RAND Corporation Webinar: Hidden Heroes – America’s Military Caregivers

first_imgRajeev Ramchand, Ph.D., Senior Behavioral Scientist and Terri Tanielian, MA, Senior Social Research Analyst from RAND will present findings from the study and highlight:The size and makeup of the military caregiver populationDifferences between caregivers who support pre-9/11 and post-9/11 service membersThe burdens experienced as a result of performing caregiving dutiesGaps in services and supportsRecommendations for providing better support for military and veteran caregivers now and in the future. Continuing Education Credit1.00 Continuing Education credit hour will be available through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to credentialed participants. Note: The following states do not accept national CE approval programs and require individual program/provider application processes: California, Michigan, North Carolina, and West Virginia. For more information on how to receive credit go to the event page. Join us this month as we host our FREE military caregiving professional development webinar, featuring presenters from the RAND Corporation. *No registration is required. Webinar BackgroundMilitary caregivers play an essential role in caring for injured or wounded service members and veterans. Yet playing this role can impose a substantial physical, emotional, and financial toll on caregivers. This presentation will provide an overview of RAND’s recent study that examined the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States and assessed the array of policies, programs and services available to support the men and women who render this care. Date: June 19, 2014Time: 11:00 am EasternLocation: Hidden Heroes: America’s Military Caregiverslast_img read more

Getting Started with DaVinci Resolve

first_imgWant to try your hand at color grading? Curious about Resolve? This informative video tutorial will get you started.This tutorial is one of the best we’ve seen at providing a comprehensive overview of color grading in DaVinci Resolve (notwithstanding the lackluster audio quality). The tutorial uses the free version of Resolve, DaVinci Resolve Lite, however the techniques and features explained are also applicable for the full version.Highlights of the video tutorial include:Importing media (XML & EDL)Color grading workflowBasic color correctionUsing nodesThis DaVinci Resolve tutorial clocks in at about 45 minutes, but it’s worthwhile viewing for anyone interested in improving their video edits with the industry’s leading color grading application.Thanks to South Korea based Sliced Pictures for sharing this useful Resolve tutorial!last_img read more

Everything You Need to Know About Exporting Video

first_imgBreak through the confusion and save yourself some time with these quick tips for great exporting video files.When it comes to exporting video, there’s a lot to learn. From bit-depths to codecs, it can all be quite intimidating for someone new to the exporting game. Instead of wasting time exporting (only to find your video pixelated or too large in size), check out this quick tutorial created by David Kong.Kong’s video covers everything you need to know about exporting in Adobe Media Encoder, which can be used to export timelines and compositions from After Effects and Premiere Pro. However, the topics covered by David apply to any other editing software, including FCPX and Avid Media Composer.The tutorial takes a very scientific look at how what various exporting terms mean, including:FormatsCodecs and WrappersAssigning PresetsUnderstanding Bit-RatesSquare vs. Anamorphic PixelsThe Benefits of Multi-Pass RenderingIf you’re  interested in learning more about codecs, check out the first part of this series in our ‘Everything You Need to Know About Codecs‘ post.This video was first shared by David Kong on his Vimeo channel. Thanks for sharing, David!Want to learn more about exporting? Check out a few of the following resources:Exporting with Alpha Channels in After EffectsExporting Finished Video from Premiere ProExporting Video with an Alpha Channel in FCPXHave any additional exporting tips?  Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

