Keck School of Medicine of USC wins two grants to support osteoarthritis

first_imgMay 4 2018A researcher at the Keck School of Medicine of USC has been awarded two grants totaling more than $4 million to support osteoarthritis research. A $3.4 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health will fund research on the mechanisms behind the development, progression and prevention of osteoarthritis. A $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense will fund pre-clinical research on novel drug candidates that may have the potential to regenerate cartilage and slow the progression of osteoarthritis.”Osteoarthritis is a looming public health problem with few solutions on the horizon,” says grant recipient Denis Evseenko, MD, PhD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery, stem cell and regenerative medicine at the Keck School. “With these concurrent research efforts, we hope to translate our foundational knowledge about joint cartilage development into clinical therapies that would improve millions of lives.”Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTFirst safe, reliable, noninvasive way to monitor rheumatoid arthritisNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerOsteoarthritis, caused by injuries and everyday wear and tear, is the most common joint disorder in the United States. Its prevalence is steadily growing due to longer life spans and increased obesity rates. It is estimated that by 2032, nearly 30 percent of people age 45 and older will be diagnosed with the disease. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, though pain medication can help improve quality of life. Those severely affected by the disease may opt for joint replacement surgery, but the procedure can be cost-prohibitive and may require revision surgery after a number of years.Evseenko hypothesizes that genetic and pharmacologic manipulation of the body’s glycoprotein 130 (gp130) receptor molecule could decrease the effects of arthritis by slowing cartilage degradation, or perhaps even building new cartilage. Gp130 is a complex receptor responsible for processing the body’s signals to grow cartilage in the embryo and cause chronic inflammation in adults. One method for targeting gp130 is using drug candidates similar in structure to the small molecule, “Regulator of Cartilage Growth and Differentiation 423” (RCGD 423). RCGD 423 was discovered in Evseenko’s laboratory, and his recent research suggests targeting gp130 with RCGD 423 spurs cartilage growth while lowering inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. If the pre-clinical research data holds true, he hopes to launch clinical trials for an injectable therapy to delay the progression of arthritis among those in early stages of the disease.​ Source:https://keck.usc.edu/last_img read more

Telemedicine approach improves genetic counseling at communitybased cancer care

first_imgMay 31 2018Genetic counseling for cancer patients has become standard of care at academic medical centers, but patients cared for at community-based medical practices across the United States may not have access to these resources. Video and phone sessions can close that gap and bring genetic counseling to patients who would not otherwise have the chance to receive it, according to a new study from the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center.Researchers conducted a randomized, controlled trial to determine whether patients at community practices would undergo genetic testing after a remote phone or video counseling session and found 77 percent of patients chose to do so, compared to just six percent in the group of patients that were offered usual care options for genetic testing, such as driving to a center with genetic counselor or having genetic testing with their doctor and without the assistance of a genetics professional. The study’s lead author, Angela R. Bradbury, MD, an assistant professor of Hematology-Oncology, will present the findings at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago.Germline genetic testing helps doctors identify patients at increased risk for cancer who may benefit from additional or early screening or other cancer prevention interventions. This testing includes detection of BRCA mutations, which are linked to a drastically increased lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancers, as well as pancreatic and prostate cancer. Genetic counselors work as part of a patient’s healthcare team and can help patients and providers understand how genetic and familial risk contribute to cancer risk, they can make recommendations for the most appropriate genetic testing and provide guidance on how to understand genetic results and what they mean for a patient’s healthcare. Currently, only 37 percent of patients who undergo testing meet with a counselor beforehand.Bradbury and her team randomly assigned 115 patients who were candidates for genetic testing into two groups – one that received a phone or video counseling session and one that were provided information on how they can get genetic testing. All participants were patients at primary care practices throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.Related StoriesGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationLiving with advanced breast cancerNew study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaOf the 71 patients in the group offered remote genetic counseling services, 55 of them (77 percent) went on to complete the counseling. Just two of 36 patients (six percent) in the usual care group completed genetic counseling. In addition, 55 percent of patients in the remote services arm proceeded to actual genetic testing, leading to the identification of four genetic carriers. Only 17 percent of patients in the usual care arm underwent testing, and no carriers were identified.”The data definitively show the impact of remote genetic services, and it’s clear from this study that this telemedicine approach improves on what community practices can do on their own,” Bradbury said. “That said, it’s noteworthy that just 56 percent of patients who underwent remote counseling went on to undergo genetic testing. It shows we still have work to do to help equip patients with this information, which can be life-saving in some cases.”Bradbury also noted another important area to address: the discrepancy between patients in the usual care arm who underwent counseling and those who underwent testing.”The data confirm that some people in community practices are getting testing without going through counseling first, and previous studies have shown that patients have lower levels of knowledge and lower satisfaction when that happens,” Bradbury said.The study also compared the effectiveness of the two telemedicine options and preliminary findings suggest that videoconference leads to a greater increase in knowledge and a greater decrease in depression when compared to baseline than phone sessions. The authors note this finding is preliminary and points to a need for further research. Susan M. Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA, was a co-investigator on the study, which was supported by the Basser Center for BRCA.Bradbury will present the findings as an oral abstract in the Health Services Research, Clinical Informatics, and Quality of Care session on Friday June 1st at McCormick Place in Room S404 at 4:45 Central. Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/may/using-telemedicine-to-bring-genetic-counseling-to-community-cancer-carelast_img read more

HIV diagnoses continue to increase among AfricanAmericans

first_imgJun 5 2018African-Americans are still much more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white Americans. A new paper on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African-American community shows that despite recent drops in HIV diagnoses across every population in the US, there are still great disparities between ethnic groups. The paper was led by Cato T. Laurencin of the University of Connecticut in the US and is published in Springer’s Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.A decade ago Laurencin and his team published a call for action paper that highlighted high numbers of HIV diagnoses in the African American community. This follow-up paper now draws on data from surveys such as the 2010 United States Census and the 2016 HIV Surveillance Report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Worryingly, the paper’s analysis shows that the trends highlighted 10 years ago have continued and in some regards worsened. For male and female populations in 2016, Blacks were 8.4 times more likely than whites to be diagnosed with HIV, whereas in 2005 they were 7.9 times more likely. Specifically, the number of Black males diagnosed with the disease in 2005 was 9,969 and increased by 29% to 12,890 in 2016.Related StoriesNovel method can help clinicians identify individuals most in need of PrEPHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsPrevalence of anal cancer precursors is higher in women living with HIV than previously reportedBlack male-to-male sexual contact was the most common form of transmission of HIV and the number of men that have sex with men who were diagnosed with HIV increased 154% from 4,020 in 2005 to 10,233 in 2016. Laurencin and his team point out that if this trend continues, one in two Black men who engage in sexual contact with men will receive an HIV diagnosis in their lifetimes.The number of African-American females diagnosed with HIV through heterosexual contact increased by 75% from 2,392 in 2005 to 4,189 in 2016, and there was also a 76% increase in HIV diagnoses among heterosexual black men in the same time period.”It is clear that much more needs to be done to address the fact that African-Americans continue to be overrepresented across all categories of transmission,” said Laurencin.Laurencin and his team recommend a five-fold plan aimed at healthcare practitioners and community advocates. The plan includes working to eliminate prejudices and unconscious biases when treating patients, and employing new technology and techniques to help prevent or eradicate HIV/AIDs. Working towards reducing secondary factors such as incarceration rates, poverty, STDs and other circumstances that increase the chances of contracting HIV is also another recommendation.”While higher rates of poverty and prevalence of negative socio-economic determinants in African-American are important underlying factors, we believe that a concerted, re-dedicated effort – as seen with other national health emergencies such as the opioid crisis – can create meaningful change in the decade to come,” said Laurencin.Source: https://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/research-news/all-english-research-news/african-americans-still-disproportionately-affected-by-hiv/15816098last_img read more

Researchers use autobiographical memory test for early prediction of Alzheimers

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 24 2018Testing how well people remember past events in their lives could help medical professionals make early predictions about who is at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study from the University of Arizona.Researchers administered an “autobiographical memory” test to a group of 35 healthy adults, about half of whom carry the gene variant APOE e4 — a known genetic risk factor that nearly doubles the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As a group, those with the genetic risk described memories with much less detail than those without it.Sometimes called a disease with a clinically silent beginning, Alzheimer’s is difficult to detect early even though changes in the brain related to the disease may begin to happen years or even decades before an individual starts to exhibit memory difficulties, said UA neuropsychologist Matthew Grilli, lead author of the new research, which is published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.”This raises a huge challenge for developing effective treatments,” said Grilli, an assistant professor and director of the Human Memory Laboratory in the UA Department of Psychology. “The hope is that in the near future we will have drugs and other treatments that could potentially slow down, stop and even reverse some of these brain changes that we think are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is that if we can’t detect who has these hallmarks early enough, these treatments may not be fully effective, if at all.”Grilli’s goal is to help pick up on brain changes much earlier, before they begin to have an obvious effect on cognition and memory.He and his UA colleagues Aubrey Wank, John Bercel and Lee Ryan decided to focus on autobiographical memory, or people’s recollection of past events in their lives, because this type of memory depends on areas of the brain that are vulnerable to early changes from Alzheimer’s disease.”When we retrieve these complex types of memories that have multimodal details, they’re highly vivid or rich; they come with narratives, context and backstories,” Grilli said. “We’ve learned through cognitive neuroscience that the ability to recreate these memories in your mind’s eye depends on a widely distributed network in the brain, and it critically depends on regions of the brain that we know are compromised early on in Alzheimer’s disease pathology.”In autobiographical interviews, study participants, who ranged in age from early-50s to 80, were asked to recall recent memories, memories from their childhood and memories from early adulthood with as much detail as possible. The interviewers — who did not know which participants had a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s — recorded and scored participants’ responses, evaluating which details added to the richness and vividness of the memories and which did not.Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerThose with the genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, as a group, described memories with much less vivid detail than those without the risk factor, despite the fact that all study participants performed normally and comparably on a battery of other, standard neuropsychology tests.”None of these individuals would be diagnosed with dementia or mild cognitive impairment,” Grilli said. “They are clinically normal, they are cognitively normal, but there’s this subtle difficulty one group has with retrieving real-world memories, which we think is because there are more people in the group who are at a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease.”Not everyone with the gene variant APOE e4, which is present in about 25 percent of the population, will develop Alzheimer’s disease, and not everyone who develops Alzheimer’s has the gene.”From this study, we can’t identify one person and say for sure this person is in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s the next stage of work that we need to do,” Grilli said. “But we know that as a group there probably are more people in the e4 carrier group that are in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease, and we think this is why they had a harder time generating these memories.”Grilli said the next step is to study brain activity in the people who struggle to generate vivid autobiographical memories to see if they have observable changes in brain structure or activation of the regions of the brain affected early on by Alzheimer’s.The hope is the work could lead to the development of a clinical test sensitive enough to the preclinical brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease that could be used to identify people who should undergo more extensive testing for early Alzheimer’s disease pathology.”The tests for early signs of Alzheimer’s disease pathology are invasive and expensive, so this new cognitive test potentially could be used as a screen,” Grilli said. “It also could be used to help clinical trials. At the moment, it’s very difficult and expensive to conduct clinical trials of new drugs because it takes a very long time to determine whether that drug has had an impact on memory. If we have more sensitive measures, we might get answers sooner, especially if we’re trying to administer drugs before obvious signs of memory impairment are detectable.” Source:https://www.arizona.edu/last_img read more

