in the week beginning July 7.According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), this bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from seven per cent of the total number of such visas available that year to 15 per cent and eliminates the seven per cent cap for employment-based immigrant visas.It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China. The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY 2020-22 by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas.“Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85 per cent shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country,” the CRS said. Best Of Express Related News Joining Breitbart, the Center For Immigration Studies said the bill would reward the employers who literally replaced American workers with hundreds of thousands of low cost and less skilled contract workers who entered on temporary visas (mainly H-1Bs), often working in the tech sector.These employers are mainly big tech and foreign outsourcing companies. “Under current rules, citizens of India are getting about 25 per cent of all the professional employment Green Cards each year. If this bill becomes law, citizens of India will get more than 90 per cent of the professional employment Green Cards, according to the USCIS, for at least the next 10 years.“Green cards would be unavailable to applicants from all other parts of the world (and many other occupations) for at least a decade,” alleged the Centre for Immigration Studies. It argued that a bill with “such sweeping implications” for the US workers should not be passed without a hearing and without opportunity for members to offer amendments.“Adopting a different Green Card selection system that chooses the most highly educated and skilled workers would eliminate the need for a per-country cap system, and would not reward the exploitative employers who thrive on the existing system,” it said. Congressman Paul Gosar said this is another gift for big-tech companies at the expense of American workers and students. Iran renews nuclear pact ultimatum amid tensions with US More Explained Having a Green Card allows a person to live and work permanently in the US. Indian IT professionals, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US mainly on the H-1B work visas, are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Cards or permanent legal residency.Being supported by more than 310 lawmakers from both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act’ is all set to sail through the 435-member US House of Representatives.Buoyed by the fact of 203 Democrats and 108 Republicans are co-sponsoring the bill, the proponents of the legislation are using a fast-track process which requires 290 votes to pass a bill without hearing and amendments. By PTI |Washington | Updated: July 9, 2019 2:29:28 pm Advertising Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Advertising After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Lifting 271 mn out of poverty in 10 yrs India fastest Jharkhand

first_img Best Of Express According to the global MPI 2019 report released Thursday, between 2005-06 and 2015-16, India, lifted 271 million out of poverty, significantly reducing deprivations in many of the ten indicators, particularly in “assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition”.The MPI captures both the incidence and intensity of poverty. The global MPI tracks 101 countries on deprivations across ten indicators in health, education, and standard of living. Developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it looks beyond income poverty and tracks poverty in terms of the deprivation faced by people in their daily lives. Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, India, lifted 271 million out of poverty, significantly reducing deprivations in many of the ten indicators.The report stated: “Among selected countries with a significant reduction in MPI value, India demonstrates the clearest pro-poor pattern at the subnational level: the poorest regions reduced multidimensional poverty the fastest in absolute terms”. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising Poverty index: how Jharkhand reduced its poor the fastest Bail rider for woman held for offensive post: Donate Quran copies Jharkhand JAC secondary, intermediate compartmental exams 2019 admit card released, how to download The MPI captures both the incidence and intensity of poverty. (Image for representational purpose only)India has registered the fastest absolute reduction in the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) value among ten countries, spanning every developing region, whose combined population is two billion people. And Jharkhand is among the poorest regions in the world improving the fastest. It cites Jharkhand, which reduced multidimensional poverty from 74.9 per cent to 46.5 per cent in the ten years since 2005-06, as an example of the poorest region improving the fastest followed by Rattanak Kiri in Cambodia.Among the four Indian states with the most acute MPI — Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh — Jharkhand has made the most progress. Overall, India was among three countries where poverty reduction in rural areas outpaced that in urban areas, which as per the report, is an indicator of pro-poor development.The National Family Health Survey round three and four (NHFS 2005-06 & 2015-16) is the source for the comparative data on the indicators.In this period, the report stated,  the incidence of multidimensional poverty in India has almost halved, to 27.9 per cent from 55.1 per cent, lifting 271 million out of poverty — from 640 million to around 369 million. With regards to intensity, the reduction is negligible — from 51.1 per cent to 43.9 per cent — which goes to show that the experience of the poor person, how they face deprivation, hasn’t changed all that dramatically.center_img Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Advertising Written by Shalini Nair | New Delhi | Updated: July 12, 2019 12:41:46 pm Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Related News “Traditionally disadvantaged subgroups such as those living in rural India, Muslims, the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and young children are still the poorest in India,” said a UNDP official.Shoko Noda, UNDP India Resident Representative, said, “The MPI captures the huge progress India has made in reducing multidimensional poverty across the country, while also providing a more complete picture of who is deprived, how they are deprived, and where they live.”“That the poorest parts of the country are more quickly lifting people out of poverty demonstrates India’s commitment to ensuring no one is left behind, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the government’s own priorities.”The ten developing nations for which the comparison is made include countries across income categories: upper middle (Peru), lower middle (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Vietnam) and low (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti).Across the 101 countries, 23.1 per cent of the people are multidimensionally poor. Fifty per cent of multidimensionally poor people are children, and a third are children under age 10 with over 85 per cent of poor children living in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. 25 Comment(s)last_img read more