The Pros and Cons of a Shallow Depth of Field

first_imgThe overuse of shallow depth of field has been an issue since the DSLR revolution hit, and it can look especially bad on daytime exteriors.There’s certainly a place for shallow depth of field, and, as a filmmaker, much of my work involves shooting wide open. That said, like any other cinematography technique, it does have its limitations and it will work best only in certain types of shooting situations.Many independent filmmakers rush to shoot with their lenses wide open because they feel it’ll make their films look more ‘Hollywood,’ but in reality they aren’t taking into account many other factors. For example, just because many blockbuster films use selective focus, doesn’t mean that those filmmakers are shooting wide open. Larger scale films typically have larger sets, studios, and big environments to work in, which means their actors are often further away from the background. This gives them the luxury of shooting stopped down a bit (so their actors are still in perfect focus), and still blurring out the background. For instance:While you may not be shooting your next short or feature on a soundstage in Burbank, chances are you’re shooting at least some of your film outside – which effectively gives you a lot of choice when it comes to how your scenes are shot. I’ve seen far too many indie films that were shot wide open in broad daylight in a huge exterior space, effectively diminishing the quality of the final product. These are the three main reasons you don’t want to go down that path:Your lenses perform better stopped down.Unless you are shooting on the highest end cinema lenses available, chances are that your lens isn’t going perform optimally when it’s opened up all the way. Most lenses are softest wide open, and don’t typically hit their sweet spot until at least F2.8 or F4. It’s quite common for filmmakers to assume they will get great results when shooting at a very fast aperture (such as F1.4) but then look at their footage later only to be disappointed with the results. There is no reason why you can’t achieve beautiful shallow DOF shots outside even at F5.6 under the right conditions, so always take that into account before setting your exposure.Your actors have more leeway if they don’t land on a mark.When you’re shooting wide open at F1.4 or even F2 on a Super 35mm or full frame camera, your actors have very little wiggle room to work with. If they miss their mark by a couple of inches they may be out of focus, and that can lead to unnecessary re-takes and frustration for the crew. Not to mention, your talent will likely benefit from the freedom of having more room to improvise physically on set when they aren’t limited to an ultra-narrow DOF that they need to work within. Stop down a touch on your lenses and your actors and crew will thank you.Your focus puller will actually have a shot at nailing the take.We’ve already gone over why it’s important for your actors to have a reasonable amount of leeway with regards to DOF, but the same logic applies to your focus puller. If you’re shooting a scene with any time of focus pull (whether it’s on sticks, handheld, or otherwise), your 1st AC is going to have a much harder time maintaining focus if your lens is opened up too much. No matter how accurate their focus marks may be, there will always be some inconsistencies with the actor’s movements, camera placement and other variables that make it very difficult for your 1st AC to do their job effectively.The fact of the matter is that 90% of the time, if you’re shooting in a wide open space in broad daylight, you’ll be best served by stopping your lenses down. Not only will this vastly improve your image quality, but your actors and 1st AC will have a much easier time doing their jobs.If you do end up going for the shallow depth of field look, here are a few tips on how to achieve the technique from Fenchel & Janisch:Here’s one more from lynda.com:What are your thoughts on the shallow depth of field trend? Overused? Underappreciated? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Which Camera Movement Should You Use — and When and Why?

first_imgShooting HandheldShooting something organically is a goal shared by many filmmakers. You want to make something honest, real, cheap, and (most importantly) you want to connect with your audience. I’m here to make the case for why shooting handheld isn’t always the best solution. If you’re looking at major motion pictures as a reference point, you’ll note that the best stories aren’t always told through the motion of the camera — rather, they rely on carefully composing the characters within a smooth shot. You’ll notice the smoothness of your vision if you stand up and walk around the room. It’s almost as if there is in-body stabilization built into your brain, acting as a gimbal of sorts.Shooting handheld is perfect for a variety of different shots and moments throughout your film. Action movies tend to use the shaky handheld aesthetic to bring the viewers in while making them anxious, then spit them out once the violence concludes. Directors like Paul Greengrass, Christoper Nolan (with the Dark Knight films), and plenty of others all block their scenes with the handheld view.Going for SmoothOn the other hand, filmmakers like David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson favor the slow, smooth, steady camera work that acts as the point of view for the audience. Slowing things down and using a gimbal or a Steadicam puts the viewer in the characters’ shoes and immerses them in the narrative world.But, if you want to slow things down even more, go for complete stillness. Set your camera up on a tripod, carefully compose the shot according to the space at hand, and let the story unfold right before a fixed lens.There’s No Right WayThe beauty of filmmaking is that every aspect of the production process offers both blessings and curses. In this instance, each camera move can work in any type of scene — the question is should it? Go ahead and shoot handheld as much as you want. The only thing that matters when it’s all said and done is whether or not the story is engaging. Everything we do as storytellers is about figuring out how to tell the most compelling story possible, no matter how you do it.Top image via welcomia.Looking for more filmmaking video tutorials? Check these out.Video Tutorial: Build Your Own $50 Car-Side Camera MountThe Benefits of Working with 4K Footage in a 1080 SequenceWhat Else Can You Do with Your 360° and VR Video Footage?Everything to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Blackmagic’s URSA Mini Pro From expansive dolly moves to intimate handheld shots, there’s a range of camera movements for every shot. But which one works best for the story?The bottom line is that camera movement should either cater to the story or get its motivation from the charters. Handheld, dolly, Steadicam, crane, and static shots all are tools to cater to the film, not detract from it. Understanding the origins of these shots can better your skills when it comes to capturing them on set.In this video, I’ve broken down several of the camera movements I use most frequently — and when it’s appropriate to use them.last_img read more

