Government Subsized PlugIns Go Uncharged In UK

first_imgHave a PHEV and get only 40 MPG? You are doing it wrong.Miles Consultancy explored the fuel consumption of plug-in hybrids in corporate fleets in the UK and revealed worrying findings that the average is just 40 miles per gallon (MPG), while it should be 130 MPG!There is a reason for that – company employees don’t charge the cars and use them like regular hybrids, which leads BBC to a conclusion that companies purchased those cars mainly because of the £2,500 Plug-In Car Grant and tax incentives. News like that probably will cause the cut of PHEV Plug-In Car Grant to be perceived as reasonable.“”There are some examples where employees aren’t even charging these vehicles up,” said Paul Hollick, The Miles Consultancy’s managing director.“The charge cables are still in the boot, in a cellophane wrapper, while the company and the employee are going in and out of petrol stations, paying for all of this additional fuel.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 17, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News UK Excludes PHEVs From Plug-In Electric Car Grant: BEVs Still Qualify We must remember that a similar phenomenon was once noted in the Netherlands, where PHEV sales spiked, fueled by the tax incentives. It quickly turned out that not so many of those cars were ever recharged. After eliminating generous tax incentives, sales collapsed and never came back to its peak.The UK was the biggest PHEV market in Europe and it’s pretty sad that PHEV fleets note just 40 MPG. More than 70% of the 37,000 PHEVs sold in 2018 in the UK were company cars, which means that huge potential is untapped.Thousands of plug-in hybrid cars, bought with government grants, are burning as much fuel as regular cars. My report on @BBCOne earlier. pic.twitter.com/KIevQK3sJ2— Joe Miller (@JoeMillerJr) November 10, 2018 TMC’s data shows that plug-in hybrids driven by business users drink a gallon of fuel every 39.3 miles on average. Watch the BBC’s report here. https://t.co/xQDq1hyzDP— TMC (@mileagecapture) November 12, 2018 Mitsubishi Cries Foul Over End Of Grant In UK: Outlander PHEV Salescenter_img Source: Electric Vehicle News News from UK The Future Of PHEVs Looks Bleak In UK Source: BBClast_img read more

Tesla falls behind in autonomous driving leaderboard but still most trusted by

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Tesla has fallen behind in autonomous driving, according to Navigant’s leaderboard, but it’s still the most trusted by consumers for self-driving. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe the podcast.https://youtu.be/a80dwn_R-mcThe post Tesla falls behind in autonomous driving leaderboard, but still most trusted by consumers appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Electric car startup Faraday Future gets 225 million bridge loan but bridge

first_imgSource: Charge Forward After years of trouble trying to bring its first electric vehicle to market, Faraday Future (FF) is still surviving as it announces a new $225 million bridge loan, but a bridge to where? more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8COKnXNH-EThe post Electric car startup Faraday Future gets $225 million bridge loan, but bridge to where? appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Tesla held a special Model 3 Performance track day on Shanghai racetrack

first_imgTesla organized a special Model 3 Performance track day on a racetrack in Shanghai to let people experience the full performance on the electric vehicle. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09bIEmS_KdYThe post Tesla held a special Model 3 Performance track day on Shanghai racetrack appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

Public to set research priorities in field of ethnic inequalities and severe

first_imgJul 13 2018A national online survey was launched today to give members of the public the opportunity to set the research priorities in the field of ethnic inequalities and severe mental illness.The national public survey will help with the creation of research strategies to tackle mental health inequalities and help launch a national campaign to transform health systems.Led by the Synergi Collaborative Centre in partnership with Queen Mary University of London, the University of Manchester and Words of Color Productions, the survey is the first national online survey of its kind.The 15-minute survey aims to secure the opinions of a wide cross section of the public, including patients, carers, health and social care practitioners, commissioners, NGOs, volunteers and students.Kamaldeep Bhui, Professor of Cultural Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Queen Mary University of London and Synergi’s Project Lead said: “This is the first time there has been a priority setting exercise for addressing ethnic inequalities in mental health care, especially regarding research. We will be gathering knowledge and assembling views from all stakeholders to establish which are the most pressing issues to tackle and how best to rank them, linked to actions.”Rather than replicating past studies, to relearn what has been forgotten, repressed, denied or overlooked, this survey will be forward facing to promote a new approach to set out research areas for impact on reducing aversive ethnic inequalities.”The survey is being launched against a backdrop of longstanding ethnic inequalities, including the fact that compared to the majority population, a diagnosis of schizophrenia is five to six times more likely in Black African people and Black Caribbean people, and nearly three times more likely in South Asian people.As for detention rates among the civil population, Black Caribbean people and Black African people are three times more likely to be detained.Related StoriesComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerResearch on cannabis use in women limited, finds new studyJames Nazroo, Synergi’s project partner, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), the University of Manchester, said: “Addressing the longstanding ethnic inequalities in the experience of severe mental illness is both a pressing need and extremely challenging. One of the things that has prevented progress has been the under-representation of the full range of experiences and understandings of this issue. We will systematically analyze the responses to uncover points of agreement and disagreement to ensure the full range of views are heard. We particularly want to forefront the views of service users and the public, which are often unheard in these discussions.”Marcia Willis Stewart QC (Hon), Chair of the center’s Advisory Board and Managing Partner at leading civil rights law firm Birnberg Peirce and Partners, commented: “This piece of work comes at a time when the emerging scandal of the ‘hostile environment’ policy has brought the hardships and pressures that afflict ethnic minority communities and individuals into the public gaze. At the same time equal access to justice for all continues to ebb away. For those who are doubly disenfranchised by ethnicity and fragile mental health, the importance of this public survey cannot be overstated.”The survey, which will be open to the public for three months, covers a wide range of topics that accommodate intersectionality, the criminal justice system, housing, education, homelessness, health services, racism and commissioning.The main findings will be shared with policymakers, research institutions and commissioners, and will be made available to the public from November 2018.Source: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2018/smd/public-shapes-new-research-around-ethnic-inequalities-and-severe-mental-illness.htmllast_img read more

Genetic disruption strategy effectively stymies evolution of drugresistant pathogens

first_img Source:https://www.colorado.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 3 2018A genetic disruption strategy developed by University of Colorado Boulder researchers effectively stymies the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as E. coli, giving scientists a crucial leg up in the ongoing battle against deadly superbugs.These multidrug-resistant pathogens–which adapt to current antibiotics faster than new ones can be created–infect nearly 2 million people and cause at least 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.In an effort to develop a sustainable long-term solution, CU Boulder researchers created the Controlled Hindrance of Adaptation of OrganismS (CHAOS) approach, which uses CRISPR DNA editing techniques to modify multiple gene expressions within the bacteria cells, stunting the pathogen’s central processes and thwarting its ability to evolve defenses.”We now have a way to cut off the evolutionary pathways of some of the nastiest bugs and potentially prevent future bugs from emerging at all,” said Peter Otoupal, lead author of the study and a doctoral researcher in CU Boulder’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE).The CHAOS research is the culmination of work that began in 2013, when Otoupal and his colleagues began searching for genes that could act as a cellular kill switch for E. coli. When the scientists tweaked one gene at a time, the bacteria could adapt and survive. But when they altered two or more genes at once, the cell got weaker.”We saw that when we tweaked multiple gene expressions at the same time–even genes that would seemingly help the bacteria survive–the bacteria’s fitness dropped dramatically,” Otoupal said.The CHAOS method takes advantage of this effect, pulling multiple genetic levers in order to build up stress on the bacterial cell and eventually trigger a cascading failure, leaving the bug more vulnerable to current treatments. The technique does not alter the bug’s DNA itself, only the expression of individual genes, similar to the way a coded message is rendered useless without the proper decryption.Related StoriesHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionStudy: Causes of anorexia are likely metabolic and psychologicalGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene””You can think of it in terms of a series of escalating annoyances to the cell that eventually cause it to weaken,” said Anushree Chatterjee, senior author of the study and an assistant professor in CHBE. “This method offers tremendous potential to create more effective combinatorial approaches.”Although E. coli has nearly 4,000 individual genes, the exact gene modification sequence appears to matter less than the sheer number of genes that are disrupted, Otoupal said. Still, the researchers plan to continue optimizing the CHAOS method to seek out the most efficient disruptions.The findings are outlined today in the journal Nature Communications Biology and could open new research avenues on how to best restrict a pathogen’s antibiotic resistance.”Diseases are very dynamic, so we need to design smarter therapies that can gain control over their rapid adaptation rates,” Chatterjee said. “The emphasis in our lab is demonstrating the efficacy of these methods and then finding ways to translate the technology to modern clinical settings.””In the past, nobody really considered that it might be possible to slow down evolution,” Otoupal said. “But like anything else, evolution has rules and we’re starting to learn how to use them to our advantage.”last_img read more

