New classification system for periodontal health diseases and conditions announced at EuroPerio9 congress

first_imgJun 21 2018A new global classification system for periodontal health, diseases and conditions, as well as peri-implant diseases and conditions, has been announced today at the EuroPerio9 congress, the world’s leading congress in periodontology and implant dentistry. The comprehensive classification was based upon the most contemporary evidence and includes astaging and grading system for periodontitis, indicating severity and extent of disease, accounting for lifetime disease experience and taking into account the patient’s overall health status. The complete review and consensus reports are published today simultaneously in both the Journal of Clinical Periodontology (EFP) and the Journal of Periodontology (AAP).”This was a huge undertaking but one of vital importance, ensuring that an international language for clinical care, research and education is established, and updating the 1999 classification system to account for rapid advances in scientific knowledge over the last 20 years,” said Iain Chapple, EFP Secretary General and Co-Chair of Group 1 of the workshop.Related StoriesMaking Bacterial Infections a Thing of the Past for Chronic Respiratory ConditionsInternational Menstrual hygiene day observed on 28th May 2019Promega launches MSI educational websiteThe new classification is the outcome of a joint workshop held by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) in Chicago in 2017. The workshop included over 100 experts from Europe, America, Australia and Asia who reviewed existing literature to create a global consensus that enables care to be standardized for patients around the world.In the new classification, clinical health is defined for the first time and periodontitis is described in four stages, ranging from Stage 1 (least severe) to Stage 4 (most severe). The risk and rate of disease progression has been categorized into three grades from lowest risk of progression (Grade A) to the highest (Grade C). The grading considers risk factors such as smoking and the presence of concomitant diseases, such as diabetes.”The new classification should provide a globally consistent approach to diagnosis and management and ultimately improve outcomes for our patients,” said Prof Chapple.”Next steps include careful education of the Oral Healthcare team to ensure its simplicity is recognized as, at first glance, the classification may appear complex but it is actually quite pragmatic,and to make sure we train effectively in its implementation,” concluded Prof Chapple.Source: https://www.efp.org/last_img read more

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Affirming support for Thirty Meter Telescope Hawaiis governor calls for closing others

first_imgIn an attempt to break the impasse over a mammoth telescope that astronomers plan to build atop the tallest mountain in the Pacific, Hawaii Governor David Ige has called for the elimination of a quarter of the telescopes already there. At a press conference yesterday, Ige, a Democrat, affirmed his support for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), a $1.55 billion behemoth that would perch 193 meters below the 4205-meter summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Construction is currently on hold as Native Hawaiian protesters claim the mountain as sacred and have blocked access to the construction site. But Ige also chastised the University of Hawaii for its handling of the mountain and called for removing a quarter of the 13 telescopes already there before the start of TMT operations, planned for 2022. He also called for the return to a state agency of 4000 hectares of land that the university isn’t using for astronomy and the formation of a Mauna Kea Cultural Council to oversee the mountain. In the past, protesters have said no compromise over the construction of TMT is possible.last_img read more

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The top 10 science news stories of 2015

first_imgScientists have finally solved the mystery of why the Dutch are so tall. Tall Dutch men on average have more children than their shorter counterparts, and more of their children survive, researchers have found. The findings, say scientists, are an impressive example of human evolution in action.8) Internet search engines may be influencing elections Are you as altruistic as a rat? Even when offered a piece of chocolate as an alternative, the rodents prefer to save a comrade in trouble—a sign that humans aren’t the only animals who feel empathy.6) Did dark matter kill the dinosaurs? Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe We here at Science write and edit hundreds of stories every year for our online news site. We think they’re all great, but some rise above the pack—either because tons of our readers like them, or because they’re fun, strange, or amazing enough to become our personal favorites. If you’re looking for the most important scientific discoveries of 2015, check out our Breakthrough of the Year. But if you want to see some of 2015’s quirkiest offerings, read on.10) The thermostat in your office may be sexist SERGE BRUNIER/ESO One of the most fascinating medical stories of the year is about a woman whose serious genetic immune disease was apparently cured in her 30s when one of her chromosomes shattered into pieces and reassembled. The phenomenon is known as chromothripsis, and it could pave the way for therapies for a variety of diseases.3) Rare African plant signals diamonds beneath the soil WHIT RICHARDSON/ALAMY VLIET/ISTOCKPHOTO Always wearing a sweater to work—even in the middle of the summer? Blame Povl Ole Fanger, a Danish scientist who in the 1960s developed a model that predicted comfortable indoor temperatures for the average worker of the day—a 40-year-old man sporting a three-piece suit. Now, researchers say they have built a better model by taking modern attire and demographics into account.9) Did natural selection make the Dutch the tallest people on the planet? STEPHEN HAGGERTY If you’re thinking about taking Chinese as a second language, you might consider Spanish instead. This study reveals that if you want to spread your ideas far and wide, some languages are much better—and slightly more surprising—than others. (Note that this story actually published in late 2014, but it missed our cutoff for last year’s list.)4) Shattered chromosome cures woman of immune disease “What we’re talking about here is a means of mind control on a massive scale that there is no precedent for in human history.” That’s how this story starts, and it just gets wackier from there.7) Rats forsake chocolate to save a drowning companion Of all the hypotheses of how dinosaurs died, this may be the strangest. A team of scientists proposes that mysterious dark matter may seep into Earth’s core about once every 30 million years, triggering massive volcanoes and ripping apart continents.5) Want to influence the world? Map reveals the best languages to speak S. RONEN ET AL., PNAS EARLY EDITION (2014) BIDGEE/WIKIMEDIA/CREATIVE COMMONS (CC BY-SA 3.0) EMBL/P. RIEDINGER Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) OLESACHEM AT THE MANHATTAN WELL DIGGER/WIKIMEDIA/CREATIVE COMMONS Is it a dragon, a flying reptile, or something far more banal? One of our favorite stories of the year finally solves a lingering debate that has pitted rock art researchers and archaeologists against young-Earth creationists for decades.1) How long would it take you to fall through Earth? SATO, N. ET AL., ANIMAL COGNITION (2015) Don’t forget what this plant looks like—it could make you rich someday. A scientist has found that a thorny, palmlike plant in Liberia seems to grow only on top of kimberlite pipes, which are known to contain diamonds. Now get digging.2) ‘Winged monster’ on ancient rock art debunked by scientists HANNAH PALLUBINSKY It’s a question that’s been asked by everyone from kindergartners to physicists. Now, scientists have an answer—or at least a better answer than they had before. Our favorite story of the year is also one of the most fun.last_img read more

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Pedophile drug trial extends crowdfunding effort after falling short

first_imgIt is hard to tell to what extent the sensitivity of the research topic contributed to the disappointing result, Rahm says. In hindsight, such crowdfunding campaigns “should be planned with PR [public relations] specialists,” he suggests. “You have to change your strategy from normal grant applications.”The proportion of people who reached the page and decided to fund the project is “slightly lower” than, but comparable to, the response to other projects on Walacea, says the website’s founder, Natalie Jonk. “But getting people to the page [might be] harder because of the subject area,” she suggests.Although the project was covered widely in mainstream news outlets, Jonk notes that the campaign was poorly relayed through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, possibly because people didn’t feel comfortable sharing content related to pedophilia on these public platforms. In contrast, another Walacea campain for an imaging study of the brain on LSD attracted more than £53,000 ($77,000), more than twice its funding target; most of the traffic to this campaign page came from social media.One of Priotab’s 64 backers so far is Jonas Bjärehed, a psychology researcher at Lund University in Sweden. He contributed £100 ($146) to the study, which he saw presented at a research conference on child sexual abuse.Bjärehed says he decided to fund the project because he believes the ultimate goal is worthwhile. “It’s not every day that you, personally, have a chance to do something to [potentially] reduce the risk that a child will be sexually abused,” he says, adding that it might be difficult to get research funding through traditional channels for such controversial research questions.“I can’t really say that I’m surprised by the [campaign’s] outcome, as I don’t think crowdfunding of research has really caught on yet,” he says. “I do hope the project will reach its goal however, and do believe that many people would be willing to contribute if they [understood better] the project and its background.”“It’s such a pity,” says Sarah Goode, acting CEO of the U.K. nonprofit Specialist Treatment Organisation for the Prevention of Sexual Offending in Kingston upon Thames. Although Goode supported the Priotab funding campaign, she says it lacked a good communications plan. Some may interpret the campaign’s failure as a sign “society is not ready for this, but I think society is ready” for studies of preventive approaches, says Goode, a sociologist and author of two academic books on pedophiles in society.Despite its poor outcome, Rahm says the campaign has had positive effects that he “couldn’t even imagine” before starting it. “It has helped me to meet new people, to think about the project differently, to describe my work in sound bites, to explain why it’s important and new,” he says. Rahm adds that the public exposure from the campaign may make it easier for him, a junior researcher without his own research group, to convince traditional funders to back his project. And he says other researchers should consider crowdfunding for their own work. But he recommends “that they collaborate with PR specialists” to plan their campaign.Update, 5/3/2016, 1:05p.m.: This story has been updated to include the information that the researchers intend to extend their crowdfunding campaign. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Swedish researchers hoping to raise funds to conduct a trial of a potential drug to treat pedophilia have fallen short of their initial crowdfunding target. But they are now planning to extend the fundraising effort, and say that the study, which aims to assess whether a prostate cancer drug could help prevent pedophiles from acting on their impulses, will move ahead. They hope to complete the trial in 2 to 3 years, says project leader Christoffer Rahm, a psychiatric researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.The initial fundraising campaign on the website Walacea draws to a close on 7 May, and so far the research team has collected just 5% of the £38,000 ($55,700) it aimed to raise. Rahm says he was hoping to use some of this money to fund the work of a Ph.D. student, but now plans to do the bulk of the work himself. In the meantime, they will extend their fundraising effort (but have set no new deadline).The study, dubbed Priotab (Pedophilia at Risk-Investigations of Treatment or Biomarkers), has been approved by Swedish regulators. It has already enrolled a few participants: men who have sought help to deal with their pedophilic impulses. Instead of treating people who have committed offenses, Priotab wants to assess whether the drug, which lowers testosterone levels in the body, can prevent child abuse from happening in the first place.last_img read more