NIA team in Bhopal to probe blast in train

first_imgA team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday reached Bhopal to probe the blast in a train, suspected to be a terror attack.The blast occurred near the Jabri railway station under Shajapur district, about 60 km from Bhopal.NIA officials would interact with the Madhya Pradesh police personnel and verify leads available with them to ascertain whether the explosion was a terror attack, official sources said.Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Tuesday said the initial investigation suggested that the blast was a terror attack and investigation was underway to unravel the conspiracy behind the incident.Ten people were injured, three of them seriously, in the blast on the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train.Madhya Pradesh Inspector General (Intelligence) Makrand Deoskar had said the blast was carried out “by planting an improvised explosive device (IED)”.last_img read more

No remedy if someone set on blaming outfits: UP CM

first_imgFaced with the charge of right-wing activists repeatedly taking the law into their own hands in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said there is “no remedy if someone makes up his mind” to blame a particular outfit.Mr. Adityanath was responding to questions by reporters about the lynching of a Muslim man in Bulandshahr that was allegedly carried out by Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) activists, and the Saharanpur clash in which an MP and a senior police official were injured.Mr. Adityanath founded HYV in April 2002.‘No discrimination’The CM was also asked why his warnings on the law-and-order front are not having the desired impact.“There is no remedy if someone makes up his mind that he has to blame a particular outfit… The victims have already stated that not one outfit but dispute among themselves was the cause of the incidents,” the CM said.“I can say with confidence that everyone will be safe in the State without any discrimination and rule of law is the priority of the government,” he said.In Saharanpur, local MP Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma, a senior police officer and several others were injured in stone pelting between members of two communities during a rally on April 20 to mark Ambedkar Jayanti.In Sohi village of Bulandshahr, a man was beaten to death by right-wing activists on May 2 after an inter-faith couple eloped. On Thursday, UP police’s press statement said that HYV activists were allegedly involved in the lynching incident.Regretting the State’s poor ranking in the ‘Swachh Survekshan-2017’, with only Varanasi figuring in the list of 100 clean cities, Mr. Adityanath said that nine of the 15 most dirty districts are in Uttar Pradesh.last_img read more

AI flight skids off runway in Pune

first_imgPune: Passengers on Delhi-Pune Air India flight AI 849 had a close shave after it overshot the 2,535-metre runway at the Lohegaon Airport in Pune, forcing an emergency evacuation of those aboard. No one was injured. Authorities said all 152 passengers were safely evacuated, while the runway was shut down for over an hour as the aircraft had to be towed awayA number of flights between 6.27 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. were delayed as a result.“The plane overshot the runway after touching down at 6:27 p.m. It halted safely and was towed away. All passengers were evacuated using chutes and no one was injured,” said Air India officials.While many flights were delayed, details were awaited at the time of going to press. Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials said the incident was serious in nature and would be investigated. “This is a case of runway excursion, which seems to be due to excessive tail winds. But there is no damage to the aircraft. A DGCA team from Mumbai will visit Pune on Saturday,” officials said. The Pune Airport forms part of the Indian Air Force’s Lohegaon Air Base and currently handles 126 civil aircraft movements. Air India officials said that a ferry flight was being arranged to fly from Delhi to Pune for the passengers waiting to fly to the capital.last_img read more