UCLA Seizure Disorder Center offers hope to patients with drugresistant epilepsy

first_img Source:http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/uclas-epilepsy-center-offers-hope-to-people-with-drug-resistant-seizures Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 6 2018More than 20 new anti-seizure drugs have been introduced in recent decades -; a number that means little to people with drug-resistant epilepsy. For them, treatment has not improved.Some people are willing to try medication after medication -; coping with side effects and getting no relief from seizures -; because they believe, as do their doctors, that maybe the next drug will work. Others have been afraid of procedures that could ease their seizures, or have believed wrongly that surgery is their only other option. Still others don’t actually have epilepsy at all, but don’t know it. In fact, 30 to 40 percent of people with epilepsy -; more than 1 million Americans -; continue to experience seizures despite taking medication.Experts at the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center at UCLA Health want to change that picture. Their message to people with epilepsy as well as their doctors is simple: Referral to a full-service epilepsy center can help.”So many lives could be improved, if people only knew all of their treatment options,” said Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael, chair of the neurology department at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.Nationally, experts agree that patients should seek other opinions. If an epilepsy patient is not seizure-free after one year of treatment, or after two medications have failed, he or she should seek out an epilepsy specialist or an epilepsy center, the Epilepsy Foundation recommends.Carmichael added that evaluation by a team of diverse epilepsy specialists provides the best opportunity to avoid irreversible psychological and social problems, a lifetime of disability and premature death. Even later referral can reduce seizures and improve quality of life.”The key is multidisciplinary collaboration among neurologists, clinical neurophysiologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, social workers, counselors and specialized nurses, all focusing in different ways on one goal -; helping people who suffer from seizures,” said Dr. Linda Liau, chair of the neurosurgery department.Just ask Sharon Shafer. The 51-year-old research librarian tried 12 medications over 14 years, without success. She once had a seizure driving her daughters to get ice cream; one of the girls managed to steer the car to safety. After a co-worker witnessed Shafer having a seizure at work, that person persuaded her to see specialists at UCLA.”My denial was so strong, I would never say, ‘I have epilepsy,'” Shafer said.At UCLA, Shafer learned that her seizures were far more frequent than she realized. As doctors explored the origin of her seizures, they discovered that they came from both sides of her brain, in areas that control language. This meant that surgery to remove tissue responsible for abnormal electrical activity was not an option.Instead, her doctors recommended a new technology in which a tiny device, implanted just under the scalp in the skull, senses oncoming seizures and stops them with a brief electrical pulse. Responsive neurostimulation, or RNS, is the first “smart” therapy for epilepsy, said Dr. Itzhak Fried, a professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry and co-director of the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center. Calibrated to respond to electrical activity in each patient’s brain, the device grows more effective over time.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionComputers, games, crafting keep the aging brain sharp”People aren’t aware there’s an opportunity for better treatment, or even a cure,” said Dr. Dawn Eliashiv, a professor of neurology and co-director of the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center, who evaluated Shafer. “I really encourage patients to initiate the conversation, be empowered about their care. Even a lot of neurologists are not aware of all the new options.””Now we have some incredibly novel approaches for patients for whom we really could not offer anything in the past,” Fried said. “It’s important to understand that epilepsy is not a singular disease. It’s caused by a wide spectrum of faulty networks. Treatment must be individualized to the problem in each patient’s network that is causing this devastating disease.”At UCLA, 34 people have received the responsive neurostimulation device since it was approved by the FDA in 2014. On average, they’ve experienced a 70 percent reduction in seizures, with some people dubbed “super responders” while others still need medication to enhance the device.Responsive neurostimulation is only one option available to people with drug-resistant seizure disorders. Some people simply need an expert to tweak their medication or dosage to achieve better seizure control. Others see improvement with minimally invasive procedures such as removing the abnormal brain tissue with a heated laser to stop seizures. Experimental drugs, nerve stimulation, behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes and diet are other approaches that can help stop seizures when standard drugs don’t work.Some patients are found to not have epilepsy at all. Instead, they suffer from treatable conditions that are misdiagnosed as epilepsy, such as “psychogenic seizures,” which reflect past psychological trauma.At UCLA and other such centers, specialized care also includes the psychosocial support vital to people with epilepsy and seizure disorders. The inability to drive a car or hold down a job can take a toll, leaving people vulnerable to depression and suicidal thoughts.”Patients are typically treated unsuccessfully for over 20 years -; when adequate treatments exist or they don’t have epilepsy at all,” said neurology professor Dr. Jerome Engel Jr., director of the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center. “That’s why early referral for highly specialized care at an epilepsy center is so very important.”last_img read more

Slideshow Photo contest captures stunning interplay between plants and animals

first_img Taken by flash at night, the winning photo shows a rock mouse licking viscous nectar off a pagoda lily, which sheds pollen on the mouse’s nose to be carried to the next lily. Bernardo Segura/BMC Ecology Image Competition Petra Wester/BMC Ecology Image Competition Letizia Campioni/BMC Ecology Image Competition A researcher monitoring black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) colonies on a Falkland island was moved by the sight of a mother feeding her chick. Andrew J. Crawford/BMC Ecology Image Competition Taken by flash at night, the winning photo shows a rock mouse licking viscous nectar off a pagoda lily, which sheds pollen on the mouse’s nose to be carried to the next lily. In Central Chile, a parasitoid fly swoops in to attack a Camponotus morosus ant. The ant was involved in a fight with ants from another nest, and the fly might have found its target by getting a whiff of the ants’ alarm chemicals. Bernardo Segura/BMC Ecology Image Competition Petra Wester/BMC Ecology Image Competition center_img Slideshow: Photo contest captures stunning interplay between plants and animals During the winter, king penguin chicks (Aptenodytes patagonicus) huddle together by the thousands while the parents are away fishing to fend off giant petrels that hunt them. In Central Chile, a parasitoid fly swoops in to attack a Camponotus morosus ant. The ant was involved in a fight with ants from another nest, and the fly might have found its target by getting a whiff of the ants’ alarm chemicals. More than most researchers, ecologists pay heed to the complex interplay between plants, animals, and the environment. And sometimes they capture the best interactions on film. In 2012, recognizing that there might be hidden photographic gems among all the data slides in ecologists’ collections, the journal BMC Ecology established a photo contest. Anyone affiliated with a research institution can win up to $400 for a photo or visualization image that best captures the aesthetics of ecological interactions.In this second round of the annual competition, the journal’s editorial board and a guest judge, Caspar Henderson, author of The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary, picked a furry pollinator as the winner from among 313 entries submitted by 94 researchers. With her picture, ecologist Petra Wester from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in Germany documented for the first time that the Namaqua rock mouse (Aethomys namaquensis) pollinates the pagoda lily (Whiteheadia bifolia) in South Africa. The runner-up was a close-up of an albatross feeding her chick, and other images ranging from huddled penguin chicks to a visualization of simulations of predator-prey interactions and the evolution of camouflage earned recognition as the best photos on various subfields, such as behavioral and physiological ecology, landscape ecology, and ecosystems and theoretical ecology and models. Laetitia Kernaleguen/BMC Ecology Image Competition Even on a single blossom, many ecological processes are in play. A crab spider chows down on a bee that had just filled his “saddlebags” with pollen; a moth looks for nectar; and the edges of some petals show possible signs of fungal blight. The picture w By Elizabeth PennisiAug. 28, 2014 , 11:00 PM ‹›last_img read more