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Asia is the cradle of almost every cholera epidemic genome studies show

first_img Cholera’s travels The two major cholera epidemics that occurred in the Americas in the past 50 years were both caused by imported strains. So were 11 African epidemics. Asia is the cradle of almost every cholera epidemic, genome studies show (GRAPHIC) J. YOU/SCIENCE; (DATA) D. DOMMAN ET AL. Email In perhaps the most famous example of shoe-leather epidemiology, U.K. physician John Snow mapped cholera cases in London in 1854 to pinpoint a water pump on Broad Street as the likely source of a deadly outbreak. Removing the pump handle helped stop its spread. Now, scientists have done similar detective work on a global scale, using 21st-century techniques. By sequencing and comparing hundreds of bacterial genomes, they have shown that all of the explosive epidemics of cholera in Africa and the Americas in the past half-century arose after the arrival of new strains that had evolved in Asia.The work, published in two Science papers this week, could put to rest an old debate about the role of environmental factors in cholera’s global burden. It could also have a big impact on the battle against the disease, because it allows public health officials to concentrate their efforts on the imported strains that are likely to be the most dangerous. And it suggests there is no local reservoir for major outbreaks in Africa or the Americas, which means “elimination of cholera in these places is completely achievable,” says Dominique Legros, a cholera expert at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. “This is music to my ears.”Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which spreads through water contaminated with feces. Over the centuries, dangerous strains of the bacterium appear to have spread from Asia to the rest of the world in several waves. The latest, called the seventh pandemic, began in 1961 and is ongoing, causing an estimated 3 million cases each year. To solve the problem, Thomson and an international team of researchers spent years assembling a collection of 714 bacterial isolates spanning half a century in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. They sequenced all of them and compared the genomes, along with hundreds more that had been published before.The picture that emerged is strikingly clear. The Americas have seen two major cholera outbreaks in the past half-century: one that began in Peru and raced through almost all of Latin America between 1991 and 1993, and another in Haiti that started in 2010 and is ongoing. The analysis confirms previous strong evidence that the Haiti outbreak was inadvertently introduced by United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal, and it shows that the ’90s outbreak was also caused by Asian strains, both introduced in 1991. One arrived in Peru by way of Africa, and the other landed in Mexico, having traveled from southern Asia, possibly via Eastern Europe. In Africa, the researchers could pinpoint 11 separate introductions of cholera from Asia that went on to cause massive outbreaks. Local strains did sometimes cause disease in both Africa and Latin America, but none led to an explosive epidemic.The two papers “make the environmental hypothesis untenable, at least in the form that has been most aggressively promoted,” says microbiologist John Mekalanos of Harvard Medical School in Boston. “I certainly hope this puts this theory to rest.” Salemi says he was surprised by the results, particularly in Africa. “I would have expected to see more locally generated outbreaks,” he says, but “the analysis they do and the data they show are very clear.”Colwell—whose cholera research and advocacy for clean water have earned her many plaudits, including the National Medal of Science—told Science she did not want to publicly discuss the new research. Colwell says she has been “treated terribly” by her opponents in the long-running debate: “I’ve had 30 years of being dumped on and I don’t want to be dumped on anymore.” ALEJANDRO BALANGUER/AP IMAGES Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Last month, WHO unveiled a plan to cut cholera deaths by 90% by 2030 by improving access to safe drinking water and by deploying an oral cholera vaccine, a stockpile of which was created in 2013. The new research will help those efforts, Legros says. When a new cholera case appears, researchers can now sequence the bacterium to determine whether it belongs to the pandemic lineage from Asia. That could help pinpoint truly dangerous outbreaks that most warrant use of the limited vaccine stocks, Thomson says: “The simple fact that you can now distinguish this form from all other cholera means that we have a chance to do something about it.”But the research also highlights the importance of eliminating natural reservoirs of pandemic V. cholerae in Asia. “If we want to control cholera at the global level, we must control it in that part of the world,” Legros says. Something in the region allows new strains to evolve and spread across the world, and scientists aren’t sure what it is. “The ecology there is almost certainly different from elsewhere,” Thomson says. It’s as if scientists have identified the pump, but not yet a handle they can pull. A 3-year-old boy is treated for cholera in Iquitos, Peru, in 1991, in an epidemic that affected most of Latin America. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Kai KupferschmidtNov. 9, 2017 , 2:00 PM In the 1970s, however, Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland in College Park suggested that outbreaks could originate in the local environment. She showed that V. cholerae lives in many rivers and coastal waters, including the Chesapeake Bay, a large estuary on the east coast of the United States. The bacteria attach themselves to plankton; Colwell argued that when climatic events such as El Niño trigger plankton blooms, cholera can erupt in areas with bad sanitation. Climate change could make such outbreaks more frequent, she warned.Since then experts have debated how many big cholera outbreaks are caused by such local events rather than brought in by travelers. “The community has been completely fractured by this,” says Nicholas Thomson, a researcher at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, U.K. Some have proposed combinations of the two scenarios; Africa, for instance, has had about a dozen big outbreaks in the past 50 years, and one theory holds that an Asian strain of V. cholerae was introduced once and then established itself in the environment, says Marco Salemi, a molecular epidemiologist at the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute in Gainesville. Imported microbes could also swap genes with local populations to create new strains. “If you spent time going though all the literature, you’d simply be confused,” Thomson says.last_img read more

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Pioneering autism researcher cooperated with Nazis new evidence suggests