Smoking has increased enormously among the youngest

first_img Source:https://www.uib.no/en/med/119645/youngest-smoke-more Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 24 2018″Since 1970, campaigns against smoking seem to have been largely successful, but the message has not been able to reach the youngest ages,” says professor Cecilie Svanes at Centre for International Health at The University of Bergen (UiB).The researchers in the large EU research project ALEC, have studied the age of 120 000 persons from 17 European countries. One of the questions asked the ALEC participants was when they started smoking between 1970 and 2009.The data showed that all age groups have experienced a decline in the numbers starting smoking in this time span, except for the age group 11 – 15 years old, especially during the last 10 years.The results showed that smoking increased most amongst young women in Western Europe, where cirka 40 per 1000 start smoking every year, compared to 20 in 1970. For young men in Northern Europe, the numbers have remained relatively constant.The study is published in PLOS ONE. Svanes is co-writer and partner in the EU-project.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerStudy: Less than 50% of U.S. adults exposed to court-ordered anti-smoking advertisementsTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTThe younger the age, the stronger the addictionSvanes points out that earlier studies have shown that nicotine addiction is stronger the younger one is when staring smoking. It is therefore important to focus the anti-smoking campaign on the youngest age groups.”Society has more to win by focusing anti-smoking campaigns on the youngest. Of course, one reduces the risk of heart attack and lung cancer if you stop smoking at an old age, but society as a whole gains more by keeping the youngest age groups healthy for the rest of their life,” Svanes says.Impact on future offspringSvanes is leading one of the project in ALEC, which focus on father´s smoking habits and how it influence the health of their future offspring.”We have seen that for men who start smoking before they are 15, there are influences on any future children. For example, their offspring get asthma more often than others,” Svanes explains.”In animal tests we have also seen that it is the nicotine itself that causes the higher risk. If this is the case for human as well, it means that neither snuff nor e-cigarettes are good alternatives to cigarettes, at least not for the youngest age groups,” Cecilie Svanes points out.Facts: Smoking 1970 to 2009 11-15 year olds: the number of persons who start smoking has increased since 1990, especially amongst girls in Western Europe, where 40 per 1000 started smoking yearly between 2000 – 2009, in comparison with cirka 20 in 1970. 16-20 year olds: the numbers of persons starting smoking have plunged. It is at this age most people start smoking. 21-35 year olds: Numbers have dropped. Very few start smoking in this age group. The countries represented in the survey are, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom (North Europe); Estonia, Macedonia, Poland (East Europe); Italy, Portugal, Spain (South Europe); Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland (West Europe).last_img read more

Study raises concerns about inappropriate opioid prescribing lax documentation practices

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 11 2018Nearly 30 percent of outpatient opioid prescriptions in the United States lack documented clinical reasons that justify the use of these potent drugs, according to a national analysis of physician visit records conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corporation.Results of the report, published Sept. 11 in Annals of Internal Medicine, raise concerns about inappropriate prescribing, lax documentation practices, or a combination thereof, the researchers say.”Transparency in clinical decision-making is predicated on proper documentation that clearly spells out the reason for giving a patient opioids and can limit inappropriate prescriptions and curb excessive use of these potent drugs,” said senior investigator Nicole Maestas, associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School.Research has shown that the medical use of opioids has risen dramatically over the past 20 years, outpacing the actual prevalence of pain-;a trend that may be partly fueled by inappropriate prescription practices for conditions that do not warrant treatment with opioids, the researchers say.”Whatever the reasons, lack of robust documentation undermines our efforts to understand physician prescribing patterns and curtails our ability to stem overprescribing,” said study author Tisamarie Sherry, Harvard Medical School instructor in medicine and an associate physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation.Absence of clear documentation, Sherry added, could also be a symptom of deeper systemic issues that prevent physicians’ note-keeping such as time pressures or complicated documentation interfaces.For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey on opioid prescriptions dispensed during doctor’s office visits between 2006 and 2015. Along with patient characteristics, the database contains information about medical conditions discussed during each visit.Related StoriesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyOpioid overdose deaths on the decline says CDC but the real picture may still be grimGender biases are extremely common among health care professionalsIn total, opioids were given in almost 809 million outpatient visits. Of the visits involving the prescription of an opioid, 5.1 percent were for the treatment of cancer-related pain, while 66.4 percent were for treating noncancer pain. The remaining 28.5 visits were missing any record of pain or a pain-related condition.Of the visits with noncancer pain diagnoses, the most commonly listed conditions were back pain, diabetes, other chronic, nonspecific pain and arthritis. Of the visits with no pain indication, the most common conditions were high blood pressure, high cholesterol and opioid dependence (2.2 percent). Absence of pain indication was more common in visits in which opioid prescriptions were being renewed (30.5 percent), compared with visits that involved new prescriptions (22.7 percent). That finding, the researchers say, highlights the need for periodic reassessment of the medical need to refill an opioid prescription.The researchers say their results underscore the need for stricter requirements on documenting the need for opioids-;an approach many insurance providers already use to determine approval of new, costly drugs.Additionally, the authors say, the findings should prompt policymakers to seek ways to simplify clinical documentations systems.”We must institute robust requirements to document clinical rationale, but we also must enable physicians to comply with them without creating undue administrative burden,” Maestas said.Between 1999 and 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016, about two-thirds involved an opioid. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.Source: https://hms.harvard.edu/news/no-painlast_img read more

New test could reveal every virus thats ever infected you

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Researchers led by biologist Stephen Elledge of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School wanted to develop a test that could look at every current or past infection in one fell swoop. They first assembled a library of almost a hundred thousand synthetic protein fragments, each of them representing a section of a virus that an antibody might recognize. When the proteins are added to a drop of blood, antibodies attach to matching fragments; researchers can isolate the antibodies and, from the fragments they paired up with, determine which viruses someone has been infected with and what antibodies their body generated in response.The new test, dubbed VirScan, “allows scientists to ask questions that just couldn’t be asked before,” Elledge says. “You can compare groups of people—young and old or those with a disease and those without—and see whether there’s a difference in their viral histories.” For instance, VirScan could help determine whether viral infections can trigger diabetes or chronic fatigue syndrome.Elledge and colleagues used VirScan on more than 500 people from the United States, Thailand, South Africa, and Peru, some of them infected with HIV. On average, they report online today in Science, most people had antibodies for about 10 previous viral infections, although those with HIV and who lived outside the United States averaged more. Throughout all populations, common viruses including the herpes virus and rhinoviruses (which cause the common cold) topped the list. Surprisingly, many people had generated the exact same antibodies to infections; researchers believed people’s immune responses to be more diverse, Elledge says. That observation could inform future vaccine development, he says.Whether the test really catches everything is up for debate, however, says microbiologist Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University. “Before we view this as a definitive definition of what people have been infected with, we need to be sure it’s a comprehensive picture,” he says. “Right now, I don’t think it is.” Racaniello points out that VirScan didn’t identify as many people as he would expect with antibodies for noroviruses and rotaviruses, which cause large numbers of intestinal infections. This could be because antibodies for these viruses don’t stick around for as long as others—although researchers have shown that, in general, most antibodies last a lifetime—or because of technical caveats of the test.Elledge admits that, for now, VirScan might miss some viruses, because they’re too small or contain certain modifications that the fragment library can’t include. “We know that we’re probably missing a little bit,” he says. “But we’re still detecting a lot.”“The work stands out by its breadth and technological innovation,” Ploegh says. “But if you ask an immunologist how many viruses or pathogens you’ve fought in your lifetime and what signatures of those infections remain, the results of this paper wouldn’t be a surprise.” The technology’s real value lies in the new questions scientists can answer, he says. “For sketching the natural history of the human species interacting with viruses, I think this is a very important tool.”VirScan has yet to be scaled up for commercial use but Elledge hopes it won’t cost much more than existing tests that only look at one pathogen at a time. If so, it could even be used for routine screening at annual physicals, he says. “You could give a drop of blood every few years and they can run it to see if you have any new infections,” he says. This could help diagnose viruses like hepatitis C, which people often don’t know they have.center_img Can’t remember every viral infection you’ve ever had? Don’t worry, your blood can. A new test surveys the antibodies present in a person’s bloodstream to reveal a history of the viruses they’ve been infected with throughout their life. The method could be useful not only for diagnosing current and past illnesses, but for developing vaccines and studying links between viruses and chronic disease.“This is really a technical tour de force,” says immunologist Hidde Ploegh of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who was not involved in the new work. But others point out that it’s unclear how many past infections the new technology misses.Now, researchers wondering whether a patient has a particular viral infection—from herpes and flu to the AIDS virus—test blood samples for one pathogen at a time. Many tests look for antibodies, proteins the immune system produces to recognize invaders, while others hunt for the virus’s own genetic material. Some assays can measure the presence or absence of longer-lasting antibodies that can linger for decades after an infection. Emaillast_img read more

US charges drug researchers with sending trade secrets to China but will

first_imgAttorneys are urging caution in evaluating the strength of a U.S. trade secrets case against two GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) scientists who were accused last week of transferring trade secrets to China. The case bears some similarities, they say, to other recent cases involving Chinese American or Chinese defendants in which federal prosecutors abruptly dropped charges because of improper analysis or insufficient evidence.Last week, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, announced the indictments of biomedical researchers Yu Xue and Lucy Xi, as well as three associates, for trade secrets theft, wire fraud, and other charges.  The scientists stand accused of emailing and downloading proprietary data about GSK products and sending it to contacts working for the Chinese startup Renopharma, which provides contract research services for early drug discovery, according to its website. Xue, the key scientist in the GSK endeavor and a researcher in the company’s Upper Merion, Pennsylvania, research center, told an acquaintance that she owned a 30% stake in Renopharma. The 66-page indictment, released 20 January, details emails and messages sent among the defendants over a 3-year period, and alleges that Xue hoped to profit off the transfer of information. 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 The indictment alleges that Xue helped Renopharma obtain her and others’ research into the anti-HER3 antibody. In one seized email from 2012, she hints that her connection to GSK makes her “the core figure” in Renopharma. In another instance, she writes, “Although I am not resigning from my position to go back [to China] at the initial stage, my time and energy spent is not going to be less than anyone else’s. As a matter of fact, it will only be more.”The case comes on the heels of several high-profile investigations into Chinese or Chinese American scientists in which prosecutors have abruptly dropped charges, sparking accusations of racial profiling. This past September, prosecutors dropped charges against Xiaoxing Xi, the interim chair of Temple University’s physics department, after experts submitted affidavits suggesting that his alleged crimes were merely standard scientific collaborations.Some of the same actors from Xi’s case have resurfaced this time around. As in that earlier case, the GSK case was investigated by FBI Special Agent Andrew Haugen, complaints show. Both cases were also brought by the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office.The question now, says Peter Toren, a litigator with Weisbrod Matteis & Copley in Washington, D.C., who specializes in trade secrets cases, is whether the U.S. Attorney’s Office has learned from its mistakes. “Hopefully they did a better job of investigating the information before charging somebody who does not really have anything to do with stealing trade secrets,” he says.Indeed, an affidavit Haugen filed in seeking arrest warrants states that although FBI investigators relied primarily on GSK guidance in establishing that the knowledge involved was trade secrets, they also consulted an outside expert who is not affiliated with the pharmaceutical giant. In the case of Xi, the physicist, the government apparently did not confer with outside experts before proceeding with the indictment.Xue, for her part, has hired Peter Zeidenberg, a defense attorney at Arent Fox in Washington, D.C., who is quickly becoming the go-to lawyer for Chinese scientists accused of trade secrets crimes. Zeidenberg successfully represented both Xi and Sherry Chen, a National Weather Service hydrologist accused of passing information about the national dam system to a Chinese official.“My client is not guilty and is pleading not guilty and will be contesting the charges,” Zeidenberg told ScienceInsiderOther aspects of the current case evoke another botched case: the 2013 prosecution of former Eli Lilly scientists Guoqing Cao and Shuyu Li. They, too, were accused of passing on company information to a Chinese competitor. According to filings by defense attorneys in the case, the information had all appeared in published papers years earlier and did not include data or formulae owned by Eli Lilly. In December 2014, prosecutors dropped charges.Only time will tell whether this latest prosecution will snag the Justice Department a victory or will prove a repeat of those earlier cases. “The government in this particular case may have very strong evidence,” Toren says. “But the crucial factor may be whether the information that the government is accusing these individuals of obtaining and transferring to China is in fact a trade secret.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The alleged trade secrets involve biopharmaceutical drugs, or proteins that bind to receptor cells and cause a cell to behave in a certain manner. Xue, who holds a doctoral degree in biological chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was “one of the top protein biochemists in the world,” according to the indictment. She helped lead a GSK project focused on designing a monoclonal antibody to link to the HER3 receptor on human cells as a treatment for cancer.last_img read more