Watch these ticklish rats laugh and jump for joy

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe For the ticklish among us, just the approach of wiggling fingers is enough to elicit squeals, if not screams. And it turns out we’re not the only ones. Now, a study in rats pinpoints the “tickle center” of the mammalian brain, showing for the first time that stimulating neurons in that region can elicit a paroxysm of ultrasonic squeaks, the rat version of human laughter.Scientists have puzzled over the mysteries of tickling for millennia, with Aristotle famously asking why most people can’t tickle themselves. There are important neurological and psychological reasons to study tickling: One telltale symptom of schizophrenia, for example, is that people can tickle themselves. Tickling is also linked to our ability to laugh, play, and feel good, notes Shimpei Ishiyama, a neuroscientist at the Humboldt University of Berlin. “Neuroscientists are so obsessed with deficits such as depression and anxiety, it’s rare to find papers about positive emotions,” he says.Previous studies of tickling in people reveal a mosaic of brain regions that orchestrate the tickle response. One of these regions, the somatosensory cortex, was thought to merely process the sensation of being tickled, but not trigger the laughter that follows. The new work, published today in Science, “shows for the first time that laughter can be elicited by stimulation” in that region, rather than through traditional emotional circuitry, says Elise Wattendorf, a neuroscientist at the University of Fribourg in Germany who was not involved in the research. Rats weren’t always thought to be the chortling sort, but now a large body of literature backs up that they serve as a good model for tickling in people. “Although it was a very bold idea in the beginning, experiments show that rats are enjoying it,” Ishiyama says. Other studies suggest that the ultrasonic squeaks they make are expressions of pleasure. Not only do rats return over and over again to the place they were tickled, the handling triggers the neurotransmitter dopamine in key reward-related brain circuits in the rodents, he says. Best of all, rats display a classic expression of positive emotion, found across many species, including dogs, foxes, lambs, guinea pigs, and human children, called “joy jumps,” Ishiyama says. This involves leaping into the air with both legs together, he explains.To tickle a rat effectively takes some practice, but Ishiyama is an expert. Starting with juvenile male rats, which tend to be most playful, he spends a week or two letting them get used to being tickled on the back and belly. “It’s pretty much like if you tickle kids or dogs or cats,” he says. Over time, the rats learn it is fun to play with this big hand, and they start chasing it and even recognizing it as a playmate, he says.Once the animals were trained, the scientists inserted electrodes into their somatosensory cortex to record neural activity during tickling. Surprisingly, the cells increased their firing rates not only in response to the physical stimulus of being tickled, but also after, as the rodent chased the hand and “giggled.” That contradicts the traditional idea that the somatosensory cortex only processes sensory information, not triggers other behaviors, Ishiyama says.Even more surprising was what happened next: When the research team applied a small amount of electrical current to the same cells, the stimulation caused the rats to vocalize in the same playful way they had while being tickled and chasing the hand, the team reports. “This is very important, clear evidence that the activity of those cells is responsible for ticklishness,” Ishiyama says.One of the fascinating things about ticklishness is that it is so mood-dependent, Ishiyama says. “Even Darwin observed that children tickled by a stranger would rather scream than laugh.” To determine whether rats, too, are less ticklish when they are anxious, the researchers put them on an elevated platform and exposed the nocturnal animals to a bright light. The rats were distinctly less ticklish, and their brain activity showed a suppression of the cells that had fired so enthusiastically in the previous experiment, even when they were stimulated with the electrodes, he says.The results suggests that hard-wired connections must form early in life between somatosensory cortical neurons and cells in other brain regions that process other aspects of tickling, from the motor neurons that trigger laughter to the socially attuned neurons that recognize whether a tickler is a friend or stranger, Wattendorf says. The study “constitutes an outstanding result,” she says.That early development fits well with other observations: If rats and people aren’t tickled when they are young, they tend not to enjoy it as adults. That may explain another observation. Despite devoting much of his career to tickling rats, Ishiyama himself despises being tickled. Emailcenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

Ripples in spacetime Sciences 2016 Breakthrough of the Year

first_imgIn 1915, Einstein explained that gravity arises because massive bodies warp space and time, or spacetime, causing free-
falling objects to follow curved paths such as the arc of a thrown ball or the elliptical orbit of a planet around its sun. Einstein then calculated that a barbell-shaped distribution of mass whirling end-to-end like a baton should radiate ripples in spacetime that zip along at light speed—gravitational waves. On 11 February, physicists working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)—twin instruments in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana—announced that they had seen just what Einstein predicted: a burst of waves created as two black holes spiraled into each other 1.3 billion light-
years away.The triumph was hard earned. Einstein himself vacillated for decades over whether gravitational waves should exist. Even if they did, the only source Einstein could imagine, two orbiting stars, would produce waves too feeble to detect. By the late 1960s, however, astrophysicists knew of much denser concentrations of mass. They had spotted neutron stars and dreamed up black holes, the ultraintense gravitational fields left behind when massive stars collapse to nothing. Spiraling together, such things could, in theory, produce observable waves. In 1972, Rainer Weiss, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, set out a scheme to detect them with L-shaped optical instruments called interferometers, sowing the seed for LIGO. Science’s Breakthrough of the Year Every December, Science magazine announces a Breakthrough of the Year and a short list of runners-up. Here’s the rest of this year’s winners and more on this year’s Breakthrough and past winners. People’s choice Visitors to Science’s website were offered the chance to vote on a list of candidates for Breakthrough of the Year while Science editors and writers were finalizing their choices. A first round of voting narrowed the top candidates to five, and a second round, in which some 225,000 votes were cast, determined the final People’s Choice. In the end, a breakthrough in culture techniques that enabled researchers to keep human embryos developing in the lab for almost 2 weeks edged out Science’s top choice, the detection of gravitational waves.The full results:  Human embryo culture 43% Gravitational waves 32%Portable DNA sequencers 13%AI beats Go champ 7%Worn-out cells and aging 5% More from our Breakthrough package The discovery of ripples in spacetime—gravitational waves—shook the scientific world this year. It fulfilled a prediction made 100 years ago by Albert Einstein and capped a 40-year quest to spot the infinitesimal ripples. But instead of the end of the story, scientists see the discovery as the birth of a new field: gravitational wave astronomy. The detectors might even test wilder ideas about black holes. Quantum theory suggests a black hole might contain a hidden “firewall” that would obliterate anything that falls in. If so, merging black holes should produce gravitational wave echoes, some theorists predict. Others speculate that a spinning black hole could generate a cloud of hypothetical particles called axions, which could generate gravitational waves by annihilating one another en masse. The carbon-copy signals seen by the LIGO detector in Washington state (shown) and its Louisiana twin. 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 By Adrian ChoDec. 22, 2016 , 2:00 PM © Rich Frishman Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Each LIGO interferometer has two 4-
kilometer-long arms with mirrors at either end, housed in a giant vacuum chamber. By bouncing laser light between the mirrors, physicists can compare the arms’ lengths to within 1/10,000 the width of a proton. A passing gravitational wave would generally stretch the arms by different amounts, and that’s what the LIGO team spotted. The tight fit between that first signal and computer modeling validated Einstein’s theory of gravity, known as general relativity, as never before.Now, physicists are eagerly anticipating what may come next, because gravitational waves promise an entirely new way to peer into the cosmos. First, physicists hope to spot many more events. LIGO already has detected a second black hole merger and a third, weaker signal. The interferometers resumed taking data last month, and if they can reach their design sensitivity, they may eventually see a black hole merger on average once a day.Other instruments will soon join the hunt. The upgraded VIRGO detector in Italy should turn on early next year. Physicists in Japan are building a detector called the Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector, and LIGO physicists plan to add a detector in India in the early 2020s. Three or more detectors together should be able to pinpoint a source in the sky by triangulation. That could help telescopes home in on the same event, and perhaps detect other signals from it. For example, if gravitational wave detectors sense the merger of two neutron stars and telescopes pick up light or x-rays from it, the signals together might offer clues about the exotic matter in neutron stars. Ripples in spacetime: Science’s 2016 Breakthrough of the Year The discovery of ripples in spacetime—gravitational waves—shook the scientific world this year. It fulfilled a prediction made 100 years ago by Albert Einstein and capped a 40-year quest to spot the infinitesimal ripples. But instead of the end of the story, scientists see the discovery as the birth of a new field: gravitational wave astronomy. From AI to protein folding: Our Breakthrough runners-up In 1915, Einstein explained that gravity arises because massive bodies warp space and time, or spacetime, causing free-
falling objects to follow curved paths such as the arc of a thrown ball or the elliptical orbit of a planet around its sun. Einstein then calculated that a barbell-shaped distribution of mass whirling end-to-end like a baton should radiate ripples in spacetime that zip along at light speed—gravitational waves. On 11 February, physicists working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)—twin instruments in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana—announced that they had seen just what Einstein predicted: a burst of waves created as two black holes spiraled into each other 1.3 billion light-
years away.The triumph was hard earned. Einstein himself vacillated for decades over whether gravitational waves should exist. Even if they did, the only source Einstein could imagine, two orbiting stars, would produce waves too feeble to detect. By the late 1960s, however, astrophysicists knew of much denser concentrations of mass. They had spotted neutron stars and dreamed up black holes, the ultraintense gravitational fields left behind when massive stars collapse to nothing. Spiraling together, such things could, in theory, produce observable waves. In 1972, Rainer Weiss, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, set out a scheme to detect them with L-shaped optical instruments called interferometers, sowing the seed for LIGO. Awesome universal chirp Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Scorecard for 2016 Meanwhile, some astronomers are trying to detect gravitational waves in a different way. Within the hearts of large galaxies lurk supermassive black holes weighing hundreds of millions or billions of solar masses. When two such monsters merge, they radiate hugely powerful waves with wavelengths light-years long—thousands of times longer than instruments like LIGO can detect. To spot those waves, astronomers are turning to stellar timepieces called millisecond pulsars.Pulsars—spinning neutron stars—emit incredibly regular pulses of radio waves. As long-wavelength gravitational waves buffet Earth, they should push the planet toward some pulsars and away from others. That motion would, in turn, shorten or stretch the time between pulses from pulsars in different directions, in an effect akin to the Doppler shift. The resulting variations and correlations among pulsars’ timing should reveal the cacophony of long-wavelength gravitational waves, and the spectrum of longer and shorter waves would help physicists trace the rate at which galaxies formed and merged throughout cosmic history. Teams in the United States, Europe, and Australia hope to see a signal within 2 or 3 years—
although the U.S. effort is threatened by plans at the National Science Foundation to defund the two radio telescopes it uses.last_img read more