first_imgThis memorial in Vienna remembers Nazi-era victims of the children’s psychiatric facility Am Spiegelgrund, where children and adolescents were systematically killed and their brains removed for scientific research. A new book and journal article alleges that Hans Asperger, a pioneer of autism research, referred dozens of children to the clinic. Pioneering autism researcher cooperated with Nazis, new evidence suggests Asperger was among the first researchers to describe autism, and his decades of work with children later informed the concept of an autism “spectrum.”Scholars have raised questions about his associations with the Nazi Party and his involvement in Nazi efforts to euthanize children with certain health conditions or disabilities.The new book and paper suggest that Asperger referred dozens of children to a clinic called Am Spiegelgrund in Vienna, where doctors experimented on children or killed them. Nearly 800 children, many of whom were disabled or sick, were killed there. The clinic’s staff gave the children barbiturates, which often led to their death by pneumonia.Reacting to this news, some experts say the eponymous medical term “Asperger syndrome” should be discarded.The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has already dispensed with Asperger syndrome for other reasons, notes David Mandell, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.“Asperger [syndrome] was put in a coffin with the DSM-5, and maybe this information will be the final nail in terms of preventing it from coming back,” he says.Others are more cautious, saying the stain on Asperger’s name shouldn’t erase his contributions to the understanding of autism.“I don’t think erasing history is an answer,” says Herwig Czech, a medical historian at the Medical University of Vienna and author of the new paper. “I think we also have to part ways with the idea that an eponym is an unmitigated honor of the person. It is simply a historical acknowledgment that can be, in some cases, troubling or problematic.”Revising historyAsperger syndrome officially entered the medical lexicon in 1981, when British psychiatrist Lorna Wing found Asperger’s 1944 thesis and popularized his work.In 1992, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) included the syndrome and, 2 years later, the DSM did the same.The term is still listed in the ICD-10, that manual’s current version. But the ICD-11, expected to debut in May, will subsume the syndrome into the autism diagnosis, just as the DSM-5 does.Yet the term is still widely used to refer to someone on the milder end of the autism spectrum.Asperger was never a member of the Nazi Party. And for decades, books and academic articles portrayed him as a benevolent figure who saved children with autism from the killing centers.But in 2005, a medical historian named Michael Hubenstorf revealed that Asperger had had a close relationship with the prominent Nazi physician Franz Hamburger. In the 2015 book Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, journalist Steve Silberman also connected Asperger to Hamburger, but he didn’t find a link to Nazi eugenics.It wasn’t until historians dug up Asperger’s clinical records that the truth came to light.New revelationsThe children’s clinic where Asperger worked was bombed by Allied troops, and for decades many people believed the clinical records had been destroyed.In 2009, Czech was asked to speak at a 2010 symposium commemorating Asperger’s death. That inspired him to start digging into the government archives in Vienna for details about the pediatrician—where he discovered the well-preserved clinical records.Czech found a Nazi Party file that vouched for Asperger’s loyalty even though he was not a member. He also found talks Asperger gave, as well as his medical case files and notes.Two years later, historian Edith Sheffer visited the same Vienna archives. Sheffer has a son with autism and had long been curious about Asperger, who she had thought had a “heroic” reputation.“From the very first file I found in the archives, I saw that he was implicated in the Nazi program that actually killed disabled children,” says Sheffer, a senior fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute for European Studies. She is the author of the new book, which is expected to be released in May.Asperger described the behavior of children with autism as being in opposition to Nazi Party values. For instance, a typical child interacts with others as an “integrated member of his community,” he wrote, but one with autism follows his own interests “without considering restrictions or prescriptions imposed from outside.”Asperger’s clinical files describe children with disabilities and psychiatric conditions in far more negative terms than his colleagues did. For instance, Am Spiegelgrund physicians described a boy named Leo as “very well developed in every respect.” Asperger described him as a “very difficult, psychopathic boy of a kind which is not frequent among small children.”Asperger’s closest colleagues and mentors were the architects of Am Spiegelgrund’s eugenics program. “He was traveling at the highest echelons of the killing system, and so I really see him as more than just a passive follower,” Sheffer says.Czech found evidence suggesting Asperger personally transferred at least two children to Am Spiegelgrund and served on a committee that referred dozens of others; the children died there. There is no evidence that Asperger saved children from the clinic.“Could he have sent more children to Spiegelgrund? Yes, of course,” Czech says. “But did he refrain in all cases? No.”Greater organismThe archives also reveal an arc in Asperger’s descriptions of children in his clinic. In 1937, before World War II, Asperger was circumspect in classifying children. But within months of Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938, he began describing children with autism as a “well-characterized group of children,” Sheffer says. Within 3 years, he began calling them “abnormal children.” And by 1944, he described them as outside “the greater organism” of the Nazi ideal.“Why did he adopt the writing style that he did? I think because he was up for promotion,” Sheffer says of his evolving approach. She says Asperger’s career soared during the war years. As his Jewish colleagues were removed from their positions, he rose through the ranks.After the war, however, he described himself in interviews as a resister of Nazi ideology and called the euthanasia program “totally inhuman,” according to Sheffer.As disturbing as the revelations are, they are an important part of autism research, experts say.Information on Asperger’s life was “scant” in the 1990s, when Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, tried to track it down. “There was no historical scholarship invested in that,” he says. Klin is on the board of Molecular Autism.Now that the details are out, however, people are divided on the appropriate way forward.Even the two historians disagree: Unlike Czech, Sheffer says people should stop using the word “Asperger.” Ending the term’s usage would “honor the children killed in his name as well as those still labeled with it,” she wrote in The New York Times.Some people who received a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome say it’s time to bury the term, but urge caution. “I would be very upset if there was some sort of consensus that the findings themselves were tainted and needed to be set aside because of the nature of the person who contributed them,” says Phil Schwarz, a software engineer in Massachusetts who is on the spectrum.At the very least, others say, keeping the name may help us remember the lessons of this dark past.This article was reprinted with permission from Spectrum, the home of autism research news and analysis. 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 Originally published on SpectrumThe Austrian doctor Hans Asperger cooperated extensively with the Nazi regime and may have sent dozens of children to their deaths.Horrific details of his involvement were revealed yesterday in the journal Molecular Autism and will be detailed in a forthcoming book called Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna. By Hannah Furfaro, SpectrumApr. 19, 2018 , 12:30 PM Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Caro/Christoph Eckelt/Newscom Read more… Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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Argentinas economic crisis could trigger scientific collapse researchers warn

first_imgAn outdoor chemistry class held on 28 August in Buenos Aires as part of a rally against the government’s alleged “destruction of Argentianian science.” By Valeria RománSep. 27, 2018 , 5:15 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Argentina’s economic crisis could trigger scientific ‘collapse,’ researchers warn Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Emailcenter_img BUENOS AIRES—Argentine scientists are deeply worried about the effects of the country’s economic crisis on science. The government has proposed cutting research budgets in 2019 as part of an austerity push and it is behind in its financial commitments to institutes for this year, which means many labs lack the funds to pay for day-to-day operations. “The science and technology system of Argentina is collapsing,” warns molecular biologist Alberto Kornblihtt, who heads the Institute of Physiology, Molecular Biology, and Neurosciences of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Conicet) here.The government has also decided to eliminate eight ministries, including the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Productive Innovation, created in 2007, which has now become part of the education ministry; former Science Minister Lino Barañao, a chemist, has become a government secretary. The demotion is “a major setback that can not be ignored by the community of scientists, engineers, and technologists,” the National Academy of Exact, Physical, and Natural Sciences here wrote in a statement issued this week. “We are deeply convinced the Ministry’s elimination will not be a great contribution to solving” the economic crisis, the nine board members of Conicet wrote in a letter to Argentine President Mauricio Macri.Macri’s center-right government on 19 September presented a balanced budget for 2019 that it hopes will please the International Monetary Fund enough to help secure a loan package to address the economic crisis. As part of the measures, Barañao’s budget will go down from 3.7 billion pesos (roughly $96 million) in 2018 to 3.4 billion pesos (about $88 million). With inflation factored in, however, that’s effectively a 35% cut, says Fernando Peirano, a professor at the National University of Quilmes here and a consultant for the Argentine Industrial Union. The National Commission of Space Activities will suffer a 20% funding cut, to 1.9 billion pesos. Conicet, which pays most researchers’ salaries, will see its budget go up by 27%, from 13.3 billion pesos to 16.4 billion pesos, but even that isn’t enough to keep up with the expected inflation rate for this year. Exactas UBA/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND) Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The cuts come just as Argentina’s scientific community was debating a national science strategy for 2030, says physicist Susana Hernández, president of the Argentine Association for Advancement of Science, who coordinates a coalition of 23 scientific associations. “The current belt-tightening policy is discouraging that initiative,” she says. “By lowering the budget, the government doesn’t make science a priority for the future.”Ana Franchi, director of the Center of Pharmacology and Botany Studies here, says her institute has so far this year received only 20% of the annual budget for things such as supplies, services, cleaning, and safety. If the government’s budget is adopted, it will mean the “collapse next year” of her institute, she says. Franchi and other institute directors have had meetings with Barañao and with the board of Conicet, but they haven’t led to a solution.Meanwhile, the fall of the peso, which has lost more than 50% of its value so far this year, has dramatic consequences for researchers who rely on supplies and equipment from abroad. Immunologist Gabriel Rabinovich, vice director at Conicet’s Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine Experimental here, says it has made a machine he needs to rapidly detect proteins in his studies on cancer and immunology research prohibitively expensive. With such hikes, “It is impossible to compete with researchers from developed countries,” Rabinovich says.last_img read more

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Giant study links DNA variants to samesex behavior