Soil moisture alters nextday rainfall in the United States

first_img Samuel Tuttle, UNH Samuel Tuttle, UNH Samuel Tuttle, UNH When soils are abnormally wet, the chances of next-day rain rise in the West (red) by as much as 50%. Rainfall probabilities drop in the east (blue) but not as much. Soil moisture alters next-day rainfall in the United States By Eric HandMay. 12, 2016 , 2:00 PM When soils are dry, the chance of rain drops in the West (blue) and rises in the east (yellow). center_img When soils are dry, the chance of rain drops in the West (blue) and rises in the east (yellow). ‹› When soils are abnormally wet, the chances of next-day rain rise in the West (red) by as much as 50%. Rainfall probabilities drop in the east (blue) but not as much. Samuel Tuttle, UNH Will it rain tomorrow? Don’t look to the skies, because the answer depends partly on the dampness of the ground beneath your feet. Although the seasons and long-term weather patterns like El Niño matter more, a new study finds that soil moisture also plays a role in influencing next-day rain in the United States. For more than a third of the country, out-of-the-ordinary soil moisture can change the likelihood of next-day rain by a median factor of 13%. The effect depends on where you live. In the West, the feedback is positive: Wet soils increase the chance of a next-day downpour, and dry soils diminish that chance. But east of the Mississippi River, the feedback flips: Wet soils lower the likelihood of rainfall, and dry soils raise it. Why? Rainfall, in general, depends on two things: moisture and daytime heat that create rising, raincloud-producing updrafts. In the sunny, arid West, there is plenty of heat but limited moisture, and so a process called moisture recycling is at work—today’s storms supply the water that evaporates into tomorrow’s rainclouds. But in the east, moisture abounds, and the sun’s energy often goes into evaporating it. This keeps damper regions cool. Rare dry patches are the ones that can heat up enough to form rainclouds. The study, published today in Science, used 9 years of soil moisture data from NASA’s venerable Aqua satellite along with data from a network of rain gauges. Scientists are hoping that newer satellites, like Europe’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity or NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive, can start to accumulate long-time series of soil moisture data. Once that happens—and its predictive power is validated—the approach could be folded into weather forecast models, researchers say.last_img read more