Senate spending panel would squeeze science agencies but exceed Trump request

first_imgShawn Clover/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) A Senate spending panel voted today to reduce funding in 2018 below current levels for several science agencies under its jurisdiction.Even so, the move by the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations subcommittee would erase most of the cuts that President Donald Trump requested next year for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The exception is NASA’s science program, which would get less under the Senate panel’s plan than the president has requested.Senator Richard Shelby (R–AL), chair of the panel, blamed the tight proposed spending levels on the panel’s overall allocation of $53.4 billion for agencies under its jurisdiction, some $3.2 billion below 2017 levels. He said it forced lawmakers into making “difficult but responsible decisions.” Senate spending panel would squeeze science agencies but exceed Trump request 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 Email The allocation meant that less was available for science agencies, noted the panel’s top Democrat, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH). “I’m especially disappointed that this budget doesn’t keep NSF at 2017 levels,” she said in a short statement before the subcommittee vote. Instead, NSF’s overall budget of $7.472 billion would shrink by 2.1%, or $162 million.Here are some top-line numbers for science agencies under the panel’s jurisdiction. Details will be released after the full Senate appropriations committee takes up the bill on Thursday. On 11 July the equivalent panel in the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill covering the same agencies, but no vote by the entire House has been scheduled.NASANASA would receive $19.5 billion, $124 million below current funding levels, and $437 million above the budget request by Trump. The agency’s science office would be cut by 3.4%, to $5.571 billion. That amount is $193 million below the current level, $140 million below Trump’s request, and $287 million less than the House mark. However, the panel rejected the White House’s plan to eliminate NASA’s education programs, voting instead to maintain its current level of $100 million.NOAA and NISTNOAA would get a 3% cut to $5.6 billion. That is about $800 million above the White House’s request for 2018, and about $600 million above the level set by the House. Funding details for NOAA’s science programs were not available.NIST would receive $944 million, about 1%, or $10 million, below current spending. That contrasts sharply with the $229 million cut proposed by Trump, and the $89 million reduction in the House bill.NSFThe Senate mark would bring NSF’s budget most of the way back from the 11% cut that Trump has proposed. But it would leave the agency $27 million below what House appropriators have approved.However, help could be on the way for the agency. The chairman of the House panel, Representative John Culberson (R–TX), has told his colleagues repeatedly that boosting NSF’s research account is one of his top priorities if Congress approves a new spending agreement that boosts both civilian and military spending. Shaheen echoed Culberson’s wish, saying that such an agreement is essential for providing NSF and other research agencies with the funding they need to maintain U.S. leadership in science.The subcommittee provided no details of funding levels for NSF’s $6 billion research account and its $900 million education programs. But a press release touted the panel’s support for building three new midsized research vessels, for which NSF has requested $105 million under a separate account for new large facilities. That stance contrasts with the wishes of its House colleagues, who zeroed out the request. But as a Gulf Coast senator, Shelby favors three ships because it would allow NSF to berth one of the ships in his region along with keeping one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast.Census BureauThe apparently “good” number of $1.521 billion for the Census Bureau—$51 million above its current level and $24 million above the president’s request—hides the fact that agency officials have said previously that much more is needed in 2018 to stay on track for the 2020 decennial census, which represents more than half of its Census Bureau’s overall budget. And the agency’s fiscal situation is likely to get worse.This spring the bureau announced that a new IT system to integrate all the working parts of the 2020 census will cost at least $309 million more than earlier estimates. And Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross has promised to give Congress a new overall estimate later this summer after saying he doesn’t trust the numbers put out from the previous administration for the census, which falls under his jurisdiction. As icing on the cake, Shelby reminded Census officials that he expects them to carry out the 2020 census for less than the 2010 census. By Jeffrey Mervis, David MalakoffJul. 25, 2017 , 6:00 PMlast_img read more

Former Los Alamos physicist denies federal charges he lied about China ties

first_imgFormer Los Alamos physicist denies federal charges he lied about China ties A physicist who spent 2 decades at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico today pleaded not guilty to federal charges of lying about his involvement in a research funding program run by the Chinese government. Prosecutors allege that Turab Lookman, who worked at LANL from 1999 until recently, repeatedly denied involvement with China’s Thousand Talents Program, despite having agreed to join it “for personal compensation.”“We look forward to presenting a vigorous defense,” Lookman’s attorney, Paul Linnenburger of Rothstein Donatelli LLP in Santa Fe, tells ScienceInsider. Lookman, who has a doctorate in theoretical physics and was awarded a prestigious LANL fellowship in 2017, presented his plea to a federal magistrate judge in Albuquerque, New Mexico.A federal grand jury on 22 May indicted Lookman on three charges of making false statements about his contacts with the Thousand Talents Program, which since 2008 has used offers of salaries and other support to establish ties with scientists working outside of China. Prosecutors allege that Lookman lied about his interactions with the program on a computerized employment form in 2017, as well as during conversations last year with a LANL counterintelligence officer and an investigator from a federal agency that conducts background checks. Specifically, prosecutors allege that “a foreign national had … asked [Lookman] to apply for” the Thousand Talents Program sometime before November 2017, and that he had “applied for, and been accepted to participate in” the program before June 2018. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. The Thousand Talents Program has drawn extensive attention from U.S. officials in recent years, with some alleging that it has become a vehicle for the Chinese government to take unfair advantage of U.S.-funded research. Several thousand scientists, many of them ethnic Chinese or Chinese Americans living in the United States, have been supported by the program over the past decade. Prosecutors in the Lookman case characterized Thousand Talents in a 24 May press release as “a program established by the Chinese government to recruit people with access to and knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property.”As a result of such concerns, the Department of Energy has moved to bar researchers it funds from participating in the program and similar talent recruitment efforts run by other nations. And some biomedical researchers who participate in Thousand Talents and have funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been investigated by their universities after NIH asked whether they may have violated federal rules requiring disclosure of foreign ties. At least two institutions, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and Emory University in Atlanta, have ousted researchers involved in Thousand Talents after NIH raised concerns. In China, the controversy has reportedly prompted officials to advise participants to remove mention of their involvement from websites and resumes.According to a 2017 LANL press release, Lookman worked in the laboratory’s theoretical division and was “an expert in the computational physics of materials, complex fluids, and nonlinear dynamics. His recent work on materials design and informatics applies data science to the discovery of materials with new, beneficial properties. … He is co-author of two books and more than 250 publications.”At today’s hearing, Lookman, who had been in federal custody since 23 May, was released to home detention with a GPS monitoring bracelet after posting a $50,000 bond. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img By David MalakoffMay. 28, 2019 , 6:00 PM Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Spider silk is five times stronger than steel—now scientists know why