Karni Sena leader agrees to watch Padmaavat

first_imgFilm distributors in Rajasthan on Monday announced that they would not acquire the distribution rights of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film, Padmaavat, with Rajput groups demandinga complete ban on the movie and threatening violence at cinema halls screening the period drama.The film exhibitors also gave in writing to Rajput Karni Sena, spearheading an agitation that they would not screen the film. Meanwhile,Karni Sena founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi agreed to watch Padmaavat on Mr. Bhansali’s invitation before its release on January 25.Rajasthan’s leading film distributors, Yash Raj Jai Pictures and Marudhar Cine Entertainment, said that they had decided not to distribute the movie in the State. The decision came four days after the Supreme Court stayed the notifications and orders of Rajasthan and two other States banning the film’s release. .Hearing todaythree-judge bench of the apex court would hear on Tuesday the State government’s interim application seeking modification of its January 18 order allowing the film’s release. Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Monday asked Karni Sena and the erstwhile royal family of Mewar to become co-petitioners in the case by filing review petitions.“We have conveyed people’s sentiments to the Supreme Court through our petition seeking recall of its order. We have to find a way out to respect the popular beliefs and faith in history, which should not be distorted,” said Mr. Kataria. He said the State government had invited the Rajput groups to join the legal recourse to get the matter settled.Mr. Kalvi told reporters that a “public curfew” would be enforced and protests organised outside the cinema theatres if Padmaavat was screened. He also said that he had accepted the film-makers’ invitation to watch the movie at a pre-screening event, but added that he knew it was a “ploy to deceive Rajputs”.Youth climbs towerProtesters blocked highways in Rajsamand and Barmer and raised slogans outside two cinema halls in Jaipur, warning them against screening the film. A 20-year-old youth climbed a mobile phone network tower in Bhilwara demanding a ban on the movie. He was later brought down.The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) extended support to the demand for ban on Padmaavat, saying no one should be allowed to distort history.last_img read more

Marathi actors have close brush with death on Mumbai-Pune Expressway

first_imgPune: Popular Marathi actors Aniket Vishwasrao and Prarthana Behre had a narrow escape after their car rammed into a divider near Lonavla on the Mumbai-Pune expressway on Monday morning.The actors, along with Ms. Behre’s companion, were heading to Kolhapur to promote their upcoming film Maska when the driver of the vehicle, in a bid to avoid colliding into a parked tempo, hit a divider near the Lonavla exit.While Mr. Vishwasrao and the driver escaped unhurt, Ms. Behre, who was seated at the back, received injuries on her right hand while her companion suffered a concussion in the head, said medical sources. They were rushed to the Yash Hospital at Valvan (near Lonavla) where they are undergoing treatment.“The tempo suddenly appeared in our sights as our car turned on the bend. Unfortunately, in a bid to avoid it, our driver swerved and lost control. However, we had our seat belts on and the protective airbags deployed. So, all of us are safe,” said Mr. Vishwasrao, speaking after the mishap.The front of the vehicle — a black colour Toyota Fortuner — was badly mangled in the accident.last_img read more