Trump team nears decision on national monuments

first_img Trump team nears decision on national monuments Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In the weeks before his final report recommending changes is due to the White House, Zinke has begun to roll out reprieves to some of the sites under review: As of late Wednesday, he had named six sites that will see no boundary adjustments or management changes.But conservation advocates have largely panned those early decisions, arguing that the review process has proved opaque even as Zinke’s office asserts that the secretary has provided details about his schedule and meetings.”The review process that the Trump administration has been undertaking has been fairly arbitrary, so it is honestly a guessing game as to which monuments are most at risk and how the review is being conducted and whose voices are being heard to drive Secretary Zinke’s decision,” the Wilderness Society’s vice president for conservation, Melyssa Watson, said in a news conference yesterday.The six sites removed from review are Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho, Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington state, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona and Sand to Snow National Monument in California.Notably, although Zinke has previously visited the Montana monument — he served as the Treasure State’s at-large House lawmaker before his appointment to the Trump Cabinet — he did not make official visits to any of the sites he has removed from the review to date.An Interior spokesman could not confirm whether Zinke plans to excuse any other monuments before the final report is issued. Zinke was on vacation this week to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary; he appeared to be in the Mediterranean (Greenwire, Aug. 17). But Zinke acknowledged earlier this year that not every monument included in the report will receive the same level of scrutiny.”I think we’re focusing on just a few,” Zinke told the natural resources committee of the House of Representatives, and he later told reporters: “We’re not taking a deep dive in all of them” (E&E News PM, June 22).In the meantime, while conservationists continue to urge the Trump administration to refrain from trying to make changes to any of the nation’s monuments, some Western state GOP lawmakers have lobbied Zinke and Trump to rescind or sharply reduce the acreage of many of the remaining 21 monuments.Zinke indicated in an interim report that he plans to call for significantly slashing the 1.35 million acres now included in Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah (E&E News PM, June 12).Below is a summary of the 20 national monuments that remain under review:Basin and Range National Monument, NevadaThe nearly 704,000-acre site created by President Obama in 2015 is among the handful Zinke visited personally in recent months.In a letter to Zinke earlier this year, 15 members of the Congressional Western Caucus derided the monument as a “personal favor” to former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada ahead of his retirement from Congress.Among their complaints, the lawmakers noted that the site surrounds artist Michael Heizer’s large installation “City,” which sits on private land.During his visit to Basin and Range last month, Zinke met with officials from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which agreed to a conservation easement last year to grant the Bureau of Land Management rights to 1,300 acres of private land around the installation within the monument.The Western Caucus letter urged Zinke to reduce the site to just 2,500 acres, or less than 1 percent of its current size.Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, CaliforniaBoth state and congressional lawmakers pushed for designation of this Northern California site before Obama agreed to set aside nearly 331,000 acres in 2015.The area sits at the meeting point of two tectonic plates — giving it scientific importance — but it is considered a recreation hot spot for the populations of nearby San Francisco and Sacramento.”Only a few places on the planet illustrate the scientific process as clearly as does the Berryessa region,” University of California, Davis, geologist Eldridge Moores told California state lawmakers at a hearing in 2015, California public radio station KQED reported at the time.Although state lawmakers approved a resolution urging the creation of the monument, Western congressional lawmakers called for its “total rescission.”State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former Democratic House lawmaker, has threatened to file suit against the Trump administration if it tries to alter the Berryessa site or any other of the state’s national monuments (Greenwire, June 9).Carrizo Plain National Monument, CaliforniaIn his final three days in the White House, President Clinton named seven new national monuments, including this 204,000-acre site in San Luis Obispo County.Both proponents and opponents of the monument’s current boundaries have highlighted its potential for oil and gas production.In their June letter, Western lawmakers noted that the monument counted 15 active oil wells in 2010 and that “giant fields with billions of barrels of reserves surround the monument.”Greenpeace has similarly highlighted the area’s energy stores, noting that it is among the six national monuments with the largest potential energy development if its boundaries are reduced or eliminated (Greenwire, May 10).Becerra also noted development in the area surrounding the monument, writing in June that the site “offers refuge to many animals and plants that are threatened, endangered or rare.”Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Oregon and CaliforniaWhen Clinton set aside the then-53,000-acre site in 2000, it marked the first time a monument had been created with the sole intention of protecting biodiversity.In his final weeks in office, Obama expanded the monument to its current 100,000 acres, asserting that the additional land would “increase habitat connectively, watershed protection and landscape-scale resilience for the area’s unique biological values” (Greenwire, Jan. 12).But Oregon’s congressional delegation has split over the monument along party lines, with Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden advocating for the site and GOP Rep. Greg Walden vowing to help roll back the “midnight expansion.” Republicans have argued that the land should be open to timber harvesting.Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) urged Zinke to retain the monument during his visit to the state last month but said he gave no indication about his plans (Greenwire, July 17).Giant Sequoia National Monument, CaliforniaOpponents of the nearly 328,000-acre monument created by Clinton in early 2000 likewise say it should be open to timber harvesting, arguing that it is otherwise a safety hazard.”This is a health and safety issue for us,” Tulare County Deputy Administrator Eric Coyne told the San Francisco Chronicle in June. “We need the flexibility to do responsible tree mitigation” (Greenwire, June 28).But the monument was designated to protect the 33 groves of the largest trees on earth, allowing for removal of the trees only when there is a “clear need” for maintenance or public safety.Environmentalists successfully challenged early management plans for the site that included predictions for the volume of timber that would be regularly removed from the monument (Greenwire, Sept. 5, 2012).Gold Butte National Monument, NevadaThe 297,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument is home to rock art and cultural sites — and hundreds of illegally grazing cattle that belong to jailed Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose own 160-acre ranch is nearby.While Zinke held a news conference in Bunkerville, Nev., during his visit to the area, he declined to discuss the animals that prompted a standoff between ranchers and federal officials in 2014. Bundy is expected to face trial in the case as soon as next month.In its creation of the monument late last year, the Obama administration pointed to concern over vandalism in the area, much of which had previously been designated as areas of critical environmental concern for the desert tortoise and bighorn sheep.While Nevada Republicans have called for a significant reduction to the monument’s size, Democratic Rep. Dina Titus and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto have urged Zinke to retain the site.”Apparently, the 2.7 million public comments submitted in favor of keeping these monuments were not enough to help Mr. Zinke make up his mind,” Cortez Masto said in a video released last month.Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, UtahThe southwestern Utah monument marked its 20th anniversary last year, but debate over the site remains as heated as it was when Clinton announced the 1.9-million-acre monument in 1996.Republicans have long criticized the monument status for blocking access to massive coal deposits in the area’s Kaiparowits Plateau and crippling potential economic growth for the region.But environmentalists who have backed the monument — which Clinton had hoped would rally green voters to his bid for a second term as he preserved cliffs, slot canyons and sandstone arches — point out that the plateau has proved to be a paleontological jackpot since the monument’s establishment, producing tens of thousands of fossils.Zinke acknowledged during a May visit to the area that he would like to balance those interests.”I have some in my truck,” he said of the site’s coal at the time. “It’s there, and the creation of a monument was to protect and not to prevent” (Greenwire, May 11).Utah’s all-GOP congressional delegation has rallied against the monument, and Western GOP lawmakers urged Zinke to rescind the site’s status in their June letter.The Trump administration is expected to face legal challenges if it attempts to reduce or roll back any of the monuments under review, but Grand Staircase-Escalante is more complicated than most of the sites being assessed. That’s because Congress itself has twice adjusted the monument’s boundaries to exclude small towns and exchange state lands with Utah, as well as paid the state $50 million in the process (Greenwire, May 2).Ironwood Forest National Monument, ArizonaIn his proclamation designating this 129,000-acre site in mid-2000, Clinton said the Ironwood Forest presents a “quintessential view of the Sonoran Desert” and pointed to vegetation including its “ironwood, palo verde and saguaro.”The monument, located southwest of Tucson, is also home to species including hawks, owls, desert bighorn sheep and tortoises.While the Congressional Western Caucus has called for the site’s elimination — arguing that it has blocked access to state trust lands and hindered grazing in the area — the Friends of Ironwood Forest has disputed its criticisms.”Monument designation had no impact on management of State Trust Land which, by law, is open only to holders of valid use permits,” Friends of Ironwood Forest board member William Thornton wrote in the Arizona Daily Star last month. He noted that ranchers can still graze their animals on state lands, while hunters and anglers can likewise access the land with licenses.Unlike typical state parks, state trust lands are used by Western states to generate funds for education and public services and are not broadly available for public access.”The monument has not resulted in one dime of lost revenue to K-12 education,” Thornton added.Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, MaineMaine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is leading the charge to dismantle the state’s sole national monument, arguing that the public has seen a reduction in access to the nearly 88,000-acre site, largely made up of former working timberland.Obama created the monument last year after Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby purchased the land, then donated it to the federal government via her family’s nonprofit foundation, Elliotsville Plantation Inc.In opposition to LePage is Elliotsville Plantation President Lucas St. Clair, who is also Quimby’s son.St. Clair has argued that the monument has increased access to the previously private lands. He has also touted the fact that the nonprofit has endowed a $40 million fund for upkeep of the monument.Zinke traveled to Maine in June and at the time indicated he was leaning away from reducing the size of the monument.”Scaling back I don’t think makes a lot of sense for here,” he told the Portland Press Herald during his visit. Still, Zinke would not commit to maintaining the site as a monument, suggesting he could seek to have Congress change the site’s status to a national park or other public land designation.Marianas Trench, Rose Atoll and Pacific Remote Islands marine national monuments, Pacific OceanPresident George W. Bush created three marine monuments during his final days in office in early 2009, setting aside nearly 196,000 square miles of oceanic reserves intended to address overfishing and pollution and to help the ocean adapt to climate change.At the time of their designation, the largest of the sites was the 95,000-square-mile Marianas Trench monument near the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, an area that has been compared to an underwater Yellowstone and Grand Canyon for its unique geology of hydrothermal vents, mud volcanoes and pools of boiling sulfur.The Rose Atoll near American Samoa covers more than 13,000 square miles, including coral reefs and a lagoon that serves as a home to sea turtles, birds and giant clams.Bush also set aside nearly 87,000 square miles for the Pacific Remote Islands monument, which likewise claims a wealth of biodiversity that includes sea turtles, manta rays, sharks and whales as well as birds like the masked boobies and red-footed boobies among its islands, reefs and atolls.Obama then enlarged the Pacific Remote Islands site to nearly six times its original size in late 2014, to its current 490,000 square miles (Greenwire, Sept. 25, 2014).Commercial fishing, deep-sea mining and other extraction activities are banned within the sites.The five marine monuments included in the Interior review are also part of a Commerce Department study examining whether 11 marine national monuments and national marine sanctuaries should be opened to oil and gas development (Greenwire, Aug. 16).That study was prompted by Trump’s executive order mandating a review of offshore energy policies.Mojave Trails National Monument, CaliforniaThis 1.6-million-acre site in Southern California is the largest of a trio of monuments Obama set aside in the Mojave Desert in early 2016.Earlier this week, Zinke excused the 154,000-acre Sand to Snow National Monument from his review. Castle Mountains National Monument, at just 21,000 acres, was not large enough to qualify for automatic inclusion in the Interior review.But the Mojave Desert site, with its lava flowers and sand dunes, is also involved in a debate over whether Cadiz Inc. will be able to build a proposed 43-mile-long pipeline to pump water from an aquifer under land its owns to 100,000 households in Southern California.The Trump administration has placed it on a list of infrastructure priority projects, which raised questions for now-Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, who briefly led the Trump transition team. Before his confirmation to the Trump administration, Bernhardt was chairman of the natural resources department at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. The firm’s lobbying arm worked to advance the Cadiz project (Greenwire, April 6).”Diverse communities across the desert fought for over a decade to designate all three of our California desert national monuments,” Mojave Desert Land Trust Executive Director Danielle Segura told the Highland Community News in California on Wednesday. “We encourage Secretary Zinke to recognize the public’s will and the unique ecological and historical significance of places like Mojave Trails National Monument in his forthcoming recommendations.”Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, Atlantic OceanObama created the first Atlantic marine monument in 2016 when he designated nearly 5,000 square miles for preservation off the coast of Massachusetts.But the decision — which barred oil and gas exploration in the area and restricted commercial fishing — drew a lawsuit from Northeastern fishermen, including the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance and Garden State Seafood Association.The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, but a judge stayed action in the case in May to await the outcome of the Trump administration’s reviews (E&E News PM, May 12).During his visit to the East Coast in June, Zinke stopped in Boston to meet with both fishermen’s groups and scientists about the monument.The Boston Globe reported that Zinke appeared sympathetic while meeting with about 20 representatives of New England’s seafood industry.”When your area of access continues to be reduced and reduced … it just makes us noncompetitive,” Zinke said at the time. “The president’s priority is jobs, and we need to make it clear that we have a long-term approach to make sure that fishing fleets are healthy.”Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New MexicoNew Mexico’s congressional delegation has split over the future of the 496,000-acre boundary of the site — with its Democratic senators pushing Zinke to retain the site, while New Mexico GOP Rep. Steve Pearce has argued for it to be cut to just 60,000 acres.Obama created the monument in 2014, designating four separate areas in close proximity to Las Cruces, N.M.: the Organ Mountains, Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains and Doña Ana Mountains.Obama’s proclamation notes that in addition to the geologic and biological resources of the region, the monument encompasses “hundreds of artifacts, rock art, dwellings, and other evidence of the Native peoples.”Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, HawaiiThis site near Hawaii is the world’s largest marine protected area at nearly 600,000 square miles.Bush first designated the site — originally named the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument — in 2006, then renamed it to Papahānaumokuākea in early 2007 in honor of Hawaiian gods Papahānaumoku and Wākea, whose mythology includes the creation of the Hawaiian archipelago and its people.In 2016, Obama opted to quadruple the site’s size to protect the 7,000 species that live in the monument’s boundaries, as well as to extend prohibitions on commercial fishing and extractive activities (E&E Daily, Aug. 26, 2016).The Trump administration could opt to try to roll back those prohibitions as well as the monument’s size.Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, New MexicoAlthough Zinke visited the Land of Enchantment last month, he didn’t include a trip to northern New Mexico to see this 243,000-acre monument Obama established in 2013.The monument itself stretches from the Colorado border south to Pilar, N.M., following the Rio Grande through a deep gorge. In his proclamation designating the monument, Obama described the area as “an extraordinary landscape of extreme beauty and daunting harshness.”The proclamation barred mineral and geothermal leasing in the area.While Pearce has called for the site to be reduced by an unspecified amount, both the state’s Democratic senators have lobbied for its retention.But in an exchange at a Senate Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in June, Zinke would not indicate his position on either of the state’s monuments.”In the case of New Mexico, I do not want to rip a Band-Aid off a monument that’s settled. … If it’s settled and people are happy with it, I find no reason to recommend any changes,” he said at the time (Greenwire, June 21).San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, CaliforniaThe more-than-356,000-acre site is located between Los Angeles and San Bernardino, making it a popular area of respite for more than 15 million people who live within a 90-minute drive of the monument.Although congressional Democrats in the region had pushed for a much larger 600,000-acre recreation area, Obama’s final proclamation in 2014 offered a smaller site, which is managed by the Forest Service.The Congressional Western Caucus has raised complaints that the site includes nonwilderness Forest Service land, as well as a small mining operation, and has called for unspecified cuts to the site.But environmentalists have urged for the monument to remain untouched, noting that it is among the most likely monuments to be opened to oil and gas production if its protections are eliminated.Sonoran Desert National Monument, ArizonaThe southern Arizona site is another of the seven monuments Clinton created in his final days in office, covering more than 486,000 acres near the Mexico border.The site has long drawn the ire of conservatives, including a failed legal challenge by the Mountain States Legal Foundation. It argued that Clinton had exceeded his authority to create the Sonoran Desert monument as well as others like the Cascade-Siskiyou and Ironwood Forest (Greenwire, Oct. 21, 2002).It has also been the focus of lawsuits over grazing rights in the area, after Clinton’s proclamation disallowed the practice in portions of the monument, as well as a long-running fight over recreational target shooting (E&E News PM, Dec. 16, 2016).In addition, the Congressional Western Caucus has complained that the monument creates a hindrance to Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection agents, who must comply with environmental regulations on federal lands operated by the Interior and Agriculture departments.Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, ArizonaThe nearly 280,000-acre site is located in northern Arizona near the Utah border, a remote area that BLM describes as a “geologic treasure.””Despite its arid climate and rugged isolation, the monument contains a wide variety of biological objects and has a long and rich human history,” Clinton wrote in his 2000 proclamation. “Full of natural splendor and a sense of solitude, this area remains remote and unspoiled, qualities that are essential to the protection of the scientific and historic objects it contains.”Among the most popular locations in Vermilion Cliffs is the “Wave,” a sandstone formation located in the Coyote Buttes North. But visitation to the site is limited to 20 people per day, who must apply for permits in a lottery system.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2017. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net But even as he visited states from Maine to Oregon and Utah to New Mexico, Zinke managed to touch down in only eight of those monuments over the 3.5-month review. Originally published by E&E NewsAs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approaches the 24 August deadline for his recommendations to President Donald Trump on whether to alter dozens of national monuments, conservation proponents say it remains all but impossible to predict which sites the administration could target for reductions or even wholesale elimination.In recent months, Zinke has traveled from coast to coast as he conducted the review, which included 27 national monuments created since 1996, the majority of which are larger than 100,000 acres. Waters off Hawaii host one of the world’s largest marine monuments. Email By Jennifer Yachnin, E&E NewsAug. 18, 2017 , 1:53 PM Read more…last_img read more