Highlights of ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case Key points

first_img Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Harish Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Two years and two months since India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, the court on Wednesday, in a 15:1 verdict, granted New Delhi consular access to the former Naval officer and asked Pakistan to review and reconsider the death sentence awarded to him.Jadhav, 49, was arrested allegedly on March 3, 2016. He was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. The Indian side, however, maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy and that he had no links with the government.Highlights of the ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case:* Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence” of Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict * On Pakistan’s argument that India has failed to prove Jadhav’s nationality, ICJ said it was satisfied that the evidence before it leaves no room for doubt that Jadhav is of Indian nationality.* There was a three-week delay in informing India about Jadhav’s arrest on March 3, 2016, leading to a “breach” of Pakistan’s obligations under the convention, the court said.* No basis to conclude that India abused its procedural rights when it requested an indication of provisional measures in this case, ICJ said. Advertising International Court of Justice to deliver verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case on July 17 Kulbhushan Jadhav ICJ Verdict: ‘Truth, justice prevails,’ PM Modi welcomes judgment center_img 1 Comment(s) Advertising Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Best Of Express By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2019 9:22:38 pm Related News * Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations* Pakistan ‘deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation”.* ICJ rejects annulment of military court decision convicting Kulbhushan Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India* It was “undisputed” fact that Pakistan did not accede to India’s appeals, says ICJlast_img read more

Closedloop insulin delivery improves blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes

first_imgResults from our study together with those from previous studies support the adoption of closed-loop technology in clinical practice across all age groups.” Source:https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-10/d-cp100118.ph By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Oct 3 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A study presented at this year’s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes has shown that hybrid day-night closed-loop insulin delivery systems are more effective at controlling blood sugar levels in type 1 diabetes than sensor-augmented pump therapy.Image Credit: Magic mine / ShutterstockWith sensor-augmented pump therapy, an insulin pump is combined with a continuous glucose monitoring sensor that sends readings to the patient who is then responsible for administering their insulin doses.Closed-loop insulin delivery systems, on the other hand, combine this monitoring with an insulin pump and an algorithm that enables automatic insulin delivery.Hybrid closed-loop systems combine automated delivery with insulin delivery initiated by the patient. The first of these systems was introduced into clinical practice in 2017 following a safety trial.For the study, 86 patients with type 1 diabetes (aged six years and older) treated with insulin pump therapy and who had sub-optimal blood glucose control, were randomly assigned to receive either sensor-augmented pump therapy (control group) or the hybrid closed-loop therapy over a 12 -week period.The participants underwent training on the insulin pump and glucose monitoring during a 4-week run-in period.As reported in The Lancet, glucose levels were within the target range of 3.9 to 10.0mmol/L for a significantly greater proportion of time in the closed-loop group compared with the control group, at 65% versus 54%.In the closed-loop group, the HbA1c level fell from 8.3% to 8.0% after training and to 7.4% after the study.The corresponding figures in the control group were 8.2%, 7.8%, and 7.7%. This difference in reduction was a significant 0.36%.The median amount of time spent in a hypoglycemic state (glucose below 3.9mmol/L) was 12 minutes lower in the closed-loop group versus control group and the time spent in a hyperglycemic state (above 10.0mmol/L) was 2 hours and 24 minutes lower.Overall, the proportion of time spent in the hypo-or hyperglycemic state in the closed-loop group was a median of 3.5% at baseline and 2.6% after the study.The corresponding figures for the controls were 3.3% and 3.9%.The authors conclude that, compared with sensor-augmented pump therapy, the use of day-and night-hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery improves glycemic control in people with type 1 diabetes and reduces their risk of hypoglycemia.last_img read more