first_img Email iStock.com/DeoSum A study of hundreds of thousands of people uncovered four genetic variants that were more common in people who reported at least one instance of same-sex sexual behavior. Giant study links DNA variants to same-sex behavior SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA—How genes influence sexual orientation has sparked debate for at least a quarter-century. But geneticists have had only a handful of underpowered studies to address a complex, fraught, and often stigmatized area of human behavior. Now, the largest-ever study of the genetics of sexual orientation has revealed four genetic variants strongly associated with what the researchers call nonheterosexual behavior. Some geneticists are hailing the findings as a cautious but significant step in understanding the role of genes in sexuality. Others question the wisdom of asking the question in the first place.Andrea Ganna, a research fellow with the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined data from hundreds of thousands of people who provided both DNA and behavioral information to two large genetic surveys, the UK Biobank study and the private genetics firm 23andMe. They analyzed DNA markers from people who answered either “yes” or “no” to the question, “Have you ever had sex with someone of the same sex?” In total, they identified 450,939 people who said their sexual relationships had been exclusively heterosexual and 26,890 people who reported at least one homosexual experience.In Ganna’s talk yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics here, he emphasized that the researchers were cautious about exploring sexual behavior that is still illegal in many countries, and that they tried to frame their questions carefully “to avoid a fishing expedition.” The team, which includes behavioral scientists, preregistered their research design and also met regularly with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) community to discuss and share results. Ganna acknowledged that what they call “nonheterosexual behavior” includes “a large spectrum of sexual experiences, that go from people who engage exclusively in same-sex behavior to those who might have experimented once or twice.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img By Michael PriceOct. 20, 2018 , 10:25 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe The researchers performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in which they looked for specific variations in DNA that were more common in people who reported at least one same-sex sexual experience. They identified four such variants on chromosomes seven, 11, 12, and 15, respectively.Two variants were specific to men who reported same-sex sexual experience. One, a cluster of DNA on chromosome 15, has previously been found to predict male-pattern baldness. Another variant on chromosome 11 sits in a region rich with olfactory receptors. Ganna noted that olfaction is thought to play a large role in sexual attraction.A much smaller 1993 study, which used a different kind of association technique known as a genetic linkage study, had suggested a stretch of DNA on the X chromosome was linked to inherited homosexuality. In the new GWAS, that stretch was not found to be associated with the reported same-sex behavior. But the lead author of the earlier study, Dean Hamer, then of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, praised the new work. “It’s important that attention is finally being paid [to the genetics of sexual orientation] with big sample sizes and solid institutions and people,” he said. “This is exactly the study we would have liked to have done in 1993.”The four newly identified genetic variants also were correlated with some mood and mental health disorders. Both men and women with the variants were more likely to have experienced major depressive disorder and schizophrenia, and women were more likely to have bipolar disorder. Ganna stressed that these findings should not be taken to mean that the variants cause the disorders. Instead, it “might be because individuals who engaged in nonheterosexual behavior are more likely to be discriminated [against], and are more likely to develop depression,” he said.Ganna noted that the correlation with schizophrenia and risk-taking behavior was more pronounced in the UK Biobank participants, who tend to skew older than those in the 23andMe group. That could be because older generations faced more sexual discrimination than younger ones, Ganna said, noting that environment likely plays a significant role in which traits wind up correlating with sexual orientation.Overall, he said the findings reinforce the idea that human sexual behavior is complex and can’t be pinned on any simple constellation of DNA. “I’m pleased to announce there is no ‘gay gene,’” Ganna said. “Rather, ‘nonheterosexuality’ is in part influenced by many tiny genetic effects.” Ganna told Science that researchers have yet to tie the genetic variants to actual genes, and it’s not even clear whether they sit within coding or noncoding stretches of DNA. Trying to pin down exactly what these DNA regions do will be among the team’s difficult next steps.“It’s an intriguing signal,” he said. “We know almost nothing about the genetics of sexual behavior, so anywhere is a good place to start.”He added that the four genetic variants could not reliably predict someone’s sexual orientation. “There’s really no predictive power,” he said.Given the complexity of human sexual behavior, much of which is not captured in the study questions, biomedical informatics graduate student Nicole Ferraro from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, questioned the work’s utility. She and fellow biomedical sciences grad student Kameron Rodrigues said the study didn’t do enough to explore the nuances of how one’s sexual identity differs from sexual behavior, and they worried that the study could be used to stigmatize members of the LGBTQ community. “It just seems like there’s no benefit that can come from this kind of study, only harm,” Rodrigues said.The abstract for Ganna’s talk referenced another provocative result: Heterosexual people who possess these same four genetic variants tend to have more sexual partners, suggesting associated genes might confer some mating advantage for heterosexuals. That could help explain why these variants might stick around in populations even if people attracted to the same sex tend to have fewer children than heterosexuals. Ganna did not touch on that finding in his talk, citing lack of time.That was probably a wise choice, geneticist Chris Cotsapas at the Yale School of Medicine said, because the evolutionary implications haven’t been firmed up. “People are going to oversimplify it to say, ‘Gay genes help straight people have more sex,’ and it’s really not that simple,” he said.Overall, the findings were “very carefully, cautiously presented,” Cotsapas said, and represent a good start for geneticists charting the complexities of human sexuality.With reporting by Jocelyn Kaiser.last_img read more

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Linda Fairstein In A Rage Over Ava DuVernay

first_imgAs for the public being disgusted by her and hashtags like #cancellindafairstein, the former prosecutor-turned best-selling author said it’s all DuVernay’s fault.“She’s behind it,” Fairstein said. “Her lies are behind it all.”However, Fairstein said she had no fear of being dropped by her publisher.“My publisher is fantastic,” she claimed.Fairstein also denied that she tried to control the scripts for the new miniseries.“Fairstein said she hired a lawyer to send DuVernay a detailed letter cataloging the public record of the case but never heard from her again,” the Daily Beast reported.Earlier this week, DuVernay said she reached out to Fairstein and other key figures.“I informed them that I was making the film, that they would be included, and invited them to sit with me and talk with me so that they could share their point of view and their side of things so that I could have that information as I wrote the script with my co-writers,” she said. “Linda Fairstein actually tried to negotiate. I don’t know if I’ve told anyone this, but she tried to negotiate conditions for her to speak with me, including approvals over the script and some other things. So you know what my answer was to that, and we didn’t talk.”Fairstein retired from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in 2002, the same year that Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Korey Wise were exonerated only because a fellow inmate came forward to confess. Since then, she has not only enjoyed living as a novelist but she has also enjoyed the privilege of being named to Vassar University’s Board of Trustees. Until Tuesday, that is, when she resigned from the board at the college in upstate New York. Derion Vence, Maleah Davis, Brittany Bowens Central Park 5 , Linda Fairstein , Manhattan District Attorney’s Office , When They See Us A Disturbing Timeline Of 4-Year-Old Maleah Davis Going Missing After Being Left With Her Stepfather Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ Oh, did someone have a bad weekend? #WhenTheySeeUs @WhenTheySeeUs @Ava pic.twitter.com/GPG1mFb2CJ— Kris Tapley (@kristapley) June 3, 2019Watch the powerful trailer for “When They See Us” below, which is available on Netflix.SEE ALSO:‘It’s Above Me Now’: Hotel Clerk’s Video With Racist Guest Goes Viral‘Who Said I Can’t Say Ni**a?’: Blackface Video Of High School Student Sparks Outrage More By NewsOne Staff Ava DuVernay‘s “When They See Us” about the so-called Central Park 5 still has people talking about what an amazing miniseries it is. But one person, in particular, is outraged.Former Manhattan District Attorney’s Office prosecutor Linda Fairstein, the woman who helped lock up five innocent children back in the ’90s has begun running her mouth and was pointing all her fingers at DuVernay. See Also: A Timeline Of Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Killing Botham Jean In His Own Home“It’s a basket of lies,” the 72-year-old told The Daily Beast and claimed that the critically acclaimed Netflix miniseries was “a totally and completely untrue picture of events and my participation.” She also said the film was “putting words in my mouth that I never said in Oliver Stone fashion.” The shame has apparently gotten to Fairstein, whose Twitter account was deleted over the weekend. Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Familylast_img read more

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Outsider takes helm at Indian research giant

first_imgShekhar Mande By Pallava BaglaOct. 17, 2018 , 1:25 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 Shekhar Mande, a structural biologist, took over yesterday as director-general of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), headquartered in New Delhi, which operates a network of 40 research labs around the country. Mande, 56, headed the National Centre for Cell Science in Pune, India, a government lab, the past 7 years; his own research has focused on understanding the structure of bacterial proteins, including those produced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogen that causes tuberculosis.Mande is the first outsider to take on the top job at CSIR since 1984. “CSIR is in urgent need of revitalization and only an outsider can bring in the new vigor needed to steer CSIR in a fast-changing India,” says Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, a systems biologist and president of the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bengaluru. He calls Mande a “distinguished researcher.”With a combined annual budget of about $1 billion, CSIR institutes carry out research on areas as diverse as oceans, roads, aerospace, and drugs. In 2015, the government ordered the organization to become self-financing, primarily through industry contracts, by this year, an objective it has not achieved. “The real challenge” for Indian R&D is getting private organizations and companies to invest in research to complement publicly funded science, Mande tells Science. “The two together have a great potential in transforming the Indian society.” Pallava Bagla center_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Outsider takes helm at Indian research giant Mande faces other challenges. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind recently pointed out “the distressingly low participation of women” in Indian science, including at CSIR, where only 18.3% of researchers are women. “It is a reminder of the scientific potential of our daughters that we are not adequately harnessing,” Kovind said. Mande said he hopes to hire more women to address the imbalance.Mande is vice president of Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) in New Delhi, an organization dedicated to the popularization of “Swadeshi science,” which seeks to promote modern research and traditional Indian knowledge systems. (The movement has links to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization that has a strong influence on the current Indian government.) VIBHA’s growing clout is worrying some scientists who warn that India is increasingly embracing pseudoscience.“Mande is certainly very much aligned with the policy of the current government, but being a competent scientist he will surely not succumb to a full monty on researching the benefits of cow urine and such pseudoscientific stuff,” says Satyajit Rath, a former scientist at the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi. Rath says Mande “will surely fire fight promotion of irrationality.” Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, a chemical engineer and former CSIR director general, doesn’t see Mande’s ties to VIBHA as a problem. “This cannot be [a] handicap but an asset,” Mashelkar says. “Any organization that connects with society such as VIBHA has to be welcomed.”last_img read more