Lawyers protest arrest of Nagpur advocate Surendra Gadling

first_imgLawyers from the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers have expressed their concern over the arrest of advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur, alleging an attack on lawyers who are fighting cases of marginalised people.Mr. Gadling has been arrested in relation with the violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune when Dalits congregated to celebrate the British victory over Peshwas with the help of Mahar soldiers.Addressing the media here on Thursday, IAPL vice-president Sudha Bharadwaj said that the sudden arrest was part of a pattern where “people’s lawyers” are being targeted, in violation of the widely-held norm that “being a lawyer of a political prisoner is not a crime”.A release by the IAPL said that this is part of a larger pattern: advocates Upendra Nayak of Odisha, Murugan of Tamil Nadu and Satyendra Chaubey of Chhattisgarh “have all been implicated in the cases of their own clients, which is absolutely unacceptable as per United Nations principles on the role of lawyers”.“In the morning of June 6, 2018, the Pune Police arrested senior advocate Surendra Gadling from his house in Nagpur at 6 a.m. The arrest has been made in connection with an FIR registered on January 8, 2018 at Vishrambaug PS in Pune. The FIR originally alleged inciting communal harmony at the Elgar Parishad program organised on December 31, 2018 to commemorate 200 years of the victory of Mahar soldiers over the Peshwa in the Bhima Koregaon battle,” the release said. “In March 2018, the case was converted into a criminal conspiracy. On April 17, 2018, though the FIR did not originally name advocate Gadling, the police raided his house and office and confiscated all possible CDs, hard disks, computer systems – including the family’s devices. Yesterday he and other intellectuals and activists were arrested in the same case, by adding several sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which ensures long detention and difficulty in obtaining bail.”Apart from Mr. Gadling, head of the English department at Nagpur University Shoma Sen, Marathi poet Sudhir Dhavale, Rona Wilson of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and anti-displacement activist Mahesh Raut have also been arrested.“The bias of the state is all the more obvious when the leaders of Hindutva organisations named in many complaints and FIRs as instigators of the Bhima Koregaon violence – Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide – whose anticipatory bail applications have been refused by even the Supreme Court, still roam free,” the release said.last_img read more

Police lathi charge on Congress workers in Chhattisgarh

first_imgThe Congress launched protests in different parts of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday after a video of an alleged police attack on party workers in Bilaspur on Tuesday went viral on social media.“The police entered the Congress Bhavan in Bilaspur on Tuesday evening and trashed the Congress workers brutally. The incident took place when Congress workers were conducting a meeting after a symbolic protest in front of Chhattisgarh minister Amar Agrawal’s residence in Bilaspur against his appalling remarks about the party. The video of the incident shows how brutally the policemen attacked Congress workers,” party spokesperson R.P. Singh told The Hindu.Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted the video of the incident on his official Twitter account and said, “Authoritarianism has become the profession of the Narendra Modi government. The attack on the Congress workers’ fundamental rights in Bilaspur by Raman Singh government will be remembered by the people as a political assault.”Senior Congress leader and the general secretary in charge of Chhattisgarh P.L. Punia termed the incident as a “barbaric act” and demanded CM Raman Singh’s resignation.“Never happened in India. For the first time, peaceful party workers were beaten up inside the party office. Raman Singh has lost all balances. It is time for him to quit. Should try to go with some grace,” Mr. Punia tweeted.Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has condemned the incident and ordered a magisterial probe.Congress leader Shailesh Nitin Trivedi claimed that “BJP ki HitlarShahi” trended on Twitter on Wednesday after the incident.The Congress has called an emergency PCC meeting in Bilaspur on Thursday to possibly announce the launch of a state-wide agitation.last_img read more

NHAI rapped for not maintaining green cover along highways

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal on Wednesday came down heavily on the National Highways Authority of India for not maintaining green cover along national highways.Rapping the NHAI for not implementing the policy to maintain a mandatory green cover along the highways, a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “You are befooling everyone. You are not planting trees. All highways have marriage places along the road instead of trees. Why are you allowing construction along the highways?”Big buildings Dismissing the NHAI’s contention that its green highway policy is being implemented, the Bench said, “All you have on paper is fraud. All things stated in the affidavit are also false. Big buildings are overlooking the roads. You cannot construct anything within 50 metres.”The green panel’s observations came following a plea moved by an NGO, Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, Traditions and Promotion of National Awareness, that sought execution of an earlier order of the tribunal.The petitioner NGO was seeking execution of the September 2017 NGT order where the NHAI had assured that its Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy will be implemented.last_img read more