first_imgSpider silk is five times stronger than steel—now, scientists know why The new discovery builds on a finding the team made last year, which demonstrated how the brown recluse spider reinforces its main silk strands with a special looping technique (above). Equipped with a tiny sewing machine–like spinneret, the spider weaves about 20 microloops into every millimeter of silk it ejects, which strengthens their sticky spool and prevents it from collapsing.Researchers say even though the flat ribbons and looping technique are not shared by all spiders, their study of brown recluse silk may be a window to exploring the stringy fibers of other species. Such studies could pave the way for creating new materials that could be used in medicine and engineering. But synthetic spider silk has been notoriously difficult to create. In the meantime, researchers hope their work will help us unreel one of the toughest materials of the natural world. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The next time you brush aside a spiderweb, you might want to meditate on its delicate strength—if human-size, it would be tough enough to snag a jetliner. Now, scientists know just how these silken strands get their power: through thousands of even smaller strands that stick together to form this critter’s clingy trap.To find out how most spider silk is five times stronger than steel, scientists analyzed the silk that venomous brown recluse spiders use to create their ground webs and hold their eggs, using an atomic force microscope. They found that each strand—which is 1000 times thinner than a human hair—is actually made up of thousands of nanostrands, only 20 millionths of a millimeter in diameter, they reported last month in ACS Macro Letters. Just like a tiny cable, each silk fiber is entirely composed of parallel nanostrands, which they measured to be at least 1 micron long. That may not sound very lengthy, but on a nanoscale, it’s at least 50 times as long as these fibers are wide—and researchers believe they could stretch even further.The idea that nanofibers make up spider silk has been proposed before, but until now, there was no evidence to suggest nanostrands comprised the entire makeup of a silk fiber. The team’s secret weapon was the unique silk of the brown recluse spider, which, unlike most, is a flat ribbon as opposed to a cylindrical fiber, making it easier to examine under the lens of a powerful microscope.center_img By Courtney MiceliNov. 20, 2018 , 8:00 AM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Twitter Reacts To Officer Convicted Of A Shooting

first_img 4. Fact: No police officer in the state of Minnesota has ever been convicted for killing while on duty. Some are asking if double standards has been applied here or if Officer, Noor’s skin color and religion played a role on the the aggressiveness of the prosecutors. #NoorTrial— Abdirizak M. Dahir (@abdirizakmdahir) April 30, 2019 Yesterday, the former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who killed an unarmed Australian woman named Justine Damond, was found guilty of third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. He is the first police officer in Minnesota to be convicted of an on-duty shooting. People are reacting and for many — it wasn’t a shock. See Also: Bill Cosby Sentenced To 3 To 10 Years In Prison For Sexual Assault ConvictionJohn Thompson, an activist and friend of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed in his car in 2016 and bled to death on camera, told the Associated Press, “Officer Noor was going to jail no matter what because he’s a black man who shot a white woman in the state of Minnesota.” The officer who shot Castile was acquitted of all charges.Alana Ramadan, an African American and Muslim who held a sign calling for the resignation of Hennepin County’s head prosecutor, said the Black people she’s talked with knew Noor would be convicted, saying, “It’s almost like there’s no hope.”The 33-year-old Somali-American spoke out for the first time during the trial last week, using the same defense many cops who shot and killed unarmed people have used — he was in fear for him and his partner, Matthew Harrity.Noor said he saw a woman in a pink shirt with blond hair outside of his partner’s window, prompting him to yell, “Oh Jesus!” Noor claimed the woman raised her right arm. “I fired one shot,” he said before adding, “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”He said he immediately realized he had shot an innocent woman.“I felt like my whole world came crashing down. I couldn’t breathe,” explained Noor who cried on the stand.Noor also explained his “counter-ambush” training, which is a mock scenario where two officers are in a squad car and an instructor yells “Threat!” The officers make a quick decision about whether to shoot.“Action is better than reaction,” Noor insisted. “If you’re reacting, that means it’s too late … to protect yourself. … You die.”The Associated Press reported that the prosecution “pounced on that during her cross-examination, asking Noor if he believed ‘concern’ was enough to fire his weapon. Noor said it was when looking at all the circumstances and to protect himself and Harrity from death or great bodily harm. [Prosecutor Amy] Sweasy also attacked Noor for making a quick decision without being able to see Damond’s hands, or whether she was carrying a weapon or a cellphone.”Noor became a police officer in 2016.On the evening of July 15, 2017, around 11:30 p.m., Damond, 40, called 911 to report a possible assault near her house.  Harrity and Noor were the officers who arrived on the scene. 2. I’ve seen many people on the #NoorTrial and #JustineDamond tags say “Feeling scared isn’t an excuse for murder” and all I can think about is:Mike BrownEric GarnerPhilando Castile#SayTheirNames— asiniiwiikwe (@ziibiing) April 30, 2019 3. Listen. No one is arguing that this deadly shooting was justified. It’s disgusting and an absolute tragedy and breech of community trust. But let’s all remember that he’s 100% being treated differently because his name is Mohamed Noor. #NoorTrial— mykayla // (@muhkayluhz) April 25, 2019 8. The dichotomy between Black and White cops is so disheartening to see in the American judiciary system, the disconnect and systematic racism is so blatant, take in this is the state in which Philando Castile was fatally shot while being filmed and the police officer was acquitted https://t.co/DQaYnDxYt1— Qinnitan (@qinnitan) May 1, 2019 5. Minnesota. Where the police pulled over and murdered Philando Castile, a beloved school employee, an innocent, while his loving girlfriend and her four year old daughter – also in the car – watched horrified. They completely got away with it. https://t.co/AibBMrCqV3— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) May 1, 2019center_img 1. Mohamed Noor is the FIRST Minnesota cop to be convicted of an on-duty shooting (no video, officers body cameras weren’t on).The cop who shot Philando Castile in Minnesota (the world saw him die on Facebook Live) was acquitted of all charges. #NoorTrial— Clay Cane (@claycane) April 30, 2019 6. 7. Big difference in who you shoot in Minnesota especially if it’s a white woman and not a black man. This is some bull!!!! #philandocastile https://t.co/EJyB4IFQ4J— LaJaeric Miller (@LJReed29) April 30, 2019 Hennepin County has released the mug shot for Mohamed Noor, the Minneapolis police officer charged in the shooting death of Justine Damond. | https://t.co/yBNfBvpfLV pic.twitter.com/B0KQ0f4IuJ— WCCO – CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) March 20, 2018The officer’s body cameras weren’t on and there isn’t a video of the shooting. Noor has reportedly been taken into custody and sentencing will be June 7. He is facing over 30 years in prison.See the reactions below from social media.last_img read more

Stern of World War II Destroyer Hit by Japanese Mine Finally Found

first_imgA part of a U.S. Destroyer hit by a Japanese mine in World War II was finally discovered in the waters off the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, almost 75 years to the day since it was sunk. Sonar and video have shown the stern of the USS Abner Read, torn off the destroyer on August 18, 1943, some 290 feet below the surface of the Bering Sea, which is near the island of Kiska in Alaska.A NOAA-funded team of scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the University of Delaware discovered the missing 75-foot section.USS Abner Read (DD-526), 1943.Seventy-one U.S. Navy Sailors were lost in the aftermath of the blast during this early campaign of World War II. For the families of the sailors, the final resting place of those loved ones lost in the predawn hours of August 18th had remained unknown.On July 17, 2018, the team of scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the University of Delaware discovered the missing 75-foot stern section in 290 feet of water off of Kiska, one of only two United States territories to be occupied by foreign forces in the last 200 years.Sidscan Sonar of Abner Read Stern Image courtesy of Kiska Alaska’s Underwater Battlefield expedition.“This is a significant discovery that will shed light on this little-known episode in our history,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “It’s important to honor these U.S. Navy Sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.”The Abner Read was on patrol at about 1:50 a.m. Alaska time when the massive explosion — which has always been presumed to be from a Japanese mine — ripped the destroyer apart. Somehow the crew kept the main part of Abner Read’s hull watertight, and two nearby Navy ships towed it back to port.USS Abner Read (DD-526) lost most of her stern to a mine explosion in August 1943.“This was catastrophic damage that by all rights should have sunk the entire ship,” said Sam Cox, Curator of the Navy and director of the Naval History and Heritage Command.The destroyer was repaired and went on to fight in several battles in the Pacific before being destroyed in November 1944 by a Japanese dive bomber in a kamikaze attack during the battle of Leyte Gulf. Abner Read received four battle stars for her World War II service.Kiska Island Survey Areas. Image courtesy of CORDC, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.Finding the ship’s lost stern was a chief goal of the July mission to document the underwater battlefield off Kiska. In addition to NOAA and Scripps, the project was supported by Project Recover, a public-private partnership that uses 21st century science and technology and archival and historical research to find the final underwater resting places of Americans missing in action since WWII.Multibeam of Abner Read Stern. Image courtesy of Kiska Alaska’s Underwater Battlefield expedition.Historians have shown new interest in studying battles on Kiska and Attu, the Aleutian islands that were attacked and occupied by as many as 7,200 Japanese forces from June 1942 to mid-August 1943, but this Kiska mission was the first to thoroughly explore the underwater portion of the battlefield.The number 5 (aft deck) five-inch gun of the USS Abner Read imaged via the project’s remotely operated vehicle. Image courtesy of Kiska: Alaska’s Underwater Battlefield expedition.Many ships, aircraft and submarines from both the United States and Japan were lost during the 15-month campaign to reclaim this corner of America. Now, recent advancements in undersea technology, many developed by the Office of Naval Research, are helping to reveal the forgotten histories of long-ago valor.After multibeam sonar mounted to the side of the research ship Norseman II identified a promising target, the team sent down a deep-diving, remotely operated vehicle to capture live video for confirmation.Wreckage of the USS Abner Read. Image courtesy of Kiska: Alaska’s Underwater Battlefield expedition.“There was no doubt,” said expedition leader Eric Terrill, an oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and co-founder of Project Recover. “We could clearly see the broken stern, the gun and rudder control, all consistent with the historical documents.”Read another story from us: Point Honda – The Largest Peacetime Naval Accident in U.S. HistoryAlong with the Abner Read’s stern, a dozen Japanese ships, two Japanese submarines, and numerous downed American airplanes are believed to be in the local waters, according to Mark Moline of the University of Delaware in an interview with the Washington Post.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