Searching for survivors of the Mexico earthquake—with snake robots

first_imgJulian Whitman (orange helmet) getting ready to place a snake robot in a collapsed building. NICO ZEVALLOS NICO ZEVALLOS NICO ZEVALLOS Matthew Travers uses a controller to demonstrate a snake robot for Spanish relief workers. There’s a lot of research and development that still has to happen in order for these robots to be ready for prime time. The robots performed very well in Mexico, and given where we are in development, I was very proud of what we’ve done. However, we need to do a lot more. In Mexico, we became more aware of the technical challenges, and we also became more aware of the bureaucratic challenges involved in these kinds of situations.Q: What were some of the technical things you learned? A: Let’s start with the stupid little ones. Our control case, the thing that controls the robot—in bright sunlight it doesn’t work as well. There were also mobility challenges. These structured environments are insane. Being able to lower the robot in and look around: That we did very well, but at a certain point we want the robot to move like a real snake does, over this harsh terrain. We need to do a lot more, so we’re that much more respectful of what a real snake can do.In terms of deployment, we figured out you need one person to drive it, one person to tend to the robot at the point of insertion, someone in the middle to manage the tether, and maybe a fourth person to help the driver interpret the images they’re receiving.The rescue workers also said we need more sensors on the robot. At the very least microphones. After the microphones, they wanted a gas sensor, because there was a strong concern that they were going into an environment that could explode. You may think: Snap a gas sensor on, and off you go. But there’s a lot of robot architectural decisions made around what is on that robot, so we need to go back and design a more versatile interface.We also want other means of visualization. The most ideal thing is to build up a 3D map of what you’re seeing as you’re seeing it, and be able to rotate the map around like you’re in the movie The Matrix or playing a video game, and then be able to superimpose gas data and other kinds of sensory information. We’ve developed a sensor head that we didn’t get to use that’s a stereo camera and a laser range finder so you can infer depth information. If we’d gone 2 days earlier, maybe we could have had a better impact. You really have 48 hours to find people. After that, it’s hard. Searching for survivors of the Mexico earthquake—with snake robots Julian Whitman (orange helmet) getting ready to place a snake robot in a collapsed building. Email Q: After 10 years, your robots aren’t outdated? A: To be clear, we have advanced the controllers and the theory that drives that robot. For hardware, we did get support from [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] to build the next-generation snake robot. We just didn’t bring it down with us because it hadn’t been tested yet.Q: What about bureaucratic challenges? A: It took a local businessman 2 days to Google me and then get the Red Cross to invite us down to Mexico. This should be something more systematic. If we’d gone 2 days earlier, maybe we could have had a better impact. You really have 48 hours to find people. After that, it’s hard. I hate to say it, but if you’re trapped in a pile of rubble and there’s a girder resting on your leg, you’re suffering, and after 2 days of no food and water, you give up hope. It’s a horrible, horrible way to go.There were also logistical problems, where it became a big turf war over who’s doing what. There were locals saying “Don’t go in my factory, we don’t trust the federal government.” And the Red Cross said, “No, we’re not the federal government, we’re the Red Cross.” And there was a lot of distrust. And I’m sure it’s not a misplaced distrust.Q: How did you find rubble to search? A: The Red Cross allocated us an ambulance, so Matt and his team drove around packed in an ambulance with our equipment. The Red Cross would say, “OK, go here, we think there are some people trapped, can you go look?” We’d show up to a location and find whoever is in charge, usually the one with the biggest equipment. We’d unpack and then lay the robots out on a nice big blue tarp so the people there knew what they were getting. After they inspected the robots and understood what they can do, the people in charge said, “OK, go to this hole in the pile of rubble.” Because all they could do was maybe stick their heads in, or use a stick with a mirror on it.One problem we had was, whoever was in charge, I think their patience was a little bit low and quite understandably so. We got down there 3 or 4 days after the earthquake. At that point, the likelihood of finding life wasn’t that high, so it was sort of like, “Yeah we’ll give you a shot,” and then after an hour or so, “Alright we’re giving up, we’re going to bulldoze the place now.”Q: Have the snakebots found people on other operations? A: No, there’s never been a rescue operation where a robot has found people, period. In the Twin Towers attack, [my colleague, Texas A&M University roboticist] Robin Murphy’s robots did find some evidence of body parts.Q: Did you learn any other lessons in Mexico?A: We need better algorithms to traverse obstacles. We need better interfaces. And then practice. I know it sounds simple, but going through one of these deepens your understanding. NICO ZEVALLOS By Matthew HutsonOct. 4, 2017 , 8:00 AMcenter_img Workers look for life in a collapsed building in Mexico City. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Search-and-rescue workers have finally finished combing through the rubble of dozens of buildings that collapsed in the deadly 19 September earthquake in Mexico. For 3 days, they were joined by two robotic snakes made by roboticist Howie Choset’s research group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The remote-controlled snakes, designed in part for such operations, are 5 centimeters thick and nearly a meter long, with 16 joints that let them move easily through tight spaces. Attached to their heads are lights and cameras, which researchers can access through tethered video screens. Choset’s collaborators Matt Travers, Julian Whitman, and Nico Zevallos-Roberts took the robots to Mexico City 2 days after the quake hit. They didn’t save anyone—this time. But Choset, who spoke with Science about the team’s efforts (and is also a member of the Science Robotics board), hopes the lessons they learned make it possible next time. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.Q: Tell me about your snakebots. A: They look like snakes, but they’re metal. They can spread through tightly packed spaces and get to locations that people and machinery otherwise cannot access without disturbing the surrounding areas. It’s like minimally invasive surgery. We’ve used them in other deployments, too. We’ve gone to nuclear power plants. We’ve actually done archaeology with them. We were in Egypt until 2 days before the revolution. With my snake robots, I have been working on search and rescue for about 20 years. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) ‹› Workers look for life in a collapsed building in Mexico City. Spanish relief workers look on as the snake robot lifts its head.last_img read more

Microscope captures intricate images of glowing brains at record speed

first_img Thanks to sophisticated computational tools that stitch thousands of 3D sections together, the researchers showed they could capture large areas of brain and then zoom in at high resolution. The approach should make it easier to study how circuits of interacting neurons across the brain drive certain behaviors, and how that circuitry varies across lots of individuals, between sexes, or over the course of development. Gao et al./Science 2019 Gao et al./Science 2019 Suppose you’d like to take a close look at a fly brain—an extremely close look. With a new technique called expansion microscopy, scientists have been doing just that: labeling neurons of interest and tracing their thinnest tendrils to chart their connections. But the process, which infuses a piece of brain tissue with a gel that swells up to enlarge the details, dramatically increases the time it takes to image that tissue. And as a microscope beam images parts of this thick sample from top to bottom, it can “burn out” the fluorescent tags attached to proteins that help identify the neurons, making deeper parts of the sample completely dark.In a new study, researchers present a solution: combining that expansion process with an instrument called a lattice light-sheet microscope, which sweeps an ultrathin sheet of light through the sample. Because this microscope can linger longer on any area with less intense light than other microscopes, the fluorescence is less likely to burn out and obscure parts of the image—which means that sharp, intricate details, such as the spines on mouse neurons (shown in green, above) can emerge. And by capturing a whole plane at once instead of a set of points, this microscope worked through an entire fly brain (below) in 62.5 hours, roughly seven times faster than the fastest microscope used in such high-resolution imaging to date, the team reports today in Science.center_img By Kelly ServickJan. 17, 2019 , 2:00 PM Microscope captures intricate images of glowing brains at record speedlast_img read more