Man ‘stoned to death’ by monkeys, family wants FIR to be registered against them

first_imgA 70-year-old man was allegedly stoned to death by some monkeys in a village here, putting the police in a fix as the deceased’s family wants an FIR to be registered against them. The incident took place on October 17 in Tikri village of the district. Circle officer Ramala Rajiv Pratap Singh told PTI that the deceased was sleeping near a pile of bricks when some monkeys jumped on the bricks. The pile of bricks collapsed and fell on Dharampal, leaving him injured. He was taken to hospital where he succumbed. Giving a different narrative, Krishnapal Singh, the brother of the deceased, in his complaint has said that Dharampal was collecting woods for a havan when he was attacked by the monkeys. Bricks were thrown at his head and chest, and he succumbed to injuries at the hospital.“We have submitted a written complaint against the monkeys, but the police is terming it as an accident,” he said. He said they will now meet senior officials and request them to initiate action in this regard.last_img read more

Man kills labourer for insurance claim money

first_imgA man faked his death allegedly for making insurance claim, but ran out of luck as the police nabbed him on suspicion that he had killed a labourer and burnt his body in his car. Aakash, a resident of Chandigarh, was arrested on Tuesday from Palwal Railway Station in a joint operation of the Sirmour Police and the Government Railway Police, Haryana, Sirmaur Superintendent of Police Rohit Malpani said Wednesday. Prima facie, Aakash and his family wanted to grab the huge life insurance money, the value of which will be estimated after further investigation and interrogation of the accused, the SP said. He said Aakash’s nephew Ravi Kumar (29) was also involved in planning and executing the alleged crime and he was arrested on Monday from Himachal Pradesh’s Nahan.The accused will be produced in a court to seek his remand for interrogation, police said.last_img read more

Odisha group starts drive to retrieve discarded flags

first_imgA group of environmental activists of Odisha’s Berhampur are engaged in retrieving national flags made of paper and plastic that have been thrown all around the city after the Republic Day celebrations.They are members of Berhampur Sabuja Bahini. “We were hurt to see our national flag thrown in garbage dumps, drains and on the roadside,” said BSB president Sibaram Panigrahy. “Many people buy paper and polythene flags to express nationalistic fervour on Republic Day. However, after a few hours, they have no hesitation in disposing of these flags in a derogatory manner,” said BSB member P. Aravind Kumar.In its bid to create awareness among the people to respect the Tricolour, the BSB started its drive to salvage the discarded flags on January 27. During the drive, which continued on Monday, the activists told the residents that the national flag is like a picture of deities and it should not be disposed of unceremoniously. The Tricolours salvaged by this group are being cleaned up and stored. “We will reuse them in future events,” said BSB secretary M. Dilip Kumar. The members of the group said they were happy to see that the use of polythene flags had gone down drastically in Berhampur in comparison to the Independence Day celebrations last year.last_img read more

Six injured as bus falls into drain

first_imgSix persons were injured when a Rajasthan Roadways bus, in which they were travelling, plunged into a drain near Chaksu on National Highway-12, about 40 km from here, early morning on February 5. The accident took place at a bridge near the Sheetla dam in Chaksu town.The bus was pulled out of the drain with the help of a crane, while the passengers were rescued through boats. Three of those injured were referred to Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital in Jaipur for treatment.The civil defence and police teams were pressed into service for the rescue operation, while the local villagers rushed to pull the passengers out of water. The bus with about 30 passengers was travelling from Jaipur to Kota.According to the initial reports, the driver lost control when the bus was crossing the bridge. The bus fell into the drain after breaking the railing of the bridge.last_img read more