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Mysterious disappearances in US history

first_imgHistory is as fascinating for its mysteries as for what it tells us about the past. Cases where people disappear are especially interesting. They are a prime example of history at its most tangible, yet they are also cryptic, dangling loose ends that will seemingly never be tied up. Take Jimmy Hoffa for example. This infamous champion of the oppressed in the U.S. rose to the top of the Teamsters Union, before ties to organized crime proved his undoing. He was incarcerated in 1967 following charges of jury tampering, fraud and attempted bribery.Hoffa resigned his role after four years behind bars, as part of a deal with President Nixon. 1980 was the year in which he could legally resume his union activities, but the giant of the labor movement thought he could overturn the decision. This set him on a path that led to his mysterious disappearance.Hoffa (left) with son James P. Hoffa in 1965.In 1975 he was in the midst of a prospective comeback and was spotted outside a restaurant in Detroit, Michigan. This was the last time anyone saw him alive. Although he was officially declared dead in 1982, the lack of a body has fueled speculation about his fate.Hoffa (right) and Bernard Spindel after a 1957 court session in which they pleaded not guilty to illegal wiretap charges.There are those who claim he still lives, but a more likely explanation is that he fell foul of the Mafia. One theory is that he was executed by the Mob then destroyed in a sausage factory. Last year Prof. James Buccellato of Northern Arizona University gave his expert opinion on the mystery. He had this to say to CBS Detroit:“There were a couple of incinerators in Detroit that were owned by the Mafia. It would’ve been a quick drop…and possibly a sausage factory in Detroit; he was possibly ground up… I really disagree with the notion that his body was transported to New Jersey and buried or New York and buried or Florida and fed to the alligators. It’s just not practical.”His story was immortalized on film in 1992 by director Danny DeVito and star Jack Nicholson as Hoffa. Written by David Mamet, the movie didn’t definitively say who murdered the union boss. A more direct approach is being taken by Martin Scorsese, whose film The Irishman — about Hoffa’s supposed killer Frank Sheeran — will be released in 2019.Amelia Earhart standing beside a Merrill CIT-9 Safety Plane, Los Angeles, c.1928.Our next disappearance takes us from the cold ground to the clear air. Amelia Earhart blazed a trail for female pilots through her feats of flying. These included being the first woman to take a plane single-handedly over the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, however, her legacy took on a different complexion.During her around-the-world adventure, she and navigator Fred Noonan had reached the Pacific and were looking to stop off at the small land mass of Howland Island. There was just one problem… they couldn’t find it. Some fractured radio transmissions were all that remained of the pioneering pilot and her colleague.Amelia Earhart standing under nose of her Lockheed Model 10-E Electra.Ideas about the fate of Earhart and Noonan are as random as the currents from an ocean storm. As written in National Geographic in 2017, there are 3 prevailing theories. The first is that they simply went down in the drink, and were claimed by the sea. Deep sea companies such as Nauticos, based in Maryland, have explored the aquatic area.As described in the article, “In March and April of 2002, the company used a high-tech, deep-sea sonar system to search 630 square miles (1,630 square kilometers) of the ocean floor near Howland. They didn’t find the plane on that expedition or a 2006 follow-up mission.”Amelia Earhart standing in front of the Lockheed Electra in which she disappeared in July 1937.Another piece of informed guesswork involves Nikumaroro Island, thought to be the only plausible landing location had Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E missed Howland. According to research by TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery):“The researchers base their hypothesis on Earhart’s last radio transmissions… ‘KHAQQ [the Electra’s call letters] to Itasca. We are on the line 157 337.’… The ‘line 157 337’ indicates that the plane was flying on a northwest to southeast navigational line that bisected Howland Island. If Earhart and Noonan missed Howland, they would fly either northwest or southeast on the line to find it. To the northwest of Howland lies open ocean for thousands of miles; to the southwest is Nikumaroro.”Amelia Earhart in Hawaii. Photo by Pacific Aviation Museum CC BY 2.0The last idea concerns wartime intrigue, with Earhart and Noonan heading for the Marshall Islands with nowhere else to land. They were then held by occupying Japanese forces. Were they spying for the Americans, or just caught up in the crossfire? Things get a little murky.Amelia Earhart – Aviation Pioneer“Some believe both pilots were eventually killed, while others believe Earhart and maybe Noonan returned to the U.S. under assumed names. According to one theory, Earhart took the name Irene Craigmile, then married Guy Bolam and became Irene Bolam, who died in New Jersey in 1982.”Earhart’s story has inspired all manner of media. A song called ‘Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight’ was recorded in four years after her disappearance by Red River Dave McEnery, also known as the “Yodelling Cowboy.”Amelia Earhart in evening clothesOnscreen she has been portrayed by Diane Keaton, Hilary Swank, and most recently Amy Adams in the Night At The Museum franchise. These ensure her memory is never lost, even though her whereabouts are still a mystery to this day.Finally there is the strange case of D.B. Cooper. Several years before Jimmy Hoffa walked onto that restaurant parking lot and was never seen again, a character in dark glasses boarded a plane in Portland, OR. His tale of “air piracy” has passed into hijacking legend for its sheer audacity.An initial attempt to inform an air stewardess about his intentions fell flat. “After takeoff, he handed a note to a flight attendant, who assumed he was hitting on her and placed it in her purse,” as related by the History Channel.A man dressed up like D.B. Cooper in Pike Place Market, Seattle.Following that false start, he mentioned to her that he was carrying a bomb. He then put his daring plan into operation, demanding $200,000 and four parachutes. After the plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Cooper was given what he’d asked for and told the pilot to make for Mexico City.Cooper didn’t step off onto the runway though. His means of exit were altogether more dramatic. History writes, “A short time later, he jumped out of the plane and into a raging thunderstorm. He was never seen or heard from again. Since his disappearance, the FBI has investigated and subsequently ruled out more than a thousand suspects.” Numerous sources, including this website, have followed the investigation into the skyjacker’s identity.One of several FBI composite sketches of D. B. Cooper.The mysterious figure had a cultural impact, winding up in numerous small screen productions, such as The Blacklist and Prison Break. He also used the expression “No funny stuff,” which some may recognize from 1998 Coen Brothers comedy The Big Lebowski.FBI sketches of Cooper, with age progression.It was only last month, some 46 years after the event took place, that the mystery was reportedly resolved. Writer and filmmaker Thomas Colbert believed the culprit was Robert Rackstraw, a veteran of Vietnam, based on a letter penned by Cooper in 1972.FBI wanted poster of D. B. Cooper.Colbert joined forces with Rick Sherwood, who had been Rackstraw’s boss in the military. Sherwood examined the letter and verified it as his former employee’s handiwork.Read another story from us: After nearly 74 years, the remains of an 82nd AB paratrooper are coming homeIn an interview with The Daily News he revealed: “I read it two or three times and said, ‘This is Rackstraw, this is what he does’…I noticed he kept on repeating words in his sentences and thought he had a code in there somewhere. He was taunting like he normally does and I thought his name was going to be in it and sure enough the numbers added up perfectly.”It just goes to show that, no matter how impenetrable the situation, a dogged determination and lots of perseverance can triumph against history’s deepest mysteries.Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.last_img read more

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Trumps EPA scraps air pollution science review panels