Top Takeaways From Kamala Harris MSNBC Town Hall

first_imgThe buzz surrounding California Sen. Kamala Harris seemed to be at a fever pitch in the hours following her town hall event on MSNBC Tuesday night in Spartanburg, South Carolina. #KamalaHarrisTownHall remained a top trending topic on Twitter Wednesday morning after the Democratic candidate for president waxed poetic on everything from current events to her prosecutorial past to women’s reproductive rights to immigration, solidifying and making clear her stances on those and other topics surrounding the 2020 elections. #KamalaHarrisTownHall @KamalaHarris on the importance of better cooperation between education institutions, Gov’t & pvt sector to prepare future students for jobs of the 21st century…#KamalaForThePeople #Kamala2020 #KamalaHarris2020 #WeAreBetterThanThis #2020Election pic.twitter.com/05cPmqoThD— Prince de Versailles (@VersaillesPrinc) May 29, 2019On her prosecutorial pastHarris made sure to shout out her HBCU law school education while expressing her pride for being elected district attorney in San Francisco, where she was responsible for a small handful of controversial policies that were being framed by her opponents as adversely affecting minorities. “I’m proud of the work I did,” she said. More By Bruce C.T. Wright #KamalaHarrisTownHall @SenKamalaHarris on the importance of the #2020Elections: “everything we need to do is going to require 60 votes so we [need to win] the White House & the Senate” #Kamala2020 #KamalaHarris2020 #KamalaHarrisForThePeople #WomenWILLbeHeard #PinkWave2020 pic.twitter.com/MfjOLb06vs— Prince de Versailles (@VersaillesPrinc) May 29, 2019On educationHarris touched on the student debt crisis when discussing her plan for how to properly prepare the nation’s youth for the workplaces of the future, which are expected to be dominated by occupations that are in their relative infancies now. On the 2020’s “other” electionsHarris made it clear that she was in the presidential race to win it, but she also stressed how her presidency wouldn’t be as strong without Democrats winning the Senate elections. Where All The Presidential Candidates Stand On Reparations, In Their Own Words #KamalaHarrisTownHall @KamalaHarris on #TraitorTrump’s #ImmigrationPolicy & his admin #ChildSeperation: “it was a #HumanRightsAbuse that’s against the morals & values of who we are as a nation” #WokeAF #KamalaForThePeople #KamalaHarris2020 #KamalaTownHall #PinkWave2020 pic.twitter.com/CaDpeCEXTm— Prince de Versailles (@VersaillesPrinc) May 29, 2019She also touched on how the president has been using the politics of fear to stoke the flames of xenophobic Americans worrying about losing their jobs to immigrants.   That laugh, y’all. She’s so fun and genuine. I guaranTEE @KamalaHarris Inauguration Party is going to be LIT! #KamalaTownHall #KamalaHarrisTownHall #Kamala2020 pic.twitter.com/J5uohmRPTW— (Kamala) Harris County Resident (@NovusNegrimLLG) May 29, 2019If you missed watching the town hall, scroll down to see all the ways that Harris made her presence felt in South Carolina, and the 2020 field of Democratic candidates.She defended Joe Biden from Trump’s attacks overseasLess than two weeks after offering some very slick talk on what she implied were the very remote prospects of her running as Joe Biden’s No. 2 on the Democratic ticket in 2020, Harris stood up for her fellow Party member and defended the former vice president from the president’s disparaging remarks about him while he was overseas negotiating with suspected terrorist and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. On the recent wave of anti-abortion lawsIt should come as no surprise to anyone following the 2020 race that Harris also has a plan to counter the recent wave of restrictive abortion laws sweeping through the state legislatures of Republican-led states, telling the audience that women’s reproductive health is under attack. #BREAKING : #KamalaHarrisTownHall#healthcarejobs ‘I support Medicare for all!’ Listen in. #thelastword #MSNBC pic.twitter.com/3dcOJmzMR8— Elaine Ina Hindin (@heddatalespin) May 29, 2019Why unions matterHarris broke down the importance of unions to the average American worker, a topic she has spoken passionately about many times. But on Tuesday night she broke the topic down into the most simple and relatable of terms. Harris was tied for second place in the most recent national poll of presidential candidates, a rank that has risen in recent weeks and lent even more credence to her White House run as the dates for the first caucuses and primaries get closer. Fresh off of rolling out her plan earlier Tuesday to counter what she called “states and localities with a history of unconstitutionally restricting access to abortion,” Harris seemed totally in control of every moment during her town hall which was moderated by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. #KamalaHarrisTownHall @KamalaHarris on #WomensRights to choose: “we have a POTUS that ran on punishing women for abortion; it came out his mouth & now these laws that jail doctors… as a prosecutor, I have a real problem with that” #WokeAF #Kamala2020 #KamalaHarris2020 pic.twitter.com/9BVahCcL41— Prince de Versailles (@VersaillesPrinc) May 29, 2019On healthcareHealthcare? Harris has a plan for that, too. While her campaign website goes into depth on her Medicare for all position, she put a personal touch in explaining her position to the South Carolina audience on Tuesday night. Everything We Know About Sadie Roberts-Joseph’s Murder Investigation True! “It is wrong. It is contrary to our values… he should not have not done it. He is irresponsible. It is yet another example of why he should not be president of the United States.” Sen. Kamala Harris#KamalaHarrisTownHall #MSNBCTownHall pic.twitter.com/vc5uxUCdI1— Ricardo Luke (@Lukericardo) May 29, 2019On impeaching TrumpThe world knew this already, but Harris offered her strongest words yet in support of the impeachment process as well as criminally prosecuting the president. “The evidence supports the prosecution of that case,” she told an audience member who asked her about her support for impeaching Trump. She went even further when talking to another audience member about Trump, saying in part that “We need to get rid of him.” #BREAKING : #KamalaHarrisTownHall Question -‘How would you talk to South Carolinians who are afraid of immigration? ‘ Listen in. #thelastword #MSNBC pic.twitter.com/vZGsgzC25X— Elaine Ina Hindin (@heddatalespin) May 29, 2019 #KamalaHarrisTownHall @KamalaHarris on #PayEquity: shift burden of proof from women employees to Companys by fining those that cant prove they’re paying women equally as men “either pay women equally or pay a price”#Kamala2020 #WokeAF #KamalaHarrisForThePeople #PinkWave2020 pic.twitter.com/qKG6uGmQX5— Prince de Versailles (@VersaillesPrinc) May 29, 2019 Reparations presidential candidates Powerful!”We have a president who isn’t trying to make America great, he’s trying to make America hate. We need to get rid of him.” – Sen. Kamala Harris #KamalaHarrisTownHall #MSNBCTownHall pic.twitter.com/4LgMEetW5w— Ricardo Luke (@Lukericardo) May 29, 2019 #BREAKING : #KamalaHarrisTownHall ‘Country before Party’ Listen in #thelastword #MSNBC #Politico pic.twitter.com/atzgNxyAlO— Elaine Ina Hindin (@heddatalespin) May 29, 2019SEE ALSO:Clarence Thomas’ ‘Misguided’ Anti-Abortion Eugenics Opinion, ExplainedPolice Crash That Killed Elderly Black Woman Tests New Chicago Mayor’s Police Reform Pledge 2020 Elections , Kamala Harris #KamalaHarrisTownHall @KamalaHarris #BroughtReceipts in proud defense of her record as SF #DistrictAttorney & CA #AttorneyGeneral who did analysis/research into addressing factors of criminal activity/behavior to change laws to prevent them not just jail#KamalaForThePeople pic.twitter.com/s1a0aymwFE— Prince de Versailles (@VersaillesPrinc) May 29, 2019She is a patriotHarris, who said she puts “country before Party,” expressed “optimism” as well as “concern” for Democracy in America, framing the conversation around impeaching Trump as a way to pay respects to the country’s forefathers who put the checks and balances system in place for a reason. The Evolving Relevance Of ‘The Talk’ #KamalaHarrisTownhall @Lawrence:#KamalaHarris is indomitable-brilliant, eloquent, compassionate/passionate I’m going to require states passing legislation designed to limit women’s access to #ReproductiveHealth care, come before my #DOJ for review&approval pic.twitter.com/jei3gS55pX— Miss Myrtle (@MissMyrtle2) May 29, 2019That attack also targets doctors, she said, adding that she has a “real problem” with health professionals facing the prospects of prison for performing the medical procedures. On immigrationHarris seemed to be one of only a small handful of candidates with concrete plans for her presidency. She spoke at length about immigration and making clear that changing the nation’s policies at the border, such as separating children from their families, would be a priority for her in the White House. “That was a human rights abuse being committed by the United States government,” Harris said, “and it’s against the moral and values of who we are as a nation.” #BREAKING : #KamalaHarrisTownHall Question: ‘What would you do for the Unions?’ Answer: ‘It’s really a simple point’! Listen in. #thelastword #MSNBC pic.twitter.com/EM140CCOwu— Elaine Ina Hindin (@heddatalespin) May 29, 2019Unions, she said, also can play a vital role in addressing pay equity and closing the wage gap that exists along racial and gender lines. Unpacking Mayor Pete’s ‘Douglass Plan’ For Black Americalast_img read more

Home Ministry bans Sikhs for Justice Punjab CM hails ban says SFJ

first_img“SFJ’s activities go beyond being ‘unlawful’ and posed a major threat to the very existence of our nation, “ he said.Amarinder said that the SFJ, in recent years, had made blatant attempts to radicalise, fund and motivate some poor and gullible youths of Punjab into committing acts of arson and violence and the outfit had also been making efforts to enlist the support of gangsters and radicals in Punjab and exhorting them to fight for the ‘liberation of Punjab’.Captain Amarinder came down heavily against those trying to play down the vile threat posed by SFJ, which continues to flex its muscle not just within but also outside India, as manifest in the June 30, 2019, incident.On the day, UK-based SFJ activists were in the spotlight during the India vs England World Cup cricket match at Edgbaston (Birmingham). They were seen wearing T-shirts of Referendum 2020 and waving the Khalistani Flag at the Cricket match. Best Of Express Related News The SFJ had also shared a poster on social media just last week urging pro-Khalistani Sikhs to boo the Indian Team during the semi-final match against New-Zealand.The Chief Minister said these incidents totally negated the ridiculous stand of SAD and its leaders, as evident in the statement of party spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema that Khalistan was no longer an issue. Pointing to the gravity of the issue, Captain Amarinder urged the Akalis to refrain from playing petty politics over it, and instead to join the government in fighting and eliminating the menace. The Akali leaders seemed to be ignoring the vicious agenda of SFJ, showing how little they care about the interests of Punjab and its people, said the Chief Minister.Captain Amarinder also exhorted the global community to support India’s efforts to understand and counter the SFJ’s secessionist and violent agenda shrouded behind a supposedly non-violent Referendum campaign.Any country allowing SFJ to use its soil for destabilising India would also suffer the consequences of such an act as no nation could remain unaffected as a result of supporting terror or violence against another, he added. Home Ministry refuses to give reasons behind allowing intelligence agencies to access computer data sikhs for justice, home ministry, union home ministry, capt amarinder singh, punjab chief minister, amarinder singh, chandigarh news, india news, Indian Express Amarinder had earlier demanded that the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) be branded as a terrorist outfit. (File)Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Wednesday welcomed the Centre’s decision to ban the SFJ as an unlawful association, describing it as the first step towards protecting the nation from the “anti-India/secessionist designs of the ISI-backed organisation”. Advertising The Punjab Police, over the last 3 years, have registered several criminal cases against alleged SFJ leaders/operatives based in various countries and working under the command of SFJ promoters, operating from USA, Canada, UK, Malaysia.The Chief Minister said the SFJ had even tried to instigate Punjab Police personnel to revolt against the state government. Besides, the outfit had been targeting Sikh Army soldiers through a dedicated social media campaign and instigating them to desert the Army and work for promotion of Referendum-2020 instead, he added. On Amit Shah table at Home: push and pull of manifesto, ministry Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Govt bans Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, says outfit promoted acts of terrorism Advertising Amarinder pointed out that recently a strong nexus between SFJ and Kashmiri separatists had come to light, suggesting a wider net that goes beyond Punjab, with serious repercussions for national security. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Taking stock of monsoon rain More Explained By Express News Service |Chandigarh | Updated: July 11, 2019 7:30:55 am Advertising After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Amarinder had earlier demanded that the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) be branded as a terrorist outfit. Reiterating his demand, the CM said, “Though the outfit deserved to be treated as a terrorist organisation, the Government of India had at least taken a long-overdue stand against SFJ, which had unleashed a wave of terror in Punjab in recent years.”“With this step, the Centre had finally shown its much-needed intent to crack down on the organisation, which was overtly being backed by Pakistan’s ISI in its conspiratorial campaign over ‘Sikh Referendum 2020’, launched in 2014, “ said the Chief Minister.He, however, asserted that the central government would have to take more proactive measures to aggressively crack down on SFJ and its affiliates in the interest of national security. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Assam floods Death toll rises to 11

first_imgBy PTI |Guwahati | Updated: July 14, 2019 8:38:19 pm Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Assam floods: Centre releases Rs 250 crore aid as death toll touches 17 The Brahmaputra is flowing above its danger mark in Guwahati, at Nimatighat in Jorhat, Tezpur in Sonitpur, Goalpara and Dhubri towns, and at Badarpurghat in Karimganj.Burhidehing river is flowing above its danger mark at Khowang in Dibrugarh, Subansiri at Badatighat in Lakhimpur, Dhansiri river at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Kopili at Kampur and Dharamtul in Nagaon, Puthimari at NH road crossing in Kamrup, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta, Katakhal river at Matizuri in Hailakandi and Kushiyara river at Karimganj town, the ASDMA said.It said 3,181 villages were under water and 87,607 hectares of crop areas had been damaged. Authorities are running 327 relief camps and distribution centres in 24 districts, where 16,596 people are taking shelter at present.Embankments, roads, bridges, culverts and infrastructure have been damaged at various places in Sonitpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Baksa, Dibrugarh, Nalbari, Hojai, Morigaon, Lakhimpur, Darrang, Nagaon, Kamrup, Barpeta, Dhubri, Majuli, Karimganj, Sivasagar, Hailakandi and South Salmara. Massive erosions have been witnessed at several places of Udalguri, Barpeta and Sonitpur districts, the ASDMA said.“For repairing embankments, 168 proposals worth Rs 250 crore were approved after last year’s flood,” Krishna said. Hima Das donates half of salary for Assam flood relief, appeals for help An Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) report said four fresh deaths were reported from Jorhat, Barpeta and Dhubri districts.Of the 28 affected districts, Barpeta is the worst hit with 7.35 lakh people affected, followed by Morigaon where 3.50 lakh people are hit. They are followed by Dhubri where the number of affected is 3.38 lakh, the ASDMA said.Till Saturday, around 14.06 lakh people were affected in 25 districts out of the total 33 districts. Advertising Advertising Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file More Explained In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Best Of Express “As per the Met department forecast, there will be more rainfall across Assam and the water level in the Brahmaputra is likely to rise,” Kumar Sanjay Krishna, additional chief secretary (revenue and disaster management), said at a press conference on Sunday. “Dhubri and other lower Assam districts will probably see more severe flood in coming days.”Krishna said the state government was fully capable of handling the situation. “Last year, we had received Rs 590 crore from the Centre. We have sufficient funds in our hands and already released Rs 55.85 crore to the districts,” he said.Meanwhile, the NDRF and SDRF have rescued 7,833 people in the past 24 hours across the state. As many as 10,840 litres of mustard oil, 7,922 quintals of rice, tarpaulin sheets, water pouches, biscuits, milk powder, dal, salt and other essential items have been distributed among the flood-affected people.About 70 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park, the habitat of the Great Indian Rhino and a world heritage site, has been affected too, the official said. “Many animals have moved to highlands. We have a sufficient stock of fodder and forest officials are on alert.” Assam, Assam floods, Assam floods death toll, Assam flood news, Assam weather, Assam news, Assam rain news, Assam floods update, Assam update, Assam floods army, Baksa, Baksa assam, Assam floods, indian express, latest news Kamrup: People stand on a damaged embankment washed out by the floods due to incessant rainfalls, at Hajo in Kamrup. (PTI)The flood situation in Assam worsened on Sunday with the death toll rising to 11 and affecting nearly 26.5 lakh people across 28 districts. Assam floods: Over 26 lakh people affected, PM Modi assures CM of assistance Related News Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Donald Trump tells freshman congresswomen to go back to the countries they