Afghan radio station closes down following Taliban threats

first_img Taliban car bomb kills at least 12 in attack on Afghan security compound Related News By AP |Kabul | Published: July 16, 2019 12:54:28 pm Ramez Azimi, director of the Samaa station in the city of Ghazni, the capital of eastern Ghazni province, says he received phone calls as well as written warning notes purportedly from the Taliban commander.Azimi says the Taliban, who control several districts in Ghazni province, threatened them because three of the station’s 16 employees are women. The Taliban are against women’s rights to education and work.He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the station was closed four days ago. It was its third closure in the past four years.Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, denied the insurgents had threatened Samaa. Afghan radio station, Afghan radio station closed, Afghan radio station Taliban, Afghan Radio station taliban threats, Afghanistan news, World news, Indian Express news The local station’s three of the 16 employees are women. The Taliban are against women’s rights to education and work. (Representational Image)The head of a local radio station in eastern Afghanistan says it was shut down after repeated threats from the area’s Taliban commander. Despite Afghan-Taliban peace talks, war on civilians continue Child suicide bomber kills five at wedding in Afghanistan Post Comment(s) Advertisinglast_img read more

Life after a ballot loss

first_imgwith M.D. with D.M.D. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country with J.D.with Ph.D.with master’swithbachelor’s J.D. 14 Ph.D. Start sooner next timeWilson pulled off a stunning upset in the March Texas primary over Joseph Kopser, who had outspent her by a 20-to-one margin and who enjoyed the backing of the political establishment. But she received only 31% of the vote in a four-person field to win the Democratic nomination for the 21st congressional district. That result triggered a runoff 2 months later in which Kopser’s enormous advantages in resources, visibility, and volunteers translated into an easy victory in a district that stretches from Austin to San Antonio, Texas, and encompasses a large rural area to the west.In hindsight, Wilson says she should have realized that the first round of voting represented a political high-water mark for a campaign built on her progressive stances and outsider status. If she were ever to do it again, she says, she’d start preparations a lot sooner and cast a much broader net.“You need to anticipate not 2 years in advance, but maybe 4 years in advance,” she says of running for office. “That gives you 2 years to cultivate the support of party officials, both local and national. Those contacts can help you cultivate the support of high-end donors even before you declare.”That those relationships also need to be mutually beneficial, she says. Immediately after her defeat, Wilson criticized the party’s national campaign organization, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), for trying to push district voters toward Kopser in the runoff.Five months later, on the eve of the general election, she feels the DCCC has failed to capitalize on the enthusiasm that she and other House candidates throughout the state had generated among rank-and-file voters. “I think they were not prepared for the energy shown by the average person who wanted to get involved,” she says. “They need to pay more attention to what is happening at the grassroots level.”Where can I sign up?Janowicz was also the victim of some sharp elbows thrown by national Democratic party leaders trying to winnow the field in advance of the California primary on 5 June. The DCCC’s goal was to prevent Republicans from taking the top two slots and shutting Democrats out of the general election.Janowicz bowed to that pressure, ending his yearlong campaign just 3 weeks before voters went to the polls. Even so, he has been bitten by the political bug in a way that promises to change his life.“The night of the primary, Gil’s campaign called me and invited me to their victory party,” Janowicz says. “We talked for 45 minutes. And the next day I signed up with his campaign.”And that’s not all. Janowicz is also director of the newly created Democratic Unity Center in Brea, California. Its goal is to coordinate the field activities of area candidates at all levels, as well as offer instruction to those thinking of taking the plunge. “This is how the blue wave gets created,” says Janowicz, who is also trying to raise enough money to support the fledgling organization through election day.Janowicz honed his fundraising skills during his campaign, which required him to spend several hours every day calling up potential donors. He got pretty good at it, but his war chest never matched those of his opponents, including Cisneros, a U.S. Navy veteran who became a philanthropist after winning a $266 million lottery jackpot in 2010.After dropping out, Janowicz immediately channeled his energy into a failed effort to prevent a Democratic state senator in the district from being recalled as part of a Republican backlash against a gasoline tax. Since then he has plunged even deeper into local party affairs, becoming a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and, somewhat ironically, serving on its endorsement committee.“I am certainly not done with electoral politics,” Janowicz says about his own political ambitions. “But I don’t what the next step might be.”A Cisneros victory next month could create an opportunity, he admits. “Everybody needs a good science adviser.” 9 Primary winners It wasn’t long ago that these five scientists were running flat-out for a seat in the House. They were part of a wave of Democrats hoping their scientific training could help the party recapture the House and oppose the agenda of President Donald Trump and the Republican majority in Congress. But all of them lost in their state’s primary elections earlier this year—and within weeks they had returned to the world they knew before taking their first stab at electoral politics.Not Phil Janowicz. The former chemistry professor at California State University in Fullerton also lost his primary—but he’s still consumed by electoral politics. Rather than stumping for himself, however, Janowicz is working to elect Gil Cisneros, the Democrat standard bearer for California’s 39th congressional district in next month’s general election. He’s also drawing on his experience as a first-time House candidate to educate other novices about running for office.A life-changing experienceUsing a broad definition of a scientist, Science identified 47 candidates seeking a House seat this year who had training or work experience in a scientific, technical, or health field. Of those, 30 didn’t make it past their state’s primary election. They learned the hard way that their resumes and stances on particular issues were often less important than high name recognition, strong ties to party regulars, and access to a large pool of donors and cash. Most science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) candidates lacked all three.For each of these scientists, running for Congress was a life-altering experience. But each House race is unique, and every candidate walked away with a slightly different take-home message.Westin, for instance, was disappointed when he finished third in the March Democratic primary for the seventh congressional district in Houston. He can’t shake the feeling that an attack on one of his opponents by the national Democratic party, just days before the primary, generated a backlash that carried her past him and into a run-off election against the top Democratic vote getter.Although that outside intervention left a bitter taste in Westin’s mouth, within 2 weeks he was back at work, reclaiming duties he had ceded to colleagues when he cut back to 1 day a week to conduct his campaign. His patients took a little longer to adjust to his defeat.“I’d come in to talk about their treatments,” he says, “and they wanted to talk about how they were disappointed I had lost. I had to say, ‘Let’s talk about your cancer first.’”Even so, Westin says his year on the campaign trail made him a public figure and created “this public side to my persona. Now, I’m seen as someone who has worn multiple hats. And the political hat has not disappeared just because I’m no longer a candidate.”That exposure could make it easier to run for office again, he acknowledges. “I was on TV, I was endorsed by the local [Houston] paper, I’m recognized by people at the grocery store, and my connection to political powerbrokers and potential donors has been strengthened,” he says.His defeat taught him a hard but important lesson. “For a scientist wondering how to lower those barriers, the only way to do that is to run,” he says. “Until you put your foot in the water, there’s no way to judge how warm it is.” Email Life after a ballot loss (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/SCIENCE; (DATA) CAMPAIGN WEBSITES/314 ACTION/COOK POLITICAL REPORT Defeated but unbowed: Two Pennsylvania scientists regroup after primary loss 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 Physicist learns hard lessons about money and leadership in U.S. politics Greg Bartlett Master’s D.M.D.center_img Meet the scientists running to transform Congress in 2018 A house too far: Two scientists abandon their bids for Congress The science vote The hard road to Congress Some 47 candidates with scientific training, all Democrats, decided to run for a seat in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives. Most were political novices, and 30 didn’t survive primary elections held earlier this year in every state. Based on their highest degree, the group included: 9 12 2 M.D. By Jeffrey MervisOct. 17, 2018 , 1:00 PM 1 Insurmountable obstaclesDiMasi found those waters to be quite chilly. An experimental physicist who studies the structure of materials, DiMasi decided to take on her local Republican congressman, Representative Lee Zeldin, because of his vocal support for Trump and his stance on any number of issues about which she cared deeply, from protecting the environment to health care and immigration.But DiMasi had no ties to local political groups in New York’s first congressional district, no network of potential donors, and no clue how to run a campaign. Those were insurmountable obstacles to getting out her message, and she finished last among five Democrats in the June primary. Equally important, she realized afterward that she didn’t much like retail politics, including the give and take of wooing voters and the bravado needed to convince volunteers and donors they were backing a winner.Having left Brookhaven to run, she’s now looking for a job. She wondered whether to list her campaign on her resume, worrying that her political advocacy might turn off some prospective employers. But she decided to include it because, “That’s part of who I am and what I’ve done.”Her need for a steady income has prevented her from doing more to help the Democratic nominee, Perry Gershon, who faces an uphill battle in the solidly Republican district. Her chosen profession also puts a damper on any type of political activity, she notes.“Being a scientist is not a part-time job,” she says. “Aside from working for the government [which precludes partisan political activity], any job that I take will probably consume all of my time. It’s not like being an attorney, where you can take off a year or work part time so that you can run or get involved in a political campaign.”Clashing worldsSeveral of the defeated candidates expressed a similar regret. They say the reward system in science is antithetical to anyone thinking about entering politics.“The legal world, for example, values service in other areas and understands the importance of having an impact on policy questions,” notes Eric Ding, a public health epidemiologist who lost in the Democrat primary to represent the 10th congressional district in and around Harrisburg. “In academia, the thing that matters most is your next grant. And publishing is seen as the only way to engage with the public.”Ding says that wasn’t the case for him at Harvard, where he says departmental leaders encouraged his forays into public health advocacy. Ding has resumed a position there as a visiting scientist after leaving to run for office. And he’s not sure what lies ahead. “I’m not a traditional academic scientist,” he says, “and I still have political aspirations.”Postelection decompressionSheehan’s decision to run for Congress was a reaction to “getting kicked in the gut” by the 2016 election. And the political novice got a few breaks early on: The Democratic front-runner bowed out after he was accused of sexual harassment as a state legislator, and the incumbent Republican decided not to run and later resigned, after having used congressional funds to settle a harassment complaint. Then a court declared Pennsylvania’s current congressional districts were illegal and came up with a new map that reshuffled the political deck.The realignment turned a yearlong marathon campaign into a 10-week sprint for her and nine other Democrats running in the newly drawn fifth congressional district outside of Philadelphia. Sheehan finished fourth, behind two lawyers with large war chests and a longtime politico.She gave herself 6 weeks to decompress before returning to Brian Chow’s laboratory to churn out some papers before her postdoc ends in December. And that’s as far as she can see at the moment. “It’s not something that I can put my family through again at this point,” she says about another run for office.Her academic career is also on hold. “It made sense for me to finish up and leave because I’m not going to be applying for any faculty positions next year,” she says about what had once been her obvious next career move. And she understands that most academic employers would expect her to be devoted to her career.“I’d be less sure about leaving bench science if there was the possibility of finding a part-time position,” she muses. But given the tight job market, she doesn’t think such an arrangement is realistic.She hasn’t lost her interest in civic engagement, however. Next year, she hopes to work with area high schools setting up STEM incubators for their students. And she sees a silver lining in her race: Both candidates in the general election are women, assuring an end to Pennsylvania’s current all-male, 18-member delegation. Bachelor’s ScienceInsider’s coverage of the 2018 U.S. elections has featured profiles of several candidates with scientific backgrounds running for the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as stories about the challenges those candidates have faced on the campaign trail. This week, we will be profiling three more candidates appearing on the 6 November ballot. Today’s story looks at what those who lost in the primaries are doing now and what they have learned from their experience.Biochemist Molly Sheehan is finishing her postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. Jason Westin has resumed running clinical trials and is seeing a full load of patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.Physicist Elaine DiMasi is looking for a job that taps her 20 years of experience as a project manager at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Epidemiologist Eric Ding is planning to continue his public health advocacy while he’s a visiting scientist at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. And mathematician Mary Wilson continues to be pastor of her nondenominational church in Austin. Phil Janowicz (back right) joins in on a selfie with former Vice President Joe Biden (center) during Biden’s recent campaign stop in southern California. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The science candidates: races to watch in 2018  Follow our rolling coverage of 2018’s science candidates.last_img read more