Whooping Cough Vaccine Does Not Stop Spread of Disease in Lab Animals

first_imgThe current vaccine for whooping cough, or pertussis, may keep you or your baby healthy, but it may not stop either of you from spreading the disease, a new animal study suggests. Baboons can harbor and spread the disease even after receiving the vaccine, researchers have found. The study adds to growing evidence that the acellular pertussis vaccines, in which only parts of the pertussis bacterium are injected into the bloodstream to elicit a protective immune response, are not as good at controlling the disease as older, whole-cell vaccines were. However, a vaccine manufacturer argues that it’s too early to conclude that a similar effect occurs in humans.Pertussis starts out like a normal cough but causes severe coughing fits and can be lethal to infants. By the time of diagnosis, it is often untreatable with antibiotics. Historically associated with the slums of pre-World War II Europe and America, the disease has made a powerful resurgence in recent years. The United States alone experienced about 50,000 cases of pertussis last year, with 18 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase could be due in part to more sensitive tools to diagnose pertussis that were widely introduced in 2010, or to pockets of children whose parents oppose vaccination. However, previous research also indicated that immunity in people vaccinated with the acellular vaccines, introduced in the 1990s, is less long-lasting than in users of the older, whole-cell vaccine.The current study goes a step further and suggests that people who get the newer vaccine may still become infected and spread the germ. Tod Merkel, a microbiologist, and colleagues at the Food and Drug Administration in Bethesda, Maryland, examined response to the acellular vaccine in infant baboons, an animal that responds to the bacterium responsible for pertussis similarly to people. The researchers infected four groups of baboons , each group containing three or four babies, by anesthetizing the animals and dripping a pertussis-containing solution into their noses. One group had already received the standard three doses of the acellular vaccine; a second received the whole-cell vaccine. Members of the third group had previously had whooping cough. Those in the fourth group had not had the disease and received no vaccine before being exposed.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)As expected, the unvaccinated baboons developed severe whooping cough, while the baboons that had been sick previously remained well, the research team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Both groups of vaccinated animals also remained healthy. However, the germ persisted an average of 35 days in the throats of baboons vaccinated with the acellular shot, though it grew less thickly than it did in the throats of the sick, unvaccinated animals. Baboons vaccinated with the whole-cell shot harbored the germ for 18 days, and it did not grow at all in animals that previously had recovered from pertussis.In another experiment, two baboons that had received acellular vaccines were exposed to whooping cough germs and then each was put in a cage 2 days later with previously unexposed baboons. In both cases, the vaccinated animals transmitted the germ to their cage mates, who developed pertussis. Follow-up studies showed that animals vaccinated with the acellular shots did not generate sufficient numbers of a particular variety of white blood cell to fight the pertussis infection as well as those receiving the older vaccine.The researchers conclude that a new vaccine may be needed to provide so-called herd immunity, the ability of a community to stop an infection from spreading, and protect vulnerable babies from pertussis. “There’s a difference between protecting individuals from illness and bringing down the incidence of pertussis in the population,” Merkel says. “To do both we may need a different vaccine.”Sanofi Pasteur of Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, which makes one of the two acellular pertussis vaccines used in the United States, issued a statement cautioning that the study was not designed to evaluate the extent to which vaccination reduced transmission. “It cannot be said with certainty that these findings are directly applicable to humans,” the company said it its statement.But other scientists applauded the work. “This is a very strong paper, even though it is a small sample,” says James Cherry, a vaccinologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the study. Cherry argues that the efficacy of the acellular vaccines in trials held in Europe and Africa in the 1990s appeared high because case definitions did not count people with mild infections. The acellular vaccine was introduced because of public concerns and lawsuits arising from the whole-cell vaccine, which sometimes caused high fever and even seizures.As for the claim that the new result may not be applicable to people, Merkel notes that, for ethical reasons, it may be difficult to duplicate the study in humans, as that would require purposefully exposing experimental subjects to a 3-month bout of pertussis.last_img read more