HPE Unveils Huge SingleMemory Computer Prototype

first_imgHPE on Tuesday introduced the world’s largest single-memory computer as part of The Machine, its research project into memory-driven computing.The computer has 160 T-bytes of memory, and HPE expects the architecture to allow memory to scale up to 4.096 yottabytes.The memory is spread across 40 physical nodes that are interconnected using a high-performance fabric protocol.The computer runs on an optimized Linux-based operating system running ThunderX2, Cavium’s flagship second-generation dual socket-capable ARMv8-A workload optimized System on a Chip.It uses photonics/optical communication links, including the new HPE X1 photonics module.The computer has software programming tools designed to take advantage of abundant persistent memory.The technology is built for the big data era, HPE said. The memory-driven computer “is an odd mix of technology, heat use of optical, and flash, so memory speeds should be exceptional, but there’s no GPU, and [it uses] ARM CPUs, so processing could be relatively slow,” noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”This thing could handle an impressive amount of data very quickly as long as you aren’t doing that much with it,” he told TechNewsWorld.”I don’t see the world putting all health records in a single system — or Facebook all its data,” remarked Holger Mueller, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.”Most of the Big Data use cases we know today are fine with HDD, or HDD with some memory powered by Spark,” he told TechNewsWorld. That leaves “limited room for the new offering for only very high-value, high cost-justifying use cases.”Cost will be the main factor driving the market, Mueller suggested.Intel has launched 3D Point Memory, branded as “Optane,” which also is persistent, but it performs at near DRAM speed, Enderle pointed out.That “likely makes the HPE effort obsolete before it ships,” he said. “Had [HPE] brought this out in 2015 when it was expected, it would have been far more interesting.” HPE’s memory-driven computer offers “tremendous speedup,” Wheeler said, because everything resides on the memory fabric.HPE is working on that fabric as part of the Gen-Z Consortium, which includes ARM, AMD, Cavium, Broadcom, Huawei, IBM, Lenovo, Micron, Dell EMC, Seagate and Western Digital among its members.The current von Neumann architecture has computers moving data “all over the place,” noted Paul Teich, a principal analyst at Tirias Research. “Even if you’re working with one of the big [Software as a Service] suites, they spend a lot of energy and time moving data around through the processors.”Having 160 T-bytes in one space lets users “leave all the data in memory, point to an address, and everything happens automagically,” Teich told TechNewsWorld.”Everything becomes a lot faster and more fluid,” he explained, “and given that your primary big data dataset doesn’t change, the energy you save by not moving that data out of storage into dozens or hundreds of machines is huge. Instead of having to move the data closer to a processor, you have the processor closer to the data.” “We think we’ve got an architecture that scales all the way from edge devices — the intelligent edge — through some bigger systems that are probably more in line with what we’ve built out as a prototype,” said HPE Fellow Andrew Wheeler, deputy director of Hewlett Packard Labs.”If you think competitively against that scale of things, you’re going up against conventional supercomputers, which have their scale limits and will have energy consumption levels 10 to 20 times what we have here,” he told TechNewsWorld. The 400 nodes and 160 T-bytes of memory “all fit very comfortably within a single [server] rack.”HPE has discussed the technology with hundreds of customers, it said, including industry verticals, high-performance computing companies, analytics firms, financial institutions and others, Wheeler said, noting that “everyone we talked to completely resonates.” Another Side of the Storycenter_img The Memory-Driven Computing Difference One Size Fits All Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.last_img read more