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 Read more… “I think they are trying to rush through a process that will provide a result that is driven by political science, not health science,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president for public policy at the American Lung Association in Washington, D.C.Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is supposed to review the adequacy of the standards for particulate matter, ozone and four other common pollutants every 5 years with help from outside experts. While the seven-member committee, officially known as the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), has the lead in the process, the review panels are supposed to provide additional know-how in assessing the relevant scientific literature, which can span a variety of academic disciplines.For the panel’s some two dozen members, most of whom are university researchers, news of their dismissal came late yesterday in an email from an EPA staffer who said Wheeler had tasked the CASAC with serving “as the body to review key science assessments for the ongoing review of the particulate matter” standards.”Therefore the CASAC PM Review Panel will no longer be involved with the agency’s … review and your service on the panel has concluded,” wrote the staffer, Khanna Johnston. In a separate message, Johnston similarly told applicants for membership on the ozone review panel that the agency would not be proceeding with its creation.”I guess I’m disappointed,” said Barbara Turpin, head of the environmental sciences and engineering department at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Turpin had been on the particulate matter review panel. Her colleagues there were among the best in their fields, Turpin said in an interview this morning. “In a sense, we serve as a check that the EPA is following the requirements of the Clean Air Act.”Jeremy Sarnat, another former member of the panel, who is an associate professor of environmental health at Emory University, called the move “depressing.””What the new and previous EPA administrators have done is dismantle a process which has, over many years, proven itself to be highly successful and effective,” Sarnat said in an email. The new process, he added, now consolidates input “to a small, and in some cases unqualified, group of individuals, and ultimately opens EPA up to the charge that it is politics, not science, that is driving this new policy.”Review panel members were considered “special government employees.”Asked why EPA scrapped the panel, agency spokesman John Konkus pointed to Wheeler’s decision to concentrate more authority in the seven-member CASAC. He did not reply to an email this morning seeking comment on the criticism from Billings and others.Earlier this week, Wheeler announced five new appointees to CASAC, the bulk of whom come from state and local regulatory agencies, not academia. Tony Cox, the committee’s chairman, is a Colorado consultant who had done work for the oil industry.Earlier this year, Cox told E&E News that he has also served as an expert in risk analysis for EPA and the World Health Organization, and had not made a decision on whether the particulate matter thresholds need revision.But under a timetable imposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency now plans to complete the review of the particulate matter standards by late 2020, or about two years ahead of the original schedule (Greenwire, 10 May). The new review of the ozone standards, which has barely begun, is also set to wrap up around the same time.As a reason for the fast-track approach, Pruitt and EPA air chief Bill Wehrum have pointed to the Clean Air Act’s requirement that the reviews be done every five years, a goal that in the past the agency has rarely met.But the disbanding of the particulate matter review panel comes as EPA’s Office of Research and Development is set to soon release a draft summary of the scientific research to be used in deciding whether the existing standards need to be changed.Andrew Rosenberg, who heads the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said he sees the two events as directly connected. He said that in light of evidence that the current limits on fine particulate exposure are not strong enough to adequately protect public health, “I’m really worried about [what EPA is] going to say.”Both ozone and particulate matter are closely connected to production or consumption of fossil fuels. Wheeler, before joining EPA, was a lobbyist whose clients included Murray Energy Corporation. The Ohio-based coal giant was a strident critic of Obama-era environmental regulations; CEO Bob Murray is a prominent supporter of President Trump.Murray has had no contact with Wheeler since the latter was sworn in as EPA deputy administrator in April, company spokesman Cody Nett said this morning. Asked whether the firm has a position on Wheeler’s decision to disband the particulate matter review panel, Nett declined to comment.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net Trump’s EPA scraps air pollution science review panels By Sean Reilly, E&E NewsOct. 12, 2018 , 2:55 PM Email Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune/AP The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has disbanded panels that were supposed to review the science underpinning efforts to reduce air pollution, such as this blanket of smog in Salt Lake City in 2016. 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 Originally published by E&E NewsAndrew Wheeler, the acting chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yesterday fired a panel of scientific experts charged with assisting the agency’s latest review of air quality standards for particulate matter. He also scrapped plans to form a similar advisory panel to aid in a recently launched assessment of the ground-level ozone limits.Those steps, coupled with Wheeler’s previously announced decision to concentrate authority in a seven-member committee made up mostly of his appointees, quickly sparked objections that the agency is intent on skewing the outcome of those reviews in favor of industry.last_img read more

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New remains discovered at site of famous Neanderthal flower burial

first_img For tens of thousands of years, the high ceilings, flat earthen floor, and river view of Shanidar Cave have beckoned to ancient humans. The cave, in the Zagros Mountains of northern Iraq, once sheltered at least 10 Neanderthals, who were unearthed starting in the 1950s. One skeleton had so many injuries that he likely needed help to survive, and another had been dusted with pollen, suggesting someone had laid flowers at the burial. The rare discovery ushered in a new way of thinking about Neanderthals, who until then had often been considered brutes. “Although the body was archaic, the spirit was modern,” excavator Ralph Solecki wrote of Neanderthals, in Science, in 1975. But some scientists doubted the pollen was part of a flower offering, and others questioned whether Neanderthals even buried their dead.In 2014, researchers headed back to Shanidar to re-excavate, and found additional Neanderthal bones. Then, last fall, they unearthed another Neanderthal with a crushed but complete skull and upper thorax, plus both forearms and hands. From 25 to 28 January, scientists will gather at a workshop at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom to discuss what the new finds suggest about Neanderthal views of death. Science caught up with archaeologist and team co-leader Christopher Hunt of Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom to learn more.This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Georg Kristiansen/Alamy Stock Photo New remains discovered at site of famous Neanderthal ‘flower burial’ By Elizabeth CulottaJan. 22, 2019 , 3:45 PM Q: Why re-excavate?A: Shanidar has yielded very important and sometimes controversial evidence, but all of the excavation evidence is old. So a key issue is testing Solecki’s hypotheses of burial and ritual activity. Our project is led by archaeologists  Graeme Barker, Tim Reynolds, and me. We have been working in the cave since 2014, reassessing the work done by Solecki, dating his layers, and doing all the modern science not available to him.Q: Why did you want to be part of the excavation?A: I was motivated by the work of pollen expert Arlette Leroi-Gourhan, who recovered clumps of pollen close to one skeleton. She interpreted this as evidence for the placing and burial of flowers around the body. I think her evidence is plausible, but other explanations are also at least equally possible. The new find is adjacent to the “flower burial” body, so we have a unique opportunity to test her observations.Q: What did you discover? A: We located fragmentary human bone 2 years ago, but could not excavate—we were at the end of a season, and there were 2 meters of cave sediment containing both archaeology and huge boulders above it. So we covered it and left it. Last summer, we noticed what appeared to be a fresh disturbance nearby, so we made the decision to excavate. We had to lift out one 3-ton boulder without disturbing anything below it, plus several smaller ones. Human bone specialist Emma Pomeroy, who joined the University of Cambridge this month, was the first person to see the skull as she was troweling. She knew pretty quickly what it was. On first seeing the partly exposed skull, my immediate thought was that this was likely the crowning moment of my 40-year career.The bones of the new skeleton fit together as they would have in life. The lower body and legs would have extended into the block of sediment containing the “flower burial,” which also contained partial remains of two other adults, both female, and a fragment of a juvenile. Whether the new find relates to one of these individuals is unclear. Analysis has a long way to go, but we should be able to test the hypothesis of the “flower burial,” as well as doing all the great science-based things you can do with a Neanderthal these days! Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Graeme Barker Q: How old are the new remains?A: Solecki thought about 80,000 years, but we await dates from the [University of] Oxford [dating] laboratory. For now, the broad envelope of 60,000 to 90,000 years is about as good as gets.Q: So, were the skeletons buried intentionally, with ritual, or not?A: Ritual is almost impossible to prove to everyone’s satisfaction. What is clear is that the cluster of bodies at the “flower burial” came to rest in a very restricted area, but not quite at the same geologic level, and therefore likely not quite at the same time. So that might point to some form of intentionality and group memory as Neanderthals returned to the same spot over generations. But I don’t want to go beyond that, because most of the analyses are still to be done.Q: What’s the next step—are you trying to extract DNA from the bones?A: Yes. We expect that modern techniques … will allow us to understand better the evolutionary relationships, group territories, and diet of these individuals. We are seeking funding for further work, because we have a whole season’s worth of analyses to do, and we are aware of further Neanderthal remains. We’d like more dates and to try to extract DNA from the sediment itself as well.Q: Is security a concern?A: The team was at Shanidar in 2014 when the ISIS [Islamic State group] advance got uncomfortably close, and evacuation became necessary. But the Kurdish Peshmerga have a base at Shanidar, and they and reps from the Kurdish regional government’s Directorate of Antiquities have looked after us splendidly. Shanidar is an immense source of national pride for the Kurds, because the resistance against Saddam [Hussein] was partly run from there.Digging at Shanidar is a bit like digging on the Cenotaph in London or the Arlington National Monument in the USA. Thousands of day-trippers visit on a regular basis. We see exuberant dancing, picnics, and wedding parties as well as quiet people with flowers and photos, and many school and college groups. They have been delightful, but at times we have been overwhelmed by the sheer demand to participate in selfies, and we have been concerned that curious visitors might trample on important evidence without realizing. The Antiquities Directorate has erected a stout fence, which helps.Q: What’s the day-to-day work like on-site?A: Grueling—we have been out there digging hard in the cold during torrential spring rains and in 50⁰C summer heat. Everything has to be carried up from, and down to, base camp, on a flight of more than 240 steps. We have wet-sieved and floated almost every cubic centimeter of cave sediments. As someone who has worked on caves for 35 years, this is by far the most difficult site I have ever worked on! It has become ever clearer to us that Ralph Solecki’s achievement was immense and that his—and our—work at Shanidar will offer challenges and insights for many years to come. 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 Shanidar Cave in Iraq once sheltered at least 10 Neanderthals. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email This crushed Neanderthal skull was unearthed last fall at Shanidar cave in Iraq, right next to the “flower burial” excavated in the 1950s.last_img read more