Chinese academician snagged in corruption dragnet

first_imgChina’s antigraft campaign has ensnared a leading animal cloning researcher, according to Chinese news reports. The well-respected financial news magazine Caijing says that Li Ning, an animal breeding specialist at China Agricultural University (CAU), is under investigation for allegedly transferring research funds to companies in which he holds majority shares; he has not been seen in public since early July, the report says.When Chinese President Xi Jinping launched an anticorruption campaign at the end of 2012, he vowed to catch both “tigers and flies,” meaning officials at all strata of the nation’s leadership. The biggest catch so far is China’s former internal security czar Zhou Yongkang. Li, who was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2007 at age 45, is the first academician targeted in the campaign.Li is a principal investigator on 18 major research projects in China, including the country’s well-funded transgenic project, according to CAU’s website. He is the director of CAU’s national key lab for agricultural biotechnology and leads teams in big animal cloning, stem cell research, and genetic engineering. Li’s bio also boasts of being a partner in the PigBioDiv2 project, a European Union–China collaboration under the European Union’s Fifth Framework Programme that aimed to assess diversity of pig breeds. According to Leif Andersson, an animal geneticist at Uppsala University in Sweden, Li provided tissue samples of Chinese domestic pigs to the project, which ended several years ago.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Using transgenic technology to breed new varieties of crops and livestock is among more than a dozen major projects in China’s 2006 to 2020 science and technology plan. The transgenic project was launched in 2008, with a planned investment of 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion at 2008 exchange rates, or $3.25 billion at today’s exchange rate). Critics say the transgenic project has concentrated too much funding in too few hands with little accountability and few significant results.According to the Caijing report, Li has access to tens of millions of dollars of research funds. He has also registered several biotech companies over the years, in which he holds controlling shares and serves as company director or manager. He allegedly transferred research funds into some of the companies, the report says. Li could not be reached for comment, and CAU has not commented on the investigation.China’s anticorruption campaign had been cleaning house in academia long before Li’s detention. So far, leaders at 18 universities have been caught up in the sweep, according to various news reports. Last year, Chen Yingxu, a prominent water researcher, was charged with embezzlement. Earlier this year, Shen Weichen, the newly appointed party chief of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST)—counterpart to AAAS (publisher of ScienceInsider) in China—was detained by the party’s disciplinary body, though his case was not related to his work at CAST. Anticorruption inspection teams have also been sent to major research universities such as Fudan University in Shanghai and the Ministry of Science and Technology. And two cases of alleged bribery by university officials were made public yesterday as well.No official announcement has been made about Li’s case. It could become a test case for the revised bylaws of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, which list corruption as one of the grounds for stripping away the honorary title of academician.last_img read more

Pros of incest outweigh cons for mongooses

first_imgIf you find yourself looking around the table over the holiday and thinking, “I can’t believe I’m related to these people,” just be glad you’re not a mongoose. If you were, you might be thinking, “I can’t believe I’ve mated with all of these people.” For the cat-sized mammals, native to central and east Africa, it’s safer to have sex with a close relative than risk death by venturing out into the world to find a mate, according to a study published online today in Biology Letters. Newly formed mongoose groups have a mortality rate three times higher than that of established ones, and mongooses that encroach on neighboring groups are often met with violence. Perhaps consequently, an analysis of 14 packs of mongooses in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park finds that inbreeding is the norm: 63.6% of the pups were conceived between two members of the same natal group, the social group into which an individual is born. Twenty-seven percent of offspring were conceived by mothers that bred within their natal group and were related to their mates by a coefficient of relationship of 0.25 or higher—the equivalent genetic similarity between half siblings or a grandparent/grandchild. Additionally, 7.5% of pups were conceived by parents related by 0.5 or more—full siblings or a parent/child. Father/daughter incest occurred eight times during the study, but interestingly, mother/son breeding was not observed—perhaps due to the fact that males take longer to reach sexual maturity and their mothers are dead by the time they’re ready to mate. Researchers speculate that, at least for mongooses, the genetic problems caused by inbreeding are perceived to be less dangerous than leaving the pack in search of new mates.last_img read more