first_img 2 Comment(s) Related News Advertising ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file ‘I can’t breathe’ case: No charges against NY police in 2014 choking death of black man US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% President Donald Trump said Sunday that a group of four minority congresswomen feuding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi should “go back” to the countries they came from rather than “loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States” how to run the government.Wrapped inside that insult, which was widely established as a racist trope, was a factually inaccurate claim: Only one of the lawmakers was born outside the country.Even though Trump has repeatedly refused to back down from stoking racial divisions, his willingness to deploy a lowest-rung slur — one commonly and crudely used to single out the perceived foreignness of nonwhite, non-Christian people — was largely regarded as beyond the pale.So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world,” Trump wrote on Twitter, “now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.” By New York Times |Washington | Updated: July 15, 2019 10:30:19 am Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Pelosi may have offered the bluntest take on Trump’s comments when she said his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” “has always been about making America white again.”Donald Trump, Donald Trump US, US Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasi­o-Cortez, AOC Trump, Trump AOC, Trump go back, Trump go back Congresswomen, Indian Express, World news FILE — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), left, with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), speaks during a news conference outside the House of Representatives in Washington, June 12, 2019. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times)Broadly, Trump’s attack on lawmakers appeared to be meant for members of the “squad,” a group of liberal Democratic freshmen engaged in an existential and generational war of words with Pelosi: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.But only one of the women, Omar, who is from Somalia, was born outside the United States. Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx to parents of Puerto Rican descent. Pressley, who is black, was born in Cincinnati and raised in Chicago. And Tlaib was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrants.“These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough,” Trump said. “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China Best Of Express More Explained Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Donald Trump, Donald Trump US, US Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasi­o-Cortez, AOC Trump, Trump AOC, Trump go back, Trump go back Congresswomen, Indian Express, World news President Donald Trump speaks during an event at a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin in Milwaukee, July 12, 2019. Trump weighed in via Twitter on the friction between a group of four freshman Democratic congresswomen and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on July 14 by suggesting that the congresswomen — none of whom are white — should “go back and help fix” the countries they came from. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)(Written by Katie Rogers and Nicholas Fandos) Advertising Trump’s comments were a crude addition to his continued rhetoric that the United States is too full to take in people from other countries. “Sorry, can’t let them into our Country,” Trump also tweeted Sunday, referring to the groups of men held in filthy conditions in detention centers at the border. He suggested that those groups were “loaded up with a big percentage of criminals.”His tweets came on the same weekend that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents began rounding up some 2,000 unauthorized immigrants, many of whom had recently crossed the border in groups or families.Trump’s attack on the congresswomen also followed days of Fox News coverage that centered on Omar. During her tenure in Congress, Omar has rattled fellow Democrats and provided ammunition to Republicans for her repeated criticisms of Israel, including a comment that pro-Israel activists were pushing “for allegiance to a foreign country.”Prompted by an emergency border aid package that liberals felt did not place sufficient restrictions on the Trump administration, the back and forth between the freshmen women, Democratic moderates in the House and Pelosi has also been bruising.The speaker spent much of the last week trying to return harmony to her restive caucus, and tensions were still raw heading into the weekend. When Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, singled out Rep. Sharice Davids, a moderate Democrat and Native American from Kansas, for voting in favor of the aid package, House Democrats used their official Twitter account to slap back. “Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?” they wrote.On Sunday, Trump may have provided the impetus for a reconciliation — however brief — that Democratic leaders and rank-and-file House members quickly embraced.Pelosi condemned Trump’s remarks as “xenophobic” in a pair of tweets of her own, turning them around to criticize Trump’s immigration policies and project Democratic unity. “Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power,” she wrote of Democrats.“Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values,” she wrote in another tweet. “Stop the raids.”A spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, declined to comment on Trump’s remarks. Representatives for Republican House leaders did not respond to emails seeking comment. The White House also did not respond to a request for comment. But Democrats began sharing their own stories, pointing out that Trump’s remarks did not reflect a country whose lawmakers — and citizens — are becoming increasingly more diverse.Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called Trump a “bigot.” Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the Republican Party this month over differences with Trump and is the child of Syrian and Palestinian immigrants, declared the comments “racist and disgusting.”All four lawmakers in “the squad” eventually weighed in and responded to the president. “You are stoking white nationalism,” Omar said, because “you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”Pressley, sharing a screenshot of the president’s tweet, declared, “THIS is what racism looks like.” Tlaib said Trump’s comments “just make me work harder,” and that she is “fighting corruption in OUR country.” And Ocasio-Cortez sent out a series of tweets addressing the president directly. “Mr. President,” she said in one, “the country I ‘come from’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States.”But by Sunday evening, Trump again criticized Democrats for defending members of the group. “If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior,” Trump said on Twitter, “then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!”Omar and Tlaib are far from the only congressional lawmakers who immigrated to the United States or were born to immigrant parents. In the House, there are at least 52 voting members who are immigrants or children of immigrants and 16 in the Senate — most of them Democrats — according to a Pew Research Center analysis from this year. Aside from Omar, four other congresswomen were born outside the United States, but they have largely not involved themselves in entanglements with Pelosi.Omar has been vocal about her life as a refugee who fled Somalia and eventually settled in America, only to be disappointed with the country she found. More than any of the others in her freshman group, Omar — one of the first two Muslim women in Congress along with Tlaib — has forcefully used her personal story to make the argument that loving America does not require an acceptance of its shortcomings.“I grew up in an extremely unjust society, and the only thing that made my family excited about coming to the United States was that the United States was supposed to be the country that guaranteed justice to all,” Omar recently said. “So, I feel it necessary for me to speak about that promise that’s not kept.”Comments like these have inflamed Fox News personalities like Tucker Carlson, who used his television program to lash out at Omar.“Our country rescued Ilhan Omar,” Carlson said in a broadcast last week. “We didn’t do it to get rich; in fact, it cost us money. We did it because we are kind people. How did Omar respond to the remarkable gift we gave her? She scolded us, and called us names, she showered us with contempt.”Trump has repeatedly said that he does not hold racist views, despite his public statements. After a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump was widely condemned for saying that people on “both sides” were to blame after one of the nationalists mowed down a group of protesters and killed a woman. And he was one of the most vocal proponents of the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.At other times, he has used vulgar language to describe immigrants and people of color. He has defended himself after calling people crossing into the country illegally “animals” — he said was referring only to MS-13 gang members. He has assailed players with the National Football League, many of whom are black, for taking a knee during the national anthem. And he has used a vulgar term to disparage immigrants from largely black nations.But, to his critics, Trump’s comments Sunday were a low point. From left, Reps. Alexandria Ocasi­o-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 12, 2019. President Donald Trump weighed in via Twitter on the friction between a group of four freshman Democratic congresswomen, including Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on July 14 by suggesting that the congresswomen — none of whom are white — should “go back and help fix” the countries they came from. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)Trump added: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”Delivered on the day he had promised widespread immigration raids, Trump’s comments signaled a new low in how far he will go to affect public discourse surrounding the issue. And if his string of tweets was meant to further widen Democratic divisions in an intraparty fight, the strategy appeared quickly to backfire: House Democrats, including Pelosi, rallied around the women, declaring in blunt terms that Trump’s words echoed other xenophobic comments he has made about nonwhite immigrants.As the president’s remarks reverberated around Twitter, a chorus of Americans took to social media to say that they had heard some version of Trump’s words throughout their lives, beginning with childhood taunts on the playground. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., a presidential candidate, joined scores of people who said it was jarring to hear the phrase from the president.“We’ve heard this our whole lives,” Booker said. “Now we hear it from the Oval Office.” “It is sad to see the occupant of the Oval Office transition from empowering and encouraging racist taunts to actually using them himself,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “If Trump shouted the same thing at a Muslim woman wearing hijab in a Walmart, he might be arrested.” Advertisinglast_img read more

Apple Centers Health Data Strategy on iPhone

first_imgWith a healthcare records system on board, Apple likely would see a slight shift in how iPhones were sold and a slight uptake in the medical industry as companies started promoting the iPhone as a tool for doctors, said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for worldwide mobile device trackers at IDC.However, it wouldn’t be a game changer for iPhone sales, he said.”Rather, this would further solidify Apple’s stance as a leader in privacy and security, and would put pressure on Android as a whole, as well as Samsung, to step up their game,” Ubrani told TechNewsWorld.Rival tech companies have made efforts to capture medical data for research, consumer applications and other business opportunities.Verily Life Sciences, a unit of Google parent Alphabet, this spring partnered with Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine to launch Project Baseline, a project to collect broad, phenotypic health data from 10,000 volunteers.After screening it to ensure the privacy of volunteer participants, the data will be hosted on Google Cloud Platform and available for researchers to gain a better understanding of disease risk factors and other information.Nokia recently acquired Paris-based Withings, a digital health company that sells smart health products like digital scales, smartwatches and thermometers, and tracks activities as well. Nokia launched a digital health unit led by former Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings. The challenge for Apple going forward is that it tends to attack new businesses on a global scale, and healthcare data requires dealing with a myriad of regulatory and privacy issues that cannot easily be synchronized across a single platform, Fogg told TechNewsWorld.Also, the sensitivity of personal health data demands a high level of security and transparency, so that hospitals and patients can feel comfortable allowing that type of information to be controlled by an outside party, he said.”I would hope that Apple is planning to use the iPhone to securely communicate personal medical information from sensor to a HIPAA-compliant cloud service, and that medical records are only permanently retained in the cloud service,” said Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research.While temporary secure viewing on an iPhone would be nice, it would be better to have another layer of device security sitting between the attacker and the EMR repository, he told TechNewsWorld.It’s questionable that health information ever will become a big driver of device sales “unless medical systems or insurance companies are going to get into the iPhone distribution game,” Teich said.The real revenue driver for Apple would be to use a secure back-end EMR cloud service to sell Apple gear to medical institutions, he suggested.”Protected healthcare information is valuable data,” observed Ed Cabrera, chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro.”Arguably, any time you transition this type of data into another platform, there’s an inherent risk associated with it,” he told TechNewsWorld. “However, Apple has a history of developing security and privacy into their products that leads to better overall protection for their users.” David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times. Regulatory Challengecenter_img Business Case Apple quietly has been strategizing to expand its growing healthcare business to include the management of digital health records, with the iPhone operating as a central data hub, CNBC reported last week.Apple has been in talks with numerous health industry groups that are involved in setting standards for the storage and sharing of electronic medical records, in a way that would help consumers gain more control over their private medical information, according to the network.The plan appears to be a natural extension of Apple’s recent health industry strategy, which includes its Research Kit, CareKit and HealthKit — platforms that allow developers to create apps that help patients, hospitals and researchers find new ways to collect, manage and deliver health data efficiently and directly.”This has been an interest point as part of Apple’s strategy in the healthcare vertical for some time,” said Daniel Ruppar, digital health global program director at Frost & Sullivan.Apple last year acquired Gliimpse, a medical records startup that helped collect data from different platforms and organized the information for patients.Thus far, Apple’s efforts largely have focused on fitness information, but in recent years it has moved into more focused healthcare delivery. For example, the company recently began work on developing sensors that could help diabetic patients manage blood glucose levels.”They’ve shown on a number of fronts they’ve been tackling health and well being,” said Ian Fogg, senior director, mobile and telecoms at IHS Markit. last_img read more