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You know kilo mega and giga Is the metric system ready for

first_img Fresh from redefining the kilogram and other fundamental measures, the guardians of the metric system have set their sights on another upgrade: new prefixes for outrageously large and small numbers.A proposal lodged with the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Paris recommends new names—ronna and quecca—as prefixes for 1027 and 1030, respectively. They would be joined by their microscopic counterparts, ronto for 10−27, and quecto for 10−30. If approved, the new terms could be formally introduced in 2022. They would be the first prefixes added since 1991.The planned update responds to the massive growth in global data storage, which by the early 2030s is forecast to reach 1 yottabyte (1024)—the top of the existing scale. Without new prefixes, computer scientists will have no way to officially talk about what comes next. At the other end of the scale, quantum physicists have measured atomic forces as small as 42 yoctonewtons. Much smaller and they run out of metrological road. The terms are due to be discussed at the October meeting of BIPM’s Consultative Committee for Units. If the committee approves the idea, it could make a formal recommendation to BIPM. The organization’s general conference, which includes government representatives and is due to next meet in 2022, would have the final vote—as it did late last year when it approved a new definition of the kilogram based on fundamental physical constants.It’s too early to say whether the prefixes will be adopted, says Estefanía de Mirandés, executive secretary of the units committee and a physicist with BIPM. “It would be premature to mention a possible outcome of the discussion,” she wrote in an email.Other proposals to extend the measurement scale have fizzled. In 2010, a physics student in California suggested “hella” as a prefix for 1027, and thousands of people signed an online petition in support. (Contrary to reports, the idea did not reach the BIPM units committee for formal discussion.) In 2008, an article in The New York Times on supercomputers referred to a xeraflop, and a 2015 paper on cosmic engineering used the symbols X, W, and V to describe the gargantuan energy levels, beyond the yotta scale, that could be seen if aliens turned a black hole into a particle accelerator. One prankster hacked a Wikipedia article in 2008 to introduce a new technical term for a computer that could attempt 1048 operations per second: a gonnaflop. It lasted 7 minutes before being deleted.Ronna, quecca, and their partners could fare better. Emilio Prieto, who represents the Spanish Metrology Center in Madrid on the units committee, says he would vote for the names because they are simple and memorable. “Once people start using the wrong prefix names it is impossible to go back,” he says.If those four are approved, Brown says, only a single good letter would remain that could be used on its own for 1033 and 10−33 in future: B (and b). Brown already has names at the ready: bundecca and bundecto, based on the Latin for 11, undecim. “Where there is a need that is not met, there is also a risk that unofficial units can take hold and that can cause confusion,” says Richard Brown, head of metrology at the National Physical Laboratory near London, who came up with the new names. He says unofficial terms beyond yotta, including brontobyte and geobyte, are already becoming popular. Although mathematicians sometimes use the prefix googol (10100), a name coined a century ago by a 9-year-old girl, it, too, is unofficial.Brown prefers to follow tradition. The new prefixes should relate etymologically to nine and 10, to represent the ninth and 10th powers of 103. He also wanted to continue the reverse alphabetical trend set by zetta and yotta, but needed to avoid letters such as X, W, and V that could be confused with other terms. And so, drawing from the Latin and Greek words for nine (novem, ennea) and 10 (decem, deka), with some poetic license to make the terms more easily pronounced, he came up with ronna, quecca, ronto, and quecto. “It’s supposed to be a conversation starter,” says Brown, who published his proposal last month in the journal Measurement. 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 (*) 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 PrefixSymbolPower PrefixqueccaSymbolQPower1030 PrefixronnaSymbolRPower1027 PrefixyottaSymbolYPower1024 PrefixzettaSymbolZPower1021 PrefixexaSymbolEPower1018 PrefixpetaSymbolPPower1015 PrefixteraSymbolTPower1012 PrefixgigaSymbolGPower109 PrefixmegaSymbolMPower106 PrefixkiloSymbolkPower103 PrefixmilliSymbolmPower10–3 PrefixmicroSymbolμPower10–6 PrefixnanoSymbolnPower10–9 PrefixpicoSymbolpPower10–12 PrefixfemtoSymbolfPower10–15 PrefixattoSymbolaPower10–18 PrefixzeptoSymbolzPower10–21 PrefixyoctoSymbolyPower10–24 PrefixrontoSymbolrPower10–27 PrefixquectoSymbolqPower10–30 UWE MOSER MOSER/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO You know kilo, mega, and giga. Is the metric system ready for ronna and quecca? A whole lotta yottas Metrologists are proposing to extend metric prefixes beyond yotta and yocto.  By David AdamFeb. 14, 2019 , 9:00 AM By the 2030s, computer data storage may surpass 1 yottabyte (1024), the largest number with an official metric prefix. Emaillast_img read more

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Hong Kong braces for more protests on handover anniversary

first_img Related News By AP |Hong Kong | Updated: June 30, 2019 7:38:30 pm Advertising Clashes break out as Hong Kong protesters escalate fight in suburbs Post Comment(s) Hong Kong tourism, hotel occupancy falls as protests drag on Hong Kong, Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong China, China Hong Kong, Hong Kong extradition, Extradition Hong Kong bill, Hong Kong extradition bill, Indian Express, latest news A supporter holds a flag as he attends a rally to show their support for the police amid criticisms for its alleged mishandling of an anti-extradition protest, in Hong Kong, China June 30, 2019. (Reuters)More than 50,000 people rallied in support of the Hong Kong police on Sunday as the semi-autonomous territory braced for another day of protests on the anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China. The crowd filled a park in front of the legislature and chanted “Thank you” to the police, who have been criticized for using tear gas and rubber bullets during clashes with demonstrators that left dozens injured on June 12. Some carried Chinese flags. Police estimated the turnout at 53,000.A protest march has been called for Monday, the third in three weeks, this one on the 22nd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997. Activists have also said they will try to disrupt an annual flag-raising ceremony attended by senior Hong Kong and mainland Chinese officials in the morning.Hong Kong, Hong Kong protest, Hong Kong China, China Hong Kong, Hong Kong extradition, Extradition Hong Kong bill, Hong Kong extradition bill, Indian Express, latest news Supporters attend a rally to show their support for the police amid criticisms for its alleged mishandling of an anti-extradition protest, in Hong Kong, China June 30, 2019. (Reuters)Police have erected tall barriers and shut off access to Golden Bauhinia Square, where the flag-raising will be held, to prevent protesters from massing there overnight. Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence center_img Best Of Express After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan The government has already postponed debate on the extradition bill indefinitely, leaving it to die, but protest leaders want the legislation formally withdrawn and the resignation of Hong Kong’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam. They also are demanding an independent inquiry into police actions on June 12.Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at the Education University of Hong Kong to hold a moment of silence and lay flowers for a 21-year-old student who fell to her death the previous day in an apparent suicide. Hong Kong media reports said she wrote a message on a wall stating the protesters’ demands and asking others to persist.“It’s reminding us we need to keep going on the process of fighting with the, I wouldn’t say fighting with the government, but we need to keep going on fighting not to have the extradition law,” said student Gabriel Lau. Read | Why Hong Kong’s protesters are turning to G-20 leaders for helpThe anniversary always draws protests, but this year’s is expected to be larger than usual because of widespread opposition to a government proposal to allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China to face charges. More than a million people took to the streets in two previous marches in June, organizers estimate.The proposal has awakened broader fears that China is eroding the freedoms and rights that Hong Kong is guaranteed for 50 years after the handover under a “one country, two systems” framework.Also read | Hong Kong police, once called ‘Asia’s finest,’ are now a focus of anger Hong Kong protesters, police clash as demonstrations target Chinese traders Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Advertisinglast_img read more

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Crackdown on immigrant families to start Sunday says Trump

first_img Taking stock of monsoon rain Mexico’s government said on Friday that it would step up consular assistance for its citizens living in the United States “who may be affected by the possible migratory operations,” but did not give more details. \The president, speaking to reporters at the White House on Friday, said he was not concerned that the advance notice could help targeted immigrants evade arrest. “If the word gets out, it gets out,” he said. S ince Trump first spoke of the plan, a number of city mayors, nearly all Democrats, have repeated their long-standing policies of not cooperating with ICE officials on deportations and have advertised helplines people can call to understand their rights.Democratic lawmakers, among others, have also sought to inform immigrants of their rights, telling them not to open their door for ICE unless agents present a court-issued warrant, and not to say or sign anything before speaking with a lawyer.DETERRING BORDER CROSSINGSTrump, a Republican who has made cracking down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his administration, is trying to deal with a surge of mostly Central American families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Many families are approaching border officials to seek asylum.The latest planned arrests would follow widespread criticism of the crowded, unsanitary conditions in which immigrants are being detained along the southwestern border and concerns about children being separated from adults by border officials. Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield President Donald Trump waves as walks from Marine One to Air Force One to depart Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, Friday, July 12, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)A nationwide wave of arrests of immigrants facing deportation will commence over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday, confirming that the plan, intended to discourage a surge of Central American migrants, was on track after a delay. Related News Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence to visit some of the criticized detention facilities in McAllen, Texas, on Friday along with journalists, who have generally been denied access to detained immigrants.Pence visited one overcrowded and foul-smelling facility where almost 400 men are detained behind metal fences, some sleeping on concrete, after being accused of crossing the U.S. border illegally.The Trump administration has increased pressure on the governments of Mexico and several Central American countries to stem the flow of migrants reaching the U.S. border.Trump is to meet with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales at the White House on Monday for talks on immigration and security. Morales may sign an agreement with Trump declaring Guatemala a safe destination for asylum seekers, which could prevent many from applying in the United States, according to officials in both governments.Alongside these international efforts, Trump has sought to deter border crossings with highly publicized crackdowns in the United States.The operation that Trump said would start on Sunday is an example. ICE is expected to target families whose immigration cases were handled through an expedited court process that began in 2018.The agency has notified about 2,000 of those people that they face deportation because they failed to appear in court, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said last month.Immigration rights activists have complained that in many cases immigrants, especially those involved in expedited hearings, do not receive proper notice of their court dates.ICE has declined to discuss the weekend’s operation, including whether those families are among those being targeted.The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups sued this week to stop the arrests going ahead, asking a court to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families who missed their court dates until they at least get a hearing. The operation is expected to target hundreds of families in 10 cities that have recently been ordered deported by an immigration court but have not yet left the country.Trump revealed the operation on Twitter last month and then postponed it. It is unusual for the government to announce deportation operations ahead of time. “People are coming into this country illegally, we are taking them out legally,” Trump told reporters on Friday, calling it a “major operation” that would mainly focus on removing criminals.In a typical week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests thousands of immigrants who are staying in the country illegally, according to government data. Most of those arrests are made without any advance publicity. Advertising More Explained After Masood Azhar blacklisting, ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan case isolates Pakistan US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Advertising Advertising By Reuters |Washington | Published: July 13, 2019 7:55:19 am Best Of Express In a hearing on the subject on Friday at the U.S. House of Representatives, some Democrats said they feared the forthcoming arrests could result in more immigrant children being separated from their families.Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, asked a federal watchdog about its recently issued report saying detention conditions were below standards.Jennifer Costello, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, told the congressional hearing that the government was falling short in terms of “crowding, the prolonged detention, some of the hygiene that the children are supposed to have.”Costello said it would be “impossible” to meet required standards under “the conditions that we saw there.” “It’s shocking,” she said.REPORTERS TAKEN INSIDE US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% Post Comment(s)last_img read more