Dog breeds really do have distinct personalities—and theyre rooted in DNA

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) So in the new study, Evan MacLean, a comparative psychologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Noah Snyder-Mackler at the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues began by looking at behavioral data for about 14,000 dogs from 101 breeds. The analyses come from the Canine Behavioral Assessment & Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ), a sort of pet personality quiz developed by James Serpell, an ethologist at the University of Pennsylvania. C-BARQ asks questions like, “What does your dog do when a stranger comes to the door?” to allow owners to objectively characterize 14 aspects of their pet’s personalities, including trainability, attachment, and aggression. Since the survey was developed in 2003, more than 50,000 owners have participated.The team matched up these behavioral data for each breed with genetic data about breeds from different sets of dogs. They didn’t look at genetic and behavioral data for individual dogs, but rather averages across a specific breed. In all, the team identified 131 places in a dog’s DNA that may help shape 14 key personality traits. Together, these DNA regions explain about 15% of a dog breed’s personality, with each exerting only a small effect. Trainability, chasing, and a tendency to be aggressive toward strangers were the most highly heritable traits, the scientists report in a paper posted this month on the preprint server bioRxiv.The locations of these DNA hot spots make sense: Some are within or close to genes tied to aggression in humans, for example, whereas DNA associated with the dog’s level of trainability is found in genes that in humans are associated with intelligence and information processing.The findings suggest behavior is guided by the same genes in many species, MacLean says. And if, for example, genes underlying anxiety in dogs lead to those same genes in people, that discovery may ultimately lead to better treatments for anxiety-related disorders, Serpell says. “These are the kinds of things we can see in the future.”Because the genetic and behavioral data come from different sets of dogs, the work cannot link a breed’s specific behavioral tendencies to any one gene. “This paper doesn’t call out any particular breed for its behavior. It relies on behaviors that are found in many breeds,” says Heidi Parker, a genome scientist at the National Human Genome Research Institute who, with Ostrander, pioneered some of the early work on dog genomes.Thus, for example, Serpell’s behavioral work has shown that pit bulls are aggressive toward other dogs but not people, but this new analysis can’t lead to a DNA test of that behavior. However, Serpell and his colleagues are starting more studies looking at the DNA linked to within-breed variation in behavior, a step in that direction. Such work has been done on a small scale to pinpoint the gene for superfriendly behavior.Until more of those connections are made, “I am not sure how widely accepted the results will be,” says Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. He and dog genetics expert Elinor Karlsson from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester point out that this study finds a much bigger role for genetics in shaping behavior than previous studies and so think more work needs to be done to verify the findings.*Update, 9 December, 1:35 p.m.: This story has been updated to include the contributions of Noah Snyder-Mackler. Dog breeds really do have distinct personalities—and they’re rooted in DNA Border collies are known for their strong work ethic, even—it seems—when it comes to carrying tennis balls. American Kennel Club descriptions of dog breeds can read like online dating profiles: The border collie is a workaholic; the German shepherd will put its life on the line for loved ones. Now, in the most comprehensive study of its kind to date, scientists have shown that such distinct breed traits are actually rooted in a dog’s genes. The findings may shed light on human behaviors as well.“It’s a huge advance,” says Elaine Ostrander, a mammalian geneticist at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved with the work. “It’s a finite number of genes, and a lot of them do make sense.”When the dog genome was sequenced in 2005, scientists thought they would quickly be able to pin down the genes that give every breed its hallmark personality. But they found so much variation even within a breed that they could never study enough dogs to get meaningful results. Mark Raycroft/Minden Pictures center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email By Elizabeth PennisiJan. 7, 2019 , 1:00 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