PC Innovation Is Back

first_imgHP Folio Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Noise-canceling headphones are generally a disappointment. The promise is you hit a switch and all the annoying noise goes away, but the reality is that it just gets quieter. Those annoying crying, talking, whining, and parts-falling-off sounds that keep me from sleeping on planes are still there, making it hard to sleep or even to concentrate.With the advent of open plan offices, the poor fools who have to work in areas that used to have cubicles now have a view — but they also have a ton more noise.Well, I’ve just gotten noise-canceling religion, and I’m now preaching about silent airplane flights and cubicles. You see, I put on these new Microsoft Surface headphones, cranked up the noise canceling to eleven, and the world actually got quiet. Honestly, I don’t think this is even an interesting question anymore, because Apple seemingly doesn’t care about this race. Still, with HP and Microsoft both focused on beating what Apple could have made, but chose not to, we are getting some amazingly innovative products in the market.These products don’t try to make the unholy Frankenstein blend of laptop and tablet falsely real, they actually try to create something different — something that actually could do both. The line still lacks key apps, but another new Microsoft product, this one free, eventually could address that.The Your Phone app basically puts your Android phone on your desktop and gives you access to the phone. (Eventually you may be able to run all your android apps on your PC this way, but initially it is messages and photos.)I continue to think that the decline in PC sales occurred because the firms really didn’t want to invest in the platform. Well, that’s changing. Innovation is back, and some amazing products once again are coming to market. I think that is a great thing — it is just a shame that Apple has refused to join the PC innovation party. Surface Refresh The two most interesting products likely are the Surface Go and the Surface Studio (even though my personal favorite is the Surface Notebook, which now comes in a gorgeous black). The Surface Go recently was updated with built-in LTE (WAN wireless) and a USB-C charger. That makes it really the only true tablet-first Surface. The WAN connectivity makes it similar to an iPhone, with regard to data use, in that you don’t need a WiFi signal for it to work.The Surface Studio is perhaps the most interesting in that it takes on the iMac. Although it arguably is underpowered for a workstation, it arguably gets nearly unlimited performance when connected to the new Windows Virtual Desktop. This means you could have an all-in-one with a more updated design than the iMac and more performance than any localized workstation. That’s a perfect storm, boys and girls, and that’s very interesting. There were two interesting product launches last week. HP delivered what is pretty much a clean slate rethinking of the 2-in-1 PC with the HP Folio, and Microsoft unveiled a refresh of its Surface Line.Both firms made a big deal of the fact that their products were much better than their Apple counterparts — but Apple has been treating PCs like a drunk uncle for some time now.Basically, I think the folks at Apple are embarrassed they still make PCs, which is both sad and ironic, since Apple basically launched the PC revolution. No one told HP and Microsoft, though, and both effectively have been racing to see which could build the best alternative to what Apple would be making if Apple cared.This has resulted in some rather impressive-looking products. I say “looking” because Apple is a form-over-function company. For Apple, and for the products I’ll be talking about, appearance leads, with the focus being more on status, beauty and — to a certain extent, convenience — over speed. I personally think this is great competition because it has resulted in a level of innovation we haven’t seen, and that is needed, in the segment.I’ll share some observations on that and then close with my product of the week: a new set of headphones in the Surface line that have the most powerful active noise cancellation I’ve yet experienced. center_img Surface Headphones The original Surface was a tablet that seemed to embrace the Apple iPad design but run Windows rather than iOS. It sold reasonably well, but it was more of a PC in tablet clothing than a true tablet. Battery life wasn’t great, it really wasn’t as attractive, tablet apps were light, and the related Intel technology wasn’t ready.Microsoft tried ARM, but it couldn’t run Windows well and that effort outright failed. One thing that was particularly interesting was the use of a unique magnetic connector for power, something that Apple once was known for but had walked away from in its mobile products. It’s a safer approach, because if you trip over your power cord it easily disconnects and doesn’t send your laptop/tablet flying to the floor. (When first MacBook took a fall, the hinges on the lid shattered.)However, time passed, Intel improved its technology, and the combination increasingly began to turn out more compelling products. The products in this latest line, particularly the Surface Notebook and Surface Book, are more MacBook competitors than they are iPad competitors, but they arguably look and work better than the Macs or iPad Pros as notebook computers. The HP Folio (pictured above) is what I’d call a true out-of-the-box-thinking product. It reimagines the 2-in-1, which was Intel’s effort to address the iPad threat.The issue with 2-in-1s has been that most folks used them as laptops and never as tablets, because they were big, heavy, and felt awkward as tablets.People commonly have used large portfolios — but they aren’t made of steel or aluminum. They generally are leather, often brown leather, and they just feel better in the hand. Thus, the HP Folio is covered in leather — brown or burgundy. For its size, it is surprisingly light. It has all-day battery life, and it has one more really interesting feature: a cantilevered screen.This feature allows the screen to fold down, covering the keyboard and turning the product into a tablet. Also, you can move the bottom of the display forward, turning it into a decent movie watching device for airplanes, particularly those that have shallow seat tables.This is the way we should be approaching design problems. Much like it makes no sense for a car company to build a convertible with a top no one will lower, it makes no sense to design a 2-in-1 that folks will use only as a laptop. If they aren’t using it in the tablet form, there is a reason, and at least part of the reason is that when held as a tablet, most 2-in-1s suck.If you think about it, we often wrap our phones and actual tablets with cases to make them more robust and easier to hold. So, rather then spend a ton of money on metals, why not create a product with a built-on case, and make it both an attractive and a complete product, rather than something the user has to assemble?I look at the folio and wonder if it isn’t the template for how we should be building phones, tablets, and especially 2-in-1s. Rather than attempting to copy Apple, HP built what Apple’s designers likely should have thought of themselves. Wrapping Up: Who Builds the Best Apple PC Alternative? This isn’t just inbound, but it does a pretty decent job (though not perfect) of quieting the noise that surrounds you when you try to make a call using the headphones. These things are so good they are almost unbelievably good.They’re not a cheap date at around US$350, but how much is your sanity worth? When I put them on, I’m pretty sure I could hear angels singing. Well, maybe it was the first time I could hear myself think. The Microsoft Surface headphones are amazing, and they are a natural for my product of the week. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.last_img read more

Eating fish as part of diet can reduce asthma symptoms in children

first_img Source:http://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/articles/2018/release/diet-rich-in-fish-helps-fight-asthma Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 5 2018A clinical trial led by La Trobe University has shown eating fish such as salmon, trout and sardines as part of a healthy diet can reduce asthma symptoms in children.The international study found children with asthma who followed a healthy Mediterranean diet enriched with fatty fish had improved lung function after six months.Lead researcher Maria Papamichael from La Trobe said the findings added to a growing body of evidence that a healthy diet could be a potential therapy for childhood asthma.”We already know that a diet high in fat, sugar and salt can influence the development and progression of asthma in children and now we have evidence that it’s also possible to manage asthma symptoms through healthy eating,” Ms Papamichael said.Related StoriesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesDiet and nutrition influence microbiome in colonic mucosaStudy provides new insight into development of asthma”Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Our study shows eating fish just twice a week can significantly decrease lung inflammation in children with asthma.”Co-researcher and Head of La Trobe’s School of Allied Health, Professor Catherine Itsiopoulos, said the results were promising.”Following a traditional Mediterranean diet that is high in plant-based foods and oily fish could be an easy, safe and effective way to reduce asthma symptoms in children,” Professor Itsiopoulos said.Associate Professor Bircan Erbas, from La Trobe’s School of Psychology and Public Health, is an expert in asthma and allergies, who co-supervised the trial.”Asthma is the most common respiratory disease in young people and one of the leading reasons for hospitalizations and trips to emergency for children,” Associate Professor Erbas said.”Unfortunately, the rate of asthma worldwide remains high. It is imperative that we identify new therapies that we can use alongside conventional asthma medications.”The clinical trial involved 64 children from Athens in Greece, aged 5 to 12 who had mild asthma. Researchers from Australia and Greece divided the children into two groups and instructed around half to eat two meals of cooked fatty fish (of at least 150 grams) as part of the Greek Mediterranean diet every week for six months. The remaining children followed their normal diet.At the end of the trial, they found the group who ate fish had reduced their bronchial inflammation by 14 units. Above 10 units is significant under international guidelines.​last_img read more

Cartilage tissue engineering brings good news for patients with cartilage defects

first_img Source:https://benthamscience.com/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 11 2018Chondral defect is a kind of defect which refers to focal area damage to the articular cartilage. This defect also damages the bone which is lying underneath the cartilage. Symptoms indicating this condition might not occur immediately in life but chondral cartilage defects are very common. Damage in the cartilage may occur due to injury or due to wear and tear over many years. However, there are people who happen to develop symptoms but do not develop osteoarthritis.Related StoriesHair loss could soon be a thing of the past, say researchers3D mapping technology can monitor and track the behavior of engineered cells, tissuesFamily Doctors play key role in imparting health education on advanced therapiesThis can be attributed to articular cartilage possessing slow self-healing properties. Due to this reason, the management and the prevention of any chondral defect turns out to be challenging. Many treatments were brought into the light (for example, a shift has occurred from symptomatic treatment to structural cartilage regeneration) but all of them produced less satisfactory to poor results. Results of a few clinical trials demonstrated that cartilage defects caused by trauma, infection, congenital malformations and tumors were most commonly encountered in patients which, therefore, had a huge negative impact on the patient’s quality of life.Due to advances in modern technology, cartilage tissue engineering has brought some good news for the patients who are going through such conditions. This review presented by Lin et al. attempts to familiarize readers with the preparation techniques and types of scaffold material which is used in cartilage tissue engineering which can be used to treat chondral defects.last_img read more