Google Device Bug Chokes Home WiFi Networks

first_imgA bug in the software used by Google Cast devices such as Chromecast and Home can slow down or crash WiFi networks.The problem — initially believed to be isolated to a particular router model made by TP-Link — appears to affect models made by other manufacturers, including Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology.Complaints on a Google user forum brought the problem to light earlier this week.Forum user Alastair Hadden’s network problems started after installing Google Home Max, he wrote. “Initial setup was fine, everything was working (Assistant, streaming services), but then my WiFi network went down, which required a hard restart of modem and router to fix. It took it going down a few more times for me to realize the Max was causing it.”Forum user Ryan Crowson had a similar experience.”Added a Home Max to the mix tonight and my router kept dying,” he wrote. “I couldn’t even hardwire and log into it to see what was happening, had to unplug the router every time. I had a hunch it was the Max, so I unplugged it and sure enough all other Homes starting working again without crashing my network.” No Brand Damage Arcane Technology Cast Issue Most people will not hear about the Cast bug before Google patches it, said Kevin Krewell, principal analyst with Tirias Research.”WiFi is not such a reliable service that people don’t already expect random disruptions,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Owners are more likely to blame TP Link — rightly or wrongly — when the WiFi goes down. I don’t expect any damage to Google’s reputation.”With the proliferation of home devices connected to WiFi networks, bugs are going to appear from time to time, Krewell said. “The most important thing is discovery and patching — just like security vulnerabilities. The most important thing for consumers is to keep their devices’ firmware up to date. An occasional reboot doesn’t hurt, either.” This isn’t the first time this kind of bug has appeared in a Google device. Similar complaints emerged last year about software for the Nexus Player, a digital media player developed by Google, Intel and Asus.That incident didn’t seem to tarnish the image of Google’s home devices and this one isn’t likely to do so either.”It’s a short-term problem,” said Paul Erickson, a senior analyst with IHS Markit.”The issue isn’t on the mainstream radar,” he told TechNewsWorld. “For the average consumer, this isn’t going to be a very visible issue.”The problem should be relatively easy to fix via a software update, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”If Google addresses the problem in short order,” he told TechNewsWorld, “customers will quickly put it behind them.” center_img Bugs Unavoidable John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. While more devices will be added to home networks, they aren’t likely to bring the nets to their knees, as the Cast bug is doing.”We’re going to see more devices coming into the home and that’s going to present traffic challenges, but most of these products will require very little bandwidth,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research.”Security will be a bigger issue than network congestion,” he told TechNewsWorld.A bigger problem exposed by the Cast bug may be the arcane nature of home routers.”Routers break down on people all the time, and it’s almost impossible to figure out what’s causing it,” noted Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.”In this case, a bug was found,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but there are so many instances where this occurs that it just highlights how much more work has to be done on simplifying the process of making home routers more reliable and more understandable for troubleshooting purposes.” The Cast feature on Google’s home devices is the culprit behind the WiFi problems, according to a post on the TP-Link website. Cast sends MDNS multicast discovery packets in order to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Home. These packets normally are sent in 20-second intervals.However, after a device wakes up from sleep mode, it sometimes broadcasts a large amount of the packets — more than 100,000 on some occasions — at a very high speed in a short amount of time. The longer the device is asleep, the larger the packet burst will be.This issue eventually may cause some of a router’s primary features to shut down — including wireless connectivity, according to the post. Rebooting a router will return WiFi connectivity. Disabling the Cast feature will address the problem, too.”Google Home and Chromecast users with Android phones may experience issues that cause their routers to respond slowly,” Paula and the Google Home product team acknowledged in a forum post on Wednesday. “We apologize for any inconvenience and this week we’ll begin rolling out a fix with an update to Google Play services.”last_img read more

Study Targeting specific genomic mutation in breast cancer improves survival

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 22 2018Targeting a common mutation in patients with hormone receptor positive (HR+) HER2 negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer with the alpha-specific phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor alpelisib significantly improves progression-free survival, according to late-breaking results reported at ESMO 2018.”Alpelisib is the first drug to show a benefit in a genomic subgroup of breast cancer patients,” said lead author Fabrice André, oncologist and Professor of Medical Oncology at the Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. He explained: “We have had HER2-targeted drugs – targeting the HER2 protein – but, until now, the use of tumor genomics has not really entered the practical care of breast cancer, unlike melanoma or lung cancer.”About 40% of patients with HR+ breast cancer have PIK3CA mutations, activating the PI3 kinase pathway leading to cancer progression and resistance to endocrine therapy. Alpelisib (BYL719) is an oral PI3K inhibitor that is alpha specific. “The alpha isoform of PI3-kinase is the one that is mutated in breast cancer. Previous PI3K inhibitors targeted all four isoforms so there were a lot of toxicities,” noted André. A previous phase 1 trial with alpelisib showed promising preliminary efficacy and manageable safety profile.The SOLAR-1 trial randomized 572 postmenopausal women or men with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer; 341 had PIK3CA mutations when tumor tissue was tested. The patients had good performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status of ?1) and had received one or more prior lines of hormonal therapy but no chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer. They had not previously received fulvestrant, or any PI3K, Akt or mTOR inhibitor, and were not on concurrent anticancer therapy.Patients were randomized to oral alpelisib (300 mg/day) or placebo plus intramuscular fulvestrant (500 mg every 28 days and on days 1 and 15 of treatment cycle 1). The primary endpoint was locally assessed progression free survival (PFS) in patients with PIK3CA mutations, detected in tumor tissue.Results showed the PFS was nearly twice as long in patients with PIK3CA mutations randomized to alpelisib compared to the placebo group. The median PFS was 11.0 months in the alpelisib arm compared to 5.7 months in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.50 to 1.25, p=0.00065) at a median follow-up of 20.0 months.Just over one-third (36%) of patients with measurable PI3KCA-mutated advanced breast cancer (n=262) responded to alpelisib plus fulvestrant, while the overall response rate in the placebo/fulvestrant group was 16% (p=0.0002). The secondary endpoint of locally assessed PFS in patients without PI3KCA mutations did not meet the predefined proof of concept endpoint (HR0.85, 95% CI 0.58-1.25, median 7.4-5.6mo).Related StoriesNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedAndré said: “Alpelisib offers the potential for increased life expectancy in patients with HR+ HER2- advanced breast cancer with PI3KCA mutations.” But he cautioned: “For now, the follow-up is short so we cannot say whether there is a long-term survival benefit. But alpelisib increased progression-free survival and that will hopefully translate to improvement in outcome.”Commenting on the study for ESMO, Prof. Angelo Di Leo, Head of the Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital of Prato, Italy, said: “This is the first trial to show a clinically relevant benefit with a PI3K inhibitor combined with endocrine therapy in patients with HR+ HER2- advanced breast cancer with PIK3CA mutations.”Di Leo added: “The next critical step will be to understand when, and how, this compound should be incorporated into the current treatment algorithm – upfront, in combination with endocrine therapy and a CDK4/6 inhibitor, or sequentially, after disease progression on the combination of endocrine therapy and a CDK4/6 inhibitor.” He cautioned that a limitation of the study was that only a modest number of patients were pre-treated with CDK4/6 inhibitors, which have become a new standard of care in this setting.The most frequent side-effects with alpelisib were hyperglycaemia, which André said could be managed with metformin, nausea, decreased appetite and rash. He said: “There is no life-threatening toxicity or major toxicity that would be expected to affect quality of life. This is good because alpelisib is a drug that is supposed to be given before chemotherapy.”Considering the wider implications, André said: “This study opens the door for clinical genomics for breast cancer as the first study to show that treatment based on a patient’s tumor genomic profile – specifically PI3KCA mutation – can improve the outcome.” He predicted: “These results will have a major impact for practice because we have to implement genomic testing for breast cancer.”Di Leo agreed: “If PI3K inhibitors become a treatment option for patients with advanced breast cancer, assessing PIK3CA mutations using plasma samples (liquid biopsies) will become standard of care, with the considerable advantage of this being a non-invasive procedure.” Source:https://www.esmo.org/Press-Office/Press-Releases/SOLAR-aplelisib-fulvestrant-breast-cancer-Andrelast_img read more