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Top journal publishes special issue on deep learning for drug discovery and

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 11 2018While the many concepts in artificial intelligence date back to the 20th century, the revolution in deep learning started around 2014-2015 when AI systems started outperforming humans in many tasks ranging from video games and image recognition to autonomous driving. The concept of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) was only introduced in 2014 and went mainstream in 2016 with the publication of the first “AI-imagined” images generated using GANs from natural language. However, due to the gap in domain expertise between chemists, biologists, and next-generation AI scientists and the lengthy validation cycles, only today we start noticing the propagation of deep learning into these fields. While there is still a gap in domain expertise in biology and chemistry in the machine learning community, it is rapidly closing and many advances are propagating into drug discovery and biomarker development. The special issue on deep learning for drug discovery and biomarker development provides an overview of the recent applications of modern AI.Related StoriesResearchers open the door to a new era of medicinal chemistryPhoreMost and C4XD sign neurodegeneration drug discovery collaboration agreementEnamine and Lundbeck announce expansion of drug discovery collaborationToday, Insilico Medicine, one of the industry leaders bridging deep learning for biology, chemistry and digital medicine, announced the publication of a special issue dedicated to “Deep Learing for Drug Discovery and Biomarker Development” in one of the top industry journals celebrating its 15th anniversary published by the American Chemical Society, Molecular Pharmaceutics. The special issue starts with an article by the founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, titled “Artificial Intelligence for Drug Discovery, Biomarker Development, and Generation of Novel Chemistry”.”The special issue dedicated to deep learning for drug discovery and biomarker development brings together the contributions made by some of the top academics and industry experts. The collection of papers in the special issue may provide a quick introduction into the field and specifically into generative chemistry. We are very happy to see this special issue “, said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, founder, and CEO of Insilico Medicine.The special issue is mostly focused on generative chemistry using GANs and Reinforcement Learning (RL) for de-novo molecular design. Some of the articles, including the “Entangled Conditional Adversarial Autoencoder (ECAAE) for de-novo Drug Discovery” demonstrate for the first time the experimental validation of the molecules generated using these architectures. ECAAE was used to generate a novel inhibitor of Janus Kinase 3 (JAK3), implicated in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and vitiligo. The discovered molecule was tested in vitro and demonstrated high activity and selectivity.Molecular Pharmaceutics is one of the first journals to recognize the trend in deep learning for biomedicine with the publication of the first review paper on this emerging subject in 2016. Source:http://www.insilicomedicine.com/last_img read more

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People who are afraid to draw their blood overestimate the risk of

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 15 2018A new study by Ohio University faculty members showed that people who are afraid to have their blood drawn believe more people faint or have other symptoms than what statistics show actually occurs.”Based on our prior study we did expect that people would over-estimate the risk of fainting, and we did anticipate that the predicted risk would increase as a function of level of fear,” the authors said. “However, we were nonetheless surprised at the degree to which the sample overestimated the risk.”The study, titled “Fear of blood draw is associated with inflated expectations of faint and pre-faint reactions to blood donation,” was conducted by Ohio University College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor Christopher R. France and Senior Researcher Janis L. France. It was published in Transfusion in September.Related Stories’Google Maps’ for cancer: Image-based model accurately represents blood traffic inside tumorsLab-grown blood vessels provide hope for dialysis patientsInnovative microfluidic device simplifies study of blood cells, opens new organ-on-chip possibilitiesThe study built on previous research the pair did in 2014, when they teamed up with researchers from the University of Toledo to do a similar study of college students. They found that participants vastly overestimated how common it is to have reactions.At that time, however, they did not consider whether the respondents had fear about the blood donation process. This time, Christopher and Janis wanted to conduct a study that would be more applicable to society as a whole rather than just college students – including the fear factor.”…We know that fear is a significant barrier to blood donation, particularly among new donors and young donors,” said the authors.”In the most recent study we wanted to further explore these overestimations about faint and pre-faint reactions to donating blood. In particular, we wanted to examine the role of fear in people’s assessment of risk for these reactions,” said the authors.In the study, participants were asked if they had donated blood anytime in the past two years. They were then asked how much fear they had when it came to having their blood drawn and asked to predict how many people out of 100 would faint, have no symptoms or get light-headed or dizzy when donating blood.Nearly half of those surveyed reporting having no fear of having blood drawn, while 4.6 percent reported being extremely afraid.The results show that while less than 1 percent of those who donate blood actually faint and less than 4 percent experience other pre-faint reactions when donating blood, this study’s respondents, regardless of their level of fear, predicted that 11.5 percent of people would faint and 27.5 percent of people would experience pre-faint reactions.The assumed number went either up or down depending on a participant’s fear of having their blood drawn. Those who reported being extremely afraid of having their blood drawn had a significantly higher perceived risk than those who reported having no fear at all when it came to both fainting and having pre-faint reactions. Source:https://www.ohio.edu/ucm/media/news-story.cfm?newsItem=C62799A5-5056-A874-1DAC616E45526740last_img read more

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Platelets grown from stem cells could reduce the reliance on donated platelets

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 29 2018Researchers have developed a way to grow human platelets in the laboratory from stem cells derived from fat tissue. The achievement, reported today in the journal Blood, suggests manufactured platelets could eventually reduce the reliance on donated platelets to help patients with cancer and other disorders.Platelets are a component of blood that helps with clotting. Platelet transfusions can be life-saving for patients dealing with cancer or the effects of chemotherapy, infections, immune disorders, or platelet disorders.Over 4.5 million platelet units of plasma are transfused every year worldwide, a need that currently must be met by human donors. Because donated platelets have a shelf life of less than a week, supplies often fall short of patient needs. In addition, donated platelets are subject to inherent safety risks due to infection from the donor and immune response in the recipient.Related StoriesScientists solve mystery surrounding mechanical forces that influence blood clottingCould hormone therapy for prostate cancer increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease?Study provides new insight into blood cell and immune cell productionIn the new study, researchers led by Yumiko Matsubara, PhD, of Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, built on previous efforts to prove that fat (adipose) tissue could be used to create a stem cell line that yielded functioning platelets in just 12 days.”By removing the donor from the equation, adipose-derived stem cells could be used to provide a ready supply of safe, tolerable platelets to meet an ever-changing demand,” said Dr. Mastubara.”Researchers initially sought to derive platelets from two other types of stem cells including one known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). They noticed adipose-derived cells, which were being used as a negative control in the experiments, had produced megakaryocyte- and platelet-sized cells that naturally expressed several genes important to producing platelets.After refining methods for coaxing adipose-derived stem cells to produce platelets, the researchers conducted a series of tests to determine whether the manufactured platelets would function similarly to natural human platelets. They verified that the lab-grown platelets contained hallmark proteins found on the surface of natural platelets, as well as granules that are key to the clotting process. Blood clotting simulations and experiments using mice confirmed that the platelets behave like donated platelets, gathering together into clumps to form clots.”Though more expensive to harvest compared to donor-derived platelets, this research demonstrates that platelets can be produced from adipose-derived cells by a rather simple method,” said Matsubara. “Now that we have established an efficient manufacturing process to yield a large number of adipose-derived platelets, we next plan to perform preclinical studies using animal models to demonstrate efficacy and safety, followed by clinical trials in human patients.” Source:http://www.hematology.org/Newsroom/Press-Releases/2018/9169.aspxlast_img read more

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