Cardiac arrest kills most victims outside the hospital Could an artificial heartlung

first_img Cardiac arrest kills most victims outside the hospital. Could an artificial heart-lung machine help? By Jennifer Couzin-FrankelFeb. 28, 2019 , 12:20 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A team in the University of Utah Health eCPR Program puts a patient on the life support machinery. A consortium at the university is gathering data on how people who have cardiac arrests outside of the hospital fare after being hooked up to it. Real-life medical theater doesn’t get much more dramatic: A 66-year-old tourist collapsed in the Louvre in Paris, in front of a painting by Eugène Delacroix. Firefighters stationed at the museum administered CPR. Then, a French “mobile intensive care unit”—delayed by rush hour traffic and arriving 19 minutes later—swooped in. Surrounded by majestic artwork, the medical team hooked up the patient to a high-tech life support system: Liters of his blood were routed outside his body, infused with oxygen, and pumped back in.The man, treated several years ago, died within 24 hours of arriving at a hospital. But the strategy to try to save him, called extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR), is sparking excitement in medical circles—and some anxiety. The machinery for ECPR is already widely used to support patients in heart surgery and sometimes to rescue those who suffer cardiac arrest in the hospital. It also treats infants and children teetering near death from heart or lung failure. (In pediatrics, it’s known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO.)Now, efforts are spreading to apply ECPR to adults who, like the tourist in Paris, suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital. Although Paris has deployed ECPR in museums and on subway platforms, most cities limit it to emergency rooms or catheterization labs. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) “We all really want it to work,” says Clifton Callaway, an emergency medicine physician at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. But he and others are awaiting a verdict from clinical trials now underway. One worry is that people rescued by ECPR may have a poor quality of life afterward, for example, because of cognitive impairment. Another question is whether the technology, which requires extensive training, an overhaul of paramedic practices, and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient to implement, is worth whatever benefit it confers.Still, doctors crave a better treatment for cardiac arrest, which can result from blocked arteries, drug overdoses, hypothermia, and other causes. Only about 10% of the 350,000 or so adults in the United States whose hearts stop outside a hospital each year survive. The chest compressions of CPR offer, “at best, 25% of normal” blood flow, says Steven Brooks, an emergency medicine physician at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. With ECPR that soars to 100%.Japan was the first to publish case studies of ECPR in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, beginning in the 1980s. In 2015, an Australian team wrote in Resuscitation that 14 of 24 patients survived without neurological problems after having a cardiac arrest inside or outside of the hospital and receiving treatment with ECPR and other interventions. The University of Minnesota (UM) in Minneapolis has treated more patients with ECPR than anywhere else in the United States, more than 200 in the past 3 years. The team published late last year in Resuscitation that of 100 people, 40 survived and fared well. Some had minimal deficits, such as mild short-term memory loss, but were expected to improve with time, UM cardiologist and critical care physician Jason Bartos says. “You have the sickest patients … [and] an opportunity to provide a big benefit,” he adds.Just how big that opportunity is remains an open question. Doctors like Bartos and Callaway—whose hospital uses ECPR on about five people brought in with cardiac arrest each year—know that medicine is littered with tales of phenomenal treatments that falter during randomized trials. One worry about the observational research, such as the reports from Japan and Minnesota, is that the patients receiving ECPR may have already had a better chance of survival than most, skewing the results.With that in mind, investigators have launched randomized trials to compare ECPR to standard CPR. The largest, in the Czech Republic, is slated to report results next year. “If you don’t do a trial early on, then it will be implemented very widely, and it’s very difficult to step back and re-evaluate whether it actually is useful,” says Marcel van de Poll, a critical care physician at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands. His is one of six Dutch hospitals that enrolled the first of a planned 110 people in May 2017. Like many trials in emergency medicine, it doesn’t obtain consent at the time of enrollment because the patient is unconscious and time is too precious to seek consent from family members. A third trial, in Minneapolis, expects to launch this summer.The ethics of ECPR weigh heavily and are one reason doctors consider trials so important. ECPR is a desperate measure and an invasive one, including what one doctor describes as “garden hose–size catheters” inserted into the groin. “We have no idea whether these patients would like to be under such a type of care,” says Jan Bělohlávek, a cardiologist at Charles University in Prague who is leading the Czech trial. He enrolled the first patient in 2013 and the 185th last week. The majority of those on ECPR still die, Bělohlávek points out, and it is “a very bad dying”: Unlike a cardiac arrest followed by sudden death, with ECPR, patients can endure slow-motion organ failure, coupled with anguish among loved ones watching the decline.Whereas guidelines govern when to stop CPR, with ECPR, “all of a sudden you’re supporting heart and lung function, you can support [that] indefinitely, which may create conundrums,” says Brian Grunau, an emergency medicine physician at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. In January, he and his colleagues described in Circulation treating a young person with ECPR who sustained severe brain damage, whose family initially resisted removing life support.One of the biggest fears has been that ECPR might rescue patients only to leave them in dismal shape. Centers performing ECPR say this happens only rarely. But it does happen. In Minneapolis, six patients of 100 were left with severe brain damage; all died of infections within a few months. In Prague, four patients who initially survived died within 6 months of heart failure, sepsis, or pneumonia.Whether to implement ECPR across whole cities and regions won’t be an easy decision, many believe. Even if it works well, it may be best for a small subset of cardiac arrest patients: people who are relatively young, have few other health issues, and experienced a fixable problem that caused their heart to stop, such as a blocked artery. And yet, “That’s why it’s so enticing,” Brooks says. “The people who it could help are those who are in the prime of their life.”last_img read more

Zunums HybridElectric Planes Could Disrupt Commercial Flight Industry

first_img“I like the idea of migrating to hybrid planes and I think the smaller regional planes are a good fit for regional airports not served by the larger airlines,” noted Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.”Normally I’d be skeptical of a startup’s ability to accomplish critical mass to make air travel more affordable,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but Zunum’s financial backers, Boeing and JetBlue, could make this a reality.”Boeing on Wednesday launched HorizonX to invest in early-stage technology companies.”The technology exists,” observed Wayne Plucker, North America aerospace and defense director at Frost & Sullivan.However, ground recharging is slow, and Zunum shows ducted fans for the engines and hints at fuselage-mounted turbines to recharge the batteries, which would require a flight ceiling of 20,000 to 30,000 feet, he told TechNewsWorld.Further, “I doubt the 40-80 percent operating cost reductions,” Plucker remarked.Most importantly, each flight needs to get enough passengers to offset its costs, and that makes it hard to make their business case, he noted.Zunum needs “a route that has consistent demand for more than 50 people on a daily basis year round and isn’t currently served,” said Plucker. “There aren’t many of those.” Deconstructing Zunum’s Vision Zunum is developing technologies to create a regional electric air network that will offer an affordable alternative to highways and high-speed rail. It will operate both as a point-to-point service and as a feeder to hub airports.The company has a long-term partnership with the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems, an NSF-sponsored research center at the University of Illinois.It also works with a network of collaborators across leading universities and government labs.Zunum has been working with the United States Federal Aviation Administration since 2014 to drive development of certification standards for electric aircraft, a complete set of which is expected by 2018. The first electrics are likely to become certified in 2020. The Rush to Electric Hybrid Planes Interest in electric plane development has been increasing in recent years.NASA Langley researchers successfully flew a 10-engine electric plane in 2015. Zunum Aero, a startup backed by Boeing and JetBlue, on Wednesday announced that it was developing regional hybrid-electric aircraft with backing from Boeing’s HorizonX innovation cell and JetBlue Technology Ventures.The planes, which will have 10 to 50 seats, are scheduled for launch in the early 2020s.With its regional aircraft, Zunum aims to democratize access to fast, affordable travel over distances of 700 miles at launch, to more than 1,000 miles by 2030.Among the many advantages hybrid aircraft will offer, according to Zunum, are the following:Decrease door-to-door travel times on busy corridors by 40 percent and cut travel time on less-trafficked corridors by 80 percent;Sharply reduce operating costs, enabling ticket prices 40-80 percent below current fares;Cut emissions by 80 percent, falling to zero over time as battery densities improve; andCut community noise 75 percent, enabling all-hours access to smaller airports. If its plans succeed, Zunum could be a disruptive influence in the airline industry.”Think of the impact Tesla’s having on the auto industry,” McGregor pointed out. “The same could happen to aircraft.”Zunum “will also likely disrupt buses, passenger trains and even some shared ride and taxi car services,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”You could have a fleet of these planes instead of buses transport company employees and turn some of the parking lots into short airfields,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Google seems to have anticipated this with their Moffett Field location in Silicon Valley.”However, “some place like Dubai, South Korea or China will likely do this in production first,” Enderle predicted, “largely because these countries are typically far more aggressive with technology and transportation.” Zunum’s Dream Cutting Into the Airline Industry Aurora Flight Sciences and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, are working on the XV-24A LightningStrike VTOL experimental plane.Zee Aero is working on its own electric hybrid aircraft.Airbus is working on a hybrid commercial plane through its E-Fan project.In November, aerospace engineers and designers meet in Cologne, Germany, at the Electric & Hybrid Aerospace Technology Symposium 2017. Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.last_img read more

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