Russian researchers develop novel combined action drug for cancer diagnostics and treatment

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 4 2018Russian researchers announced the development of a combined action drug based on ionizing radiation and bacterial toxin. Their total effect appeared to be 2,200 times stronger compared to that exerted by the radiation and toxin, separately. The drug affects tumor cells selectively providing better diagnostics and treatment of malignant tumors. These advances were reported in an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Chemotherapy is widely used for treatment of cancerous diseases. However, it is associated with severe side effects (hair loss, nausea, loss of appetite, oedema, anemia, memory disorders, and so on) as the drugs affect the body in total and are accumulated throughout normal tissues. Moreover, the chemotherapy often requires repeated drug administration to overcome tumor propensity to relapse. A perfect anti-cancer drug should provide a powerful impact to all tumor cells at once to prevent their recovery.The combined therapy proposed and realized by the Russian scientists appeared to be successful. “Just like modern armies deploy tanks, foot troops, and artillery, we also fight tumors using several mechanisms at once: ionizing radiation and a strong toxin of bacterial origin,” says Andrey Zvyagin, head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Sechenov University.The drug developed by the scientists consists of a nanoparticles, as the core, with embedded radiopharmaceutical agent (a source of ionizing beta-radiation), and a highly toxic toxin derived from bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The nanosized drug core is decorated with polymer to render the nanocomplex water miscible and biologically amiable and coupled with biological molecules, which represent the toxin fused with a targeting biomolecule by genetic engineering methods. The radiopharmaceutical agent is well secluded inside the nanoparticle and guarantees its side-effect-free targeted action to tumor cells. Blood vessels that feed the tumor have pores through which the drug enters the tumor from the blood flow. The targeting biomolecule binds itself with cancer cells causing them to accumulate in the primary and metastatic tumors. The radiopharmaceutical agent is able to affect the cells both in immediate proximity to the nanoparticles and up to 1 cm from them, providing for efficient therapy of considerable tumor masses. The toxin blocks the synthesis of proteins in the cells preventing them from restoration and dissemination.The new drug was tested both on cells and laboratory animals: breast cancer (the most widely spread type of cancer in women) was grafted on a laboratory mouse, and after that the tested drug was administered to it. In experiments on cells, the effect of the combination was 2,200 times stronger than the effect from the separate use of its components. The efficiency of combined therapy was confirmed by experiments on laboratory mice. The drug not only treats, but also facilitates visualization of the tumors, which makes it a diagnostical tool. The area of medicine that combines diagnostics and treatment is called theranostics. Source:https://www.sechenov.ru/last_img read more